Downtime and bandits

How to make bandits useful


One of the advantages or disadvantages (depending on your perspective) is that RPGs like Pathfinder require a ton of reading and a lot of that reading is up to the players.

We are at the embryonic stages of the Kingdom rules. If you go onto Dropbox you can find a rulebook called Ultimate Campaign. It has the rules we will be using for your Kingdom. It also has rules for what pathfinder calls “Downtime.” How to earn money. How to make real life things etc. So if you want to turn these Bandits into something campaign useful, you have to spend time and money doing so.

So let’s use the Bandits as an example and then once you learn this rules set, you should be able to figure out how to build other things. The Downtime system is the middle ground between personal projects (like crafting a new set of armor) and large scale tasks (like running a kingdom).

So we want to convert these Bandits into something useful. On page 106 of the Ultimate Campaign, we see the heading “Laborers.” That sounds like something useful and productive for our Bandits to become.

Earnings gp or Labor +2
Create 1 Influence, 2 Labor (70 gp);
Time 0 days
Size 5 people
Upgrades To Drivers, Guards, Lackeys, Sailors, Scofflaws

Laborers are unskilled workers who carry out basic orders. In most cases, their work is physical labor, though you may recruit laborers for specialized tasks such as begging for your thieves’ guild, being professional mourners for your cult, or filling out the cast of a theater performance. They are typically 1st-level commoners (NPC Codex 256) with no ranks in Craft or Profession.
Ultimate Campaign p. 106

To create Laborers, we need 1 Influence and 2 Labor.

Capital Purchased Cost Earned Cost
Goods 20 gp 10 gp
Influence 30 gp 15 gp
Labor 20 gp 10 gp
Magic 100 gp 50 gp

So if you were just to purchase the necessary items with gold, you could convert 5 Bandits into 5 Laborers by buying 1 Influence for 30 gold and 2 Labor for 40 gold for a total of 70 gold pieces.

Or, you can try and earn the required items. If you decide to spend a day trying to acquire something (like one point of Influence), you can declare your character doing that for one day and spend the lower amount (for one point of Influence you would only need to spend 15 gold, but Momo would spend his Toilday working and could not adventure).

Finally, the size of the place you are in also limits how much you can actually acquire (see p. 80 Ultimate Campaign). Oleg’s Trading Post would be the smallest settlement (a Thorp) and is only capable of generating 2 units per day.

So put it all together and you can convert the 5 remaining Bandits (Dirty Jeb Megeson, Ayeles Megesen, Fat Norry, Falgrim Sneed, and Jex the Snitch) into Laborers by:

Spending 70 gold and waiting 2 days.


Having a PC burn two days of game time and spend 35 gold.

There is a 3rd method of generating the need items and that is through Skill Checks (p. 78-79). Again, you need one point of Influence. Influence can be generated with these skills:

Influence: Appraise, Bluff, Craft, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Intimidate, Knowledge (any), Linguistics, Perform, Profession, Ride. (from p. 79)

So Brixton could use Diplomacy 6, Cornath or Momo might use Ride +7, Anod could use Knowledge +10. One character would make a roll add his Skill and for each result of 10 gain one unit of Influence (e.g., 10 = 1, 20+ = 2, 30+ would normally equal 3 but since Oleg’s is so small, you can’t go higher than 2 per day).

From a story perspective, it might be something like this. Brixton uses his Diplomacy to give an impassioned speech to the bandits and the Levetons about working together. Cornath or Momo would take the bandits out and use their riding skills to teach them how to work a plow or move heavier objects with a horse and pulley. Anod would just straight up teach them like a professor.

This would cost you no gold, but would use up the character’s entire day and would have a chance at failure.

So that’s how we would convert these Bandits into a campaign useful item.

Under Earnings you see that Laborers can earn gold or Labor +2. What that means is if you want to spend a day earning gold or creating labor points, the next time you make a check, you could add the Laborers to your effort and gain an additional +2 to your roll.

Under the heading Upgrades, you can see that if you want you can convert these “Laborers” into Drivers, Guards, Lackeys, Sailors, Scofflaws.

So at a later date you might want to upgrade them to Guards. This is the entry for Guards.

Earnings gp, Influence, or Labor +2
Create 2 Goods, 3 Labor (100 gp);
Time 1 day
Size 5 people
Upgrades From Laborers;
Upgrades To Elite Guards, Soldiers
Guards train to watch over a person or location and defend that person or location if necessary. Unlike soldiers, guards are not expected to seek out trouble or take an aggressive role. Their purpose is to intimidate casual threats into leaving and defend against active threats. Each guard is typically a 1st-level warrior wearing scale mail and using either a glaive or a heavy wooden shield and shortspear.

Now I will leave it you to follow the many possible upgrade paths (Guard → Soldier → Elite Soldier or how to make Elite Cavalry Archers).

If you really want to build them up further you can look at Organizations on p. 113 and see how 1 Elite Archer, plus 2 Elite Soldiers, plus 1 Priest becomes a “Mercenary Company.”

Now if the PCs put their time and money into the bandits than they can become a game useful item to some degree. But it would be difficult to make them full on active participants in every battle. For example, each of them would need a House. Here is the entry for a House. It would be difficult for the PCs to make these for 5 Bandits, let alone an entire village.

Create 32 Goods, 1 Influence, 31 Labor (1,290 gp)
Rooms 1 Bedroom, 1 Kitchen, 1 Lavatory, 1 Sewer
Access, 1 Sitting Room, 1 Storage
A small cottage that can house up to two adults or a new family.

Also if you look at the entries, Laborers isn’t the only path you could create for them.

You could take one of them and go Acolyte > Sage or Acolyte > Priest or Apprentice > Mage. You could convert three of them into “Craftspeople.” So there are things you could do with these guys that if you put in PC time and PC money would become useful within the context of the game.

