Downtime is an important part of character progression and indeed world progression in The Westlands. Between every two games, any player with an active character can submit downtime, and earn experience by doing so. The player does not need to attend a game to be able to submit downtime, but you must have attended at least one game to have an active character.
Downtime is made up of several actions:
Research: Every character is capable of researching, in order to gain new knowledge. Usually, research is done in one particular “direction” per downtime session. However, if you are close to completing a particular direction of research, you may be able to start on another with any left over time. For this reason, it is preferable to submit two directions of research for any downtime period, with an order of priority. There are AX-based knowledge skills that allow for more detailed research results, or for extra research slots. Please mention these with your downtime submission.
Examples of research directions may be system-related (such as “I want to figure out how to make an incendiary bullet.”) This will likely result in the knowledge of a new skill, that you may then spend experience (in this case OX) to buy for your character. An AX skill is researched as well (although this may sound more like “training” than “researching”), examples would be, “I want to learn to knock someone down with a melee weapon”, or “I want to learn to stay standing better when hit by big blows,” to discover the skills “Strikedown Blow” and “Resist Strikedown” respectively.
If you are researching alone, you may specify whether you are making your result public. If you discover a new skill, and do not make it public, then the skill will not be available to anyone else unless they research it too. You may still teach it to someone else. Once three separate research efforts have discovered the same skill (or anyone makes it public), then it will be available for everyone.
Research can also be knowledge based (such as “I want to investigate this object we discovered in game to figure out what it is.”) This will either result in your character gaining a new knowledge skill (no Experience needs to be spent to buy it), or just a specific piece of information.
Groups can research together – to accomplish this, one person will take the lead role, and everyone else can just say “I help [the Sheriff, or whoever] to research that thing we found.” Everyone involved in the research will get the result.
Knowledge Lore skills: For every Knowledge Lore skill you possess (which are AX-based, as opposed to a Craft Lore skill, which are OX based), you may make one action during down-time. An example of this would be using a “Lore, Mining” skill to figure out which part of the mine has been worked lately, or using a “Lore, Woodlands” to find where the trail in the woods found in-game leads to. These pieces of information are often used to trigger the next parts of a plot, so please don’t overlook them. If you don’t have specific questions, list the skill in your downtime, with something along the lines of “Explore the mine”, or “Map out an area of the woods” (for those two skills above.) While this won’t get you quite as much detail, it gives us a chance to distribute clues as to directions to follow.
Crafting: Each Crafting skill (including gathering and processing/refining skills) after the Lore/Repair level allows the creation of in-game objects both during game and during downtime. For each gather/refine/manufacture/improve slot that you have during game, you have one during downtime as well. For each slot, you can gather/refine an ingredient, or you can manufacture one new item (from materials you have in hand, that you will have to give up at the beginning of the next game), improve one item you have in hand (we will create the new item card, and exchange it for the old one at the beginning of the next game, as well as pay the cost in in-game currency), or use the time for profit, by selling/repairing items for the townsfolk. During downtime, you may be specific about what you want to gather (if you have already discovered the existence of an ingredient), or that you want to try to find something new (harder at higher levels).
Role Play: We will hopefully have a functional web-site up soon, that will have a space for more detailed in-character interaction during downtime. In the mean-time, please add any goals for your character that aren’t covered by the above sections in your downtime submissions. If you work together to progress your development in any way, and feel that Game Management can add anything, feel free to include us either on Facebook or via email.
Spending XP: You do not have to spend all your XP, you can pool any you haven’t spent and keep it indefinitely, but any AX will be lost if your character should die. OX isn’t lost whether it’s spent or not, so there’s no advantage to waiting unless you are saving for an expensive purchase, or just unsure what to buy yet.
The earlier you submit downtime, the more detailed your reply is likely to be. Also, if you do have extra time available for more, there is a higher chance that we will have time to ask you to submit more.