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

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I think the real pain of exhaustion is its longevity, you can't even get rid of it with a short rest (even though you can heal on a short rest). magically it takes a 5th level spell, and you only drop 1 level.

That's what makes it so brutal, in a game where a serious injury is just one 1st level spell or an hours rest away from being fixed up.... the fact that exhaustion still lingers on is narratively very weird, and mechanically very strong.
I think that’s exactly why some people want house rules like this. They want long-term attrition, which HP doesn’t provide in a meaningful way.
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
The problem is, 5e moved away from "small modifiers". Everything has to be advantage or disadvantage (or a die roll, like Bless or the Bard's Inspiration Dice).

I mean, I guess you could make it -1d4 to Ability Checks, but that still seems like a bigger penalty to me than what you'd really like to have.

The way I see it, if you're annoyed by "yo-yo healing", then players are falling to 0 hit points a lot. Better to examine why that's happening, than to implement a system to make sure they stay down!
Technically 5e does have precedent for +/-2 and +/-5, but they are used very sparingly.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
its funny but a 23hp fighter can get crit at 2 different tables for 21 damage with one being the axe ambeded in his chest and the other with the axe bearly grazing him... in both those 21 damage in no way changes how fast he is how much he can lift/carry or how well he does anything,
This is why I use the optional healer’s kit dependency and slower natural recovery rules from the DMG… but only when you’re bloodied. That clearly demarcates the upper half of your HP as purely stamina, recoverable with a bit of rest alone, whereas the half HP mark is the first time you take an injury, which requires actual medical attention to heal - though it’s still minor, just patch it up with a first aid kit and you’ll be fine. 0 HP is the first significant, potentially life-threatening injury. Adding a level of exhaustion when you hit that threshold might similarly help demarcate it.
 

This is why I use the optional healer’s kit dependency and slower natural recovery rules from the DMG… but only when you’re bloodied. That clearly demarcates the upper half of your HP as purely stamina, recoverable with a bit of rest alone, whereas the half HP mark is the first time you take an injury, which requires actual medical attention to heal - though it’s still minor, just patch it up with a first aid kit and you’ll be fine. 0 HP is the first significant, potentially life-threatening injury. Adding a level of exhaustion when you hit that threshold might similarly help demarcate it.
Oh, that certainly is pretty interesting approach!
 


Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
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.
Level Up's version of exhaustion, fatigue and strife, is less punishing at low levels, and thus easier to actually use at the table without a player revolt.
 


EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
This is why I use the optional healer’s kit dependency and slower natural recovery rules from the DMG… but only when you’re bloodied. That clearly demarcates the upper half of your HP as purely stamina, recoverable with a bit of rest alone, whereas the half HP mark is the first time you take an injury, which requires actual medical attention to heal - though it’s still minor, just patch it up with a first aid kit and you’ll be fine. 0 HP is the first significant, potentially life-threatening injury. Adding a level of exhaustion when you hit that threshold might similarly help demarcate it.
Perhaps, if you do want to use Exhaustion in this way, you could offer some way of mitigating it, but only a few times a day, perhaps something like:

Recuperation
Exhaustion is a serious, potentially life-threatening problem, so it's natural for characters to try to do something about it. However, there are limits to what a physical body can achieve, even with the aid of magic. When intense fatigue sets in, there's only so much one can do to offset it before needing to rest, and the harder you push yourself, the longer it can take to recover. This optional rule helps mitigate some of the concerns with Exhaustion while still ensuring that it has bite.

Variant Rule: During a short rest, someone proficient with a Healer's Kit can provide recuperation to a number of creatures equal to their proficiency bonus, consuming one use of the kit per creature treated. This recuperation removes one level of exhaustion. No creature can benefit from recuperation more times than their Constitution modifier, down to a minimum of once. Unfortunately, adventuring out in the wild is hard, and slows one's ability to bounce back from difficulty. A long rest allows a creature to benefit from recuperation one additional time, up to their normal limit. If the creature taking the long rest would regain hit dice beyond their maximum capacity, each hit die beyond their maximum instead raises the number of times the creature can benefit from recuperation, up to their normal limit (Constitution modifier, minimum once).

If you wish to encourage the use of magical healing, you might allow lesser restoration and other such spells to work as a substitute for a healer's kit. You may also consider granting proficiency with a healer's kit to certain classes or subclasses so your party can make use of this feature.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Now you are starting to see the depth of this multipart problem. You can't just fix part of the problem because some parts need need huge buffs to provide the missing tools while other parts need "dangerous" nerfs to keep those buffs from being excessive like the houserrule in the OP. All parts need to changed simultaneously & the system is so brokenly slanted that "no one in their right mind would ever choose those. For any reason" as you say.

death saves & yoyo healing with death saves nullifying any damage beyond zero are so generous that they go beyond excessive video game cheat code power levels so anything not equal or better runs into "no one in their right mind would ever choose those. For any reason".
It's not the fault of death saves and "yo-yo" healing as you put it. It's the fault of 5e's healing and rest design. 4e had exactly the same rules regarding healing (all healing restores from 0) and also used death saves (though IIRC there are some minor differences.) But very truly I tell you, in the one semi-long-runner 4e game I've played, we had three character deaths before 5th level, and nearly had a fourth at 5th level.

Death saves and "yo-yo" healing aren't the problem. The lack of a limit on daily healing, the imbalanced rate of damage input vs healing output, and the overall design ethos of flattening all the math and all the progression as much as humanly possible (such that HP become the main metric of progression, but healing doesn't scale to match) are at fault.

The fix doesn't require uprooting the entire system. It "only" requires (a) fixing the HP curve, (b) putting a daily limit on healing a la Healing Surges albeit adapted to the specifics of 5e's other design elements, and (c) re-calculating monster statistic progression so that damage input vs healing output is actually interesting and worthwhile rather than pointless other than "yo-yo" healing.

But essentially no one will be willing to consider this solution, because it requires making 5e more like 4e.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Perhaps, if you do want to use Exhaustion in this way, you could offer some way of mitigating it, but only a few times a day, perhaps something like:

Recuperation
Exhaustion is a serious, potentially life-threatening problem, so it's natural for characters to try to do something about it. However, there are limits to what a physical body can achieve, even with the aid of magic. When intense fatigue sets in, there's only so much one can do to offset it before needing to rest, and the harder you push yourself, the longer it can take to recover. This optional rule helps mitigate some of the concerns with Exhaustion while still ensuring that it has bite.

Variant Rule: During a short rest, someone proficient with a Healer's Kit can provide recuperation to a number of creatures equal to their proficiency bonus, consuming one use of the kit per creature treated. This recuperation removes one level of exhaustion. No creature can benefit from recuperation more times than their Constitution modifier, down to a minimum of once. Unfortunately, adventuring out in the wild is hard, and slows one's ability to bounce back from difficulty. A long rest allows a creature to benefit from recuperation one additional time, up to their normal limit. If the creature taking the long rest would regain hit dice beyond their maximum capacity, each hit die beyond their maximum instead raises the number of times the creature can benefit from recuperation, up to their normal limit (Constitution modifier, minimum once).

If you wish to encourage the use of magical healing, you might allow lesser restoration and other such spells to work as a substitute for a healer's kit. You may also consider granting proficiency with a healer's kit to certain classes or subclasses so your party can make use of this feature.
I’m not sure this would achieve the desired effect. I’m also not sure exhaustion is the best mechanic to achieve the desired effect in the first place. Perhaps a lingering injury upon reaching 0 would be better, though I have issues with the lingering injury table as well.
 

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