D&D 5E 5e Revision: Re-Balancing and Combats per Day?

Aldarc

Legend
It definitely wasn’t. He has actually talked about it since, basically they got him to come back in the first place by promising that the corporate culture at WotC had changed and he would actually have creative freedom again. He left when it became clear that wasn’t actually true.
Only because he wanted the creative freedom to drop kick Osgood’s table.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Amros

Explorer
You've somehow gotten a very strange idea. The recharge rates for resources, and therefore the entire resource game, uses the daily XP budget as the foundation. This isn't a relation of XP to an ability, as you seems to have leapt to, but rather the point that the game expects the resources from a short rest recharge class to be in parity with a long rest recharge class when you are using the daily XP budget.

I mean, you just said resource attrition depends on the day, so....
The day is very different from the adjusted XP per day. Depending on the encounters or how you play your monsters, you could fill the XP quota without too much attrition, or spend the party halfway through. The DMG seems to reinforce this saying:
This provides a rough estimate of the adjusted XP value for encounters the party can handle before the characters will need to take a long rest.
You don't balance things on rough estimation, because XP for non-monster encounters may depend on DM, and XP for monster encounters depend on CR, which may or may not reflect exactly the danger a monster mean to the party.
This is why I say again, IMO, the focus is not in class-to-class precise balance, and the balance is in the party as a whole.
But of course, this could only be my opinion, and why we are discussing.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Er...they actually do though?

I fear I no longer remember the specific video, but it was published IIRC a bit before Tasha's released. Jeremy Crawford explicitly discussed that there is a problem in 5e's design concerning resting and resources--or, rather, a problem between the designer-expected rate of using these things and the actual-play rate of using them. They expected players to take long days with multiple short rests...and actual play doesn't bear that out. This causes some classes, like Warlock (which was explicitly called out) to fall behind, while other classes like Wizard pull ahead, because their resources don't have to stretch as far.

While they have not explicitly drawn a connection to it (to the best of my knowledge, anyway), it is generally accepted in the community that this is why, roughly starting with Tasha's or a bit before, you see zero or almost zero uses-per-short-rest features, and a total or almost total shift to Proficiency-bonus-per-long-rest features. Because the latter is totally divorced from the party's rate of taking short rests, it provides a uniform quantity of resources regardless of whether players favor few or many rests.

Like...this really is an actual design fault actually admitted by one of the primary designers when 5e was being worked on, and arguably the lead designer still at the company after Mearls left.
I think the problem comes down to how they play tested the game. 6-8 short encounters per day did bear out in actual play when folks were running Keep on the Borderlands in the open playtest. But had they provided a playtest adventure that had been a more accurate representation of modern adventure design instead of updating a Gygax one for nostalgia points, they might have gotten better feedback on this matter.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
You don't balance things on rough estimation, because XP for non-monster encounters may depend on DM, and XP for monster encounters depend on CR, which may or may not reflect exactly the danger a monster mean to the party.
This is why I say again, IMO, the focus is not in class-to-class precise balance, and the balance is in the party as a whole.
But of course, this could only be my opinion, and why we are discussing.
You have to balance around some assumption, and because of all those variables you mention, a rough estimate is the best assumption they can reasonably hope to get.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
The day is very different from the adjusted XP per day. Depending on the encounters or how you play your monsters, you could fill the XP quota without too much attrition, or spend the party halfway through. The DMG seems to reinforce this saying:
Um, I don't see how this works. The "Day" has a set of encounters, which have a total XP value, which you can compare to the recommended daily XP budget. If I am not presenting "days" that aren't close to the recommended budget, then the assumption that resource recharge design rests on is absent or degraded. And that's what the class design balance rests on. So, no, "day" in your use here is not at all different from the daily XP budget -- they are directly comparable.
You don't balance things on rough estimation, because XP for non-monster encounters may depend on DM, and XP for monster encounters depend on CR, which may or may not reflect exactly the danger a monster mean to the party.
There isn't precise estimation, so I don't know what you'd use other than rough estimation. Did you have a tool or metric in mind?
This is why I say again, IMO, the focus is not in class-to-class precise balance, and the balance is in the party as a whole.
Party balance is about class-to-class balance. This is like saying you don't care what weight is where in a ship going into rough seas because it's only ship balance that matters. This leads to broken ships.
But of course, this could only be my opinion, and why we are discussing.
I assume it's not someone else's opinion you're deploying.

I can point to specific things in the game that support my contention. It's not vague. There's tons of posts on these boards that directly stem from this (look to any rest change thread). If you are not using the daily XP budget that the game is balance on, then you're probably complaining in one or another thread about how rests don't work or how 5e is easy mode or how novas are breaking your game.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I would not -- they've totally ignored this up until now, and had plenty of opportunity.

