D&D 5E Short Rest Classes: Is the "Short Rest Problem" a "Monk Problem"

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
If you haven't looked at it, I recommend this thread I started the other day-

How to easily balance all the short rest classes.

Anyway, the gist of it was that any short rest resource could be converted into a long rest resource by multiplying it by 3. So, for example, if a Warlock has two "short rest" spells, then they should have 6 spells per day. If a monk has 4 ki, then they should have 12 ki per day. And so on. The point of this was to help balance the "short rest" classes with the "long rest" classes, especially when it came to tables that didn't allow for short rests at the usual interval (2 shorts per long- if it was 3 shorts per long, then it would be 4x, and that gets a little much).

But some of the comments in the thread made me think about this issues in a little more depth. I've always taken it as a given that there are short rest classes and long rest classes, but I've never really teased out that thought, or what it meant. So let's start with the basic analysis- what is a short rest class, and why does it matter?

Traditionally, most people would break classes down as follows in terms of the rest abilities-

Short Rest
These are the classes that have abilities that primarily key on short rests.
Fighter, Monks, Warlocks


In the Middle
These are the classes that are primarily long rest, but have some short rest abilities.
Bards, Clerics, Druids, Paladins, Wizards

Long Rest
These are the classes that are almost solely long rest.
Artificers, Barbarians, Rangers, Sorcerers

Rests aren't the Boss of Me
Rogues


So when you look at this, and you're trying to see which classes have a short rest problem, something becomes quickly apparent. There are only three classes that you can even classify as short-rest dependent.

Of those three classes, one of them is the Fighter. Now, don't get me wrong ... short rests are REALLY NICE for the fighter. The base fighter abilities, like Action Surge and Second Wind ... yeah, short rest. And if you go battlemaster, you want those short rests. But the thing about fighters is that they are really good at the fighting things even without the short rest. They have armor, and hit points, and weapons ... They WANT the short rest, but they don't NEED it.

Next is the Warlock. Warlocks have one of the best (if not THE BEST) attack cantrip in the game. They have "always on" invocations. Yes, they need the short rests for spells, but it's perfectly possible to play a useable Warlock without the extra spells.

And that leaves the Monk. The Monk's abilities, and their various subclasses, are all premise on Ki- which is a unique monk resource. And ki ... is completely short-rest dependent. More than any class, monks are completely, totally, 100% dependent on getting the required short rests.

At least, that's my thought right now. Because I was thinking about this, and while some classes (Warlocks and Fighters) get hurt by a lack of short rests, Monks become nearly unplayable.

So maybe that's the crux of the issue. Maybe the short rest problem is actually a monk problem? Or, put another way, maybe the monk problem is ... actually a short rest problem?
 

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DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
It isn't a problem at all as I see it, but I am just one voice. :)

Reading the other thread, I am not a fan of the x3 option you suggest simply because it increases Nova capabilities of those other classes and now they will run out and want a long rest instead of running out and just needing a short rest.

I think another option would be a recharge mechanic for all features, where you would (typically) have them at the beginning of an encounter, but checking recharges for such things would probably be too fiddly for people.

Anyway, as for the "monk", the typical thing is just giving more ki or allowing a single free-use per encounter or something.
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Instead of doing 3x short rest abilities, you could do prof bonus per day, but between each use, you need a 5 min breather.

That would work with some things that you want to scale with level, but it doesn't work for the Monk's ki or the Warlocks spells (for example). It doesn't work for any abilities that were already scaling with level.

The proficiency bonus per day is a useful mechanic, but it's hard to retcon into everything they were using the short rest for.
 

That would work with some things that you want to scale with level, but it doesn't work for the Monk's ki or the Warlocks spells (for example). It doesn't work for any abilities that were already scaling with level.

The proficiency bonus per day is a useful mechanic, but it's hard to retcon into everything they were using the short rest for.
Then make it fixed 2 times per day during a 5 minbreather you can recharge the ability. This prevents a nova from short rest classes, which could in the case of a 4e monk/level 2 figher be quite some hefty output:

Fireball/action surge/Fireball... For 3 rounds and bonus action dodge(attack with tasha's optional ki attack).
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Then make it fixed 2 times per day during a 5 minbreather you can recharge the ability. This prevents a nova from short rest classes, which could in the case of a 4e monk/level 2 figher be quite some hefty output:

Fireball/action surge/Fireball... For 3 rounds and bonus action dodge(attack with tasha's optional ki attack).

As I wrote in the other thread, I think that the concern people have for ... Monks ... nova'ing is kind of funny and overblown.

"Oh, it's fine that we have the Paladin go all SMITE-Y when he wants to and NOVA harder than a 1970s Chevy , but we can't let a monk or battlemaster nova! That would go against the laws of God, Gygax, and Grod!"

