D&D (2024) Two long rests PER LEVEL

Yaarel

He Mage
Players are likely to get in one short rest per day. Maybe two.



It is easy to calculate how many long rests there are PER LEVEL.

Here are two graphs calculating the number of encounters PER LEVEL. They use different methodologies but with comparable results.

- 5e encounters per level (Old Guy Gamer).png

- 5e encounters per level (Dale M).png




The DM can modify these numbers of encounters according to taste. If players enjoy certain levels stretch them out with more encounters.

My campaigns count the following number of encounters per level.

Tier 1-4 accelerates from four encounters during level 1 to reach level 2; seven encounters during level 2; ten encounters during level 3; and finally thirteen encounters during level 4 to reach the next tier.

Tier 5-8 plateaus at sixteen (!) encounters per level. The math is more like fifteen, but I like to stretch out this "sweet spot" slightly.

Tier 9-12 decelerates from sixteen encounters at level 9; thirteen encounters at levels 10 and 11; and finally ten encounters at level 12.

Tiers 13-16 and 17-20 then stabilize at ten encounters per level from then on.



The central tier is levels 5 to 8. My campaigns have sixteen encounters per level. But on average, the math has more like fifteen.

The official DMs Guide advises between six to eight encounters per long rest. So there are about seven encounters per long rest.

In other words, during this central tier 5-8, there are only two long rests per level. (15 / 7 = 2.143) (similarly: 16 / 7 = 2.286).

Maybe one of these levels might have an extra long rest during it. So it is forgivable if a DM wants to make things easier by granting three long rests per level. But I prefer to keep it strictly at only two long rests per level. A spellcasting nova is possible but players need to pay the price.

Two long rests per encounter makes the newbie tier 1-4 easier − and this is working as intended. Likewise, two long rests makes players more powerful at the upper tiers of 13-16 and 17-20 − and this is also working as intended.

Two long rests per level!

All rests are short rests. Except, twice per level a player can change one of these short rests into the benefits of a long rest.

Note. All rests are short rests. Each player can take a long rest whenever one wants. Decide when to change a short rest into a long rest. For example, everyone in the party sleeps for the night. All of the characters receive the benefit of a short rest. However. One player decides to switch it to the benefits of a long rest instead. So this player now only has one long rest left until the next level arrives. Notice a Wizard can only refresh all spell slots twice per level.



It is realistic to feel a deep renewal of energy that seems to come from nowhere. These experiences are uncommon but happen. The renewal can be from extensive relaxation to recharge, or oppositely a "second wind" in the midst of daunting challenges. To occasionally switch a short rest as the only way to gain the benefits of a long rest, is narratively verisimilitudinous.

(I would even switch the terms from "short rest" and "long rest" to "rests" and "refresh".)



There are so many benefits from only counting encounters until the next level, and only having two long rests per level.

The DM can tell stories where combat happens naturally according to the story. It doesnt matter if there are suddenly seven combat encounters in a single location, or the encounters are days or years apart. Whatever the story says happens is how it happens, there is no dubious mechanical pressure on the DM.

An encounter can be any kind of encounter, including nonlethal combat, social challenge, exploratory challenge, puzzle, etcetera. All of it counts equally toward the next level.

The class balance between short-rest classes and long-rest classes functions optimally.
 
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aco175

Legend
The problem I can see is that you will get what you reward. No player is going to take a long rest PC over a short rest PC. Why would I take a wizard over a warlock? If I'm being punished by making a choice at your table, then I would not take it.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
The problem I can see is that you will get what you reward. No player is going to take a long rest PC over a short rest PC. Why would I take a wizard over a warlock? If I'm being punished by making a choice at your table, then I would not take it.
There is no punishment.

All players level up at the same time.

There are only two long rests per level.

Perhaps, the part that I need to make clearer is, each player can take a long rest whenever they want.

Five players sleep for the night. All of them receive the benefits of a short rest, except one player changes this to a deeper more refreshing long rest. That player will only have one more long rest before the next level arrives.
 


