D&D General IS the 5 min work day a feature or a bug?

in another thread I responded to this but I think it deserves it's own thread

I would actually argue that the potential for a 5 minute workday is at the core of D&D's design and if you actually remove it people will be displeased at the result. However individual tables can actually tailor their use of the 5 minute workday to their own preferences - much like individual tables can choose to emphasize the non-combat portions of the game to their own preferences.

I have to ask, forgetting a moral argument of what is or isn't right, and forgetting how you as a DM CAN CHOOSE to do things... do you know any individuals that have told you directly or indirectly the 5 m work day is good or what they want?



in my case I have not only never heard someone directly say it, but I have found even people who seem to enjoy using that mode of play DENIE liking it.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
in my case I have not only never heard someone directly say it, but I have found even people who seem to enjoy using that mode of play DENIE liking it.
I think with respect to denying they like it, they may protest too much. If it were so dislikable to them, they wouldn't do it. I suspect they may like the ability it gives them to come at a conflict with full resources and power and dislike the stigma they are taking on as overcautious, wuss players. It's just that wussiness comes in handy...
NelsonMartinWussiness.gif
 

payn

Legend
It depends on how much game you want in your TTRPG. Some tables do the dungeon goes to bed when the PCs do routine. This closely resembles video games. For these folks the point is just to delve scary dungeons, face monsters, kill them and get their stuff. They are not trying to mimic reality. Also, some folks like the challenge level set lower so they are not constantly under threat of death and/or TPK. Even others, like to have a fully loaded bazooka to unload even on lowly goblins to have fun. All of these are based on playstyle.

Some GMs and tables like a more challenging simulation reality(close to) style of game. For them, its about resource attrition and making good decisions. A harkening back to skill play where survival is part of the challenge. In these games, wandering monsters, environmental conditions, and supplies will effect ability to rest. Going 5min work day is a very risky proposition in these style of games.

Sorry to say, but depends on group is really the answer to the question. Although, sometimes this is lead by game design and experience. Folks that want to punish the 5min work day will do so in any system. Though they are likely to complain and/or not use systems that fight too much against their ability to do so. Some folks stick with it because that's how they always done it, and that's how video games do it, and that seems to be what the system is asking them to do.
 

I think with respect to denying they like it, they may protest too much. If it were so dislikable to them, they wouldn't do it. I suspect they may like the ability it gives them to come at a conflict with full resources and power and dislike the stigma they are taking on as overcautious, wuss players.
I think there may also be a disconnect of "I don't like it... but it's the best tactic" and also even a subconscious like that they don't know they have.

I find I often feel 'forced' to take better (not always best) options over weaker or useless ones even if I WANT to take the weaker or useless ones.

EXAMPLE: my warlock got 3 or 4 epic boons over a few months. my first choice would have been to stop ageing. It made perfect sense, and fit the character. However The DM, I and the other players all came to the conclusion that it would in no way impact play when I took it... so it might make the game harder, and us less likely to succeed if I took it over a power up. I did take it as my 3rd or 4th epic boon... but I took ones that gave more power first.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Note that I don't suggest that people will consciously say that they like it - they may hate it but also hate any changes that you might make to the rules to mitigate against it. For example, a lot of 5 minute workday problems could be alleviated by getting rid of Vancian casting and switching spellcasting over to a skill check with backlash damage system that is used in other RPGs. But folks who play D&D like Vancian casting and attempts to remove it from the game over the decades have always failed.

My argument is basically that any changes you make to truly get rid of the 5 minute workday will be so radical that the game will no longer "feel" like D&D and will be rejected by large groups of players as "not D&D". TLDR - They might not like the 5 minute workday situation, but they like the rules that lead to the 5 minute workday situation and don't want to lose those rules.
 

In response to the title: "Yes".

More seriously, at this point its a feature, which needs to either be designed around, or an alternative provided. 4E provided a solid alternative, which apparently insufficiently popular (I wonder how the 30-50m now would feel, I bet 4E's AEDU design would sit a lot better with most of them than it did with people in 2008, but other 4E elements like the heavy tactical focus would not).

