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D&D 5E Homebrew rules for resting and recharge of abilities

Rockyroad

Explorer
Ok, I know the rules I'm about to introduce are pretty far out there, but I think it addresses a problem I have with how resting and recharging of class abilities and hit dice are handled in 5e.

The problem I see is that the recharge is tied to the passage of time and not to the actual amount of "work" or encounters you have. 5 min work days are a problem when the game is supposedly calibrated around having 6 to 8 encounters a day, especially when trying to balance encounter difficulty and balance between short and long rest dependent classes. This puts the onus on the DM to try to control the pacing of the game, a very challenging task when faced with the vastly varying time scales inherent in the different modes of play such overland exploration where encounters are measured in days to weeks and a dungeon crawl where encounters can be measured in minutes. This has lead to all sorts of variant resting rules trying to shoehorn the resting times to adjust to the pacing of the game where a short rest can take anywhere from 5 mins to 8 hrs and a long rest from 8 hrs to a week.

The rules that follow get around this problem by basing the recharge of abilities on the number of encounters the party faces and not on resting times. This way, recharges will be more consistent whether you're in a roleplay heavy game with few combat encounters or a hack and slash dungeon crawl, and the DM doesn't have to worry about adjusting the pace or the difficulty level of encounters to make sure the party isn't completely bored by lack of challenge or constantly in fear of a TPK.


The rules:

1. Short Rests are 5 mins and Long Rests are 8 hrs. You must take at least 1 Long rest in a 24 hr period or gain 1 level of exhaustion.
2. Any amount of remaining HD can be expended as usual during Short or Long Rests.
3. Class abilities such as Ki points or Spell slots along with HD are only recharged during a Short or Long Rest by rolling "Recharge Dice" with a successful recharge occurring on a roll of 12 or higher. No hit point recharge during Long Rests.
4. Recharge Dice are awarded to the party following combat encounters according to the difficulty level of the encounter as judged by the DM as follows: 1d6 for Easy, 2d6 for Normal, 3d6 for Hard, and 4d6 for Deadly.
5. Recharge Dice can be accumulated or expended between encounters however the party chooses.
6. Long Rest dependent abilities and half your HD recharge only every third successful recharge whereas Short Rest dependent abilities recharge on every successful roll. (Notice that the recharge of Short and Long Rest dependent abilities are not tied to Short and Long Rests respectively and that they can recharge during any rest with the only caveat being that Long rest abilities only recharge on every third successful roll.)

Thoughts? Besides the lack of realism and gameyness of the system, any mechanical problems and unforseen interactions with the game?
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Instead of something so fiddly, implement a rule where you can only benefit from a Short rest after 2 encounters (and they're largely handwaved), and a Long rest after 6, unless the DM rules otherwise.
Agreed. If you’re cool with recovery being based on number of encounters, this would be a much cleaner way to accomplish that.
 

Rockyroad

Explorer
Instead of something so fiddly, implement a rule where you can only benefit from a Short rest after 2 encounters (and they're largely handwaved), and a Long rest after 6, unless the DM rules otherwise.
Yeah that's definitely easier, but I was trying to make it a bit more random and somehow take the encounter difficulty level into consideration. Either way, from a role play aspect I find it hard to justify doing the recharges based on the number of encounters vs the standard resting mechanic but I like how it makes it easier to be fairer and more consistent with the recharge. I don't have to say, "No you can't rest again! You just rested 15 minutes ago!"
 

I don't have to say, "No you can't rest again! You just rested 15 minutes ago!"

Once your players get a feel for the fact you're hard on resting/ policing it, IME they stop asking and start conserving resources appropriately.

I basically have a chat with them about it at session zero, and then prompt them a bit as they play ('Are you sure you want to use that ability now; you still have to track down the BBEG later on remember'), put them on the occasional doom clock, and so forth.

Attempts to abuse the 5 MWD are met with strange increases in wandering monster frequency, restless nights of sleep that provide no mechanical benefit, BBEG's getting away and reinforcing, and patrons getting angry the PCs they hired are taking so long etc.

