So...resting in 5e

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
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.
I don’t. Again, because my current campaign is all dungeon delving, and I make long rests in a dungeon very dangerous, my players don’t often have the opportunity to take long rests very often in this campaign. I’d estimate that they tend to take long a rest maybe once every 2-3 sessions, though I imagine that might be more frequent in a less dungeon-delvy campaign.

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.
Yep, I do the same. Like I said, one of my current goals is picking up the pace of play so that we can get a full adventuring day in per session instead of one adventuring day taking 2-3 sessions.

EDIT: I'm not telling you how to run your game, just something I find useful
No worries, I didn’t take it that way 😁
 

cmad1977

Adventurer
In answer to another part of your questions:
We do not necessarily have a long rest at the end of every session.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
In Adventures in Middle Earth you can only rest in a sanctuary (so no easy long rests during wilderness travel)
This is only true for Journeys.

However even in the adventuring phase the advice is that you can freely long rest if you have Safety from threat of Attack, Comfort, and Tranquility. Which is really just another way of saying the DM determines if the players can gain the benefits of a long rest.

Anyway to the topic at hand, I find that with the restriction of only being able to gain the effects of one long rest per 24 hour period that my players is all the restriction I need. I just don't have players that are willing to sit out 8-16 hours of a day before the even get to start a long rest.

Trying to short rest after every combat is more of a problem, but there are lots of ways to introduce in game time sensitivity.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Plus if it's looking Dodgy, cancel the later waves.. players never need know
I'm personally not in the habit of saving the characters, but yeah, that could be done. A middle position might be to design the encounter such that the subsequent waves can be prevented by achieving a secondary objective like overcoming an exploration or social interaction challenge.
 
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Saelorn

Adventurer
Back when I was running the game as-written, I tried sticking to the six-encounter guideline wherever possible, and actually managed to pull it off more often than not. Most of those fights were filler, though, designed to wear through healing surges without ever posing a real threat.

After extensive house ruling, I moved to a five-minute short rest, along with the removal of healing surges and a drastically reduced rate of natural healing. Now, any amount of damage is meaningful, so it doesn't matter whether or not it's all in the same day. (Note that I also changed some key abilities of the fighter and warlock, so that there's no real benefit to chaining short rests.)
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
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
This.

IME this is the heart of where people think having many encounters per day is too difficult.

Just have an average of 1 long rest per 2 sessions. Done.

Our group spends half our time talking about our lives and making jokes. Game time is split pretty evenly between the 3 pillars. That means not a lot of resource taxing encounters per session. So we just try to end the session on a short rest.
 

5atbu

Explorer
I'm personally not in the habit of saving the characters, but yeah, that could be done. A middle position might be to design the encounter such that the subsequent waves can be prevented by achieving a secondary objective like overcoming an exploration or social interaction challenge.
I am in the habit of recognising that I can get it wrong in encounter design.. a little flexibility is often appropriate for me.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I am in the habit of recognising that I can get it wrong in encounter design..
The DM is never wrong if the DM is fair. :)

But what is "fair" is the tricky thing to pin down. I personally don't think there is a "fair" difficulty for a challenge. There's just a difficulty that, when properly telegraphed, conveys to the players what they're getting into and gives them a choice as to whether to engage or not. If they know it's Deadly and stand their ground or use suboptimal tactics and it turns out badly for the characters, that's on them in my view.
 

Don Durito

Explorer
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
That's something that doesn't get talked about much but has to be part of the mix.

If we say something like 6 encounters per long rest (regardless of time), than this risks being unsatisfactory for long rest characters.

If you get 6 encounters in a session than the wizard gets to use his fireball every session.

If you have 6 encounters over a period of 4 weekly sessions than the wizard gets to use fireball once a month - which is probably not especially satisfying for the wizard player (And if you play forthnightly that would be once every 2 months).
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
Personally, I feel the 6-8 encounter assumption to be wrong, because it should also take level into consideration. At level 1, there is seldom a reason to take a 2nd short rest, but by level 10 you might take 2-3 short rests in a day. While you may face tougher opponents, you also have more resources to draw upon.

As for my current campaign, I'm running Ghosts of Saltmarsh. They did the majority of the Haunted House in 1 adventuring day, for a total of about 10 encounters (all but 2 easy), but it did cause 1 PC death. They did the Sea Ghost at level 2 as a single encounter, except for the lizardmen and rot grubs. Just finished their first adventuring day in the Sunless Citadel (from TftYP) with 6 combat encounters and 3-4 trap/hazard encounters.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
That's something that doesn't get talked about much but has to be part of the mix.

If we say something like 6 encounters per long rest (regardless of time), than this risks being unsatisfactory for long rest characters.

If you get 6 encounters in a session than the wizard gets to use his fireball every session.

If you have 6 encounters over a period of 4 weekly sessions than the wizard gets to use fireball once a month - which is probably not especially satisfying for the wizard player (And if you play forthnightly that would be once every 2 months).

(1 long rest per 4 sessions is pushing it. It seems either there is a huge problem with how the table runs/understands combat and/or you're not playing a style of game that is compatible with D&D)

The Wizard player shouldn't play a Wizard then. Their whole thing is having the ability to have a few huge impact actions but not be able to use them often.

The Rogue gets sneak attack every round so the Wizard feels like they should have Fireball all the time too.

