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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

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
The long rest does have a once per 24 hours limitation built into it. Are you saying that tends to prevent the 5mwd in play when there's a goal in front of the characters?
There's a difference between once per day and
  • A wizard must choose and prepare her spells ahead of time by getting a good night’s sleep and spending 1 hour studying her spellbook. it did not also recover all hp
  • A cleric must choose a time at which he must spend 1 hour each day in quiet contemplation or supplication to regain his daily allotment of spells. Typically, this hour is at dawn or noon for good clerics and at dusk or midnight for evil ones. Time spent resting has no effect on whether a cleric can prepare spells. it did not also recover all hp
  • A sorcerer... "daily" or I'm overlooking something. it did not also recover all hp
  • A paladin prepares and casts spells the way a cleric does. it did not also recover all hp
  • A druid prepares and casts spells the way a cleric does. it did not also recover all hp
  • A ranger prepares and casts spells the way a cleric does. it did not also recover all hp

The kicker that really tops it to ensure nova>chill & rest>nova didn't work but does now is that you only got back a couple hp/day so you couldn't reset the clock on your hp each time too & if the bad guys came looking for those jerks playing hit & run the pain would stick with the party even if the players succeeded in fending them off. The different parys worked in combination to make the 5mwd unattractive. In 5e waiting around for the day to end has a very low opportunity cost or risk & that can border on zero with spells like tiny hut
 

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Stalker0

Legend
I always liked the concept that abilities were short rest based (or even just reset after each encounter) but there are conditions and rolls that can prevent certain abilities from recharging. So you still get some attrition but by default things refresh
 

There's a difference between once per day and
  • A wizard must choose and prepare her spells ahead of time by getting a good night’s sleep and spending 1 hour studying her spellbook. it did not also recover all hp
  • A cleric must choose a time at which he must spend 1 hour each day in quiet contemplation or supplication to regain his daily allotment of spells. Typically, this hour is at dawn or noon for good clerics and at dusk or midnight for evil ones. Time spent resting has no effect on whether a cleric can prepare spells. it did not also recover all hp
  • A sorcerer... "daily" or I'm overlooking something. it did not also recover all hp
  • A paladin prepares and casts spells the way a cleric does. it did not also recover all hp
  • A druid prepares and casts spells the way a cleric does. it did not also recover all hp
  • A ranger prepares and casts spells the way a cleric does. it did not also recover all hp

The kicker that really tops it to ensure nova>chill & rest>nova didn't work but does now is that you only got back a couple hp/day so you couldn't reset the clock on your hp each time too & if the bad guys came looking for those jerks playing hit & run the pain would stick with the party even if the players succeeded in fending them off. The different parys worked in combination to make the 5mwd unattractive. In 5e waiting around for the day to end has a very low opportunity cost or risk & that can border on zero with spells like tiny hut

I guess I'd say that this simply doesn't match the reality of gameplay I experienced in prior editions. By those rules natural healing may have meant that PCs did not recover all HP each day, but in actual practice this merely meant that adventuring parties relied on magical healing -- clerical magic pre-3e, and healing magic supplemented with over-the-counter wands of cure light wounds in 3.x. I do not recall ever willingly starting an adventuring day without the entire party being at full HP and full spell preparation. If you weren't at full HP, you just rested another day.

The primary consequence to the change to HP recovery in 5e was that it made it less obnoxious to play the way that every table I've been at was already playing the game. It required less hand waving and less empty table time, and it also meant that as a rule all NPCs recover fully as well even if they don't have access to magical healing.

The issue is that whether or not you need to stop and heal isn't really a choice in any edition of the game. The truth is that there was never any way to tell if resting would make encounters more dangerous, but you definitely could tell that not resting was horrifically dangerous. If the fighters are down to single digits, you're going to stop and rest. You just have to do that. You literally cannot continue to adventure in any practical sense, and in game terms increasing the difficulty at this point is just intentionally building a death spiral. Why even have hit points, then?

