D&D General Long rest variant - My Gradual Gritty Realism Variant Rules

M_Natas

Hero
Edit:

For ease of use I put all these rules in a PDF, cleared them up and put them on the DMs Guild to download for free (pwyw): Gradual Gritty Realism Resting rules - Dungeon Masters Guild | Dungeon Masters Guild
The PDF includes:
  • Variant Rules for Short and Long Rest
  • Resting Conditions that have impact on the Long Rest
  • A complication table for resting in wretched conditions
  • Mana potions and 2 additional magical items
--------------------
Original Post:
--------------------
One of my pet peeves with 5e is, that Long Rests feel unrealistic.
No matter what happened before, after one good nights sleep you are completely healed, no lingering effects. Exhaustion is the only exception to that rule.

The Spelljammer campaign I DM right now, I implemented the Resting Rules from HouseDM.
Players have to rest in safe place to get benefits of a long rest und you only regain HP equal to HD Max + Con Mod. With lodging you can regain more HP. All other long rest benefits stay the same.
That means when inside the "safe city" they long rest as normal, but outside the PCs only get short rests.

So far the effects on play have been minimal.

But I'm also not totally happy with that rule. While it makes healing a little bit more "realistic" while outside of town, it still doesn't feel 100% right. Also it benefits casters. They get all their spellslots back after a long rest, while martials have to heal longer.

I also thought about using the Gritty Realism rules (long rest after 7 days), but that have the same problem as the normal rules for me:

You are back to 100% after you reached a certain threshold. The effect in play is. You just made it harder to reach that threshold and don't gain any (big) benefits before reaching that threshold.

It is also actually not easier to get the recommended Fights for an adventuring day, because to get the benefits of a long rest, you are not allowed to adventure for 7 days. When you are out adventuring or are in town and do something strenuous like fighting, you need to restart your long rest. What Gritty Realism actually does is removing long rest while adventuring and whenever you want a long rest, you have to go back to town and have 7 days of light downtime activities. That feels a little bit to punishing for my take. It could also incentives players to have 5 minute work weeks instead of 5 minute work days that they have with the normal rest rules.

----------------------
What do I want from a rest system? After thinking about that, I had a heruka!- Moment in the shower this morning:
Gradually replenishing ressources. Like in the old days of D&D.

So, I want my characters to take longer to heal and take longer to get abilities back.
But what would still be a good game play experience?

Like, if we go full blown realistic here, if you get knocked out like in a boxing match (so comparable to the 0 HP unconscious situation of a PC), it can take several month to heal. So for Level 13 or 14 Characters 1 HP per day? For lower level characters a fraction of an HP per day?
That would be more realistic but not really fun in actual play. It needs a compromise between Realism and gameability.

If a new long rest/rest per day gives less ressource back than a medium encounter uses up, you either kill your party or are back to Gritty realism rules, where you force the players to stop adventuring to take long rests.

A medium encounters should use up around 16% of the Player ressources. Gaining around 16% ressources per day of rest gives out 6 to 7 days of rest to fully heal up.

That can be our ballpark. It is in line with the Gritty Realism rules but instead of waiting 7 days, doing nothing to get 100%, now you get 16% for every night of rest, so you can continue adventuring and push forward without having to wait a full 7 days you would need with the Gritty Realism rules.
So I did some math.
-----------
My Gradual Gritty Realism Variant Rules:

The base rule is:

The conditions for a normal long rest to occur to rest stay the same:
8 hours of rest, once per day, maximum interruption of 2 hours of light activities. Fighting, Spellcasting and stuff resets the long rest. Characters need to eat and drink the minimum requirements to gain benefit of long rest.

When you complete a long rest, you regain HP equal to 1hp + Con Modifier per level (Minimum 1).

So a first Level Wizard with 0 Con needs 6 days to fully heal. A first level fighter with 1 Con needs also 6 Days to fully heal. A Barbarian with 2 Con needs 5 days to fully heal and so on. Here are some examples trough the levels:
20231013_110634.jpg

This increases the impact of Constituion. High Constituion = faster healing. A Barbarian with Con 20 (+5) would heal after level 1 in two days. A Wizard with +5 Con would heal in one day. But it would be a big ASI investment to get that high for a wizard. If we just use restoring HP equal to Character level we would have 7 to 14 days of Regeneration and Martials would take way longer than casters, so Con needs to matter to balance that out.

