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


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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I think this is a bummer. What exactly do you want to manage?
The game.

The "pacing"?
Pacing is part of the game. It must be managed. Otherwise we could just give players an ability called recharged that takes 1 minute and grants the benefits of a long rest anytime. You know - if pacing didn't matter. Instead there's a reason long rests take 8 hours and can't be taken more than once every day. It's for pacing.


What makes so many DMs so sure that their own "carefully planned" pacing is better than the pacing that simply results from the mix of players decisions, npc/monster reactions, and dice rolls results?
We grant players some say over pacing. We grant properly played monsters some say over pacing. We grant dice rolls some say over pacing. And yet its the DM who places those monsters in that area, who calls for the die rolls, who makes the random encounter tables, who makes decisions about how to react to player decisions, etc.

All of those things are pacing.

The players can choose to stop or continue, the story and situation either allows it or not, sometimes they get it badly wrong and fail a quest. I refuse to set any pacing or a preset number of combat encounters, and I do not have any difficulty in managing the game, whatever the rests are made available by the ruleset I am using.
IMO, either you or the players or some combination are setting pacing or the game grinds down to a boring restfest.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Why are you talking about sorlocks when my post was comparing a wizard to a warlock?
I asked why your comparison was between a warlock and a [quantum] wizard who "has just the right high-level spell" rather than a warlock and a sorlock has just the right high-level spell & has the warlock's big thing on top of the wide array of spell slots and highlighted the relevant abilities to show why the comparison should have been warlock/sorlock.

So what about the wizard specifically that it deserves such ire to be held up so many times in this thread rather than a long rest class that steals the short rest benefits with a dip?
 

I think many of us use the term encounter to refer to a combat encounter.
I'm using it for any scene where resources are drained - ie casting fly to get over a chasm. Which still counts in these discussions.

Some people just call every scene with someone or something other than the pc's in it an encounter - ie talking to a barkeep to get information. Is that an encounter? You're probably not using up an resources beyond a few silver pieces, so to only pc who gets to shine it the party face. But it's also not resting.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I do not mean for anyone to force things into a technical pattern.

Indeed you did not, but many people around here do.

I am just stating, there are classes that shine a bit more than others when there is only one combat encounter per long rest. There are classes that shine a bit more than others when there are three or four combat encounters (w/ short rests) per long rest.

And the reasonable thing is to consider that not everything can be balanced, that some situations will also more favorable to some classes, or some types of adversaries, etc. Ot to some players or type of players for that matter.

So it's absolutely pointless to ask the system to provide exact balance. 4e tried it and still failed, despite having a way more constrained system. This is why the DM is needed to make sure that players have equal opportunities to shine and participate, despite all the varying factors in circumstances, out of which the rest elements are only a very small fraction anyway.

What a DM does, in most cases I have seen, is make the long rest/encounter number vary, mostly according to the context of the story.

At least the availability of it, after that, it's up to the players to see how they manage.
 

Part of the issue is that scenes that aren't combat usually don't drain resources on anything like the same level as combats.

So the use of 'encounter' can be misleading there.
 

But what would this look like in practice?

Because if the non-combat situation occurs and the warlock has the means to resolve it, why wouldn't the party spend an hour to let them get their slots back?
They probably would if the dm doesn't have them on a tight clock. But how often do dm's put open chasms in the middle of the road for 10th level pcs?
And I understand that there's time pressures, but are the pressures so sensitive that an hour is the difference? Every time? Isn't that narratively exhausting.

"After the combat, your party decides to trek onward. You come across a large chasm with a destroyed rope bridge, making it impossible to pass using the bridge."

Why can't the warlock just say "Hmm. I have Fly. I don't have a slot now but if we take an hour, I can get us through and you can save your spell slots, Mrs. Bard."
Assuming they have an hour, yes.
I mean, in order for time pressures to be sensitive to the hour, the adventures themselves would have to be strung together in sequences of "Thanks for saving the princess, I know you just got done defeating the lich yesterday, but now we need you to stop an Archdevil's plans. Also, when that's done, you'll need to March through Acheron and fight an ancient dragon." It gets to become urgent matter after urgent matter and it becomes exhausting.
If the princess needs rescuing, she needs it now. The lich could have been ten years ago, it doesn't matter if it's been more than two days. But rescuing the princess is probably not a single encounter that can be resolved with a single spell slot.
 

Indeed you did not, but many people around here do.



