Two long rests PER LEVEL

Yaarel

Mind 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

Mind 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.
 


Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
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...
 

Sabathius42

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

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

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
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.
 

W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
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

Mind 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.
 

the Jester

Legend
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.
Where are things like wizard spell slots and recovery of HD in this system? Maybe I am misunderstanding your intention here.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
It's a smart idea. I've noticed before that there are actually relatively few encounters between levels in the great majority of games I've played. We typically only go about 3-4 sessions between levels, so that's maybe between 10-15 hours of gameplay time. Even doing something encounter intensive like a dungeon crawl, you're probably only going to see about 8-10 encounters in that time frame.

I also definitely feel like modern play skews towards infrequent but more potent and climatic encounters, which means for a lot of games you might only see 4-5 encounters before a level.

It does have knock-off effects on world-building, of course, especially for our contingent of players that use PC type builds for NPCs. I would probably state that the majority of spell-wielders in the setting are short-rest casters, probably using warlock-type mechanics. A few spells a day, bolstered by at-will invocations and lots of rituals. I would probably also have item-crafting be much more a focus; would-be wizards aren't waiting for their spells to come back, they spend their making potions, scrolls, and wands to bolster their spellcasting. Having abilities like Arcane Recovery be strictly short-rest abilities (no wait for a long rest to gain it back) could also be on the table.

I would also probably have some in-game items capable of recharging long-rest abilities at a cost, some kind of mana potion or something along those lines. I might do some house-ruling around individual long-rest abilities if I felt that some kind of regular recharge fit their fiction better. Barbarian rage is an ability I might change to maybe give a level of exhaustion, for example, the "rages per long rest" can be used to ignore exhaustion a few times before taking the long rest.
 

aco175

Legend
I can still see problems where fighters want to keep resting to get 2nd wind back and not use hit dice and clerics wanting to save healing spells. Everyone can play an archer rogue.

Worse would be something where Bob goes all Nova with his paladin along with Sue and her wizard. Long rest, long rest, and now they suck after 3-4 encounters with just basic attacks and cantrips. Me and the other players can just say too bad and you should have thought about that or maybe next level you will get the point of my fun. You might end up with those players skipping the next couple weeks until the PCs level up. Stupid and petty I know, and I would not want to play with them either, but I can see it happen.

I can see where your levels would go by faster since you are counting all encounters as something that gains XP.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Where are things like wizard spell slots and recovery of HD in this system? Maybe I am misunderstanding your intention here.
All rests are short rests.

A Wizard can only refresh the spell slots, if the player changes one of the short rests into a long rest.

In other words, a Wizard can only refresh the spell slot twice per level.

A spell nova is possible but then there will be encounters with only combat cantrips and noncombat rituals. So novas happen judiciously.
 

Amrûnril

Adventurer
In addition to worldbuilding concerns, I'd be concerned about the potential for the PCs to end up in an impossible position. Under default rest rules, if the characters are low on HP and out of hit dice after an encounter, they can attempt to withdraw and rest, accepting whatever story consequences that entails. If the characters are low on HP and hit dice and can't long rest without 3 more encounters worth of experience, though, it doesn't seem like they can even attempt to get out of that dilemma without throwing themselves into a probably lethal encounter.
 

Well, I'm highly in favor of this idea!

It would need some further tuning, like how long rests are also how you get your hitdice back, but how much you need those kind of depends on whether healing potions can be bought at any corner store. And I think certain type of people might try to wring too much out of their slots with this ('I'm not going to long rest before tomorrow's boss fight, I have one lv1 slot left!'), but that's their choice.
 

Staffan

Legend
13th Age does a similar thing, but flipped: you get the equivalent of a long rest (I think they call it a full recovery) every four encounters, regardless of how much time it takes in between them (though reading between the lines, if you've finished a thing it's probably time for one even if it's only been two or three encounters – but in that case you would probably be leveling up instead). You can also force a full recovery, but at the cost of a something bad happening (e.g. the cult finishes its sacrifice). I think this accomplishes more or less the same thing, except that the connection to encounters feels more natural than the connection to levels.
 


Yaarel

Mind Mage
13th Age does a similar thing, but flipped: you get the equivalent of a long rest (I think they call it a full recovery) every four encounters, regardless of how much time it takes in between them (though reading between the lines, if you've finished a thing it's probably time for one even if it's only been two or three encounters – but in that case you would probably be leveling up instead). You can also force a full recovery, but at the cost of a something bad happening (e.g. the cult finishes its sacrifice). I think this accomplishes more or less the same thing, except that the connection to encounters feels more natural than the connection to levels.

Based on a related discussion in an other thread, I will include:

A Downtime of at least a week of rest counts as a free long rest.
 


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