Academy of Eblana is a game set in a very dangerous world. Settlements are relatively few and far between. Travel between settlements is rare and risky – two hundred and fifty years of neglect have caused the Imperial roads to deteriorate, and the lack of large-scale organised government means that bandits, wild creatures and worse prey on the unwary traveller. Long journeys are usually undertaken in large groups, as seen in Event 2.
For this reason, player characters usually reside at the Academy when not assigned on missions. Player characters have limited opportunity to travel to other settlements. Characters spend much of their time between missions training, researching new spells and techniques, forging weapons, as well as all the menial tasks needed for survival in a medieval, post-apocalyptic world. In addition, characters can be sent on a number of relatively minor missions by the masters over the interval between the events.
That’s not so say there is no contact with distant settlements. Irregular trade convoys pass by the Academy. It is possible to join one of these as a guard or passenger, if it’s heading your way, and make the long and arduous journey to where you need to get there.
Regardless of where you go for your downtime actions, they will not have an impact on your mechanical actions, like item research and crafting, unless you do something particularly exotic, in which case you may be contacted by the event team. Non-mechanical actions, or the “flavour” component of mechanical ones, may be influenced by where you’ve decided to go, and there may be plot or other IC consequences.
Travelling to your home settlement is relatively easy, and you can expect a welcome there in keeping with your standing. There, you have the contacts (family, friends or “business associates”) to get stuff done, and can potentially influence the plot around that settlement.
Travelling to another settlement is far less productive: no-one knows you there, you don’t know which of the locals to trust, and which to avoid, and getting anything done is nigh-on impossible without the assistance of a local – and NPC or another PC must provide their permission for you to influence their home town. This can take the form of a letter of introduction, a word in the right ear, or they may travel there themselves to introduce you.
Travelling outside of major settlements is not permitted outside of a large group. As Sir Marion said at Event 1, the world is littered with the unmarked graves of those who tried exploring alone or in small groups. The Academy was set up to send parties on missions like that with a chance of succeeding (i.e. events!). Since we believe all danger to characters should take place in the “Live” bit of “Live Role Playing,” we’d rather avoid either letting the dice decide or permitting people to do dangerous things with no comeuppance.
It is also possible to send letters or other forms of communication to contacts back home, however these may take time to get there, and may be lost or intercepted. By sending letters, players may attempt to influence the wider world.