Long Rests in Dangerous Places -- What if NOPE?

What if you couldn't take a long rest just anywhere you wanted to, any time you wanted one?

A bit of background: I was playing some Final Fantasy VI (or III, here in the States) yesterday, for the first time in years. It's an older game that was at the mercy of the hardware limitations, especially memory, so there were certain sacrifices the player would have to make. Like the concept of Save Points: you couldn't just rest or save the game anywhere you wanted; you had to travel to a specific place in the dungeon to do so. If you weren't at a Save Point, the game wouldn't let you use a Tent or Sleeping Bag to recover your HP and MP, and it wouldn't let you save your game file. Camping in a dangerous area was a solid NO, and everyone knows and accepts that.

It got me to thinking about D&D. What if your D&D game was like that? What if you couldn't take long rests in a dungeon (or other, unsafe location)?

Invent a reason. Maybe a dungeon (or forest, or island, or entire game world) was so VERY dangerous that the mere idea of sleeping outside of a safe zone was preposterous? That any attempt to do so would always, unavoidably, with 100% certainty, result in the party being immediately eaten by a Grue and everyone everywhere knows and understands this as a Law of Nature. Like the changing of the tides and the phases of the moon.

Or maybe if you did, and managed to not get eaten by a Grue, you would be so nervous and anxious the entire time that you would toss and turn and constantly leap up every 10 minutes at the slightest sound (real or imagined), and all you would have to show for those 8 hours was a point of exhaustion?

In short: what if it's a solid NO, and everyone knows and accepts it. What would that do to your game? What would that do to your play style?

Would it completely ruin your current tactics and force you to come up with a completely new game-plan, or would it not really affect you? Would it slow your game to a crawl and force the party to double back, make multiple trips into and out of the dungeon to survive, or do you do this already because you're paranoid? Would you pack extra potions and scrolls and carefully manage those resources? Or maybe most of your dungeon crawls only last a couple of hours and have a small handful of encounters, so it doesn't really come up in play?

Inquiring minds want to know.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I do that right now in most dungeons. It works fine in my experience.

Players figure out a way to deal with it and carry on. Typically that just means multiple trips back and forth to the dungeon, either resting nearby in the wilderness or back in town. Or they get a Leomund's tiny hut if they're of the appropriate level and have a caster that can cast it. Depending on how complex I want to make the exploration side of the game, I may have it be a meaningful trade-off between resting outdoors or trekking back to town, with various levels of risk and reward based on the choices the PCs make.
 

GlassJaw

Explorer
leomund's tiny hut, mordenkainen's private sanctum, etc
Fine but still requires to spend resources to use those spells.

I like the idea overall, and I don't think it has to be a massive undertaking. You could increase the chance of wandering monsters and the players would figure it out. Or make the environmental conditions so harsh that the players need to invest in significant gear to be able to long rest.

Either way, I don't think it's a big deal to simply state: no long rest here.
 
I

Immortal Sun

Guest
I do that in my games all the time.

But as [MENTION=6904924]FlyingChihuahua[/MENTION] points out, there are numerous and often low-level ways to get around this.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
Tiny Hut is a ritual, so can be cast before a long rest without expending resources.

Rope Trick requires a slot, but still is a potent low level spell for a safe rest.
 
[MENTION=6904924]FlyingChihuahua[/MENTION], [MENTION=6981174]Immortal Sun[/MENTION], [MENTION=58172]Yaarel[/MENTION]: yes, I understand that these spells exist, and for good reason...but what if they didn't? Or what if it was like in Final Fantasy III and they only worked in very specific, predefined locations like at the intersection of arcane leylines, or within a circle of ancient stones?

It's just a thought exercise about how important Long Rests are, really, to your group. Would it completely change the way your group plays the game, or would it just be a minor inconvenience? Or would anybody even notice?
 
