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83

I see two primary ways to approach this, depending on the travel. (TL;DR at the end) Travelling through civilized lands From your description, it seems like your players (who are, considering you are playing D&D4e, are basically powerful heroes) are travelling between two cities in a civilized nation. In this case, I'm not even sure if I'd run any kind ...


65

Travel Is Awesome! Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. ~Don Williams, Jr. Far from being something to "skip over," wilderness travel is an interesting part of a story and forms a large part of many narratives, from Lord of the Rings to Star Trek. From the 1e Wilderness Survival Guide to ...


62

Short answer: Yes If you live a better lifestyle, you make powerful and influential friends. You can get a better lifestyle for free by being employed by an organization, or by training Profession or Survival. If you want to train, research, or rest during downtime, you cannot work, and so Modest is not actually free anymore. Modest is not the only free ...


55

Skip (most of) it Whenever I need to have my PCs travel, I simply skip the travel time and move directly to the point. In the past, I've tried to play through travel time, adding encounters and resource counting, but it's always felt kind of pointless, because the challenges the PCs are facing aren't directly related to the goal. The longer I kept it up, ...


49

This is explicitly permitted: .. you can roll for items from any table associated with a lower total on the Buying Magic Items table. (XGtE 126) You can also find rules for searching for specific items a few paragraphs down.


41

You're only getting half of the information. After the table, the blurb on Businesses (same page, DMG 127, right below the table you've cited) explains that the information for running a business is in the section for Downtime Activities (which also starts on that same page). The relevant section in Downtime Activities is on page 129 of the DMG and is ...


38

You can simply justify it by saying that for mechanical/story reasons, you don't want them to do it. They can come up with the specifics. Ideally, just be up front with it when they build their characters, and they can come up with something. Hi all, for this next campaign we will start with a short introduction story (containing one adventure) and then ...


36

Waterdeep: Dragon Heist provides an option Warning: possible spoilers of the adventure ahead. Besides the option above, if you wanna build one from the ground up, your best guideline is to use the building cost of a Guildhall or Trading Post, presented in the page 128 of the Dungeon's Master Guide. Pages 126-127 of the DMG also provide guidelines for ...


32

Yes, Absolutely. In any circumstance where you're trying to shoo in a sense of urgency and you need to be at the castle to rescue the princess as soon as possible, and you're sure that the princess is actually at said castle after performing divinations or using your information and contacts to confirm her location, fast forwarding keeps the emotions at the ...


27

The rules provide no clear answer to the cost of purchasing a tavern. Maintenance costs of a tavern are described in detail (DMG 127). The purchase of a tavern is not described in detail, but there are a few things that provide guidance. Building A Stronghold (DMG 128) offers pricing for land and estate deeds which are the listed first step to building a ...


24

Background and Legacies Outside the dungeons, pits, castles and sewers there is the chance to explore what the characters are more than just damage dealing machines, what they want to be their legacies, who they know, what they want to be; encourage players to expand on their backstories - or examine their backgrounds and see what can come out of the ...


24

Make the time spent matter. Players can afford to send their characters trekking through the woods because in most games the PCs are in a vacuum. By that I mean that the world only moves when the players are looking at it. If the PCs are sent into a dungeon, nothing happens in town until the PCs return. Don't do that. Turn time into a commodity. If ...


21

Extract the first few plot points that are going to take place at the destination and put them on the road. This strategy also helps you be less railroad-y because the players are out in the open and have more choices about where to go instead of being locked into a city/dungeon/what-have-you.


20

Description, description, description. Give them a thirty second to three minute description of the travels. Skip the rolls (unless you want one to determine how long it took, etc) and just talk through it. It takes almost no time, but gives the players the impression time has passed.


19

Time Spent Traveling First of all, there are rules for overland movement that tell you how long it takes to move from place to place on a journey. This will tell you how long the travel takes, and should be accounted for in terms of events in the world and so on. Describing the Journey Prioritizing your game time, keeping decisions important and ...


