D&D General Changing your Rest paradigm is the single biggest, yet smallest, change you can make

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Which is why I included it. We don't know exactly what they were thinking, but they have stated that when they were designing 5E that it took into consideration a lot of history and old school gaming style. That they wanted to pattern it on how older games were played. Those older games? A lot of them focused on dungeon crawls.

If I could wave a magic wand we'd have more options and guidelines for alternative rest rules to fit your campaign style. We don't have that so I use gritty rest rules and a house rule extending the duration of some spells.
We do know what they were thinking. They explicitly said so in the DMG. People just quibble about it or haven’t bothered to read the DMG.
 

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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I agree that changing the Rest paradigm will have large effects on the rest of your game. Especially as D&D is an attrition-based game as opposed to some other systems.

One of the things I've notice for myself as a gamemaster is that as levels go up, I end up doing only 1-2 encounters per 24 hour period, and that really favors caster classes over at-will characters. With short rest characters somewhere in the middle. So I have been strongly thinking of Gritty Rest variant with some minor changes. But that could mean that there are a lot more short rests per long rest, and will that favor classes like the warlock, fighter, and monk over other classes too much? On the other hand, at my table we don't see too many of those particular classes so maybe that's just an incentive to play them more.

Oh, the minor changes would be that it would be possible to compress the 7 days for a long rest. Sort of like if the party is allowed to stay at a sanctuary like Elrond's, it might only be two days. The party might be allowed to turn their homebase into something like this at well if they have both security and comfort. Going for luxurious, pampering accommodations in a city might have each day of rest count double. That sort of thing.

One of the other Rest changes I've played was with a DM who designed adventures that once the tension was rising there was never a chance for a short rest - really felt it broke up the narrative and wanted things to escalate. But that impacted the short rest classes as they almost never had a chance to use them between fights, only before or after, and everyone had little chance to spend HD between fights. On talking to him he tried out 5 minute Short Rests, but a character could take a maximum of 2 per day. So you needed a breather, but it was short enough people could take them at different times, and it was often possible to take them even when "things were hot".
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
As a separate idea, I very much like how 13th Age does it, but it's too gamist for many people.

13th Age is a d20 game from a lead designer of 3ed and the lead design of 4e. It came out before 5e, but with a lot of the same sensibilities, especially towards streamlining.

Instead of short rest and long rest, they have per-encounter and full-heal-up. Per encounter is what it's written on the tin - as long as there's a gap so it's a separate encounter (no chase scene, or reinforcements, or other ongoing aspect), those come back.

Full-heal-ups, on the other hand, happen every four encounters. Bam. Completely divorced from sleeping or other in-game clock. The GM can have it happen after 3 if some have been particularly hard, and the players can force it at any time, but take a campaign setback. Maybe those cultists have now had enough time to get another part of what they need for their ritual, or the wolves have struck again and more sheep are missing - whatever your adventure it. (As an interesting twist, a campaign setback is also the currency for a safe retreat with all of the bodies, if you can't accomplish it otherwise.)

Because it's a set number of encounters, the balance between the classes is much less dependent on the GM every adventure providing a restricted range of encounters per day. A three week trek across an untamed jumgle might end up being one or two full-heal-ups, or just a morning in a megadungeon.

The idea that recovery is tied to rest is a sacred cow, but one we don't examine often because it has strong narrative sense, though we can accept it more for varying lengths of short rest. So divorcing the full-heal-up from that breaks immersion for some, though the DM can easily put things into the narative for it to make sense such as having that last encounter at the end of the day, just like in 5e they needed to contrive a certain number of encounters per day to satisfy attrition-based gameplay demands. But from a game play perspective 4 encounters then a full heal up works really well.
 

We do know what they were thinking. They explicitly said so in the DMG. People just quibble about it or haven’t bothered to read the DMG.
Nah. This rest issue for 5e comes up pretty often on this forum.
It is a fundamental mechanic that needs to be locked down early for a table to enable the DM to design adventures in all 3 major areas (Dungeon, Urban, Wilderness) without having to struggle or change playstyles. Your rest mechanic determines the pacing and how encounters are set. It informs how the PCs interact with the world.

Some use the formula of 6-8 encounters, others go with what feels right, and other still only worry about the combats the push the story forward and this is all before we get to Random Encounters. The level of the party and possibly the composition (less so) may be a factor on what is decided.

There are a lot of moving parts.
 

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
How many encounters are you planning on throwing at the group between long rests? Because the number of short rests doesn't really factor in here - they'll still only be able to recover a certain number of spell slots. Classes like monk could be more of an issue since they recover pretty much everything that matters.
Yeah, I need to see if I pace off of Short or Long and how that pace impacts the resources.
My goal is to more closely mimic the pace of novels, rather than video games
 

Oofta

Legend
Yeah, I need to see if I pace off of Short or Long and how that pace impacts the resources.
My goal is to more closely mimic the pace of novels, rather than video games
Emulating novels was a big part of my reason as well. I'm a big fan of The Dresden Files and similar. Everything is going along just fine and then the feces hits the fan for a few days.
 

I have noticed in my time playing that it's only important to make players worried about more encounters between rests to get the desired result of not going nova every time. So long as I'm not certain we wont get into another fight before the next rest, I'll think twice before spending my last few spell slots.

IME warlocks are fine with minimal spell slot use, monks are more hampered by lack of interesting things to do anyways, and fighters already needed to leverage magic items and allies to stay relevant at high levels, so rest-variance-imbalance isn't even a main issue. I agree it exists and isn't good, but I've never seen it ruin a game, so to speak.

Yes, we've tried variation on this. No, it never made a big difference.
 

Strange, that's nothing like my experience. Nor does it seem to be the experience of most tables I've heard about. Though their are certainly ones like your that rests don't work for them. I wonder what the difference between your table and mine are.

Given that they've shifted the classes in the playtest to remove the heavy short rest reliance -- in particular from both Warlock and Fighter -- specifically because of repeated complaints, I'm not inclined to think your experience is as common as WotC would like.
 

xoth.publishing

Swords against tentacles!
I use the following house rules:
  • The first short rest takes 5 minutes, the second short rest takes 30 minutes, and each short rest thereafter takes 1 hour.
  • Long rests only in safe havens (village, castle, special "safe rooms" in dungeons, etc). A long rest restores all Hit Dice (not just half Hit Dice as per the RAW).
 

Given that they've shifted the classes in the playtest to remove the heavy short rest reliance -- in particular from both Warlock and Fighter -- specifically because of repeated complaints, I'm not inclined to think your experience is as common as WotC would like.
Perhaps its more about level of evaluations and expectations. I would not say RAW "works terribly" like you do. I would not say it's perfect either. But it works well enough that we don't mess with it. We don't feel a need for us to have fun. I think balancing short vs long rests with across the classes is an improvement. I just don't think the rules are terrible as they are today.
 

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