Delver Rest Breaks, part 3

Last time we looked at the infamous “15 minute work day” caused by burning through daily abilities and exploiting cheap rests. This time, I’ll look at a few ways to counter this.

Paid Rest

One way to counter overly frequent rests is to make them cost a bit more. Taken literally this could mean actually keeping track of things like food and other resources consumed by resting.

One weak point with that approach is it does mean extra book-keeping for relatively small gains. It can add some tension when money is tight and careful resource management is emphasized. However, as the party builds up larger funds this cost can become little more than a nuisance.

Another option is to more abstract payments. Instead of paying in physical resources, the GM could be given points when the party rests. These points could them be spent to do things like give enemies an action point, repopulate a cleared area, or add reinforcements to an encounter. That way the more often the party rests the greater the resources the GM can bring into play.

To keep these points from accumulating too high, it may be a good idea to have the total reset or decrease at certain fixed points in the adventure.

The board game Descent has an excellent example of this kind of resource and how it can be used to keep players moving.

Slow Burn

Another option is to focus less on the rests. Instead, measures can be taken to block burning through all your resources at the start of the day. For example, you could limit daily use to once per encounter or have it fueled by a resource with similar limits.

However, doing that does cut into the ability to use dailies as an emergency measure. To counter this, you could allow extra uses in certain situations, such as when the character becomes bloodied. In fact, characters could have special abilities that work along those lines. For example, a defender type might get and extra daily use when an ally is bloodied.

Endurance Perks

Another way to go is to give a benefit that builds up the longer the group goes without resting. 4E does have a few items like that, but they’re both too limited in number and effects to pull this off by themselves. Action points have the potential to pull that of, but are stymied by the once per encounter restriction.

If the once per encounter limit were raised on action points, that could make hoarding them for later battles a viable tactic. If you wanted to push that even more, you could reset action points to 0 after an extended rest and grant 1 at the end of each encounter. That way resting after each encounter means no action points while pushing ahead means building up a nasty stockpile of extra actions.

Next Time..

I had been planning on tying the delver articles together with a first glance at what a rebuilt fighter class might look like. However, seeing as a Fighter sub class from D&D Essentials is being showcased this week I’m going to hold off on that.

Instead, the next post will be a Mezzo update. The play-test doc got slowed down a bit as I’ve been fine tuning the challenge system. On the upside, working that out has yielded a strong third option for beating challenges. I’ll go into that more in the next post.

Published in: on July 19, 2010 at 11:06 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. […] resting in D&D and how it shapes the 15 minute workday in earlier posts (part 1, part 2, and part 3). This time I’d like to take a look at the other effects of rest breaks so we can get a […]

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