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    Default What would happen if you redefined rests?

    I was thinking of some genre conceits I'd like to bring back, such as important fights happening once a day tops and a sense of the heroes being whittled down. The idea crossed my mind; redefine "short rest" to mean a whole night, and "long rest" to mean an arbitrarily long period back in civilization. I'm seeing a few things that might or might not be bugs, though:

    • There's plenty of room for mooks that you can easily trounce, but you want to avoid so as to conserve resources for the day's main event. I'd have to test things a bit to see what's a good difficulty level for true speed bumps. And probably bag o' rats 'em to avoid things like using them as Astral Seal recovery bait.
    • Proper recovery means quitting the field for an extended period. The adventure will have to be thought out much more carefully. Partial victory conditions will probably have to be thought out, for when the party has several victories but doesn't quite have enough oomph for the final showdown with the BBEG.
    • Dailies feel a lot more like cool pivotal powers when they're once an adventure type things, but probably aren't as cool as they are when you can use them several times a session. For things like daily powers, this works as intended. When players prefer encounter utilities to daily ones, ditto. I'm not sure if that sort of rare pivotal coolness works for things like item dailies, or if I should roll certain things back to encounter recovery for this.
    • Skill challenges and rituals. I don't know how their balance will shift when you don't expect multiple combat encounters to happen over the course of a day


    Anybody else's thoughts/take/things to be mindful of with the idea?

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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    Low-level characters will be forced to stick to "Five-Minute Work Days" since they have only 1-2 Encounter Powers to use. Expect greater reliance on At-Wills and more running away.

    Campaigns will take longer to unfold since PCs will need to sit on their butts for weeks at a time between scenes. Daily Powers will only be used at the end of campaigns since the PCs know they're not getting back their "awesome powers" until everything is settled.

    Personally, I'd say it's just a bad idea, but what exactly were you trying to get to happen with these changes?
    Last edited by Oracle_Hunter; 2011-03-25 at 03:45 AM.
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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    I don't think that balance would change. In fact you are just using a different time scale, at least if your fights per extended rest period (normally 1 day, in this case maybe 1 week) are similar. There might be the tendency to take only at will utility powers, but i do not think that it would be a very strong tendency.

    You should also adjust racial abilities and rituals related to extended or short rests. Not that much work, and this can be even be done on the fly or on a general agreement with your players. (Like: All things related to extended rests take a longer time, too)

    But i think there would be another problem: Stories.

    If you limit the fighting capability per in game day of your players you also limit yourself to some stories. For example it is not really possible to catch an evil guy before he escapes from his throne room if you will need some weeks to even get into this room. But it is also not really possible (within the story) that the big evil guy has no one guarding him in his keep. Your players might try a besiegement tactic, cutting the ressources of his minions over the time - and this might limit your stories plausibility.

    In fact many possible or classic adventure stories don't really make sense if your players start to camp some weeks before they try to finish the task. Rescue someone? He's already dead. Hindering an evil guy doing something evil? It's already done.

    If you like to have more extended extended rests i would try a different approach. Maybe injuries? You could simple say that players can get injuries that does not heal withing a few hours. For example if someone misses a death saving throw he gets a "real wound". Or if someone takes a critical hit he gets a "real wound". Real wounds would be something you do not shake of instantly and that even magic can only heal partially (you do not die from bleeding or wound fever, but you still need rest to recover full)

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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reluctance View Post
    I was thinking of some genre conceits I'd like to bring back, such as important fights happening once a day tops and a sense of the heroes being whittled down. The idea crossed my mind; redefine "short rest" to mean a whole night, and "long rest" to mean an arbitrarily long period back in civilization.
    I think you might want to take a look at this:

    http://angrydm.com/2011/02/tearing-4...-one-addendum/

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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    To prevent the 5 minute work day, I'd consider adding a quick rest that restores just one encounter power of the players choice. Give them some motivation to keep going.

    I'd also consider giving out more powers in general. If you only have your dailies during the boss fight, you might as well not have them most of the time. Increasing the number of powers available will help keep your players from running on their at-wills.
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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reluctance View Post
    Anybody else's thoughts/take/things to be mindful of with the idea?
    Your rule would help with the pacing (outside of dungeon crawls, that is): by RAW if you have an overland journey with one fight per day, everyone can just keep spamming dailies all over again.

