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D&D 5E Aren't Short Rest classes *better* in "story-based" games rather than dungeon crawls?

Asisreo

Fiendish Attorney
So, I've been wondering why people believe that Warlocks and Monks are only strong in adventuring day scenarios with 2 short rests. They only get 2 short rests.

Compare that to a single-combat day. Or travel/downtime days with no combat.

You have 20+ potential short rests, which means a 5th-level warlock has a potential 40+ 3rd-level spells. This is partially balanced by the spell list, but there's still massive flexibility.

For example, a warlock can go to the thief NOC and cast Suggestion: return all stolen goods and run as far as you can. Short rest. Then they can cast Phantasmal Force on the bandit to convince them the town is empty. Short rest. Then they can cast Telekinesis to unbeach the ship. Short rest. Then they cast Detect Thoughts on the shifty man in robes. Short rest. This is one day, no slots lost.

Get it? This is far more utility than a wizard by simply turning all available spells 5th-level and lower as rituals with a 1-hour casting time. If your party has time for Find Familiar, they have time for the warlock to recharge.

Same for Monks. Shadow Monks can cast Pass Without Trace everywhere and makes stealthing easy with very little to no cost. 4-elemonks can cast Wall of Stone more times than a dedicated spellcaster and can create a massive earth castle faster than a druid. Even low levels, a monk with indefinite Ki can out jump a fighter of the same level.

If anything, a full adventuring day restricts these classes more than helps them.

And for the thought that it "stops the party," the warlock can simply meditate on the side while they're not moving. It's not like an adventure is constant movement 100% of the time. Even on travel days, there's still 8 extra hours of nothing that is neither a full rest nor travel.
 

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Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
And for the thought that it "stops the party," the warlock can simply meditate on the side while they're not moving. It's not like an adventure is constant movement 100% of the time. Even on travel days, there's still 8 extra hours of nothing that is neither a full rest nor travel.

Travel? You mean those time where the Warlock is taking short rest after short rest while sitting on the Tenser's disc cast by the wizard on the move?
 


Asisreo

Fiendish Attorney
While you are correct, rules-as-written, a great many GMs place a limit on how many short rests you can take - the most common I've seen is that you can take a maximum of 2 short rests between long rests.
Huh, haven't heard of that houserule. And honestly, it's kinda soft.

These two classes, specifically the 4-elemonk subclass, is always referenced as weak but DM's are artificially restricting their maximum capabilities?

Like, because of their limited spell selection, they are actually not horribly unbalanced but they get their one best trait gets nerfed anyways. It's not like a wizard or cleric getting it. The spell list was carefully curated with their abilities in mind.

And it also makes Sorcerer's capstone actually really good. Sorcerer's spell list is actually bigger than a warlock's. While they have to short rest more for the same spell slot, they can cast Heightened Dominate Person or Distant Dimension Door indefinitely.
 

I do max 2 short rests, but the short rests are basically a few minutes breather.

Because it's less boring then listening to the players debate whether it's safe to stay in one place for an hour* all the time.

The other reason you might want to put limits on short rest is if you do a different rest schedule like "gritty realism", because in that case you might go say a month of game time in between long rests (and that's potentially 40 short rests - although I suspect this is not likely to be an issue in practice.)

*And then if they determine it is then someone decides they want to make it a long rest anyway.
 


jgsugden

Legend
I really don't follow these threads. When the group rests tends to be driven by how the story unfolds. That is not always the case, but it is very often the case.

I do see situations in which Warlocks spam spells all day. For example, I know a warlock that tends to cast Summon Aberration during travel and always have a beholder turret available to look around, etc.... Another constantly travels with Armor of Agathys or Tongues up. However, these are not problematic to me.

Regardless, beyond that, groups tend to rest when the story allows for it, and when they feel they need it. If the melee fighters are still at maximum hps and the monk/warlock has depleted their SR resources, the group evaluaes whether they need to be at full strength or not. This often depends upon whether there is a 'clock' on their adventure (which, when I DM, there almost always is in one form or another - even if the clock is just the PCs not wanting other monsters to realiaze their lair has been infiltrated).
 
