Daily Powers and Extended Rests - Good or Bad?

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I realise that the concept of "a game day" and extended rests are historically one of the core principles of D&D back from the earliest editions, but I was thinking - what does this actually bring to a game? As a DM I find it a chore to have to worry about giving the players opportunities to take extended rests, but not too frequently so that they can blow their daily powers every combat encounter.

I believe this system goes back to the Vancian system of spell casting in order to keep the game simple - just have a list of spells and cross them off as used. But I think these days, players can cope with something a bit more flexible.

Personally, I'd prefer to see a system of action points or spell points that build up (perhaps to a maximum) that the player can use as they desire. There could always be some basic at-will type abilities, but what we currently have as encounter and daily powers could instead have a point budget. I believe some psionic classes already have some take on this.

I realise this isn't very traditional D&D but I think it's a better system that would allow for a more seamless adventure.

What are others opinion on this? Does anyone really like the idea of daily powers- and if so, why?
I agree.  I would like to see at-will, encounter and daily powers to be changed to turn, scene, and episode powers.
I look at rests as a narrative tool. The PCs get an extended rest when I decide that they get an extended rest. This could be over the course of a 24-hour stay in a town or it could be over the course of a 5-minute inspiring speech given by the King or it could be over a 10-minute lunch break that just includes some really delicious sandwiches the husband of one of the characters packed for everybody. Sometimes the PCs could go a week in-game without getting an extended rest because they only have one or two encounters every couple of days.

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I agree.  I would like to see at-will, encounter and daily powers to be changed to turn, scene, and episode powers.


Heh.  I've toyed with the idea of introducing "narrative arc" powers.  Something less common than a daily and more powerful.  Something they wouldn't necessarilly use against the dungeon boss, or use while shaking down dockworkers for info, but when they find the master of the conspiracy of the week, then out come the big(ger) guns.  I like it is what I'm saying here.

That said, I'm hesitant to detach most resources from daily allotments.  So I don't really want to see all powers make this change.

I can see the benefit of it.  If one really wants them using the daily only once per the dungeon, then the "episode" nomenclature supports that.  Even should they decide to retreat or start boarding themselves into rooms. 
The Bruce Campbell of D&D.
To me, the beauty of a points based spell/ability system is that it gives the players more flexibility in deciding that abilities to use, leaving the DM free to introduce storyline rests and interludes as he/she wishes.

@erachima - yes it would be completely different for D&D, but better, I think. I believe the daily power system is stuck in the past.
Because I am not a fan of the subjective when it comes to mechanics, I would prefer (if we're going to change things up at all):


  • At-will

  • Encounter

  • Session

Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.

If you separate restoration of daily powers from renewal of healing surges, I could see a narrative system of daily power restoration as being useful. However, I think that players need to maintain some form of control over the restoration of their characters’ healing surges to allow for recuperation after a few bad encounters. 


 


Daily powers may be hoarded as a consequence of narrative restoration though.  If the players know their characters will earn back their powers after achieving a certain goal then they may refrain from using their daily powers until such a time as either use of such powers is a tactical necessity or during the final phase before said goal is achieved.  This could be the case even if the actual goal in question is unknown.

Rule one isn’t “The DM is always right.” Rule one is: Everyone should be having fun at the table. Plans for 5e: Kill the d20, and replace it with a bell curve for task resolution.
I could see hording daily powers as a consequence of narrative restoration though.  If the players know their characters will earn back their powers after achieving a certain goal then they may refrain from using their daily powers until such a time as either use of such powers is a tactical necessity or during the final phase before said goal is achieved.  This could be the case even if the actual goal in question is unknown.


Oh god.  I'm reminded of the problem anyone who's ever played a computer or console RPG has had.  "I'm going to save these potions for the final battle."  Final battle comes, they don't use them.

So I can see that consequence happen.  If players lose a bit of control over replenishment, they might hoard too much.  Save it for emergencies.  I've already noticed this in some game sessions.  Usually they do try to use a daily if they still have it against a boss in a dungeon, but elsewhere they can be lost as to if they should use it.

