D&D 5E Why my friends hate talking to me about 5e.

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
The two target different problems caused by the way 5e death saves make low hp a total nonconcern & how 5e "long" resting is practically video game command console recovery speed.

The bigger heals are to ensure that pcs have the tools so they don't fall to zero. Linking the slow recovery to a failure to use them does not make low health scary or even concerning

The slow recovery is not to prevent players from doing things like pulling back somewhere safe to rest, it means that "somewhere safe" is never a locked room or something close that can be trivially handled. That's important because players are now far enough from the "dungeon" for long enough to plausibly support all sorts of change within while they were away not seeing it happen to stop.. Only having it slow when someone drops to zero means that it's not going to matter most of the time and as a gm I can't supply magic items that would fill that need when things sre getting rough due to unavailable trivial rest or when things have gone sideways & everyone is going all out so a pc doesn't die...
You’ve misinterpreted my reasoning, i linked the extended rest time to players dropping to zero to encourage them to actually prepare and use the better heals more to prevent players from dropping to 0 in the first place, if i read your original explanation right then your players are correct: the restrictions for actually getting healed by the improved healing are too great to want to use them when they can just heal them regularly when they go down without repercussions.

However either in my implementation or yours it doesn’t really solve the root issue which is that dropping doesn’t carry any meaningful weight which puts us right back at the point of the thread, exhaustion is too extreme a consequence that kills any fun because your character sucks so you want some other penalty to discourage pop-up healing.

I wouldn’t have the next long rest after dropping have to be the extended one but until the players took their extended rest they would suffer some penalty, it would still mean they can’t recover fully in some dungeon’s storeroom but would also incentivise not letting characters drop in the first place.
EDIT: maybe an X/20 chance to roll with disadvantage on any given skill check, (non death)saving throw, to-hit roll or the like, where X is the number of times you’ve been dropped to 0.
 
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Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
I think on my next campaign I'll try to have a rule where when you drop at 0 HP, you lose 20% of your max HP (rounded down), regained only by taking the Recovery downtime activity or greater restoration.

And have players add their Con mod for each die of hp recovery granted by a spell or feature, a little thing called Healing Rate.

That plus Natural Recovery (need HP to regain HP on long rest too) and @Charlaquin's idea of Healing Kit dependency when bloodied might be a good setup for a grittier game without being a punishment for the sake of it.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
I don't see a reason to make being nearly murdered more punitive- it can happen at any time, say due to a lucky critical hit (because unlike most PC crits, a monster can generally toss a ton of dice your way).

You have a great adventure lined up, and you're really excited to see how the players handle the final encounter. You've given them some time sensitive reason to hurry, perhaps an evil wizard is about to do something nefarious to a beloved NPC.

3 encounters into the 5 encounter session, a Giant Ape throws a rock at the Cleric with a natural 20, and down he goes. Thankfully he can be revived with a potion of healing, and the adventure continues, though now the players are down more resources, because they don't want to risk taking a short rest.

But wait! The campaign is using a house rule to make going to 0 more punishing, because "verisimilitude", and the result is that now the Cleric is suffering from some lingering malady, placing the odds of success even further away!

I know some of you are nodding your heads, thinking: "yes, that's how the game should be, adventuring is dangerous". But I would think that making the Cleric use up a bunch of their healing in this scenario, when they really need to conserve resources for the final encounter, is already punishing a player for something they had no control over.

There was no way the Cleric could have avoided this fate by pre-emptively healing himself with cure wounds. He might have given himself 5 temps with Aid, but even if that would have helped, who would have foreseen needing them?

It's basically saying "yeah, you should have been a Twilight Cleric".

And let's not forget the other fun thing about death saves, and why being able to revive characters quickly is important to the system; if you happen to take damage while you're unconscious, that's an automatic failed death save. Saw that happen when a Barbarian went down after being lit on fire.

It isn't just that Healing Word is a bonus action that can bring people back from the brink is the problem either; it's a ranged healing spell, where cure wounds isn't; if someone goes down, the Cleric might not be able to reach them to cast a real spell even if they wanted to!

So perhaps tetrasodium has the right of it; if you want to change the healing dynamic, you can't just throw out a house rule and call it a day. The entire way healing and death work in 5e would have to be rewritten.

Or we could embrace the Twilight Cleric's method of "healing". Which some people find equally as problematic.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I think on my next campaign I'll try to have a rule where when you drop at 0 HP, you lose 20% of your max HP (rounded down), regained only by taking the Recovery downtime activity or greater restoration.

And have players add their Con mod for each die of hp recovery granted by a spell or feature, a little thing called Healing Rate.

