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D&D 5E Long Rests vs Short Rests

Would you rather have all abilities recover on a:

  • Short Rest

    Votes: 21 36.8%
  • Long Rest

    Votes: 36 63.2%

  • Total voters
    57
I voted short rest, because then you can build abilities with the assumption that they'll be available for most encounters.

Which means you build encounters on the idea that all abilities are likely available.

And if you build like that, one encounter per day becomes balance-able. Longer days are a new, interesting challenge, rather than a prerequisite to any challenge at all.
 

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Yeah, I really cannot remember ever playing or running the sort of game where there are six to eight fights in one day (in any game, in any edition, ever.) That seems absolutely bonkers to me, and that to be some sort of norm that must repeated every day utterly surreal. Do people actually play like that?

It's standard fare in a dungeon man. A dungeon level easily has at least half a dozen encounters in it.

And it doesn't have to be repeated every day either. A rough median of 6 or so encounters with 2 or so short rests works just fine.
 


Xeviat

Hero
Supporter
Short rest does make it so the 2 fight day is just as easy to balance as the 6 or 8 fight day.

It is interesting how much resource management lends to the feel of d&d. And that works for dungeon crawls. I think it ends up working less for more story focuses games, where casters end up excelling with their utility spells over noncasters, and where long rest classes can nova for the rare encounter while short rest classes don't get to stretch their endurance legs.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Short rest all the way. To be honest, I kind of hate long rest abilities. It’s really difficult as a player to predict how many encounters there are going to be in any given day, which makes it a nightmare to try to manage your daily resources. If you blow through them all early and it turns out there’s still a lot more to go, you screw yourself, but if you try to conserve them and it turns out there was only one encounter that day, they go to waste.

With short rest abilities, you can generally count on being able to use them in most encounters, unless it’s clear you’re in a position where you can’t spare an hour. It’s significantly easier to predict when you can afford to spend them and when you need to conserve them. If I had to pick just one or the other, it would definitely be short rest, but Ideally, you’d have a mix of both. Mostly short rest abilities that are your bread and butter for most encounters, and a couple of big long rest abilities that you save for when you need a Hail Mary.

I think 4e really nailed this, but I get that every class having the same structure felt too samey for many. I think Essentials was very close to finding the sweet spot, with some classes being more reliant on at-will abilities with a few Encounter and Daily, and others being more Daily heavy with fewer Encounter and weaker at-wills. They tried to do this with 5e as well, but it didn’t work as well. I think that’s due in large part to short rests changing to an hour instead of 5 minutes, making short rest abilities less reliable and more dependent on the DM.
 


FireLance

Legend
I think what I would like is to restructure resource recovery so that long rest abilities have about half the current number of uses, but you recover about a quarter when you take a short rest.

So if you currently get twice proficiency bonus uses of an ability per long rest, you instead get proficiency bonus uses per long rest, and each time you take a short rest, you recover half proficiency bonus expended uses.

I think this would mitigate what to me are the two unsatisfactory extremes of long rest classes in play: expending all their resources in a single encounter and hoarding resources and eventually not using them.
 

Short rest all the way. To be honest, I kind of hate long rest abilities. It’s really difficult as a player to predict how many encounters there are going to be in any given day, which makes it a nightmare to try to manage your daily resources. If you blow through them all early and it turns out there’s still a lot more to go, you screw yourself, but if you try to conserve them and it turns out there was only one encounter that day, they go to waste.
That's kinda the point though. That way relatively easy encounters still have a purpose. The challenge is not whether you can win, the challenge is to win whilst not burning all your resources.
 

S'mon

Legend
I think I prefer combat powers that replenish on a short rest, but hit points & healing replenish on a long rest so as to allow for attrition. One thing I do is limit short rest resource recovery to 3/day, if implemented generally I think that's the best approach overall - PCs enter most fights at about the same strength & resilience, but there is still attrition.
 

aco175

Legend
It seems most people are choosing the unposted 3rd option of a mix between the two. Which is a bit squishy since the poll only gave two options. In these parameters, I would have to choose the short rest option. The OP did also talk about some powers remaining with long rest and such, so I was somewhat confused on the total idea.

I did like 4e with encounter powers and daily powers. To make something all short rest, maybe the daily powers would become weaker, or done away with, but something like fireball may need to scale with level. To be a short rest recharge it could be half the damage dice at 5th level and add one die every other level until it is where it should be. Not sure how many other spells would need to be changed.

Although it may not matter if all the other class powers simply become encounter powers. Even the fighter power to make a save becomes more powerful if it is a short rest. Now it get used every chance instead of maybe saving it.