5E did the EXACT OPPOSITE of designing around it, and instead attempted, ineptly, to balance around it never happening, and gave very weak reasons for it to not happen.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
in another thread I responded to this but I think it deserves it's own thread



I have to ask, forgetting a moral argument of what is or isn't right, and forgetting how you as a DM CAN CHOOSE to do things... do you know any individuals that have told you directly or indirectly the 5 m work day is good or what they want?



in my case I have not only never heard someone directly say it, but I have found even people who seem to enjoy using that mode of play DENIE liking it.
I think the 5MWD has to do with players optimizing the fun out of a game when given the opportunity.

D&D is, and to a large extent, always has had resource management at the core of its gameplay. The 5MWD trades resource management for the biggest numbers you can compress into the narrowest window (aka, nova).

I think it can be fun in a limited scope. Taking down a powerful monster that's above the party's weight class can be a lot of fun. However, IME, when the 5MWD dominates play it turns the game into a slog. Nova/long rest/repeat. It also typically only works if the DM permits it. If the DM is willing to send a dangerous encounter against a party that has nova'd all their resources, that party is likely to be forced to choose between TPK or retreat. I certainly don't think most players who leverage the 5MWD would enjoy that.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Note that I don't suggest that people will consciously say that they like it - they may hate it but also hate any changes that you might make to the rules to mitigate against it. For example, a lot of 5 minute workday problems could be alleviated by getting rid of Vancian casting and switching spellcasting over to a skill check with backlash damage system that is used in other RPGs. But folks who play D&D like Vancian casting and attempts to remove it from the game over the decades have always failed.

My argument is basically that any changes you make to truly get rid of the 5 minute workday will be so radical that the game will no longer "feel" like D&D and will be rejected by large groups of players as "not D&D". TLDR - They might not like the 5 minute workday situation, but they like the rules that lead to the 5 minute workday situation and don't want to lose those rules.

Getting rid of the 5 minute workday, without making ANY changes to the system isn't hard at all!

All you need to do is stop allowing players from consistently dictating the pace of play. Do that and no more 5 minute workday.

As for the OPs question. The 5 minute workday basically means allowing the players to Nova without serious consequence. And yes, this can be REALLY fun. It allows the players to flex their characters and really let loose with their abilities. Some instances of the 5 minute workday can absolutely enhance the player experience and enjoyment of the game.
 


Jer

Legend
Supporter
Getting rid of the 5 minute workday, without making ANY changes to the system isn't hard at all!

All you need to do is stop allowing players from consistently dictating the pace of play. Do that and no more 5 minute workday.
Again, as I said in the other thread - whether the 5 minute workday is a problem for a table will vary from table to table. For many tables it isn't a problem at all despite the fact that a lot of folks on these boards talk about it a lot. And it isn't necessarily because of the heavy hand of the DM, but because the players just don't want to do the 5 minute workday - they're there to explore and have fun, and so setting up camp after every encounter isn't in their plans.

But if you have a group who decides that they have fun with a 5 minute workday and the DM doesn't like it, well, the DM can try to bring the heavy hand down on them but it's likely that the DM is going to be out a game. Because players don't stick around when the DM is kicking them in their fun.
 

It allows the players to flex their characters and really let loose with their abilities.
In 4E that's fully true.

In 5E that is not fully true. In 5E only players with certain specific classes and subclasses get to do that. Others get to do literally nothing extra. Full casters get the most, then it's a decline from there (Paladins get about as much as Full casters I think due to Smite).

EDIT - Sheesh I think we're hitting on a really under-analyzed issue with 5E - the ability to "floor it" that some classes have to a much stronger degree than others. To flex their output based on need.
 

payn

Legend
On the deny it front, I think part of that comes from 5MWD being a derogatory description of the playstyle. Nobody says they like being a munchkin, a railroader, etc...

Flip it around and lets talk about encounter powers (I know y'all want to!). For me, this turned the 5MWD into the 5 lunch break work day (God its so bad in PF2!). Though, every person I know that loves encoutner powers says, "NO IT ISNT!!". Why? It's because they think 5MWD is bad, and dont want to be associated with it, even if they like 5LBWD.
 


Mort

Legend
Supporter
Again, as I said in the other thread - whether the 5 minute workday is a problem for a table will vary from table to table. For many tables it isn't a problem at all despite the fact that a lot of folks on these boards talk about it a lot. And it isn't necessarily because of the heavy hand of the DM, but because the players just don't want to do the 5 minute workday - they're there to explore and have fun, and so setting up camp after every encounter isn't in their plans.

