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D&D 5E House rule to force spellcasters with daily spell slots to take short rests

Have you considered simply reminding everyone (not Warforged) that they still need to eat and if they're going to take most of an hour out of their day to cook and eat a nice hot meal than they might as well take a full hour and call it a short rest.

Something like this - sleep (or trance) (long rest) breakfast, adventure, lunch (short rest), adventure, dinner (short rest), maybe more adventure, sleep again.
 

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For the sake of bringing this thread back to what I actually wanted to talk about, let's say we also house-rule eldritch blast to work like fire bolt. What then?
I think it's still too low. If you've only got one spell slot per level per short rest then you're going to be extremely reluctant to spend them on anything utility related. (This is one reason why evocations are important to warlocks).

I think I would also - with a short rest reload - not have the slots be so level specific. If the number is lower then so is the complexity - so maybe give some flexibility to go with it - basically use spell points.

Getting the right number is difficult - in theory it's long rest number/3 - but you also need to take into account that casters often don't spread their spells out evenly over the day. You might use 2/3s of your spells in a boss fight at the end of the day. So just dividing the long rest number of slots by 3 is going to feel like a nerf.
 

I think it's still too low. If you've only got one spell slot per level per short rest then you're going to be extremely reluctant to spend them on anything utility related. (This is one reason why evocations are important to warlocks).

But Warlocks have 2 slots per long rest for levels 2-10.

And from 5th level, Hex lasts effectively all day long.

Meaning from 5th level, your average 6ish encounter/ 2 short rest adventuring day, you have enough 'juice' to get off 5 x 3rd level spells, plus concentrate on Hex and spam Eldritch blast, which puts you on par with any other 5th level long rest caster.
 

For the sake of bringing this thread back to what I actually wanted to talk about, let's say we also house-rule eldritch blast to work like fire bolt. What then?
likely solves a lot of problems but you still have the problem @Don Durito mentioned and stuff like monks being able to make flurry the default action & possibly flurry+stunning strike+possible archetype goodies for 3 attacks with extra benefits most if not every round on top of all the other cool monk features once the party starts resting after every fight while fighters don't get a third attack till 11... Normally the fact that the party is unlikely to rest after every fight limits that considerably but not so with your fix.

It doesn't end there for fighter problems though,second wind & action surge back on a short rest, everything seems ok until you notice battlemasrer & psi warrior get back superiority/psionic energy dice on a short rest & rune knights get back their rune while many other fighter archetpes get bupkis.

It doesn't end there either. Your spell slot rejiggering might work fine for a land/shepherd/etc druid, but for a moon druid it means:
  • always have two wildshape forms but fewer spellslots to heal with so any tough fight will knock them out rather than taxing their slots.
  • at 11+ they transform into a earth/fire/water/air elemental for 5+ hours & after the first fight or two have a second fresh one waiting to go plus some spell slots to heal it.
The more you look, the more other class & archetype specific edge cases that will either be broken or make someone's life miserable until you introduce yet another one off fix you can hope won't prove problematic just to support this change. This sisyphean task should be a positively trivial change, but WotC set you up to fail on this matter by pegging short rest classes to higher bar than long rest on the assumption they would often run low & fall back & that's the kind of stuff people were alluding to upthread.
 

But Warlocks have 2 slots per long rest for levels 2-10.

And from 5th level, Hex lasts effectively all day long.

Meaning from 5th level, your average 6ish encounter/ 2 short rest adventuring day, you have enough 'juice' to get off 5 x 3rd level spells, plus concentrate on Hex and spam Eldritch blast, which puts you on par with any other 5th level long rest caster.
That's a good point. Hex changes the math on thoe EB casts to easily round it up to the next full level before the repelling gives it another solid bump
 

p_johnston

Explorer
So the funny thing is I have tried the same thing in reverse (turning the short rest classes into long rest classes). I figured it would be easier because I only really had to worry about 3 classes instead of 9. The results of that experiment were me learning that It doesn't really work that great (Increases the tendency of my Party to Nova the crap out of enemies. Also I had two monks so any boss got stun locked to death.) While I doubt turning long rest abilties into short rest ones will have the same issues I do suspect it will unbalance the game and make it less fun.

I think a simpler solution to the problem is to mess with the rest mechanics rather then trying to change a bunch of classes. I've been trying 13th age and am one hundred percent stealing the idea of "you get a long rest after about 6-8 encounters not whenever you sleep." In addition give each person only 2 long rests per short rests and it's done.
 

