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Downtime Sessions for the Lost Mine of Phandelver

Downtime Session inspirations for the Lost Mine of Phandelver

By EvilDM

The following pages contain inspirations on how to add great downtime sessions to the Lost Mine of Phandelver campaign. Since you are the DM, you can alter the adventure however you want, make time shorter or longer, giving less or more space for downtime actions.

Check out the adventure on D&D Beyond.

Downtime Session 0: from Neverwinter to Phandalin

It’s 50-60 miles, and with an oxen cart traveling 10 miles per day, it’s 5 or 6 days. The adventure begins on the road, with half-a-day ride before Phandalin, giving your players a great way to get introduced to downtime. I wouldn’t start the adventure straight with Downtime, let them interact for a day or so, then give them a 4- or 5 days long Downtime Session.

If you’re doing a session zero, then make the real-life length of the action a few days, so it’s a quick experience for the players. If not, utilize the “Instant Action” feature of Downtime 2.8.

Possible actions:

  • Craft Club, Craft Dagger, Craft Dart, Craft Greatclub, Craft Whip, Craft Handaxe, Craft Javelin, Craft Light Hammer, Craft Mace, Craft Net, Craft Pike, Craft Quarterstaff, Craft Shortbow, Craft Sickle, Craft Sling, Craft Spear, Craft Trident, Craft War Pick, Craft Whip
  • Craft Hide armor, Craft Leather armor, Craft Padded armor, Craft Wooden shield
  • Study of Local Flora
  • Hunting in the wilderness
  • Hunting with the friends
  • Scribe a scroll (up to the DMs discretion)
  • Gather components in the wilderness. Suggestions: Adder’s stomach, Ashes of Mistletoe and Spruce, Bull Hairs, Caterpillar Cocoon, Charcoal, Incense, and Herb mixture, Corn, powdered, Cricket, Cured Leather, Dried Carrot, Eyeball, Feather, Firefly, Fish Tail, Flea (Living), Fleece, Forked Twig, Fur, Fur of Bat, Fur of Bloodhound, Fur, Wrapped in Cloth, Glowworm, Grasshopper’s Hind Leg, Green Plant, Guano, Hen’s Heart, Honey drop, Honeycomb, Kernels of Grain, Legume Seed, Licorice Root Shaving, Lime, Mandrake Root, Mistletoe, Nut Shells, Oak bark, Paper or Leaf Funnel, Petrified Eye of Newt, Phosphorescent Moss, Pork Rind or other fat, Quill plucked from a sleeping bird, Reed, Rhubarb Leaf, powdered, Rose petals, Sesame Seeds, Shamrock, Skunk Cabbage Leaves, Snaketongue, Stem of a Thorny Plant, Sumac Leaf, Thorns, Tuft of Fur, Twig, Twig from a tree that has been struck by lightning, Wood, Wychwood, Yew Leaf.  (available from Downtime Manager 2.8.1)

Downtime Session 1: in Phandalin

Right after you finish Part 1, you can narrate the party arriving to Phandalin. After describing the city and the various options to do, if you’re lucky with timing, you can conclude the tabletop session and start a Downtime Session till your next game, stuffed with city actions. Make it as long as you want to, but to keep the pace of adventure, it shouldn’t be more than a week.

Possible generic actions:

  • Carousing
  • Work for party business
  • Gather generic components: Air, Ash, Blood (a drop), Blood (a vial), Bone, Bone dust, Bone, Broken, Dirt, Dust, Earth, Wood, and Water mixture, Eggshell, Flame, Food morsel, Humanoid Blood, Knotted String, Leather Loop, Leather strap, bound around arm or similar appendage, Marked Sticks or Bones, Pebble, Rock Chip, white, Rotten Egg, Rotten Food, Sand, Soil mixture in a small bag, Soot, Spider, Spiderweb, Straw, String, Tallow, Tears, Thread, Water, Wisp of Smoke, Fan, tiny (available from Downtime Manager 2.8.1)

Actions specifically for this adventure (all available in the app):

(available from Downtime Manager 2.8.1)

  • Gather Rumors in Phandalin: spend some time in the Stonehill Inn, at the miner’s exchange and on the streets to hear what the locals have to say.
  • Help Daran in the Orchard: volunteer and help Daran in tending his apple orchards, in exchange for information, rumors and maybe a side-quest.
  • Chop woods for Qelline Alderleaf: help Qelline and chop woods on her farm, earning the trust of her, and her son. They might have valuable information for you!
  • Gather donations for Sister Garaele: it’s always a good idea to look for the favor of the local religious leader. Gather donations and in return, you might get a side-quest.
  • Draw a map of the Triboard Trail: talk to farmers, traders and miners to draw a fairly detailed map of the Triboard Trail and the nearby fields and forests. It might come in handy!

Create your own homebrew actions:

  • Transform less-important side-quests into a Downtime Action. It can be a series of Homebrew Downtime actions, like pages or paths in a choose-your-own-path gamebook. Each can give you an item, so you can make that item as the requirement or cost of the next Downime Action. Thus, you can make sure that your players are doing the sidequest actions in the desired order.

The side-quests in Phandalin are: Quest: Halia’sJob Offer, Quest: Old Owl Trouble, Quest: Reidoth the Druid, Quest: The Banshee’s Bargain, Quest: Ore Trouble, Quest: Finding Cregmaw Castle, Quest: Finding Iarno. Most of these quests move the campaign plot forward, therefore I wouldn’t create a Downtime Action out of these important ones. Old Owl Trouble can be a quest for a Downtime Session, for example, with 5 or 6 actions to drive the story in the format of items, notes and XP.

I wouldn’t give too much XP though, so as not to stir up the balance of the game itself.

Downtime Session 2: during part 3

This part will involve a lot of traveling for the party as they travel between this location or the other. Meaning, if you’re timing the end of the gaming sessions well, you can create great Downtime Sessions with the characters on the road – or making camp.

The characters are on level 2 or 3 though, meaning they have better stats, spells, loot – therefore the range of available actions can be wider.

Possible actions:

  • The same as in Session 0

Actions specifically for this adventure (all available in the app):

  • soon!

Create homebrew actions to match the adventure, based on how you’ve been DMing it so far. The party can get information while hunting and saving someone, or get a glimpse of something while studying the flora or fauna.

* * *

We hope that this was enough inspiration for you to read the rest of the adventure with different eyes, trying to look for space in the narrative. Timing is everything! Try to finish your gaming sessions so downtime sessions can be started. I know that is bad for cliffhangers, but it’s good for the characters and the party.

If you need any advice, just ask EvilDM on the Downtimers Discord Channel!

 

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