D&D 5E What interupts a long rest?

clearstream

(He, Him)
A much simpler alternative would have been to write, for that first sentence:
"A long rest is a period of extended downtime, at least 8 hours long, during which a character sleeps for at least 6 hours and engages in nothing more strenuous than light activity, such as reading, talking, eating, or standing watch, for the rest of the time.”
Per my post just preceding this one, I argue that focusing on what characters must not do is taking the wrong approach in the first place. Ignore what characters do for that 2 hours, and focus on what they must do - get 6 hours sleep in the last 8 hours.
 

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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
@Charlaquin @Maxperson @Xetheral @Rune @MarkB Why not just rule it like this -

A character gets the benefits of a long rest at the end of any 8 hour period in which they had positive hit points and slept 6 hours. They can't get that benefit again for 16 hours.

[Optionally] A period of sleep must be unbroken for at least 2 hours to count toward this.
Somewhere in the rules it has a line along the lines of "a character can not benefit from a long rest more than once in a 24 hour period". The wording might be off there, but if you've ever played that card as a gm when players are insisting to take another rest with nothing to stop them the obvious & immediate discussion among the players is "ok let's chill here for the day and set out tomorrow after the long rest."the lack of faul state or resource attrition makes a decision like that almost certain.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
Somewhere in the rules it has a line along the lines of "a character can not benefit from a long rest more than once in a 24 hour period". The wording might be off there, but if you've ever played that card as a gm when players are insisting to take another rest with nothing to stop them the obvious & immediate discussion among the players is "ok let's chill here for the day and set out tomorrow after the long rest."the lack of faul state or resource attrition makes a decision like that almost certain.
Hence for another 16 hours.

If it is a 24 hour period, and I have counted 8 hours of that period toward a rest, then I must not be eligible for another until the period ends. Or, to think of it another way, how many long rests should a character be allowed per 48 hours? Is it one (which is what you get if you exclude the 8 hours of rest itself from the count)? Or is it two?

I word it as 16 because it is crisp and definitive for players. We just benefited from a long rest. We are now in no doubt that we cannot get another for 16 hours. Might as well go adventure then! The within 24 hours wording is to my view problematic. When does the 24 hours start and end, etc.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Hence for another 16 hours.

If it is a 24 hour period, and I have counted 8 hours of that period toward a rest, then I must not be eligible for another until the period ends. Or, to think of it another way, how many long rests should a character be allowed per 48 hours? Is it one (which is what you get if you exclude the 8 hours of rest itself from the count)? Or is it two?

I word it as 16 because it is crisp and definitive for players. We just benefited from a long rest. We are now in no doubt that we cannot get another for 16 hours. Might as well go adventure then! The within 24 hours wording is to my view problematic. When does the 24 hours start and end, etc.

Here's the exact wording from phb186 "A character can’t benefit from m ore than one long rest in a 24-hour period, and a character must have at least 1 hit point at the start of the rest to gain its benefits." Your adjustment is pretty much a rewording on a limitation already lacking in teeth that would make it matter without a tight doom clock. What do you see your adjustment actually accomplishing differently when the players say "ok no big deal. anyone have a reason we can't just sit around for the day before we start a long rest & kick off fresh tomorrow?"
 

MarkB

Legend
@Charlaquin @Maxperson @Xetheral @Rune @MarkB It looks like all agree that a requirement for 6 hours sleep is perfectly clear, and given we know a sleeping character has the unconscious condition I assume we all agree that they can't do any kind of activity in that 6 hours. Not light activity, not strenuous or adventuring activity. Certainly no fighting, no spell casting, no marching! So my question is - for the rest of the time is it really worth quibbling over whether an activity is light or strenuous, and runs for an hour or for two hours!? Why not just rule it like this -

A character gets the benefits of a long rest at the end of any 8 hour period in which they had positive hit points and slept 6 hours. They can't get that benefit again for 16 hours.

[Optionally] A period of sleep must be unbroken for at least 2 hours to count toward this.
I still think that any strenuous activity during those 8 hours doesn't count as downtime and so wouldn't contribute to the time spent resting. But I also think that A) it's not worth getting caught up on exact timings here as they're just arbitrary figures and I'm not going to make someone lose the benefit of a long rest because they were woken up five minutes early, and B) I can't think of any time in actual play that an interruption occurred which took more than a few minutes to resolve, so why bother planning against something I probably won't ever have to rule on?
 

