5E Changing rest periods
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  1. #1
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    Changing rest periods

    I've been thinking about the game I am going to run and changing a short rest to 4 hours and a long rest to 24 hours.

    I've come to think of them as a "night's sleep" (even short) where you are functional but not fully rested compared to a "day off" (where you know you won't have to go to work, sort of like a weekend day maybe) as short and long, respectively.

    I'm baking in a mechanic to restore some spells for casters, but am concerned about other class features and recharging them. I know others have adjust rest times, so I am wondering what other issues might arise?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dnd4vr View Post
    I've been thinking about the game I am going to run and changing a short rest to 4 hours and a long rest to 24 hours.

    I've come to think of them as a "night's sleep" (even short) where you are functional but not fully rested compared to a "day off" (where you know you won't have to go to work, sort of like a weekend day maybe) as short and long, respectively.

    I'm baking in a mechanic to restore some spells for casters, but am concerned about other class features and recharging them. I know others have adjust rest times, so I am wondering what other issues might arise?
    You don't need to change any mechanics.

    All that you've done is change the passage of time in your game world, as long as short rests are 2:1 with long rests.

    Now, if you only expect a long rest once a ten-day, or so, things get quite complex.
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    Ive done it the other way with a long rest as an hour and it seemed fine as long as I upped the challenge of the encounters. I stopped that after a while though.

    But when the party is doing a hex crawl I have a short rest as sleeping and a long rest as a full day off lazing around and it seems fine as they get through about 5-7 encounters per week.

    None hex crawls are back to the standard rules.
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    Go for it. Changing how long a rest takes are even some of the official variants in the DMG.

    The 5e Adventures in Middle Earth basically has that you never get rested enough on a journey for a long rest unless you stop at a sanctuary like Elrond's Last Homely House or something.

    I'm working on a campaign idea right now that has a lot of travel and exploration and I want to be able to work in lots of hard travel over weeks without resetting spells and such all the time. So I'm moving to the DMG variant of 8 hours for a short rest and 7 days for a long rest. But I'm giving the characters a bit of a break based on the ideas of Adventures in Middle Earth (and a bit from Blades in the Dark).

    You can get a long rest quicker by either (a) being at a sanctuary where you can fully recover without worry, (b) being pampered in expensive lodgings where all of your needs are taken care of, or (c) if you are engaging in your character's particular stress relief/vice. Might be 3 days spend gambling, or praying, or with ale and ladies of negotiable virtue, or meditating in freezing snow, or watching plays and listening to live music, or whatever does it for your character. With the explicit understanding that it's not to be a cheesy way to regularly get a long rest mid-adventure - occasionally is fine and desired, just not circumventing the whole change to resting.
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    I'll echo what @Bedir_than said with changing the time only affects your calendar. Unless you have a time crunch adventure where there is a deadline and taking a 4hour rest means something different than taking a 1hour rest. You can always build your deadline to account for a 4hour rest and move on.

    How would changing the rest to the extreme change things. Like 4e, a short rest could be each encounter or 5 minutes and a long rest could be a hour. How about a short rest being a week and a long rest being a month. Both these examples change the campaign a lot and how you will play it.

  6. #6
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    When you change the rests, even just duration, you drastically change the effectiveness of some of the classes. Just make sure you're up front with your players so they can avoid the short rest dependent classes (Monk and Warlock for example) because those classes are going to suck in your campaign.

    What is your actual goal in changing the rests? You aren't changing them just because, so lets be granular about what it is you're hoping to change or what issue you're trying to solve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris-77 View Post
    When you change the rests, even just duration, you drastically change the effectiveness of some of the classes. Just make sure you're up front with your players so they can avoid the short rest dependent classes (Monk and Warlock for example) because those classes are going to suck in your campaign.

