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A cure for repeated resting that doesn’t change the rules

Content of the article: "A cure for repeated resting that doesn’t change the rules"

I just had an "Aha" moment that I am going to try in an upcoming campaign. I am trying to run a slightly older school campaign and I have been looking at the resting issue. I think I have come up with something that doesn't ruin the setting and is not unpleasant for the players. My solution is based on a couple of assumptions:

Assumption 1:

Hit Points are a fatigue mechanic. IRL anybody can die to a single blow, so in theory a kobold ought to be able to deal a lethal blow to a 10th level character. What the HP represents in the abstraction of D&D combat is not actual wounds but the increasing statistical likelihood as you fatigue that a blow will kill. It represents sweat in your eyes, bruises and twisted ankles; the things that make you drop your guard enough for that stab to the heart to slip trough. Even a short rest will restore some fatigue but fatigue still accumulates over the course of a day.

Conclusion 1:

The DM's job is to make sure that the characters lose hit points during the adventuring day to represent fatigue. The in-game agents for making this happen are monsters and traps.


Players attempt to take frequent short rests in order to reinstate their character's HP. This seems silly in the middle of an adventure and makes the passage of time irrelevant.

Assumption 2:

A dungeon is a place filled with Major encounters which are planned encounters in fixed locations and minor encounters which include wandering monsters, traps and puzzles. Major encounters are separated by corridors so that disparate monsters dont kill each other or co-operate with each other. Short rests are possible in a dungeon but long rests should be unusual unless planned by the DM. A lair is a special case of a dungeon, a specific section of a dungeon may be given over to a lair.

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Conclusion 2:

The solution to resting is in wandering monsters.


When PCs take a short rest in a dungeon then at the end of the rest, after it has taken effect, or immediately after the rest, the PCs should encounter a wandering monster. The DM should make the players aware that the monster arrived because of the passage of time.

The monster only needs to be strong enough to drain a few HP and does not count toward the 6-8 medium to hard encounters per day. The monsters need to be strong enough to survive long enough to hit but have attacks that are weak enough they only drain small amounts of HP. If the PCs are still damaged after the short rest the encounter does not need to occur.

A lair is a location (including a designated zone of a larger dungeon) where the inhabitants live together and co-operate together. In a lair, short rests will be usually be interrupted by wandering monsters. It may not be possible to take them unless the PCs will only gain a portion of their HP.

In a dungeon, long rests will always be interrupted by a wandering monster in the middle and either at the end or immediately after. This could include parasites, insects and vermin. Note the rules allow up to 1h combat in a long rest before the benefit of the rest is lost, as long as the PC gets 6h sleep, so a single minor encounter should not affect this.

edit – the above should be read that the DM can stop long rests by constantly interrupting them with wandering monsters unless it is appropriate to the scenario.

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In a lair, long rests will result in the Major Encounters coming to the PCs. It should not be possible to take a long rest in a lair until all the inhabitants are befriended, dead, incapacitated or fled.

Source: reddit.com

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