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

Vaalingrade

Legend
But what if that's the whole point? What if this oh-so-terrible 'death spiral' is a feature, and not a bug?
Nope.

To me, 'bug' is a kindness.

It's the kind of thing like where Ford sent me a letter that was like 'Hey, Vaal. You know that car we sold you? Turns out the gas tank can deform, causing your fuel sensor to tell you you're on full when it is instead entirely possible for you to run out of gas on a highway where yahoos are going 80 and you may die. So now if you'd miss a day o work while we fix it maybe, that's be good.'

IE something that is just lurking around, waiting to ruin my day. Only at least the car will kill me, granting me infinite free time once I reincarnate as a house cat instead of wasting my free time in this life.
 

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gnarlygninja

Explorer
I mean, it says a lot about a rules system when the players are more afraid of exhaustion than they are about dropping to 0 hit points. Or to put it differently, it's really messed up that the players are more worried about getting tired than they are about getting stabbed.

Yes yes, death spiral and et cetera, I've read and understood that whole thesis in multiple threads.

But what if that's the whole point? What if this oh-so-terrible 'death spiral' is a feature, and not a bug? Personally, I don't think the characters are supposed to comfortably live in a collapsing ruin, spider-infested forest, or partially-submerged dungeon for days or weeks at a time...and it's weird that they can. And I think it's weird that characters' bodies and abilities all automatically return to factory settings after an 8-hour nap, as if getting beaten nearly to death had never happened...because I'm still limping around with an ice-pack because of a pulled muscle from last weekend. Maybe immersion and realism are more important for some players than it is for others.

I'm not saying I'm switching to these homebrew exhaustion rules anytime soon. All I'm saying is, I can see why people like it. I can see how it might fix some issues that some folks might be having with the rules for death and dying.
If that's the kind of game a group is after then more power to them, but I feel like they'd be better off playing a game where that's the default kind of fantasy the game cares about instead of slowly whittling away at 5th edition to get it there
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
If that's the kind of game a group is after then more power to them, but I feel like they'd be better off playing a game where that's the default kind of fantasy the game cares about instead of slowly whittling away at 5th edition to get it there
I don't disagree; there are lots of good games out there to suit a lot of playstyles.

That said, there's nothing wrong with "slowly whittling away at 5th edition" until it plays the way that you and your friends want it to play. The very first page of the DMG says that you aren't beholden to the rules and that you can play the game any way you want so...whittle away, I guess? ¯\(ツ)
 
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The 5e exhaustion mechanics have gone mostly underutilized by the designers for a reason: it is an underbaked game system. The "need a full rest to recover from each level" thing is realistic and all, but not really in keeping with the narrative pace of a typical 5e adventure (maybe if you use "gritty rest/healing" rules it jives more with that). The effects aren't interesting to roleplay, they simply make the character mechanically a slog to play for a while. I'm sure that's fine for some groups, but I think the typical group does not gain enough from the added realism(?) or flavor(?) or whatever the point of this is to justify a player being heavily sidelined for likely a couple of hours of their limited gameplay time while their character is dead weight.

Also the exhaustion rules are designed to model, well, exhaustion. Being exhausted and having just been beaten within an inch of one's life are different things, albeit often related things. Even if the effects are similar medium, long, even even fairly short term, in terms of how one would operate in the remaining (likely adrenaline-filled) 6, 12 or 18 seconds of combat, exhaustion effects don't feel particularly authentic.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
This is a houserule, not officially proposed. Yes it would be a slog to play but some people want to. Let them at it, it is their slog.

I really do get the constant sniping. I do not think I would use it normally but for people that want a grittier gam, go for it.
 

We already have a rule where dropping below 0 gets you a level of exhaustion. This is just ramping up the stakes but in a fun way. My add-on to her rule would be that you as a player decide that the PC could at anytime collapse into unconsciousness thus kicking in the original PHB rules - thereby leaving the choice to the player how he'd like to navigate the death spiral.
 
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DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Gaining a level of exhaustion at 0 hit points is a VERY common house-rule IME.

Gaining a level each round unless you stabilize in some fashion is also used by our table. We don't use the death save roll, but a DC 20 CON save to stabilize. There is more, of course, but that is the current version...
 

I mean, it says a lot about a rules system when the players are more afraid of exhaustion than they are about dropping to 0 hit points. Or to put it differently, it's really messed up that the players are more worried about getting tired than they are about getting stabbed
The problem with exhaustion is that it simply makes you suck, so once you have it the rest of the session becomes frustrating as your character is either constantly failing, or doing nothing because the risk of failure is too high. Dealing with exhaustion occasionally can be a challenge and roleplaying opportunity, but if it becomes routine then all it does is reduce player agency and suck the fun out of the game.
 

Stormonu

Legend
The problem with exhaustion is that it simply makes you suck, so once you have it the rest of the session becomes frustrating as your character is either constantly failing, or doing nothing because the risk of failure is too high. Dealing with exhaustion occasionally can be a challenge and roleplaying opportunity, but if it becomes routine then all it does is reduce player agency and suck the fun out of the game.
I'm more after the threat of exhaustion. I don't want the PCs to wait until they drop to 0 hp to do something about the damage they're taking. Making them retreat, rearrange (swapping ranks, possibly) or force an in-combat heal is what I'm after. I want them to burn HD between fights so they'll do their best to remain in top shape. If someone actually drops either the encounter is too tough (maybe a boss fight) or the players have a weak strategy - or they should have run/bypassed the encounter in the first place.

To me, if the characters are dropping to 0 hp each encounter left, right and center - something is wrong with the game.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
The problem with exhaustion is that it simply makes you suck, so once you have it the rest of the session becomes frustrating as your character is either constantly failing, or doing nothing because the risk of failure is too high. Dealing with exhaustion occasionally can be a challenge and roleplaying opportunity, but if it becomes routine then all it does is reduce player agency and suck the fun out of the game.
Especially stacking it like pancakes like Lydia Deetz's creepier sister in the video is talking about.

No one who isn't a DM has ever said 'Yay! Another week of not adventuring for convalescence!"
 

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