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D&D 5E What is a Short Rest vs a Long Rest?

Depends on how much you drank the night before.

Honestly I have long since hand waved rests in my game. If I'm moving onto the next scene then I just don't want to bother with them and I just assume that the characters take precautions and find a safe place to rest for however long they need. Now if it serves the story then I'll take the time to incorporate a long or short rest but not too often. The one thing that I'm having second thoughts about is healing. I haven't decided but think I'm going to use a slower pace than rolling HD after a rest. I had a player take a dagger to the side for 4hp of damage, sleeping in a tent on a crappy cot for 8 hours shouldnt heal that much damage that quickly without magical healing. I much prefer the healing pace of earlier editions over anything 3E and later,
 

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I had a player take a dagger to the side for 4hp of damage, sleeping in a tent on a crappy cot for 8 hours shouldnt heal that much damage that quickly without magical healing.
Hit points are not meat.

The player probably parried the blow at the last minute, or it luckily glanced off his armor or robes without breaking the skin.
 

Hit points are not meat.

The player probably parried the blow at the last minute, or it luckily glanced off his armor or robes without breaking the skin.
I understand hit points are not "meat" and are abstract, but a 1st level character with 9 hp who sustains 4 hp of damage is going to feel it and I dont see a puncture wound healing after one night of rest. It was not a glancing blow, and they were not wearing armor deflect the strike. They were surprised by a group of rogues who attacked from the shadows, and was stabbed by a dagger. The attack was intended to send a message, and placed as such.
 

I understand hit points are not "meat" and are abstract, but a 1st level character with 9 hp who sustains 4 hp of damage is going to feel it and I dont see a puncture wound healing after one night of rest. It was not a glancing blow, and they were not wearing armor deflect the strike. They were surprised by a group of rogues who attacked from the shadows, and was stabbed by a dagger. The attack was intended to send a message, and placed as such.

It was a graze then. The rogue intentionally pulled his blow so as to not actually harm or accidentally kill the PC clipping an artery or an organ.

4 HP (out of 9) isnt even the bloodied condition in earlier editions (so it wouldnt even show as a wound). He still has over half his HP remaining.

If you wanted the rogue to actually hit the PC with any level of force, it should have reduced him to zero HP (unable to do anything but watch himself bleed out, in stunned silence) and dying.

HP represent (expressly - RAW) luck, resolve, health, and the will to live. They're also implicitly a reflection of experience (gained via advancing in level via XP) at avoiding harm that are gained at a higher rate by people skilled in combat (dodging, evading and parrying blows, and using shields and armor to turn hits into misses) such as fighters and other martials.

A 20th level fighter that takes 30 damage from a Frost giants axe, leaps out off the way at the last second, the blade narrowly missing him and jarring the ground where he was standing only a second before.

A 1st level fighter that takes the exact same damage, lacks that level of skill and luck at evading blows, and is instead cut in half.
 

Asisreo

Archdevil's Advocate
The issue that comes up with Short Rests more often than not isn't that parties aren't getting a chance to take a Short Rest... it's that the way the story is playing out the group doesn't need to take a Short Rest because that's the only combat of the day.
I will always say that in such a day, the short rest classes have the edge always because they simple get more in the day considering that they now have 8 hours of potential short rests that do not get interrupted.

Oh, the Warlock only gets 2 spell slots for the final combat? How unfortunate. Luckily, he basically has access to Tongues, Fly, Detect Thoughts, Misty Step and Suggestion. And he can throw them out like candy.

Same could be said for Monks. Suddenly, using Darkvision, Pass without Trace, and teleportation is wildly cheap throughout the day, only costing an hour for roughly 2-3 times.
 