If a change were to be made, I guess it'd just be important to be transparent about when replenishment would be upcoming.
The Bruce Campbell of D&D.
Because I am not a fan of the subjective when it comes to mechanics, I would prefer (if we're going to change things up at all):


  • At-will

  • Encounter

  • Session



 At-will? Great.
Encounter? Great.
Session? Woah there, buddy.

My session != your session != my previous session. Last time I played we had only 1 combat encounter. Sometimes we have 2, sometimes 3. Sometimes none. However, the in-game time between each encounter might be weeks, days, or minutes.

At-will and encounter are based on in-game mechanics. Session is an out-of-game mechanic. Mixing those two is no good. 
I would rather simply design and balance all powers around the 'per encounter' concept, thusly it would make little or no difference if you had one or twelve encounters in a game day.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.

D&D is still a mass market starter RPG, and it cannot assume a base level of skill in DMs or players.  As such, changing the D&D system, as opposed to just your table, to narrative replenishment would inevitably lead to inexperienced, or just bad, DMs taking a hidebound approach to the narrative replenishment.  The long rest replenishment system gives the players some control over their characters to prevent the DM from running ragged over their characters because a stricter interpretation of any sort of narrative restoration option.


 


Say your table knows that you’ll get your dailies back after you beat Lord Soth, but you had a few bad beats and exhausted your dailies before reaching the death knight.  Consequently, your party doesn’t have much hope in beating Lord Soth.  A good DM would allow for some alternative means or flexibility in renewing the dailies or would tone down Soth, but a poor DM might not. 


 


Basically, what works for your table doesn’t necessarily work for the system, or, rather, the market.  That said, it would be nice if Wizards provided similar suggestions for house rules and how to modify the game in their products.  (Maybe they do in the DM guides or something.  I don’t read those so I can’t tell.)

Rule one isn’t “The DM is always right.” Rule one is: Everyone should be having fun at the table. Plans for 5e: Kill the d20, and replace it with a bell curve for task resolution.
Oh god.  I'm reminded of the problem anyone who's ever played a computer or console RPG has had.  "I'm going to save these potions for the final battle."  Final battle comes, they don't use them.

So I can see that consequence happen.  If players lose a bit of control over replenishment, they might hoard too much.  Save it for emergencies.  I've already noticed this in some game sessions.  Usually they do try to use a daily if they still have it against a boss in a dungeon, but elsewhere they can be lost as to if they should use it.

If a change were to be made, I guess it'd just be important to be transparent about when replenishment would be upcoming.


To me this is another advantage of a points system. If the points are capped, then the players have nothing to lose by using their best abilties when they are near maximum. With daily powers, the players are unsure if they have a hard encounter coming up and can save their daily powers needlessly and waste them.

I actually kind of agree with a previous posters idea of an encounter budget. The player might chose to use 1 or 2 powerful spells, or many less powerful ones.

I would rather simply design and balance all powers around the 'per encounter' concept, thusly it would make little or no difference if you had one or twelve encounters in a game day.



Doing so undesirably narrows the band of acceptable encounters, making the game dramatically less functional.



How, exactly? If anything, it INCREASES the number of "acceptable" encounters, since you only need to balance each enconter around itself, not every other thing that could have possibly happened that adventuring day. You can have a series of easy fights, a progression of fights from easy to hard, or a mixture throughout the day. You could even have a single, incredibly difficult battle, something hard to do with the system how it is, because the current system assumes multiple encounters.
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)
You could even have a single, incredibly difficult battle, something hard to do with the system how it is, because the current system assumes multiple encounters.

How?  It's not like you can trade in the multiple encounters to a single encounter in the proposed idea.  The assumptions of the current system become irrelevant because the alternate proposition is agnostic.  It has no interest in the number of encounters per day.  If you could have one incredibly difficult battle under the system, you could have two hundred.

The only thing the current system prevents is having the two hundred hard encounters per day.  But if you want, you can still have the one very hard one.  About the only adjustment you have to make is to *hint* *hint* *wink* *wink* use your dailies *cough* *cough* at your players for the current one to do it.
The Bruce Campbell of D&D.
I realise that the concept of "a game day" and extended rests are historically one of the core principles of D&D back from the earliest editions, but I was thinking - what does this actually bring to a game?

