Downtime - House Rules

The Pathfinder Downtime Rules have some really good stuff in them, but they are very fiddly and time consuming to use. So in my games I play a simplified version of the down time rules.

The PF Downtime RAW use a combination of GP, Goods, Labour, Influence and Magic as capital and makes rolls for businesses on a daily basis. My simplified rules just uses GP for capital and makes a weekly ‘take ten’ roll on your behalf. This gives a fixed income, which can scale to monthly or even annual income fairly easily.

The House Rules include a new category of investment called 'Estates', which falls partway between the Kingdom Rules and the standard Downtime rules. Estates generate income on a longer term basis and were (historically) the base of dynastic wealth in a region. You own the land and properties, and the people who live and work there all pay you rent - it generates less income than if you run the same buildings as a business - but it is slightly cheaper to develop and gives a rural presence. Historically, most manor houses and castles were served by an estate village, owned and loosely managed by the estate Steward, which formed the basis of a nobles wealth. Business was for the middle classes and nouveau riche. If you really want to be accepted and start a Noble House you will have at least one estate. Powerful nobles control many estates.

Your character’s personal downtime activity may also be used to earn GP capital. Money earned this way counts as Downtime gold when you are buying teams or buildings in the downtime system.

GP earned in the Downtime system can be used to buy more buildings and staff, or pay manager’s wages, at the published prices (although see the notes below about weekly, rather than daily, rates). As always, if you want to use adventuring gold, everything in the downtime system costs twice as much as listed.


  1. In the rules as written, some rooms and teams only earn labour, Goods, influence or magic – and don’t have a figure listed for earning gold. Under these house rules they are allowed to earn gold instead. So a Summoning Chamber, which under RAW earns 3 Magic, now earns 3 gp. Lackeys, who earn 2 Influence or Labour, now earn 2 gp. If they are part of a business.
  2. Rooms and teams only earn income if they are operated as a business, not if they are part of your house. EG – a bedroom, kitchen and dining room earn income as part of an Inn – however, those same rooms in your personal residence don’t. The same is true of a team of lackeys. If they are running your personal household, they don’t earn income - if they are servicing wealthy patrons in your shop, they do earn income. (and no, you can’t use the same team to do both). A team of Guards. If they are acting as security guards for your shop, they are protecting your income, stopping petty theft etc. They earn the income. However, if they are guarding your house, village, city, etc - they cost you money, each week, instead.
  3. If you have the appropriate business, organisation and estate managers in place, you will not be affected by the the attrition rules.
  4. Wages and earnings are given as a Daily Rate in the Downtime rules, however, that is way out of line with any other values. In my games these are weekly rates - which keeps it, pretty much, in line with the rest the prices and costs given in the rules.
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