    On the other hand, your change won't let people have more encounters between each extended rest.
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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reluctance View Post
    I was thinking of some genre conceits I'd like to bring back, such as important fights happening once a day tops and a sense of the heroes being whittled down. The idea crossed my mind; redefine "short rest" to mean a whole night, and "long rest" to mean an arbitrarily long period back in civilization. I'm seeing a few things that might or might not be bugs, though:
    You break the system. Hard.

    Quote Originally Posted by valadil View Post
    To prevent the 5 minute work day, I'd consider adding a quick rest that restores just one encounter power of the players choice. Give them some motivation to keep going.
    Restoring a single encounter power is a motivation to do nothing but spam their two at-wills, not break the 5 minute work day.
    Last edited by Cartigan; 2011-03-25 at 02:46 PM.

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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    You would probably have to throw lower level encounters than you usually would otherwise they just won't have enough healing surges to survive.

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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    Quote Originally Posted by WitchSlayer View Post
    You would probably have to throw lower level encounters than you usually would otherwise they just won't have enough healing surges to survive.
    That reminds me. Leader class abilities to heal are Encounters.

    Changing "rests" such that "short rest" is "8 hour sleep" breaks 4th edition. Completely and utterly. Changing "Encounter" powers to be effectively "Daily power" and making "Daily power" basically unusable blows the entire game's balance out of whack.
    Last edited by Cartigan; 2011-03-25 at 03:19 PM.

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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cartigan View Post
    That reminds me. Leader class abilities to heal are Encounters.

    Changing "rests" such that "short rest" is "8 hour sleep" breaks 4th edition. Completely and utterly. Changing "Encounter" powers to be effectively "Daily power" and making "Daily power" basically unusable blows the entire game's balance out of whack.
    I don't see it.

    Not unless you INSIST on running from modules as written. And even then they'll often be no problem since no one in the module bothers to respond to the characters retreating and resting.

    4 big encounters is enough to deal with most reasonable problems. It doesn't matter to GAME BALANCE or to GAME PLAY if they're in one day or 4 days. It doesn't matter to the GAME SYSTEM'S functionality or usability if dealing with the outlying fortress and dealing with the dragon's lair happen in two days or 20 days.

    Five minutes is already longer than it should plausibly take for immediate supporting elements to get to the scene of the action, if it all runs together than this is no change. All this says is that EVERY encounter is followed by a retreat and rest, and that the ADVENTURE runs at the pacing and with the power availabilty that IS SUPPOSED TO BE THERE ANYWAY!

    The change avoids "What I did on my summer vacation" being your character's diary of how they went from level 1 to level 30! Which is the logical consequence of the rules as written combined with a belief that longer down times aren't possible.

    But seriously: read almost any classic adventure story or war story. You don't HAVE four different big fights where people are seriously worn down in one day. Doesn't happen. Heck, watch movies or TV shows, the entire death star sequence in A New Hope is the ONLY sequence that comes anywhere close to the pace of a D&D adventure.

    With the rule provided people who want to rest will take an actual REALISTIC rest (Tolkien knew an enormous amount about actual sagas and tales and history, notice that when people take a rest in his books it's NORMALLY for a month or more).

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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    Ok, I don't even know what the hell you are talking about.

    I presume you are advocating a 5 minute adventuring day where everyone has one big, really long fight and HOPEFULLY survives despite only having 3 heals available and burns up all their non-At-Wills then go home for a week.

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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    You would likey see a large swing in favor of things like essentials strikers that are balanced to function without dailies.

    You would likely see players begin to adapt to heavy striker or controller groups in order to drop a foe before he can act or lock them down to do the same.

    It'd be very skirmishery. Why engage in melee when you can snipe from safety?
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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    You can change it so it's more like the old way. The change in 4th edition though was cause most people found waiting around for so long to heal took away from the fun. If you guys don't mind taking longer to heal and get powers back than go for it.

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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cartigan View Post
    Ok, I don't even know what the hell you are talking about.

    I presume you are advocating a 5 minute adventuring day where everyone has one big, really long fight and HOPEFULLY survives despite only having 3 heals available and burns up all their non-At-Wills then go home for a week.
    No. Fight one battle, rest overnight, fight one battle, rest overnight, fight one battle, rest overnight, fight big bad evil guy.

    Simple.

