So...resting in 5e

Don Durito

Explorer
Do you follow the default rules and how many encounters do you actually get in?

I tend to think that the way most tables actually play, they should probably be using some kind of variant rest period.

I honestly don't think I've ever run a game that had more than four combats in a single day.

There's the one night long rest and the week long rest in the DMG.

In Adventures in Middle Earth you can only rest in a sanctuary (so no easy long rests during wilderness travel)

Even in AD&D you didn't just have to sleep. You needed to be rested and then you needed to memorise your spells (15 minutes per spell per spell level - which could take up most of the next day as well)

In 13th Age you just get the equivalent of a long rest every 4 combats. (The GM is free to adjust it if needed but it has no relation to time passed.) However, I suspect most tables would find that too arbritrary.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I use the alternate rules where a short rest is overnight and a long rest is a week or more. My games rarely involve dungeon crawls and are more social/exploration/mystery focused than combat. I use the alternate rules primarily because of pacing and preference, I tend to have adventuring days similar to The Dresden Files where everything is going along okay and then the poo hits the propellers for a couple of days.

If I define encounters as anything that uses consumable resources I usually get in 4-5 encounters between long rests, I've had as many as 10. It depends on the group and the current arc.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Do you follow the default rules and how many encounters do you actually get in?
It depends on the campaign that I'm running. I adjust the dials according to the game experience I'm trying to create with the players.

That said, we frequently hit the DMG guidelines for encounters per adventuring day. My players get after it and there's always a time crunch of one form or another.
 

Fanaelialae

Adventurer
It varies significantly. Anywhere from 0 to 7 encounters in a day. I don't recall having done 8.

You really don't need to do the 6-8 very often to challenge players. So long as you do it once in a while, players will generally conserve resources accordingly (because they never know if today will be a long day).
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
The number of combats per long rest is usually 1-3 for overland travel (if any, due to random encounters), but for dungeon crawls it could be well over 10 to even 20. So much depends on the scenario and what our table is doing.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
The 6-8 medium encounter guideline is only a single use case of the overlying rule of Adventure Day XP. Using that rule, you can see that you could have a day with 3 Deadly, 2 Deadly with 2 Hard, or even 1 Deadly+ (full day Adventure XP in a single fight or in a multi-wave fight), in addition to the 3 hard plus 3 medium in the example guideline.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the guideline is designed for DMs to estimate how many encounters are too many encounters for a typical party to handle in the course of reaching their objective, not as a rule for how many they should have every day. Depending on the story, there I may design an Adventuring day with far under or far over the recommended Adventure Day XP.

When I go far over (I'm talking 2x to 5x), I design some or even most of the encounters to be avoidable via the exploration and/or social pillars. If the party chooses to go in guns blazing, they will run out of resources before they get to their final objective and will not achieve that objective as a result, a fate more fun than TPK.

As a side note, when determining what CR of creature a typical party can fight, in general I've found a Solo monster that is 1.5-2x party level (depending on party synergy and skill as well as magic items available) makes for a deadly fight, and can be very deadly if the party has not discovered intel on their opponent prior to reaching it.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Another note on encounter design and encounters per long rest. What works varies a lot from group to group, level and type of encounters.

I've run two groups over the same period, same number of players, house rules, options and rewards. For one group I calculated encounter budget straight up or even a little low. The other group? Standard budget times 1.5 seemed to be about right most of the time.
 

the Jester

Legend
Do you follow the default rules and how many encounters do you actually get in?
More or less, though I don't do "recover everything on a long rest".

