D&D (2024) Limiting Short Rests to 2x/day

Should Short Rests be artificially limited to 2x/day, potentially allowing for shorter rests?

  • Yes, Short Rests should still be 1-hour, but limited to 2x/day.

  • Yes, Short Rests should be 5-15 minutes and limited to 2x/day.

  • No, Short Rests should still be 1-hour and taken as often as time and circumstances allow.

  • No, Short Rests should be 5-15 minutes and taken as often as time and circumstances allow.

  • Other, (I'll explain in the comments.)


Results are only viewable after voting.

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Amateurs!

Clearly you would take Touch of Healing feat to get everyone to 50% HP then use Wand of Lesser vigor, 11HP vs 5,5HP on CLW for a charge of wand for full HP.
It's pretty clear you were being tongue in cheek with sarcasm over the thought experiment but I think this all started because someone inexperienced asked how the old editions played it makes some details relevant :ROFLMAO:
Somewhere along the line 3.5 added some "reserve feats" that allowed someone (spellcasters only?) to gain some form of a minor but notable at-will ability provided they had an unspent spell slot with a spell meeting the requirements for the feat.

Touch of healing required a cure wounds spell prepared & gave you the ability to action restore 3hp*that slot level up till the target was at half health. Because PCs died at zero or -10 hp it was uncomfortable to be at half health for long periods of time, either you were a lower HP class & topping you up from incidental stray wounds so you didn't get ganked trivially before anyone could react was the point of that spell/wand or you were a tank type with tens of HP if not a hundred+ HP & the group didn't have time to wait around for several minutes recovering while waiting for a random/wandering/"you've annoyed the GM" to reset or drastically eat into those gains. :D Spellcasters & the martials they often buffed were also unlikely to be thrilled about standing around waiting for their buffs to expire for that small gp savings too since the losses could ultimately cost more from the resulting more difficult/dangerous fights:D
 

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mamba

Legend
D&D have mostly been pretty bad. Classes have been bad from the get-go, they limit the characters players can bring to the table. Powerful spells 'limited' by being 1/day (when you can have more of them than you face encounters/day), bad. Stacking bonuses, bad. Single-target, multi-target, and multi-tap attacks all being possible in single action, bad. Even the d20, itself, as a linear distribution, bad.
D&D isn't a game that we play because it's good, it's a game we play because we played it for so long in the past, or, if you're not a Grognard, that you try because you've heard so much about it
so now I am curious what TTRPG you actually like ;)
 
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Tony Vargas

Legend
OH, I love D&D, just, y'know, in spite of it's numerous flaws. :) 1e particularly (your first will always be special), tho the campaign I'm currently running is 4e, which is less terrible for casual players of which I have more than a couple (and was also just, the current ed when the campaign started).

I've also run/played a lot of Hero System and Storyteller. And, there's lots of good, well, not as bad as D&D, games out there, some I've gotten to try, others are still in the queue... Hero, CoC/RQ/BRP, 13th Age, PF2, ICON, Burning Wheel, FATE, PbtA, etc...
...but, y'know, when you've played D&D for ~40 years, however good they are, they're not D&D...

I'll be running a Changeling the Dreaming session tonight... first Storyteller in like 20 years.
(Funny story, the last time I ran Storyteller was W:tA/M:tA, in 2002, but set 20 years after the apocalypse, that had happened, in my campaign, promptly on Y2K.
My fictional post-Apocalyptic 2020 was a lot nicer than the actual 2020 turned out to be.)
 
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That would mean that day length cannot be used to balance classes, at all.
The only sort of D&D-like design that could survive that would be 13A, with it's re-charges based solely on number of encounters, or, y'know, something unimaginable, like, IDK a game where each class got the same quantity & power of daily resources...
Do you realize what you are arguing?

That DMs don't have the authority to highlight one class during one session and another class on another session. You are arguing that DMs can't decide (or at least incorporate their idea of) the encounter times and places. You are arguing that DMs can't, well... DM.
 


Clint_L

Hero
...but D&D isn't a game that we play because it's good, it's a game we play because we played it for so long in the past, or, if you're not a Grognard, that you try because you've heard so much about it...
That's absurd. Totally ridiculous.

