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Chapter 1: Gamemastery Basics / Running Downtime / Long-Term Goals

Success and Failure

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 23
Success at a reasonable long-term goal should be likely, but not guaranteed. Give the player an expectation of how likely their goal is to work out based on how ambitious it is. Be clear about how much downtime it will take compared to the amount of downtime you expect the party will get during your campaign. Then let the player decide how to commit their downtime, and to which tasks.

Repeated failures or outside problems could lead to the whole goal failing. It happens! But give the player a fair chance. Even if their goal is really hard to achieve—like driving the undead out of Ustalav—they might find a way. Don’t undermine their efforts or ideas, but do make clear the magnitude of the task they’ve chosen. Remember that even if a goal fails, the effort was worthwhile.

A failure or a success at a long-term goal can be a major emotional beat for the character. They’ve changed the world, after all! Don’t shortchange it just because it happened in downtime. In fact, because it might have taken place over multiple sessions, the player might have been looking forward to the results for a really long time!