:)

But if you were concerned, I did write the following -

But otherwise, I'd propose something similar to, "You can take two short rests per long rest, but you must take an minute to do so" (in order to avoid mid-combat short rests).


ETA- As much as people love theorycrafting, I don't think they've tried to build many Monk multiclasses before. Monks are famously MAD, and usually don't do well when you have to dip.
 

As I wrote in the other thread, I think that the concern people have for ... Monks ... nova'ing is kind of funny and overblown.

"Oh, it's fine that we have the Paladin go all SMITE-Y when he wants to and NOVA harder than a 1970s Chevy , but we can't let a monk or battlemaster nova! That would go against the laws of God, Gygax, and Grod!"

:)

But if you were concerned, I did write the following -




ETA- As much as people love theorycrafting, I don't think they've tried to build many Monk multiclasses before. Monks are famously MAD, and usually don't do well when you have to dip.

You are probably right. I still thought it was worth pointing oit, that with more available ki, the elemental monk does not look so bad anymore. ;)

The paladin however will hopefully get reigned in in nova capability. S.ites not factored in crits might help a bit already.
 

if the rest is the problem, make the recharge happen when you roll initiative.
Give an initial pool, and recharge some at initiative,
 

Battlemaster gets to use his whole total of 4-6 superiority dice between short rests. That is not even doing one maneuver every other turn if you want them to last for two fights.

Let's put it this way: at least a Monk looks like a Monk doing Monk stuff even without Ki points. A Battlemaster out of superiority dice is just any random guy with a stick. It's not fun to play either when out of juice.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
... but it's perfectly possible to play a useable Warlock without the extra spells.

Having the best combat cantrip does not an interesting play experience make, though. Having watched several warlocks in action, I see the point of limiting their spells, but I think they really want those rests for overall play experience.

So, Monk and Warlock problem.
 


What I think the difference is, is a matter of fun. When the paladin novas, the table roars in excitement as they deal 75 points of damage or somesuch in a single strike.

When the monk novas, it's almost invariably combining flurry of blows and stunning strike. Which means we're just playing a numbers game as I roll save after save until I fail the check (and/or run out of legendary resistances). And then as a DM I get to sit there doing nothing when my turn comes up. Neither of which contributes to excitement at the table.

As I wrote in the other thread, I think that the concern people have for ... Monks ... nova'ing is kind of funny and overblown.

"Oh, it's fine that we have the Paladin go all SMITE-Y when he wants to and NOVA harder than a 1970s Chevy , but we can't let a monk or battlemaster nova! That would go against the laws of God, Gygax, and Grod!"
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
I generally don't think there's much of a short rest class problem. But for tables that aren't seeing their players take a short rest because they never seem to have the time, memory, or inclination to spend the hour, just pull the trigger and make the rest coincide with the gaps between combats when the PCs are searching the room/looting the bodies. Then the recharge is happening frequently without anyone having to be explicit about it. The monk is getting their ki points back, the fighter is getting their surge/second wind/dice back, and the warlock gets their spells after every fight in which there's a bit of time before the next one.
And if they get them back more often than the estimated balance of 3/long rest... does it really matter that much?
 

ECMO3

Hero
If you haven't looked at it, I recommend this thread I started the other day-

How to easily balance all the short rest classes.

Anyway, the gist of it was that any short rest resource could be converted into a long rest resource by multiplying it by 3. So, for example, if a Warlock has two "short rest" spells, then they should have 6 spells per day. If a monk has 4 ki, then they should have 12 ki per day. And so on. The point of this was to help balance the "short rest" classes with the "long rest" classes, especially when it came to tables that didn't allow for short rests at the usual interval (2 shorts per long- if it was 3 shorts per long, then it would be 4x, and that gets a little much).

But some of the comments in the thread made me think about this issues in a little more depth. I've always taken it as a given that there are short rest classes and long rest classes, but I've never really teased out that thought, or what it meant. So let's start with the basic analysis- what is a short rest class, and why does it matter?

Traditionally, most people would break classes down as follows in terms of the rest abilities-

Short Rest
These are the classes that have abilities that primarily key on short rests.
Fighter, Monks, Warlocks


In the Middle
These are the classes that are primarily long rest, but have some short rest abilities.
Bards, Clerics, Druids, Paladins, Wizards

Long Rest
These are the classes that are almost solely long rest.
Artificers, Barbarians, Rangers, Sorcerers

Rests aren't the Boss of Me
Rogues


So when you look at this, and you're trying to see which classes have a short rest problem, something becomes quickly apparent. There are only three classes that you can even classify as short-rest dependent.