    What is your actual goal in changing the rests? You aren't changing them just because, so lets be granular about what it is you're hoping to change or what issue you're trying to solve.
    Since you asked, the idea came to me as I was enjoying this weekend off from work. It occurred to me that not having to go to work for the day is really what a long rest is. I feel rested and ready for the week afterwards when I get a day off. But, just going to bed (aka the short rest) allows me to function from day to day, but it isn't nearly the same.

    So, it got me to thinking about the benefits of short rests and long rests in 5E dnd and I realized short and long rest should sort of represent the same ideas as a weekend/ day off versus just going to sleep each night.

    As others have pointed out, I will definitely have to be cautious about number of encounters and which class abilities refresh when.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris-77 View Post
    When you change the rests, even just duration, you drastically change the effectiveness of some of the classes. Just make sure you're up front with your players so they can avoid the short rest dependent classes (Monk and Warlock for example) because those classes are going to suck in your campaign.

    What is your actual goal in changing the rests? You aren't changing them just because, so lets be granular about what it is you're hoping to change or what issue you're trying to solve.
    If the encounter rate doesn't change, nothing about the classes changes. It only changes the pace of time.

    Going to the DMG's variant on this essentially creates the pace of a novel, rather than 6-8 encounters a day, you are having 6-8 encounters a week.

    There are zero balance issues.
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    I do this because it better suits the pace of my campaign. In my case I just use the optional rules, a short rest is overnight and a long rest is several days.

    I find it helps balance out the classes a little bit if I have 5-10 encounters per long rest, people that like to nova every fight though may not appreciate it.

  10. #10
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    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)



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    Quote Originally Posted by dnd4vr View Post
    I've been thinking about the game I am going to run and changing a short rest to 4 hours and a long rest to 24 hours.

    I've come to think of them as a "night's sleep" (even short) where you are functional but not fully rested compared to a "day off" (where you know you won't have to go to work, sort of like a weekend day maybe) as short and long, respectively.

    I'm baking in a mechanic to restore some spells for casters, but am concerned about other class features and recharging them. I know others have adjust rest times, so I am wondering what other issues might arise?

    Ok so a question on the approach...

    if the first thing you come up with is that it doesn't need to apply to all features of long and short rests - giving casters some/all spells back through other means - what specific rest gains are you trying to prevent in what circumstances? Might it be more precise to identify the specific features you think NEED TO TAKE LONGER and adjust them as opposed to changing them all and then seeing which ones you think might need personal adjustments?

    I ask because it seems that a *lot* of the gripes against rests are derived from the overnight heals. That "get all Hp back in one night" seems to really bug some folks. So if thats a primary driver for this, it would seem that maybe changing that one bit would make more sense.

    Other considerations -

    Would you be changing a lot of "one-hour spells" that seem to be , well lets face it, built to be very short-rest friendly? I mean, in a verse where short rests were a universal four hours, wouldn't rope trick be four hours long and PWOT likely also be 4 hours long and Hut spell be 24 hours long etc etc etc. basically how many spells have durations that make no sense in a 2/24 rest world?

    Also, the 1 hour short vs 4 hour short - this one i dont get. Do you really see many situations where the party can get a 1 hour short rest but not a 4 hour short rest? Cases where the tactical demands will **without Gm rigging** make 1 hour easy and 4 hours hard? (Obviously in many cases the Gm rigging can simply be "the enemy is 30m out vs 2 hours out vs 5 hour out and simply be a fiat for which rests are available.) Are the number of naturally occuring 1 vs 4 hour pauses gonna be worth the change to rules and spells and such? I mean, really, how many times are the key action points going to be strictly in the 2-3 hours apart range?

    honestly, this may be reading between the lines, it feels more like what you are in search of is more likely accomplished by a change in the **conditions required to rest** more than the duration required. How much of your "problem" would be solved by simply requiring a short rest be "at a safe camp" (as in not in a dungeoan or in imminent threat) and the long rest being in a settled inn or village/town?

    I mean, you seem Ok with long rests getting you your spells and all hit points back in a day mostly, right? So its more about the other stuff not the time.
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