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While there are dozens of options for spending downtime, many
adventurers stick to a few favorite options; several of the most
common are bolded in the following examples.
On a weeklong journey through the Drift, a given starship’s overcautious pilot might choose each day whether to maintain readiness or manage course, a diligent engineer might maintain equipment, and the captain might take several days to coordinate with their crew before using the rest to lounge.
Meanwhile, a war-weary, resource-starved party on a hostile alien world might take several days to convalesce, while their best medic endeavors to provide long-term care in hopes of speeding their recovery.
Not even the most battle-scarred and seasoned mercenary spends every day in combat. Most adventurers have a few days or weeks between jobs, and even if their schedule is packed, interplanetary travel and journeys through the Drift require time—time that can’t be spent fighting foes or exploring. The rules here detail what adventurers might be doing in the quiet times, between the excitement of exploration and the terror of combat.
Downtime is measured in days of 24 consecutive hours of
Pact Standard Time. During a day in which you don’t do
any adventuring, engage in starship combat, use overland
movement, or take part in other time-consuming or demanding
activities, you can engage in one of the downtime activities
described in this section (you can still engage in a single 8-hour
rest). If you begin a downtime activity at the start of a day
but that activity is interrupted during the day—for instance, if
starship combat breaks out—that downtime activity provides
no benefit, and you must start over on a new day. A notable
exception to this is the maintain readiness activity (page 153),
which provides a benefit when interrupted.
Most of the activities listed in this section include entries for Activity, Results, and Multiday, detailed below. Several downtime activities refer to or expand upon options in the Starfinder Core Rulebook; page references are included for convenience.
Activity: The downtime activity is described here, as well as all requirements for it, including skill checks, saving throws, equipment, starship expansion bays, and similar facilities. You can take 10 or take 20 on skill checks for downtime activities unless otherwise stated (in either these rules or those referenced in the Core Rulebook).
Results: The results of a downtime activity are resolved at the end of the day unless stated otherwise, and many downtime activities grant benefits for the following day. If there are penalties for failure, those are also listed here.
Multiday: If you can perform an activity for a longer period of time to gain a different or improved benefit, that’s listed here. Unless otherwise stated, this time period must be consecutive; if you are interrupted at any point during that interval (such as by a random encounter in the Drift) or if you choose a different downtime activity, you lose any progress made. If you choose to restart the activity, you must start over.
With time and a physical sample, you can learn a great deal.
Activity: You spend the day analyzing a physical sample of a creature or material. The sample must have at least light bulk, and you must have access to a science lab or similar facilities for the whole day.
Results: You learn information about the creature or material as if you had taken 20 on a skill check to identify it, using the appropriate skill for its creature type (Core Rulebook 133) if it’s a creature, Engineering if it’s a technological or hybrid item, or Mysticism if it’s a magic or hybrid item. You must be trained in the appropriate skill or you gain no benefit. The GM might rule that certain creatures or materials are too rare or unusual to be identified this way.
Multiday: For each consecutive day you spend on this downtime activity, you gain a cumulative +1 circumstance bonus to your check, up to a maximum of +5.
You build a temporary shelter in order to mitigate adverse
Activity: You spend the day building a 10–foot-by-10-foot shelter from nearby material that can accommodate one Large creature or two Medium or Small creatures. At the end of the day, attempt a DC 20 Survival check. You can’t take 20 on this check.
Results: On a failure, the shelter lasts for only the following day. On a success, it lasts for a number of days equal to the number by which your result exceeded the check’s DC. While the shelter lasts, occupants of the shelter are protected from cold dangers (Core Rulebook 400) and heat dangers (Core Rulebook 402). This also counts as a shelter for the purpose of Survival checks to endure severe weather (Core Rulebook 148) and protects its occupants from damage from dust storms and thunderstorms (Core Rulebook 399). At the GM’s discretion, a well-built shelter might also provide other protections.
You make the most of your downtime by spending it out on the
town or holed up, reveling in whatever hedonistic experiences
or substances you favor. This helps you shed the stress of an
adventuring lifestyle—or prepares you for it.