That plus Natural Recovery (need HP to regain HP on long rest too) and @Charlaquin's idea of Healing Kit dependency when bloodied might be a good setup for a grittier game without being a punishment for the sake of it.
I will note that in practice, healer’s kit dependency while bloodied mostly ends up meaning that players use spells to heal when bloodied and hit dice when they’re at half or above. Personally I find that to be a perfectly acceptable outcome because my goal with the house rule is just to make the bottom half of your HP pool feel different from the top half, and healing it in different ways at those different thresholds accomplishes that nicely. But I wouldn’t recommend it as a way to actually encourage the use of healer’s kits.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I don't see a reason to make being nearly murdered more punitive- it can happen at any time, say due to a lucky critical hit (because unlike most PC crits, a monster can generally toss a ton of dice your way).

You have a great adventure lined up, and you're really excited to see how the players handle the final encounter. You've given them some time sensitive reason to hurry, perhaps an evil wizard is about to do something nefarious to a beloved NPC.

3 encounters into the 5 encounter session, a Giant Ape throws a rock at the Cleric with a natural 20, and down he goes. Thankfully he can be revived with a potion of healing, and the adventure continues, though now the players are down more resources, because they don't want to risk taking a short rest.
So, I agree that in this sort of scenario, an exhaustion at 0 HP rule would be a bad idea. The thing is, I don’t think most people who want such a rule are planning 5-encounter sessions. And I don’t mean they’re planning sessions with fewer encounters! I mean they’re not planning sessions with specific numbers of encounters in mind. This kind of rule is, in my opinion, better suited to more sandboxy campaigns, where what the PCs encounter is dependent partly on where they decide to go, and partly dependent on procedural generation. In that sort of a campaign, getting knocked down to 0 and acquiring a level of exhaustion isn’t preventing the party from reaching the climactic setpiece encounter the DM prepared; It’s emergently generating a climactic escape from the dungeon sequence.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
I don't see a reason to make being nearly murdered more punitive- it can happen at any time, say due to a lucky critical hit (because unlike most PC crits, a monster can generally toss a ton of dice your way).

You have a great adventure lined up, and you're really excited to see how the players handle the final encounter. You've given them some time sensitive reason to hurry, perhaps an evil wizard is about to do something nefarious to a beloved NPC.

3 encounters into the 5 encounter session, a Giant Ape throws a rock at the Cleric with a natural 20, and down he goes. Thankfully he can be revived with a potion of healing, and the adventure continues, though now the players are down more resources, because they don't want to risk taking a short rest.

But wait! The campaign is using a house rule to make going to 0 more punishing, because "verisimilitude", and the result is that now the Cleric is suffering from some lingering malady, placing the odds of success even further away!

I know some of you are nodding your heads, thinking: "yes, that's how the game should be, adventuring is dangerous". But I would think that making the Cleric use up a bunch of their healing in this scenario, when they really need to conserve resources for the final encounter, is already punishing a player for something they had no control over.

There was no way the Cleric could have avoided this fate by pre-emptively healing himself with cure wounds. He might have given himself 5 temps with Aid, but even if that would have helped, who would have foreseen needing them?

It's basically saying "yeah, you should have been a Twilight Cleric".

And let's not forget the other fun thing about death saves, and why being able to revive characters quickly is important to the system; if you happen to take damage while you're unconscious, that's an automatic failed death save. Saw that happen when a Barbarian went down after being lit on fire.

It isn't just that Healing Word is a bonus action that can bring people back from the brink is the problem either; it's a ranged healing spell, where cure wounds isn't; if someone goes down, the Cleric might not be able to reach them to cast a real spell even if they wanted to!

So perhaps tetrasodium has the right of it; if you want to change the healing dynamic, you can't just throw out a house rule and call it a day. The entire way healing and death work in 5e would have to be rewritten.

Or we could embrace the Twilight Cleric's method of "healing". Which some people find equally as problematic.
@Charlaquin noted it in post95, when players need to take the risk of fights more seriously it raises the stakes on any individual fight. On that bolded bit though it also makes those monsters scary even if the group is high enough level to flat out roflstomp it.

Take an ogre or a troll & a badass dragon and look at how they play out. the ogre/troll really aren't very dangerous foes & are virtually incapable of killing a PC in a party once the players are past level 4-5 or so , so instead you need a whole bunch of them & they still aren't a concern unless you have so many on the battlefield that they might as well be a swarm. The dragon isn't much different, sure a crit might drop bob from full to zero & a regular attack might drop alice from bloodied (or worse) to zero, but even something like the ancient red dragon only has 3 attacks & probably needs to drop bob on the first hit in order for the second two to matter unless bob is just behind the dragon with nobody capable of using a cheap potion/healing word so he can disengage & run to the back lines or something.