Of those three classes, one of them is the Fighter. Now, don't get me wrong ... short rests are REALLY NICE for the fighter. The base fighter abilities, like Action Surge and Second Wind ... yeah, short rest. And if you go battlemaster, you want those short rests. But the thing about fighters is that they are really good at the fighting things even without the short rest. They have armor, and hit points, and weapons ... They WANT the short rest, but they don't NEED it.

Next is the Warlock. Warlocks have one of the best (if not THE BEST) attack cantrip in the game. They have "always on" invocations. Yes, they need the short rests for spells, but it's perfectly possible to play a useable Warlock without the extra spells.

And that leaves the Monk. The Monk's abilities, and their various subclasses, are all premise on Ki- which is a unique monk resource. And ki ... is completely short-rest dependent. More than any class, monks are completely, totally, 100% dependent on getting the required short rests.

At least, that's my thought right now. Because I was thinking about this, and while some classes (Warlocks and Fighters) get hurt by a lack of short rests, Monks become nearly unplayable.

So maybe that's the crux of the issue. Maybe the short rest problem is actually a monk problem? Or, put another way, maybe the monk problem is ... actually a short rest problem?
If you actually think about the numbers Monks get a lot of ki. A 6th level Monk has 6 ki. If you assume a short rest every 2 battles and a battle lasts 3-4 rounds on average that is roughly enough ki to use one ki every single turn in combat. A 12th level Monk can use 2 ki just about every single turn. That is plenty ..... as long as you are not wasting it.

The only reason Monks seem to need a short rest is because players spam flurry of blows and stunning strike. Wizards would need more rests too if you allowed them to cast 5 leveled spells in a round.

It is almost never a good idea to use flurry of blows. Compared to just using martial arts, flurry of blows does about 8 more damage if it hits (more at high levels less at low levels). When you take hit chance into consideration that number is more like 5 damage in exchange for your ki. That is not a smart use of ki. Maybe if you think the BBEG has less than 10hps left AND you are pretty confident you can hit him twice AND none of your party members are going to take him out before his turn. In that case it might be a good idea. Otherwise it is almost always a bad idea.

Stunning Strike is awesome against enemies with low constitution, especially those with a low constitution and magic resistance. Against most enemies it is good but not great because the save is not that hard. Stunning the boss is game changing, but a lot of bosses are going to make that save easily and those enemies that aren't going to easily save are usually attacking you in numbers where stunning one of them for a round is not that big an effect.

If Monks pretty much never used FOB and used their stunning strikes more strategically they would have plenty of ki. It is rare to find one that plays like that though.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Reading the other thread, I am not a fan of the x3 option you suggest simply because it increases Nova capabilities of those other classes and now they will run out and want a long rest instead of running out and just needing a short rest.
I was just thinking about that for the warlock. All of his spells are cast at max level, so if the warlock is capable of casting 5th level spells, suddenly he's slinging 6 of those around potentially in a single fight.
 

Horwath

Hero
We are going to try short rest variant soon.

Short rest as an Action:

At the start of your turn you can take this Action,
you gain effects of short rest,
You are Stunned until the end of your next turn
You can take this action number of times equal to your proficiency modifier

this removes hassle of 1hr long rest, puts limit on daily short rests, but gives heavy penalty if used in combat for emergency recharge.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I was just thinking about that for the warlock. All of his spells are cast at max level, so if the warlock is capable of casting 5th level spells, suddenly he's slinging 6 of those around potentially in a single fight.
Yep, and then instead of wanting a short rest, they will want a long rest so they can NOVA again after every encounter or two...
 


FallenRX

Adventurer
We are going to try short rest variant soon.

Short rest as an Action:

At the start of your turn you can take this Action,
you gain effects of short rest,
You are Stunned until the end of your next turn
You can take this action number of times equal to your proficiency modifier

this removes hassle of 1hr long rest, puts limit on daily short rests, but gives heavy penalty if used in combat for emergency recharge.
I made something like this not long ago, its been lightly playtested.

Breather.
"Once per day, as an action, you recover all features that you would normally recover during a short rest. You can spend hit dice up to your proficiency bonus to recover hit points, adding your constitution modifier after each roll. You become incapacitated until the end of your turn after using this action. You can not use this action if you have taken a bonus action or reaction during your turn."

Why Once per day?
Originally i had it as PB per day, but realized that this simply caused it to over tuned too far into Warlocks favor, giving them way more power than needed especially at higher levels, which didnt address the issue I was going for. Plus normal short rests are still on the table.

Being able to guarantee a short rest once per day, let alone mid-combat is more than enough for these classes to get the power spike they needed.
 

Instead of doing 3x short rest abilities, you could do prof bonus per day, but between each use, you need a 5 min breather.
Kinda what we have been doing for ages
Helps those who have hour long etc spells going, and also most games with short rests have "short" rests, an hour is not a "short" rest! In our sessions a short rest is five minutes.
 

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