Content of the article: "How do you handle a party who don’t know when to quit?"
I'm having the issue of a party of players who don't seem aware of when to take breaks. I don't want to railroad my players, nor do I want to punish them for taking actions that seem logical to themselves, however this has become enough of a problem that I find myself trying to plan in advance for it while making maps or creating the next leg of their journey.
In specific, this party never takes short rests, never lets a bad guy flee, and never backs down from a fight. If they're hurt, they will soldier through it even if a long rest is unfeasible, without regard to the recovery a short rest provides. If they get into a fight, they will fight to the end, even if they've become outmatched by rolls or by intelligent enemies. Most especially, if an enemy flees, they will attempt to chase this character down to the ends of Toril just to kill them outright—even at the cost of sidetracking to hunt them down for several hours.
I've done my best to implicitly, and explicitly, direct them towards other forms of engagement. I've shown them times where a short rest would've helped, while a long rest left them up a creek without a paddle. Players have gotten themselves killed by overextending into impossible odds, even when the option to flee has been presented. I've even broken form as a DM to directly remind/suggest short rests, tell them that not every fight can be won unless they're clever, or even to directly teach them when a short rest would leave them better off than trying to sleep in hostile territory for 8 hours.
I desperately don't want my game to become a Player vs DM mindset; I became a DM to escape those games exactly. I also don't want to feel as though I'm unfairly "punishing" my players for trying to experience the game as they see fit. At the same time, however, I also don't want to go easy on them when they make clearly poor decisions in combat, or sacrifice the story thread they have so one of them can spend an hour chasing down a single enemy when they fled after the tides turned—especially so when other players become bored or exasperated by such behavior.
- Hey guys! I put together some Short/Long Rest mechanics for 5e with inspiration from Zee Bashew, and I want to get some DM opinions on it before I use it with my players.
- Long Rest as a healing strategy – how to control the usefulness and make short rest (and other mechanisms) also attractive?
- Encouraging Short Rests Instead of Having 6-8 Encounters
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