Downtimes

To Submit Downtime Actions:

Downtime Actions must be emailed to the ST no later than Midnight of the 1st Saturday of each month.

Email this form to indydta@aftertwilight.org, subject should read as:
[CHARACTER NAME] – Downtime Actions – [MONTH] [YEAR]

What is a Downtime Action?

The time between events is known as Downtime. Sometimes players have specific ideas about what their character does in Downtime. Some things do not require a Downtime Action, like being home to receive a delivery, visiting other characters, or maintaining your job/finances.

Downtime Actions are meant to provide plot-supported story for characters. Downtime Actions are outlined in the Mind’s Eye Theatre Vampire the Masquerade book, but it is in several different areas, but mainly on pages 307 & 308 and Influences are outlined on pages 509-515, though there are some other things through the book that grant or modify Downtime Actions (like certain Skills, Backgrounds, Status, and Merits, etc.). Each person gets 3 standard Downtime Actions and additional one’s are granted based on multiple factors.

How do I Submit a Downtime Action?

Use the form linked just above on the Website or downloaded from the Facebook Group, fill it out and email it to indydta@aftertwilight.org.

What if I have questions about Downtime Actions or if something I want to do requires one?

Shoot an email over to the storyteller at indy@aftertwilight.org or hit the ST up on Facebook Messenger or Discord, and we’ll help you figure out if it’s a Downtime Action or not.

We ask that people to be specific, but we don’t need mini novellas either.

Some rules to follow for submitting Downtime Actions

You Cannot Directly Kill another PC through Downtimes, but you can bring about some hell and ruin.

Downtimes cannot follow an ‘if then’ structure: Your downtimes cannot all depend on each other. For instance, a downtime action suite like the below would not be acceptable.

‘I learn Dominate’

‘Once I have learned Dominate, I visit an Elder’

‘I use Dominate to make the Elder think he is a pretty princess.’

For actions like this, we will only take the first one in the sequence. While this may seem like it slows the game progress down, it does; downtime actions are designed to expand and change the world and have long lasting consequences. Trying to hurry along something probably means that the opportunity to start earlier was not taken. Plus, you’re not really the Elder’s type.

Downtime skills can only be used for actions that fit their purview: For example, a character with the Computers skill could research the likely location of a set of ruins based on satellite images. They could not use the Computers skill, however, to get anything from the ruins once they have a location; this is the domain of other actions.

These skills have a function that can be used in downtimes:

Crafts – Create new weapons, armor, or items

Computers – Computer-based things like Hacking and Research

Security – Enhance a Haven, or business’s Security

Performance – Grow in fame
Sing about how awesome you are, gaining fans around the world

Influence Actions:

You gain a number of actions equal to your level of influence. Elite / Underworld. So, if you have 4 Elite and 3 Underworld, then you can take 4 actions in Elite and 3 actions in Underworld.

You cannot cross types, you can’t use Elite to effect Underworld and vice versa, except in very specific circumstances that are outlined in the book.

Targeted Actions: One can Attack, Block, Boost, or Defend with targeted actions.

Attacks are at a 2 for 1 basis, each 2 you spend to attack reduces the target’s level in an Influence Category (Elite or Underworld) by 1.

Blocks are targeted at specific actions, like buying guns. You determine how many actions you want to spend on attack and the player attempting to perform the blocked action must overcome this obstacle before they can proceed. So, if you spend 4 actions blocking the buying of guns, then a person attempting to buy guns, would need to spend 4 actions to overcome the block, then 1 action to buy the gun. While this works on specific actions, it also works on the level 2 action of each type, which is basically getting information. So if you block “getting information”, or state it as blocking “Gossip & Insider Trading/Word on the Street”, then you make it harder for people to use actions for that purpose.

Boosts allow you to spend your actions to increase someone else’s influence level. You spend a number of actions equal to their level to grant them a +1 bonus level. In the example in the book, to boost a character from level 5 to level 10 would require others to spend a total of 35 actions to boost the receiver by 5.

Defend is done on a 1 for 1 basis. Each action spent defending reduces potential influence loss by 1.

Indirect Actions

General Actions are a little different. Using this same Elite 5 example, you get 1 action per level. So, you can take 5 level 5 actions (1 for each specialty) if you so desire.