The logistics of whether rest takes place in the dungeon or if it takes place after retreat and withdrawal aren't really pertinent. Whether or not the adventure has a deadline also isn't really pertinent. At some point, the party will be so damaged that they will stop and rest no matter what. "Half of us are dead or completely out of action but we need to press on" just isn't a realistic game mode. That isn't what the game is designed for (i.e., leaving half the players at the table stuck doing nothing is poor game design) and it isn't how encounters are designed (i.e., no module or DM says, 'by the time they get here we'll be down to two PCs so the encounter needs to be rebalanced....').

Further, there isn't really anything that the DM could do against you in 2-3 days that they couldn't also just do in one. PC parties are simply too small to have them be a logistical challenge that NPCs could practically better prepare for after 2-3 days than you could after 12 hours or so. It's not like after 1 day there will be virtually no change, but after 2 days the NPCs are going to A-Team a tank together complete with a brass section accompaniment. Especially when you include that the NPCs now heal overnight as well, I don't think there's really much practical difference. There may be different timelines, of course, but those are limitations of your situation not of every potential circumstance. You need weeks or months to adequately prepare for adventuring PCs, not days, especially after they've already overcome some of your defenses.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I guess I'd say that this simply doesn't match the reality of gameplay I experienced in prior editions. By those rules natural healing may have meant that PCs did not recover all HP each day, but in actual practice this merely meant that adventuring parties relied on magical healing -- clerical magic pre-3e, and healing magic supplemented with over-the-counter wands of cure light wounds in 3.x. I do not recall ever willingly starting an adventuring day without the entire party being at full HP and full spell preparation. If you weren't at full HP, you just rested another day.

The primary consequence to the change to HP recovery in 5e was that it made it less obnoxious to play the way that every table I've been at was already playing the game. It required less hand waving and less empty table time, and it also meant that as a rule all NPCs recover fully as well even if they don't have access to magical healing.

The issue is that whether or not you need to stop and heal isn't really a choice in any edition of the game. The truth is that there was never any way to tell if resting would make encounters more dangerous, but you definitely could tell that not resting was horrifically dangerous. If the fighters are down to single digits, you're going to stop and rest. You just have to do that. You literally cannot continue to adventure in any practical sense, and in game terms increasing the difficulty at this point is just intentionally building a death spiral. Why even have hit points, then?

The logistics of whether rest takes place in the dungeon or if it takes place after retreat and withdrawal aren't really pertinent. Whether or not the adventure has a deadline also isn't really pertinent. At some point, the party will be so damaged that they will stop and rest no matter what. "Half of us are dead or completely out of action but we need to press on" just isn't a realistic game mode. That isn't what the game is designed for (i.e., leaving half the players at the table stuck doing nothing is poor game design) and it isn't how encounters are designed (i.e., no module or DM says, 'by the time they get here we'll be down to two PCs so the encounter needs to be rebalanced....').

Further, there isn't really anything that the DM could do against you in 2-3 days that they couldn't also just do in one. PC parties are simply too small to have them be a logistical challenge that NPCs could practically better prepare for after 2-3 days than you could after 12 hours or so. It's not like after 1 day there will be virtually no change, but after 2 days the NPCs are going to A-Team a tank together complete with a brass section accompaniment. Especially when you include that the NPCs now heal overnight as well, I don't think there's really much practical difference. There may be different timelines, of course, but those are limitations of your situation not of every potential circumstance. You need weeks or months to adequately prepare for adventuring PCs, not days, especially after they've already overcome some of your defenses.
Healing spells from the cleric were a lot more limited because they needed to heal up negative hp & the cleric had to decide what ratio of heals to other stuff was justified. Having a bunch of heals meant nova>"ok lets call it a day & rest">repeat meant that the idea would be laughed at while 5e designs around the lack of negative hp & any healing restores a player the party really winds up lacking in tools able to support them in pulling away away from wackamole healing
 

Healing spells from the cleric were a lot more limited because they needed to heal up negative hp & the cleric had to decide what ratio of heals to other stuff was justified. Having a bunch of heals meant nova>"ok lets call it a day & rest">repeat meant that the idea would be laughed at while 5e designs around the lack of negative hp & any healing restores a player the party really winds up lacking in tools able to support them in pulling away away from wackamole healing

I don't think any of that is relevant to resting. I recall earlier editions you'd wake up, the cleric would prepare all their spells as healing spells, cast them all, and then immediately rest again and repeat until the party is healed.