This attitude is a large contributor to pacing issues.

If you do want to throw around high level spells a lot then Warlock is the class for you. The tradeoff is that you don't get lower level spells to fall back on.

Paladin vs Fighter is similar. People say the Paladin is overpowered but they also cry foul if they run out of Smites.

You shouldn't get everything if you choose a long rest class. If you don't like the idea of having a limited resource then don't play a long rest class.
 

Don Durito

Explorer
(1 long rest per 4 sessions is pushing it. It seems either there is a huge problem with how the table runs/understands combat and/or you're not playing a style of game that is compatible with D&D)
That's 1.5 combats a session.
That actually feels about average to me for most D&D campaign's I've played over the years.

Shockingly, I've played D&D games where sometimes a whole session goes by and there's no combat at all!

The long rest would take 4 sessions to happen if we're trying to hold the budget together so that is happens after 6 combats.

You shouldn't get everything if you choose a long rest class. If you don't like the idea of having a limited resource then don't play a long rest class.
Well of course - but there's inherent tension in the design - and if you space out combat that's going to affect the push/pull in the inherent tension.

If you're getting in about 2 combats a session than I suspect you're not going to be waiting 6 combats before allowing PCs a long rest.

You have to factor in real world time considerations as well.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
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.
Yes I follow the default resting rules but since they include GM determining if rests can be done under circumstances that seems to work fine.

As for counting encounters per day, that's not as easy for me given my style of play. Also "day" in this context does not really mean "game dsy" and certainly not "play session."

Of "encounters that matter" it's often a case that it's what 5e calls "extended envounters" where the challenges and adversaries come in rather quick succession - with enough pauses to enable but limit short rests (and often make them risky) and keep long rests off the table (without severe costs.)

For example, the PCs decided to say the heck eith it and raid a temple... actual thriving one in a town. Thry had other option but for tolrplaying reasons they followed the one PC lead.

So the approach, entrance and VIP guest levrl too an entire week's session. Multiple skirmishes and sub-bosses that setup an opportunity to break off now if they wanted. It did not hurt that much, but did eat up more than a few of their higher dprlls to get by so quickly, limiting NPC reactions.

Second week, they went for stretch goals down the the "elite" level, had their own issues with some clean-up along the way, engaged much tougher foes and took a lot of hits, a lot of scares and prevailed with quite a bit of drama and loss.

Now, at that session end, they are still en prise, do yo speak, because they are farther from their exit, still have the threat of all the outside stuff they haven't dealt with (guards and other forces now responding to the raid) and some very difficult choices on how to handle it now, this moment. Do they grab whatever is at hand and make a break for it, maybe fighting to an exit? Do they try and bunker in for short rest, better search, etc hoping rap counter-attack doesnt come too soon? Do the fo something clever to maneuver a longer cease fire for longer rests and more options?

We are heading into our third week of play with another pause to reassess and regroup with a now quite tired party and very different options afoot.

And, fun thing is, from the GM seat, I had in my "think they might try this" partial expecting had thought they would have taken the non-raid options laid out by their informant. So, this current gauntlet is of their own choosing to largest degree.

So, in what most folks would vount as encounters this would be... about 5-6 so far, more 6 I think, very much in line with the 5 room framework with so far some pauses (three I would say) but no rests and it's not over yet. Its so far been very Three-Rs compliant.

Depending on their next choices this could easily turn into another 2-4 encounters before the get a long rest, but maybe a short rest in the very near future (costly though.)
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
That's 1.5 combats a session.
That actually feels about average to me for most D&D campaign's I've played over the years.

Shockingly, I've played D&D games where sometimes a whole session goes by and there's no combat at all!
Were those campaigns using story-based or session-based advancement?
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
It has been my experience that the outcomes cleave rather closely to what we incentivize as DMs. So if the DM is using standard XP, there tends to be an uptick in combats per session (if not per adventuring day). For story-based or session-based XP, there's really no drive to get into fights and plenty of reasons not to outside of "I like fights" or when there's no other way to resolve the conflict.
 

Don Durito

Explorer
It has been my experience that the outcomes cleave rather closely to what we incentivize as DMs. So if the DM is using standard XP, there tends to be an uptick in combats per session (if not per adventuring day). For story-based or session-based XP, there's really no drive to get into fights and plenty of reasons not to outside of "I like fights" or when there's no other way to resolve the conflict.
Seems like a discussion for a different thread.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
The DM is never wrong if the DM is fair. :)

But what is "fair" is the tricky thing to pin down. I personally don't think there is a "fair" difficulty for a challenge. There's just a difficulty that, when properly telegraphed, conveys to the players what they're getting into and gives them a choice as to whether to engage or not. If they know it's Deadly and stand their ground or use suboptimal tactics and it turns out badly for the characters, that's on them in my view.
The feeling of fairness when it comes to difficulty is, in my evaluation, directly tied to the player’s perception of their role in the outcome. The more control the player feels like they have, the more fair they feel like the challenge was. If they can point to something specific they did wrong, or that they could have done to get a different outcome, they generally find that fair. It’s when they get the impression that they would have gotten the same outcome no matter what they did that it feels unfair. And this is the case for positive outcomes as well as negative - unavoidable positive outcomes are often called “railroading” rather than “unfair,” but it’s the same idea. They didn’t feel like they had control.
 
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