Dragonsbane

Proud Grognard
In my game - almost anything interrupts a long rest. Fighting. Spellcasting. Waking up to noise lol

Does anyone really think players need MORE resting? Come on now.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
Here's the exact wording from phb186 "A character can’t benefit from m ore than one long rest in a 24-hour period, and a character must have at least 1 hit point at the start of the rest to gain its benefits." Your adjustment is pretty much a rewording on a limitation already lacking in teeth that would make it matter without a tight doom clock. What do you see your adjustment actually accomplishing differently when the players say "ok no big deal. anyone have a reason we can't just sit around for the day before we start a long rest & kick off fresh tomorrow?"
Remember that I am discussing working with the RAI that is best sustained by evidence from the game designers. My position - explained extensively - is that adventuring is not resting. However, given the RAI as we have it, I suggest that quibbling over whether 2 of the 8 hours of "rest" are an hour of light activity and an hour of strenuous (roughly) is of low value. Why bother? A DM might just focus on the toothier requirement that characters must fit 6 hours of unconsciousness into 8 hours.

As to 24 hours. I don't understand the fight you are picking here. My wording makes the intent crisp: a character can benefit from a long rest only once in each 8+16 hour (24 hour!) period. Per RAI, characters have always been able to sit around for a day and kick-off fresh tomorrow.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
I still think that any strenuous activity during those 8 hours doesn't count as downtime and so wouldn't contribute to the time spent resting. But I also think that A) it's not worth getting caught up on exact timings here as they're just arbitrary figures and I'm not going to make someone lose the benefit of a long rest because they were woken up five minutes early, and B) I can't think of any time in actual play that an interruption occurred which took more than a few minutes to resolve, so why bother planning against something I probably won't ever have to rule on?
Indeed. One might well think exactly as you do, and if one does, then surely it is better to ignore what happens in those two hours altogether. Don't you agree with that?

The wording is more streamlined, and makes a tweak that I think in play will amount to nothing, which is instead of 1 hour of strenuous activity and 1 hour of light, one might do 2 hours of strenuous instead. I really don't see anything more objectionable about 2 hours of strenuous that wasn't already objectionable at 1 hour.
 

MarkB

Legend
Indeed. One might well think exactly as you do, and if one does, then surely it is better to ignore what happens in those two hours altogether. Don't you agree with that?

The wording is more streamlined, and makes a tweak that I think in play will amount to nothing, which is instead of 1 hour of strenuous activity and 1 hour of light, one might do 2 hours of strenuous instead. I really don't see anything more objectionable about 2 hours of strenuous that wasn't already objectionable at 1 hour.
At that point you're basically just saying that a long rest is 6 hours. If that suits you, fine, but it's a houserule.

Basically you've taken something in the rules that is an allowance for something outside the players' control - having their rest interrupted - and taken it to the logical extreme of players 'inerrupting' their own rest deliberately, to optimise their timekeeping. And then you've treated that as being the default way to rest, and said "well, now that we're here, may as well take one more step."

Fine, but it's not an interpretation I have any interest in.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
At that point you're basically just saying that a long rest is 6 hours. If that suits you, fine, but it's a houserule.
I think you overlook the main point. I'll try to reframe it. Given I feel it is okay to have an hour of adventuring while resting (RAI) why on Earth should I object to two hours? What is more credulity stretching about two, that wasn't already stretched at one? And given that RAI makes rests essentially non-interruptable, only extendable as you (more-or-less) previously observed, even less reason to worry about what happens in that two hours. Players can just roll the rest forward.

Do you follow? Under the RAI, the only part of rests worth tracking is the 6 hours sleep.
 

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
So my question is - for the rest of the time is it really worth quibbling over whether an activity is light or strenuous, and runs for an hour or for two hours!? Why not just rule it like this -

A character gets the benefits of a long rest at the end of any 8 hour period in which they had positive hit points and slept 6 hours. They can't get that benefit again for 16 hours.
Given the wide disparity between the sorts of activities given as examples of Light Activity and the sorts of examples given of Strenuous Activity, I don't see it as quibbling. If I wanted rests to effectively only be six hours, I'd just change the length of the rest outright rather than keeping it at eight hours and allowing up to two hours of adventuring activity.

