Long Rests in Dangerous Places -- What if NOPE?
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  1. #1
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    Long Rests in Dangerous Places -- What if NOPE?

    What if you couldn't take a long rest just anywhere you wanted to, any time you wanted one?

    A bit of background: I was playing some Final Fantasy VI (or III, here in the States) yesterday, for the first time in years. It's an older game that was at the mercy of the hardware limitations, especially memory, so there were certain sacrifices the player would have to make. Like the concept of Save Points: you couldn't just rest or save the game anywhere you wanted; you had to travel to a specific place in the dungeon to do so. If you weren't at a Save Point, the game wouldn't let you use a Tent or Sleeping Bag to recover your HP and MP, and it wouldn't let you save your game file. Camping in a dangerous area was a solid NO, and everyone knows and accepts that.

    It got me to thinking about D&D. What if your D&D game was like that? What if you couldn't take long rests in a dungeon (or other, unsafe location)?

    Invent a reason. Maybe a dungeon (or forest, or island, or entire game world) was so VERY dangerous that the mere idea of sleeping outside of a safe zone was preposterous? That any attempt to do so would always, unavoidably, with 100% certainty, result in the party being immediately eaten by a Grue and everyone everywhere knows and understands this as a Law of Nature. Like the changing of the tides and the phases of the moon.

    Or maybe if you did, and managed to not get eaten by a Grue, you would be so nervous and anxious the entire time that you would toss and turn and constantly leap up every 10 minutes at the slightest sound (real or imagined), and all you would have to show for those 8 hours was a point of exhaustion?

    In short: what if it's a solid NO, and everyone knows and accepts it. What would that do to your game? What would that do to your play style?

    Would it completely ruin your current tactics and force you to come up with a completely new game-plan, or would it not really affect you? Would it slow your game to a crawl and force the party to double back, make multiple trips into and out of the dungeon to survive, or do you do this already because you're paranoid? Would you pack extra potions and scrolls and carefully manage those resources? Or maybe most of your dungeon crawls only last a couple of hours and have a small handful of encounters, so it doesn't really come up in play?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  2. #2
    leomund's tiny hut, mordenkainen's private sanctum, etc
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    I do that right now in most dungeons. It works fine in my experience.

    Players figure out a way to deal with it and carry on. Typically that just means multiple trips back and forth to the dungeon, either resting nearby in the wilderness or back in town. Or they get a Leomund's tiny hut if they're of the appropriate level and have a caster that can cast it. Depending on how complex I want to make the exploration side of the game, I may have it be a meaningful trade-off between resting outdoors or trekking back to town, with various levels of risk and reward based on the choices the PCs make.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingChihuahua View Post
    leomund's tiny hut, mordenkainen's private sanctum, etc
    Fine but still requires to spend resources to use those spells.

    I like the idea overall, and I don't think it has to be a massive undertaking. You could increase the chance of wandering monsters and the players would figure it out. Or make the environmental conditions so harsh that the players need to invest in significant gear to be able to long rest.

    Either way, I don't think it's a big deal to simply state: no long rest here.
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  5. #5
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    I do that in my games all the time.

    But as @FlyingChihuahua points out, there are numerous and often low-level ways to get around this.

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    Tiny Hut is a ritual, so can be cast before a long rest without expending resources.

    Rope Trick requires a slot, but still is a potent low level spell for a safe rest.

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    @FlyingChihuahua, @Immortal Sun, @Yaarel: yes, I understand that these spells exist, and for good reason...but what if they didn't? Or what if it was like in Final Fantasy III and they only worked in very specific, predefined locations like at the intersection of arcane leylines, or within a circle of ancient stones?

    It's just a thought exercise about how important Long Rests are, really, to your group. Would it completely change the way your group plays the game, or would it just be a minor inconvenience? Or would anybody even notice?
    Last edited by CleverNickName; Monday, 20th May, 2019 at 10:07 PM.
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    This is basically how I run my games. It takes several days (usually a week) to get a long rest, during that time I'm assuming you aren't doing anything strenuous. We don't run into issues with exhaustion (usually) because a short rest is overnight. Especially at higher levels this is about the only thing that stops casters from going nova.

    As far as leomunds, etc, they aren't perfect. I rule that leomunds doesn't have a floor and even if it did, if the enemy detects you and they are intelligent they'll just wait you out while calling for reinforcements. Think of it as a short-term siege.

    One of the reasons I do this is that I remember playing an old D&D game - Pools of Radiance maybe? Where the tower is collapsing around you but you always had the option to just hit the "rest' button again. If rocks fell on you, just hit the button again until you're fully recovered. Fun, but silly. Hopefully my games are fun, but I try to avoid silly as a result of rules.

    As far as how it affects the team, yes they do have to think ahead a bit and not go nova every round. In addition they rely more on healing potions and other scrolls as backup while probably being a little more cautious than they otherwise would be, especially when running low on resources.
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    My gaming group is a big fan of the Five Minute Workday. You know: go nova at the first encounter, then take a long rest, go nova again at the second encounter, and then go home. Come back tomorrow to lather, rinse, and repeat. So if I were the DM and tried this as a house-rule, I bet the rest of the group would flip the table and storm out.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CleverNickName View Post
    It's just a thought exercise about how important Long Rests are, really, to your group.
    It depends on the scenario really.

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