At school, I just started my term 1 campaign for beginners, as I have done many times before. And, as usual, they are right into it, right away. "D&D is objectively bad but millions of people play it because they are too dumb or indoctrinated to know better" is not even worth debating. It is an objectively silly argument. As is the claim that a work of art can be "objectively" bad.
 


Tony Vargas

Legend
"D&D is objectively bad but millions of people play it because they are too dumb or indoctrinated to know better" is not even worth debating. It is an objectively silly argument. As is the claim that a work of art can be "objectively" bad.
The statistic you may be thinking of is WotCs advertising copy that some tens of millions of people have "been exposed" to D&D, like, y'know, watched a live stream at least once. 🤷

But even if it's a million or 10 or 100 mil, popularity does not prove, nor even imply quality.
1.3 billion people smoke, for instance - that doesn't make it healthy.
D&D is a bad game, but it's a beloved game in spite of that. Same can be said of Monopoly, and it's been the number one boardgame for generations. Being bad is not a bad sign for D&D's future success or popularity, at all. :)

Do you realize what you are arguing?

That DMs don't have the authority to highlight one class during one session and another class on another session. You are arguing that DMs can't decide (or at least incorporate their idea of) the encounter times and places. You are arguing that DMs can't, well... DM.
I didn't intend to present an argument, just a consequence of the statement I was responding to. If there's no prescribed 'day length' and short/long rest ratio for the DM to use as an average to structure his campaign to, then the classes presented in 5e, which are balanced around such an assumption, simply aren't balanced. In order to have complete freedom to run any day length, you'd need to have classes that don't care about that factor. (Or, like 13th age, a recovery method that doesn't care about day length.)

Now the whole encouters/short-rest/day balancing act does assume an average not an exact day, the idea being that, if you have a particularly long day, the daily-heavy classes will peter out and become less effective overall, if you have a short day, they'll dominate. Similarly, if you go a whole day with no short rest, the short-rest heavy classes like Warlock, BM, & Monk will languish, while if you have a short rest after every encounter, the Warlock will absolutely dominate. That's exactly the 'authority' you're talking about, and it doesn't repudiate day-length as a balancing factor, it depends upon it.

But, TBH, it has issues. Like, WotC's own surveys indicate that single-encounter days are very common, and days greater than 1-3 encounters almost unusual, in actual play. (Of course, they also reveal play gravitating towards the lowest levels, Tier 1, at which most classes have little staying power.) Speaking of staying power, the idea of long day balancing short days makes sense mathematically, and if you, like, compare caster slots to expected rounds of combat in a very long day - they'll end up using cantrips a lot more, which will bring down their DPR... realistically, though, in the very long days it'd take to 'average out' single- and 1-3 encounter days, the whole party is going to just run out of HD, & hp...
 
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... because 'there's nothing wrong with the rules because the DM is an unpaid game designer'?
I'm not sure what you are getting at, and truthfully, it sounds a bit like a hangup due to your own personal play experiences.

So, to be clear, I am NOT saying there is nothing wrong with the rules, nor am I saying the rules are great because the DM is an unpaid designer. What I am saying is this argument, the five-minute, one hour, short/long rest argument is silly. Yes, silly. Each table is different. And at each of those different tables, each session is different. And the number of encounters, the number of rests needed, or the amount of danger present is all dictated by the story - of which the DM is in control.

Our last five sessions (two different campaigns) are an exceptional example of this. We have had had a three encounter days that was cakewalk and one encounter day where two of us almost died. We have had a two encounter days where one of us did die. We have had a five-encounter day where our warlock and bard talked us out of three of them, and thus, our single combat was easy.

But all of them were dictated by the story. For one day we had to get there to stop a ritual from progressing. For another, there was no safe place to camp. And for the other three, it was just simply decided as a group to keep going.

So, to sit there and argue that this class is bad because they need a long rest, and this class is OP because their short rests grant them greater boons than a different class's short rests is silly. It is too interdependent on the DM and the story to believe it can be adjusted to just be "better" as opposed to more powerful - which is always the case being made!
 

