Need creative penalties for players not resting

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My players lack motivation for taking extended rests.  One reason for this is I allow them to level instantly.  I also removed alpha flux - players can choose to reset their mutations after each encounter (they don't have their own decks)

I'm trying to think of interesting penalties to inflict upon players when they go for more than 3 encounters without taking an extended rest.  They need to be easy to implement/track and should scale in severity the longer the players go without rest.

So far, I've been considering the following penalties, but I'm not in love with them:

4th encoutner without extended rest: alpha mutations are automatically reset
5th encounter without extended rest: second wind effectiveness is halved
6th encounter without extended rest: -5 penalty to overcharge rolls

Any suggestions?

I'm trying to think of interesting penalties to inflict upon players when they go for more than 3 encounters without taking an extended rest.

For clarity: why do you want them to take an extended rest?

(... does Gamma World even use extended rests?)

I want the players to be mildly aware of the limits of their bodies.  I want them to have to take extended rests.

Yes, gamma world uses extended rests.  You have to use one to level up a character, and you use one to reset your mutation deck.  However, those two benefits do not exist in my campaign. 
If you want them to sleep, it seems pretty simple to just start handing out across-the-board fatigue penalties if they've been up for more than 24 in-game hours or so.  Or make them start rolling endurance not to fall asleep.  They'll get the picture and say, "Okay, we rest for 8 hours, NOW I do what I just told you I was doing." And everyone's happy.
I build adventures cinematically. By which I mean I, as DM, decide when and if the PCs rest. All this really takes is crafting the plot around that assumption and writing a paragraph or two of flavor text.

Not that I'd stop the PCs if they wanted to rest. Just that it really doesn't come up that often.
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The funny thing is, in the "What's a DM to do?" forum, you can find literally hundreds of threads from D&D4 DMs trying to figure out how to stop their players from taking extended rests.

You could assign a penalty to their Second Wind value after a while: after 3 encounters, for instance, they begin to incur a -5 penalty to second wind value per encounter (that'll end the day pretty quick).  Rather than penalize them, I'd consider options that reward them for doing so, although I'm not certain what those rewards should be.  After an extended rest, grant them an Action Point (from D&D4, spend one as a free action on your turn to take an additional Standard Action before the end of your turn), a recharge token (from nowhere, spend one as a free action on your turn to recharge an encounter power), or maybe just some temporary HP (say, level * 2).

Either way, though, you might find yourself running into the 5-minute workday issue that D&D suffers from, so venture carefully.
 

My players lack motivation for taking extended rests.  One reason for this is I allow them to level instantly.  I also removed alpha flux - players can choose to reset their mutations after each encounter (they don't have their own decks)



So wait, you took out the only things that extended rests do ... no wonder they don't take them!

Caoimhe Ora Snow

Game Designer, The Queen's Cavaliers

5e D&D Stuff: Birthright Conversion

Yeah... gotta love DMs who decide that penalties for certain actions are stupid, remove them, and then complain because there's no drawback to taking that action anymore.

What's really funny is to watch how quickly they try to blame the game system or their players when you tell them it's their own dumb fault.
Encounters DM, Season 4 & Season 5 - Amorous Armadillo Game Shoppe - Oviedo, FL
Not exactly sure why you removed such specific rules since the game isn't that complex as it is. Since you did and these were the rules that called for extended rests then you as the GM who wants the party to rest must exert your GMhood and say "Rest!" Simple as that. You state it as a cutscene cinematic and the effects that call for extended rests magically happen off camera. Game continues.


However, and don't do it often in your case, you can use the lack of extended rest as a plot device for an encounter. When the encounter happens the players have not yet leveled if it were to occur and no alpha flux. Makes for it's own excitement.


Or really just play the rules. If nothing else it's an excuse for the player's and GM to stand up and stretch and get more chips.     
you could just tell your character when it becomes nighttime and tell them that their characters are getting tired. i really don't see any problem with them not taking extended rests unless your campaign story requires strict day progression. alternately, you could assume that the characters automatically take an extended rest every X number of encounters, or whenever they gain a level. even if they don't like these ideas (or if you don't like them) penalties aren't necessary. I, for one, would get pissed off if my GM started penalizing me for skipping something trivial, because, if you think about it, creatures that don't need to sleep aren't exactly heard to except in gamma world.
I would just assume that they take extended rests unless the particular adventure has some mechanic tied to it.

If you want them to take extended rests and still want to keep levelling and alpha "reshuffle" as you have house ruled, you could always bring back healing surges.

Every time you heal, you use up a healing surge. When your healing surges are out, you cannot heal. This includes powers that allow you to heal in a way similar to second wind. During short rests, the rules stand as they do in the book but the players may choose to heal or not. If they do, then they mark off a healing surge. An extended rest restores all your healing surges.

Thus, if your players don't explicitly state that they're taking an extended rest, then they'll eventually run out of surges in which to heal. If they've become attached to their characters, they'll start to take extended rests in order to be able to heal.

I would probably give each character a number of surges equal to 5 + their Constitution modifier and possibly their level.
Penalizing super mutants for not needing to rest often just seems like it is going to do nothing but kill off the fun of the game.
Yeah... gotta love DMs who decide that penalties for certain actions are stupid, remove them, and then complain because there's no drawback to taking that action anymore.

What's really funny is to watch how quickly they try to blame the game system or their players when you tell them it's their own dumb fault.



Did you even read the first post or are you trying to troll?  I haven't been complaining about the game.  I said it was my own fault they don't feel compelled to take extended rests.  I'm just looking for suggestions on ways to make extended rests more necessary/attractive within my own custom rules.

For those of you who offered genuine ideas instead of questioning my campaign settings, thanks.