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D&D 5E Assaying Immersive Rests (updated)

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
About two months ago I started playtesting a set of house rules for rests, found here. After observing how players are using them, the chief faults are 1) it is confusing to my players to long or short rest and then need to also sleep, and 2) the thematic wasn't quite on target. I've described elsewhere why I feel rests are a crucial problem to solve for D&D - in the link above and here. I also agree with some of the Angry DM's thoughts on the role of rests in 5th edition. Here are my updated rules, which I'll be playtesting for our next several sessions, and I would be glad to hear your feedback and criticisms.

Breather

If you spend 10 minutes doing no more than lowkey activity – standing watch, eating and drinking, reading and talking, donning or doffing armor, and sleeping – you can spend Hit Dice to regain hit points, and if you have sufficient training and XP you can level up. Your breather is broken by adventuring activity – fighting, casting spells, marching, or similar: any time spent up to that point is lost.

Sleep

When a creature that needs to sleep ends a day without, it must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or suffer one level of exhaustion. Each consecutive day that passes without the benefit of sleep increases the DC by 5. To sleep, a creature subjects itself to the unconscious condition.
  • 4 hours of unbroken sleep is enough to be beneficial, and to count as accumulated.
  • If you accumulate 8 hours of sleep over a day – you recover one Hit Die, and if you slept comfortably you can recover a level of exhaustion. (You can't recover more than one hit die and level of exhaustion per day this way.)

Broken Sleep

Your sleep is broken if you take damage, or another creature uses an action to shake you. Sudden loud noise – such as yelling, thunder, or a ringing bell – will wake most creatures, as can whispers within 10 feet of those with passive Wisdom (Perception) of 20 or higher, and normal speech for any with passive Wisdom (Perception) of 15 or higher where the environment is otherwise silent (no wind, birdsong, crickets, street sounds or the like.)

Making Yourself Comfortable

Medium or heavy armor is not comfortable to sleep in. Circumstances, such as exposure to bad weather, thirst, or starvation, can also stop a creature from being comfortable.

Alternatives to Sleep

Some creatures have features that modify or replace sleep. For example, adepts can replace sleep with rituals of restoration, taking forms such as reverie, prayer, mantra, contemplation of the weave, and perfected movements.

Trance

Creatures that trance can subject themselves to the stunned condition, to count about 4 hours of trance as equivalent to 8 hours of sleep.

Aspect of the Moon

Warlocks benefiting from Aspect of the Moon can perform other lowkey activity, instead of subjecting themselves to the stunned or unconscious condition.

Rituals of Restoration

Adepts can perform a ritual of restoration instead of sleeping, counting hours of ritual as the same in sleep. Choose at the start how long you will perform your ritual for - 8 hours or a full day. You may also choose one magic item for attunement. Your ritual can be personalised, which might be influenced by an organisation that your are part of. While performing your ritual –
  • You are unaware of your surroundings and can’t communicate with others
  • Your movement is confined within a 15-foot cube
  • Attack rolls against you have advantage, and any attack that hits you is a critical hit if your attacker is within 5 feet
  • All your actions and reactions are spent performing your ritual.
Your ritual is broken if you take damage, or another creature uses an action to shake you: any time spent up to that point is lost.
  • Upon completing 8 hours of ritual – your chosen magic item (if any) is attuned, if you prepare spells you can change your list, and all your features that can refresh at the end of a “short rest”, do so.
  • Upon completing a full day of ritual – all your features that can refresh at the end of a “long rest”, do so.
Previously attuned magic items may recharge as part of a ritual of restoration: the item will specify how.


[SECOND EDIT The focus should be on rituals of restoration, but cutting out rules impacted by them might have misled those who generously offered feedback. I also included some more exploratory concepts, rather than what I am actually playtesting in my campaign. So I have reverted and tidied up my OP. Apologies for flip-flopping!]
 
