Friday, December 6, 2019

Discussion: Do You Do Downtime?

A lot of games I've been in have been fairly linear and constant in how they go. I don't mean linear in terms of plot, but rather in terms of time. The PCs start in one session, and then basically every day is accounted for and gone through session to session from then on.

This keeps the game going, but it ultimately leaves little time for the PCs to pursue personal goals that don't involve the other players - unless that is what a session is dedicated to. Even then, it has to be planned to match up because travel time and complications effect everyone differently.

But I've been in a few games that have done downtime. Shadowrun games where there is X weeks between jobs - because you have to lay low or whatever. D&D games where there is time between adventures as the PCs go their own way and do their own thing. L5R games where there are entire seasons where the PCs are not together because they have to go home for the summer or winter to deal with stuff.

This week though Matt Coleville's Running the Game video was on downtime, and it got me to thinking that downtime is not something I have effectively used too much in my game. The idea of using it for solo adventures, solo stories, and other things is a really cool use. Maybe it doesn't get levels or XP, but it can still push things forward and do stuff. Maybe it requires a break between when the campaign runs for a bit. Maybe it doesn't.

It is definitely something to think on. And for that reason - among others - I am curious if you do down time in your games. If so, how do you do it?

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