That's a good point. Hex changes the math on thoe EB casts to easily round it up to the next full level before the repelling gives it another solid bump

Presuming 5th level and a standard dungeon level/ ruin (do-able in a few hours) of 6ish encounters and 2 short rests (ASI used on +2 Stat at 4th) using a 'caster blaster' warlock (Fiend Tome-lock, AB, EB, book of Ancient Secrets) and a blaster wizard (Evoker):

Warlock:
At will: 2d10+2d6+8 damage cantrip plus pushback; can be split among 2 targets.
At will: rituals (Book of Ancient Secrets)
6 x 3rd level slots (1 used on Hex)
(Total 18 spell levels) - one used on Hex for 15 effective spell levels.
D8 HD, AC 15 (studded leather and Dex)
Big Boom: Fireball

Wizard:
At will: 2d10 damage
At will: rituals
4 x 1sts
3 x 2nds
2 x 3rds (+1 with arcane recovery)
(Total 19 spell levels) - one used on Mage armor for 18 effective spell levels.
D6 HD, AC 16 (Mage armour and Dex)
Big Boom: Fireball (can exclude 4 allies)

Really, the Wizard is getting more 'minor' spells off such as shield, scorching ray, mirror image, knock etc (and thus more utility and variety) and also will have more spells prepared than the Warlock (so be more of a swiss army knife) while the Warlock has the much stronger 'at will' cantrip damage, more 'big booms' via more 3rd level slots to spam Fireball, but his fireballs need to be placed more accurately.

They're looking pretty balanced at this level and at the 2 Short rests per Long rest frequency.
 

FireLance

Legend
I think it's still too low. If you've only got one spell slot per level per short rest then you're going to be extremely reluctant to spend them on anything utility related. (This is one reason why evocations are important to warlocks).

I think I would also - with a short rest reload - not have the slots be so level specific. If the number is lower then so is the complexity - so maybe give some flexibility to go with it - basically use spell points.

Getting the right number is difficult - in theory it's long rest number/3 - but you also need to take into account that casters often don't spread their spells out evenly over the day. You might use 2/3s of your spells in a boss fight at the end of the day. So just dividing the long rest number of slots by 3 is going to feel like a nerf.
I'd rather not go with spell points because that's supposed to be the sorcerer's unique feature.

One possible additional flexibility that I've thought of, which is also a nod to old-school "Vancian" spellcasting, is that spellcasters with daily slots can choose to "memorize" a number of spells equal to Proficiency Bonus -1 in addition to the one slot per spell level "generic" slots. This ties up the slot to the spell - if you've "memorized" fireball with a 3rd-level slot, you can only cast it using that 3rd-level slot and if you want to upcast it, you have to use one of your generic slots and a paladin with a "memorized" spell can't convert it into a smite. When you finish a short rest, you can "memorize" new spells (up to your limit) if you have cast "memorized" spells, change the spells you have "memorized", or choose to convert "memorized" spells back into generic spell slots.
 

So the funny thing is I have tried the same thing in reverse (turning the short rest classes into long rest classes). I figured it would be easier because I only really had to worry about 3 classes instead of 9. The results of that experiment were me learning that It doesn't really work that great (Increases the tendency of my Party to Nova the crap out of enemies. Also I had two monks so any boss got stun locked to death.) While I doubt turning long rest abilties into short rest ones will have the same issues I do suspect it will unbalance the game and make it less fun.

I think a simpler solution to the problem is to mess with the rest mechanics rather then trying to change a bunch of classes. I've been trying 13th age and am one hundred percent stealing the idea of "you get a long rest after about 6-8 encounters not whenever you sleep." In addition give each person only 2 long rests per short rests and it's done.
I had similar experiences trying that. The most notable thing about this thread is that someone is trying to bash their head against the opposite side of how people normally seem to try going about changing it.

@FireLance that might seem like a reasonable inference, but there is an entirely different imbalanced subsystem to make (many) more one off house rules become needed or throw off the math supporting your reasonable assumption on the value of those lesser slots. First is the overuse of concentration to guarantee the wizard will almost never be able to multitask & really leverage it. Second is the fact that eldritch blast & fireball are not the only massively underleveled spells. Those "intentionally overtuned" spells* are generally so much better than every other spell of that level that it dramatically distorts the landscape.

* No wotc won't make it easy on you by admitting which spells but burning hands, scorching ray, & fireball are three of them clocking in at a 2.5 level spell in a 1st level slot, a 3rd level spell in a second level slot & a fifth level spell in a third level slot respectively.
 