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tommybahama

Adventurer
If you want more immersive rests then I suggest requiring one use of a healers kit per hit die restored on a short rest or breather as you call it.

Angry DM needs a good editor. His stuff is so long and meandering that it is unreadable.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
About two months ago I started playtesting a set of house rules for rests, found here. After observing how players are using them, the chief faults are 1) it is confusing to my players to long or short rest and then need to also sleep, and 2) the thematic wasn't quite on target. I've described elsewhere why I feel rests are a crucial problem to solve for D&D - in the link above and here. I also agree with some of the Angry DM's thoughts on the role of rests in 5th edition. Here are my updated rules, which I'll be playtesting for our next several sessions, and I would be glad to hear your feedback and criticisms.

Breathers & Sleep

Most creatures refresh themselves with breathers and sleep.

Breather

Anyone can take a breather, during which they perform no more than lowkey activity such as standing watch, eating and drinking, reading and talking, donning or doffing armor, and sleeping. Adventuring activity – fighting, casting spells, marching, or similar – interrupts it.
  • By spending about 10 minutes doing no more than lowkey activity – creatures can spend Hit Dice to regain hit points, and adepts with sufficient training and XP level up.

Sleep

When a creature that needs to sleep ends a 24-hour period without, it must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or suffer one level of exhaustion. Each consecutive 24-hours that passes without the benefit of sleep increases the DC by 5. To sleep, a creature subjects itself to the unconscious condition.
  • A creature wakes up if it takes damage, or another creature uses an action to shake it.
  • After about 4 uninterrupted hours of sleep, the 24-hour period for saving throws is reset, and the time asleep can be accumulated.
  • Upon accumulating about 8 hours of sleep over no more than 12-hours – a creature recovers one Hit Die, and if it was comfortable it recovers from one level of exhaustion. It then cannot begin a new beneficial sleep for about 16 hours.

Being Woken by Noise

Sudden loud noise—such as yelling, thunder, or a ringing bell—will wake most creatures, as can whispers within 10 feet if their passive Wisdom (Perception) score is 20 or higher, and normal speech if their passive Wisdom (Perception) score is 15 or higher, and the environment is otherwise silent (no wind, birdsong, crickets, street sounds or the like.)

Making Yourself Comfortable

Medium or heavy armor is not comfortable to sleep in. Circumstances, such as exposure to bad weather, thirst, or starvation, can also stop a creature from being comfortable.

Alternatives to Sleep

Some creatures have features that modify or replace sleep. For example, adepts can replace sleep with rituals of restoration, taking forms such as reverie, prayer, mantra, contemplation of the weave, or perfected movements.

Trance

Creatures that trance can subject themselves to the stunned condition, to count about 4 uninterrupted hours of trancing as equivalent to 8 hours of sleeping.

Aspect of the Moon

Warlocks benefiting from Aspect of the Moon can perform other lowkey activity, instead of subjecting themselves to the stunned or unconscious condition.

Rituals of Restoration

Adepts (creatures with class levels) can perform a ritual of restoration instead of sleeping, choosing at the start whether that will be for about 8 hours, or 24. Their ritual can be personalised, and might be influenced by an organisation that they are part of. At the start of sleeping, one magic item can be chosen for attunement. While performing it,
  • they are unaware of their surroundings and can’t communicate with others
  • their movement is confined within a 15-foot cube
  • all their actions and reactions are spent performing their ritual.
Their ritual is interrupted if they take damage, or another creature uses an action to shake them. They then must begin their ritual of restoration again to get any benefit from it.
  • After about 8 hours of ritual performance – a creature’s chosen magic item is attuned, the period for saving throws due to lack of sleep is reset, adepts who prepare spells can change their lists, and features that refresh at the end of a “short rest”, do so.
  • After about 24 hours of ritual performance – features that refresh at the end of a “long rest”, do so.
  • Attuned magic items normally recharge as part of a ritual of restoration: the item will specify how.
Just to make a brief point on your objective for fixing rests -- it's not actually rests that are broken. Or, rather, you cannot fix rests until you get to the underlying problem. And that problem is really the daily XP budget. Not trying to start another slog about 6-8 encounters a day because that doesn't really matter -- it could be whatever. No, the problems sits on how tightly class rest balance and rest recharge rates are tied to the assumption of daily XP budgets. If you use the daily XP budget (however you do that), then the rest schedule works with the class balance and there's no problem mechanically -- it does work. The problem comes in if you don't want a game based on that kind of pace (for whatever reason): the game doesn't tell you how integral to the core class/rest balance cycle the daily XP budget is. So messing around with rests is really dealing with a downstream problem and not the initial pain point. Sometimes you can dam it up successfully, but it usually leaks (evidence for this is that there still isn't a solution that works well and many become quite convoluted or turned on and off as needed to try to deal with this).