With a system where you just up & die at zero -10 or whatever it means that the ogre troll and dragon are always scary because they hit hard enough that you better be high on health with high ac or doing what you can to move away. Walk an troll up towards a wizard in robes while the party is fighting a lich they expect to kill & that troll's approach really isn't even a concern in standard 5e even if the approach is a full on dash up to melee. In the past that troll was a concern to most any player& even a zombie skeleton or kobold closing in on a wizard was terrifying.
 

nevin

Hero
I don't agree with those who want the nitty gritty games where everything is high stakes. Problem there is if everything is high stakes then that's normal and get what I call John Mccane syndrome. Nothing is scary because it never ends. But the other end is just as bad. If you know you aren't going to die, whether it's because the DM is hung up on his story or just doesn't like to kill people then there is no reason for players not to do stupid crazy things, After all DM is going to bail them out anyway.

I think 5e went too far into making it unlikely the characters will suffer or die, and because of it's bounded accuracy and attempt to give DM's Rails to keep them on track it tends to prevent anything resembling suffering or death from even getting close to the hero's.
I think something between the two extremes is where the best games are made. There is just something wrong with a game of hero's who struggle the same amount to kill anything that comes after them.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Well let's not forget that WotC wanted to make a ton of money on bringing in people new to the game. And the best way to do that is to not make it overly punishing, to drive away people who rage quit due to dying a lot in the early levels.

No longer is this a game where you are expected to bring a stack of character sheets with you, and that's the way WotC wants it.

That the system's death and healing rules reinforce this at a basic level will eventually drive some people away from it, towards games that are more lethal and risky than 5e, and unless there's a big push from 5e players for that kind of game, the "big fun" edition of D&D is here to stay.

Or, if you're a budding amateur game designer, I guess you could massively hack the game, but I doubt a couple of simple houserules would be enough.

The way I see it, 5e is a game that expects everyone to reach high levels and "win". So there isn't really a difficulty curve that separates the casuals from the hardcore players. You play long enough, you're probably going to hit level 20, have some big endgame adventure, then go back and do it all over again.

Well, except for saving throws. That's a "fun" thing to see, when someone realizes to their horror that they are designed to have three-four bad saving throws, and they're asked to make a DC 19-21 Charisma save or something. But I don't see that as a difficulty curve; it sort of sneaks up on you. You're doing fine, rarely having to make many saves, and then one day you run into a powerful enemy and you get mind controlled, banished from this plane of existence, or foiled by a high-level illusion and then realize there's not much you can do about it (except pray you survive til your next ASI and take Resilient, unless you can't...).
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
So, I agree that in this sort of scenario, an exhaustion at 0 HP rule would be a bad idea. The thing is, I don’t think most people who want such a rule are planning 5-encounter sessions. And I don’t mean they’re planning sessions with fewer encounters! I mean they’re not planning sessions with specific numbers of encounters in mind.
I would bet money they would immediately run to the forums when the players start long resting after every encounter unless forced now because they need to burn off the exhaustion, heedless of the DM insulting and haranguing them to 'get over themselves'.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
@Charlaquin noted it in post95, when players need to take the risk of fights more seriously it raises the stakes on any individual fight. On that bolded bit though it also makes those monsters scary even if the group is high enough level to flat out roflstomp it.

Take an ogre or a troll & a badass dragon and look at how they play out. the ogre/troll really aren't very dangerous foes & are virtually incapable of killing a PC in a party once the players are past level 4-5 or so , so instead you need a whole bunch of them & they still aren't a concern unless you have so many on the battlefield that they might as well be a swarm. The dragon isn't much different, sure a crit might drop bob from full to zero & a regular attack might drop alice from bloodied (or worse) to zero, but even something like the ancient red dragon only has 3 attacks & probably needs to drop bob on the first hit in order for the second two to matter unless bob is just behind the dragon with nobody capable of using a cheap potion/healing word so he can disengage & run to the back lines or something.

With a system where you just up & die at zero -10 or whatever it means that the ogre troll and dragon are always scary because they hit hard enough that you better be high on health with high ac or doing what you can to move away. Walk an troll up towards a wizard in robes while the party is fighting a lich they expect to kill & that troll's approach really isn't even a concern in standard 5e even if the approach is a full on dash up to melee. In the past that troll was a concern to most any player& even a zombie skeleton or kobold closing in on a wizard was terrifying.
Doesn't this directly run afoul of the conception that Fighters are supposed to be all about fighting, and dealing with other things is for other classes?

That is, this seems to be predicated on the idea that nobody--Fighters included--is supposed to fight. Fighting is a fail-state. It seems highly counter-intuitive to create a class where its focus is on the fail-state of play.
 

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