Activity: Spend a number of credits equal to 100 × your character level while in a settlement, or else consume an equivalent value of intoxicants while aboard a starship. At the end of the day, attempt a Fortitude saving throw (DC = 10 + half your character level). You take a cumulative –2 penalty to this saving throw for each time you’ve used the carouse activity in the past 7 days.
Results: On a success, you begin the following day with an extra Resolve Point that is lost at the end of that day (double this number of Resolve Points if your character level is at least 10th level). If you fail the Fortitude saving throw by 5 or more, you’re drained by the experience instead and lose 1 Resolve Point; you can’t regain this Resolve Point in any way until after the following day.
When you’re injured or suffering from certain afflictions,
complete bed rest can help speed your recovery.
Activity: You spend the entire day resting. You don’t have to sleep for every minute of the 24-hour period, but you must refrain from movement, combat, spellcasting, skill use, conversation, and any other fairly demanding physical or mental task.
Results: You recover 2 Hit Points per character level, as the rules on page 251 of the Core Rulebook. Additionally, per those rules, any ability damage you have is reduced by 2 points per affected ability score. Finally, you move one step toward healthy on the progression track of each poison you’re affected by, provided you’ve either fulfilled that poison’s cure condition or reached the end of its duration, as the rules on page 414 of the Core Rulebook.
If another character successfully provides you with longterm care (page 155), you can recover even faster.
You and your allies practice teamwork exercises, combat routines,
and fundamental skills, building a rapport that pays dividends.
Activity: You spend the day training with at least one other creature who is performing the coordinate activity. Up to six creatures can train together this way, as long as each is using the coordinate activity.
Results: On the following day, when you grant a creature you trained with a bonus using aid another, covering fire (Core Rulebook 246), or harrying fire (Core Rulebook 247), you can increase that bonus by 1.
Multiday: For each consecutive day you spend coordinating with an ally, you increase by 1 the DC of Sense Motive checks to discern secret messages that you and that ally pass to one another using Bluff, up to a maximum of 7 higher. This increase lasts for the number of days you spent coordinating.
Sometimes it’s easier to make off with an entire device and
break into it at your leisure than to do so under fire.
Activity: You spend all day working to crack a single computer or object whose item level is no more than 2 higher than your character level (a computer’s effective item level is 2 × its tier). The entire computer system or other locked or secured object must be in your possession, and to crack an object, you must have access to a tech workshop (Core Rulebook 300) or similar facilities. Usually, only one character can use the crack technology activity on a given item in a given day, though depending on its size or complexity, the GM might allow checks to aid another.
Results: You can take 20 on a Computers check to hack the computer system or an Engineering check to disable the device. This triggers defensive countermeasures as normal when hacking a system (Core Rulebook 138) and has the same consequences for failure as when disabling a device (Core Rulebook 141). The GM might rule that certain devices are too powerful to be hacked or disabled this way.
Multiday: For each consecutive day you spend on this downtime activity, you gain a cumulative +1 circumstance bonus to the appropriate check, up to a maximum of +5.
You practice a specific task, whether using holovid training
materials, running through a computer simulation, or simply
repeating a key motion hundreds of times, until its execution
becomes muscle memory.
Activity: Choose a single task of a specific skill (such as the balance task of Acrobatics) that takes 1 minute or less. If you are on your starship, you can instead choose a non-gunner starship crew action (Core Rulebook 322) that doesn’t require a Resolve Point. You spend the day practicing the chosen task or crew action. At the end of the day, attempt a skill check appropriate to the chosen task or crew action—if you chose the overpower crew action, for example, you’d attempt an Engineering check. If you drill a task, the DC for this check is equal to 15 + 1-1/2 × your character level. If you drill a crew action, the DC is equal to 15 + 1-1/2 × your starship’s tier. You can’t take 20 on this check.
Results: On a success, the first time the next day you attempt the chosen crew action or skill check, you can take 10, even if stress or distractions would normally prevent you from doing so. If you exceed the DC of the drill check by 10 or more, you can also take 10 the second time you attempt the chosen action or check.
You coordinate or conduct activities, performances, and other
entertainment to help a group relax and pass the time.