The problem I can see is that you will get what you reward. No player is going to take a long rest PC over a short rest PC. Why would I take a wizard over a warlock? If I'm being punished by making a choice at your table, then I would not take it.

I think Yaarel's point wasn't about introducing a new punishment, but drawing the logical conclusion of the guidelines given: the number of encounter gives you XP to reach another level, so if you go by the (standard in the rule, but not really congruent with my gamestyle) 6 to 8 average encounter per level, you only get two "adventuring days" before reaching the next level. So, it is not "punishing" as much as leveling at lightning speed according to the rule. In my games, most combats are involved and I prefer to err on the "deadly" side. So I'd have around a level every 5 encounters, and that would also be two adventuring days.

This is a level of disconnect from the game world that I would find tremendously jarring. Sorry, but this is not for me.

I could buy this by removing the link between "a calm, refreshing night's sleep" as a long rest. Every rest is a short rest, irrespective of whether you you just catch your breath for 15 minutes or spend 3 months of inter-adventure time. On the other hands, heroes being heroes get two "magical restore of strength" that they can use twice a level. It could fit with the worldbuilding. Non-hero NEVER regain hitpoints since they never get those mythical "long rests". So their health will really suffer once they are out of hit die...
 

JiffyPopTart

Bree-Yark
I get the math and see what you are trying to accomplish, but I feel that using the system results in a jarring narrative experience.

I'd never want to tell a player their cleric isnt getting prayers for spells answered until they go out and kill a few more monsters.
 

Horwath

Legend
this is why we run mostly deadly or deadly+ encounters.
3-4 encounters per level.
sometimes only 2 long rests between levels.
 

I get the math and see what you are trying to accomplish, but I feel that using the system results in a jarring narrative experience.

I'd never want to tell a player their cleric isnt getting prayers for spells answered until they go out and kill a few more monsters.

-- Thou hast asked for a mighty Pillar of Fiery Destruction thrice already
-- Yes, but really, I need to kill those pesky goblins, and I haven't asked anything for like 3 F* YEARS since the last module.
-- Thou hast been in retirement for too long. Thou are granted Bless Pregnancies, Repel Plague-Carrying Mosquitoes and Absolve Sin of Gluttony instead.
 

I could buy this by removing the link between "a calm, refreshing night's sleep" as a long rest. Every rest is a short rest, irrespective of whether you you just catch your breath for 15 minutes or spend 3 months of inter-adventure time. On the other hands, heroes being heroes get two "magical restore of strength" that they can use twice a level. It could fit with the worldbuilding. Non-hero NEVER regain hitpoints since they never get those mythical "long rests". So their health will really suffer once they are out of hit die...
you - and i think OP, too - are forgetting that most casters regain their spell slots (and, in the case of prepared casters, swap spells) on a long rest. so, like, what, can a normal 2nd level wizard only ever cast 3 1st level spells in his entire life and not be able to swap them out despite presumably having a spell book for the precise purpose of doing exactly that? or what, can a normal first level barbarian only get mad twice in his entire life?

there's really no good way of getting around just how utterly world shattering this would be.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
This is a level of disconnect from the game world that I would find tremendously jarring. Sorry, but this is not for me.
A second wind makes sense within the narrative of the game world.

Even in reallife, second winds happen.

Moreover, ingame, most of the damage is nonphysical damage. So to refresh any "fatigue" and "sloppiness" and "loss of luck", requires no special narrative.

Only the recovery from an injury at zero hit points requires special attention.



Also, I am guessing your "encounters per level" chart is assuming every encounter is the same difficulty. That's very much not true in my experience. YMMV.
In my own games, I count as a half encounter, an encounter that in hindsight turned out to be easy for the players.

Oppositely, an encounter that ends up almost as a TPK counts as two encounters.

This evaluation is more accurate than counting xp, because the value is determined in hindsight − according to what it actually is.
What it was supposed to be theoretically while building the encounter doesnt matter.

Other forumers point out there is no need to distinguish difficulty, and I agree there is no need. If a DM counts any encounter as 1, regardless of difficulty, it works out to be roughly the same anyway. And how long a level lasts is mostly about preference anyway.
 

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