In theory, yes, this could leave the party more vulnerable or risk external events impacting the party. In practice, that doesn't happen because it means that bad die rolls from one encounter snowball into catastrophe. That's realistic, but it's stupid†.

My experience was that if the DM keeps rolling random encounters where the PCs chose to rest for days on end, eventually the PCs just say, "Okay, we go somewhere that we think we will be safe and rest until we fully heal." Not letting the PCs heal when they have determined that healing is a prerequisite to continuing the progress of the adventure is stupid†. Yes, there are contrived situations where that is impossible, just as there are contrivances in 5e that make long rests impossible, that is never the general rule because that would make the game stupid†.

For real, if you don't want the PCs to rest in the dungeon, just change the rules so that resting in a dungeon isn't possible. Just tell them what you want them to do. Don't try to punish with surprise or harder combat encounters after they've clearly determined that the difficulty of the non-surprise and expected difficulty encounters is already more than they can handle. If you want long rests to feel more like 1e, just make them take a week like they de facto did in those editions. Don't bait-and-switch them with the RAW rules if you're not going to ever actually let them play as written. Just admit that you prefer grimdark resting and tell the players.


(† Stupid here means putting the players into a de facto unavoidable failure state and then forcing them to play through it by giving them a false choice of dying in the next combat encounter or dying trying to recover. Being given two paths that lead to abject and total failure and told to choose is neither a particularly compelling story for fantasy heroes, nor a particularly enjoyable game experience. I don't remember any of my DMs after high school inflicting that kind of ridiculous waste of time on the players. Giving the PCs a Kobayashi Maru as an in-game dramatic or narrative situation is great (save the princess or save the kingdom, but you can't do both!). Building Kobayashi Maru into the fundamental game mechanics of rest and recovery is ridiculously poor design. Building in unavoidable death spirals that potentially take multiple sessions to play through is ridiculously miserable design. If you want to overmatch the PCs, you don't need attrition to do it.)
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I don't think any of that is relevant to resting. I recall earlier editions you'd wake up, the cleric would prepare all their spells as healing spells, cast them all, and then immediately rest again and repeat until the party is healed.

In theory, yes, this could leave the party more vulnerable or risk external events impacting the party. In practice, that doesn't happen because it means that bad die rolls from one encounter snowball into catastrophe. That's realistic, but it's stupid†.

My experience was that if the DM keeps rolling random encounters where the PCs chose to rest for days on end, eventually the PCs just say, "Okay, we go somewhere that we think we will be safe and rest until we fully heal." Not letting the PCs heal when they have determined that healing is a prerequisite to continuing the progress of the adventure is stupid†. Yes, there are contrived situations where that is impossible, just as there are contrivances in 5e that make long rests impossible, that is never the general rule because that would make the game stupid†.

For real, if you don't want the PCs to rest in the dungeon, just change the rules so that resting in a dungeon isn't possible. Just tell them what you want them to do. Don't try to punish with surprise or harder combat encounters after they've clearly determined that the difficulty of the non-surprise and expected difficulty encounters is already more than they can handle. If you want long rests to feel more like 1e, just make them take a week like they de facto did in those editions. Don't bait-and-switch them with the RAW rules if you're not going to ever actually let them play as written. Just admit that you prefer grimdark resting and tell the players.


(† Stupid here means putting the players into a de facto unavoidable failure state and then forcing them to play through it by giving them a false choice of dying in the next combat encounter or dying trying to recover. Being given two paths that lead to abject and total failure and told to choose is neither a particularly compelling story for fantasy heroes, nor a particularly enjoyable game experience. I don't remember any of my DMs after high school inflicting that kind of ridiculous waste of time on the players. Giving the PCs a Kobayashi Maru as an in-game dramatic or narrative situation is great (save the princess or save the kingdom, but you can't do both!). Building Kobayashi Maru into the fundamental game mechanics of rest and recovery is ridiculously poor design. Building in unavoidable death spirals that potentially take multiple sessions to play through is ridiculously miserable design. If you want to overmatch the PCs, you don't need attrition to do it.)
Yes the cleric can & did do that, but the 5e rest gives it to everyone for free. Before the party had to go back to finish whatever needed finishing along with any reinforcements or defensive improvements minus those spell slots. That hit to effectiveness adds up & those spell slots used can be quite a few if the damage was spread around. Now the party needs to go in guns blazing exactly as they were when they first started.
 

