The Zone

A Near Future Sci-Fi LARP

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Downtime Process

Downtime is an optional process but it does provide several options to improve your character and make your own life a little more comfortable at events.

After each event you will need to contact the game team and let them know how you intend to spend your downtime. All available downtime actions have a cost in weeks, there is a total of 8 weeks available between each event. Please give as much detail as you can. The game team are happy to have conversations on our Discord to hammer out details of more complex actions.


Before anything else happens you will need to organise your finances. If you do not submit downtime the game team will do this part for you.

  1. Pay lifestyle (see this page for details). The game team will default to the Basic lifestyle not sleeping at the Manor unless you can't afford it.
  2. Service debts. You must pay a minimum of 20% off any accrued debts or the Bar will come for your knees. If you cannot pay you will need to make an arrangement with the Bar that you might not like. You can always pay extra. The game team will default to 20%


During each downtime phase a selection of skills will be made available to learn. This list is generated randomly, but it can be influenced by talking to Bar NPCs and putting up cash bounties to attract the right people to teach the skills. Just asking the game team does nothing, you need to take some action at an event. These skills cost an amount of credits as listed on the skills page.

Any skill that has been researched by a player can be taught for free by any player that knows it to any other player.
Activities ^Activity^Description^Cost in Weeks^Other Costs^ |Making Food|Food can either be grown or 3D printed. Enough is produced to feed one person for the full 8 weeks of downtime, with enough leftovers for people to bring their own food at eat at the next event. Grown food is vegetables and fruits, printed food is meat, cheese, pasta and bread. Players can team up so they both at events. Players should not be eating anything ic other than what the Bar provides if they have not taken this action.|1 week|50c per person| |Crafting|Please see the currently available recipes for details|As per recipe|As per recipe| |Research Project|Characters may wish to develop a new crafting recipe based on known science, or expand the database of known science ready for future recipes. Projects can be quite generic (what does X anomaly do and why) or quite specific (can I adapt what we know about anomaly X to make a ray gun). Speak to a ref with your ideas|5 weeks|Varies, usually nothing| |Guard Duty|The Bar will pay people 400c a week to do guard duty at the Bar.|1 week|nothing| |Scavenging|A character can go through old buildings, the sites of gunfights or anything else they find. This will yield a small amount of credits and occasionally some fancier loot. On average, scavenging yields far less in credits than guard duty|1 week|nothing| |Recuperation|Characters that undergo surgery for whatever reason will need to spend some time recovering. Installation of bionic limbs or other cyberware might have a low recovery time, full organ replacement might take a complete downtime.|Varies|None| |Other…|You are free to try and do almost anything during your downtime. The only stipulation is that you can't do anything that would normally require an uptime mission. If you want to revisit an anomaly to get further readings that needs to happen at an event. Anything that might cause combat needs to happen at an event. In the past characters have gone scavenging for specific items, gone exploring towards unknown parts of the Zone, or spent time in bars trying to find information. We will try and enable anything you want to do, within the conditions above.|Variable|Variable| How To Submit Downtime
And herein lies the fun bit…

So far we have used an online form, paper forms at the event, and one to one time with each player at events, and none of these systems have worked. The online form generally got very low take-up, the paper forms at events yielded at least one form with nothing on it except the word nanotechnology in all caps, and the one-to-one talks were too time consuming when we'd all rather be shooting stuff.

So long as all the various bits and pieces listed above happen, we are no longer concerned how they are communicated. We have an active Facebook and Discord presence, either are acceptable ways to contact the game team, along with the official email In addition we will advertise times where the game team will be available on Discord to discuss project ideas, mission requests or anything else that comes up. Deadlines Gun programming happens 2-3 days before an event. Anything that would affect that has to happen by the weekend before each event. That means adding new skills, installing weapon upgrades and purchasing new weapons or armour. If it affects weapon damage or your health stat, we need to know about it a week before the event.

Research projects may well lead to crafting a weapon or armour upgrade so the above applies. Other projects will require updates to the wiki and may yield information relevant to plot at the next event. The sooner these can be submitted the better so that teaser information can go out and we can get suitable consequences written into the next event.

Should anything you want to do require a mission to be written for the next event that will also take some time so the sooner you can get such a request in the better. We are still writing right up to the last minute and we can and do improvise encounters and mini missions but we will not always have the necessary props and QR codes working last minute.**

rules/downtime.txt · Last modified: 2024/03/06 19:00 by mochtire