Overall I would rather see a 4e type system, but chose short rest.
 

I can’t decide. Both option have their own + and -.
5ed has a tendency to keep on the roots, so I would prefer Long rest, at least when bugs occur we can say that it is the old way of dealing with power.

Short rest recover is tainted with 4ed tag, so it´s a no go for some true believer. Short rest recover makes balance more precise, but that don’t left players enough range if things go bad. It will make encounter more normalize and maybe more boring on the long run.

Finally I would recommend Long rest.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
That's kinda the point though. That way relatively easy encounters still have a purpose. The challenge is not whether you can win, the challenge is to win whilst not burning all your resources.
Yes, that’s why I say the ideal would be to have a mix of short and long rest resources. We’re also talking largely about powers here, you’ve still got hit points as a daily resource.
 

Yes, that’s why I say the ideal would be to have a mix of short and long rest resources. We’re also talking largely about powers here, you’ve still got hit points as a daily resource.
I like that, actual classes are polarized on recovery, short, long or don’t care like the rogue.
What if Warlock rely more on some daily ressources and wizard have less spell slots and more short rest refresh?
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Yeah, I really cannot remember ever playing or running the sort of game where there are six to eight fights in one day (in any game, in any edition, ever.) That seems absolutely bonkers to me, and that to be some sort of norm that must repeated every day utterly surreal. Do people actually play like that?

Six to eight seems like double the usual amount to me. In my games, 3 to 4 encounters during an "adventuring day" (however nebulous that idea is) is more the norm, though not all of those are necessarily combat (though some could be).

So my last two sessions (most of which happened within a 24 hour period):
  • PC barbarian fight off drug-thugs at an inn by himself but gives in to poison and is captured - one encounter (at about 2 AM, the rest of the party is having a long rest elsewhere)
  • The rest of the party come looking for him after breakfast - fight some more goons at the inn, but barby is not around! - one encounter
  • Party uses magic resources (locate object) to find barby's gear and thus find him, whacked out in a root cellar - he is so drugged out he has not had the effect of a long rest despite it being over 8 hours they fight the people holding him - one encounter
  • After a short rest, the party travels to local temple to investigate something [session ends here and new one begins]- but are turned away - this encounter includes no combat, but they were prepared for some and two members of the party searched the perimeter - one encounter
  • Party discovers missing mayor has returned to town surrounded by new guards and acting weird - consider a fight, but leave instead b/c the guards look tough and there are innocents around. Barbarian manages a long rest while everyone else chills out waiting for night fall. - one encounter
  • At midnight party returns to temple is ambushed - very tough fight (one encounter)
  • Immediately after encounter, have barely collected themselves when evil monks burst into the temple room - (one encounter). Party takes a short rest.
  • Party searches temple and fights some zombies (one encounter)
So except for the oddity of the barbarian's rest being "off-schedule," that is nine encounters, six of which featured some combat and two of which could have been a fight, but weren't.

Today's session we start off immediately after the zombie fight. . . I doubt they'll take another short rest just yet and won't be trying for a long rest until after they leave the temple - and even then the barbarian is still going to be off schedule until they have a couple days of downtime.

Anyway, this is a little more than normal - I'd say counting combat encounters only 2 to 4 is more likely - though obvi many "adventuring" days can sometimes go by with no combat encounters - it just depends on the adventure and PC choices.
 
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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
It’s really difficult as a player to predict how many encounters there are going to be in any given day, which makes it a nightmare to try to manage your daily resources. If you blow through them all early and it turns out there’s still a lot more to go, you screw yourself, but if you try to conserve them and it turns out there was only one encounter that day, they go to waste.

That just sounds like playing D&D to me! (though obvi, I wouldn't use the words "nightmare" or "waste")
 


Quartz

Adventurer
This inevitably leads me to reconsider a project I had abandoned a while ago: converting the long rest recovery classes into short rest classes. What if the full casters used the warlock casting chasis, potentially tweaked a little?

Take a look at this post


Basically spellcasters have about half the spell slots and recover 1 spell per spell level on a long rest and 1 spell per spell level up to Proficiency Bonus minus 1 (minus 2 for half-casters) on a short rest.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
That just sounds like playing D&D to me! (though obvi, I wouldn't use the words "nightmare" or "waste")
I mean, given that the vast majority of limited class resources have been daily for most of D&D’s history, it’s not surprising that it would feel like D&D to many. That doesn’t mean it’s a good player experience. And spells that don’t get used by the end of the day are absolutely wasted.
 

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