What with the other benefits of the long rest? I calculated that for Full-Caster- Spellslots. I haven't looked at other long rest ressource, but I would say outside of Spellslots all other long rest ressource replenish normally. That shouldn't break the balance, but later I would look at the other ressource and maybe adjust.

So now to spellcasters:
Everybody gets arcane recovery and it is now a long rest feature:

Long Rest Arcane Recovery

Every fullcaster has learned to regain some of his magical energy by studying his spellbook, meditating or concentrating. Once per day when he finishes a long rest, he can choose expended spell slots to recover. The spell slots can have a combined level that is equal to his spellcaster level (level 1 spellslots = 1 spellpoints).

For example, if you’re a 4th-level wizard, you can recover up to four levels worth of spell slots. You can recover either two 2nd-level spell slots or four 1st-level spell slots or 1 2nd-level spell slot and 2 1st-level spell slots.
Half-casters regain spell slots that can have a combined level that is equal to or less than half the spellcaster level (rounded up).
Thrid casters a third.
Warlock regain their spells per long rest.

The normal arcane recovery is removed as a wizard feature.


What does the new arcane recovery do?
A first level caster now needs two days to regain his spell slots, a 3d level caster 3 days and from fifth level on 4 to 5 days (see the table). So it is in the same ballpark as the HP, but with a Twist. At levels 1 to 4 a Caster regain quicker Spellslots than HP, that means he will be a little better at lower levels than non-casters when compared to the nirmal resting rules. But at higher levels he needs actually on average more time to regain all his spells than a noncasters regain HP.
At level 3 a caster gets all his slots after 3 days, while it takes 3 to 5 days to fully heal.
But at level 10 it takes 5 days to recover all spell slots, while HP are healed after 3 to 4 days.
So casters get a little nerf in higher levels and a little boost in Tier 1.

Living Conditions


Living conditions have an impact on your long rest.

Wretched (like camping unprotected in the Wilderness with bad conditions, like bad weather/rain/cold..., not having enough food to drink or eat)
  • minus 2 HP per level (mimimum of 0)
  • and minus 2 Spellpoint recovered
  • No removal of exhaustion
  • Roll on Complication Table (work in progress)

Squalid (1sp) (like camping unprotected in the Wilderness, normal weather conditions, only having half portions to eat and drink)
  • minus 1 HP per level (mimimum of 1)
  • and minus 1 Spellpoint recovered
  • No removal of exhaustion

Poor (2sp) (camping in a tent or cave , being proteced against the elements)
  • minus 1 HP per level (mimimum of 1)
  • and minus 1 Spellpoint recovered

Modest (1gp) (camping in a weather appropriate tent with sleeping bags, having a fire against the cold, having enough food and water)
- no change

Comfortable (2gp) (usually an Inn, Boarding House, Temple - magically improved Tent and Bagpack, enough food and drink)
  • + 1HP per Level
  • + 1 Spellpoint recovered

Wealthy (4gp) (like Comfortable, but servants take care of you, you get medical herbs to quicken healing ...)
  • + 2HP per Level
  • + 2 Spellpoint recovered

Aristocratic (10gp+) (imagine luxury health spa)
  • + 4HP per Level
  • + 4 Spellpoint recovered

First of all, that makes living Conditions matter mechanically, giving players an incentive to spend their money. It makes also adventuring gear matter more. If you wanna sleep outside without a bagpack in the cold while it is raining, that is not restful. Your rest will be hindered.

In wretched conditions, Characters with 0 or +1 to Con don't regain HP. Spellcasters of Level 1 and 2 don't regain Spellpoints.

20231013_124356.jpg

At Squalid or poor conditions, +0 Con Mod Characters don't get HP, first Level Spellcasters don't Regain spellpoints.
20231013_124722.jpg

At Comfortable living Conditions, HP are regained on average in 3 days, in Wealthy conditions in two days and in Aristocratic conditions in one to two days.
Spellpoint recovery is reduced from average of 4 to 5 to an average of 3 to 4.

---------
I will try to implement this Variant Rules at my table and see how they will go.

For balance reasons the DM can adjust the amount of health potions he gives out to the characters and maybe implement Mana potions, too (like regaining 1d4 spellpoints). So when the DM sees that Non Casters or Caster dominate to much he can adjust that by giving out more or less health and Mana potions.

-------

What do you girls and guys think about mit Gradual Gritty rest Variant?
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Thanks for the share, but I feel it is too much work for a game like 5e which favours simplicity.

What we've done...

