5E Short/Long Rest in LMoP

Nebulous

Hero
I'm well versed in 5e and have run plenty of games, but I have a slight problem in Lost Mine and wanted to ask how others would handle it.

The PCs are finally in Wave Echo Cave and have been through a few encounters and a couple of them are beat up. They found the storage area at Room #7 and I told them it looks like it can be barricaded. They know how small it is but it looks fairly safe, except there's no escape route. Five people and a big spider pet could reasonably rest in there.

They are at the cusp of leveling to 5th but I normally only allow Level Up after a Long Rest. They rested this very morning before delving into the dungeon (woke up, had coffee, studied magic and then went in to fight stuff) so only maybe 2 hours have passed (including a short rest very recently, like, within half an hour of the last fight). I know my players and they will want/need a Long Rest to recharge their hit points and spell slots to full capacity and get back half HD. But it's another roughly 20 hours before they can benefit from another long rest. That's a long time to spend holed up in a closet with no light, no heat, cramped, with the wave echo rumbling occasionally and enemies scratching around, and the Black Spider knows where they are at all times via spider automatons. He even talks to them via the automatons.

But the group NEEDS to level up. They could try to leave the mine and go back outside, but they only killed one of the hill giants, so there's the other hill giant and he's brought back 3 ogre lackeys, so there's a deadly level fight waiting just outside. I did that because I didn't want them going into the mine and walking back out to the campsite after every fight to LR, which is what they would do. Even if they did kill all the ogres and giant there's still potential random mountain encounters or maybe things come out of the mine to interrupt their rest.

There's another subplot where some renegade drow are nearby in a lower level. The BS wants them gone, so he might/maybe trade Gundren the dwarf to the PCs if they kill the drow first. (He's kept Gundren alive since Cragmaw in case the PCs found Wave Echo and he needed a bargaining chip). Does this mean he would let them rest in the storage room for 20 hours until they are fully healed? Can they even rest enough in the storage closet to benefit? I would think not, and it gives them the precedent to go back there every time they want.

Should I give them a partial 1 hour short rest in the storage room and Level them to 5th with partial level bonus, such as reduced hit points and reduced slots? The wizard gets two 3rd level spell slots normally.

What are some options I can use that give them a boost but doesn't make them feel safe in the mine or that they can rest wherever they want? I'm already incorporating random encounters % every hour or two hours, but that wouldn't have much impact inside a barricaded storage room unless I go out of my way to root them out. I always forget about any sleeping in armor penalty, although that wouldn't affect the monk or wizard, so only the paladin and ranger and cleric would need to doff armor.
 

LordEntrails

Adventurer
IMO no. They have screwed themselves over by doing what they have done. They need to learn a lesson. You need to break their habit of resting after every challenge or at least as often as they do.

Either the Black Spider;

1) Is going to attack them in their hole before they can rest, Perhaps set a fire outside their door and try to smoke them out. Inject poison gas through the door, or just beat down the door.

2) or it's going to setup a fortification just outside the door and when they come out attack with superior coverage and with all sorts of traps and ranged attacks readied.

3) Just leave. If they believe the party will be likely to wipe them out when they emerge from the room then the BS will not stick around to be killed. Monsters are not stupid, nor are they just there as obstacles to the players. So they leave, they take all their treasure and go somewhere else. Maybe they even attack Phandelver while the party is resting. Whatever it is, the plot has changed, and the party might just lose because they failed to act when they could have.

None of this is to say that you need to orchestrate a TPK, but having the party fail does not mean they "lost the game". It just means the story doesn't play out as written. Adapt and overcome!
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Though it's a common house rule, D&D 5e does not actually have a rule that requires resting in order to level up. I strongly recommend that DMs keep it that way as a level-up mid-adventure does provide the PCs with some extra resources that will keep them moving forward without resting. Of course, this may be too late for your game as you've already implemented the house rule.

Typically in adventure locations with a dense enough amount of threats, I take resting off the table. The PCs have to fall back, giving up ground they've gained, and leaving an opening for whatever remains to restock, if possible, or otherwise prepare themselves for future incursions. Sometimes I will include special locations, often found behind secret doors or the like, where the PC can rest, but they have to set about trying to find these and there's no guarantee.

In your case, I would tell them rest is off the table in the dungeon, add a couple traps or ambushes for when they return, and call it good.
 

