log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E Short rest house rule

Staffan

Adventurer
I've noticed that it's often hard for PCs to take a short rest, since doing so takes about an hour. Either things are too busy to rest at all, or they're quiet enough that they can just as well take a short rest. If my group had had access to rope trick, things might have been different, but they don't, and I don't think the intention is that a major game mechanic should require a specific spell.

But the game is set up with the expectation that PCs will be able to take two short rests per adventuring day. Certainly, not all days are created equal, but so far we've seen little ability to take short rests. This removes a major healing mechanic (using hit dice), and makes short-rest abilities (action surge, second wind, bardic inspiration, channel divinity, wild shape, arcane/natural recovery, ki, warlock casting) less useful. So, I want to make short rests a bit easier to come by.

At the same time, I don't want to go back to the 4e version of short rests (5 minutes) which made all short-rest resources "per encounter" resources. That makes them too useful. So my idea is instead that the first short rest each day takes 5 minutes. You're still fairly fresh, so you just need a quick breather to get rolling again. The second short rest would take 15 minutes - now you're getting winded and need a proper break and maybe a quick snack. The third and subsequent rests would take 1 hour each as normal - now you're getting worn out for real.

Anything I'm missing here and should account for?
 

log in or register to remove this ad


Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Do you track time so rigorously in your game that the difference between 5 and 15 minutes is meaningful? Do the chances of wandering monsters change between these two? I think in most games the answer would be no to both of these.

A short-short rest allows recuperation with minimal chance of interference (except in games with a fuse burning).
A longer short rest is roughly on the clock for a single check for a possible passing encounter that might interrupt it.

The DMG has alternatives in it already. Unless your players are calculating whether it is safe to rest for an additional five minutes here and there, it is not clear what this house rule achieves.
 

ad_hoc

Hero
I don't really understand either.

The exchange goes something like this at my table:

- We take a short rest
-- Time passes. You benefit from a short rest, what do you do now?

It takes all of 1 minute or so and we move on with the game.
 

Xeviat

Adventurer
Supporter
Why not just limit short rests to two per day, then make them 15 minutes?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

I've noticed that it's often hard for PCs to take a short rest, since doing so takes about an hour. Either things are too busy to rest at all, or they're quiet enough that they can just as well take a short rest. If my group had had access to rope trick, things might have been different, but they don't, and I don't think the intention is that a major game mechanic should require a specific spell.

But the game is set up with the expectation that PCs will be able to take two short rests per adventuring day. Certainly, not all days are created equal, but so far we've seen little ability to take short rests. This removes a major healing mechanic (using hit dice), and makes short-rest abilities (action surge, second wind, bardic inspiration, channel divinity, wild shape, arcane/natural recovery, ki, warlock casting) less useful. So, I want to make short rests a bit easier to come by.

At the same time, I don't want to go back to the 4e version of short rests (5 minutes) which made all short-rest resources "per encounter" resources. That makes them too useful. So my idea is instead that the first short rest each day takes 5 minutes. You're still fairly fresh, so you just need a quick breather to get rolling again. The second short rest would take 15 minutes - now you're getting winded and need a proper break and maybe a quick snack. The third and subsequent rests would take 1 hour each as normal - now you're getting worn out for real.

Anything I'm missing here and should account for?

Things you might be missing? Well, there's the fact that only the first long rest takes only 8 hours. After that it's 24 hours before the next one is legal. I can sort of kind of sympathize with someone thinking there's not much difference between 1 hour and 8 hours, but 1 hour vs. 24 hours?

Furthermore, if you set your gameworld up with day/night cycles, a long rest will often finish half of the cycle. It may well be the case that the players can e.g. afford to take a short rest while exploring the haunted ruins, but can't afford to take a long rest because then the sun will go down, the vampires in the ruins will start to walk, and the worgs in the forest around the ruins will come out to hunt.

Bear in mind also that you, as DM, don't necessarily have to regular that PCs get exactly two short rests every day. In an open-ended, non-railroadey adventure you may not have fine control over the players' schedules. Just go by the DMG advice about certain encounters probably necessitating a short rest afterwards, i.e. build in opportunities for them to rest. If the PCs have ten hours to find the MacGuffin before the sun sets, players might be able to take more than two short rests and that's fine. Or they might take only one, or none, and that is also fine.