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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
This is basically how I run my games. It takes several days (usually a week) to get a long rest, during that time I'm assuming you aren't doing anything strenuous. We don't run into issues with exhaustion (usually) because a short rest is overnight. Especially at higher levels this is about the only thing that stops casters from going nova.

As far as leomunds, etc, they aren't perfect. I rule that leomunds doesn't have a floor and even if it did, if the enemy detects you and they are intelligent they'll just wait you out while calling for reinforcements. Think of it as a short-term siege.

One of the reasons I do this is that I remember playing an old D&D game - Pools of Radiance maybe? Where the tower is collapsing around you but you always had the option to just hit the "rest' button again. If rocks fell on you, just hit the button again until you're fully recovered. Fun, but silly. Hopefully my games are fun, but I try to avoid silly as a result of rules.

As far as how it affects the team, yes they do have to think ahead a bit and not go nova every round. In addition they rely more on healing potions and other scrolls as backup while probably being a little more cautious than they otherwise would be, especially when running low on resources.
 
My gaming group is a big fan of the Five Minute Workday. You know: go nova at the first encounter, then take a long rest, go nova again at the second encounter, and then go home. Come back tomorrow to lather, rinse, and repeat. So if I were the DM and tried this as a house-rule, I bet the rest of the group would flip the table and storm out.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
My gaming group is a big fan of the Five Minute Workday. You know: go nova at the first encounter, then take a long rest, go nova again at the second encounter, and then go home. Come back tomorrow to lather, rinse, and repeat. So if I were the DM and tried this as a house-rule, I bet the rest of the group would flip the table and storm out.
The Five Minute Workday can be corrected with time pressure in the form of quest timers and/or wandering monsters.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
@FlyingChihuahua, @Immortal Sun, @Yaarel: yes, I understand that these spells exist, and for good reason...but what if they didn't? Or what if it was like in Final Fantasy III and they only worked in very specific, predefined locations like at the intersection of arcane leylines, or within a circle of ancient stones?

It's just a thought exercise about how important Long Rests are, really, to your group. Would it completely change the way your group plays the game, or would it just be a minor inconvenience? Or would anybody even notice?
On occasion, players have used Stealth skill checks to hide while resting or sleeping, such as covered in soil, camouflage, or so on. Depending on circumstance, it has worked.
 

Monayuris

Explorer
I do this in my game as well.

My ruling is that you need to remain in a sanctuary or secure environment for a continuous 24 hours to benefit from a long rest. A sanctuary is a settlement with which the party has FRIENDLY relations, and a secure environment is one that does not call for wandering monster checks.

It works fine.

Players generally adventure for an adventuring day and return to town, anyway. They are either exploring the wilderness or dungeons.

In wilderness, encounters are much less frequent but at the same time a fight during the day results in some attrition since they don't get a long rest in the evening. They have to conserve a little bit. Wilderness encounters have meaning now, since they can't just nova and sleep.

In the dungeon encounters are more frequent so they usually delve as far as their daily resources will allow them to, then return to the surface to rest.

My wilderness encounter table and my map include locations that provide secure resting. For example, they can discover a secluded waterfall that is safe from threat. They can also use diplomacy with intelligent humanoid settlements to establish alliances and gain a safe place to rest. Hopefully encourages alternatives to just fighting everything.
 

S'mon

Legend
I use 7 day long rests. No LRs in dungeons. It greatly increases the excitement & tension when the PCs are exploring a dungeon deep in the wilderness.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
I've run my dungeons/world as a living world where creatures react appropriately since I've been playing over 35 years ago. That means unless the players take measures, chances are they won't be able to take a long rest in a hostile area. If the monsters are aware of them in the area, they will look for them or otherwise take appropriate measures. I DO NOT allow PCs to just put pause in the game and take a long or short rest whenever they want. The environment has to support it.
 