I really would have liked a resource system based around the individual encounter instead of a whole day but that's what we got.

It provides some advantages over a per encounter recharge mechanism, but it can be hard for many DMs to effectively police and enforce/ manage.
 

Stalker0

Legend
1. Short Rests are 5 mins and Long Rests are 8 hrs. You must take at least 1 Long rest in a 24 hr period or gain 1 level of exhaustion.
2. Any amount of remaining HD can be expended as usual during Short or Long Rests.
3. Class abilities such as Ki points or Spell slots along with HD are only recharged during a Short or Long Rest by rolling "Recharge Dice" with a successful recharge occurring on a roll of 12 or higher. No hit point recharge during Long Rests.
4. Recharge Dice are awarded to the party following combat encounters according to the difficulty level of the encounter as judged by the DM as follows: 1d6 for Easy, 2d6 for Normal, 3d6 for Hard, and 4d6 for Deadly.
5. Recharge Dice can be accumulated or expended between encounters however the party chooses.
6. Long Rest dependent abilities and half your HD recharge only every third successful recharge whereas Short Rest dependent abilities recharge on every successful roll. (Notice that the recharge of Short and Long Rest dependent abilities are not tied to Short and Long Rests respectively and that they can recharge during any rest with the only caveat being that Long rest abilities only recharge on every third successful roll.)
Since we already established that you are looking for a bit more randomness in your recharging, lets see how well these rules accomplish that.

So let me use an example to ensure I am understanding things correctly.

1) Bob the Fighter uses his Action Surge, Indomitable, and Second wind abilities during a hard fight. The party gets 3 recharge die.

2) The party decides to keep going (no short rest), but Bob feels his going to need his mojo for the next fight. Bob rolls his 3d6, and as the fortunes are with him, gets a 12! His Action Surge and Second Wind both recover. His Indomitable does not recover yet (its a long rest ability), but he does have 1 out of the 3 successes he needs to get it back.

3) The next day (after a long rest), the party has a deadly fight, and gains 4d6. Bob lost half his hp (but no short rest abilities). The party decides though that they are hurt enough, and they take a short rest (5 min). Bob rolls several of his Hitdice and recovers his HP. He still has 4d6 recover die.

4) After a few more fights, Bob has amassed 10d6 recovery die, and is feeling really spent. He decides to try and recover. He rolls 4d6, but gets a 5 and fails:( Bob now has 6d6 recovery die remaining. This time he rolls all 6d6, getting a 15, and recovers his short rest abilities. This is now his second successful recharge (do these reset after a long rest?...its not clear), so he still needs 1 more for long rest recovery.


Ok so assuming I have it right, my thoughts:

1) Noting that with 4d6, you have a ballpark 24% of not recharging. That's a pretty high failure rate, whereas 5d6 is only balpark 5%. So I would imagine most people (unless they are gamblers) will try to wait until 5d6 is awarded. So a short rest recovery every couple of encounters, or perhaps after each deadly (but with some players not recharging).

That seems in the ballpark, though you may want to consider a 5d6 reward for deadly encounters.

2) I would offer at least some bonus for a player that fails their roll, as failure and not getting your stuff back when every one else in the party does is going to have bad mouthfeel. Perhaps a +X bonus or a +1d6 to the next roll if you failed the previous one. You may also want to add a "3 fails is an auto success" for that player with notoriously bad dice luck.

3) Conversely you may want to offer something where if a player gets a high enough roll (lets say a 20), they get 2 successes toward a long rest. This way players who don't expend short rest abilities as quickly and build up their die have a little something extra to hope for, as opposed to a player that has been recharging frequently and now gets to long rest recharge before they do.


In general, I like your idea for short rests and don't like it for long. I think the short rest idea could be interesting and dynamic. But the long rest area feels too prone to randomness (as a lot of times when a party is ready for long rest they NEED a long rest). So personally I would keep your system for short rest abilities, but keep long rest the same (long rest everything resets and you get your stuff back).
 