Well, it brings a dimension of resource management to the game, which is nice, from a gamist standpoint.  From a storytelling or 'dramatic' perspective, it adds pacing/variation - in a novel or other work of fiction, a protagonist might be able to do something very potent at one juncture but not at another, it's up to the writer, since an RPG seeks to emulate such sources of inspiration to a degree, but is collaborative, creative fiat, alone, doesn't cut it, you need rules to limit the most potent things a character can do.  From a simulationist viewpoint, it models limitations that might exist in the imagined world - though not a lot of imagined worlds beyond Jack Vance's 'Dying Earth.'

I believe this system goes back to the Vancian system of spell casting in order to keep the game simple - just have a list of spells and cross them off as used.

It wasn't to keep the game simple.  Long ago, Gygax wrote in some Sorcerer's Scroll or interview or something that they (presumably he & Arneson) had considered how to handle magic in the game, and had considered the possibility of long ritual spellcasting with substantial material outlay, and rejected it in favor of a more useable 'relatively short, spoken, spell' limitted by 'Vancian' (and, yes, he used that term) memorization.  A 'fireball' spell that took several turns to cast - like a naval gun that took several turns to load - would have been a perfectly simple way of handling casting in the small-scale tactical neo-wargame that D&D was first envisioned as.

Anyway, RPGs have evolved away from their wargaming roots in a variety of directions.  D&D came back to them with 3e, and 4e hasn't moved away from so much as refined that positioning.


Personally, I'd prefer to see a system of action points or spell points that build up (perhaps to a maximum) that the player can use as they desire.

That could serve some of the same purposes as daily resources - but it'd be even more MMO-like, wouldn't it?

What are others opinion on this? Does anyone really like the idea of daily powers- and if so, why?

The other thing that daily powers bring to the game is encounter imbalance.  If they're not doled out evenly to each class (as they were in 4e, aren't in Essentials, and weren't in prior eds) they also bring encounter imbalances.  Those imbalances limit the playability of the game to a narrow range of playstyles - and open it up to conscious abuse (or 'reward system mastery' to put it nicely).

So, while dailies do provide some positives, it's clear that they can't be used in a balanced fashion - even when such was accomplished, it was quickly discarded.  Thus, I wouldn't mind seeing them go in 5e.  Then again, I wouldn't expect it to stick, the same hew & cry would go up, and before long overpowered dailies would start showing up in the spellbooks of whatever class is carrying the magic-user torch...



 

 

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Further abstracting the system to "per chapter" rather than "per day" would be a straightforward improvement. Moving to an MP system wouldn't be an improvement, it would be something completely different.


I believe Serenadawn previewed a rule similar to this for Ultramodern4/Neurospasta. Basically, healing surges and daily powers reset at the end of the "chapter" or adventure instead of whenever an extended rest was taken. Having used this rule, I find it a more narrative approach (which I like) and really helps with combat-light campaigns, of which I am running one right now.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
I very muich dislike the Extended Rest/Daily mechanic, espeically in the 4e campaign I run, where, due to the narrative, multiple days usually go by between encounters. Everyone at our table prefers to play by the rules so our combats have to be very hard to challenge the PCs.

I've always desired a simple power restoration mechanic, that would have a 4e analogy of:
At-Wills
Encounters

Everything is charged on the encounter, including HP (or as I would call it, fatigue). This allows any number of balanced combats to take place over any amount of time. To address another desire of mine, long-term injuries would accrue over mukltiple combats, requiring GM driven recovery opportunities (rest away from travel/adventuring). Simple. Why bother with Dailies?
If we want to keep close to the current system without the constant "try to get as many extended rests as you can" I'd like to see a system where powers are refreshed either by completing a quest (the good way of recharging) or by accepting a voluntary setback in the story (the bad way of recharging)

Like in many stories, the PCs sometimes win, but sometimes they don't. And when they don't, something terrible happens... the princess is sacrificed, the demon is summonsed, the city is razed, the king is murdered, the macguffin is destroyed... but the heroes come back from it with renewed strength and set out to get their vengeance.

Whenever the PCs feel they're too low on power to push on, they can accept such a complication as mentioned above and recharge all their powers and surges. It'd change the entire story from that point on and the players would know they failed, but they wouldn't have to try and squeeze out a 24 hour break to recharge (a complication could take as little as 5 seconds; rather then the PCs busting into the ritual chamber just before the sacrifice of the princess, they bust in just after but at full power)

The players are always in control of their success and failure, while the DM will never have to worry about having too few or too many encounters in any given ingame day.
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.