Activity: Choose up to 12 willing creatures who are using the lounge downtime activity (page 153). Attempt a skill check using a Charisma-based Profession skill you’re trained in (though the GM can allow other skills as appropriate to the lounge activities of the creatures you’re entertaining). The DC of this check is equal to 10 + 1 per creature you’re entertaining + 1-1/2 × the highest character level or CR among those you’re entertaining, whichever is applicable.
Results: Success on this check determines how many creatures you’ve properly entertained. You properly entertain a number of creatures equal to 1 + the number by which your check exceeded the DC. (If you do not properly entertain all creatures you’ve attempted to entertain, the GM chooses which ones receive the benefit from this activity.) Creatures you’ve properly entertained gain double the temporary Hit Points and double the morale bonus to a saving throw that the lounge activity grants. If you properly entertained all creatures you attempted to entertain, you also gain the normal bonuses for the lounge activity. A creature can benefit from the entertain activity at most once per day.
You meditate on the mystical energies of the multiverse, scan
alternate realities, write and run complex predictive algorithms,
or otherwise gain insight into what the following day might
bring. You can explore your own future or the possibilities
awaiting someone else, but you must focus your predictions on
a single creature you’re familiar with.
Activity: Choose a creature and attempt a Mysticism check or, if you have access to a computer of tier 5 or higher, a Computers check. The DC of this check is equal to 10 + 1-1/2 × the target’s character level or CR. You can’t take 10 or 20 on this check.
Results: On a success, the character whose futures you explored can reroll one d20 roll during the following day. A given creature can gain the benefit of explore futures only once per day.
You scrounge supplies from the local environment.
Activity: This downtime activity uses the rules for the live off the land task of the Survival skill (Core Rulebook 148), but instead of hunting and foraging while on the move, you gather supplies while you remain in a fixed location. This is generally possible only in wilderness, and as with the live off the land task, it may be impossible in especially inhospitable areas (such as lifeless asteroids or deep space).
Results: You can support one additional character for every 2 by which your result exceeds this DC.
Multiday: For every day you spend performing this downtime activity in the same location, you gain a cumulative +2 insight bonus (to a maximum of +10) to your next attempt to gather supplies, as you become more familiar with the area and learn how best to utilize its resources. After 5 days of gathering supplies in a single area, you begin to deplete the area of its resources, reducing this bonus by 2 per day (minimum +0).
You scour markets, either virtually or in person, bartering,
comparing prices, and finding promotions or other discounts to
hunt down the absolute best bargains on gear.
Activity: Choose a specific piece of equipment with an item level at least 5 lower than your character level that is available in your current settlement (or one whose markets you have remote access to). Attempt a skill check using either Computers (if you are shopping via an infosphere) or Diplomacy (if you are shopping in person). The DC of this check is equal to 20 plus 1-1/2 × the item’s level. You can’t take 20 on this check, and the GM decides if the item is available at all.
Results: On a success, you are able to find a deal on the specified item and can purchase it for 10% less than normal. On failure, you are unable to work out any credit-saving deals in that market, but you can still purchase it at full price.
Multiday: If you spend a week hunting bargains, you can choose a piece of equipment with an item level up to 3 lower than your character level.
When headed into an environment you know to be infectious,
such as a settlement stricken by a plague or a toxic jungle, you
can spend your downtime taking preventative measures.
Activity: Specify a single disease or poison other than radiation or radiation sickness. You spend all day researching preventive treatments for that affliction. At the end of the day, designate up to six willing or unconscious creatures you can touch. Attempt a Medicine check for each of these creatures; the DC is 5 higher than the DC of the specified affliction. Each creature must choose whether or not to accept your treatment before learning the result of this check. This activity requires access to a medical bay, medical lab, science lab, or equivalent facilities (such as a hospital).
Results: On a success, a designated creature gains a +4 circumstance bonus to saving throws against initial exposure to the specified affliction. This doesn’t apply to creatures currently affected by that affliction, and doesn’t stack with bonuses from medicinals (Core Rulebook 231). On a failure, the designated creature takes a –2 penalty to saves against initial exposure to the specified affliction. These effects end after 1 week.