Rockyroad

Explorer
2) The party decides to keep going (no short rest), but Bob feels his going to need his mojo for the next fight. Bob rolls his 3d6, and as the fortunes are with him, gets a 12!
I had meant for the Recharge Dice to be applied to the entire party rather than each individual character rolling independently to keep it more balanced in case someone has a run of bad luck, but this is an interesting idea.
This is now his second successful recharge (do these reset after a long rest?...its not clear), so he still needs 1 more for long rest recovery.
The dice are not reset after a long rest. The only purpose of the rests are to give you an opportunity to expend your Recharge Dice and Hit Dice. And I was thinking this but forgot to put it down on the rules. The dice are not expended when the recharge attempt fails, but you can't make another attempt to recharge until after the next encounter.
In general, I like your idea for short rests and don't like it for long. I think the short rest idea could be interesting and dynamic. But the long rest area feels too prone to randomness (as a lot of times when a party is ready for long rest they NEED a long rest). So personally I would keep your system for short rest abilities, but keep long rest the same (long rest everything resets and you get your stuff back).
I purposely made it so that you need to have 2 short rest recharges before a long rest recharge to keep the balance between the short rest dependent classes like fighters and warlocks (who only get 1 or 2 spell slots per short rest) and the long rest classes.
 

Ok, I know the rules I'm about to introduce are pretty far out there, but I think it addresses a problem I have with how resting and recharging of class abilities and hit dice are handled in 5e.

The problem I see is that the recharge is tied to the passage of time and not to the actual amount of "work" or encounters you have. 5 min work days are a problem when the game is supposedly calibrated around having 6 to 8 encounters a day, especially when trying to balance encounter difficulty and balance between short and long rest dependent classes. This puts the onus on the DM to try to control the pacing of the game, a very challenging task when faced with the vastly varying time scales inherent in the different modes of play such overland exploration where encounters are measured in days to weeks and a dungeon crawl where encounters can be measured in minutes. This has lead to all sorts of variant resting rules trying to shoehorn the resting times to adjust to the pacing of the game where a short rest can take anywhere from 5 mins to 8 hrs and a long rest from 8 hrs to a week.

The rules that follow get around this problem by basing the recharge of abilities on the number of encounters the party faces and not on resting times. This way, recharges will be more consistent whether you're in a roleplay heavy game with few combat encounters or a hack and slash dungeon crawl, and the DM doesn't have to worry about adjusting the pace or the difficulty level of encounters to make sure the party isn't completely bored by lack of challenge or constantly in fear of a TPK.


The rules:

1. Short Rests are 5 mins and Long Rests are 8 hrs. You must take at least 1 Long rest in a 24 hr period or gain 1 level of exhaustion.
2. Any amount of remaining HD can be expended as usual during Short or Long Rests.
3. Class abilities such as Ki points or Spell slots along with HD are only recharged during a Short or Long Rest by rolling "Recharge Dice" with a successful recharge occurring on a roll of 12 or higher. No hit point recharge during Long Rests.
4. Recharge Dice are awarded to the party following combat encounters according to the difficulty level of the encounter as judged by the DM as follows: 1d6 for Easy, 2d6 for Normal, 3d6 for Hard, and 4d6 for Deadly.
5. Recharge Dice can be accumulated or expended between encounters however the party chooses.
6. Long Rest dependent abilities and half your HD recharge only every third successful recharge whereas Short Rest dependent abilities recharge on every successful roll. (Notice that the recharge of Short and Long Rest dependent abilities are not tied to Short and Long Rests respectively and that they can recharge during any rest with the only caveat being that Long rest abilities only recharge on every third successful roll.)