FireLance

Legend
likely solves a lot of problems but you still have the problem @Don Durito mentioned and stuff like monks being able to make flurry the default action & possibly flurry+stunning strike+possible archetype goodies for 3 attacks with extra benefits most if not every round on top of all the other cool monk features once the party starts resting after every fight while fighters don't get a third attack till 11... Normally the fact that the party is unlikely to rest after every fight limits that considerably but not so with your fix.

It doesn't end there for fighter problems though,second wind & action surge back on a short rest, everything seems ok until you notice battlemasrer & psi warrior get back superiority/psionic energy dice on a short rest & rune knights get back their rune while many other fighter archetpes get bupkis.

It doesn't end there either. Your spell slot rejiggering might work fine for a land/shepherd/etc druid, but for a moon druid it means:
  • always have two wildshape forms but fewer spellslots to heal with so any tough fight will knock them out rather than taxing their slots.
  • at 11+ they transform into a earth/fire/water/air elemental for 5+ hours & after the first fight or two have a second fresh one waiting to go plus some spell slots to heal it.
The more you look, the more other class & archetype specific edge cases that will either be broken or make someone's life miserable until you introduce yet another one off fix you can hope won't prove problematic just to support this change. This sisyphean task should be a positively trivial change, but WotC set you up to fail on this matter by pegging short rest classes to higher bar than long rest on the assumption they would often run low & fall back & that's the kind of stuff people were alluding to upthread.
I really don't see these as problems. As mentioned, monks are supposed to have 3-4 times their level ki points over the course of an adventuring day. On the assumption that there are two fights between short rests, that means monks are supposed to use an average of level/2 ki points per fight. Assuming 3 rounds per fight, a 10th-level monk can flurry each round and attempt two stunning strikes between rests - if they do nothing else with their ki.

As for fighters, I don't think they need to be encouraged to take short rests because they all get Second Wind and Action Surge, even if some subtypes get more benefits from a short rest.

For a moon druid, getting "knocked out" in a wild shaped form means they lose the form and take the spillover damage. They can still continue to cast spells and cantrips or attack with weapons. I actually think it would make the fight more interesting if the wild shaped druid PC has to change tactics halfway through.
 

I really don't see these as problems. As mentioned, monks are supposed to have 3-4 times their level ki points over the course of an adventuring day. On the assumption that there are two fights between short rests, that means monks are supposed to use an average of level/2 ki points per fight. Assuming 3 rounds per fight, a 10th-level monk can flurry each round and attempt two stunning strikes between rests - if they do nothing else with their ki.

As for fighters, I don't think they need to be encouraged to take short rests because they all get Second Wind and Action Surge, even if some subtypes get more benefits from a short rest.

For a moon druid, getting "knocked out" in a wild shaped form means they lose the form and take the spillover damage. They can still continue to cast spells and cantrips or attack with weapons. I actually think it would make the fight more interesting if the wild shaped druid PC has to change tactics halfway through.
problem with that "supposed to" is that by limiting long rest casters to so few spell slots you push the group to rest after every fight & massively inflate it towards 6-8x their level rather than 3-4x. That has dramatic effects that should not be discounted and can't be ignored once your game turns into literally every round the monk saying "I'm going to make my first attack, flurry on the second attack & make one of those stunning strike"

edit: Moon druid really doesn't tend to "cast spells", all of their spell slots tend to go here
1607663117445.png

So the moon druid gets knocked out of form because they don't have most of their arsenal leaving them with nothing but poor attack cantrips & the monk has virtually unlimited ki. That druid's going to have a legitimate case for being extra salty about it. With the fighters, imagine one playing a champion/cavelier/etc that just gets second wind/action surge while another fighter at your table has a bunch of cool stuff they get back like every fight.... that more log rest fighter too is going to be justified in their eventual frustration over the imbalance created by the change that makes them no longer up to par.
 
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Dragongrief

Explorer
I've noticed that the players' usual style is to use their long rest abilities (spell slots in particular) early and often instead of using short rest abilities more and conserving long rest abilities for tough fights. Then, they look for opportunities to take long rests and hardly take short rests unless they are low on resources and are pressed for time. This really hit home during one recent session when the PCs lost hit points in a fight, had to wait around a few hours before meeting an NPC, and the paladin used Lay on Hands to heal instead of taking a short rest to spend Hit Dice.

I think this is your actual issue. The players HAVE short rest abilities and options, but seem to actively ignore them.
You would probably be better served by talkng to them about short rests, rather than trying to figure out a balance on making long rest classes into short rest.

Point of reference: I play in a game with a ranger, barbarian, cleric, warlock, and rogue/bard. The warlock is the only short rest class, but we take that and hit points into consideration vs urgency and the likelihood we'll get attacked during a rest. If possible, we never "waste" spells on healing out of combat unless there is a time crunch.
 

