D&D5e Running a Business Downtime
Successfully running a business means having the right people and putting time into the work done.
The cost to run a business is made up of four things: Owner's Lifestyle + Employee Costs + Building Costs + Goods Cost
- Owner's Lifestyle: A business of a given Lifestyle quality is assumed to cover as part of its expenses the Lifestyle costs of its owner - it is rather part of the point of running a business.
- Employee Costs: A business must have workers in order to run. Skilled workers cost 2gp per day (60 gp per month) and Unskilled workers cost 2sp per day (6 gp per month).
- Building Costs: If the business owner does not own the building in which he operates his business, he must also pay a rent. This is a monthly fee.
- Size of Floor, per Floor: Small (10gp) • Medium (25gp) • Large (50gp)
Establishing a Business (Downtime Action)
Setting up a business is a Downtime Action as well. This requires that the Business Cost of the business be calculated first. This is then used to establish the time and coin needed to Establish the business.
- Time: Roll 1d4 per Skilled Worker the business must start with, and add +1 per Non-Skilled Worker to this total. If the Business runs at Squalid or Poor, halve this time. If the Business runs at Wealthy, double it.
- Coin: The cost to establish a business is one-half of its Monthly Cost.
Once both time and coin are spent establishing the business, the business is open.
The Business Roll
- Business Roll: On the last day of each month, a business owner may make a business roll.
- A Direct Hand (Bonus): This gains a +1 per day of downtime the character dedicated to working on the business exclusively. Other characters may also lend help, granting a +1 per two days of dedicated assistance.
- Insufficient Employees (Penalty): If you do not have the proper number of employees to run your business, you gain a -1 to the roll per Unskilled missing, and -5 per Skilled. If you have Unskilled employees covering Skilled roles, that penalty becomes a -2 per Skilled employee missing. Skilled employees can easily cover Unskilled roles, however.
- Plentiful Employees (Bonus): If you have more employees than you need, your business can run more smoothly. For Skilled employees, gain a +2 if you hire more than you need; this becomes a +5 if you double the requirements or more. For Unskilled employees, gain a +1 if you hire more than you need; this becomes a +3 if you double the requirements or more.
- Advertising (Bonus): Hiring criers and putting up printed leaflets for your business can provide a boost. For each 1 gp you spend on doing so (to a maximum of 3 gp), you may add +1d4-1% to your roll. It is possible (though rare) for this to generate a negative number, the result of bad timing, lazy criers, and the like.
- Other Events (Bonus or Penalty): Other events occurring in or around your business can affect how it runs. Bonuses include city festivals, booking excellent entertainers, one's services or products becoming in fashion, and the like. Penalties can include violence or damage to the business, smear campaigns against your business, seasons where your services are less in demand, and the like.
- Quality: Each business is given a Quality, which describes at what Lifestyle most of their customers exist. It is easier to make coin on cheaper business ventures, but one can make larger profits.
- Squalid: Base cost of business is reduced by 50%. Gain a +10% to the Running a Business roll. Reduce any profit by 50%.
- Poor: Base cost of business is reduced by 25%. Gain +5% to the Running a Business roll. Reduce any profit by 25%.
- Modest: Profit, Running a Business roll and profits are normal.
- Comfortable: Base cost of business is increased by 50%. Gain -5% to the Running a Business roll. Increase any profit by 50%.
- Wealthy: Base cost of business is increased by 100%. Gain -10% to the Running a Business roll. Increase any profit by 100%.
|01-20||Disastrous Month: You must pay 150% of business's Total Business Costs for the month.|
|21-30||Hard Month: You must pay 100% of the business's Total Business Costs for the month.|
|31-40||Difficult Month: You must pay 50% of the business's Total Business Costs for the month.|
|41-60||Fair Month: The business covers its own Business Costs for the month.|
|61-80||Good Month: The business covers its own Business Costs for the month. You also earn a Profit of 1d6x5 gp.|
|81-90||Excellent Month: The business covers its own Business Costs for the month. You also earn a Profit of 2d8x5 gp.|
|91+||Windfall Month: The business covers its own Business Costs for the month. You also earn a Profit of 3d10x5 gp.|
|Gang of Pickpockets||1||5||10gp|
|Thugs & Legbreakers||1||2||5gp|
Criminal businesses can be more profitable, but can also result in being discovered by the law or running afoul of rivals.
- Profits: Double the normal profits if a business is a criminal enterprise.
Dealing with the Law
As a criminal enterprise goes through its business, it attracts the attention of the law.
- Law Rating: Each neighborhood has a Law Rating, rated 1 - 100.
- Legal Attention: Each business has a running tally of how much attention it has garnered from the law.
- On each Running a Business check, add the result of the 1's die (before modifiers) to the business's accrued Law Results.
- Legal Reprisal Check: When a given business's Legal Attention rating exceeds the Law Rating of the neighborhood in question, it triggers a Legal Reprisal - roll on the chart below. Add the following modifiers to the check, based on the profitability of the business: Poor (-20), Moderate (-10), Comfortable (+0), Wealthy (+10), Aristocratic (+20)
- Reducing Legal Attention Rating: A character may spend active efforts to reduce the amount of legal attention his criminal enterprise is earning by one of two ways: subtlety and bribes.
- Subtlety: This scaling back the operation, increasing security, and being more subtle. The criminal chooses how much to reduce his Legal Attention rating by, and on his next Running a Business roll, he reduces his die roll by the same amount.
- Bribes: At any given time, the criminal may enact bribes to the Watch, as long as he has a Contact with the Watch, has Information Network (Defense), or has a Secret of knowing who in the Watch to bribe. With this, the criminal may pay a certain amount of gold and roll to reduce the amount of Legal Attention: for every 5gp paid out in bribes, the criminal may reduce the Legal Attention by 1d4. The price of the bribe is subject to a multiplier based on the Quality of the Business: Squalid (x.25) • Poor (x.5) • Modest (x1) • Comfortable (x2) • Wealthy (x4)
|00-20||None: Rumors trickle about, but the Watch finds nothing worth investigating about you.|
|21-40||Peaked Interest: Investigations reveal enough to spark interest. Double Legal Attention gains for the next 1d6 checks.|
|41-55||Active Investigation: The law begins taking a closer look at your affairs. Gain +10 on your next Legal Reprisals check.|
|56-70||Special Interest: The law is fairly certain it has something worth noting on you. Gain +20 on your next Legal Reprisals roll, and double your Legal Attention gains for 1d6 months.|
|71-85||Interrogation: You are wanted for questions by the Watch. They begin looking to bring you in.|
|86-100||Arrests: You are wanted for arrest by the Watch.|
|100+||Raid!: Your operation is raided by the Watch.|
Dealing with Rivals
As a criminal enterprise grows and is successful, it attracts the envy of enemies and rivals. Each time a criminal business generates a profit, make a Rival Reprisal check.
- Money Makers: Reduce rolls by -15% for Poor businesses, -5% for Modest businesses, +0% for Comfortable businesses, +10% for Wealthy businesses, and +20% for Aristocratic businesses.
- Dealing with Rivals (Downtime Action): For each day a character deals with rivals, reduce the check by 2%.
- Leery of the Law: Legal Attention can sometimes cause rivals to step more carefully, reducing Rival Reprisal checks.