Thoughts? Besides the lack of realism and gameyness of the system, any mechanical problems and unforseen interactions with the game?
I think that I like it, or at least feel that any rough edges discovered in play could be handled easily enough with some small tweaking.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
13th Age is a d20 from Jonathan Tweet and Rob Heinsoo that came out a bit before 5e but really shares a lot of the streamlined design philosophy. Basically, it has Encounter powers that come back as long as you can take any breather, and Full Heal-ups which happen after four encounters. Doesn't matter if they are in the morning and you do another four in the afternoon, or spread across a three week trek.

DMs can grant them sooner, and the players can take one earlier but they pay with the currentcy of a campaign loss. So maybe the enemy has reinforcements, or another person goes missing, or the murderer kills again - you get the idea.

Now, every encounter / every four encounters for short/long is about twice as common as 5e expects, but just do it every other and every 8. (Well, I'd do it every 4 or every 6 in Tier 1, then every 8 in Tier 2 and higher - 13th Age starts with more uses of powers but grows them MUCH slower than 5e casters.)
 

Stalker0

Legend
The dice are not expended when the recharge attempt fails, but you can't make another attempt to recharge until after the next encounter.
Ok, so this changes the math a bit, and definitely reduces the overall randomness and concerns about failure. The fact that the party all recharges together I also agree with, so that helps as well.

I still think that the long rest mechanic is too dice dependent. The problem is not the minimum, the idea that you want a long rest only after 2 "short rest equivalents" makes plenty of sense. The problem is the maximum, if the dice are cold, you could have players performing encounter after encounter after encounter with no short or long rest options.

Going back to your mission statement, you noted the following:

"DM doesn't have to worry about adjusting the pace or the difficulty level of encounters to make sure the party isn't completely bored by lack of challenge or constantly in fear of a TPK."

"The problem I see is that the recharge is tied to the passage of time and not to the actual amount of "work" or encounters you have"


The randomness of your long rests goes against these desire. The pacing is now not on the amount of work the party puts in, but on the whims of the die. If players are going against the big bad, have had 3 deadly encounters and are completely tapped....they have no way to recover without another encounter....and the fear of a TPK will be very real.

That is why I think the best middle ground is to compromise on your long rest mechanic. For example, here are some additional rules that can help smooth out the kinks:

Idea 1
Major Recovery (using a different name than long rest as ultimately that's confusing, major recovery is getting long rest abilities back but not hp): The players receive a major recovery whenever they have performed a minor recovery 3 times or received 15 total recharge die since the last Major Recovery.

--This gives us a little buffer if the dice are stone cold. Now the party will always get a "Long Rest" whenever they have done a certain number of encounters, no matter how luck is going. They might have received it quicker with good luck, but will always get it.

Idea 2
When the party performs a long rest, they receive 2 to 5 recovery die depending on the area (DM determines how restful the location is and bases the die on that).

--Gives the players a bit of control outside of encounters. Its no where near what a long rest does for them in the base edition, but gives them something if they are completely tapped and absolutely have to rest to move forward.
 

Rockyroad

Explorer
Idea 1
Major Recovery (using a different name than long rest as ultimately that's confusing, major recovery is getting long rest abilities back but not hp): The players receive a major recovery whenever they have performed a minor recovery 3 times or received 15 total recharge die since the last Major Recovery.

--This gives us a little buffer if the dice are stone cold. Now the party will always get a "Long Rest" whenever they have done a certain number of encounters, no matter how luck is going. They might have received it quicker with good luck, but will always get it.
With the original rules the party will always get a Major recharge on every 3rd recharge, butI like your idea of getting an automatic Major recharge if you have accumulated enough Recharge Dice. This guarantees a long rest recharge after a certain number of encounters even if you haven't had any short rest recharges. This may be the way a party with only long rest dependent classes would go.
 

Stalker0

Legend
With the original rules the party will always get a Major recharge on every 3rd recharge
I'm wondering if we have a language barrier here. Are you saying that a major recharge is triggered whenever the party "attempts" the 3rd recharge roll, or when they get a "successful" 3 recharges?

I was interpreting it as the latter.
 