    It gives EXACTLY the number of fights and rests planned for, and EXACTLY the number and type of powers available that you are SUPPOSED TO HAVE for those battles.

    How is this hard?

    Arranging time pressure when 5 minutes off makes a substantial difference and one day makes for an entirely different game is HARD, how do you explain that the PCs always find out LESS than one day in advance about the big bad evil guy's plan and that they have no choice but to attack at once?

    Arranging time pressure is HARD with the rules as written. If a long rest is weeks off then arranging time pressure is UTTERLY TRIVIAL.

    But either way you are supposed to face about four fights per long rest.

    Are you so used to the 15 minute adventuring day that you can't even IMAGINE facing multiple encounters between long rests?

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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cartigan View Post
    Changing "rests" such that "short rest" is "8 hour sleep" breaks 4th edition. Completely and utterly. Changing "Encounter" powers to be effectively "Daily power" and making "Daily power" basically unusable blows the entire game's balance out of whack.
    Only if you assume the same number of encounters per unit of game time. If you assume one serious encounter between short rests, I don't see how it matters if a short rest is a minute or a month.

    Otherwise, yeah. I didn't think a pacing hack would actually change much, but it's nice to see so few "it sucks".

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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    There are a few problems. First, you have just tied yourself to a seriously different pacing. It is different, which is interesting - but you are just as tied to this pacing as the 4e default is.

    Have you seen what happens to 4e characters who fight 3 fights in a row without a short rest? Each of those fights has to be utterly trivial.

    This now corresponds to 3 fights in the same day.

    Unless the players are relatively guaranteed the knowledge of a short rest after each encounter (which is true in the current system), using encounter powers becomes a last resort. So player choice is effectively shrunk. If you throw even a "modest" encounter (by 4e guidelines), player will be more worried about resource preservation and logistical issues than about the fight.

    The entire game becomes more about logistics (do we have a place to retreat to and take a rest?), than about defeating this fight the players are engaged in. If you throw challenging fights at players, the players will have a huge incentive to "retreat" after any such fight. So either you have a game where players are constantly in retreat, or where you have to hand-craft each fight to match the players current resources (which will vary hugely), or almost every fight is a trivial and easy one with little risk of being hit, let alone PC defeat (the only risk being a long-term one).


    ---

    When I mess with the power pacing of 4e, I want more flexibility as a DM. That means being able to drain down player resources over a period of travel, or have a fast-and-furious set of fights in a castle.

    The first does require a redefinition of what it means for there to be a "long rest", as can the second!

    The basic idea is to break down resource regeneration into two types. Player-controlled and DM (or plot) controlled.

    Player-controlled resource regeneration is intended to be "awkward". A long rest, as noted, doesn't cut it: the "arbitrary length of time in civilization" works better. To extend this, I might build a mechanical system whereby you regain resources each night.

    Ie, "Each night spent in civilized comfort, make an endurance check with a bonus equal to your max healing surges. Regain 1 healing surge for every 10 result on the check." for player-driven healing surge regeneration.

    Power regeneration:
    "Every night spent in civilized comfort, pick an expended daily power. Roll a d6. If it is an attack power, it recharges on a 6 -- if it is a utility power, on a 5 or 6."

    For encounter powers, I'll leave the 5 minute rest intact. During that time you can also spend healing surges. This is, as noted, the player-driven method.

    ---

    Next, add in the plot-driven, or DM-controlled, pacing mechanic:

    Defeat an encounter: 1 round after defeating a challenging encounter, all encounter powers recharge and you can spend a healing surge as a free action. Players are given a 1 round notice of this to spend encounter powers as they see fit.

    Reach a milestone: Milestones are granted for moving towards a goal. The goal must be communicated to the DM, and be a group goal. These occur about every 2 encounters. When you reach a milestone, roll 1d6 for each expended daily power -- on a 5 or 6 it recharges. In addition, regain 1/2 (rounded down) of your max healing surges. You are given 1 round notice for reaching the milestone as a player, much like the end of an encounter.

    Gain a level: After you have earned enough XP to gain a level, on your next milestone or nightly rest, you gain a level and all of your daily powers recharge.

    ---

    Now we can have a group of players frantically fighting their way to the wizard's chamber to stop the ritual, or a week-long trek with resource depletion along the way.

    Individual fights can be challenging without turing the game into one of logistics.