FireLance

Legend
problem with that "supposed to" is that by limiting long rest casters to so few spell slots you push the group to rest after every fight & massively inflate it towards 6-8x their level rather than 3-4x. That has dramatic effects that should not be discounted and can't be ignored once your game turns into literally every round the monk saying "I'm going to make my first attack, flurry on the second attack & make one of those stunning strike"

edit: Moon druid really doesn't tend to "cast spells", all of their spell slots tend to go here
View attachment 129930
So the moon druid gets knocked out of form because they don't have most of their arsenal leaving them with nothing but poor attack cantrips & the monk has virtually unlimited ki. That druid's going to have a legitimate case for being extra salty about it. With the fighters, imagine one playing a champion/cavelier/etc that just gets second wind/action surge while another fighter at your table has a bunch of cool stuff they get back like every fight.... that more log rest fighter too is going to be justified in their eventual frustration over the imbalance created by the change that makes them no longer up to par.
If taking too many short rests becomes a problem, there are ways to rein it in, as mentioned upthread.

I still don't see the issue with wild shaped moon druids. While in wild shape, you can use your spell slots to heal. When you get knocked out of wild shape, you can use your spell slots to cast spells. I don't have much experience with moon druids, but it seems to me that even the CR 1 beast forms that a low-level moon druid is able to wild shape into have enough hit points to last a round or two or more in combat without needing healing. If anything, moon druid wild shapes look almost too good at low levels. And at higher levels, well, if a 9th-level moon druid thinks that regaining 4d8 hit points for his CR 3 beast form is a better option than casting ice storm, I guess it's a player choice.

If the player of a fighter PC thinks that they would have more fun with another fighter subclass, that's what the new "change your subclass" rules in Tasha's are for.
 

I've noticed that the players' usual style is to use their long rest abilities (spell slots in particular) early and often instead of using short rest abilities more and conserving long rest abilities for tough fights. Then, they look for opportunities to take long rests.

Any reason why you're letting them? As DM, you're not a helpless observer here. Far from it in fact.

In my games I often spring Doom clocks or other resting constraints on the PCs. During my midweek session planning it's the first thing I think about (how will I frame these encounters in the context of the adventuring day?).

I find if I do this enough, they naturally start to police resting themselves, pacing resource usage (and getting the short rests they can, when they can) even on days without any obvious Doom clocks or resting constraints.

I make a point (from time to time) to only let them know they're on a Doom clock a few encounters into the session as well. This ensures they really hold back on Nova strikes and pace themselves accordingly.
 

If taking too many short rests becomes a problem, there are ways to rein it in, as mentioned upthread.

I still don't see the issue with wild shaped moon druids. While in wild shape, you can use your spell slots to heal. When you get knocked out of wild shape, you can use your spell slots to cast spells. I don't have much experience with moon druids, but it seems to me that even the CR 1 beast forms that a low-level moon druid is able to wild shape into have enough hit points to last a round or two or more in combat without needing healing. If anything, moon druid wild shapes look almost too good at low levels. And at higher levels, well, if a 9th-level moon druid thinks that regaining 4d8 hit points for his CR 3 beast form is a better option than casting ice storm, I guess it's a player choice.

If the player of a fighter PC thinks that they would have more fun with another fighter subclass, that's what the new "change your subclass" rules in Tasha's are for.

It's late I'm going to bed. Your
Change involves reducing the moon druid's spell slots down to 1/1/1 from default. If they get knocked out of a form its usually because they ran out of slots and as a result do not have slots to heal with. They can already recover wild shape on a rest but tend to be more limited by their
 

FireLance

Legend
I think this is your actual issue. The players HAVE short rest abilities and options, but seem to actively ignore them.
You would probably be better served by talkng to them about short rests, rather than trying to figure out a balance on making long rest classes into short rest.

Point of reference: I play in a game with a ranger, barbarian, cleric, warlock, and rogue/bard. The warlock is the only short rest class, but we take that and hit points into consideration vs urgency and the likelihood we'll get attacked during a rest. If possible, we never "waste" spells on healing out of combat unless there is a time crunch.
Yes, I could do that, but to me, it's the difference between changing the system and fighting the system.
 

FireLance

Legend
Any reason why you're letting them? As DM, you're not a helpless observer here. Far from it in fact.

In my games I often spring Doom clocks or other resting constraints on the PCs. During my midweek session planning it's the first thing I think about (how will I frame these encounters in the context of the adventuring day?).