Edit: specifically RE: the proposed house rule, it will kind of mess up monks a bit, because they need to spend 30 minutes meditating in order to regain ki, which means the ultra-short short rests won't work for them unless you also houserule those. You may also see a lot of warlocks casting Hex + Armor of Agathys and then "resting" immediately afterward, since that first rest is so cheap. Neither is likely to cause serious mechanical problems.
 
Last edited:

Tersival

First Post
I felt an hour was too long and just changed it to half an hour. To me this seems plenty of time to catch your breath, bandage wounds, wipe the blood off, have some refreshments then get ready to move off again.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Do you track time so rigorously in your game that the difference between 5 and 15 minutes is meaningful? Do the chances of wandering monsters change between these two? I think in most games the answer would be no to both of these.
I think you unfairly drills down on specifics here.

The point is the difference between 5 and 60 minutes.

That's the origin of his houserule so you should start there.

Assuming you agree there IS a difference between 5 and 60 minutes, feel free to consider a variant of his house rule where the second rest takes 60 minutes, not 15.

Why? Because I feel focusing on the 5 to 15 minute difference misses the point.



Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app
 

CapnZapp

Legend
I don't really understand either.

The exchange goes something like this at my table:

- We take a short rest
-- Time passes. You benefit from a short rest, what do you do now?

It takes all of 1 minute or so and we move on with the game.
You sure you couldn't see the point? That a 5 minute rest feels significantly less risky than a 60 minute one?

Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Things you might be missing? Well, there's the fact that only the first long rest takes only 8 hours. After that it's 24 hours before the next one is legal. I can sort of kind of sympathize with someone thinking there's not much difference between 1 hour and 8 hours, but 1 hour vs. 24 hours?

Furthermore, if you set your gameworld up with day/night cycles, a long rest will often finish half of the cycle. It may well be the case that the players can e.g. afford to take a short rest while exploring the haunted ruins, but can't afford to take a long rest because then the sun will go down, the vampires in the ruins will start to walk, and the worgs in the forest around the ruins will come out to hunt.

Bear in mind also that you, as DM, don't necessarily have to regular that PCs get exactly two short rests every day. In an open-ended, non-railroadey adventure you may not have fine control over the players' schedules. Just go by the DMG advice about certain encounters probably necessitating a short rest afterwards, i.e. build in opportunities for them to rest. If the PCs have ten hours to find the MacGuffin before the sun sets, players might be able to take more than two short rests and that's fine. Or they might take only one, or none, and that is also fine.

Edit: specifically RE: the proposed house rule, it will kind of mess up monks a bit, because they need to spend 30 minutes meditating in order to regain ki, which means the ultra-short short rests won't work for them unless you also houserule those. You may also see a lot of warlocks casting Hex + Armor of Agathys and then "resting" immediately afterward, since that first rest is so cheap. Neither is likely to cause serious mechanical problems.
He's talking short rests, not long...

Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app
 

Staffan

Adventurer
Do you track time so rigorously in your game that the difference between 5 and 15 minutes is meaningful? Do the chances of wandering monsters change between these two? I think in most games the answer would be no to both of these.

I'm mostly running pre-made adventures - Princes of the Apocalypse, to be specific. Random encounters aren't really a thing in most of the dungeons in that adventure except in particular places with lots of traffic. However, they are inhabited dungeons, so people in nearby areas may respond to sounds of battle and such - either by entering the original battle, or by preparing for intruders somewhere else. That's mostly something I base on my own judgment.
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
I think you unfairly drills down on specifics here.
...
Why? Because I feel focusing on the 5 to 15 minute difference misses the point.

I apologize to [MENTION=907]Staffan[/MENTION] if I seem unfair.

I see the core of the proposal that each of the first three rests takes an (increasingly longer) different amount of time.

The DMG raises the possibility of 5-minute rests (DMG 267), and says that two a day is about right (DMG 84). The house rule helps to enforce that design constraint, and suggests that the players won't police themselves (i.e. that short-short rests will be abused).

If the OP doesn't like hour-rests, shorter ones are fine. What I do not see is what is gained by distinguishing between 5 minutes and 15 minutes for a short rest in most games.
 

