D&D5e Downtime Activities

So you’ve been playing for a while and you’ve accumulated some Downtime (DT), now what? Well, your options will be determined by if you’re playing Adventures League (DDAL) or a home game. 

Adventures League (DDAL) Downtime Activities

DDAL Players Guide v6.0

DDAL Players Guide v7.0

(P.4) Downtime. At the end of each adventure, your character will earn downtime, which you can spend on downtime activities.

Downtime and Lifestyle.
Downtime activities and lifestyle maintenance occur outside the scope of adventures you play, and can have an impact on how others perceive your character. If you want your character to engage in a downtime activity between episodes or adventures, you have several options available to you. These options are found on page 187 of the Player’s Handbook.

Downtime: Spellcasting Services

Before, during, or after an episode or adventure, you can spend 1 Downtime day to have a spell cast by an NPC.

Copying Spells

Cost: 1 DT  for 8 hours for a wizard, or Tome Warlock with Book of Ancient Secrets, or other ritual caster.

Downtime: Catching Up – basically Tier bridging to (hopefully) keep up with your DDAL table if you missed a few sessions. And since I detest tier 1, I will use this anytime I’m not with an exceptional table.

Cost: 20/100/300 DT
Restrictions: Must be level 4/ level 10 / level 16
To advance to the next tier (to catch up with the table if you missed a few games) the “Catching Up” is an available option at 4th, 10th, and 16th level, and advances your character to the next tier of play. In order to do so, you must pay a number of downtime days determined by your current level.

Trading Items

Cost: 15 DT

Magic items can’t be given away to another character, but characters can trade permanent magic items received in play with one another on a one-for-one basis. Each party to the trade must spend 15 downtime days to trade the item. If you’re trading with another character playing in the same adventure as you, the downtime cost is waived. Consumable magic items (scrolls, potions, and magical ammunition) can’t be traded.

Plane Shifted

This was introduced at the end of Season 4: Curse of Strahd. Initially to let players get out of The Domain of Dread so PC’s could return to Forgotten Realms for Season 5: Storm Kings Thunder. I have a feeling this will be used more with the introduction of a new setting later 2018.

Cost: 50 DT

Creating a Teleportation Circle

You must be able to cast Teleport Circle.

Cost: 365 DT

It takes a year of casting Teleport Circle every day to create a permanent location, so a year of Downtime (DT).

Gaining Access to Other Teleportation Circles

You have had to already create your own Teleport Circle. I then takes 10 DT trade access to another’s Teleport Circle; alternatively it costs 5 DT if the people trading access are affiliated in some way (Temple, Organization, etc.).

PHB full image

Players Handbook: Downtime Activities

The PHB p 187 lists of downtime activities:

Crafting. You can craft nonmagical objects. 

Practicing a Profession. You can work between adventures, allowing you to maintain a modest lifestyle without having to pay 1 gp per day.

RecuperatingYou can use downtime between adventures to recover from a debilitating injury, disease, or poison.

ResearchingThe time between adventures is a great chance to perform research, gaining insight into mysteries that have unfurled over the course of the campaign. Research can include poring over dusty tomes and crumbling scrolls in a library or buying drinks for the locals to pry rumors and gossip from their lips.

Training. You can spend time between adventures learning a new language or training with a set of tools.

The training lasts for 250 days and costs 1 gp per day. After you spend the requisite amount of time and money, you learn the new language or gain proficiency with the new tool.

And that’s what you can do under DDAL rules, but wait, THERE’s MORE!

DMG-2014-Full cover image.jpg

Dungeon Masters Guide 

In the DMG p.127 there’s a list of additional things you can do with your downtime. Which was further expanded by Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (XGtE)

Building a Stronghold – for anyone with a LOT of golf on their hands.

Carousing (Additional content in XGtE p.126) – because sometimes you want to just have at it and do really random things [this table shows that I should remain an introvert at home].

Crafting a Magic Item (Additional content in XGtE p.128) – You Can Do It! Magic items are the DMs purview, so you decide how they fall into the partys possession. As an option, you can allow player characters to craft magic items.

Gaining Renown – because it can mean increasing your ranking!