I think giving more and better advice is more likely than re-balancing the entire system, which is a major development project that would end with something more like a full-on 6e. I don't think what they've said bout the revised books indicates that level of effort or intended results.

But, you're free to disagree with all that.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
"Will WotC attempt to re-balance 5e D&D with the assumption of less combat encounters per day? If so, how? "

Not as a non-variant the 2024 release. They have used "fully compatible" and many times "compatible". That change would not be compatible so it cannot be something WotC will do. This shouldn't be a real question, they have already answered it by putting forth the goal of being compatible that would not allow this.

That said, they could introduce alternate features to existing classs or a general variant rule to move per-short-rest abilities to long rest, like theyhave been with the recent subclasses. That will remove the short rest portion of the equation, and the rest could be handled with variant rest rules, including ones already published.

However, that would be a major change because of classes like the warlock and monk, making it less likely to occur.

Do not take this as me being against it. It is literally the #1 issue I have with 5e. It is just that they have already stated goals that contradict them fixing it base game in the 2024 release. Will the fix it in a future beyond that, perhaps with 6e? I fervently hope so.
 

Amros

Explorer
I assume it's not someone else's opinion you're deploying.
Why would I do that? I meant the rest of you don't see it this way, nothing more. And discussing is not a bad thing.
I can point to specific things in the game that support my contention. It's not vague. There's tons of posts on these boards that directly stem from this (look to any rest change thread). If you are not using the daily XP budget that the game is balance on, then you're probably complaining in one or another thread about how rests don't work or how 5e is easy mode or how novas are breaking your game.
No, I don't always follow the XP budgets but what makes sense for the situation; no, I'm not complaining in any thread about rests; and no, I don't think 5e is easy mode.
 



Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
You have to balance around some assumption, and because of all those variables you mention, a rough estimate is the best assumption they can reasonably hope to get.

Which is part of why I think advice is more likely than rebalance - because if they rebalance, they're moving to a new assumption, and that won't fit everyone's play pattern either. They may find a new balance point that is closer to more people, but there's a big question as to whether it would fit enough people to be worth the design effort involved.

Plus, getting it right without a whole lot of playtesting is questionable.
 

I think they might change the length of a short rest to something, er, short and maybe limit you to two a day, but that's the most I'd expect.

The 6-8 thing is just too baked in, and you need to invalidate stuff they don't want to invalidate to fix it.

What they might well do is give better/clearer instructions about encounter building and expected encounters and they might shift up the difficulty expectation and down the number of encounters expectation, but it won't be actual math changes, just recommendations.

Also D&D being "ez mode" isn't a flaw for most groups, I suspect, further meaning changes will be minimal.
 

I keep seeing people referring to any of these changes as being "large-scale." But they don't have to be.

It wouldn't be too hard to switch most (though not all) short-rest-based resources to being long-rest-based ones. Those that can only be used once a day (like Arcane Recovery) are probably fine, because most groups do take at least one short rest a day. Channel Divinity and many things of its nature are fine too.

The two main sticking points are going to be Warlocks and Battle Masters. The Warlock is deeply tied to the short-rest system, and I don't see a simple way forward to fix that without...making it just another caster. Perhaps they could have a certain number of daily "recharge all slots" benefits? Unclear on that one. Battle Masters have a different problem: giving them an appropriate number of maneuvers so they don't flare out at the start of the day and then have nothing in the tank, without it seeming (to reference back to Osgood's post) like "two breaks and a lunch" type mandated limits. One option would be to give fewer dice but to grant all of them when rolling initiative, e.g. perhaps "you get a number of Expertise Dice equal to your Proficiency bonus at the start of each combat." That's still not going to quite match things (it would advance more slowly but likely give more total dice), so again I'm not comfortable just emphatically endorsing it.

Apart from those two things though, switching most classes to the "PB per day" rather than "X per short rest" system would solve many of the problems without requiring any meaningful change to the overall system. It would even still be compatible with the "original 5e" versions, since ultimately the two should end up in essentially the same place, just one is more front-loaded than the other.

As for the "five-minute adventuring day," we're already there. That's the problem. Rests are already being primarily dictated, and primarily favorable, to people who get most of their benefits right at the start and who want to rest frequently to get them back. At least with these updates it should be possible to get the classes lagging behind back on the same page as everyone else.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
I keep seeing people referring to any of these changes as being "large-scale." But they don't have to be.

It wouldn't be too hard to switch most (though not all) short-rest-based resources to being long-rest-based ones. Those that can only be used once a day (like Arcane Recovery) are probably fine, because most groups do take at least one short rest a day. Channel Divinity and many things of its nature are fine too.