One of the most common ways to pass the time while traveling
or on days off, lounging can involve casual vidgaming, reading,
watching trivids, playing card games, or engaging
in other leisure activities.
Activity: You spend the day engaging in any number of easygoing hobbies and entertainments. You must have a comfortable space in which to relax, requiring access to at least good or luxurious crew quarters (Core Rulebook 298) on a starship, efficiency or suite-level lodgings in a settlement (Core Rulebook 235), or similar facilities elsewhere. At the GM’s discretion, you can lounge in other places—for instance, you might hang out in a tech workshop to do some low-key arts and crafts.
Results: On the following day, you gain temporary Hit Points (Core Rulebook 251) equal to half your character level (minimum 1); this effect ends at the end of that day. You also gain a +1 morale bonus to the first saving throw you attempt that day.
You maintain a weapon or suit of armor, ensuring it
functions at peak performance.
Activity: You spend the day cleaning, fine-tuning, and otherwise maintaining a weapon or suit of armor. You must have access to a tech workshop (Core Rulebook 300) or similar facility to use this downtime activity.
Results: If you maintained a weapon, the first time you score a critical hit with that weapon the next day, it deals an additional amount of damage equal to half its item level to the first target hit; this damage is of the same type the weapon normally deals. If you maintained a suit of armor, the first time you’re critically hit the next day while wearing that armor, the damage you take is reduced by an amount equal to half the armor’s item level.
You keep a watchful eye on your surroundings, hoping for the
best but preparing for the worst.
Activity: You take up a sentry position, make regular patrols, or monitor your ship’s scanners to watch for trouble.
Results: If this downtime activity is interrupted by combat (including starship combat), you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to the initiative check (or to the first Piloting check to determine turn order, if you are serving as the captain or pilot of a starship) for that combat. This downtime activity doesn’t provide any benefit if you or your allies intentionally seek out combat.
While starship autopilot systems are fairly efficient
navigators, you can shave off a bit of travel time with skilled
micromanagement of a ship’s course, taking advantage of
opportunities provided by the ever-shifting nature of the Drift
or fluctuations in microgravity in normal space.
Activity: As the pilot of a traveling starship, attempt a Piloting check to navigate with a DC equal to 10 higher than the DC for plotting the initial course. You can’t take 20 on this check.
Result: On a success, you reduce your total travel time by 6 hours. If you fail by 5 or more, you instead add 6 hours to the trip. If you fail by 10 or more, you also suffer more serious consequences as normal (Core Rulebook 145). You can’t reduce the total travel time below its normal minimum plus the number of days spent managing the course. For example, a trip to the Vast during which the Pilot spends 3 days successfully managing the course can’t be reduced below 8 days (5 minimum for the trip plus 3 days spent managing course). Only one creature can perform this activity for a given starship each day.
You take extra time to research a viable route, whether across a
planet or through the Drift.
Activity: You spend the day learning about a known settlement or star system in Near Space (or, at the GM’s discretion, a well-known destination in the Vast) and the most common routes used to reach it.
Results: You gain a +4 circumstance bonus to your next Piloting check to navigate to that settlement or star system. This benefit is lost at the end of the following day.
You spend time working professionally in a chosen field,
performing tasks that help you ply your trade more effectively,
build your audience or client base, and make connections with
Multiday: You can spend 1 week practicing a profession to earn credits; this follows the rules for the earn a living task of the Profession skill (Core Rulebook 146).
At the end of each week you spend practicing a profession in a single settlement, choose one of the three areas of focus listed below and attempt an additional Profession check. The DC of this check is equal to 15 + 1-1/12 × the settlement’s maximum item level (Starfinder Core Rulebook 405). If you succeed, you gain the listed benefits. If your profession is based on the ability score listed for that area of focus, you gain a +5 bonus to this check. You can’t benefit from more than one of the following areas of focus at a time.
You devote your day to caring for a wounded living creature that
is using the convalesce downtime activity (page 151). This follows
the rules for the long-term care task of the Medicine skill.
Multiday: If you provide long-term care to only a single creature, you gain a cumulative +1 circumstance bonus to your skill checks to provide long-term care to that creature for each consecutive day you’ve used this activity, up to a maximum of +5.
