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Earn Income (Trained)

Legacy Content

Source Core Rulebook pg. 235 4.0
You can use a skill—typically Crafting, Lore, or Performance—to earn money during downtime. You must be trained in the skill to do so. This takes time to set up, and your income depends on your proficiency rank and how lucrative a task you can find. Because this process requires a significant amount of time and involves tracking things outside the progress of adventures, it won’t come up in every campaign.

In some cases, the GM might let you use a different skill to Earn Income through specialized work. Usually, this is scholarly work, such as using Religion in a monastery to study old texts—but giving sermons at a church would still fall under Performance instead of Religion. You also might be able to use physical skills to make money, such as using Acrobatics to perform feats in a circus or Thievery to pick pockets. If you’re using a skill other than Crafting, Lore, or Performance, the DC tends to be significantly higher.

Earn Income Calculator
Item Bonuses for Earn Income - Common Items

Skill Uses

[Crafting] Earn Income by crafting goods for the market.
[Lore] Earn Income by using your knowledge to practice a trade.
[Performance] Earn Income by staging a performance.

Income Examples

The following examples show the kinds of tasks your character might take on to Earn Income during low-level and high-level play.

Harsk Makes Tea

Harsk is a 3rd-level ranger and an expert at harvesting and brewing tea. He has a Tea Lore modifier of +7. He has 30 days of downtime at his disposal and decides to work at a prestigious local tea house. The GM decides this is a 5th-level task if Harsk wants to assist the tea master, or a 2nd-level task if he wants to serve tea. Harsk chooses the tougher task, and the GM secretly sets the DC at 20.

Harsk rolls a 4 on his Tea Lore check for a result of 11. Poor Harsk has failed! He earns only 2 sp for his efforts and continues working for 3 more days, for a total of 8 sp.

At that point, the GM offers Harsk a choice: either he can finish out the week with the tea master and look for a new job, or he can lower his ambitions and serve in the tea house. Harsk, now more aware of his own capabilities, accepts the less prestigious job for now. He moves to his new job and attempts a new Tea Lore check against DC 16. Rolling a 19, he gets a result of 26—a critical success! He earns 5 sp per day (like a success at a 3rd-level task). The GM rules that demand will be high enough that Harsk can work there for the remainder of his downtime if he so chooses, a total of 26 days. Harsk accepts and earns a total of 138 sp (13 gp, 8 sp) that month.

Lem Performs

Lem is a 16th-level bard and legendary with his flute. He has a Performance modifier of +31 with his enchanted flute. With 30 days of downtime ahead of him, Lem wonders if he can find something that might excite him more than performing in front of a bunch of stuffy nobles. He finds a momentous offer indeed—a performance in a celestial realm, and Lem's patron goddess Shelyn might even be in attendance! This is a 20th-level task, and the GM secretly sets the DC at 40.

Lem rolls an 11 on his Performance check for a result of 42. Success! The engagement lasts for a week, and at the end, the grateful celestials present Lem with a beautiful living diamond rose in constant bloom worth 1,400 gold pieces (200 gp per day for 7 days).

With 23 days of downtime left, Lem accepts a 14th-level task performing at a prestigious bardic college for members of a royal court. The GM secretly sets the DC at 32, and Lem critically succeeds, earning 28 gp per day for a total of 644 gp. Between the two performances, Lem has earned just over 2,000 gold pieces during his downtime—though he's not sure he'll ever sell that rose.

Extra Preparation

When Earning Income, you might be able to spend days of downtime to prepare for your task, which adjusts the DC of the skill check. This might involve rehearsing a play, studying a topic, and so on. The GM determines how long preparation takes and how much the DC changes. This is most useful when you're trying a task that's higher level than you; otherwise such tasks have an increased DC!

Ending Or Interrupting Tasks

When a task you're doing is complete, or if you stop in the middle of one, you normally have to find a new task if you want to keep Earning Income. For instance, if you quit your job working at the docks, you'll need to find another place of employment instead of picking up where you left off. This usually takes 1 day or more of downtime looking for leads on new jobs.

However, you might pause a task due to an adventure or event that wouldn't prevent you from returning to the old job later. The GM might decide that you can pick up where you left off, assuming the task hasn't been completed by others in your absence. Whether you roll a new skill check when you resume is also up to the GM. Generally speaking, if you had a good initial roll and want to keep it, you can, but if you had a bad initial roll, you can't try for a better one by pausing to do something else. If your statistics changed during the break—usually because you leveled up while adventuring—you can attempt a new check.