But if you have a group who decides that they have fun with a 5 minute workday and the DM doesn't like it, well, the DM can try to bring the heavy hand down on them but it's likely that the DM is going to be out a game. Because players don't stick around when the DM is kicking them in their fun.

But then it isn't a "problem" of a 5 minute workday it the players enjoyment and choice of a 5 minute workday - which is different. For the most part the DM should suss out (or just plain ask) what the group likes and gravitate towards that playstyle.

I was just pointing out that it does not take a heavy handed DM to avoid a 5 minute workday, if that's the direction he wants to go. It's easy to do it without being heavy handed.
 

4E provided a solid alternative, which apparently insufficiently popular (I wonder how the 30-50m now would feel, I bet 4E's AEDU design would sit a lot better with most of them than it did with people in 2008, but other 4E elements like the heavy tactical focus would not).
not to derail my own topic but I bet if you had the 4e setup (role AEDU powersource) but had the abilities evenly distributed over all 3 pillars instead of 3/4 combat you would have a hit for 6e.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
In 4E that's fully true.

In 5E that is not fully true. In 5E only players with certain specific classes and subclasses get to do that. Others get to do literally nothing extra. Full casters get the most, then it's a decline from there (Paladins get about as much as Full casters I think due to Smite).

EDIT - Sheesh I think we're hitting on a really under-analyzed issue with 5E - the ability to "floor it" that some classes have to a much stronger degree than others. To flex their output based on need.

Yes, that's an issue. The most of the long rest classes have a much bigger NOVA (for the most part) than the short rest classes (with some exceptions, such as the monk). And when you have both types in the group you'll have some very interesting conversations on pushing forward etc.

I'll note WoTC seems to be moving away from short rest resets. I wonder if the 2024 revision will really push that for ALL classes.

Edit: I'll note that my response to stop allowing players to always dictate the pace applies regardless. It will stop the issue in its tracks.
 

not to derail my own topic but I bet if you had the 4e setup (role AEDU powersource) but had the abilities evenly distributed over all 3 pillars instead of 3/4 combat you would have a hit for 6e.
Oh man if I had the time, dedication, and balancing skill needed for that (and didn't have ADHD - the non-joke kind), I would get started on that right now. That's a killer idea.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
I was just pointing out that it does not take a heavy handed DM to avoid a 5 minute workday, if that's the direction he wants to go. It's easy to do it without being heavy handed.
Is it? I think you're downplaying how hard it is to actually stop a group of players from doing anything if they are united in wanting to do it. If you have a group of players who nova out and want to rest after an encounter how do you stop them? Throw wandering monsters at them when they're down to no resources and end up with a TPK? TPKs are a great way to end a gaming group, especially if the players think that the DM is picking on them when they're down or playing "unfairly".

It's tricky to handle these kinds of things in game - these are the kinds of things that as you point out need to be discussed in advance. Or after the fact - the DM saying "hey guys I don't think it's much fun that you keep maxing out your abilities and then camping right afterwards" probably goes a lot farther to getting a game everyone wants to play than in game tactics to "stop players from dictating the pace of play". Especially when to a large degree the game is based on the players dictating the pace of play everywhere else.
 

Yes, that's an issue. The most of the long rest classes have a much bigger NOVA (for the most part) than the short rest classes (with some exceptions, such as the monk). And when you have both types in the group you'll have some very interesting conversations on pushing forward etc.

I'll note WoTC seems to be moving away from short rest resets. I wonder if the 2024 revision will really push that for ALL classes.
Yeah I think they just need consistency either way for that, but WotC's irrational fixation on building some classes to not have any resources at all or close to it (which I think applies to almost all Rogue subclasses, and several Fighter ones), together with the fact that some classes with some resources can nova massively harder than others (compare and contrast Paladin and Ranger, for example), will, if unchecked, leave this problem as a big problem.
 

I have to ask, forgetting a moral argument of what is or isn't right, and forgetting how you as a DM CAN CHOOSE to do things... do you know any individuals that have told you directly or indirectly the 5 m work day is good or what they want?
I was just pointing out that it does not take a heavy handed DM to avoid a 5 minute workday, if that's the direction he wants to go. It's easy to do it without being heavy handed.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top