PCs: How to Handle Down Time

So, the necessary evil of every game is Down Time.  Every game has it, and some events are worse than others.

Don’t blame your GMs for downtime: revel in it!  Sometimes things take a long time to put together, and you have to find something to do in the meantime.  I find that I use downtime for crafting in most games that I attend, and sometimes I don’t even have enough!  At the game I run, when I PC, I feel like I barely have enough time to craft items before I am whisked away to something else.  Even if I have two hours, I like to put so much into my crafting that it takes a while to set up.

I bring tools to make my scrolls, pre-write them, and then spend my downtime lighting candles and incense, and painting pretty pictures on my scrolls, before sealing them with wax.

I know a player who takes his downtime to write in his journal.  Note, his journal is written in a language that he made up, and no one knows what it says, but it keeps him busy.

When you make your character, make sure that it has some depth, and does more than just smack someone.  Pick up a hobby that you can do in between mods, and try to make it something interactive, if you can.  A woman I know draws pictures of other players during downtime, and it leads to great conversations!

Fetch firewood and make a game of it.  Draw maps!  I used to love drawing and painting maps during downtime.

If you find something to both keep you busy, and involve others, you will never notice the downtime.  One girl used to wish that downtime was LONGER, because she kept a record of what happened at events, and liked to interview PCs in-game, but found that she ran out of time quickly.

Heck, even bringing crafting that you need to do OUT of game is useful.  Did you want to paint your armor between events?  Do it at the event!  Make spell-packets at the event, work on your spell-book.  All of these things are useful to do DURING game-play, and will keep you busy and happy while the NPCs scramble to put the next mod together.

Remember, you are the one at fault for being bored!  Sure, the GMs could get things out faster, but maybe one of them fell off a cliff.  Maybe they all fell asleep.  No matter what, you should be able to find ways, in-game, to still have fun!  All around you are friends and people who share your hobbies.  Interact and get stuff done.  Go make a friend… Well, really, you are better off going and making an enemy.

Enemies make downtime disappear.  Just use it to try and kill each other!


3 thoughts on “PCs: How to Handle Down Time”

      1. If it’s a sci-fi LARP don’t do downtime on a mobile phone or other computer device because people are culturally trained to assume you’re busy / avoiding people and avoid you.

        You could spar in downtime to improve your skills, bringing in IC-appropriate boardgames, or even hold a small celebration. Perhaps there’s another character you could hold a short funerary rite for or maybe it’s your character’s birthday.

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