Earn Income

Source Core Rulebook pg. 236 4.0
You use one of your skills to make money during downtime. The GM assigns a task level representing the most lucrative job available. You can search for lower-level tasks, with the GM determining whether you find any. Sometimes you can attempt to find better work than the initial offerings, though this takes time and requires using the Diplomacy skill to Gather Information, doing some research, or socializing.

When you take on a job, the GM secretly sets the DC of your skill check. After your first day of work, you roll to determine your earnings. You gain an amount of income based on your result, the task’s level, and your proficiency rank (as listed on Table 4–2: Income Earned).

You can continue working at the task on subsequent days without needing to roll again. For each day you spend after the first, you earn the same amount as the first day, up until the task’s completion. The GM determines how long you can work at the task. Most tasks last a week or two, though some can take months or even years.

Table 4-2: Income Earned

Task LevelDCFailedTrainedExpertMasterLegendary
0141 cp5 cp5 cp5 cp5 cp
1152 cp2 sp2 sp2 sp2 sp
2164 cp3 sp3 sp3 sp3 sp
3188 cp5 sp5 sp5 sp5 sp
4191 sp7 sp8 sp8 sp8 sp
5202 sp9 sp1 gp1 gp1 gp
6223 sp1 gp, 5 sp2 gp2 gp2 gp
7234 sp2 gp2 gp, 5 sp2 gp, 5 sp2 gp, 5 sp
8245 sp2 gp, 5 sp3 gp3 gp3 gp
9266 sp3 gp4 gp4 gp4 gp
10277 sp4 gp5 gp6 gp6 gp
11288 sp5 gp6 gp8 gp8 gp
12309 sp6 gp8 gp10 gp10 gp
13311 gp7 gp10 gp15 gp15 gp
14321 gp, 5 sp8 gp15 gp20 gp20 gp
15342 gp10 gp20 gp28 gp28 gp
16352 gp, 5 sp13 gp25 gp36 gp40 gp
17363 gp15 gp30 gp45 gp55 gp
18384 gp20 gp45 gp70 gp90 gp
19396 gp30 gp60 gp100 gp130 gp
20408 gp40 gp75 gp150 gp200 gp
20 (critical success)50 gp90 gp175 gp300 gp

Critical Success You do outstanding work. Gain the amount of currency listed for the task level + 1 and your proficiency rank.
Success You do competent work. Gain the amount of currency listed for the task level and your proficiency rank.
Failure You do shoddy work and get paid the bare minimum for your time. Gain the amount of currency listed in the failure column for the task level. The GM will likely reduce how long you can continue at the task.
Critical Failure You earn nothing for your work and are fired immediately. You can’t continue at the task. Your reputation suffers, potentially making it difficult for you to find rewarding jobs in that community in the future.

Sample Earn Income Tasks

These examples use Alcohol Lore to work in a bar or Legal Lore to perform legal work.
Trained bartend, do legal research
Expert curate drink selection, present minor court cases
Master run a large brewery, present important court cases
Legendary run an international brewing franchise, present a case in Hell’s courts

Crafting Goods for the Market [Crafting]

Source Core Rulebook pg. 237 4.0
Using Crafting, you can work at producing common items for the market. It’s usually easy to find work making basic items whose level is 1 or 2 below your settlement’s level (see Earn Income on page 504). Higher-level tasks represent special commissions, which might require you to Craft a specific item using the Craft downtime activity and sell it to a buyer at full price. These opportunities don’t occur as often and might have special requirements—or serious consequences if you disappoint a prominent client.

Practicing a Trade [Lore]

Source Core Rulebook pg. 237 4.0
You apply the practical benefits of one of your Lore specialties during downtime by practicing your trade. This is most effective for Lore specialties such as business, law, or sailing, where there’s high demand for workers. The GM might increase the DC or determine only low-level tasks are available if you’re attempting to use an obscure Lore skill to Earn Income. You might also need specialized tools to accept a job, like mining tools to work in a mine or a merchant’s scale to buy and sell valuables in a market.

Staging a Performance [Performance]

Source Core Rulebook pg. 238 4.0
You perform for an audience to make money. The available audiences determine the level of your task, since more discerning audiences are harder to impress but provide a bigger payout. The GM determines the task level based on the audiences available. Performing for a typical audience of commoners on the street is a level 0 task, but a performance for a group of artisans with more refined tastes might be a 2nd- or 3rd-level task, and ones for merchants, nobility, and royalty are increasingly higher level. Your degree of success determines whether you moved your audience and whether you were rewarded with applause or rotten fruit.