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In many ways the pushback against this would be from the rest of the party staring at the Warlock constantly resting. What's interesting about that for the Barbarian? Why would the Sorcerer want to constantly be playing tiddlywinks? When the Cleric runs out of prayers to deities what do they do? Can the rogue practice lockpicking 6+ hours a day?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
The problem with short rest classes is that it’s the long rest classes who set the pace. Yes, theoretically the warlock can take enough short rests over the course of a day to cast more spells than the wizard can. But not if the wizard uses up all their spells before the warlock has had a chance to take a single short rest and then demands the party call it quits for the day.

It’s the same problem as daily vs. at-will. At-will classes need a certain number of encounters to happen in a day to keep up with the daily characters’ damage output. Which means if the daily characters decide the day is done before that number of encounters have happened, the at-will character falls behind. Short rest characters have the same problem, only they’re also capped in how much damage they can output in a single encounter. A dungeon crawl just happens to be a context where the daily characters will have a harder time convincing their at-will and short rest companions that going to bed after one fight is a safer idea than continuing on.
 

For example, a warlock can go to the thief NOC and cast Suggestion: return all stolen goods and run as far as you can. Short rest. Then they can cast Phantasmal Force on the bandit to convince them the town is empty. Short rest. Then they can cast Telekinesis to unbeach the ship. Short rest. Then they cast Detect Thoughts on the shifty man in robes. Short rest. This is one day, no slots lost.
In my experience, few DMs would ever permit a Warlock to take short rests that quickly. And since short rests are a full hour by default, realistically you could only take like ~10 of them and still have time to actually do things. Like...yes, in theory, if you have a very permissive DM that lets you short rest literally whenever you want, and you can reliably predict that there will be only a single combat each day, and you have enough spells known that you can split them between utility spells and ones actually useful for combat, then you could pull this off.

But most groups don't have such a permissive DM, anywhere near that level of guarantee, or Warlocks with an excess of spells known. If you're high enough level to cast telekinesis, then that plus suggestion, phantasmal force, and detect thoughts is all by itself about 40% of all the spells you know. Plus, either that's the only 5th level spell you know, or you replaced one of the 6 other spells you know with it....and you had to be a GOO Warlock to even be able to learn telekinesis in the first place. (Remember, Warlocks don't receive their patron spells for free, they just have the option to take their patron spells).

So, yes, if you've heavily built for high utility that happens to be useful, on top of all the other assumptions above, sure.

I just don't think this applies to very many games. The vast majority of games, Warlocks won't have that reliability and/or won't be so heavily focused on utility effects, and definitely won't have DMs friendly to the idea of "cast one spell, immediately take a short rest." The amount of hand-wringing and name-calling over the "coffeelock" (Sorcerer/Warlock multiclass burning Warlock slots for sorcery points) is proof enough of that.
 

As said, earlier I put a limit on the number of short rests because I make it something that can pretty much be done in no time outside of combat.

Has anyone put a limit on short rests and kept them at an hour? (And not done something to make long rests harder either) And if so why? Were you responding to a genuine issue in the game? Were Warlocks actually too powerful?
 

Yora

Legend
It’s the same problem as daily vs. at-will. At-will classes need a certain number of encounters to happen in a day to keep up with the daily characters’ damage output. Which means if the daily characters decide the day is done before that number of encounters have happened, the at-will character falls behind. Short rest characters have the same problem, only they’re also capped in how much damage they can output in a single encounter. A dungeon crawl just happens to be a context where the daily characters will have a harder time convincing their at-will and short rest companions that going to bed after one fight is a safer idea than continuing on.
That seems more like the old issue of sorcerers going nova and running through all their spell slots at once than a problem with warlocks. And with the way spell slots work in 5th edition, all prepared casters now cast spells like sorcerers did in 3rd. (Except even better, since they can change their spell list every day.)
 



