Overview

Every “real life” month that you go on a run, you have to pay for lifestyle. You may choose to pay lifestyle even if you did not play a run that month but it’s not required. Each month you pay for lifestyle you gain 5 downtime slots. You gain +1 additional downtime slot if you have either a Sleep Regulator bioware, or the Crank spell (or alchemical prep), or the Metabolic Control adept power or the Brilliant Heuristics quality (Technomancers only). You cannot get more than one additional slot this way even if you meet more than one requirement. On top of that, you gain another +1 downtime slot if you are an Apprentice, Aware, Explorer or Mundane. If you have the dream pact with a spirit, increase the number of downtime slots you have by +1 for 5 karma per lifestyle cycle.

Criteria Downtime Slots
Base Amount (per lifestyle cycle) 5
Sleep Regulator (bioware) +1
Crank (spell or alchemical preparation)
Metabolic Control (adept power)
Brilliant Heuristics quality (technomancers only)
Apprentice +1
Aware
Explorer
Mundane
Dream Pact (costs 5 karma per lifestyle cycle) +1

Unused or partially used downtime slots carry over to the next lifestyle cycle. You can retroactively use these unused or partially used downtime slots. You can use your downtime slots for a variety of things.

Training

Improving your attributes and skills or learning new things requires time and effort apart from the karma cost. Training slots are an abstraction of that. It also serves to slow down progression to avoid people from GMP dumping their way into the end game in an instant. Each lifestyle cycle, the first downtime slot you dedicate towards training allows you to choose any two training options from the following list. Each additional downtime slot you dedicate towards training, beyond the first will allow you to choose 1 additional training option. Unless otherwise stated, each option can only be chosen once per lifestyle cycle (not once per slot). The training options are.

  • Improve a single attribute by 1. This option can be picked multiple times, but only once per slot. Each attribute can only be raised once per lifestyle cycle. Magic and Magic (Adept) counts as different attributes. Improving Edge does not cost downtime.
  • Improve active skills (More on that below).
  • Learn up to 2 martial arts, or up to 4 martial art techniques, or 1 martial art and 2 martial art techniques.
  • Learn up to 4 spells (can be rituals or alchemical preps) or complex forms. You can choose this for both options, on your first training slot, during a downtime cycle.

Improving Active Skills

If you chose the training option of Improve active skills, you can choose any one option from the following:

  • Improve up to six different active skills OR two skill groups OR three different active skills and one skill group; that are currently between Rank 0-4, by up to 3 ranks each, as long as the max rank trained doesn’t exceed 5.
  • Increase up to three different active skills OR a single skill group that are currently between Rank 5-8, by up to 2 ranks each, as long as the max rank trained doesn’t exceed 9.
  • Increase a single active skill OR a single skill group that is currently between Rank 9-12, by 1 rank.
  • Learn up to two specializations in any active skills of your choice.

Initiate/Submerge

You must dedicate a downtime slot to Initiate or Submerge, provided you succeed on your initiation/submersion roll or successfully complete a run that counts as an ordeal. You may submerge as many times as you want, each submersion requiring a separate downtime slot. However, you may not initiate more than once per lifestyle cycle. You only spend the downtime slot if you successfully do an initiation/submersion, you don’t need to spend to slot for simply attempting to initiate/submerge.

Carousing

You can dedicate downtime slots to gain new contacts, improve the loyalty or connection of your existing contacts and repay any favors you owe them. This is an abstraction of your character doing work for the contact in downtime that improves their influence, increases their friendship with your character or repays any favor you owe them.

Gaining or improving contacts through carousing does not cost nuyen or karma. The only cost is the downtime slot. For each downtime slot you dedicate towards Carousing, you can choose to either Gain A New Contact or you get all the other 3 options (one of each): Improve Loyalty, Improve Connection and Repay Favor.

