Research and Investigation

Forewarned is forearmed. The research downtime activity allows a character to delve into lore concerning a monster, a location, a magic item, or some other particular topic.   Resources. Typically, a character needs access to a library or a sage to conduct research. Assuming such access is available, conducting research requires one workweek of effort and at least 50 gp spent on materials, bribes, gifts, and other expenses.   Resolution. The character declares the focus of the research — a specific person, place, or thing. After one workweek, the character makes an Intelligence check with a +1 bonus per 50 gp spent beyond the initial 50 gp, to a maximum of +6. In addition, a character who has access to a particularly well-stocked library or knowledgeable sages gains advantage on this check. Determine how much lore a character learns using the Research Outcomes table.  

Research Outcomes

Check TotalOutcome
1–5No effect.
6–10You learn one piece of lore.
11–20You learn two pieces of lore.
21+You learn three pieces of lore.
  Each piece of lore is the equivalent of one true statement about a person, place, or thing. Examples include knowledge of a creature’s resistances, the password needed to enter a sealed dungeon level, the spells commonly prepared by an order of wizards, and so on.   As DM, you are the final arbiter concerning exactly what a character learns. For a monster or an NPC, you can reveal elements of statistics or personality. For a location, you can reveal secrets about it, such as a hidden entrance, the answer to a riddle, or the nature of a creature that guards the place.   Complications. The greatest risk in research is uncovering false information. Not all lore is accurate or truthful, and a rival with a scholarly bent might try to lead the character astray, especially if the object of the research is known to the rival. The rival might plant false information, bribe sages to give bad advice, or steal key tomes needed to find the truth.   In addition, a character might run into other complications during research. Every workweek spent in research brings a 10 percent chance of a complication, examples of which are on the Research Complications table.  

Research Complications

1You accidentally damage a rare book.
2You offend a sage, who demands an extravagant gift.*
3If you had known that book was cursed, you never would have opened it.
4A sage becomes obsessed with convincing you of a number of strange theories about reality.*
5Your actions cause you to be banned from a library until you make reparations.*
6You uncovered useful lore, but only by promising to complete a dangerous task in return.
*Might involve a rival


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