And the reasonable thing is to consider that not everything can be balanced, that some situations will also more favorable to some classes, or some types of adversaries, etc. Ot to some players or type of players for that matter.

So it's absolutely pointless to ask the system to provide exact balance. 4e tried it and still failed, despite having a way more constrained system. This is why the DM is needed to make sure that players have equal opportunities to shine and participate, despite all the varying factors in circumstances, out of which the rest elements are only a very small fraction anyway.



At least the availability of it, after that, it's up to the players to see how they manage.
No there are ongoing design issues here. Especially when you get to long rest vs at-will like the Rogue or (almost) the Champion Fighter.

For one the tendency is for the number of combats to cluster around the low side of the average rather than the high. In a campaign that often has around 6 combats a day there are likely to still be single combat days. There may be no days where there are 12 combats.

The other is the way rest resources are handled in the narrative arc. A 10th level wizard who knows that there is a boss fight coming very soon will hold back resources and still have half his spell slots left for the final fight and try to rely on cantrips as much as possible in the lead up fights. A Warlock will still only go into that fight with two spell slots. A Fighter will have this action surge, but a Paladin will be hoarding all those spell slots for Fights. In practice this means that the Long Rest classes have a lot more capacity to be really awesome when being awesome matters most.

You could fake out the players by having them face the boss fight and use up all their resources and then have the true boss reveal themselves so the Champion and the Rogue really get to shine, but that risks becoming somewhat anti-climactic, and I also think it's a trick that would rapidly be seen as unfun by the players of long rest classes if you kept trying to pull it.

What you need if a mechanic by which certain classes that benefit from longer days, can also raise the stakes on shorter days. 4e did this with the Barbarian. They had encounter long "rage" effects. However, they recognised that this might be underwhelming have three such effects in a one combat day, so they added a "Rage Strike" mechanic, where you could spend your unused encounter long rages to do extra damaging attacks.
 

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
The point here is that it's not safe to assume a warlock gains 2+ slots with every short rest. He may only be gaining a single slot. Which may mean that in reality a warlock player only gets 2-3 more slots out of 2 short rests instead of a whole 4 slots. (exact numbers change a little with level).
That's going to depend a lot on playstyle, in two different ways.

First, many warlock players will cheerfully cast their slots at the drop of a hat, because the low opportunity cost of recovering their slots makes spells comparatively cheap, and the downside of having no slots left isn't so terrible when you've got Eldritch Blast and Agonizing Blast. I'm sure there are warlock players who consider it unacceptable to not have a spell slot in reserve and so carefully nurse their spells, but I haven't met one yet.

Second, average warlock slot recovery per short rest or per day will also depend on if the table requires rests to be declared, or if rest benefits simply accrue whenever the requirements are met. If the former, warlock players are likely to deliberately use up their slots before starting the rest, so their average slots per rest is likely to be near max, but the number of rests per day is likely to be lower. If the latter, it's more likely the warlock happens to get some unexpected short rests when they didn't need them, and so will have lower average slots per rest, but their slots per day might well be higher since there is likely to be many more short rests over the course of a day.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
No there are ongoing design issues here.

No, there are no such things. Some players / races / classes will be more or less efficient depending of circumstances, this is totally unavoidable due to the open nature of the game. The problem is that controlling games like 4e tried to deal with the chaos by using a number of small individual scale solutions that stiffled the game. While technically very good, the game lacked soul, it was not open.

The right solution for 5e is not to try to deal with each component individually, because it would require a bottom up redesign of each component that might lead to an imbalance, starting with all the classes themselves. The right solution is to deal with it globally, as a DM, with all the reins in his hand to make sure that everyone has the same opportunity for fun, and without being constrained by smaller subsystem imposing local constraints that prevent an optimal solution. And maybe intrinsically some classes can save resources for the BBEG and others can't, but it does not matter when the DM has all the tools at his disposal, circumstances of the fight, characteristics of the BBEG, magic items, spells, minions whatever to compensate for it ? Also, why does it matter if some characters shine more than others in a fight ? It's only one of the three tiers of the game anyway, maybe the others will shine more in other circumstances, before the fight, after the fight, for other reasons during the fight. Stop trying to look for local equilibriums, they are totally artificial and pointless in the big picture of the game.
 


