Looks like Inquisitor isn’t taking any chances with her newly resurrected girlfriend. Assuming she lives through this training exercise, Magus will very likely be stronger for the ordeal. Of course, it’s arguable that she’d have gained more benefits from a little R&R.

We touched on this subject back in “Quest to Excess,” but seeing as today’s comic is the unofficial denouement of an eight-page arc, I think it’s worth revisiting the theme. Namely, characters (and players!) need an occasional break from the constant go-go-go of runaway plot train.

I won’t name names, but certain APs are notorious for neglecting downtime. Home games fall into the trap as well, believing that a game without a ticking clock is a game without tension. Stop the ritual before midnight! Catch the assassin before the coronation! Slay the werewolf before the curse becomes permanent! These are all fine premises for an adventure. Certainly they work to keep a campaign rolling. But if your must-solve-now quests all come one of top of another, that design choice comes at a cost. Elements like item crafting, base building, exploring intraparty relationships, and pursuing all those interesting side-quests that your players wrote into their backstories all wind up on the chopping block. Obviously, the relative importance of these things is going to vary from group to group.

So here’s my question to all your GMs out there. When you’re trying to balance the tension of the ticking clock against downtime, how many days off should the players get? Does the answer change if there’s a dedicated crafter or business-owner in the group? And for the players in the room, should you always have access to “as much downtime as I want,” or is there something to be said for time-as-a-limited-resource? Sound off with all your favorite (and least favorite) time tables down in the comments!


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