I didn't intend to present an argument, just a consequence of the statement I was responding to. If there's no prescribed 'day length' and short/long rest ratio for the DM to use as an average to structure his campaign to, then the classes presented in 5e, which are balanced around such an assumption, simply aren't balanced. In order to have complete freedom to run any day length, you'd need to have classes that don't care about that factor. (Or, like 13th age, a recovery method that doesn't care about day length.)

Now the whole encouters/short-rest/day balancing act does assume an average not an exact day, the idea being that, if you have a particularly long day, the daily-heavy classes will peter out and become less effective overall, if you have a short day, they'll dominate. Similarly, if you go a whole day with no short rest, the short-rest heavy classes like Warlock, BM, & Monk will languish, while if you have a short rest after every encounter, the Warlock will absolutely dominate. That's exactly the 'authority' you're talking about, and it doesn't repudiate day-length as a balancing factor, it depends upon it.

But, TBH, it has issues. Like, WotC's own surveys indicate that single-encounter days are very common, and days greater than 1-3 encounters almost unusual, in actual play. (Of course, they also reveal play gravitating towards the lowest levels, Tier 1, at which most classes have little staying power.) Speaking of staying power, the idea of long day balancing short days makes sense mathematically, and if you, like, compare caster slots to expected rounds of combat in a very long day - they'll end up using cantrips a lot more, which will bring down their DPR... realistically, though, in the very long days it'd take to 'average out' single- and 1-3 encounter days, the whole party is going to just run out of HD, & hp...
I strongly disagree with the bolded statement. Class balance is not inherently built on short/long rests. They are built around class feats, abilities, and spells. The short/long rest is a separate mechanic that interacts with the powers. To determine this, let's ask if hit point balance is balanced around rest? It seems like it is, but it really isn't. Please let me explain.

PCs rest to gain hit points and hit dice. But during a battle, which is the primary focus on why PCs rest, hit points don't rely on any of this. Healing is so abundant during the game, especially during rests, that it is a very rare sight to have a whole group at half health walking into a battle. This is not a game where the wounded and limping warrior with an arrow to his knee and a broken arm hobbles to the next battle where only his will keeps him standing. This is a game where almost always, the party is at or near full health going into battle. And guess what, during that battle there is no interaction with short/long rests and hit points. Instead, time devices like bonus actions, actions, and reactions become the sole arbiters and mechanics to interact with hit points. And since combat is actually where your PC can die - this is the hp-mechanic that matters. (Especially at tables where the DM doesn't hide and lie to the players about rolls or a creature's hit points.)

This same thought can be applied to class feats, abilities, and spells. A short or long rest replenishes certain powers, but it is miniscule compared to the interaction of the story. The story, and thus, DM, dictate 99% of this. For example, your group decides to go into a temple of evil lizard folk cultists knowing full well their abilities to dispel magic and summon hundreds of lizard folk from the surrounding area. But the group really needs that swamp-staff that is inside if they are to stop a lich later in the story. So, they bravely go inside.

Now, here is where we pause. Unless you are a DM making sh*! up off the top of your head for the entire area, this temple probably already has a map and encounters in place. A really well-prepared DM might have a what happens chart, and therefore, they are able to explain to some bystander what happens if the alarm gong gets rung or what happens if the PCs try to parley with the lizard folk or what happens if they kill the queen inside. And if the DM is crazy prepared, they might have the surrounding area mapped out too: hiding places, trapped areas, spots where other creatures live, etc.

All of this is the DM's creation. All of it dictates encounters per day and the ability to have a short/long rest. And here is the other part that is just as important - this session looks as though the PCs will probably have a few encounters, maybe two, three, four, or five depending on their actions before they can rest. The next session might look completely different. There might be a single encounter and a chance to rest followed by another single encounter. It's all dictated by the story.

And here is what I will concede. If you are playing with a DM that is just making stuff up, yes, there is a good chance they fall into a pattern and repeat the same steps every. single. time. Encounter. Long rest. Encounter. Long rest. Encounter. Short rest. Encounter. Long rest. etc. This will cause some classes to far outshine others during combat. But again, changing the class and their interactions with short/long rests is not the way to fix this. It is a DM problem, not a class problem.
 

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