5E If you had to choose: short rest vs long rest

Would you rather all abilities recover on a short rest or a long rest?

  • Short Rest (All)

    Votes: 6 14.3%
  • Short Rest (Primarily)

    Votes: 19 45.2%
  • Long Rest (All)

    Votes: 17 40.5%

  • Total voters
    42

Xeviat

Adventurer
I'm about to start a 5E version of Red Hand of Doom, a 3.5 adventure. One thing I'm finding is just how drastic the change in encounter assumptions changes adventure design.

In 3E, characters were expected to be able to handle 4 encounters per day with an Encounter Level equal to their own: a single monster's EL was equal to it's CR.

In 5E, characters are expected to be able to handle 6-8 medium encounters per day, but they're also expected to get 2 short rests in there.

So, where a 3E adventuring day could easily be, say, attacking a keep with 4 different encounters in one go, a 5E version would need to be spaces out more and allow for the characters to squeeze in two one-hour rests.

When I was working on converting Red Hand of Doom to 4E, the encounter structure made it easier to design. Shorter rests between encounters made it easier to pace.

So, I'm wondering what you would rather play in: a game that house ruled daily resources to be divided by 3 and restored on a shorter short rest, or to have short rest resources be multiplied by 3 (and, maybe further limited in how often they work). I'm strongly leaning towards switching everything to an encounter structure, but I'm curious what others think.

Please, leave "it's fine as it is" out as an answer; I want to know which house rule you'd rather try.

Short Rest (All): Long rest recovery abilities would be divided by 3. If they are less than 3, they'd be reevaluated.

Short Rest (Primarily): Long rest recovery abilities would be divided by 3, but 1/long rest abilities would remain (like Mystic Arcanum and high level spell slots).

Long Rest (All): all short rest recovery abilities would have their uses increased by 3 times. These abilities may need other limitations if being able to use them multiple times in the same encounter would be a problem.
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
My question is why are you doing this?

You say a 5E version needs to put in time for rests for pacing, and I disagree. 5E doesn't have to be played that way. We routinely have 5-8 encounters before a rest of any kind (short or long).

I think this is a error in the mindset of players IME. The game shouldn't be a planned out formula IMO. It should be organic, and because of that players should always conserve resources until absolutely needed.

I don't understand the mindset of recovering resources after X encounters--never made sense to me. Recovering on a long rest (e.g. "sleeping") always made sense because that is when people feel refreshed, etc. IRL. I can understand some things on the short rest, since you are going to feel better after a break, but by X encounters doesn't mean a thing really. Given a break and a chance to rest (at least some) I might even understand a per encounter idea--but regardless IMO time should be the required factor, not number of encounters.
 

jmartkdr2

Explorer
Of the house rules, I'd be more inclined to try "everything on a short rest" simply because I haven't played that way before.

But one thing I have done is allow shorter short rests to help with pacing in the dungeon (an hour is a lot) - it works fine.
 
Changing the current structure to short rests would greatly empower full casters, even if you divide the number of spells slots recovered. Moving short rest abilities to long rest by multiplying their use would fit much better.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
I would use primarily short rests. Have every spellcaster use the Warlock format for spells-- 1-3 slots per short rest cast at highest level (as per the warlock class table) and a handful of 1st level spells available for "free" with no slot via Invocations.

Yes, it would involve a little bit of work to create potential "invocations" that are meant for divine casters, primal casters and other arcane characters (probably renaming a few of the standard invocations as well to remove the hard fiend/GOO flavor) but if you want everyone on the same short rest page... that's the best way to do it in my opinion. You already know Warlock casting has been playtested to work in the game... so just put everyone on that train.

The only thing I would keep on long rests are the natural healing / hit dice mechanics. Which is why switching over to short rest casting is good... not having spellcasting and natural healing on the same timetable is beneficial and allows you to tweak your healing levels without messing up your casters..
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
I voted short, but really I would say it depends on how you want any individual encounter to impact other encounters within an adventure day.

If you want to keep to that 3E model, where resource attrition is a major challenge to manage (theoretically, at least for 3E), and blowing a lot of resources on encounter 1 makes encounter 4 much more difficult, than you probably want to move to a long rest model.

