D&D 5E What interupts a long rest?

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
You sure are reading a lot into my words that I’m not actually saying. But, instead of getting offended by your implication, I think perhaps it’s just time we go our separate ways?

Good luck playing how you play. If it works for you, I’m sure it’s awesome.
We can go our separate ways, but I want you to know that I wasn't implying anything about you personally.
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
An interesting thing is that I have always read it the "any amount" way, even before I thought through the implications. Have you always read it the "mixture of activities" way? Even before these debates?
Yes, and it is so clearly the literal meaning of the words to me that I was quite surprised to learn that anyone thought otherwise. Mind you, I was not at all surprised to learn that people chose to rule that any amount of combat breaks a long rest. Merely that anyone could have read that passage and thought that was its intended meaning.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
With any interpretation, I think it's important to consider the actual impact on the game experience. What does this end up looking like in play? What things do the players do that they wouldn't do given some other interpretation? Is this outcome supporting my vision of the game or taking away from it or neither?

As an example, if you're ruling that any fight interrupts a long rest, if you don't have further time pressures built in (like additional random encounter checks within the duration of the reattempted rest or a deadline to complete a quest), then it really doesn't matter. It just means they start the next adventuring day a bit later than expected. For many games that I've experienced, that doesn't count for much, so why bother?
That's very true. It's important to think about how this cashes out. The answer is of course that one does have further time pressures built in. As a DM, I don't find quite enough narrative space in 8 hours, so I use a variant of gritty realism from the DMG. Given that my variant offers the narrative space that works for me, a broken rest can be significant (not always, but at times... it depends what else is going on).

I question why one would narrate the rest at all, if it had no interesting consequences for play? Of course, a fight just when we hoped to recover resources can in itself form a consequence!
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
Yes, and it is so clearly the literal meaning of the words to me that I was quite surprised to learn that anyone thought otherwise. Mind you, I was not at all surprised to learn that people chose to rule that any amount of combat breaks a long rest. Merely that anyone could have read that passage and thought that was its intended meaning.
That mirrors my experience. It took an effort to even see that another reading was possible!

I started out believing it the words were unambiguous. Me today laughs heartily at me then :D
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
That's very true. It's important to think about how this cashes out. The answer is of course that one does have further time pressures built in. As a DM, I don't find quite enough narrative space in 8 hours, so I use a variant of gritty realism from the DMG. Given that my variant offers the narrative space that works for me, a broken rest can be significant (not always, but at times... it depends what else is going on).

I question why one would narrate the rest at all, if it had no interesting consequences for play? Of course, a fight just when we hoped to recover resources can in itself form a consequence!
Not a lot of DMs think this through in my experience. It helps if they do and adjust other aspects of the game accordingly. Many just do it because that's how they learned it or have always done it without consideration if it really has any meaningful consequence in context.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
That mirrors my experience. It took an effort to even see that another reading was possible!

I started out believing it the words were unambiguous. Me today laughs heartily at me then :D
I suspect, though, that the seeming lack of ambiguity was the result of an underlying (possibly unconscious) assumption that fighting ought to interrupt a rest.
 

So... it makes more sense to have any fighting or spellcasting spoil the long rest...

My main reasons:
  • If spellcasting does not interrupt a long rest, you can wake up 10 minutes early, cast long time buffing spells with spare spell slots and then rest the last 10 minutes...
  • having long rests every night is what makes travelling unfun, because of the way 5e is balance around having 2 short rests between one long rest and 2-3 encounters between them. Usually on a travelling adventure (meaningful) encounters are rather uncommon or you end up with level 20 after 2 weeks of travelling. We solved the problem differently, but facing the possibility of rests being interrupted would help making long rest dependent classes conserve at least a few slots.
 

Jaeger

That someone better
I use the second interpretation, but also realize the truth... nothing actually interrupts a long rest. Because even if there was an hour of fighting or walking or whatever that stopped and reset the 8-hour rest period... as soon as it was done the group was going to take another eight hours regardless. They were going to long rest one way or another. So unless I decided to just throw random fights at them even couple hours until they finally gave up trying... a long rest would be taken no matter how far into the evening and night it started from. And thus I don't usually ever bother with night-time interrupting encounters except in extreme circumstances.

Truth, any interruption and the party will just "wake up" one hour later to compensate.

The only way to truly end a long rest is if the situation requires the party to move around without rest. And that card can only be played sparingly without your players turning to the GM and going: "WTF Dude!?"
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Truth, any interruption and the party will just "wake up" one hour later to compensate.
Well, if they’re interrupted for a full hour, they actually have to start the whole 8 hours over to get the benefits of the long rest. Which they can certainly try, but if they’re in a place where hour-long interruptions are likely… They are liable to run out of hit points before they manage to complete 8 uninterrupted hours.
The only way to truly end a long rest is if the situation requires the party to move around without rest. And that card can only be played sparingly without your players turning to the GM and going: "WTF Dude!?"
I mean, sure. But that also means night time encounters can be a thing without depriving the PCs of their opportunity to recover their resources.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I mean, sure. But that also means night time encounters can be a thing without depriving the PCs of their opportunity to recover their resources.
That's a playstyle preference. It hearkens back to the old days where if you were interrupted you didn't get your resources and you had to wait to try again. So long as it doesn't happen too often, it's not that big of a deal except to increase tension in dangerous areas.
 

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