Here is the snippet from the book regarding General Actions.

General Influence Actions

In addition to targeted actions, players may also use their influences for general actions. Each influence category has its own list of general actions, delineated by the level of influence required to perform specific activities. To achieve the result for a specific level from a general influence category, you must expend 1 influence action.

For example, if you have 5 levels in Elite, you get 5 influence actions to spend.

If you wish to achieve the results of Level 3: Bureaucratic Errors, you must expend 1 of those influence actions.

Because the two influence categories are distinct, a certain task may require different levels of influence based on which influence category you use. This variation reflects each influence’s sphere of authority.

Each influence category allows you to perform a number of special actions based on your total influence level. You may perform one of these actions only if you have equal or more levels of influence. When a character’s influence has been boosted by donated actions, those temporary influence levels count for the purpose of determining the level of general actions you may perform.

If you can justify an activity as appropriate for your influence specializations, your influence is considered 1 level higher when performing a general action. For example, it is easier for you to get tickets to the policeman’s ball if you have an influence specialization defined as “police.”

General influence actions cannot be spent across categories. Actions from one influence category, either Elite or Underworld, have no effect on general actions in the other category.

Some Things to Keep in Mind

Low Humanity or being on a Path of Enlightenment effects how humans interact with you and may affect the outcome of some Downtime Actions.  Same goes for Beast Traits.

On the Teaching and Learning of Disciplines:

To learn 1 or more dots of an out-of-clan discipline:

  • The student must find a teacher who possesses the desired discipline in-clan, and has mastered at least the level she wishes to learn.
  • The student must drink a point of Blood from the teacher to awaken the potential to learn a discipline not innate to the student’s clan. If the student already possesses a dot of the discipline to be learned, she may skip this step. The student cannot learn other powers or disciplines from the ingestion of this Blood.
  • The teacher must spend 1 point of Willpower for every power to be taught, and inform the student which discipline (and which powers) he is teaching her.
  • The teacher must be in contact with the student and must give her instruction from time to time, but teaching does not consume a downtime action. The student must actively train, and, therefore, must spend 1 downtime action per power to be learned.
  • The student must spend the XP to purchase the power or powers.
  • The student need only drink 1 point of Blood from the teacher to gain the capability to learn all of the powers of a given Discipline, even if learning from multiple vampires. The individual powers still need to be taught and learned separately. The Blood ingested counts towards the blood bound.

Each dot of Willpower spent by a teacher in this manner refreshes after playing two game sessions or after one month (whichever is longer). After spending 2 Willpower in this manner, the teacher will regain 1 Willpower after two game sessions/one month; she will then regain the 2nd Willpower two game sessions/one month after regaining the first, and so forth.
Once a character has activated an out-of-clan discipline by learning the first power, she does not need to drink more blood in order to learn additional levels of that discipline. Even after the blood bond fades, she still retains the ability learn more. However, she will need further instruction (and more Willpower expenditures) from a qualified teacher who
possesses the discipline in-clan. This may be a different teacher than the one who initially taught her in the first place.

Example:
Barnabus the Brujah has 4 dots of Potence and wishes to teach Potence to Tanya the Toreador. Potence is an in-clan discipline for Brujah. Tanya drinks 1 point of Barnabus’s Blood, thus activating Potence within her own blood. She now has one month to learn the discipline. Barnabus then spends 1 Willpower, and Tanya spends a downtime action. Lastly, they inform their Storyteller that Barnabus is teaching Tanya the first power of Potence.

After playing in two games, Barnabus recovers his spent Willpower. Tanya wants to learn more Potence, and Barnabus agrees to teach her. Tanya will not need to drink another point of Blood; she has permanently activated Potence in her blood by successfully learning the 1st dot of the discipline.

Barnabus could choose to spend 3 Willpower and teach Tanya the next 3 dots of Potence all at once (assuming Tanya has enough earned XP to purchase those powers). If he did so, Barnabus would be 3 Willpower down for two games (or one month); 2 Willpower down for four games (or two months), and 1 Willpower down for six games (or three months). After that,
Barnabus’s Willpower would be back to normal.
Barnabus will be unable to teach Tanya the 5th dot of Potence
until he purchases it himself.