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5E Good news! The RAW answer to: "When does a rest end?"

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Arial Black

Explorer
There has been some debate recently about 'how long rests are exactly' and 'when do they end'.

In part the confusion is created because instead of just saying a short rest is 1 hour and a long rest 8 hours the PHB says at least 1 hour and at least 8 hours.

Now, the smart ones among you will realise that the writers put in the 'at least' phrase to prevent pedants from denying the benefits of the rest to those who rest for more than 1/8 hours on the (obviously spurious) grounds that "It says 8 hours, 8 hours and 10 minutes is not 8 hours, therefore you don't get the benefits because you haven't rested for exactly 8 hours!" The trouble is that pedants always find a way....

But the answer, the RAW answer, is there!

Long Rest PHB p186 said:
At the end of a long rest, a character regains all lost hit points. The character also regains spent Hit Dice, up to a number of dice equal to half of the character’s total number of them.

We also know that Spellcasting slots/Rages/loads of other features are refreshed after a long rest.

The key point is that you only get these things refreshed at the end of a long rest. Therefore, if you have just had these things refreshed, that long rest must have ended!

There is no getting round it. If the long rest had not ended then you would not have gained the benefits. You did gain the benefits, therefore the rest must have ended!

There is an exactly similar (watch out for those pedants!) RAW answer to when a short rest ends:-

Short Rest PHB p186 said:
A character can spend one or more Hit Dice at the end of a short rest, up to the character’s maximum number of Hit Dice, which is equal to the character's level.

...and all the other short rest resources, like Pact Magic/Ki points/Superiority Dice/etc. If you have rested for at least 1 hour, and the DM tells you that you get the benefits of a short rest, then that rest must have ended! If it had not definitely ended, you could not have gained its benefits.

But what about the 'at least' part? Doesn't that mean that rests can be longer than 1/8 hours?

Well, yes and no.

First, the 'yes' part. The DM can certainly say that you guys have been resting for, say, 12 hours, so give yourselves the benefits of a long rest. There is nothing wrong with that.

But for the 'no' part:-

Long Rest PHB p186 said:
A long rest is a period of extended downtime, at least 8 hours long, during which a character sleeps or perform slight activity: reading, talking, eating, or standing watch for no more than 2 hours. If the rest is interrupted by a period of strenuous activity—at least 1 hour of walking, fighting, casting spells, or similar adventuring activity—the characters must begin the rest again to gain any benefit from it.

....if you have been resting/avoiding strenuous activity for 8 hours, and you ask the DM, "Have we rested long enough to get our hit points/spell slots back yet?", the answer is an unequivocal 'yes!' Why would your DM deny you the benefits?

Because he thinks you might be resting some more? The problem with that is that the players are resting in order to gain the benefits, and will damn well keep resting until they do! They will only start doing something else when they get their hit points/slots etc. back!

What about an 8 hour rest followed immediately by a 1 hour rest? Isn't that just one 9 hour rest?

It is utterly pointless to have a short rest straight after a long rest, because a long rest has already given you all the benefits that a short rest would. You rest to gain the benefits; a short rest lets you spend hit dice to heal, but you already have all your hit points from the long rest. A short rest lets you get your Pact Magic slots/Superiority Dice/Ki points and so on back, but the long rest you just had already gave you all of those things.

What about if I have just got the benefits of a long rest (indicating that the long rest is definitely over), then I cast some spells/use other short rest resources/take damage? What if that spending of resources only takes a minute? Or 6 seconds?

In that case, you can benefit from a short rest! We know for a fact that the previous long rest is over, because if it wasn't over then you could not have gained those long rest benefits. Therefore, any time spent resting after that long rest must be nothing to do with that already expired long rest.

Any questions?
 

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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
This was already pointed out on that other thread.

And I'll point out again, that if you as a DM only deal with honest players that don't lie to you about their intentions then you as a DM can choose to only end a long rest and give the benefits of the long rest when the players say we are done and ready to go do something other than rest.

But what if the players choose not to go do something after the long rest and instead decide to rest some more? Well then you have lying players and there's going to be bigger problems with the game than resting.

So if the DM has honest players and he states he will only give a benefit to a long rest when the party is ready to go do things other than rest then there will be no way to short rest after a long rest.
 
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AaronOfBarbaria

Adventurer
The key point is that you only get these things refreshed at the end of a long rest. Therefore, if you have just had these things refreshed, that long rest must have ended!
A tautology is not the RAW answer as to when a long rest ends - it's ignoring that no answer is given by the RAW.

Because yes, you regain your resources at the end of the rest, but when is that?.
 

Satyrn

First Post
We mostly just handwave this to keep things moving.

Aye. Resting is not playing, so we just don't care. I don't even care about the length of time. I just essentially consider a short rest to be a lunch break, a catnap, or just sitting down to enjoy a sunset. A long rest is essentially a night's sleep, or a day of lounging in front of the TV.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Aye. Resting is not playing, so we just don't care. I don't even care about the length of time. I just essentially consider a short rest to be a lunch break, a catnap, or just sitting down to enjoy a sunset. A long rest is essentially a night's sleep, or a day of lounging in front of the TV.


Really is, RAW is DM fiat.
 

pming

Adventurer
Hiya!