Fenris447

Explorer
How important is the 1/LR per day rule to you? I'd simply handwave it and allow the Long Rest. Alternatively, I once had my LMOP party find potions that, when drank over the course of 10 minutes, provided the same benefits as if they had just long rested. It was a bit deus ex machina, and two of them decided to hang on to the potion, which caused me a headache later. But it worked out better for maintaining the tension of the plot and its timing.

But really, how integral is it that they level up? My players managed to make it through WEC at level 4, and that's even with me beefing it up a fair bit.
 

Nebulous

Hero
How important is the 1/LR per day rule to you? I'd simply handwave it and allow the Long Rest. Alternatively, I once had my LMOP party find potions that, when drank over the course of 10 minutes, provided the same benefits as if they had just long rested. It was a bit deus ex machina, and two of them decided to hang on to the potion, which caused me a headache later. But it worked out better for maintaining the tension of the plot and its timing.

But really, how integral is it that they level up? My players managed to make it through WEC at level 4, and that's even with me beefing it up a fair bit.
The LR/day is something I've done since we started, but I'm willing to fudge it here. As for leveling up to 5th, it is fairly important. I'm changing the mine enough so that there's a whole regiment of drow and spellcasters and the Black Spider himself is probably CR 8 now, and he has hordes of void spider minions which are basically endless, I can pop up 12 of them as needed. And the wizard specifically asked me if they will level to 5th before meeting the BS and I said yes.
 

Nebulous

Hero
I level up between sessions, but not during. I also try to disincline my players from a 5 minute work day. If you take resource management out of the game it changes everything about encounter planning.
I absolutely don't want to take resource management out of the game, I think it is vitally important and dwindling resources vs. full nova as needed is crucial.
 

Nebulous

Hero
Though it's a common house rule, D&D 5e does not actually have a rule that requires resting in order to level up. I strongly recommend that DMs keep it that way as a level-up mid-adventure does provide the PCs with some extra resources that will keep them moving forward without resting. Of course, this may be too late for your game as you've already implemented the house rule.

Typically in adventure locations with a dense enough amount of threats, I take resting off the table. The PCs have to fall back, giving up ground they've gained, and leaving an opening for whatever remains to restock, if possible, or otherwise prepare themselves for future incursions. Sometimes I will include special locations, often found behind secret doors or the like, where the PC can rest, but they have to set about trying to find these and there's no guarantee.

In your case, I would tell them rest is off the table in the dungeon, add a couple traps or ambushes for when they return, and call it good.
Well I had the idea of giving them a short rest in Area #7 and let them level up to 5th, but don't give them full hit point recharge and spell slot recharge. Would that be a fair compromise? And it might only work once in the storage room, they can't go back there every hour and even get a short rest if the BS wants them out. Fire, poison, etc could force them to run.
 

JeffB

Hero
Since their sleep/rest is likely to be interrupted, give them a partial rest. Spellcasters only get a slot or two of 1st or 2nd level spells...they get back half the HP and HD they normally would on a LR, etc..

That way they get something- but now they hopefully learn a lesson. And if they try it again after your generosity, eff em. Bust the doors down and let the monsters have at it.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Well I had the idea of giving them a short rest in Area #7 and let them level up to 5th, but don't give them full hit point recharge and spell slot recharge. Would that be a fair compromise? And it might only work once in the storage room, they can't go back there every hour and even get a short rest if the BS wants them out. Fire, poison, etc could force them to run.
I wouldn't change the rules mid-game. They knew what the rules were going in. They made decisions based on that. In my view it's taking something away from the players if the rules change to mitigate the downsides of the decisions they made. Let them fall back out of the dungeon, set up camp at risk of wandering monsters, then rest. When they return, the enemies are ready for them.

Once the adventure is done, then it would be fair to change the rules going forward, with the players' buy-in.
 

Nebulous

Hero
I wouldn't change the rules mid-game. They knew what the rules were going in. They made decisions based on that. In my view it's taking something away from the players if the rules change to mitigate the downsides of the decisions they made. Let them fall back out of the dungeon, set up camp at risk of wandering monsters, then rest. When they return, the enemies are ready for them.

Once the adventure is done, then it would be fair to change the rules going forward, with the players' buy-in.
Eh, they're newbie players and not great at strategy and would have expected a long rest. This would be the first place in the campaign they haven't been able to retreat and fully heal, so I don't want to penalize them too badly. But they DO NEED to learn that you can't rest willy nilly wherever you want. I'm trying to nip that without forcing a TPK to prove my point.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
In my campaign, they made their bed and now they need to lie in it. Or not. Decisions have consequences and they just have to soldier through. However, you know your group better than I do and I will adjust difficulty of encounters based on the group and preference. The important thing is that nothing is decided until it actually happens. Tweak the encounters and environment to the benefit of the players so that they have fun playing the game.