If you’re a mechanic whose drone has been destroyed, you can
spend a day of downtime replacing your drone’s body, following
the rules on page 74 of the Core Rulebook. This downtime
activity can also be used to rebuild an existing drone when you
gain a mechanic level, using the same rules.
Multiday: If you spend an uninterrupted week working on your drone, you can change out one of the drone’s mods, one of its feats, or its non-bonus skill unit. In each case, you must choose another feature of the same type for which the drone qualifies.
If you have access to a friendly spaceport or safe landing zone, you can refit or upgrade a single starship system or weapon in 1d4 days—provided you have sufficient Build Points to do so—using the rules on page 305 of the Core Rulebook. Unlike most other multiday downtime activities, if you are interrupted while refitting or upgrading your starship, you can resume this activity without losing progress.
You throw yourself into dedicated study of a single topic, diving
into data sets or the local infosphere to learn as much as you can.
Activity: You spend the day studying to gain working knowledge of a single specific topic. This could be a mediumsized corporation, a large settlement, a prominent individual or criminal organization, or something similar; the GM has discretion on what qualifies. Regardless of the topic, you must have access to an infosphere, downloaded data set, or similar source of knowledge that contains information on the chosen topic. You can’t choose a topic that overlaps with your theme’s 1st-level theme knowledge.
Results: For the next week, you can attempt Culture checks to recall knowledge about that topic untrained, and the DC of such checks is reduced by 2. Each time you study a topic in this way, you lose this benefit for the prior topic and gain it for the new one.
Through an apprenticeship or period of self-instruction, you
dedicate intense focus to mastering a new skill set—at the cost
of others you previously mastered. The extent to which you can
acquire new abilities in this manner is relatively limited; those
who wish to make more extensive changes often invest in a
mnemonic editor instead (Core Rulebook 226).
Activity: You spend the day focused on a particular skill in which you don’t have the maximum number of ranks. At the end of the day, attempt a skill check with that skill (DC= 10 + 1-1/2 your level). You can’t take 10 or take 20 on this check.
Results: On a success, you gain a rank in the chosen skill, and you lose 1 skill rank in a random skill with the same ability modifier; if you don’t have ranks in a skill with the same ability modifier, you lose a rank from a random skill instead. If this causes you to no longer meet the requirements for a feat, piece of equipment, or the like, you lose access to that option (and gain any associated penalties) until you again meet its requirements.
Multiday: If you spend a full week retraining, you can instead learn a new feat that requires no prerequisites, in which case you lose a feat of your choice.
You secure a perimeter and set up camp for subsequent
operations by shoring up weak positions, clearing out sight lines
to vulnerable positions, and the like.
Activity: You spend the day securing a 50-foot-by-50-foot area over which you and your allies have control. As part of this activity, you can attempt Engineering checks to arm up to eight explosives (Core Rulebook 141) that you own. You can set the triggering methods for these detonators to be rudimentary trip wires or pressure plates; in this case, each explosive requires its own detonator (Core Rulebook 218). The DC of Perception checks to notice these explosives is equal to the result of your Engineering checks to arm them. You can’t take 20 on these checks.
Results: On the following day, you and your allies gain a +2 circumstance bonus to initiative and Perception checks in the secured area.
Whether through aerobic exercise, pumping iron, sparring, or
otherwise putting yourself through the paces, you push your
body to improve its performance.
Multiday: Decide whether you’re working on your agility (to improve your Acrobatics) or sheer physical power (to improve your Athletics). You spend 7 days carefully alternating intense training and mindful rest. If this activity is interrupted, you can resume it within 2 days to keep any progress made toward the 7-day total. At the end of 7 days, attempt a Fortitude saving throw with a DC equal to 10 + half your character level—you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to this save if you have access to an exercise-focused recreation suite (such as a gym or sparring arena; see page 299 of the Core Rulebook) or similar facility.
Results: On a success, once per day for the following week, you can reroll either a failed Acrobatics check to balance, escape, fly, or tumble, or a failed Athletics check to climb, jump, or swim, depending on the focus of your workout. On a failure, you can reroll a corresponding check only once during that week.