Nefermandias

Explorer
Having everything recover on short rests is a terrible idea. It means that resource depletion is no longer a thing. Only mechanical consequence of an encounter can have is death, (and once you get resurrection, not even that.) As long as you survive, you can take a rest and negate all consequences of the encounter. Just nova everything every time.
You could always go 4e route and limit HP recovery with Healing Surges.
In my opinion, HS is the most efficient limitator ever implemented in the game when it comes to resource attrition and enforcing consequences through an adventuring day.
 

ehren37

Explorer
Yes, if the DM is consistently having only a single encounter during an in-game day. I'm not sure why that would be, though. Is the party really only have 1 combat or 1 social interaction or 1 "exploration" challenge during an in-game day? What is going on when they are not doing that 1 encounter? This seems... strange to me... like the DM is not fulfilling their end of the bargain putting together a challenging adventure. I feel like I'm probably misinterpreting something here. Can you elaborate why there would only be 1 encounter in a day?
Fine, say 3. That's still not even half of the encounters recommended, so long rest classes (casters), in addition to getting infinitely more narrative control are still always better.
 

ehren37

Explorer
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?
Even in the hackiest of hack and slashes, I cant fathom that. Moreover, its easy to force a rest. Sure, the DM can try and make it harder, but it strains my v-tude if there' always some BS reason why the adventure has to be done this day, yet there's somehow enough breathing room to allow for a one hour nap in hostile territory in between 2-3 fights.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Even in the hackiest of hack and slashes, I cant fathom that. Moreover, its easy to force a rest. Sure, the DM can try and make it harder, but it strains my v-tude if there' always some BS reason why the adventure has to be done this day, yet there's somehow enough breathing room to allow for a one hour nap in hostile territory in between 2-3 fights.
It also dramatically limits the kind of stories & plots a GM can use if they need to use doom clocks that strict all of the time. Things aren't helped by the rules stacking things so far in favor of players being able to just shrug & call bluff if the gm says there are reasons why the players don't feel safe taking a rest like "ok tiny hut">"mrh whatever, the fight won't last anywhere near an hour & we can finish the rest after"
 
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AnotherGuy

Explorer
We tried
1. Standard - Forced a high magic setting which I disliked as a DM, fully powered characters all the time
2. Conversion of SR to LR - Didn't solve the above issues
3. Gritty System - Players were frustrated, hurt verisimilitude, pacing issues
4. Die Roll for Recovery of Abilities tied to Exhaustion - Some players never engaged with the system, overly cautious, numbers were not fair for all levels of play

So now we tied HD to abilities, made the Long Rest a period of 24 hours and introduced a Travel Rest.
Recoveries still occur at SR and LR - no change in the rules there, we just changed the period of the LR. It also doesn't hurt verisimilitude or cause pacing issues the same way the gritty system does.
Tying the use of powers to HD places it firmly in the hands of the players, with a resource already part of the game and is fairly simple. No need to rely on the fickleness of the dice as with (4) above.

All one has to do is (A) decide the level of grittiness for their game with regards to the Travel Rest;
(i) Recharges all hp and HD;
(ii) Recharges all HD only; or
(iii) Recharges 50% Hit Dice (rounded down)

And (B) how does the Exhaustion condition and the like fit into the above recovery.
 

Horwath

Hero
I'm for long rest as short rest in 5E is not really short.

If they kept short rest from 4E at 5min, that would be a lot better.

Problem with short rest classes is that if you manage to get 1 hr uninterrupted, most of the time that 1hr can be stretched to 8hrs. And if there is not plot hook pressure, most PCs will take long rest instead of short one.
 