    Players who are willing to take a week+ off can recover completely. Getting a night's rest is useful, but not overwealming. Advancing the plot is by far the easiest way to regain resources.

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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    What I can say is that I would NEVER, EVER play in a game where the 4e system stretched and warped like that.

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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    No. Fight one battle, rest overnight, fight one battle, rest overnight, fight one battle, rest overnight, fight big bad evil guy.

    Simple.
    Precisely. This rule lets you make a long journey and have a battle every day without allowing the characters to spam dailies on each of those battles, and without requiring that every journey either takes less than one day, or has no meaningful encounters throughout.

    It's very good for some campaigns. Just don't use it in a dungeon crawl.
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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    I have used a houserule similar to this (taking into account what Yakk said) in the past and it worked nicely as a pacing adjustment. Basically, it comes down to this: When the players want to rest, the DM decides if they have rested successfully. Some examples:

    The players are tracking bandits through the forest. They're attacked by some bandid scouts and keep moving after the fight. It doesn't matter how long it takes them to navigate the rest of the path or if they get (or are unable to get) 5 minutes of rest (maybe while the party tracker is looking for clues at a difficult spot). Since the party decided to "keep moving", they get no rest if they're attacked again.

    When they reach the bandit hideout, they see a group guarding the entrance and decide to retreat back into the forest and take a short rest (which also makes sense fluff-wise, since they just spent a good deal of time frolicking in the woods). Since the bandit guards didn't spot them, they succeed and get their encounter powers back.

    After clearing up the hideout, the players decide to spend the night there before heading back to town. During the night, a group of bandits arrive and finds them camping there. Even if it has been longer than 6 hours, the DM decides that the PCs don't get any spent dailies back.

    The efficiency of this rule depends on the DM and players, of course. It worked well with us because of the players, who would constantly save their encounter powers unless absolutely necessary (their reasoning was "what if reinforcements arrive?"), and this meant I could spring a second encounter with no rest and they'd still have some juice left.

    Another thing to note is that just because the DM can rule that a rest needs more time to work doesn't mean he should. As Kurald said, in a dungeon crawl it would be pointless to force the party to wait too long to continue adventuring (the flip side of the houserule is that you can let them have a long rest in less than 6 hours if you want to).
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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobTheDog View Post
    The efficiency of this rule depends on the DM and players, of course. It worked well with us because of the players, who would constantly save their encounter powers unless absolutely necessary (their reasoning was "what if reinforcements arrive?"), and this meant I could spring a second encounter with no rest and they'd still have some juice left.
    ...that... makes no sense. They used encounters more when they started being able to recharge them less?

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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cartigan View Post
    ...that... makes no sense. They used encounters more when they started being able to recharge them less?
    From where did you infer that? I said the players were always prone to saving their encounter powers "just in case", and this factor made it easier for me as a DM to eventually insert extra encounters before the short rest. The idea is not that they are less able to recharge powers, they can opt to take a short rest after any encounter, but it's not necessarily 5 minutes.
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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    There are times I also want to slow the time between extended rests, particularly in survival style game (Dark Sun). The system I struck upon, and am hoping to use, is a short rest over a period of a few min and extended rests require about a day in safety and comfort. As has been observed, the natural consequence is a "five min work day," if by work you mean "combat". To keep things interesting I think the days should be filled with skill checks and roleplaying. This system allows you to do lots of stuff that does not require the expenditure of powers and have a couple combats back to back. One thing I'm aslo planning on doing is reducing the number of combat enounters per extended rest, so that I can use healing surges as a currency in skill challenges, increasing the tension in them.

    ----
    edit, I've also thought of adding a medium rest that takes about an hour and is basically a short rest plus get all hp back. This would replace all the fiddling around of figuring out the most efficient way of healing the party using encounter powers and multiple short rests.
    Last edited by Loren; 2011-03-28 at 07:48 AM.

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    Default Re: What would happen if you redefined rests?

    We've done something similar in my home game. We can achieve a short rest per standard 4E rules, but extended rests require a safe and secure environment. Typically, this means an extended rest between adventures.

    It was refreshing to have a couple of encounters in-transit and have them be meaningfully resource-taxing, rather than just being timekillers whose relevance was erased by the time the party reached its destination.

    To help make up for some lost "oomph," every combat encounter (and some roleplaying encounters) counts as a milestone, and we're able to use multiple action points in an encounter.

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