D&D General D&D without Resource Management

Would you like D&D to have less resource management?

  • Yes

    Votes: 20 15.4%
  • Yes but only as an optional variant of play

    Votes: 12 9.2%
  • Yes but only as a individual PC/NPC/Monster choice

    Votes: 3 2.3%
  • No

    Votes: 30 23.1%
  • No but I'd definitely play another game with less resource management

    Votes: 14 10.8%
  • No. If anything it needs even more resource management

    Votes: 39 30.0%
  • Somewhar. Shift resource manage to another part of the game like gold or items

    Votes: 1 0.8%
  • Somewhat. Tie resource manage to the playstyle and genre mechanics.

    Votes: 11 8.5%

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
The druid who can wildshape unlimited times.
The barbarian who can rage every turn.
The paladin who can smite 5 times each combat.
The monk who starts every fight with full ki point.
The ranger who has hunter's mark on at all times.
The wizard how has half their level of slots restored after every combat.
Dragons who can breath attack every other turn.
Fiends who can out leash spells until one side does off.
Full hit points every fight.
Near unlimited potions.
Magic items with more charges than can be regularly used.

Some people and some tables already play D&D where the impact of resource management is reduced. Instead of metering out resources, they come to every combat, obstacle, trap, conversation, or puzzle will full or near full power and the DM just ups the difficulty or price of failure.

I got me wondering. How would D&D without resource management fair? I've listened to a few podcasts about D&D's history of resource management and some mentions the increase of action management and event management in more recent editions of D&D and D&D likes.

In the recent D&D playtests, there is a nudge to give every class major benefits from taking both long and short rests. And I've experienced that both players and DMs enjoy when their characters can do their thing in a nonthrowaway combat, social, or exploration encounter, So I wondered about the perception of this if D&D went full on this and let you do this all the time and shifted difficulty according. Would it be more fun? Would it take the spice out of the aspects that used resources
 

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No, but resource systems should be unified when possible. Meaning that instead of having several independent "use X times per short/long rest" features, give the class some sort of resource points that can be used for such features as the player pleases. Resource systems don't need to be similar between the classes, but similar classes might use same resource system.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
IMO, it needs more resource management--but the resources need to be actually worth managing, and that's the tricky part.

This is one of the reasons why certain kinds of consistency--"uniformity"--can actually be very helpful for fostering creativity and improvisation. When there is a shared baseline of resource management, it's easier to understand what resources are being expended when, both your own and others. It's easier to adjust when you shift from one class to another, because the details differ, but the framework remains consistent.

Of course, as with literally all such things, you need extensive testing. That's how you learn what's a good, worthwhile design and what's well-meaning but foolish or (all too often) a designer's pet idea inflated and emphasized well beyond its actual merits.

Some forms of resource management are just annoyances used to trip up the use of excessively powerful abilities. Some are just dull bookkeeping without any real need to exist (other than...well, because tradition says so.) A few are really cool ways to force difficult decisions when otherwise you would just do whatever you want, whenever you want. Finding the latter amidst the mountains of the first two is no easy task.
 

Reynard

Legend
4E is an interesting example of what one might do regarding resource management if given the opportunity to start fresh with D&D. It asked and answered the question "What are these resources for" and designed around that.

The thing is,there can be different answers to that question and therefore different designs. But as long as we are stuck doing minor iterations of the legacy resource management systems of D&D, it is always going to be an ill fit for an otherwise evolving game.

For my part, I think D&D should both streamline the resource management of each character class, and silo different kinds of resources. That is, you shouldn't be managing combat resources during exploration, and vice versa.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
No, but resource systems should be unified when possible. Meaning that instead of having several independent "use X times per short/long rest" features, give the class some sort of resource points that can be used for such features as the player pleases.
Careful there. Such things verge on blasphemies.
 

aco175

Legend
Pulling at the thread of class powers will tug at the HP thread in the fabric of the game. Once we double the HP monsters have, people will complain about combat taking too long.

I did like 4e and the powers that could be used each encounter or day. Perhaps nerfing the class powers to make them usable each round or encounter? I fear that will make them bland and then we will be looking at just cutting classes, if, say the rage ability just gives you +1 to hit and damage, or all you had was the reckless attack. Surely that could just be a fighter type.

Some powers would be very powerful if usable all the time. Wildshape like in the movie seems like that. Not sure how to fix that. Maybe only have one animal you can turn into? Add ore as you level up?

I did like 4e with monsters having cool powers like the PCs. A dragon with unlimited breath attacks is like the movie where Smaug is just using it as the only attack. Cool, yes, but would we then have to limit it as well? Or does the PC powers being unlimited balance that? Interesting things to think about.
 

Instead of metering out resources,
Metering out resources makes for good role-playing. ;) If you and your party find themselves low on resources in the middle of an adventure, then you get creative with what you have left. You strategize on how you are going to do things in the next encounter, in the next fight.

Instead of metering out resources, they come to every combat, obstacle, trap, conversation, or puzzle will full or near full power
That sounds like it would take the fun out of the role-playing session. While it would be fun initially to come to every combat, obstacle, trap, etc. at full or near full power, it might eventually become tiresome for the players. Where's the challenge?

DM just ups the difficulty or price of failure.
They could do this by metering their resources by throwing in more monsters, using more powerful spells and such. But how far would they need to up the challenge rating?
 

4E is an interesting example of what one might do regarding resource management if given the opportunity to start fresh with D&D. It asked and answered the question "What are these resources for" and designed around that.
It was a bold attempt to recontextualise the resources. I think ultimately they made bad call in making each resource individual and independent, meaning that the limit was using each power once during given time, not some shared pool of uses. It led to the need for powers not to be situational, as not being able to use the power would limit your total power pool, not just your versatility. And this led to the common complaints about tripping gelatinous cubes and scaring mindless creatures etc. But from gamist perspective it made sense why one would want powers to almost always work in such a system. Still, they dropped the ball in a major way with this, as a ton of powers required multiple targets to be effective, whilst it is a common fantasy trope having the characters to fight one tough creature.

For my part, I think D&D should both streamline the resource management of each character class, and silo different kinds of resources. That is, you shouldn't be managing combat resources during exploration, and vice versa.
Hard disagree on this. Way too gamist for my liking. Your magical power or physical stamina etc shouldn't care whether the exertion happens during a combat or out of it. Furthermore, I don't think it is even good for gameplay. Having to decide whether to use a resource now to overcome an out of combat problem or save it in case you need it in fight later is perfectly valid and interesting decision to make.
 
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Reynard

Legend
Hard disagree on this. Way too gamist for my liking. Your magical power or physical stamina etc shouldn't care whether the exertion happens during a combat or out of it. Furthermore, I don't think it is even good for gameplay. Having to decide whether to use a resource now to overcome an out of combat problem or save it in case you need it in fight later is perfectly valid and interesting decision to make.
Except only casters ever have to make that choice. No one else even has out of combat resources. What is the fighter going to use his hit points for while talking to the baron?

By siloing resources you can ensure that everyone actually has tools they can bring to each situation.
 

Except only casters ever have to make that choice. No one else even has out of combat resources. What is the fighter going to use his hit points for while talking to the baron?
Sure, it is mostly casters currently.

By siloing resources you can ensure that everyone actually has tools they can bring to each situation.
Siloing has nothing to do with this. If you want classes to have out of combat powers, give them such. What resource mechanic they use doesn't matter, what matters is having them in the first place.
 

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