Within the Ashes of Chicago
Downtime actions are efforts taken by characters between games, “off camera so to say” and allow characters to accomplish tasks outside of game. Every character starts with at 3 downtime actions per game, curtain skills, backgrounds, merits and flaws can affect this amount.
Feeding: Waking each evening cost blood, as do many other powers and abilities. The hunt for food is major part of unlife; characters that do not spend at least 1 downtime action to feed will enter game at half their blood pool (rounded up). Each dot of the herd background provides one blood trait that characters walk into game with, and can be used during the course of the game to get more. Spending a downtime action to feed unlocks the hunting map at the beginning of each game. The player will pick a zone in Chicago to feed within, lowering the amount of traits that can be easily accessed in that zone. Overfeeding in areas can temporarily disrupting night life or worse, a masquerade breech. If the free zones are picked over, a character will have to either make a deal with a character who owns a hunting area or pouch from that zone. The pouching action will be described in its own section. Members of Clan Ventrue must spend 2 actions to feed, as per their clan flaw. Feeding Rules
Investigation: In the context of downtimes, Investigation refers to your character personally investigating a matter or topic of some kind. You’re character’s skills, backgrounds and events that have occurred all will influence the success of these actions. This can cover such a diverse number of topics and situations. Simply indicate as one of your Downtimes actions that you’re investigating a matter and describe what you’re looking for and how you’re going about your investigation. Good targets for investigations could be: Things that occurred in the paper, follow up/further info on a scene that ran last game, using backgrounds to dig around.
Patrolling: Spending downtime actions to patrol a zone, increases the difficulty of stealth feeding for interlopers. Each action you spend patrolling increases the difficulty by 1 downtime action. For example, if you spend 2 downtime actions patrolling, the difficulty for uninvited vampires feeding in your territory increases from 1 downtime action to 3. Note that patrolling doesn’t precisely make it more difficult to feed, it makes it more difficult to feed without getting caught.
Beyond your Means: If you don’t have any dots in the Resources background and want to acquire an item you may spend to spend downtime actions to obtain an item. Your character must pay in advance, doing favors or earning money. Contextual rules apply to what items can procured and if any consequences occur.
Crafting: The player spends a downtime action and uses her character’s Crafts skill to design, build, or repair an item in the character’s possession. Tests may apply. If the character has a crafting of 3 or higher, they may temporarily gain one dot of resources (up to 5), by creating and selling their crafts.
Teach/Learn Disciplines: A character may teach disciplines one level lower than they posses, allowing a character to buy out of clan disciplines for XP, one level lower than they posses, to other characters over downtime. The student must drink a trait of blood (risking blood bonds) to unlock the potential to learn all of the teacher’s inclans (this only has to be done once). The teacher must spend 1 willpower that will return after 2 sessions to teach common disciplines. Rare disciplines cost 2 willpower points to teach and also return after two sessions.
Influence attacks: Players may use a downtime action AND their influence actions allotted per game to attack backgrounds of targets NPCs and PCs. Chances of success vary, retaliation may very well occur and consequences could be serious for the attacker. Some of the defender’s backgrounds may temporarily damaged with this action.
Perform: A character with the Performance skill at 3 or higher may temporarily increase her Fame by spending 2 downtime actions (one to promote the upcoming performance, and one to perform). This increases the character’s Fame background by 1 for a month, even if the character does not have current dots in the Fame background, up to a maximum of 5.
Other: These are just the most common categories that actions can fall into, other possibilities exist. Talk to one of the staff if you wish to do something different.
Computer skill, if level 3 or higher, grants either one additional action to the character or maybe used to attack another character, reducing the total downtime actions by 1.
Medicine: If level 3 or higher, a character may spend a downtime action studying blood, hair, skin, or remains (including ash) in a proper medical facility, and determine a creature’s supernatural type (if any). Characters who are familiar with vampires can also determine clan and generation. With use of proper equipment, you can preserve blood (including vampiric blood) for up to one month per dot in the Medicine skill.
Science: At level 3 or higher, a character receives an additional downtime action that may only be used in the relevant pursuit of that science.
Security: At level 3 or higher, a character may apply to security advantage to another character’s haven by spending 1 downtime action, this bonus last for 3 months.
Downtime actions may be submitted to the staff by messaging myself or Fabian on Facebook, by contacting us on the Obsidian portal page, or told to us and written down after games.