The number of encounters pcs have per day really depends on what the pcs are doing. Hard core adventuring? Probably four to eight encounters per 'working' day. Traveling? Zero to three per day from random encounters, but you never know- it could be more.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
dnd4vr said:
The number of combats per long rest is usually 1-3 for overland travel (if any, due to random encounters), but for dungeon crawls it could be well over 10 to even 20. So much depends on the scenario and what our table is doing.
@dnd4vr the quote function isn't working right, so I had to do this manually. I pretty much am in alignment with you. We do not follow the guidelines. We follow what is happening in the game. Been doing it that way since 1981. It feels much more natural than to have some sort of awkward rest period when the actions in game may not fit. In dungeon crawls with a high density of monsters, there are many encounters before rest. You can't just rest whenever you feel like it. Monsters are living creatures, and would react as appropriate for their intelligence. You may also want to plow through and clear the dungeon due to time constraints or not wanting them to have a chance to build up fresh defenses.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
I change my stuff all the time, and campaign to campaign. I have found that trying to put together a "single way" to run any and all potential combats, encounters, and rests is a fool's errand. Sometimes that adventure might have several encounters in a row. Sometimes the story goes across several weeks and thus any fight can be nova'd and then recovered from. Sometimes a campaign's short rest will be 10 minutes, other times it'll be three days. It always changes. And as a result I just improvise around it all, throwing more or less obstacles into encounters as I feel is necessary to make things interesting to players.

Encounter building is a waste of my time and never works anyway. Especially when trying to use it to create "solvable" adventures where the characters will be challenged but maybe not really challenged. The numbers just aren't that tight. And thus I thumb my nose at all of it.

And truth be told, for me its all completely unnecessary anyway... as all I need to do is have two monsters flank a PC and all of a sudden that player throws up their hands and says "Well, I'm dead!" Why? Because my players are incredibly inept at understanding just how easy or difficult combat can be. A PC gets whalloped for like 60 points of damage and that player now assumes it's time to rip up their character sheet... completely forgetting that there are like five other PCs at the table with healing spells or healing potions at their disposal to keep their character alive. Nope-- that is completely forgotten about. All the player knows is that their character got hit for like 3/4ths of their HP in a round and thus they are now decrying the unfair and humorless universe.

Meanwhile, I'm back behind the screen knowing full well that those 60 hit points were not even 1/20th of the amount of HP and healed HP I need to whittle down to actually make this fight even start down the path towards a potential TPK. So I'm sitting back there thinking "Oh shut the F up, you big baby!" as the player bemoans their situation. LOL!

So no... I don't worry about defaults or standards when it comes to resting because all of it is pretty much bullcrap anyway. ;)
 
Do you follow the default rules and how many encounters do you actually get in?
Yes, and rarely more than 3-5, occasionally, of course, single-encounter days.

I tend to think that the way most tables actually play, they should probably be using some kind of variant rest period.
I honestly don't think I've ever run a game that had more than four combats in a single day.
Doesn't sound unusual. The 5MWD, for that matter, isn't primarily an abuse of the system (sure, when done systematically by the players as a metagame tactic), it's just a fairly natural pacing option. Especially as levels progress and meaningful challenges naturally become fewer and further between (just for plausibility's sake).

There's the one night long rest and the week long rest in the DMG.
Which is fine for a campaign with overall slower pacing. But when things do suddenly get eventful for whatever reason, you could be looking at quite a few encounters between short rests.

Depending on the group (not s'much AL, for instance) I'll impose different times or limitations on rests depending on the situation. I'd been doing it for a long time in 4e (a long campaign that involved a lot of time onboard ship, so I ruled long rests only happened when you set in at a friendly port or island with water & fresh food), and saw no reason to stop (and even more reason to target specific pacing).

In Adventures in Middle Earth you can only rest in a sanctuary (so no easy long rests during wilderness travel)
In 13th Age you just get the equivalent of a long rest every 4 combats.
Both good solutions, the 13A pattern is particularly solid: if you're going to have radically different resources among the party, you need to force pacing-imposed balance, somehow, the 13A approach is at least up-front & honest.
 
