D&D 5E What interupts a long rest?

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I'm not sure what you mean.

By any interpretation of a long rest, walking (or traveling) up to 1 hour does not interrupt a long rest.

And even if the PC end-up fighting for 30 rounds - that's three particularly long fights of ten rounds each - that' d still allow them to walk 57 minutes before interrupting a long rest. It's not stretching anything much.
Other than any semblance of believability anyway. :p
 

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MarkB

Legend
no, it's a minimum to fit in a 8-hour long rest, but long rest can stretch to more than that.

Lets say two PCs set-up for a long rest, but they want to stand watch while the other sleep. Their rest will take 12 hours; each PC will have slept 6 hours and stood watch for 6 hours.
Technically, the first person to sleep will still finish their rest in 8 hours. And the first person to watch doesn't have to stick to light activities only during the first four hours of their watch - they could do something more energetic during that time and still get their long rest afterwards. The time it takes before both of them are fully rested is 12 hours, but they're each taking an 8-hour long rest during that time.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Sure, but your position previously has been "one interpretation of the rules is absurd, the other one isn't."
And it still is. There is no following the rules as written that is anything other than ludicrous. The hour makes RAI absurd. It's far more believable that any amount of fighting, hiking or spellcasting will interrupt your rest to the point where you have to start over, and if you can't start over, you're just tired for a day until you can rest again.
They aren't perfect. They get absurd when taken to a literal extreme or deliberately exploited. But they get the job done.
30 minutes of walking + 20 minutes of fighting + 10 minutes of spellcasting = absurd. 59 minutes of walking + 1 minute of fighting = absurd. Cut it up anyway you like and you aren't going to leave the realm of the absurd while you have an hour of time required for an interruption. There is no believable restful state that can come out of it.
 

Laurefindel

Legend
Technically, the first person to sleep will still finish their rest in 8 hours. And the first person to watch doesn't have to stick to light activities only during the first four hours of their watch - they could do something more energetic during that time and still get their long rest afterwards. The time it takes before both of them are fully rested is 12 hours, but they're each taking an 8-hour long rest during that time.
That is indeed correct
 

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
Post errata, the required minimum of sleep is 6 hours, and the maximum of light activity is 2 hours. Seeing as "no more" is also satisfied by "less than", a character can fit their 59 minutes of fighting etc in around their light activity.
You're overlooking the required minimum 8 hours of downtime. The rule helpfully defines downtime as sleep or (up to two hours of) light activity. It further defines light activity. Fighting is neither sleep nor light activity, so time spent fighting can't count as downtime, and therefore can't be used to satisfy the downtime requirement.

If you spend less than the maximum two hours on qualifying light activity, you need more than six hours of sleep to make up the remainder of the required eight hours of downtime.

The long rest section doesn't exclude the activity from the rest period, though. Unless it interrupts, it doesn't count against. That's a very reasonable house rule to have, as is simply interrupting the long rest because you've adventured for almost an hour, but that's not what is written there.

What is written is that you need at least 8 hours of long rest time, 6 of which have to be sleep. That's it. Then it discusses what resets the timer. At no point does it speak about delays. Now, if you include the light activity time you can end up having to extend past 8 hours by virtue of not having enough time in 8 hours to do light activity + 6 hours of sleep + less than an hour of exertion, but that's the only way as written to end up with a delay.
There isn't a delay, per se, there's just a required minimum 8 hours of downtime that must be satisfied to get a long rest. And the text of the rule says that only sleep or (up to 2 hours of) light activity counts towards that downtime.
 

Rune

Once A Fool
Does anyone use the optional Rest Variants (DMG page 267)? It seems like they could be an elegant solution for folks who find fault with the standard rules.

I couldn’t get my players to buy into that for the current campaign (set in a points-of-light version of the Sword Coast, but that’s just so I could use the maps). Instead, I have a much-increased chance of random encounters: while traveling, each hex results in an encounter on a d6 roll of 1, 2, or 3 (modified by speed of travel and danger-level of environment, also roads). Baseline is 2 or less for normal speed.

Camping is slightly different in that there is a roll for each 4 hours. 2 or less is still baseline. 1, if no campfire or obscured. 3 or less if very obvious.

Many encounters don’t end up with hostilities, however. And some are just a continuation of a running joke.
 
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clearstream

(He, Him)
But even by the most stringent reading of the rules, you can interrupt your sleep with a 59-minute hike and still get a full rest.
Yup, even sidestepping the what-about-ism, the rest rules are poor in 5e.

It may be more fruitful to just cut that hour of adventuring from resting altogether (which is close to one of your earlier comments), and then focus on the period characters must spend unconscious and therefore vulnerable.

A character gets the benefits of a long rest if they 1 or more hit points and have spent 6 of the past 8 hours unconscious.
 