Rockyroad

Explorer
I'm wondering if we have a language barrier here. Are you saying that a major recharge is triggered whenever the party "attempts" the 3rd recharge roll, or when they get a "successful" 3 recharges?

I was interpreting it as the latter.
It's the latter, on successful recharge. I think I misunderstood your other post.
 

Larnievc

Explorer
Ok, I know the rules I'm about to introduce are pretty far out there, but I think it addresses a problem I have with how resting and recharging of class abilities and hit dice are handled in 5e.

The problem I see is that the recharge is tied to the passage of time and not to the actual amount of "work" or encounters you have. 5 min work days are a problem when the game is supposedly calibrated around having 6 to 8 encounters a day, especially when trying to balance encounter difficulty and balance between short and long rest dependent classes. This puts the onus on the DM to try to control the pacing of the game, a very challenging task when faced with the vastly varying time scales inherent in the different modes of play such overland exploration where encounters are measured in days to weeks and a dungeon crawl where encounters can be measured in minutes. This has lead to all sorts of variant resting rules trying to shoehorn the resting times to adjust to the pacing of the game where a short rest can take anywhere from 5 mins to 8 hrs and a long rest from 8 hrs to a week.

The rules that follow get around this problem by basing the recharge of abilities on the number of encounters the party faces and not on resting times. This way, recharges will be more consistent whether you're in a roleplay heavy game with few combat encounters or a hack and slash dungeon crawl, and the DM doesn't have to worry about adjusting the pace or the difficulty level of encounters to make sure the party isn't completely bored by lack of challenge or constantly in fear of a TPK.


The rules:

1. Short Rests are 5 mins and Long Rests are 8 hrs. You must take at least 1 Long rest in a 24 hr period or gain 1 level of exhaustion.
2. Any amount of remaining HD can be expended as usual during Short or Long Rests.
3. Class abilities such as Ki points or Spell slots along with HD are only recharged during a Short or Long Rest by rolling "Recharge Dice" with a successful recharge occurring on a roll of 12 or higher. No hit point recharge during Long Rests.
4. Recharge Dice are awarded to the party following combat encounters according to the difficulty level of the encounter as judged by the DM as follows: 1d6 for Easy, 2d6 for Normal, 3d6 for Hard, and 4d6 for Deadly.
5. Recharge Dice can be accumulated or expended between encounters however the party chooses.
6. Long Rest dependent abilities and half your HD recharge only every third successful recharge whereas Short Rest dependent abilities recharge on every successful roll. (Notice that the recharge of Short and Long Rest dependent abilities are not tied to Short and Long Rests respectively and that they can recharge during any rest with the only caveat being that Long rest abilities only recharge on every third successful roll.)

Thoughts? Besides the lack of realism and gameyness of the system, any mechanical problems and unforseen interactions with the game?
It would not be for me because it’s a bit fiddly. But gaminess is not a problem: after all it is a game.

I ran into similar problem. I solved it by saying that after every 2 encounters the PCs get the normal benefits of a short rest. After every 6 sessions you get the benefit of a long rest. Both ‘rests’ take no time

You also need to sleep 8 hours per day or you get and exhaustion level per day.

This keeps things moving along nicely, they can’t force rests so no 5 minute adventure day.

DM can declare a long rest if it makes sense in the narrative and reset the encounter counter.
 

Rockyroad

Explorer
It would not be for me because it’s a bit fiddly. But gaminess is not a problem: after all it is a game.

I ran into similar problem. I solved it by saying that after every 2 encounters the PCs get the normal benefits of a short rest. After every 6 sessions you get the benefit of a long rest. Both ‘rests’ take no time

You also need to sleep 8 hours per day or you get and exhaustion level per day.

This keeps things moving along nicely, they can’t force rests so no 5 minute adventure day.

DM can declare a long rest if it makes sense in the narrative and reset the encounter counter.
Yeah this is the way I would go if I wanted to streamline it.
 

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