Rests may be broken, but until you get into the guts of the game and rewire it, addressing rests will ever only be a patch that will somewhat work for whatever you're attempting. And I do mean you have to rewire the game -- it's quite amazing how many things are built atop the rickety pillar of the daily XP budget.

ETA: oh, apparently the OP has me blocked? Didn't notice until the quoted OP disappeared when I hit post. Oh, well.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
If you want more immersive rests then I suggest requiring one use of a healers kit per hit die restored on a short rest or breather as you call it.
I feel like adding an additional supply cost on spending HD would be more in line with an OSR approach, than it would be about immersion. It's not more or less immersive to have another cost. You might not have read my original thread, so the immersive aspect is making long and short rests something special that happens within the game world - rituals of restoration.

There are a lot of other things going on with the design. Too much to summarise here. The breather is not really the focus: it more comes out of where play lands when you make rests longer and put an absolute cost (performing an un-interruptable ritual) on them.
Angry DM needs a good editor. His stuff is so long and meandering that it is unreadable.
That's so true: I often can't read his posts and always only skim them. This is the post I was thinking of. It gets into some of the reasons why rests that stick are worthwhile for players. I sometimes read arguments for how to make it easier to rest - how to hand wave them - and for me that overlooks why the D&D designers believed they were important to include. It treats them as a problem to get rid of, rather than tackling the problem of how to keep them.
 

I never feel any realism or immersive feeling for resting in DnD, only a game mechanic.
Human and humanoid may need to sleep, but that should not equal that they recover hit point, hit dice or any other power. That is only an assumption from older edition.
DM should take control of resting once in a while, that will be more clear than those acrobatic
trying to make resting more realistic or align with xp budget.
 

Just to make a brief point on your objective for fixing rests -- it's not actually rests that are broken. Or, rather, you cannot fix rests until you get to the underlying problem. And that problem is really the daily XP budget. Not trying to start another slog about 6-8 encounters a day because that doesn't really matter -- it could be whatever. No, the problems sits on how tightly class rest balance and rest recharge rates are tied to the assumption of daily XP budgets. If you use the daily XP budget (however you do that), then the rest schedule works with the class balance and there's no problem mechanically -- it does work. The problem comes in if you don't want a game based on that kind of pace (for whatever reason): the game doesn't tell you how integral to the core class/rest balance cycle the daily XP budget is. So messing around with rests is really dealing with a downstream problem and not the initial pain point. Sometimes you can dam it up successfully, but it usually leaks (evidence for this is that there still isn't a solution that works well and many become quite convoluted or turned on and off as needed to try to deal with this).