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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Does anyone use the optional Rest Variants (DMG page 267)? It seems like they could be an elegant solution for folks who find fault with the standard rules.
Though I don't find fault with the standard rules really, I do use Gritty Realism or some version of that in various campaigns depending on how I structure the game. In my current hexcrawl, a short rest is 4 hours and a long rest is 1 week, which you can do in combination with a downtime activity in town. (You can't long rest in the wilderness.) This pushes the game to a true trek-to-town set up where the PCs push outward from town and then usually come back before the session is up which is what was intended for the game experience.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
You're overlooking the required minimum 8 hours of downtime.
I'm not. I've accounted for it perfectly. It's a minimum, because with light activity + up to an hour of exertion, you can go past 8 hours in order to meet the 6 hour sleep requirement.
If you spend less than the maximum two hours on qualifying light activity, you need more than six hours of sleep to make up the remainder of the required eight hours of downtime.
No you don't. You can in fact just lie there and look up at the night sky for two hours, which is not light activity and is not sleep. You an opt to sleep more than 6 hours, but don't need more than 6 if you fail to take light activity or strenuous activity.
There isn't a delay, per se, there's just a required minimum 8 hours of downtime that must be satisfied to get a long rest. And the text of the rule says that only sleep or (up to 2 hours of) light activity counts towards that downtime.
I doesn't say "only." It just gives examples of activities that will reset the downtime. As I pointed out above, you can just lie there thinking about things, counting sheep, staring at the stars, etc. that are not downtime and are not sleep, all while still satisfying the minimum requirement of 6 hours of sleep.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
This thread has inspired me to revise my house-rules for rest. In case anyone's interested:

RANDOM ENCOUNTERS
The game world consists of three zones: Safe, Unsafe, and Dangerous.

When the party stops to rest, I will ask one or more members of the party for a Survival check to find a safe spot to camp. Typically the DC is 12, but can be as low as 10 and as high as 20 depending on the area (like trying to find a campsite on the side of a mountain crawling with enemy soldiers.) If the check passes, the party has found a Safe Zone to camp in. If it fails, they have found an Unsafe Zone. And if it fails by 5 or more, they have found a Dangerous Zone. The players will then have the option to rest there, or move on and try to find a safer location.

Safe zones: In a safe zone, I will only check for random encounters during a Long Rest. The base chance for a random encounter is 0% but it might be adjusted depending on the party's actions (they're being followed, they were flashing around a lot of coin, etc.) If an encounter is indicated, roll or choose from Encounter Table 1. These encounters are usually traveling merchants, guards out on patrol, pickpockets in the crowd, and so forth.
Unsafe zones: In unsafe areas, I will check for random encounters for each Short or Long Rest. The base chance for a random encounter is 15% (a roll of 1-3 on 1d20), but can be adjusted by up to 10% in either direction based on the party's actions. If an encounter is indicated, roll or choose from Encounter Table 2. These encounters are usually wild animals, dangerous plants, and patrolling predators.
Dangerous zones: In dangerous areas, I will check for random encounters once for each Short or Long Rest, and the base chance for a random encounter is 30% (a roll of 1-6 on 1d20). If an encounter is indicated, roll or choose from Encounter Table 3. These are the local denizens of nearby dungeons, carefully-coordinated ambushes, and things that go bump in the night.

SHORT RESTS AND INTERRUPTIONS
Short Rests always take at least one hour. Upon finishing a Short Rest, you may spend your Hit Dice to recover hit points, and certain class features will refresh (warlocks recover their spell slots, for example).

If the Short Rest is interrupted by combat, spellcasting, or other strenuous activity, it is ruined. The party gains no benefit from the rest, and will need to spend another hour to attempt another.

LONG RESTS AND INTERRUPTIONS
When the party finishes a Long Rest, they recover abilities, spell slots, and hit points as noted in the Player's Handbook. A Long Rest always takes 8 hours, without exception. And you may only ever benefit from one Long Rest in any 24-hour period. I am so very tired of arguing with my players about the elves' Trance ability, or anything Warforged-related.

However, if that rest was interrupted by combat, spellcasting, or other strenuous activity, the members of the party also gain one level of Exhaustion at the end of the Long Rest. This level of Exhaustion stacks with any other levels of Exhaustion you might have gained from sleeping in armor, being diseased, etc. We had so many arguments about ruined Long Rests and what did/didn't constitute an "interruption" that I imposed this rule on the players. Now they still get the benefits of a long rest no matter what happens in the night; they just might wake up a little sore and cranky afterward. My players still hate it, but at least we've stopped arguing.

Maybe a little too complicated for the average table, but I'm running with it.
 
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clearstream

(He, Him)
Does anyone use the optional Rest Variants (DMG page 267)? It seems like they could be an elegant solution for folks who find fault with the standard rules.
I've used them. This is what I found.
  1. They require tweaking to get the balance between short and long rest classes right - I found a 3 day long, 1 day short ratio worked extremely well in an open-campaign setting where we had a lot of travel
  2. They do not work well in a protracted dungeon setting (ToA in our case) - it just feels weird to have characters sitting around that long doing nothing
  3. How much spacing should exist between rests is fiddly, I never reached a perfect resolution on that
My experience with the DMG variants was overall that this was definitely the right direction to go, but needed more work. They're quite casually written and do not seem well playtested.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
You're overlooking the required minimum 8 hours of downtime. The rule helpfully defines downtime as sleep or (up to two hours of) light activity. It further defines light activity. Fighting is neither sleep nor light activity, so time spent fighting can't count as downtime, and therefore can't be used to satisfy the downtime requirement.
That misstates the rule. It tells you that you must get in 6 hours sleep and you may get in up to 2 hours light activity. It doesn't say that you must get in any light activity.
 