It was a graze then. The rogue intentionally pulled his blow so as to not actually harm or accidentally kill the PC clipping an artery or an organ.
Actually no it was not a graze, the rogue totally intended to kill the player if that was the outcome. The character was STABBED, not knicked, grazed, etc.
4 HP (out of 9) isnt even the bloodied condition in earlier editions (so it wouldnt even show as a wound). He still has over half his HP remaining.
We are playing 5th Edition so previous editions in this instance dont matter.
If you wanted the rogue to actually hit the PC with any level of force, it should have reduced him to zero HP (unable to do anything but watch himself bleed out, in stunned silence) and dying.
I roll all my dice out in the open, if the attack had done enough damage to reduce the character to zero or outright kill them then fine, but it didnt.
HP represent (expressly - RAW) luck, resolve, health, and the will to live. They're also implicitly a reflection of experience (gained via advancing in level via XP) at avoiding harm that are gained at a higher rate by people skilled in combat (dodging, evading and parrying blows, and using shields and armor to turn hits into misses) such as fighters and other martials.
I know what hit point represent but beyond that they are open to interpretation and evidently my interpretation is different than yours.

Whether or not the player was hit was never a question, for some reason you decided that they weren't. My point was that after taking 4hp of damage how fast should they heal after taking a long or short rest. We decided that they regained 1 hp after a long rest and to table the discussion for a later time, but we all decided that the rate of healing RAW in 5E is too much.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I understand hit points are not "meat" and are abstract, but a 1st level character with 9 hp who sustains 4 hp of damage is going to feel it and I dont see a puncture wound healing after one night of rest. It was not a glancing blow, and they were not wearing armor deflect the strike. They were surprised by a group of rogues who attacked from the shadows, and was stabbed by a dagger. The attack was intended to send a message, and placed as such.

So, you have a choice - allow the preferred narrative to drive the mechanic, or allow the mechanical result to drive the narrative.

There was a combat. The PC has a maximum of 9 HP, and took 4 HP of damage.

The fact that the character was surprised has already impacted the situation - it means they didn't get to act in turn - but now you want to count it again by making that impact how the damage might heal? Is that, by the rules, fair to the player? Mechanically, that they were not wearing armor already determined if they were hit, why does it matter in healing? Would those 4 HP deal differently if they'd be wearing armor?

Why does the intent of the attacker matter here? Does that change the nature of the hit points of damage? If the attacker wasn't so intent, would 4 HP heal differently? Does your game have explicit rules about how piercing damage heals, as compared to slashing or bludgeoning damage? If the answer to any of these is "no", then the narrative about how the damage came about should not be relevant to the mechanic for healing damage.
 

Does your game have explicit rules about how piercing damage heals, as compared to slashing or bludgeoning damage? If the answer to any of these is "no", then the narrative about how the damage came about should not be relevant to the mechanic for healing damage.
As this was the first time anyone in the campaign took any damage, (the type was irrelevant), I brought up the idea of possibly modifying how natural healing would work in the current game. The player healed 1 hp after 8 hours rest, everyone agreed and we moved on. I wasn't singling out any specific player/character for not wearing armor, taking damage from a piercing weapon or because the attacker intended to kill them.
 



Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
As this was the first time anyone in the campaign took any damage, (the type was irrelevant), I brought up the idea of possibly modifying how natural healing would work in the current game.

I am glad it worked out for you - but such stuff really should normally be discusssed before character generation, as it can make a big difference in how folks choose to put together their characters.

I wasn't singling out any specific player/character for not wearing armor, taking damage from a piercing weapon or because the attacker intended to kill them.

But those were all things you said in in the post, seemingly trying to support/justify your choice. So, was all that text meaningless?
 

I am glad it worked out for you - but such stuff really should normally be discusssed before character generation, as it can make a big difference in how folks choose to put together their characters.
Fair enough, but we didnt and often dont talk about this stuff beforehand. We figure it out as we go, if it proves we make the wrong choice, we'll switch back to RAW. Everyones confident that any changes will be applied fairly.
But those were all things you said in in the post, seemingly trying to support/justify your choice. So, was all that text meaningless?
No all that text wasn't meaningless. @Flamestrike, who was not at my table Friday decided that the player wasnt hit by the attack that caused the 4 points of damage. Why, who knows? I proceeded to frame the scene to explain why the character was hit not to justify why said damage would heal slower than RAW, nor did I say a piercing wound would heal slower than a slashing or bludgeoning one. But this is all off topic and feel that discussing it further is just going to detract from the thread.
 



