Teaching Players About Rest

Nokternal35

Registered User
Validated User
#1
So I've been running a game for my players in D&D 5e. We've done 5-6 sessions and they take a long rest at least once per session. When the players rest I usually roll a d20. 1-10 nothing happens, 11-20 they get attacked by a bear, wolf, or something similar. So far I've not got lucky on my rolls and they've had no encounters. Of the five players three are magic users, one is a druid who usually uses spells outside of combat, a warlock who uses spells pretty conservatively, and a sorcerer who will blow all their spell slots on the first encounter of the session/day. This isn't quite a problem as my sessions usually have 1-2 encounters or if there are more they tend to find alternatives to fighting. However, I feel like they are resting too much and I'm not sure how to get them to play a little more conservatively.

I think I have several problems working against me. I'm a new DM and still feeling things out, my players are all new to D&D, and we only game for 4ish hours. I'm not sure if I should just rail them a bit and have them run an encounter gauntlet (basically have them do a fight or two, let them 'rest' but then force a few more encounters).
 

Numanoid

#rocksteadyrollhard
Validated User
#2
You could give them less challenging encounters so they won’t feel the need to rest as often.

Or you can rule that long resting can only be done in a “secure location” (a place of civilization like a town or city that has zero chances of encounters).

You can even hard rule that a long rest and it’s full benefits are only possible after a certain number of encounters (3-4, and remember that “encounter” doesn’t necessarily mean combat).
 

Scrabbit

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Validated User
#3
There's a variant rule in the DMG for "gritty" resting rules where a long rest takes a full in-game week and a short rest takes 8 hours. This makes it so taking a long rest in an insecure location is basically not an option unless you take steps to establish a secure shelter which could actually make for a neat adventure in itself.

Before trying to swap over to that rule, though, I'd try to figure what exactly is bothering you about them taking so many rests and then talk to them about it. Try not to impose new rules on your players without talking to them first and try not to punish them for playing in a way you don't want, especially if you've not told them you'd rather they not play that way!
 

Numanoid

#rocksteadyrollhard
Validated User
#4
You also have a random encounter rule put in, yeah? Maybe just write last session off as “the dice gods were in their favor” and wait to see how the next session plays out before making any changes.
 

Cerulean Lion

Social Justice Christian
Validated User
#5
How much time goes by in game between long rests?
If the problem is, they wake in the morning, do two or three fights in the first hour and then say they're taking a long rest, then the problem is a misunderstanding.

As I understand it a "long rest" is basically a night's sleep. You can't "long rest" two hours after you woke from your previous long rest. You have to actually let a full day go by.
You could choose to spend eight hours relaxing, but you won't get your spells back that way. You need to have spent enough time awake first.
 

vitruvian

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Validated User
#6
How much time goes by in game between long rests?
If the problem is, they wake in the morning, do two or three fights in the first hour and then say they're taking a long rest, then the problem is a misunderstanding.

As I understand it a "long rest" is basically a night's sleep. You can't "long rest" two hours after you woke from your previous long rest. You have to actually let a full day go by.
You could choose to spend eight hours relaxing, but you won't get your spells back that way. You need to have spent enough time awake first.
Or put more succinctly, you can't take more than one long rest in a 24 hour period. You can take a bunch of short rests, however.

Deciding when to stop seeking out encounters and try to take either kind of a rest is always a balancing act, especially when you're in hostile territory. One major factor is that just because you're camping out and taking a break, even for the hour for a short rest, that doesn't mean everyone else is... they might be sneaking up on you, killing the hostages, eating the villagers, retreating to a more defensible position, going and getting reinforcements, depending on whether they know you're in the area or not.

My group was about two thirds of the way through clearing Cragmaw Castle when some of them wanted to take a short rest in the bugbear king's chambers in order to get some 'free' healing and recovery and not use up their potions, spells, and Lay on Hands. I had to point out to them (through one of their NPC allies) that there were still rooms they hadn't cleared, and in addition they probably wanted to check on the multiple goblins they had slept and tied up (they're playing Lawful to Neutral Good to the hilt and don't believe in killing helpless foes of any race) before they woke up and started trying to free themselves. They ended up deciding not to take a rest even once they'd cleared the rest of the chambers, but to start heading back to Phandalin with their captives and treasure immediately, which was the only reason they ended up facing the returning hobgoblin war band on the road rather than unexpectedly just as they were exiting the castle. Then, when they camped for the night, in order for everyone to take a shift on watch and also get a full 8 hours rest for an effective long rest, they needed to stop and set up camp before sunset and stay there for more than 12 hours, in case any of the watches weren't entirely restful. They lucked out and didn't get a night encounter or escape attempt that night to disrupt anyone's rest, but we'll see what happens during the second day of travel.

So far, in general LMoP has been fairly easy in terms of the number of encounters you need to deal with in between at least short rests, so long as the PCs aren't foolhardy. We'll have to see how they deal when thrown into more of a grinder situation.
 

DiceyEncounters

Registered User
Validated User
#8
I struggle with this and I like the "you can only long rest every 24 hours", but then time-keeping becomes a thing, and unless you have a set amount of time for each encounter, it gets hard to keep it accurate. Especially since a combat of 10 rounds is a minute. Are there any good time-keeping mechanics about? Also, keeping track of how long players spending marching is quite easy.

I don't particularly like random encounters since there is enough story-specific combat without needing them to fight 1d8 giant badgers for half the session unexpectedly.

I know where OP is coming from, they feel like the game isn't challenging enough, and when it's not challenging enough most players will find it less fun. If you're not burning all your spell slots, there's not much tactical thinking coming in, or if you never drop below half health, you may never get to use that ability you learnt a few levels ago.
 

SandwormPhish

Registered User
Validated User
#9
Probably the easiest way to cure them of that tendency would be to put them in a situation where they can’t afford a long rest without consequences. The bad guy has a lead on the road, the gnolls are going to start eating captives, they need to be behind a threshold or the beasts of the night will descend on them, or they’re in a hostile location where a short rest would be difficult, never mind a long one.
 

Calypso

Bunny With a Glock
Validated User
#10
I struggle with this and I like the "you can only long rest every 24 hours", but then time-keeping becomes a thing, and unless you have a set amount of time for each encounter, it gets hard to keep it accurate. Especially since a combat of 10 rounds is a minute. Are there any good time-keeping mechanics about? Also, keeping track of how long players spending marching is quite easy.
I don't quite understand. You would just track long rests as "another day", right, and not worry about the minutiae of the day itself. So they can take as many short rests as they can stand, and the duration of combats becomes largely irrelevant, because all you're really tracking is "long rest = a day has passed".

That is, of course, unless the hour-by-hour matters, like they're in a race to the top of a mountain. In which case, short rests matter and long rests don't, since "long rest = you lose".
 
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