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Working - Downtime Activity in D&D 5e

Downtime Activity

Player's Roll

Honest Work

A DM can allow a player to work during their downtime. Temporary work can be difficult to find, and the wages are often difficult to predict. Working only requires one workweek of effort.

To determine how much a character earns, they must make a single ability check, choosing from the table below. Note: They DM may let a player use a skill that is not listed below if it pertains to a specific field or job. For example, the DM may allow a wizard to roll an intelligent check to help a scholar do research, or act as a librarian.

Roll Example Jobs
Strength (Athletics) Example Jobs:  Construction, Warehouse Laborer, Mining, Guard, Bouncer
Dexterity (Acrobatics) Example Jobs:  Street Performer (Acrobat), Juggler, Tightrope Walker, Scaffolders and Highrise worker
Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) Example Jobs:  Street Performer (Card Tricks, Shell Game, Magic Tricks)
Intelligence using a set of tools Example Jobs:  Depends on the tools (i.e. Mason, Carpenter)*
Charisma (Performer) Example Jobs:  Street Performer (Singer, Comedian), Tavern Entertainer
Charisma with a musical instrument Example Jobs:  Street Performer (Instrument), Tavern Entertainer

Earnings and Wages

The player's roll determines how much money the player earns for the week. The DM can explain a low roll in various ways: the character couldn't find much honest work, the character worked for a cruel and cheap boss, the charater's services were in low demand.

Optional Rules: A DM may wish to add a modifier if the player is proficient with tools and their craft is considered a skilled labor (+2). Also,the DM can add a modifier if labor in a specific field is in high demand (+2). For example, a city doing a good deal of construction would need strong laborers, masons and carpenters; a city bent on war may need fletchers (woodcarvers), blacksmiths and even guards; or a city during a festival may require entertainers.

Check Total Earnings Description Typical Wages
9 or lower Earnings Description:  Poor lifestyle for the week Typical Wages:  14 sp
10-14 Earnings Description:  Modest lifestyle for the week Typical Wages:  7 gp
15-20 Earnings Description:  Comfortable lifestyle for the week Typical Wages:  14 gp
21+ Earnings Description:  Comfortable lifestyle for the week + 25 gp Typical Wages:  39 gp

Work Complications

There are rarely complications with honest work, but they do occur. Each workweek or activity brings a 10% chance of a complication. A DM can choose from the list below, or add their own complications.

d6 Complication
1 Complication:  A difficult customer or a fight with a coworker reduces the wages you earn by one category.
2 Complication:  Your employer’s financial difficulties result in your not being paid.
3 Complication:  A coworker with ties to an important family in town takes a dislike to you.
4 Complication:  Your employer is involved with a dark cult or a criminal enterprise.
5 Complication:  A crime ring targets your business for extortion.
6 Complication:  You gain a reputation for laziness (unjustified or not, as you choose), giving you disadvantage on checks made for this downtime activity for the next six workweeks you devote to it.
† Might involve a rival.


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