Downtimes & Travel Risk
The Age of Ashes downtime system represents the time your character spends between games, the activities that they perform and the work they do that cannot be done at events. This system will be expanded more fully after our first Beta event, but typically includes two separate systems: Personal Downtimes and Organizational Downtimes.
Every character has one personal downtime that they may use however they see fit, depending on the skills they possess. These activities include:
- Adventurer- With an advanced knowledge of archeology, a character with the requisite skills can spend their personal downtime exploring ruins on their own.
- Archaeology- A character with the right skills can use their downtime to locate ruins and initiate archeology modules at game. Travel risk applies.
- Crew- A character with the right perks can spend their downtime crewing for a Hesha ship, and receiving rewards and risk. Travel risk is built into this system.
- Forager- If you possess the requisite gathering skill you can utilize resource nodes in the downtime to find common materials. Travel risk applies.
- Look for Items- A gatherer with the right skills can spend the downtime looking for specific items that may be encountered in the game space, in order to enter a module at game in which those items may be encountered.
- Masterwork- By spending a downtime a crafter with the requisite skills and materials may create masterwork items.
- Reading- If you possess a book that can teach you a skill that is not on your self-teach list you may spend a downtime reading and studying that tome in order to learn the skill, although you will still need to spend the XP in order to buy that skill before you can utilize it.
- Specialized Buildings- A crafter with the requisite skills may staff or make use of organization specific buildings in their personal downtime. Travel risk applies.
- Streetwise- A character with necessary skills can spend the downtime tailing a number of people and finding out more about them, as well as submitting rumors.
- Teaching- You and another character may each spend a downtime in order to teach them a skill from a skill branch that they do not possess on their self-teach list. They will still need to spend the XP in order to buy that skill before they can utilize it.
- Therapy- You and another character can spend a downtime working through issues and trauma in order to remove despair or lower a level of insanity one level.
Each character also can grant one organization downtime to the organization of their choice. Organizations are a structural mechanic that represent the joining of multiple individuals behind a singular goal. With the combined power of individuals, organizations are capable of completing feats that no single person could accomplish. At each event, organizational downtimes are donated to an organization that you are a member of which that org may then use during the organization downtime phase by the leader of that organization. It is in the organization downtimes that wars are waged by gangs and cults, that people work to protect their land, and that the work of building up the game environment takes place.
The downtime system for Age of Ashes utilizes a map of the area that will be released close to Event 1. This map covers an area of approximately 122,500 square miles including the game space and the surrounding area and contains four zones of differing risk: green, yellow, blue, and purple. Each zone is approximately 50 miles in width, and the overall map represents the average distance that a person can walk and work in a month (one week out, two weeks working, one week back) assuming a healthy person can walk 150 miles in a week. The green zone represents the area of the game space itself, where no travel risk applies.
It assumed by this system that a character can safely work a full downtime in the first yellow zone, about 50 miles distant from the game space, given that the character has plenty of time to avoid danger and still get what they would like done before they have to head back to the game space. There is limited risk (a 3 in 10 chance) that something bad will happen to a character if they work within that range. Farther from the game space, it is more dangerous. In the next 50 miles one has less time to avoid trouble and still get their work done, so in the blue zone characters run a moderate risk (5 in 10 chance) of something bad happening to them if they work within that range for a downtime.
The next zone, the purple range, which represents the next 50 miles, represents a high risk (7 in 10 chance) to the character that something unfortunate will happen if they work within that range for a downtime, and they will be unable to avoid it.
These results can be taken down a step by certain powers, equipment, or items (a purple zone may be treated like a blue zone, etc.), but can never be fully mitigated. Unfortunate events may include injuries, loss of items (including those that make it easier to travel), sickness, damnations, and, if relevant, a module may need to be run as a result during the next scheduled game.
Travel outside of the purple zone does not happen as part of the regular game system, and is exceptionally rare without a specific perk (such as the Hesha crew perk).
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