Downtime is used for the days, weeks, or even months between adventures to represent what a character may be doing when they aren't fighting enemies or traveling. There are various activities you can use this down time for, in addition to other activities according to the permission of the DM.

Downtime Activities

Downtime activities are tasks that usually take several days or longer to perform, including crafting items, researching, carousing for contacts, and likewise. Most downtime activities have both a time and monetary cost to complete them.

Downtime While Traveling

Certain downtime activities can be accomplished while traveling provided the tools and processes can be done on the road (up to DM discretion). If you would like to progress downtime abilities on the road, a character is able to accomplish 2 hours of downtime per full travel day, which represents the time used while making brief stops or while setting up camp. If the travel time is broken up by other events, such as combat or investigation, the DM may rule that this additional downtime cannot be collected.

Building a Stronghold

Buying a Magic Item


Crafting an Item / Scribing a Spell Scroll

See: Crafting



Pit Fighting

Full rules in Xanathar's Guide to Everything

Pit fighting generally includes competitive fighting and blood sports such as boxing, wrestling, and dueling that is typically organized in some variety of predetermined matches. Pit fighting downtime is meant to only cover nonlethal combat activities—encounters that can actually end in lethality should be handled using standard combat rules to ensure players can use their abilities to their full strength.

Resource: 1 workweek


Religious Service


Running a Business

Selling a Magic Item


Full rules in Xanathar's Guide to Everything

As long as a character has access to the services of an instructor, they can use downtime in order to learn a language or gain proficiency in a tool. Depending on circumstance, a DM may allow a character to use this downtime to gain proficiency in a type of weapon as well.

Resource: 10 workweeks, reduced by a number of workweeks equal to the character's Intelligence modifier. Training costs 25 gp per workweek.


When all else fails, an adventurer can turn to an honest trade to earn a living. This activity represents a character's attempt to find temporary work, the quality and wages of which are difficult to predict.

Resource: Performing a job requires 5 days of effort. Resolution: To determine how much money a character earns, the character must make an ability check: Athletics, Acrobatics, Intelligence with a set of tools, or Performance are common choices. You earn an amount of gp equal to the result of your result.


Whenever a character performs a downtime activity, there is a chance for a complication emerging as a result of that activity being performed. These complications typically vary based on the downtime activity in question, with each activity possessing a complications table in Xanathar's Guide to Everything. For every workweek (5 days) spent on a downtime activity, there is a 10 percent chance of a complication occurring.