Crucible uses an online downtime system (NB: link will only be useful to subscribed players, please don’t go there if you’re not subscribed). While completing a downtime after each game session is not in any sense mandatory, players are strongly encouraged to do so, in order to get the most out of the game. This guide covers what players can do when they submit a downtime. While these downtimes are free-text, and therefore not exactly subject a rigorous mathematical “system”, we have also produced a document detailing the rough approach the refs will take when deciding how to respond.
After each game session, all players who attended will receive an email confirming their XP, useful dates like downtime deadlines, and whether or not their character has a feeding accident between that session and the next.
If the character has had a feeding accident, they will be told who their character has hurt or killed, and a little bit about them. The name of their victim will be added to the list of unsolved crimes on the estate. As the list of crimes that are committed without being covered up increases, so does the risk that the eye of unfriendly entities will be drawn to the characters and their activities, with dire consequence for the characters in uptime…
Players will then have a couple of weeks to submit a downtime – the deadline for which will generally be two weeks before the next session.
Each downtime consists of two “actions” one “Other Stuff”, and an option to spend XP (where relevant).
An action can be one of 4 things:
1) Seek Information
This represents a character attempting to learn more about the world. A player wishing to have their character to will be presented with two text fields, allowing them to roughly complete the blanks in the sentence “My character seeks information about _______ by ______.” – explaining what the character is trying to learn, and the means by which they’re doing that. The information they seek might about the setting, or might be about another PC.
For example: “My character seeks information about what’s going on at the town hall by attending as using their power of Obfuscate to attend as many meetings in secret as possible”.
2) Change Something
This represents a character attempting to do something that will have an effect on the world – changing something about the setting or the circumstances of another PC. Again, the player will be presented with to text fields, allowing them to roughly complete the sentence “My character seeks to _____ by ____.”
For example: “My character attempts to influence the outcome of the local council elections such that Frank Smith gets elected by asking their minions in the Residents Association to vote for him, and to get their friends to do as well”
3) Cover Up A Crime
This represents the character using their powers and influence to cause the police to drop an active investigation resulting from a feeding accident. (All characters are assumed to have the ability to exert enough influence to do this, either directly or indirectly.) . Only crimes that have been committed in the last 2 months can be covered up like this – older crimes have progressed past the point where they can be covered up.
Players will be asked to pick the name of the person whose assault or murder they wish to cover up from a dropdown. In the event that more than one player attempts to cover up the same crime in the same downtime, it can either be assumed that the characters worked together to do it, or that one character wasted their effort, at the player’s discretion, but part of the challenge for the players is to successfully coordinate their activities in this area.
4) Assist another character
The represents the character delegating their action to the assistance of another PC. The player will be able to say chose the character that their character is assisting, and write a short note saying what they are assisting them with – this should correspond to either a “Seek Information” or “Change Something” action that other character will be undertaking. (Players do not have to exactly match what the other player is writing, it just needs to be enough that the other player and the refs can understand what they’re cooperating on.)
Note that the player whose character is receiving the assistance will be able to see the note alongside the help, so that they can assign the help as appropriate.
Players who are assisting other characters as one or both of their actions are strongly encouraged to set these up in the downtime system as soon as possible and submit their downtimes early, as characters whose players have already submitted their downtimes will not be options that they can select to help.
This can be used to inform the refs of other useful information – things that may not require a direct response, but that it could be useful for the refs to know – either just routine activities that the character undertakes, or for example, if the “help” that they are offering another character is actually something like “my character pretends to help, but actually sabotages their efforts”.
Players will also be able to use the downtime system to spend XP, choosing to buy new powers, additional uses of existing powers, or (where relevant) to raise their character’s humanity stat.