If you want each encounter to be roughly resource-independent on more dependent on tactical use of resources, than move to short rest.
 

Xeviat

Adventurer
Changing the current structure to short rests would greatly empower full casters, even if you divide the number of spells slots recovered. Moving short rest abilities to long rest by multiplying their use would fit much better.
Why do you think full casters would be empowered if their total slots were divided by 1/3rd or they were switched to Warlock casting?
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Why do you think full casters would be empowered if their total slots were divided by 1/3rd or they were switched to Warlock casting?
I can see an argument for it, especially if you have a short rest caster that knows they're going to be able to get their spells back after 1-2 encounters. Having a deep spell capacity is useful in 5e, but not as useful as earlier editions because so many of the strong spells are effectively 1/encounter due to concentration.

Still, I think having the capacity to drop multiple higher-level spells in case of emergency (as a long rest caster does) is still overall a better and stronger option.
 

Coroc

Hero
Context. With a 6-8 encounter day you need the SR.
If you ask for me to generally chose one of them and leave out the other it is LR of course, because it is kind of more "realistic"
 

the Jester

Legend
No, I prefer that all abilities not refresh on the same schedule at all. Changing everything to the same recharge timing would require a massive rewrite of the whole game. I think.
 
Why do you think full casters would be empowered if their total slots were divided by 1/3rd or they were switched to Warlock casting?
Warlocks casting might work, but dividing the spell slots won't. How will you divide spell slots with less than 3? Can casters choose which ones to recover (in which they'd take the higher level ones). I tried something similar with dividing by 2, and found a huge issue once you got to 6th level spells. Dividing by 3 is going to be even more difficult.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Long rest like it or not it's D&D.

A lot of modern arguements still don't address the root of the problem which was made back in late 90s.

They gave the players to much candy and they got addicted to suger.

They can't fix it because it's become fundamental to modern game design.
 
One option I've considered for short rest recovery is:

Short rest abilities start with twice their uses after a long rest. A character may recover abilities up to the amounts listed in the PHB when taking a short rest but cannot go over the amount listed in the PHB due to a short rest. This allows them to play well even in fewer encounter games while also not taking away the incentive for short resting or the different resource paces.

Example:
Battlemaster starts day with 2 uses of 2nd wind. 2 uses of action surge. 8 superiority dice.

After the first combat he has 2 uses of 2nd wind remaining. 1 action surge remaining. 3 superiority dice remaining.
The party then short rests. He goes to 2 uses of 2nd win. 1 action surge. 4 superiority dice remaining.
 
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Xeviat

Adventurer
Context. With a 6-8 encounter day you need the SR.
If you ask for me to generally chose one of them and leave out the other it is LR of course, because it is kind of more "realistic"
This is the thing I'm looking to address. If nearly everything was short rest, or if everything was long rest, then you'd only have to stress about balancing the encounter or the day. Balancing the encounter is easier, in my opinion, because balancing the day requires restrictions on when people can rest. If you do a 4E style game, where a short rest is measured in minutes instead of a full hour, and you expect a short rest after almost every fight (except gauntlet/reinforcement fights), then balancing the feel for easy, medium, hard, and deadly becomes much, much easier.

Take Red Hand of Doom for example. In 3E, a day was balanced around 4 moderate encounters in a day. One of the set pieces is taking out a keep that the bad guys have holed up in. There were 4 encounters set up in the keep, and one couldn't reasonably start attacking the keep then stop to take a rest.

For 5E, players can only really handle 2 moderate encounters per short rest, and need 6 moderate encounters to hit their daily xp threshold; going under that will make an easy day, which then makes it difficult to make the adventure feel perilous. 5E PCs can handle maybe 3 deadly fights in a day, with a short rest between each, but with those taking a full hour, you have to stretch things out.

In 4E, players could handle 4 moderate encounters in a day, with a short rest after each one. That same keep is very easy to convert to 4E.

I can just convert the keep fight as is, and just accept that it will be an overly difficult fight for the short rest resource characters in the party, but balancing all classes around the same point would be far, far easier.
 

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