GMMichael

Guide of Modos
First, let me start by saying, "Yes, I know what they are mechanically" . . .

So, please be kind to your Short Rest powered classes, not only do they need their powers back, but, your characters most likely need lunch and dinner.
Just imagine working a double shift without 1 break!
Quoting that first line, because some people didn't seem to read it.

Short rest in-game: when it's safe to unstring your bow or doff your helmet.
Long rest in-game: what you do overnight, even if it's not sleeping.

Atmosphere? I am pretty sure Tolkien doesn't tell you what the breakdown of gasses is in Middle Earth's atmosphere. Maybe Middle Earth just has "air".
You think that's "air" you're breathing?
Come On GIF by HBO Max
 

First, let me start by saying, "Yes, I know what they are mechanically."

But, what does it mean in-game terms?
To me they are when characters stop, take a breather, sit and eat, and, if necessary triage any injuries. - Cleaning, bandaging, splinting etc.

Long rests are setting up camp, possibly building a fire and cooking, more in-depth treatment of any injuries and of course, sleeping.

I understand hit points are not "meat" and are abstract, but a 1st level character with 9 hp who sustains 4 hp of damage is going to feel it and I dont see a puncture wound healing after one night of rest. It was not a glancing blow, and they were not wearing armor deflect the strike. They were surprised by a group of rogues who attacked from the shadows, and was stabbed by a dagger. The attack was intended to send a message, and placed as such.
The next day, the character might still have had the wound, but it has been treated, and healed a little - It is still there, but it no longer is reducing the character's combat effectiveness (hit points.)
 

The next day, the character might still have had the wound, but it has been treated, and healed a little - It is still there, but it no longer is reducing the character's combat effectiveness (hit points.)
I know how healing works in 5E, I appreciate the feedback, but Im looking to make healing from injuries slower and more than just taking a short or long rest and rolling a pool of HD to see how much damage is healed. I'll probably look into the optional rules and brainstorm with the group and see where to go from there.
 

I know how healing works in 5E, I appreciate the feedback, but Im looking to make healing from injuries slower and more than just taking a short or long rest and rolling a pool of HD to see how much damage is healed. I'll probably look into the optional rules and brainstorm with the group and see where to go from there.
If you come up with something good, please share. Slower natural healing seems to be a common need, but finding a way that doesn't just put extra pressure on the classes with healing spells is tricky.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I use the alternate rules for short and long rest in my game, a short rest is overnight and a long rest is a week or more. That just makes more sense to me both from a pacing perspective and a recovery perspective.

Adventurers are kind of like professional athletes pushing themselves to their maximum, they need time to recuperate. I also assume some magical innate healing (not that the PCs realize it's magical); people in a world of magic have evolved some minor healing capability. I think of it as action movie hero healing.

But it still takes a while to really recover from all those minor wounds, strains and bruises that result in HP loss.

Primarily though, short and long rests are about pacing and balance. I found that when I used the standard rules if I wanted to get enough encounters in to balance out the classes and not have a 5 minute work day, everything had to be an over the top emergency like the TV show "24".

So I went to the alternate rules because I want to emulate something like The Dresden Files books, where everything is going fine and then it all goes boom for a few days. From a narrative approach it works better for me.
 

If you come up with something good, please share. Slower natural healing seems to be a common need, but finding a way that doesn't just put extra pressure on the classes with healing spells is tricky.
Will do. As I mentioned above, Id been considering it, and just brought it up last session so there may be repercussions Im not considering. Also you make a good point about balance.
 

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