Short Rests work as normal.
Long Rests require 24 hours in a safe comfortable place anything less equates to a Travel Rest.
Travel Rest have the same requirements as the Long Rest in the PHB but the ONLY benefit is you remove 1 level of exhaustion, and if you don't have levels of exhaustion you instead regain half your HD. THATS IT!

However we have created a mechanic which allows one to spend HD in order to access your short or long rest abilities.
So, gaining 50% of your HD is useful in that you can spend HD to gain hit points or recharge some abilities according to a table.
This I find is much better as it ties HD to exhaustion to abilities/powers which is more "realistic" for our table.
Travel Rests also slow healing down.
Lastly we incorporate the rule that dropping into unconsciousness gains a character 1 level of exhaustion.
 

M_Natas

Hero
Oh, I forgot my short rest change:
During a short rest you can spend one hit die (like usual), but you get only temporary HP.
That "simulates" that this is more of a first aid, a temporary solutions before you get magical healing or can rest long enough to heal.
 

M_Natas

Hero
Thanks for the share, but I feel it is too much work for a game like 5e which favours simplicity.

What we've done...

Short Rests work as normal.
Long Rests require 24 hours in a safe comfortable place anything less equates to a Travel Rest.
Travel Rest have the same requirements as the Long Rest in the PHB but the ONLY benefit is you remove 1 level of exhaustion, and if you don't have levels of exhaustion you instead regain half your HD. THATS IT!

However we have created a mechanic which allows one to spend HD in order to access your short or long rest abilities.
So, gaining 50% of your HD is useful in that you can spend HD to gain hit points or recharge some abilities according to a table.
This I find is much better as it ties HD to exhaustion to abilities/powers which is more "realistic" for our table.
Travel Rests also slow healing down.
Lastly we incorporate the rule that dropping into unconsciousness gains a character 1 level of exhaustion.
That sounds interesting. Can you share your HD prices for abilities/power recovery?
 

That sounds interesting. Can you share your HD prices for abilities/power recovery?


Level of Power/Ability utilised​
Short Rest Power Cost​
Long Rest Power Cost​
Levels 1-4​
1​
2​
Levels 5-8​
2​
4​
Levels 9-12​
4​
7​
Levels 13-16​
7​
11​
Levels 17-20​
11​
16​

Okay so firstly incorporating this idea, changes the combat flexibility of the PCs so you will have to find a cost ratio that works for your table and/or adjust the power level of the monsters (i.e. adding feats or class features) which I do.

Now to the mechanics.
Example 1 (Short Rest Power): A 5th level fighter, who has already expended their Action Surge, and wishes to spend HD to do a further Action Surge in the combat encounter, may spend 1 HD to gain 1 attack on their Action Surge (1st-4th level power) or 2 HD to gain 2 attacks on their Action Surge (5th-8th level power).

Example 2 (Long Rest Power): A 7th level wizard wishes to spend HD to cast a Fireball. It costs 4 HD (Fireball is a 5th level Wizard power), but they can upcast it to a 4th spell level slot (for free) so it does 9d6 fire damage since the 4 HD spend covers level of powers 5-8. They cannot make it higher as a 7th level wizard has as their maximum, a 4th level spell slot.

Exhaustion Tie-In
Should a PC run low on HD, they may incur levels of exhaustion at a cost of 1 HD-to-1 level of exhaustion.
So for instance in example 2, the Wizard only has 2 HD but needs to spend 4 HD to cast their Fireball. They burn their 2 HD and gain 2 levels of exhaustion to cast that Fireball.
It gives the player the ability to determine the desperation of the character in the moment but at a significant cost.

Now it is important to note the below underlined.
Travel Rests have the same requirements as the Long Rest in the PHB but the ONLY benefit is you remove 1 level of exhaustion, and if you don't have levels of exhaustion, you instead regain half your HD (minimum 1).

Having exhaustion is treated like a wound as it delays HD gain until you remove your levels of exhaustion. That's the grittiness of it.
 
Last edited:


M_Natas

Hero
For ease of use I put all these rules in a PDF, cleared them up and put them on the DMs Guild to download for free (pwyw): Gradual Gritty Realism Resting rules - Dungeon Masters Guild | Dungeon Masters Guild
small.jpg
The PDF includes:
  • Variant Rules for Short and Long Rest
  • Resting Conditions that have impact on the Long Rest
  • A complication table for resting in wretched conditions
  • Mana potions and 2 additional magical items
 
Last edited:

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top