Downtime Actions

Things to do between crime sprees

When your characters complete missions, they will typically be paid for this (usually in nuyen.) These nuyen are only used to fund a number of Downtime Actions you can take before the next mission begins. You do not use nuyen to buy things directly; that is handled by your character’s LP pool and Wealth Die.

Every 10k¥ you earn from a run buys you enough time off afterward to complete one of the below Downtime Actions. (If this seems like a high figure to you, remember that this is the “gross” pay your character receives. A substantial amount is lost in money laundering, or spent on maintaining your contacts, paying your rent, buying food and other essentials, etc etc.)

A note for my players: you can roll Savage Worlds style dice in Slack with the syntax /roll 1d6x + 1d8x. Obviously, change the d8 for whatever your skill is. The x will make the dice exploding. This can be used for any downtime dice-rolling, as a more convenient option to Foundry.


Spend 10 points of karma to advance, as per usual SWADE rules. If you have multiple advances to take, you can take them all as one action; you don’t need to spend one action for each advance.

You can use karma earned via Hang Out or Train in the same downtime phase to advance. For example, suppose you earn 19 points of karma on a run, and have three downtime actions. You can use the first action to Train to get to 20 points of karma, and the second to Advance twice. Then you still have the third downtime action to use as you please.

Advancing mid-mission

If a character accumulates enough karma to advance during a mission, and gets some suitable amount of downtime (like a good night’s rest), the GM may allow them to perform the Advance outside of the Downtime Action. This helps to spread out the rate of advancement when doing longer missions that span multiple sessions.

Attune spirits

An attuned summoner mage with the Initiate edge can journey to the metaplanes, explore a new metaplane, and learn its True Name. From then on, they can summon spirits from that metaplane whenever they please. You can do this action multiple times in a single downtime phase if you want.

See summoning traditions.


Your character decides to blow off some steam and celebrate still being alive. They spend an extended period of time indulging whatever hedonistic vices most appeal to them.

Take a one-step penalty to your wealth die type die for the next session.

There is no mechanical game benefit to carousing. This is deliberate ;)

Hang out

You spend some quality time with your nearest and dearest. Write a scene telling us what you do together, and take a free point of karma for your trouble! (If you don’t want to write a scene, see Train below.)

Lie low

If you attracted an unusually breathtaking amount of attention on the last run and so have a Heat Die, you will need to skip town for a while until the heat dies down. This takes one of your actions and clears the Heat Die. In extraordinary circumstances (a Heat Die of d10 or more), it might even take multiple actions. Be less obvious next time!

Long-term project

Maybe your character is engaged in some sort of longer-term thing: researching something, making something, trying to create a spell… anything we’ve agreed upon.

We’ll handle this a bit like a Dramatic Task in SWADE or a Clock in Blades in the Dark. You’ll have some fixed number of segments to complete - you might or might not know how many, depending on what you are up to. For a single downtime action, you can make a Trait Test using any appropriate skill to work on the project.

Test success will tick a segment on the progress clock. Each Raise will tick a further segment. On a critical failure, you lose one segment. You cannot spend Bennies on this roll.


You spend time working your contacts, buttering them up, making sure the next time you come calling they’ll have the good stuff set aside for you.

Roll a standard Networking test (Persuasion or Intimidate vs target number 4). If you succeed, take bonus LP on the next mission according to the table below. For each raise, take a further bonus LP (again, as per below). You cannot spend Bennies on this roll.

No penalty for failures, but you can’t try again; people have had enough of you for now. You can only do Network once in a given downtime.

Character rank LP bonus on Success LP bonus on Raise
Novice +1 0
Seasoned +2 0
Veteran +3 +1
Heroic +4 +1
Legendary +5 +2

Rest & recuperation

Each Healing roll takes one downtime action. (See SWADE pg 96 for full details.) Roll Vigor; success clears a Wound, each raise clears another Wound.

Other characters can Support this roll if they also spend a downtime action. This will usually involve them rolling their Healing skill, for obvious reasons.

Characters with the Fast Healer Edge can make two Healing rolls for a single downtime action.

Stash nuyen

Your character is saving up for a rainy day. Retirement? Paying off their dear old ma’s mortgage? Up to you. They spend their downtime living thriftily so they can divert as much money as possible to their savings. If you want to work to a specific goal, let me know what it is, and we’ll set up a clock to track progress towards it.

Take a one-step penalty to your wealth die type for the next session. You can only Stash Nuyen once per downtime.

Side hustle

Shadowrunner’s skill sets can be used for more mundane activities than the epic, daring heists we play out at the table. Riggers can do courier work; streetsams can work as bodyguards; mages can provide protection services; deckers can skim low-security systems for paydata.

If your character spends their downtime on a side hustle, they can earn a little extra cash in their pocket. Take a one-off bonus to their wealth die type for the next mission.

You can only do Side Hustle once in a given downtime.


You spend time honing your skills. Take a free point of karma.