4E Different Recharge Rates
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  1. #1
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    Different Recharge Rates

    So I'm creating a campaign that will focus more on intrigue and exploration of the setting instead of combat. Days may pass between combats. I'm aware I can design combats so characters can be expected to go "nova" every fight, using Daily powers and healing surges with abandon. I'm thinking it may be more manageable instead to have different recharge rates to recover surges and Daily powers. Would something like "4 fights are required to have suitable downtime to take a long rest" work okay? I remember something like this being used in D&D Encounters back in the day.
    What would you suggest?

  2. #2
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    That's fine. Just discuss with your players up front as to your reasons and why. You may want to consider a narrative reason as to why they can't typically recover daily options, but something then lets them do that.

    As an example, daily powers/recovering surges don't really exist in your world, but the PCs have access to an ancient artifact that provides them to them. But exposure to the artifact too often creates its own set of problems.

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    I was going to say something like what @MwaO suggests, a narrative reason for the low recharge rate. However, you can simply decree that PCs can only do a long rest 'once per week' or whatever you want. The other option is simply to pace the action sequences so that the opportunity to nova is limited (IE once the PCs get into the stew pot, things get hot fast).

    I like something along the lines of the 'artifact' though, it provides a choice. Other options might be that magic is a weak force in this world, the gods, arcane forces, etc. are limited and it requires a week of meditation, prayer, study, etc. to really 'recharge'. If the campaign focuses on a specific power source, then you can have more specific explanations, the higher powers (be it gods, vestiges, demons, nature, etc.) are simply stingy or constrained.

    You could also work out some trade offs. Give the players a chance to recharge their PCs at a higher rate now and then, at some sort of plot cost. This is good for 'stake setting' in a narratively driven game. The players can play it safer and achieve limited results, or go all in and try the big gamble.

  4. #4
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    An example of this in D&D was the Kingdom of Glantri from Mystara a mysterious artifact known as The Radiance, which seemed very similar to a nuclear reactor, but magicians could use it to power spells. But the eventual cost of direct use would cause people to wither away, potentially into liches or become immortals, and would over time really impact magic on the prime material plane.

    So lots of consequences for overuse of the artifact...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retreater View Post
    So I'm creating a campaign that will focus more on intrigue and exploration of the setting instead of combat. Days may pass between combats. I'm aware I can design combats so characters can be expected to go "nova" every fight, using Daily powers and healing surges with abandon. I'm thinking it may be more manageable instead to have different recharge rates to recover surges and Daily powers. Would something like "4 fights are required to have suitable downtime to take a long rest" work okay? I remember something like this being used in D&D Encounters back in the day.
    What would you suggest?
    That doesn't make narrative sense. What does exerting myself have to do with healing?

    Also, if I fight four fights, then go home, and wake up the next day with all my healing surges... it doesn't seem to deal with your flavor problem.

    I've had the misfortune of being in D&D (and D&D-like) games without a healer. In 4e, you can do without a healer, but this essentially forces the party to have a healer. Not just a healer, but one who can extract as much efficiency from each healing surge as possible. A cleric, or a pacifist cleric. Why does it force a healer? Because IME players don't want to do anything remotely dangerous if they can't heal up.

    If you don't want four-combat days, you should just cut the healing surges. You want only two combats a day, max? Cut the healing surges in half. I'd be reluctant to cut hit point totals because that's affecting game balance, but I'm pretty sure players would rather see hit points cut in half than potentially go into battle bloodied (even though it's the same number of hit points).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Psi)SeveredHead View Post
    This essentially forces the party to have a healer. Not just a healer, but one who can extract as much efficiency from each healing surge as possible. A cleric, or a pacifist cleric. Why does it force a healer? Because IME players don't want to do anything remotely dangerous if they can't heal up.
    Err4e as a default is organized around 4 combat day in Heroic. You don't have at least 3 combats, some wacky things tend to happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by (Psi)SeveredHead View Post
    That doesn't make narrative sense. What does exerting myself have to do with healing?

    Also, if I fight four fights, then go home, and wake up the next day with all my healing surges... it doesn't seem to deal with your flavor problem.

    I've had the misfortune of being in D&D (and D&D-like) games without a healer. In 4e, you can do without a healer, but this essentially forces the party to have a healer. Not just a healer, but one who can extract as much efficiency from each healing surge as possible. A cleric, or a pacifist cleric. Why does it force a healer? Because IME players don't want to do anything remotely dangerous if they can't heal up.

    If you don't want four-combat days, you should just cut the healing surges. You want only two combats a day, max? Cut the healing surges in half. I'd be reluctant to cut hit point totals because that's affecting game balance, but I'm pretty sure players would rather see hit points cut in half than potentially go into battle bloodied (even though it's the same number of hit points).
    He just wants to divorce 'narrative days' from 'mechanical days', which is a common request that GM's have with 4e. Frankly just ruling that Long Rest can only happen once a week (and maybe making short rest into a night's sleep, though I don't think that is really needed) will do the trick at the most basic level. Really, maybe we are all overthinking it...
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MwaO View Post
    Err4e as a default is organized around 4 combat day in Heroic. You don't have at least 3 combats, some wacky things tend to happen.
    The GM doesn't want this for their campaign. It doesn't fit. GMs are allowed to use house rules. They just need to avoid having the house rule spread to affect other parts of the game.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbdulAlhazred View Post
    He just wants to divorce 'narrative days' from 'mechanical days', which is a common request that GM's have with 4e. Frankly just ruling that Long Rest can only happen once a week (and maybe making short rest into a night's sleep, though I don't think that is really needed) will do the trick at the most basic level. Really, maybe we are all overthinking it...
    Almost certainly folk are overthinking it .... game world time is arbitrary in effect really really just flavor.

    This is an advantage of 4e over every other edition. No matter what hijynx you might pull it affects everyone very much the same.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Psi)SeveredHead View Post
    The GM doesn't want this for their campaign. It doesn't fit. GMs are allowed to use house rules. They just need to avoid having the house rule spread to affect other parts of the game.
    Right. A house rule that says 4 combats or so = long rest means that the DM can run standard combats without needing to rewrite anything else. That's how 13th Age works as an example.

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