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%


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Shiroiken

Legend
I haven't used the Gritty system, but I plan to for my next campaign. The one change I'm going to make is that a Long Rest is either 3 days of complete rest or during 1 week of downtime. This way a traveling party can choose to make a stop somewhere for a few days, rather than taking a full week.
 


Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
I tinkering with a rule to base spell recovery on the number of hours spent on rest.

Something like:

1 hours of sleep gives you your 1st level spells back. Add 2 extra hours to regain your 2nd level spells. Spend 3 more hours to regain your 3rd level spells etc

So you would need something like 45 hours of downtime to regain your 9th level slot.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I've used and mixed and matched all the different variants in each of the campaigns I've run. Each campaign have a different method used in order to best encapsulate the feeling of the game I'm running. But my default format nowadays is a 10-minute Short Rest, and an 8-hour Long Rest.
 



tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Are you in disagreement with the assessment I made for one out of the three rest variants I described my experiences & thoughts on or are you just upset that other people are having fun? I'm sure it would generate interesting discussion if you were to describe how that rest style positively impacts sessions & campaigns... did you accidentally hit post while typing?
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I've used gritty realism extensively. It is probably my favorite "switch" to use in 5e. It makes the game run a lot better, and it's an easy "fix" to a lot of problems that my table had. However, given that a lot of 5e has a lot of default rules and assumptions baked in, there isn't just one simple fix ("When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail"). If this is the only rule you tweak, you end up seeing the following:

A. As noted by the OP, Fighters and Rogues (the "always on") and, to a lesser extent, Barbarians really come into their own. It makes martial characters more interesting, and makes skills (and the use of skills) more valuable in the game.

B. Unfortunately, it pretty much destroys the monk. The monk is the only martial that truly depends on a resource (ki) that is replenished during a short rest; using this variant without more rule tweaks turns the monk from an interesting martial choice in a campaign to a nearly useless one compared to other characters. While the other benefits of the monk (such as unarmed and unarmored fighting) might appear to make up for this in a survivalist campaign, having a class that is so dependent on short-rest abilities for their regular martial abilities just doesn't work unless you make further alterations.

C. Full spellcasters become more interesting, albeit weaker. Players have to adapt to spell scarcity, and I have found that scarce resources become more valuable. There are a lot more interesting uses of utility cantrips, and higher-level spell casting is usually impactful and well-considered.

D. OTOH, half-casters and third casters .... not quite as great. Paladins aren't going around smiting everything every turn. I highly recommend using the variant (spell-less) Ranger.

E. Generally, though, this is the usually the beginning of a cascade of changes and other house rules. For example, with gritty realism, standard 5e-style recharging wands are really powerful, so you probably want to default to non-recharging wands. A feat like magic initiate suddenly becomes too much, so our table banned it (in a world where cantrips are overvalued, it's best to restrict cantrips to the actual spellcasters). And so on.

Gritty realism is awesome, but it's usually the beginning of the tweaks, not the end.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I've used gritty realism extensively. It is probably my favorite "switch" to use in 5e. It makes the game run a lot better, and it's an easy "fix" to a lot of problems that my table had. However, given that a lot of 5e has a lot of default rules and assumptions baked in, there isn't just one simple fix ("When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail"). If this is the only rule you tweak, you end up seeing the following:

A. As noted by the OP, Fighters and Rogues (the "always on") and, to a lesser extent, Barbarians really come into their own. It makes martial characters more interesting, and makes skills (and the use of skills) more valuable in the game.

B. Unfortunately, it pretty much destroys the monk. The monk is the only martial that truly depends on a resource (ki) that is replenished during a short rest; using this variant without more rule tweaks turns the monk from an interesting martial choice in a campaign to a nearly useless one compared to other characters. While the other benefits of the monk (such as unarmed and unarmored fighting) might appear to make up for this in a survivalist campaign, having a class that is so dependent on short-rest abilities for their regular martial abilities just doesn't work unless you make further alterations.

C. Full spellcasters become more interesting, albeit weaker. Players have to adapt to spell scarcity, and I have found that scarce resources become more valuable. There are a lot more interesting uses of utility cantrips, and higher-level spell casting is usually impactful and well-considered.

D. OTOH, half-casters and third casters .... not quite as great. Paladins aren't going around smiting everything every turn. I highly recommend using the variant (spell-less) Ranger.

E. Generally, though, this is the usually the beginning of a cascade of changes and other house rules. For example, with gritty realism, standard 5e-style recharging wands are really powerful, so you probably want to default to non-recharging wands. A feat like magic initiate suddenly becomes too much, so our table banned it (in a world where cantrips are overvalued, it's best to restrict cantrips to the actual spellcasters). And so on.

Gritty realism is awesome, but it's usually the beginning of the tweaks, not the end.
I agree with all of this.

And this is the hardest thing about trying to determine the best way to incorporate things at each individual table-- making things "fair" between classes so that no classes are markedly better most of the time than others... but also trying to find a palatable "narrative realism" that you find yourself more comfortable with.

That's the thing about the "gritty realism" option... it's all about the latter, but requires a lot of work to then fix the former if you use it. Players want a more "realistic" recovery format (as much as "realism" ever plays a part in D&D) for however their stories are playing out-- but really mess up the timing and balance for character features that aren't healing.

And in addition... a connected part of this issue is just how continuous a campaign's narrative is. Do you use downtime between adventures when the group is "off-screen" for a few days, a week, a month, and nothing is happening? If you do, then inserting "gritty realism" into that game is much easier because the group is already sitting around "in story" for a long enough time for wounds to heal using those rules. But if you have a narrative where you don't jump forward in time and things are still happening "on screen"... having characters on their hands for a week while thing are actually occurring around them that they can't do anything about kinda sucks.

I had this issue with my Curse of Strahd campaign... I originally was going to have Long Rests be a week to really get across the danger of the land... but I discovered soon enough that the things the character were doing in the realm couldn't allow for reactions from the realm to just be put on hold for seven full days to allow them to just "camp" for a week to recover. The story was progressing with or without them. And thus the "game" was much less fun for everyone.
 

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