S'mon

Legend
Would it slow your game to a crawl and force the party to double back, make multiple trips into and out of the dungeon to survive, or do you do this already because you're paranoid? Would you pack extra potions and scrolls and carefully manage those resources? Or maybe most of your dungeon crawls only last a couple of hours and have a small handful of encounters, so it doesn't really come up in play?
IME having 7 day LR (so no LR during adventure)

Encourages the PCs to press on & complete mission
Encourages PCs to avoid unnecessary fights
Encourages packing potions of healing etc
Encourages running away
Generally encourages treating the dungeon as a real & threatening place rather than a theme park.
 

Lancelot

Adventurer
I'll add my vote to: "This is how I run it in my games too".

In a "dungeon" adventure, the party usually needs to either clear an entire "level" (whatever that means) or retreat completely from the dungeon to rest in a "town" and come back later. By then, the remaining monsters have reinforced, set up traps, and made the challenge just as difficult as it was the first time around. Maybe more so.

In a "wilderness" adventure, the party can only ever take a long rest in a secure settlement. They can set up camp as many times as they want crossing the great desert, but they cannot get a long rest until they make it to the abbey on the far side. This is true even on shipboard adventures. They can take a long rest in a port, but not on their own ship.

My players understand that this is to create tension, allow for balance, and craft a heroic story. I don't need to justify it to them in terms of what's more restful: sleeping in a camp, or an inn bed, or in a leomund's tiny hut. They simply know that this is how the game will be played at my table, and that's it.

They also know that they're only going to get a limited number of short rests per session. If they try to take a short rest after every encounter, they know that I'll start to interrupt their rests with any nearby monster - who will come out and proactively try to take down the party, rather than wait passively in their "rooms" for the party to show up.

This forces my group to be very careful about how they expend resources. It also means that most encounters, my group is entering the fight already down on HP and with many encounter-level resources (ki points, bardic inspiration, channel divinity, etc) already expended.
 

jayoungr

Adventurer
I understand that these spells exist, and for good reason...but what if they didn't? Or what if it was like in Final Fantasy III and they only worked in very specific, predefined locations like at the intersection of arcane leylines, or within a circle of ancient stones?

It's just a thought exercise about how important Long Rests are, really, to your group. Would it completely change the way your group plays the game, or would it just be a minor inconvenience? Or would anybody even notice?
I think I'm the first in my group to even take any of these spells, and I have yet to use Leomund's Tiny Hut. So it wouldn't change our style of play at all.

That said, I didn't think limiting the places where you can have a long rest was an unusual thing?
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
That said, I didn't think limiting the places where you can have a long rest was an unusual thing?
I've always seen this as a bit odd as well. I want my campaign world to be a living, breathing world where the enemy is reasonably intelligent base on what or who they are. Take out a few rooms and ...
  • Go back to town? When you come back, they've abandoned the dungeon taking all their loot with them. They did leave behind a few traps as a parting gift.
  • Go back to town (#2)? They know you're coming back. They have trackers. Have fun with all the ambushes they set up along the way.
  • Find an empty room to hide in? When you open the door there are not only every orc that were in the entire dungeon and they invited a local clan over just for good measure.
  • Find an empty room to hide in (#2)? Good luck opening the door. While you were resting they collapsed the tunnel.
  • Do a leomund's hut? Huh. Why did they set up a catapult to throw mud at you? Gee the hut is now covered completely in mud and we can't see out. Why is it suddenly getting stuffy in here as we slowly run out of oxygen?

I understand the limitations of video games. As much as AI has improved, for the most part combats and events are triggered by some action on my part or someone going Leroy Jenkins on us all. I just don't want to see that carried over to my D&D game.
 

pogre

Adventurer
Depends on the flavor/atmosphere of the campaign. Generally, when I run D&D it is not gritty style at all. I may use time pressures and waves of enemies, but I don't mess with the rest rules much. IMC, no rest zones would make D&D less fun - so, we would not do it.

WFRP, Pendragon, or Ars Magica are different and grittier for us.
 

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