So sideline some encounters for now, or have some of the bad guys running errands. Minimize random encounters. Make the remaining fights a little easier so that they're difficult but not deadly.

Sleeping in a closet in my game would be really dangerous. If the enemy knows there are intruders they are going to be checking closets and hidden alcoves. Even with the door blocked (how? Why can't it be broken down?) there's going to be a welcoming party when they come out.

On a related note personally I ignore the sleeping in armor penalty. Non-dex fighter types are already punished enough. That and I have no clue how difficult it would be to get a good nights sleep in armor vs sleeping on a stone floor. I don't see how it would make much of a difference. I assume people bathe at some point, but it's always done off screen. That, and good armor is not nearly as restrictive and uncomfortable as people think.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
If you're going to fudge things because your players are new and haven't learned all your tactics and ideosycracies yet as a DM... then the place where I think you should fudge is the hill giant and "3 ogres" outside the mine.

Your rules for long rests and leveling up through long rests should not be fudged, because you intend to use those rules throughout your campaign. So if you change those rules now, they mean much less in subsequent games as the group will think you will always be willing to give in and fudge if they get themselves into trouble when needing a rest in the future.

But your formatting that you had three ogres show up to supplement the hill giant outside the mine? That's merely a story point, not a rule. That is one where you can easily change or evolve the story to be nice to your group, without it impacting future adventures.

Yes, you had the three ogres arrive so that the group wouldn't just leave the mine willy-nilly. Well, they haven't done that. At this point they are leaving the mine because they HAVE to leave the mine if they wish to get to any place of safety. So letting them do so in some form or fashion is the best way to go. Did the group see the ogres arrive to help the hill giant before they entered the mine, or is this just something that you said happened in the background while they were inside? If the party doesn't know the ogres are there, then you can make up any excuse as to why one or more of them aren't out front any longer. Maybe they got bored and left the hill giant, or maybe other creatures arrived in the area and the ogres ran off to deal with them and aren't out front anymore.

Say whatever you want, so that if the party does try to go back to camp for a long rest, maybe they only face the hill giant and one ogre, or perhaps just the hill giant itself. Just make up any excuse for not having the additional ogres there to kick the crap out of the party if they try to leave. If you do this, you still aren't making it easy for them to retreat out of the mine because they still have the hill giant, but you also aren't kicking them when they are down for no reason (which you would be doing if you threw the hill giant and three ogres at them.)

The group should realize that resting in the mine is suicide. So let them try to leave, and only face down the one hill giant they didn't take out as they entered so they learn that lesson that enemies you leave behind will still need to be dealt with later. That's my suggestion.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Another suggestion. They try to leave the mine, see the guards and have to figure out how to sneak past or bluff. Ogres are notoriously stupid, play that up. There are a lot of other options as well like a cache of healing potions they just happen to find and so on.

But like others, I wouldn't change the base rules.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Eh, they're newbie players and not great at strategy and would have expected a long rest. This would be the first place in the campaign they haven't been able to retreat and fully heal, so I don't want to penalize them too badly. But they DO NEED to learn that you can't rest willy nilly wherever you want. I'm trying to nip that without forcing a TPK to prove my point.
I DM for a LOT of newbies. I cut them no slack. They learn very quickly. I think we DMs underestimate people too much. Set a high bar and they will rise to the occasion in my experience.

I would also suggest that if they're at Wave Echo Cave, provided you didn't cut out a bunch of stuff in the middle, they are past the point of being newbies. They should have a good idea of the risks.
 

Nebulous

Hero
I DM for a LOT of newbies. I cut them no slack. They learn very quickly. I think we DMs underestimate people too much. Set a high bar and they will rise to the occasion in my experience.

I would also suggest that if they're at Wave Echo Cave, provided you didn't cut out a bunch of stuff in the middle, they are past the point of being newbies. They should have a good idea of the risks.
Yeah, maybe I'm too nice to them sometimes, lol.
 

Fenris447

Explorer
I'm on board the "ogres outside" train. You could also have the players have to figure out a different way to leave the mine, possibly through the original entrance. This makes for a new challenge while still not throwing anything away.
 

Advertisement

Top