Last edited:

Dausuul

Legend
I typically have 2-4 combats per long rest. I instituted a house rule that short rests are 5 minutes, but you are only allowed two of them per long rest. This allows the short-rest-dependent classes to keep pace, while giving me the flexibility to have as many or as few combats per day as I find appropriate.
 

5atbu

Explorer
I rarely want the level of lower level combats that the DMG assumes between short rests, but I also have short rest dependent warlock so I need to balance that out.

My solution is more Hard and Deadly fights, and just not worrying about it being too overboard since we role play more than we fight, and when they do they take it very seriously and NOVA!

However that's just this group. Balancing table, players, system, and characters is an art more than a science.

My rule of thumb is take it easy, increase threat in slow increments, players never tire of easy victories.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
@dnd4vr the quote function isn't working right, so I had to do this manually. I pretty much am in alignment with you. We do not follow the guidelines. We follow what is happening in the game. Been doing it that way since 1981. It feels much more natural than to have some sort of awkward rest period when the actions in game may not fit. In dungeon crawls with a high density of monsters, there are many encounters before rest. You can't just rest whenever you feel like it. Monsters are living creatures, and would react as appropriate for their intelligence. You may also want to plow through and clear the dungeon due to time constraints or not wanting them to have a chance to build up fresh defenses.
Yep. Totally in agreement. This is one of the reasons I've been looking into removing short rest features and keeping long rests for things where it is really needed. Of course, I will have to employ some other mechanic, but I am working on it... :)
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I think at some point everyone should TRY waves of combat. Where the party must deal with encounter after encounter with no time to rest. But give them fair warning in advance so PCs like the Warlock know they really badly need to be careful with their spells.
I vary encounters and adventuring "days" quite a bit. Sometimes it's wave after wave with just brief breathers because they're in defensive mode, in other cases they know they're going to have one big encounter and be done.

It's fun both ways. Personally I like the challenge of pushing myself but sometimes it's fun to pull out all the toys and go nova as well.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I think at some point everyone should TRY waves of combat. Where the party must deal with encounter after encounter with no time to rest. But give them fair warning in advance so PCs like the Warlock know they really badly need to be careful with their spells.
I do this quite frequently. Generally it's one encounter then another encounter comes in, even if it just looks like one big encounter.
 

cmad1977

Adventurer
I use the guidelines as well... guidelines.
FWIW I used the DMG guidelines to plan out the final battle in RoT and it paid off really well.
It went:
Deadly(with help)
Hard
Deadly
Medium.

Strange that the last encounter was Medium right? The last fight in Tiamats temple adds up to a medium encounter for 4 16th level PCs. But thanks to the sprawling nature of the temple and the placement of the bad guys the heroes barely prevented Tiamats return.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I like 1-hour short rests and 8-hour long rests. Currently my group tends to get through 2-4 encounters per session, and take one or two rests during that time, usually of the short variety, as my current campaign is all dungeon exploration, and I strongly discourage taking long rests in a dungeon. I am working on improving the pace of my game so we can get it up to 4-6 encounters per session. I am considering a house-rule that one requires a certain degree of security and comfort to gain the benefits of a long rest, as it’s something I found appealing about Adventures in Middle Earth.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I like 1-hour short rests and 8-hour long rests. Currently my group tends to get through 2-4 encounters per session, and take one or two rests during that time, usually of the short variety, as my current campaign is all dungeon exploration, and I strongly discourage taking long rests in a dungeon. I am working on improving the pace of my game so we can get it up to 4-6 encounters per session. I am considering a house-rule that one requires a certain degree of security and comfort to gain the benefits of a long rest, as it’s something I found appealing about Adventures in Middle Earth.
Do you have a long rest at the end of every session? Because honestly, my current group yaks RPs too much to get more than 2-3 combat encounters in each session.

That's fine, I just tell people to note where they are and we pick up next session. That way I don't have to worry about real-world pacing, just in-game pacing.

EDIT: I'm not telling you how to run your game, just something I find useful
 

Advertisement

Top