In the nearly 200 sessions of 5E that I've DM'd I definitely have noticed a tension between short and long rest classes. It's a detriment to the game. In the games I run, it's resulted in short rest classes feeling underpowered compared to long rest classes. So, for my style, I'd like to see all classes balanced around the long rest.

That may not work for other people with different play styles, of course.

I would love to see a version of D&D balanced around encounters (which is basically what the short rest is) but that's not the direction 5E took.
 

Asisreo

Archdevil's Advocate
Opportunity cost. If you end the day with an unspent 5th level spell slot, that’s a 5th level spell you could have cast that day and didn’t, which translates to other resources (like hit points) spent that could have been saved had you cast it.
This is precisely why I love sorcerers. Everyone says "metamagic is too expensive" or "its roughly the same as wizards." But I find that cannibalizing my slots to fuel bigger spells or metamagics are almost always better than having that slot at the end of the day.

I'm quite often left within 1-2 low level spell slots by the end of the day as a mid-level sorcerer, all other resources (besides HP) are practically spent. Which I find highly satisfying...I actually had an epiphany I'd like some opinions about:

Do people dislike Warlocks, Sorcerers, and Monks because their abilities are "too expensive" because they run out before the recharge? If so, that's very interesting! I usually figure getting all of my resources effectively used is a satisfying experience akin to "giving it my all."

It may very well be why these classes are controversial, I love using all of my features/resources because it feels like I was truly efficient. It also helps me standout more without forcing myself in the spotlight in the way of others.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
It may very well be why these classes are controversial, I love using all of my features/resources because it feels like I was truly efficient. It also helps me standout more without forcing myself in the spotlight in the way of others.
I imagine quite a few people find it satisfying to finish a run of encounters with most of their spell slots left, because it means they leveraged their spells well enough to not need them.

Personally, I like characters with a strong at-will offense (or other at-will combat go-to), with a dash of short rest and long rest resources primarily oriented around defense and utility. Hexblade warlocks definitely hit the mark the closest for me, although I've enjoyed sorcerer using twin cantrips as well. Bladesinger wizard also looks interesting once it gets to level 6.
 

I actually kinda miss the time when combat cantrips didn't exist and magic-users had to think about using their spells even more, and if they ran out they had to actually use a weapon like a peasant!
 


I'm very glad I started playing long after that. I play a magical character to be magical, not, again, for a resource minigame.
Yes, I too want magical characters to feel magical. To me it's just that magic being plentiful and spammable makes it feel less magical. It becomes just spamming some video gamey glowy pew pew. I prefer magic to be powerful but precious.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I actually kinda miss the time when combat cantrips didn't exist and magic-users had to think about using their spells even more, and if they ran out they had to actually use a weapon like a peasant!
Yes, I too want magical characters to feel magical. To me it's just that magic being plentiful and spammable makes it feel less magical. It becomes just spamming some video gamey glowy pew pew. I prefer magic to be powerful but precious.
I agree with this combo..The cantrips are a well meaning thing that tried to address some of the reasons LFQW was so pronounced when casters wet all out. That was a nice thought & laudable goal, but they took away from all types of spellcasters to do it & only made them gapfill for glass cannons leaving every other caster role saddled with underdone spells & overused concentration before going on todesign monsters to thwart the LFQW of past editions & do everything they could to invert it through improvements to martials without noticing or caring that they crossed the point of inversion to LWQF once you combine all the pieces
 
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I agree with this combo..The cantrips are a well meaning thing that tried to address sine if the reasons LFQW was so pronounced when casters wet all out. That was a nice thought & laudable goal, but they took away from all types of spellcasters to do it & only made them gapfill for glass cannons
Not so. The cantrips work on clerics (who are hardly glass cannons) and warlocks (who are only slightly glassier). And alchemists if we're going outside the PHB.
leaving every other caster role saddled with underdone spells & overused concentration before going on todesign monsters to thwart the LFQW of past editions & do everything they could to invert it through improvements to martials without noticing or caring that they crossed the point of inversion to LWQF once you combine all the pieces
The huge thing here is that martials should be winning the combats, all else being equal. If you're trying to balance across all three pillars rather than for just one then spells have a clear and obvious advantage. So the fighter ought to be the strongest combat. The clue's in the name "fighter"
 

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