I find if I do this enough, they naturally start to police resting themselves, pacing resource usage (and getting the short rests they can, when they can) even on days without any obvious Doom clocks or resting constraints.

I make a point (from time to time) to only let them know they're on a Doom clock a few encounters into the session as well. This ensures they really hold back on Nova strikes and pace themselves accordingly.
The campaign shuttles between two modules/adventure paths. In one, I've wrapped up Dragon of Icespire Peak and I'm moving on to Storm Lord's Wrath, and the second is Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. I do tweak encounters, but I don't want to keep adding doom clocks that aren't already in the module(s). Besides, I'd rather have the rules work with me to encourage the desired level of pacing than to keep relying on an external constraint.
 

I do tweak encounters, but I don't want to keep adding doom clocks that aren't already in the module(s).
Most Doom clocks though are organic in the actual adventure.

I ran (recently) Age of Worms (including the C series of AD&D modules and the Pathfinder Kobold Crown intro modules) converted to 5e. None of them were 5E specific.

It played out like this:

- Hollows Last Hope - PCs must find a cure for the plague affecting Falcons Hollow. X number of villagers are dying each day, and to make things worse, 1 PC has also contracted the plague! The PCs must find the cure before it's too late, or they dont get paid. Early success grants a bonus.

- Whispering Cairn - Rival adventurers are in town; the PCs find out they intend to sack the Whispering Cairn in 3 days time. Can the PCs loot the ruins before the rival Adventurers return and strip it of everything valuable? Once in the dungeon, the PCs are cursed by a Ghost of Allister Land; they have 24 hour to find his remains and lay them to rest, or else the Curse becomes permanent... unfortunately those remains are now in the hands of an evil necromancer...

- Crown of the Kobold King - on laying the bones to rest, the PCs return to Falcons Hollow to find several children have been kidnapped by Kobolds! Can the PCs rescue the children before they're eaten by the Kobolds... or worse!

- Three faces of Evil (no doom clock, but the Cultists are reactionary to the PCs and leave the area if faced with Nova tactics, depriving the PCs of useful information.

- Encounter at Blackwall Keep - the PCs arrive to a seige of a castle by Lizardfolk, After dealing with the Lizardfolk, they discover that the keeps Captain has been captured by the Lizardfolk. Can the PCs find her and rescue her before she is sacrificed to the Lizardfolks dark God at midnight the following day?

- Lost Island of Castanamir - While sailing to the Free City, the PCs ship is attacked by a Chimera. After the battle, the PCs ship needs extensive repairs from the Chimeras flame breath. Docking at a nearby mysterious island that appears on no maps, the PCs decide to explore the island. Once there, they find themselves trapped in a nefarious teleportaion maze set up by the mad Archamge Castanamir. Can the PCs figure out the teleporters and find their way out of the maze, before their Ship leaves in 3 days time, marooning them on the island... and while being stalked by 2 halfling assassins, also trapped in the maze!

- Hall of Harsh Reflections - one of the PCs has been captured! Can the PCs find and save their comrade from their captors in the Free City before they're interrogated or worse? Unbeknown to the PCs, one of their number is also secretly a Doppleganger who works to undermine their progress...

- The Champions Belt - the PCs go undercover in the fighting pits of the Free City; there they will have to deal with 3 Arena battles each day... while also spending their nights sneaking out and searching for evidene about the evil God of Undeath, Kyuss.

The above got the PCs all the way to 11th level (from 1st) and they were pretty much on a Doom clock the whole way.

This largely continued throughout with White Plume Mountain (the Doom clock was the mad Archmage Keraptis was returning in 5 hours time... find as many of the three Legendary weapons as they can before then and get out before he does!) and Tomb of Horrors (The 'true tomb' area was a giant life sink. Once the PCs got past the one way adamantine door, they were making DC 20 Charisma saves every 4 hours or lost a Life Level (-1 to all saves, skills and attack rolls, and lose your highest level spell slot) with no way to get them back other than resting outside the Tomb),

Besides, I'd rather have the rules work with me to encourage the desired level of pacing than to keep relying on an external constraint.
Then use the Gritty rest variant in the DMG instead. That completely stops Nova strikes seeing as it takes an entire week of downtime to get those slots back.

You have options.
 

loverdrive

Makin' cool stuff
I think that the actual problem is that it's pretty hard to squeze 6-8 encounters per long rest without making things ridiculous.

So I guess a better idea would be just limiting the amount of long rests, either using gritty realism rule or just placing a cap of 1 long rest per week, while it still being 8 hours.
 


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