[MENTION=907]Staffan[/MENTION] I don't see any problem with this house rule at all. If it makes your game work better, go for it.

My only question is about the difficulty with taking an hour long short rest to begin with. Why are these so hard to come by? Don't get me wrong, I'm all about limiting where and how often my PCs can rest, but I do generally allow them options. So I ask out of curiosity to better understand your need for a house rule.
 



Satyrn

First Post
I find that calling a short rest a "lunch break" and dropping any sort of specific length of time from it provides the players a better understanding of what's really happening in the fiction, making them more likely to take one as appropriate.

Similarly, a long rest becomes a night's rest (or a day's rest if they're operating at night ), and they don't get the benefits of it until they've spent the day doing stuff.
 

Emerikol

First Post
Second Wind was the last straw and it's what drove me away from 5th Edition. Well it didn't drive me away because I was never there. I just didn't buy it.

I wish they'd tried a little harder to make a game that included all playstyles and viewpoints on hit points etc...

Not really seeking an argument. Just lamenting the fact that it would have been so easy to be inclusive and they decided not to be. My only recourse was to just not buy their game.
 

cmad1977

Hero
I find that calling a short rest a "lunch break" and dropping any sort of specific length of time from it provides the players a better understanding of what's really happening in the fiction, making them more likely to take one as appropriate.

Similarly, a long rest becomes a night's rest (or a day's rest if they're operating at night ), and they don't get the benefits of it until they've spent the day doing stuff.

This is what I do. A short rest is basically 'as long as it takes to regroup, up to an hour'.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Staffan

Adventurer
I apologize to [MENTION=907]Staffan[/MENTION] if I seem unfair.
No worries.
If the OP doesn't like hour-rests, shorter ones are fine. What I do not see is what is gained by distinguishing between 5 minutes and 15 minutes for a short rest in most games.
Mostly to retain some form of verisimilitude - rests become harder to come by "naturally". I could instead go with some 13th age-esque "You get a short rest every X encounters, regardless of actual resting" or "You can get the benefit of a short rest in five minutes twice a day", but this way serves to have a rising time-cost for the short rest.

[MENTION=907]Staffan[/MENTION] I don't see any problem with this house rule at all. If it makes your game work better, go for it.

My only question is about the difficulty with taking an hour long short rest to begin with. Why are these so hard to come by? Don't get me wrong, I'm all about limiting where and how often my PCs can rest, but I do generally allow them options. So I ask out of curiosity to better understand your need for a house rule.

Like I said, I'm mostly running pre-made adventures, particularly (at least at the moment) Princes of the Apocalypse. The dungeons in that adventure are active locations - once you've entered the Sacred Stone Monastery and started fighting, for example, there's really no place there to hole up for a whole hour without having the rest of the dungeon come to you. But a five-minute break could be doable.

Second Wind was the last straw and it's what drove me away from 5th Edition. Well it didn't drive me away because I was never there. I just didn't buy it.
Um... thanks for the input, I guess. Are you sure it's in the right thread?
 

". I could instead go with some 13th age-esque "You get a short rest every X encounters, regardless of actual resting" or "You can get the benefit of a short rest in five minutes twice a day", but this way serves to have a rising time-cost for the short rest.
Pinning down a specific time for rest benefits constrains campaign pacing. 5e & 13A both went with imbalnced-resource class designs to better evoke the classic game. 13A used an arbitrarily recharge mechanic to limit the imbalances, so the GM could pace the game as he liked, and an abstract 'campaign loss' option to retain some player agency in spite of it. 5e, favoring DM Empowerment, left balance-through-pacing to the DM/player dynamic: if the DM forces the prescribed number of sufficiently taxing encounters between rests, as much mechanical balance as possible is retained, if the players take more rests than intended, they'll do much better against encounters, and trash class balance - classic feel all the way.

for example, there's really no place there to hole up for a whole hour without having the rest of the dungeon come to you. But a five-minute break could be doable.
Sure. In other circumstances, 5 min rests might be easily taken after every encounter.

IMHO, a more general solution, in keeping with 5e's rulings-not-rules philosophy is to generally just rule on whether a rest is possible and how long it takes as you go. Don't get pinned down to specific times, and you can adapt 5e resource-management to your campaign rather than vice-versa.
 

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top