But again, ultimately, you can’t create an army and zerg every encounter. It just wouldn’t be very fun.

If we look ahead, just as an FYI, Restov and the Swordlords are going to give you what amounts to 50 Build Points as a grant. It will then be up to you to start making things that do generate revenue and additional build points so your budding nation can become self-sufficient.

From p. 81 Ultimate Campaign

Toilday, Pharast 8, 4711
Phase 1 Upkeep – None since this is the first time doing this.
Phase 2 Activity – Anod spends 8 hours using Knowledge 10 to generate 2 Labor. Anod rolls an 8 + 10 = 18. Since this is a 10, Anod generates 1 point of Labor.
Phase 3 Income – None since this is the first time doing this.
Phase 4 Event – Roll 24. No event.

At the end of the day, you have 1 Labor point. Since there is a chance that Anod will miss his skill roll, we will have Cornath join in using his Riding Skill (+7). Anod will go for Influence and Cornath for Labor. Because, Oleg’s Trading Post is so small, you can only get a maximum of 2 units per day.

Wealday, Pharast 9, 4711
Phase 1 Upkeep – None. Again, you haven’t built anything that requires Upkeep.
Phase 2 Activity –

Anod spends 8 hours using Knowledge 10 to try and generate 1 Influence. Anod rolls an 7 + 10 = 17. Since this is a 10, Anod generates 1 point of Influence.

Cornath spends 8 hours using Riding 7 to try and generate 1 Labor. Roll 4 + 7 = 11. This is between 10 and below 20+ so Cornath is successful in generating 1 Labor.

Phase 3 Income – None. Again, you haven’t built anything that creates Income.
Phase 4 Event – The normal event percent is 20%. For each day that doesn’t include an event, add 5%. Thus, today there is a 25% chance of an event. Roll 23. Event. Rolling a d100 for an 08 the event is a “Day of Rest.”

“It’s an unusually relaxing day. Nothing bad happens, and minor events seem to conspire to make all the little things work out perfectly. People are well rested and in good spirits. You gain 1d3 points of Labor.”

Unfortunately, you have already generated all the units you can pull out of Oleg’s. The extra 1d3 is lost. Because an event occurred, the next day’s chance of event goes back to 20%.

Finally, there is a cost of 70 gold which the party shares.

Let’s turn these Laborers into Guards for Kesten’s Guard.

We need 2 Goods, 3 Labor and 100 gold.

Wealday, Pharast 8, 4711
Phase 1 Upkeep – None. The Laborers do not require Upkeep. However, if we leave Oleg’s for 30+ days, you run the risk of losing control of your Laborers (see p. 82)
Phase 2 Activity – Anod spends 8 hours using Knowledge 10 to try and generate 1 Goods. Anod rolls an 18 + 10 = 28. Since this is a 20, Anod generates 2 points of Goods.

Cornath spends 8 hours using Riding 7 to try and generate 1 Labor. Roll 8 + 7 = 15. This is between 10 and below 20+ so Cornath is successful in generating 1 Labor.

Phase 3 Income – Now we have Laborers. The Laborers can generate 2 Labor on their own. So they spend their day doing soldierly work and generate 2 Labor
Phase 4 Event – Roll 92. No event. Again, because we had en event yesterday, the percentage chance goes back to 20%. If you were to add a 4th day, the next day would increase to 25%.

You have now generated 2 Goods and 3 Labor. You have spent the 1 day requirement and contribute 100 gold.

The bandits are now considered 1st level Guards. I deducted 40 gold from each character. As long as you return to Olegs within 30 days, the bandits will remain loyal guards.

Returning to a Meta perspective. The module allows 4 Guards including Kesten. If the party did something that allowed Oleg’s to be attacked, you could use those 4 Guards in defense.

By using in game time and your in game resources, the Bandit Guards are now a permanent fixture. If Oleg’s is attacked tomorrow, Kesten would defend with his 3 men plus the 5 you just trained.

If you want to train them further, let me know. Otherwise, you have settled Kesten’s and the Leveton’s nerves and the party has had a nice 3 day rest period so can go adventuring again.


I think the best thing to do with then now is to make them laborers. We’re shorthanded on raw materials to do anything so unskilled labor is in demand.

Downtime and bandits

We should have Anod Roll to teach the bandits how to become laborers so they can gather stones and lumber from the land around Oleg’s. With some basic materials we may be able to improve Oleg’s and make it bigger.

Downtime and bandits

We definitely what to upgrade these guys to start producing stuff. WOuld the laborer defend as bowman from the walls using their current stats?

Downtime and bandits

GM Note: They have already been upgraded to “Guards” but yes they would defend any attack on Oleg’s in their current form. And on the next Downtime you could convert them to

Guards > Soldier > Archer

Downtime and bandits

If we produce +2 labor does that accumulate? Also I thought the resources gather by month not day. So I would roll be need to spend a month to produce a labor point.

Downtime and bandits

As I read the rules on Downtime, no it would not accumulate. You have to be actively in a Downtime phase to earn income.

And maybe I read it wrong, but Downtime seemed to occur on days and Kingdom turns took months. So as I saw it as Downtime was different than Kingdom building.

Downtime and bandits

Agree with Anod we want the bandits now guards to start producing – just like playing Civilization!

Should we not just pay for Labor instead to trying to generate and risk not making the roll?

Downtime and bandits

GM Note: It’s already completed so any risk would have to be judged on the next attempt. The Laborers produce 2 Labor and you needed 2 Goods and 3 Labor total. So yes, the Laborers could have produced the needed 3 Labor but that would have taken an extra day. The way it was done in the example above, they were upgraded to Guards in one day.

Downtime and bandits

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