Gain A New Contact

You gain a new contact in one of these three configurations: C3/L1, C2/L2 or C1/L3. You can then spend more downtime slots to improve the connection and/or loyalty of these contacts via the Improve Loyalty and Improve Connection actions.

New contacts can also be gained by using karma or nuyen as described in our Contact Rules.

Improve Loyalty

You can improve the Loyalty of a contact by 1, up to Loyalty 6. A single contact’s Loyalty cannot be raised more than once per lifestyle cycle.

Improve Connection

You can improve the Connection of a contact by 1, up to Connection 6. A single contact’s Connection cannot be raised more than once per lifestyle cycle. You cannot raise the Connection of a Legacy contact or a Shared contact this way.

Repay Favor

You can repay a single favor from a contact, without paying the nuyen cost. The rating of a favor you can repay this way cannot exceed the contact’s loyalty rating.

Recreation

This is an abstraction of you relaxing, pursuing a hobby, attending college, etc. Every downtime slot you dedicate towards recreation, you gain 5 Knowledge Karma. Knowledge karma does not count towards your street cred or career karma and it can only be used to purchase knowledge skills and their specializations. The karma cost to purchase knowledge skills and their specializations remain unchanged when purchasing with knowledge karma. There is no limit to the number of downtime slots you can dedicate towards recreation.

Realign Chakra

An adept or a mystic adept can use a variety of meditative techniques to re-assign any number of power points (including decimal value), already invested into a power, into another power (new or existing). This must be done in a lodge of a force, at least equal to their Magic rating. To complete this process they must pay an amount of karma equal to 8x the amount of power points redistributed.

Alternatively this can be done by completing a private run, without having to spend the downtime slot.

Lay Low

Each lifestyle cycle that you have not gained notoriety, you may use a downtime slot to reduce your existing notoriety by 1. You can only do this once per lifestyle cycle. This method cannot remove notoriety gained from qualities.

Freelancing

Do some low risk, low reward freelancing work. Spend a downtime slot and gain 4000¥. Only one slot can be spent this way per lifestyle cycle. This adds to your career nuyen. You cannot turn this nuyen into karma using WFTP.

Community Service

Spend some time doing community service. Spend a downtime slot and gain 1 karma. Only one slot can be spent this way per lifestyle cycle. This adds to your career karma and street cred. You cannot turn this karma into nuyen using WFTM.

Prep Work

This covers activities such as binding, registering, artificing, etc. For every downtime slot you dedicate into prep work you may choose two of the following options. The same option can be selected more than once. There is no limit to the number of downtime slots you may dedicate into prep work. The options are:

  • Bind any number of spirits up to a total combined force of 2x your Magic attribute. If you fail you can keep trying till you succeed, the slot is not wasted.
  • Register any number of sprites up to a total combined level of 2x your Resonance attribute. If you fail you can keep trying till you succeed, the slot is not wasted.
  • Prepare any amount of alchemical preparations, unless you get incapacitated from drain. You may resume once you are no longer incapacitated. You can choose to buy hits on your Magic + Alchemy test (Step 5) for making alchemical preparations.
  • Attempt to artifice a single focus. If you fail in your attempt, the slot is wasted.
  • Attempt to artifice a single fetish in your lodge. You do not need to pay for it (unlike when buying a fetish). Make a simple Magic + Artificing [Astral] (3) test. You cannot edge this test. If you fail in your attempt, the slot is wasted.
  • Make up to 100 rounds of hand loaded ammunition of any type in any combination. Reduce the threshold listed in Hard Targets p.189 by half. However, you must be able to buy hits to meet the threshold. Rolling dice is not an option here.
  • Make any amount of explosives that you can afford.
  • Teach up to 2 tricks to a pet animal. If you fail you can keep trying till you succeed, the slot is not wasted.
  • Craft any amount of Custom Drugs.

Day Job

If you have the Day Job negative quality, you have to dedicate a number of downtime slots per level of the quality per downtime cycle. You gain no additional benefits from this outside of your day job salary. Sucks to be a wage slave.