Mechanical benefits for time skips.

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I'm currently running a long campaign that's going to stretch across all three tiers. In between each tier, due to the story, there is a (in-game, of course), 1-2 year break inbetween the last adventure of the tier and the first adventure of the next tier. I won't go into a lot of details, but basically, in between each tier, the threat is believed to be vanquished and the PCs go about their lives as normal once again. I allow them to describe to me what it is their PCs do in this time lapse. We're nearing the end of the heroic tier now, and the I've asked the players for ideas on what they'd want to spend that time lapse doing, because I'd like to start thinking about possible bonuses to grant them depending on what they do. For example, one of the players is a Dragonborn Avenger who worships The Raven Queen, and he wants to spend his lapse meditating and living a simple life on a snowy mountaintop while he cotemplates winter and the Raven Queen and all that. He chose lightning for his Dragonbreath power, and I was thinking about letting him choose to treat his breath choice as cold, in addittion to his lightning, so that when he uses the power, he can decide if he wants it to be cold or lightning, etc. Another player, a Fighter,  became a minor baron during the heroic tier, and is going to spend his lapse leading a small cadre of troops in a war that the PCs also started during the heroic tier. I was considering giving him a +1 to either Athletics or Endurance. Our sorceror wants to spend his time studying arcane magic, so I thought I might give him a wizard cantrip and just restrict how often he can use it (at-will to encounter, encounter to daily, and so on). Anyway, those are the kind of things I was thinking about implementing, and I was wondering if you any of you DMs have ever tried something similar and found it to be more trouble than it's worth. The last thing I'd want to start is an argument over one PC getting a more beneficial bonus than the other. 
Ask your players what kind of bonus they think they should have based upon their "downtime" and discuss it as a group. Doing it this way gets their buy-in, allows for consensus as to balance, and stimulates a conversation that fleshes out the characters and the campaign.

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Ask your players what kind of bonus they think they should have based upon their "downtime" and discuss it as a group. Doing it this way gets their buy-in, allows for consensus as to balance, and stimulates a conversation that fleshes out the characters and the campaign.




Thanks. I suppose that is the most sensical way to do it. It's their characters, after all. 
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