Rests may be broken, but until you get into the guts of the game and rewire it, addressing rests will ever only be a patch that will somewhat work for whatever you're attempting. And I do mean you have to rewire the game -- it's quite amazing how many things are built atop the rickety pillar of the daily XP budget.
This is true with a lot of issues. The chassis of 5E is solid, but you have to consider multiple things when making adjustments. If you want to keep balance with your homebrew, you have to make multiple tweaks. I've found minor changes can be done with minimal fuss. Any significant changes either upset the balance or need a lot of work that I don't consider worth it.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Human and humanoid may need to sleep, but that should not equal that they recover hit point, hit dice or any other power. That is only an assumption from older edition.
Once I pared my rules back to the focus (per my edit) I realised that there was an opportunity to reframe the rules for sleep and rest as racial or class traits. As you point out, there are assumptions about what is recovered. By attaching the features to races and classes it looks possible to challenge that assumption in interesting ways. We already see this with trance and aspect of the moon.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
This is true with a lot of issues. The chassis of 5E is solid, but you have to consider multiple things when making adjustments. If you want to keep balance with your homebrew, you have to make multiple tweaks. I've found minor changes can be done with minimal fuss. Any significant changes either upset the balance or need a lot of work that I don't consider worth it.
Exactly. That is why I initially posted the full rules suite (which includes the needed tweaks to other parts of the rules like spending hit dice), but then I realised that for most people those considerations would be secondary and perhaps distract from the core changes.

I do consider it worth it for rests, because the rest mechanics as written do not function as easily and effectively as they need to. On the one hand, they must be easy enough to use that no one hand waves them, because they are an important affordance for other elements of value. On the other hand, I feel they need to be stated in positives - what must I do? - and not, what must I not do.
 

Resting touch two important aspect of the game.

There is a need for an overall set of rules for resting, that allow characters to recover when they meet given conditions. Most players don’t like when the DM change or interfere with those rules, power recovery is directly link to character capacities, and thus players can easily feel rail road or on DM fiat when their resting is controlled.

On the other side there is a need for both players and DM to feel some challenge, some meaningful decisions, make good tactics and evaluation. And that cant be achieved with unlimited and unrestricted resting. And the situation get worse as the characters level up.

How to find the peace?
When conflict arise on resting, I think that everyone around the table should understand these two aspects, and willingly try to find a middle ground while playing,
 
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clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Resting touch two important aspect of the game.

There is a need for an overall set of rules for resting, that allow characters to recover when they meet given conditions. Most players don’t like when the DM change or interfere with those rules, power recovery is directly link to character capacities, and thus players can easily feel rail road or on DM fiat when their resting is controlled.
I agree with you on that. A strong motivation is that I wanted to put rests in the control of players - you can rest when you want to rest - by applying meaningful costs that they can accept (i.e. rest) or not accept (i.e. don't rest yet), but cannot avoid (if they want the benefits). I didn't want it to be about me as DM allowing rests, but players in-world deciding that they needed to rest and that they felt safe enough to do so.

I believe one of the fundamental issues with relatively brief, 'soft' rests, is that they fail to apply a crisp enough cost. Absent that, it runs into conflicts between what might be good for game as game, what might be good for emergent narrative, what DM might find helpful, and what players desire to do.

On the other side there is a need for both players and DM to feel some challenge, some meaningful decisions, make good tactics and evaluation. And that cant be achieved with unlimited and unrestricted resting. And the situation get worse as the characters level up.
I suppose I'm implicitly suggesting that it might be achieved by design, by focusing on what characters must do to gain the benefits of a rest, rather than what they must avoid doing. Rather than saying you must avoid adventuring activity etc., the design says you must be unconscious for N-hours straight.

How to find the peace?
When conflict arise on resting, I think that everyone around the table should understand these two aspects, and willingly try to find a middle ground while playing,
I think the mechanic should work for the group, and not be something they feel they must struggle with. As a DM, I want to be in no doubt that my players can or should rest - they can rest whenever they like because the costs are spacious and pernicious enough to matter. They're not about what a character avoids doing, but what they do.

My guess is that with a few iterations of play at the table, I will see a way to reconcile rituals of restoration with sleep, so that a more natural-feeling set of mechanics emerges that will sit better with a wider range of worlds.
 

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