19

There is much more to a performance than the actual performance itself. It takes many hours of practice to perfect an art (trust me), not to mention the time it takes to compose or find new music or stories, especially in a world without wide-spread printing or downloads! And then there is marketing yourself, gaining reputation, finding places that have ...


18

Since this is at the start of play, you can actually mess around a bit narativistically . You officially start play, 4 years after that adventure. Narrate that scene a bit, and then do a flash-back to the adventure you wanted to do as an intro. For example you narrating as the GM: Our story starts with you all meeting up in a tavern -- a bunch of old ...


18

Utilize "random" events Fill up the time with seemingly random events that inflict penalties or rewards on your players without spending too much time on them. Example: They see an oasis. It has a 25% chance of being real (only you know). They can attempt to see if it's real (DC 15 investigation or perception), but if they believe it's real and it'...


17

I have had similar instances in the past involving required time-skip, or what I call "interrupted adventuring" for one reason or another. There is a few things I would recommend doing. First and foremost, just inform them of the situation from your side. Something along the lines of.. "We can't have you adventuring when you are not in the party, but we ...


16

Downtime is downtime True "downtime" is, by definition, uneventful. A rest scene or two here or there is good for breaking up the game, but just stretching out the shopping and relaxation into a whole session isn't going to promote character development. I think about the best thing you can hope to do with honest-to-goodness downtime is personalize ...


16

Training Rules The PHB p.187 gives rules for training during downtime. "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" By the book proficiency in 5e is binary with you either getting your whole proficiency bonus to the check ...


15

Generally, no... The Adventurers League Players Pack contains the documents that detail your options in AL play. Purchases are restricted to items in the PHB. The only potion available for sale without special documentation is the basic Potion of Healing. There are no other magic items in the PHB - no potions, no scrolls - so they can't be purchased either. ...


15

If you are comfortable with collaborative story-telling, then use a montage. These are a concept originally from 13th Age (I believe), but should be useful in any game system. It is described in more detail here. But to summarise: You ask one player to describe a problem they encounter on the journey - for instance there is a deep river crossing the ...


15

This table describes how much money you would have after one week of gambling. \begin{array}{|l|l|l|} \hline \text{Result} & \text{Amount you have after Gambling} & \text{Gain} \\ \hline \text{0 Successes} & \text{-100gp (a debt of 100gp)} & \text{-200gp}\\ \hline \text{1 Success} & \text{50gp} & \text{-50gp} \\ \hline \text{2 ...


14

Outsourcing. Specifically, outsourcing to the players. Ask them to tell you about 1 month's worth of misadventure that happens while they're on the road. Bonus points if you take notes and reincorporate their material into the game later on.


14

So it sounds like you want to add some thought, memorability and danger into the travel time, but you don't want them to meta-game things so that they are overpowered by the time they reach their destination. You don't want them 'hanging around' these locales longer than necessary, over-foresting the fiendish-squirrels to extinction for XP. I would handle ...


13

You must work in your downtime if you want to make profits. The "total cost per day" value in the table assumes the character does not attend to the business. So if you ignore your business altogether it will cost you money. If you want to make profit, you must run it at least in your downtime. It is explained in the Running a Business section on page 129. ...


13

Since all player characters got accused and are in prison and none of them wants to escape, you have the option to have the campaign skip forward to 14 years later. Your characters are now the Blues Brothers, dealing with whatever happened to NPCs they knew 14 years ago and what is about to happen to them. If things are more pressing and there's a world-...


13

No, you are not allowed to award 30 days. AL has rules for everyone to follow and in this case it’s very clear from the rules what the allowed award is. If you believe an exception is merited, contact your local AL organizer and make the request. It seems reasonable, but what they don't want is "individual tables just make it all up as they go," for ...


12

TL;DR: Skip random encounters, make encounters during travel meaningful for the story. Travel, as any other part of game you play out, should have a purpose. Actually, it should have several purposes: Involve the players, let the characters shine, move the story forward, add to the world. If all you'd do with traveling is get to a new place where the ...


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