And allowing Strenuous Activity to count towards a rest encourages things like planning overland travel in the middle of a rest period, which is the sort of contradiction in terms I want to avoid. I want rests to feel natural, rather than be something to be gamed.

I am fine with shortening the minimum time before a character can benefit from a second short rest to something like 20 hours, to permit the party to rest once per night with some late nights and some early nights. The 24-hour-rule creates a one-way ratchet where going to bed late one night means every subsequent night has to be just as late until you skip a long rest to reset the timer.

I think you overlook the main point. I'll try to reframe it. Given I feel it is okay to have an hour of adventuring while resting (RAI) why on Earth should I object to two hours? What is more credulity stretching about two, that wasn't already stretched at one? And given that RAI makes rests essentially non-interruptable, only extendable as you (more-or-less) previously observed, even less reason to worry about what happens in that two hours. Players can just roll the rest forward.

Do you follow? Under the RAI, the only part of rests worth tracking is the 6 hours sleep.
I disagree with your interpretation that RAI counts time spent on Strenuous Activity towards the minimum downtime requirement. So your question seems moot to me.

That said, if you are allowing any Strenuous Activity to count towards minimum downtime requirements, I'd say the more you allow the more credulity-stretching it becomes.
 

MarkB

Legend
I think you overlook the main point. I'll try to reframe it. Given I feel it is okay to have an hour of adventuring while resting (RAI) why on Earth should I object to two hours? What is more credulity stretching about two, that wasn't already stretched at one? And given that RAI makes rests essentially non-interruptable, only extendable as you (more-or-less) previously observed, even less reason to worry about what happens in that two hours. Players can just roll the rest forward.

Do you follow? Under the RAI, the only part of rests worth tracking is the 6 hours sleep.
Just accept that our interpretations differ, and move on. This is becoming tiresome.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
Just accept that our interpretations differ, and move on. This is becoming tiresome.
Well, to raise a point of order. If I come to a thread to tell a poster still interested in the thread that I am no longer interested, then isn't the onus on me to leave the thread? Not to attempt to quash another poster's curiousity.
 

MarkB

Legend
Well, to raise a point of order. If I come to a thread to tell a poster still interested in the thread that I am no longer interested, then isn't the onus on me to leave the thread? Not to attempt to quash another poster's curiousity.
It's not the thread that's tiresome.
 




Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Remember that I am discussing working with the RAI that is best sustained by evidence from the game designers. My position - explained extensively - is that adventuring is not resting.

However, given the RAI as we have it, I suggest that quibbling over whether 2 of the 8 hours of "rest" are an hour of light activity and an hour of strenuous (roughly) is of low value. Why bother? A DM might just focus on the toothier requirement that characters must fit 6 hours of unconsciousness into 8 hours.
Yeah, I guess you can frame it that way if you want to. I don’t really see a practical difference between this and the current rule in actual gameplay terms. Either way what we’re actually doing at the table is setting aside 8 in-fiction hours for a long rest, maybe a bit of light roleplaying, and rolling some dice to see if the PCs get attacked during that time (and if so, who’s on watch when it happens.) But it sounds like producing the same gameplay experience as the current rule does is explicitly your goal, which makes the exercise seem kinda pointless to me.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
Yeah, I guess you can frame it that way if you want to. I don’t really see a practical difference between this and the current rule in actual gameplay terms. Either way what we’re actually doing at the table is setting aside 8 in-fiction hours for a long rest, maybe a bit of light roleplaying, and rolling some dice to see if the PCs get attacked during that time (and if so, who’s on watch when it happens.) But it sounds like producing the same gameplay experience as the current rule does is explicitly your goal, which makes the exercise seem kinda pointless to me.
It's worth bothering with, because it produces a streamlined rule that focuses on what actually matters. It is far easier for DMs to parse. It casts better light on the adventuring day problem, which is one of the most fundamental, most intractable, for D&D design. It is one of the most valuable design problems to solve for 6th edition.

For example, think through the question of what happens, if a character ignores "no more than 2 hours of light activity", and goes ahead and performs 3 hours of light activity? Reflect on where we have reached, and where we could go with the design from here.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
There. That was the tiresome part.
I realise I have not explained the purpose behind my dialectic, and that can be frustrating for other posters. I would like to find a good solve for the intractable problem of the adventuring day. I sense here the possibility of progress toward a real solution. That is why I am so tenaciously pursuing this.
 

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