D&D General My Best and Simplest Homebrew Rule: Nerfed Long Rests

xiphumor

Legend
When players take a long rest, the regain half of the features their descriptions say that they do, rounded up. Magic Items with charges similarly regain half of their charges, rounded up.

Hit dice and HP are the one exception. Players still regain their RAW half-of-all-their-hit-dice-rounded-down on a long rest. However, they must spend hit dice in order to regain HP, just as they would on a short rest.

In this system, spell-casters multiply each of their spell slots by their level and add up the total. They may regain a number of spell slots whose collective level adds up to half of that total, rounded up.

Short Rests are unchanged.


This system lets me not run 6-8 encounters per day, which is unreasonable for the pace of my story, without stretching everything out over the course of weeks like Gritty Realism demands. In general, short-rest-based and long-rest-based classes even out after about three straight days of adventuring. At the same time, if I want to run a high-intensity dungeon, all I have to do is give the players two or three long rests to gear up and prepare.

It might not be for everyone’s game, but it’s proved to be a powerful tool for bringing the mechanics of the game in line with my story pace.
 

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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Interesting. I had tried working this from the other side, reducing slots and uses directly to match a 3-4 encounter adventuring day. Well, not exactly - my casters started off around the same as standard because T1 casters are fairly low in spells and I still wanted the feel of being a caster, not just an at-will cantrip spammer.

The main differences I see is that with yours, long rest recovery classes still have the greater capacity and and determine when they want to stay within recovery limits and when they want to pull out all of the stop - still giving them nova potential above the other classes just limited more towards once per adventure vs. once per day.

Also wonder about slot-level recovery - higher level spells are more efficient than low level spells so those could get better, and at high levels when recovering a lot of spells it's fairly trivial to replace 1st level utility spells like Shield.

I had a lot of problems figuring a good way to reduce the Warlock while still keeping them feel unique. I didn't want to move them to long rest recovery, but 1 spell per short rest for most of their realistic adventuring career just didn't seem like it would be satisfying to play. Do you have any suggestions?
 

NotAYakk

Legend
The point of Gritty is that "I take a week break" plausibly loses whatever plot is in the air at the time.

This turns "we sleep for the night" into "we sleep for 2 nights". It is a bit of a stretch that some ongoing plot that wouldn't find taking a night off suddenly fails if you take 2 nights off.

Once you have embraced tweaking the game speed of 5e, it becomes a matter of tuning encounter difficulty. With gritty, the PC resource for a problem is one long rests worth. If they run out of said resources and have to retreat, the (planned) failure consequence kicks in (in the in-world fiction).

With yours, I'm not sure what the resource budget for a single problem is.

With gritty it is clear.

Immediate problem: Monsters attacking right now, or criminal leaving city, or approaching a den of bandits. You don't have time for a short rest. You probably have time for rituals and similar recovery between sub problems.

Extended problem: Bandits are raiding an area, criminal investigation in a town, traveling between two spots. You don't have time for a long rest, but have time for (limited number of) short rests between sub-problems.

Plot Arc: Dwarven fascists are harvesting materials from lands abandoned by the elves when they left this plane to build a warforged army. You have time for (limited number of) long rests between sub-problems.

Making the consequences of taking a rest clear is key, in my opinion. And "long rests are 2 nights in total" doesn't make it much clearer, at least to me. I mean, if you "give" players rests, that is different; but rests should be (in my opinion) a player choice with usually obvious consequences and costs.

If you take a week off investigating criminals, they get away with whatever they are doing. If you go back to the origin city and take a week break while traveling, you failed the trip. If you take week off while bandits are raiding, they pull off another major raid and cause a lot more destruction.

If you take too many weeks while opposing the Dwarven fascists, they build their army and start the invasion. If you take a night off when a criminal is fleeing a city, they flee the city and are out of reach. If you try to take a short rest when your caravan is attacked, the monsters kill you (or if you hide, they destroy the caravan). If you take an overnight rest after hitting the bandit den, the bandits reinforce, ambush you in return, or leave the area. Etc.

...

Finally, I don't like your math. It is messy and inelegant.
 


xiphumor

Legend
My story is designed around problems that span over 2-4 days. It means that the characters are tired after traveling to a new town and might need a slow day to recover. This also means that I can use more mundane, everyday threats in a meaningful way because the characters aren’t always at full power, and it encourages players to cycle between who’s doing the heavy lifting at any given time.

Granted, I’m still working out how the math for encounters work out, but my rule of thumb is that if the adventurers aren’t fresh, everything is about 1.5 times harder because they’re usually at 2/3 strength.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Granted, I’m still working out how the math for encounters work out, but my rule of thumb is that if the adventurers aren’t fresh, everything is about 1.5 times harder because they’re usually at 2/3 strength.
Adventurers are at full strength for most of the encounters. They just don't have as much depth to that strength.

In an encounter, strength is measured by effectiveness per turn, which is mostly effectiveness per action though with some notable exceptions.

If you're going to have three actions in a combat, the fact that you are down a large number of mid-level slots won't mean a thing. Those are neither your most effective per action slots (your highest few levels) nor your utility/defensive slots (low level). And the slot-math method of recovery you can prioritize those. So you have have slots for Fireball and Shield at the cost of a 2nd level spell, and even moreso at the higher levels.

As long as you have enough higher level slots to last for a full combat, you are fighting at full strength.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Do you get your HD back before or after you have to spend them? And if the latter, do you get them back immediately?
 

xiphumor

Legend
Do you get your HD back before or after you have to spend them? And if the latter, do you get them back immediately?
You start a long rest by “taking a short rest” during which you spend any hit dice you have (if you want to). Then you finish the long rest which gives you new hit dice which you can then spend.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
You start a long rest by “taking a short rest” during which you spend any hit dice you have (if you want to). Then you finish the long rest which gives you new hit dice which you can then spend.

Any rules for how long after a long rest you can take a short rest?
 

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