Performing Sacred Rites – Temple work to gain Inspiration each day for the character

Running a Business – This is kind of expanding Practicing a Profession (PHB p.187)

Selling Magic Items – because GOLD, and how many daggers of vorpal dragon slaying do you really need?

Sowing Rumors – Fake News for the campaign.

Training to Gain Levels – Downtime to level. Training to become a better Adventurer! 

xanathar's guide to everything full cover.jpg

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

Xanathar’s, which I tend to pronounce (and spell) as Xathars, has some expanded Downtime Activities on p.123. Here’s the one’s not already mentioned:

Rivals – not everyone needs a super villain, or even a villain. Sometimes it’s just competition (friendly or otherwise).

Buying a Magic Item – because someone might be selling?

Carousing. additional content (XGtE p.126) – as from the DMG, just expanded ideas.

Crafting an Item, additional content (XGtE p.128) –  (ctrl+P) as from the DMG, just expanded ideas.

Crime – burgled, or burgerleer?

Gambling – Adventure to gain, gamble to lose – but with better odds, honest!

Pit Fighting – Ya, it’s a thing, something to do with your downtime. Fight in a pit, then switch to downtime of Recovery\Relaxation.

Relaxation (Recuperating PHB)

Religious Service (Performing Sacred Rites (DMG))

Research – additional content (XGtE p.128) – as from the PHB, just expanded ideas.

Scribing a Spell Scroll – this should be Inscribing a Spell Scroll, but whatever… Grammerly and even Google Autocorrect get it right. Likely because it’s always been misrepresented.

Selling a Magic Item

Work (Practicing a Profession (PHb); Running a Business (DMG)) – because work is a four letter word that’s now included in D&D, thanks…

Additional Content

Because most of the time Home Games have farther diversions.

Unearthed Arcana: Downtime – these are all the precursors to what was released in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.


There are actually a bunch of suggestions on this site, but the ones I like and don’t think they could be overpowering I’ve listed here:

Animal Training – a full set of rules for Taming and Training animals to do some Tricks.

Making Contacts – How to win friends and influence people in the D&D world.

Personal Improvement – This is really just a way of making changes to you’re stats later in the game. I like the idea but not crazy about what they have suggested. Perhaps reworked into a reverse point-buy and have the player re-buy their Abilities. Perhaps allowing so much downtime to add points to the point-buy.

Investment – Variant on running a business, but less risk of loss, but less profit as well.

Note that a player must still cover their lifestyle expenses during this activity, so if they are foolish, it may in fact have no impact on the game whatsoever outside of establishing their character in the community.

Actually, this is a terrible thing to add to a RPG unless you’re going to add more economics to your world than I want to think about in mine.


This is a variant of performing sacred rites. Instead of spending time being religious, a player could be a pagan and buy his graces with cold, hard cash. It gains less inspiration, as it is less “magically holy”, but also allows the player to make some small improvement upon the world. By spending at least 10 days donating your time and money, (In the form of lifestyle expenses one rank higher than the lifestyle you are living at; you sustain yourself for free) you can improve a single neighborhood or local community in some way. In return, the character gains inspiration at the start of each day for the next 1d6 days.

Raising a Family – No, not the necromatic way. There’s a bunch of things meant more for mature players. The full process of finding, taming, mating as well as the extended family that comes with life as a mammal. A lot of the ideas presented would be better role-playing material for future sessions.

Empire of the Petal Throne 

These could be used in my home game of EPT 5e. At this time, everyone just uses the Learn a Spell option – which I’m happy for as having an Astrologer in the group could mean having to plan things our a little farther.


A means of discovering the characters, motives, etc. of being through the positions and influences of the sun, four planets and two moons of Tekumel. The user must have the proper instruments (an astrolabe), and reference books (ephermerides, a table of houses, etc.). The horoscope may predict short distances into the future.

Learn a [EPT] Spell

Players can spend their downtime at their Temple to learn EPT spells [more powerful and sometimes overlapping spells]. It commonly takes 30 days to attempt to learn a spell. Anyone with means can learn Universal spells, but only those who have spent sufficient time and done service for their Temple could learn Generic spells. Only those completely trusted by the Temple who could learn Temple spells.

Additional Resources

Wizards Laboratory: What the Heck to Do With Downtime Days!


You may also like...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: