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The party gets a week of downtime.

One player wants to use this time to gather information on a foe they encountered previously but failed to defeat, reading books about it, so that they can get an edge against it next time.

I know there is a Recall Knowledge action that is about identifying monsters and getting the kind of info they are looking for, but Recall Knowledge only takes a few seconds: I don't thing it would be fair to consider that spending a week on this task would be ruled the same way.

I consider running that like a normal Recall Knowledge, but with a bonus. I wonder how big should this bonus be.

Is there any precedent in the rules about that?

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2 Answers 2

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Item Bonus to Recall Knowledge

Having a well-rounded level 2 library to look through for reference grants a +1 item bonus to Recall Knowledge according to the Kingdom Building rules.

But it makes sense that libraries could be much bigger than the most basic level 2 option, granting higher bonuses along similar lines to magic items that grant those bonuses (maybe +2 at 7th, +3 at 15th level libraries).

It also makes sense that some libraries aren't well-rounded, but instead narrowly focused or particularly focused on the subject of investigation. In those cases, granting an additional circumstance bonus in the standard range of +1-4 seems appropriate.

Additional Knowledge

Once a character has attempted an incredibly hard check or failed a check, further attempts are fruitless—the character has recalled everything they know about the subject.

One simple way to make downtime and access to libraries matter would be to allow the character to spend 1 day of downtime to learn enough new information to try Recalling Knowledge again about the subject, back at the original DC.

Research Subsystem

There's a substantial set of rules for supporting more involved research if that's your jam, though using it for a one-off research topic like this with only one player interested might bog things down.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Although the Research subsystem looks great for things that involve the whole group, I think this one looks easier as a default way to handle things. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 2, 2022 at 2:35
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Research Subsystem

When the PCs are trying to discover important information while challenged by a time limit or other interesting twist, the research subsystem is just the right thing to lend their efforts more urgency and weight.

If you're willing to put in a little work, the Research subsystem could fit your needs perfectly - through it, a character accumulates Research Points (RP) over a longer, variable time frame through various skill interactions with libraries and other repositories of knowledge. If it's just information about one monster, I'd recommend just using it on a small scale (lower max RPs from the library, lower RP thresholds for info), especially if only one player is doing it. I'd use a timescale of a day for the Research action to keep it simple. I'd just keep it simple and give one more bit of information for each RP at the end of the week, allowing the player to choose loosely what sort of information to learn (e.g. weaknesses/resistances, special abilities, etc.)

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