The two main sticking points are going to be Warlocks and Battle Masters. The Warlock is deeply tied to the short-rest system, and I don't see a simple way forward to fix that without...making it just another caster. Perhaps they could have a certain number of daily "recharge all slots" benefits? Unclear on that one. Battle Masters have a different problem: giving them an appropriate number of maneuvers so they don't flare out at the start of the day and then have nothing in the tank, without it seeming (to reference back to Osgood's post) like "two breaks and a lunch" type mandated limits. One option would be to give fewer dice but to grant all of them when rolling initiative, e.g. perhaps "you get a number of Expertise Dice equal to your Proficiency bonus at the start of each combat." That's still not going to quite match things (it would advance more slowly but likely give more total dice), so again I'm not comfortable just emphatically endorsing it.

Apart from those two things though, switching most classes to the "PB per day" rather than "X per short rest" system would solve many of the problems without requiring any meaningful change to the overall system. It would even still be compatible with the "original 5e" versions, since ultimately the two should end up in essentially the same place, just one is more front-loaded than the other.
I agree.

I think that Battlemaster could be converted to be fully/mostly long rest based with a little work, and that would solve its issues. I don't see SR recovery as being a necessary part of its identity.

I think one way to solve the Warlock issue is to simply front load it more while reducing its recovery, since SR recovery is more strongly tied to what distinguishes their style of magic.

For example, imagine that their SR spell slots are doubled, but they only recover 1/4 their total slots on a SR. As a result, you have a more front loaded Warlock that is on par with the PHB Warlock on any day that contains 2 SRs. Of course, these numbers are all based upon the current encounter guidelines.

One could certainly run both this hypothetical 5.5 Warlock and a 5.0 Warlock in the same campaign with essentially full compatibility. The 5.5 Warlock will outperform the 5.0 Warlock on shorter days, but I don't think that would make them incompatible by any stretch of the imagination.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I mean, the Warlock could have double their Pact Magic slot allotment per day and that would be pretty good. Add to that their 1/day Arcanums and their at-will magic and its pretty much on par with the other casters.

The Battlemaster/Psi-Warrior could have either double their die number or go back to the ''diminishing'' usage die we saw in the first ''psi die'' UA for a more at-will feel.

As for Monks, my go to idea would be to have them Focus as a bonus action (as if concentrating on a spell) and being able to do things for free while concentrating (step of the wind, frex) or spending that Focus (losing concentration) for a special effect (flurry of blows). Or just give them 2x their Ki point pool.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I think giving more and better advice is more likely than re-balancing the entire system, which is a major development project that would end with something more like a full-on 6e. I don't think what they've said bout the revised books indicates that level of effort or intended results.

But, you're free to disagree with all that.
Thank you for the permission! I shall relish it. And I don't think it's more likely, because they could have already done that myriad ways. I think it's pretty certain they will not be doing either.
 


jgsugden

Legend
This topic has been address hundreds of times on these boards. If you want a thorough discussion, look those up. Nothing has changed.

However, here are the highlights you should pay attention to if you want to run the type of quality game I enjoy running as a DM, and I enjoy playing in as a player.

1.) If every battle is a high risk life and death struggle, your PCs do not seem to be heroes - they seem to be doormats for the DM to manipulate. Most DMs that resort to most encounters being deadly tend to be the same ones fudging dice to prevent deaths. This results in a very lackluster experience for players where they feel like they're beat up and then saved from their own stupidity by the DM.

2.) If threat of death is the only way you know how to challenge your PCs, you're running a very bland game. A lot of encounters I run are easy, moderate and hard - meaning no real chance of death per the DMG outside of ridiculous bad luck or horrible errors in judgment. However, there is always something at stake, and there are a lot of times when the PCs, despite being the overwlemingly more powerful force in the encounter, fail to achieve an objective - and when they do it advances the story instead of ending the game.

3.) Encourage players to not approach the game as a strategy game, but instead as a storytelling game. If they're making plans around short resting and long resting optimization, the story is not driving them. Consider adding time pressures to your adventures that encourage players to push deeper into their resources.

In my experience, most of the DMs that I've had the opportunity to play under that complain about the 6 to 8 encounters between LR, the "ease" of combats that are less than deadly, etc... tend to build their adventures similarly. Every encounter is at least hard, and most of them are deadly. They then allow PCs to rest after every 2nd or 3rd encounter. This creates a less interesting cycle of difficult encounters.

They designed 5E to run a certain way. People don't run the game that way, and then complain it doesn't work. It boggles my mind that is is still taking place after so long.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
3.) Encourage players to not approach the game as a strategy game, but instead as a storytelling game. If they're making plans around short resting and long resting optimization, the story is not driving them.
I largely agree with the rest of your post, but in the case of what I'm quoting here, I can't agree. Players can both be making decisions based on their resource optimization and on what produces an exciting, memorable story. These things need not be mutually exclusive.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top