Asisreo

Patron Badass
If the princess needs rescuing, she needs it now. The lich could have been ten years ago, it doesn't matter if it's been more than two days. But rescuing the princess is probably not a single encounter that can be resolved with a single spell slot.
Right, but what about the bits in-between? I consider the time between the lich's defeat and the princess's rescue as downtime that gives the warlock exceptional time to shine. Which could easily spill over into the adventure in more ways than flavor, though it depends on how it's structured.

But from my head, the warlock can use that time to constantly cast Suggestion on whatever NPC they want and have them do his bidding ranging from handing them a magic item to giving information to the party.

THESE are the days I'm most referring to. Because the adventure isn't just the adventuring day, it's the culmination of those days, and those days matter.

Well, they're supposed to matter, but if a DM doesn't let them matter, it can be disappointing that the DM strings one-combat adventures but doesn't let characters capitalize on the time.
 


Lyxen

Great Old One
No wonder there's a shortage of DMs if DMs are supposed to do all the work of calibrating the game all the time.

Well, seeing that the number of DMs has risen by about the same factor with 5e as the number or players, I would say that it's not really an issue.

Moreover, who tells you that you have to calibrate the game ? That is a constraint that you are imposing purely on yourself, most DMs just play the game and enjoy it without calibration, just making sure on the go that players had fun, and that it was never just one guy hogging the spotlight. And by the way, previous editions still required you to calibrate the game, it was just easier in some respect and way harder in some as you had to drag all these constraints with you. So yes, more tools, but also more things to learn and to take care, artificial things that are absolutely not needed to enjoy the game (some people enjoy them, good for them, but they are not necessary).

Finally, the reason some players have trouble finding DMs is that they have acquired bad habits from previous editions. DMing for 5e is way simpler than in previous editions, not only do you have fewer things to master, but you have way fewer people stopping you and trying to explain to you that what you are doing is not what the rules say (or at least their more or less personal interpretation of it).

Do you really think that if it was that difficult, and if support was really needed, we would have seen an explosion of players and therefore DM like we did ? Certainly not. Once more, if you stop imposing constraints from previous editions on 5e, it's a way simpler but still really efficient game for roleplaying and storytelling.
 



Where exactly?


...The right solution is to deal with it globally, as a DM, with all the reins in his hand to make sure that everyone has the same opportunity for fun, and without being constrained by smaller subsystem imposing local constraints that prevent an optimal solution. And maybe intrinsically some classes can save resources for the BBEG and others can't, but it does not matter when the DM has all the tools at his disposal, circumstances of the fight, characteristics of the BBEG, magic items, spells, minions whatever to compensate for it ? ...
 

Right, but what about the bits in-between? I consider the time between the lich's defeat and the princess's rescue as downtime that gives the warlock exceptional time to shine. Which could easily spill over into the adventure in more ways than flavor, though it depends on how it's structured.

But from my head, the warlock can use that time to constantly cast Suggestion on whatever NPC they want and have them do his bidding ranging from handing them a magic item to giving information to the party.

THESE are the days I'm most referring to. Because the adventure isn't just the adventuring day, it's the culmination of those days, and those days matter.

Well, they're supposed to matter, but if a DM doesn't let them matter, it can be disappointing that the DM strings one-combat adventures but doesn't let characters capitalize on the time.
The spells cast during downtime? Like, how many spell slots did you use during two weeks of rest where nothing happened?

Does anyone track spell slots during downtime?
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I asked why your comparison was between a warlock and a [quantum] wizard who "has just the right high-level spell" rather than a warlock and a sorlock has just the right high-level spell & has the warlock's big thing on top of the wide array of spell slots and highlighted the relevant abilities to show why the comparison should have been warlock/sorlock.
That wasn't my comparison. Even in your link it links to a different poster.

So what about the wizard specifically that it deserves such ire to be held up so many times in this thread rather than a long rest class that steals the short rest benefits with a dip?
1. Wizard is iconic.
2. Wizard is almost purely long rest so makes a better comparison for short rest vs long rest benefits.

Is your point that you think a sorlock is better than a warlock and maybe even a wizard?
 

And the reasonable thing is to consider that not everything can be balanced, that some situations will also more favorable to some classes, or some types of adversaries, etc. Ot to some players or type of players for that matter.

So it's absolutely pointless to ask the system to provide exact balance. 4e tried it and still failed, despite having a way more constrained system. This is why the DM is needed to make sure that players have equal opportunities to shine and participate, despite all the varying factors in circumstances, out of which the rest elements are only a very small fraction anyway.
Just so you are aware, I agree with everything you say here.
 

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