MarkB

Legend
That misstates the rule. It tells you that you must get in 6 hours sleep and you may get in up to 2 hours light activity. It doesn't say that you must get in any light activity.
But it does define the entire period as downtime. Is fighting or hiking downtime?
 

Rune

Once A Fool
There isn't a delay, per se, there's just a required minimum 8 hours of downtime that must be satisfied to get a long rest. And the text of the rule says that only sleep or (up to 2 hours of) light activity counts towards that downtime.

To be clear, the errata’d version doesn’t say anything at all about requiring the non-sleep portion to be light activity. It only limits the amont of time that can be light activity.

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Faolyn

(she/her)
All of this is making me want to create a rule that says, when you stand watch, you have to make a low-DC save (Con, likely, or maybe either Con or Int, and maybe DC 7 or 9), or you fall asleep instead of staying awake.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Yeah, but again, the rules on long rests are absurd on their face. Try sleeping for 3 hours tonight, set your alarm and then go out for a 59 minute hike, then sleep for 3 more hours exactly. If you can even fall asleep right away when you get back, you are not going to be fully(or even close to it) rested in the morning.
Actually that’s called biphasic sleep and it’s quite good for you.
 

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
I'm not. I've accounted for it perfectly. It's a minimum, because with light activity + up to an hour of exertion, you can go past 8 hours in order to meet the 6 hour sleep requirement.

No you don't. You can in fact just lie there and look up at the night sky for two hours, which is not light activity and is not sleep. You an opt to sleep more than 6 hours, but don't need more than 6 if you fail to take light activity or strenuous activity.

I doesn't say "only." It just gives examples of activities that will reset the downtime. As I pointed out above, you can just lie there thinking about things, counting sheep, staring at the stars, etc. that are not downtime and are not sleep, all while still satisfying the minimum requirement of 6 hours of sleep.
Let's look at the text again:

A long rest is a period of ex-tended downtime, at least 8 hours long, during which a character sleeps for at least 6 hours and performs no more than 2 hours of light activity, such as reading, talking, eating, or standing watch. If the rest is interrupted by a period of strenuous activity—at least 1 hour of walking, fighting, casting spells, or similar adventuring activity—the characters must begin the rest again to gain any benefit from it.

The first sentence explicitly establishes a requirement that to get a long rest one must spend at least 8 hours on downtime. That sentence also says what a character does during downtime: a character sleeps or performs light activity. Thus, anything that is neither sleep nor light activity is not downtime. (See my response to @Rune, below, for an expanded analysis.) You can indeed lie there and look up at the night sky for two hours, if your DM rules that it counts as only light activity (which I hope every DM would). The first sentence also establishes that at least six of the eight hours of downtime must be sleep, and no more than two hours of downtime can be light activity. Ergo, the less of your permitted two hours of light activity you use, the more sleep you need, because only sleep and light activity count as downtime.

The second sentence establishes the maximum amount of strenuous activity that can be undertaken without losing one's accumulated downtime. It doesn't allow strenuous activity to count as downtime.

That misstates the rule. It tells you that you must get in 6 hours sleep and you may get in up to 2 hours light activity. It doesn't say that you must get in any light activity.
I didn't say that one must have light activity. I said that downtime (sleep + up to two hours of light activity) must be at least eight hours. If you don't spend any time on light activity then you'd have to sleep for eight hours to meet the downtime requirement.

To be clear, the errata’d version doesn’t say anything at all about requiring the non-sleep portion to be light activity. It only limits the amont of time that can be light activity.

View attachment 143190
Yes it does. Look at the entire first sentence rather than just the part you highlighted. The rule tells you what characters do during downtime: sleep and light activity. Even if one read sleep and light activity as merely examples of downtime (and I don't know why one would, given the absence of language indicating such) strenuous activity is not of the same character as sleep or light activity and thus should not qualify as downtime.

Note that the definition of light activity does include language ("such as") indicating that what follows are examples of light activity. The absence of such indicators in the list of what a character does during downtime (in the same sentence, no less!) shows that sleep and light activity are not merely examples of downtime, but are instead an exclusive list.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Actually that’s called biphasic sleep and it’s quite good for you.
For my entire life waking in the middle of sleep has made me groggy the entire next day. 🤷

Edit: Biophasic sleep is not 3 hours of sleep, 1 hour exertion, 3 hours sleep. It's 6 hours of sleep with a short nap during the day or 5 hours of sleep with a longer(hour-hour and a half) nap during the day. Waking in the middle of the long sleep still messes with you.
 

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