For me, Short Rest = "50 min + (1d6 x10 min); d6 can be adjusted due to length of time PC's have been up and about. This means that the PC's (and players) never know exactly how long they have rested up...although with keeping track of torches and lantern oil, they can usually guess pretty close. And this is, IMHO, as it should be in a world where nobody has a digital clock or even a pocket watch. A Long Rest = 8 hr + 1d4 hr; d4 can be adjusted due to the same reasons above. Longest rest any party has taken, iirc, was 14 hours (party was all spent...very low hp's, almost no spells, and had been having large fights and running/traveling for something like 20 hours).

RAW is fine if it is used as it is intended: as a guideline.

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 


Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
Related question:
If a long rest gets interrupted after 1-7 hours, does it count as a short rest?

For example: The characters stop for a long rest. They are attacked by wandering monsters 4 hours into the rest. The players want to roll HD before combat starts, as though they have taken a short rest.

Thoughts?
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Woah, talk about adversarial DM.

Yep, every morning that player cheats by doing calesthenics for an hour before breakfast.

Talk about an adversarial player...

1 player doesn't get to hold the group up an hour to stay behind and do exercises for an hour.
 


FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Related question:
If a long rest gets interrupted after 1-7 hours, does it count as a short rest?

For example: The characters stop for a long rest. They are attacked by wandering monsters 4 hours into the rest. The players want to roll HD before combat starts, as though they have taken a short rest.

Thoughts?

I would allow it.
 

AaronOfBarbaria

Adventurer
Related question:
If a long rest gets interrupted after 1-7 hours, does it count as a short rest?

For example: The characters stop for a long rest. They are attacked by wandering monsters 4 hours into the rest. The players want to roll HD before combat starts, as though they have taken a short rest.

Thoughts?
You'd have to ask Jeremy Crawford if it is the intent, but the phrasing and layout used in the Player's Handbook suggests that the players are expected to be declaring what sort of rest is being taken, such as "We take a short rest" or "We take a long rest", and then the paragraph of text under the appropriate heading in the book applies - and neither of those paragraphs include text explicitly stating (or even implying, really) that one type of rest can automatically become the other.

So in this specific case, I'd say the answer that appear to be supported by the text in the book, and that I would use at my own table are: No, an interrupted long rest that went at least 1 hour before being interrupted doesn't count as a short rest. No, the characters trying to take a long rest and being attacked 4 hours into it don't get to roll HD, they'd have to have been taking a short rest to do that and would have to have ended that short rest sometime before the wandering monsters showed up because combat of any length spoils a short rest.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I wanted to add:

If a player wakes up after 8 hours and tells me his character is starting to do a vigorous exercise for the next hour then I will gladly end his long before the exercise as long as the rest of the group doesn't mind waiting on him to finish or doing something else for the hour he is exercising.

He can even short rest after the exercise if the group is okay with that.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
You'd have to ask Jeremy Crawford if it is the intent, but the phrasing and layout used in the Player's Handbook suggests that the players are expected to be declaring what sort of rest is being taken, such as "We take a short rest" or "We take a long rest", and then the paragraph of text under the appropriate heading in the book applies - and neither of those paragraphs include text explicitly stating (or even implying, really) that one type of rest can automatically become the other.

So in this specific case, I'd say the answer that appear to be supported by the text in the book, and that I would use at my own table are: No, an interrupted long rest that went at least 1 hour before being interrupted doesn't count as a short rest. No, the characters trying to take a long rest and being attacked 4 hours into it don't get to roll HD, they'd have to have been taking a short rest to do that and would have to have ended that short rest sometime before the wandering monsters showed up because combat of any length spoils a short rest.

Hmmm, I forgot about monsters showing up stopping a short rest. I change my ruling. They would not get a short rest benefit for being interrupted in a long rest after an hour
 

AaronOfBarbaria

Adventurer
I wanted to add:

If a player wakes up after 8 hours and tells me his character is starting to do a vigorous exercise for the next hour then I will gladly end his long before the exercise as long as the rest of the group doesn't mind waiting on him to finish or doing something else for the hour he is exercising.

He can even short rest after the exercise if the group is okay with that.
Yes, and I too should be sure to add that I'm okay with separating a long rest and a short rest with a meaningful period of exercise (i.e. "a quick jog" or "my normal morning calisthenics routine", but not "I do like 4 jumping-jacks" or some other thing which is clearly trying to exploit a perceived loophole in the resting rules).
 



Saelorn

Hero
So if the DM has honest players and he states he will only give a benefit to a long rest when the party is ready to go do things other than rest then there will be no way to short rest after a long rest.
That is not a resting option which this game supports, though. All of the variants in the book just change the amount of time involved for a short rest and a long rest. None of them create conditionals that depend upon future action declaration. A DM who states that they will only give the benefit of a long rest when the party is ready to not take a short rest is not playing under the rules that we're discussing.

It's fine of the DM wants to invent a new rule for that sort of thing, of course, but it would fall clearly within discussion of house rules and would not in any way be relevant to general discourse about resting.
 

Uller

Adventurer
Related question:
If a long rest gets interrupted after 1-7 hours, does it count as a short rest?

For example: The characters stop for a long rest. They are attacked by wandering monsters 4 hours into the rest. The players want to roll HD before combat starts, as though they have taken a short rest.

Thoughts?

If there is any reasonable chance of a combat encounter then I count the first hour of a long rest as a short rest and tell my players. They can gain the benefits of a short rest and spend some HD if they want. Then we finish the long rest and they get the long rest benefits.

This encourages them to maybe spend a little more HD. A PC that is sitting under 25% of max hp is going to want to spend some HD.
 

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