D&D (2024) Rest Variants (DMG pg. 267)

Have you used the Rest Variants in the DMG? What Did You Think?

  • I've used Epic Heroism, and I liked it

    Votes: 5 16.7%
  • I've used Epic Heroism, and I neither liked nor disliked it

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I've used Epic Heroism, and I didn't like it

    Votes: 1 3.3%
  • I've used Gritty Realism, and I liked it

    Votes: 7 23.3%
  • I've used Gritty Realism, and I neither liked nor disliked it

    Votes: 1 3.3%
  • I've used Gritty Realism, and I didn't like it

    Votes: 4 13.3%
  • I've used the Default Rules, and I like them

    Votes: 9 30.0%
  • I've used the Default Rules, and I neither like nor dislike them

    Votes: 6 20.0%
  • I've used the Default Rules, and I didn't like them

    Votes: 8 26.7%
  • I use my own system (I'll describe it below)

    Votes: 11 36.7%


I know right? I've never played it, but "go nova every time you roll initiative" doesn't look like it would fit my playstyle.

I've read a handful of opinions about the Epic Heroism variant over the years, but I've never found anyone who has actually used it, though. (Including me. So...hoisted by my own petard, I guess?)
Yea I even took the time to check the ELH before posting that since the ELH had some crazy stuff in it. Even that was unthinkable or considered beyond the pale for the ELH in ways that left it on the cutting room floor.

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Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
I haven’t tried them, but I might if there was an option in between Epic and Default:

EpiDefault: Short Rests are 5 minutes, Long rests are 8 hours.
I'd hybridize the three of them. Short Rests are 5 minutes, Long rests 8 hours, a full heal is a month of downtime.

Jolly Ruby

I like to use Slow Healing EpiDefault: a short rest is 10 minutes, a long rest is 8 hours, restoring HP in a long rest requires to roll hit dice.

Currently a long rest restore all hit dice in my system (you restore your HP, then you regain all hit dice), but with some playtest I'm considering adding the following rule: if you rest in a comfortable environment (soft bed, under a roof and proper heating) without taking shifts you can restore all your hit dice. Otherwise you restore just half of them.
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I've had the most success with the variant from Strangers on Ramshorn. Week long long rests, standard short rests, daily magic items recharge 1/week.

That adventure has a timeline where the world describes vying against the PC who each rest unless taken care of. The week period gives them time to act.

Ive used Epic Heroism alongside slow natural recovery and healing surges. It really goes a long way towards fixing things.

Casters and martials are better balanced and encounter design becomes dramatically easier. It also makes adventures less predictable, which is always a good thing.

It also happens to take the game back closer to its 4e skeleton, so everything across the board starts to work better as you restore those mechanics.

My experience with it is part and parcel to why I think, as deliberated in the other topic, rests should just be abandoned as a concept entirely. Universal resources with weaker but fluid, meaning non-fixed or use any time, restoration mechanics (be it potions or whatever tickles your fancy) works better with the type of game DND is trying to be.

Survival then can become fully optional and, as a boon, has room to be fleshed out into something much more interesting when it doesn't have to be held back by the needs of an ultimately casual game.


I have no idea what kind of munchkinized feverdream inspiration that epic heroism is built for but I don't think it's d&d or anything like it to the point that not even the epic level handbook seems to have anything like it.


5ever, or until 2024
I have been tinkering with the rest problem since 4e. What I introduced then and still use a variant of is restiness.

To fully benefit from a long rest, you must be somewhere "resty". Eventually, haven rules from 3rd parties would come along with the same idea. If not in a resty area, there is a % chance that you don't get the benefit of the Long rest.

This added to exploration (remember their is a divan here!) and kept certain kinds of dungeon and wilderness adventures from getting nova'd to smithereens.

For 5e there is also the class balance issue, made worse by the fact that short rests might not be taken at all....current rules: 1 short rest a day, takes 20 minutes, get back 1/2HD. On the long rest, unless ideal conditions, 50% of only benefitting from a short rest. (% can very on circumstances).


Players just ask if there's time for a short rest, and we agree whether it makes sense in the circumstances. Same with longs rests. They aren't an interesting part of the game for me. I've toyed with the idea of trying Gritty Realism, which might make it interesting, but I think I would only want to do that with a hardcore group.

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