Li Shenron

Legend
The problem with short rest classes is that it’s the long rest classes who set the pace.
The opposite is also true, the long rest classes set the pace for long rests as much as the short rest classes set the pace for short rest.

However IMXP these are problems only when players get hung up too much on resource efficiency. It is a problem with the chosen playstyle rather than with the rules of the game. Because I run a variety of differently paced adventures, my players don't know in advance and tend to become slightly conservative when using limited resources. But I also don't even PLAN or force a specific pace, it just comes up on its own. I think that if the DM plans too much or tries to exert too much control, it strangles the game and the game strikes back. Similarly, if the players metagame too much with efficiency given too much value over other aspects of the game, it's only going to make less satisfied and feeling that more house rules are required.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I think it' more like in a real game they're lucky to get two short rests and 1-3 combats per long rest is more common "in the wild".

Basically the way people are playing isn't matching the assumptions of the game release in 2014.

Also hurts rogues and fighters to a lesser extent.

Very rarely I've had warlocks get three shorts rests or three plus one fake one.

Fake one being after a long rest cast a spell with a long duration immediately vshort rest while everyone else is having breakfast.

AEDU doesn't really work narratively and short rest doesn't really work with long rest.

Whatever you use it kind of needs to be unified but can't really be done.
 
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The entire idea of resource recovery based on time in a game that doesn't actually track time has been a thorn in the system for as long as I can recall. This was made worse in 5e durring the design and testing phase because there was never any actual focus on balancing between the different rates of resource recovery. The idea of 2 SR per LR was an ad hoc suggestion based on playtests taking a huge range of results and a nice large cushy safety margin slapped on. For some groups doing that entire amount of exp budget set aside for a LR within a single SR window is normal. It isn't suggestions as much as "well this worked for us so maybe try it?"

A lot of people use some kind of hard limit of short rest per long rest to try to strike a balance, I'm guilty of doing this myself for some games, but if you actually sit down and value the individual resources then you realize there isn't any actual real consistency between different SR/LR options. For example the monks have a pool and as long as they have any thing in that pool their options are greatly expanded. Once that pool is depleted they are effectiveness is greatly reduced until they're able to recover it. The fighter's action surge and second wind on the other hand are enhancements on a fairly sustainable base. Those classes also have different rates of resource improvement as they progress with the 1 ki per lv and the action surge not getting more uses until well into T4 but gets better with more attacks so it grows on a different scale.
Then you have the fact resting is retroactive but doesn't have any defined start/stop points. This is agency sapping for players and more management problems for DMs.

The basics rules don't support time management on a scale that matches resource recovery so one or the other needs to change to fix that. I personally fixed time but for some tables that isn't a feasible approach so they're stuck trying to fix the resource recovery.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
Is there a reason for this limit?

I don't "limit" short rests this way, but by RAW it is defined as "a period of downtime, at least 1 hour long, during which a character does nothing more strenuous than eating, drinking, reading, and tending to wounds." So, a three-hours period of sitting around in the middle of the day is a short, not three short rests. Short rests must be separated by a modicum of serious adventuring to be two separate short rests.
 

I don't "limit" short rests this way, but by RAW it is defined as "a period of downtime, at least 1 hour long, during which a character does nothing more strenuous than eating, drinking, reading, and tending to wounds." So, a three-hours period of sitting around in the middle of the day is a short, not three short rests. Short rests must be separated by a modicum of serious adventuring to be two separate short rests.
How is that relevant?
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
How is that relevant?

It tend to limits the number of short rest that can be included in an adventuring day. It's quite rare that you can split activity in nice 10 minutes package and take 60 minutes of rest before having another activity package. Having 3 short rests within a day is sometimes possible, but 4 is starting to stretch it in most case. 2 seems easy to "fit in" the day. I don't "hard limit" at 2 short rests a day (as in, you can have more than two and still get the benefit) but the narrative kind of often "soft limit" short rests around 2.
 

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