How?  It's not like you can trade in the multiple encounters to a single encounter in the proposed idea.  The assumptions of the current system become irrelevant because the alternate proposition is agnostic.  It has no interest in the number of encounters per day.  If you could have one incredibly difficult battle under the system, you could have two hundred.



Yeah, you could have 200 really hard encounter if you wanted. You could have INFINITE if you really wanted! Would most people do that? No. Would that be the assumption of the system? No. Does it "undesirably narrow the band of acceptable encounters"? No, because it let's you do everything you could before, and more, even if that "more" is probably reserved for special times.

The only thing the current system prevents is having the two hundred hard encounters per day.  But if you want, you can still have the one very hard one.  About the only adjustment you have to make is to *hint* *hint* *wink* *wink* use your dailies *cough* *cough* at your players for the current one to do it.



But wouldn't it be great if you DIDN'T have to, as a DM, give your players metagame hints that there will only be one encounter, balanced around them using all of their Dailies? And wouldn't it be great if you DIDN'T, as a player, have to fret over "needing this for later"?

A pretty "standard" adventuring day has easy encounters to start that gradually become harder. Under the current system, that last encounter is a problem. Will the party still have Daily powers? It's impossible to tell. The encounter can't be balanced around the idea of the party having any possible number of Daily powers because there is no way to tell how many they will have. But it can't be balanced around them NOT having Daily powers, because if they do then they may come into the encounter with all of them and trivialize it.

Is it a huge deal? No, usually not, as people have been playing 4E for years. But that doesn't mean it is the best way.
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)
Yeah, you could have 200 really hard encounter if you wanted. You could have INFINITE if you really wanted! Would most people do that? No. Would that be the assumption of the system? No. Does it "undesirably narrow the band of acceptable encounters"? No, because it let's you do everything you could before, and more, even if that "more" is probably reserved for special times.



The only thing about "everything is an encounter resource" is that there is absolutely no risk of any kind during an easy encounter. Currently the trick is to spend as little daily resources as possible, but when there's no carry-over it doesn't matter if you end with 1 hp on every character and every power spent, or you end up with only 1 character damaged and half the powers un-used.

I fear that under such a system any battle that is less then "really difficult" will feel extremely unthreatening.

Kinda like running only a single at-level encounter in a day when players still have all their Dailies. If they know there won't be another one, they'll just unload everything and get it over with. There is no real challenge and the outcome is already known at the start. You'll get the same effect with an "easy" encounter with only encounter resources (since it's conceptually the same)
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
If we want to keep close to the current system without the constant "try to get as many extended rests as you can" I'd like to see a system where powers are refreshed either by completing a quest (the good way of recharging) or by accepting a voluntary setback in the story (the bad way of recharging).




That’s an interesting and clever idea.  It allows for a lot of dramatic elements, like the villain escaping, that 4e, in general, doesn’t do very well.


Really smart idea.


--


To those who want point systems: why not just play HERO?  What would a point system version of D&D get you that HERO doesn’t?




Rule one isn’t “The DM is always right.” Rule one is: Everyone should be having fun at the table. Plans for 5e: Kill the d20, and replace it with a bell curve for task resolution.
 Does it "undesirably narrow the band of acceptable encounters"? No, because it let's you do everything you could before, and more, even if that "more" is probably reserved for special times.


How does an "encounter power only" system have "more?"  Isn't the whole concept of having more reserved for special times the entire point of dailies?  Which the concept you and I are discussing completely removes.

Because that's what I'm seeing here.  "All powers are encounter" and "dailies are removed" seem equivalent from a balance standpoint.  Assuming we're not removing at-will that I see no point to removing.
  And healing surges get replinished every battle either way.
So what we're looking at is nothing more except the possibility for a longer adventuring day and more consistency in expectations.  There's still no more.

Now, to your question does it narrow?  Well, yes and no.  The loss of dailies is narrowing.  You can't have that upper end encounter that relies on limited dailies.  You can't have that ever.  You can't do that one really powerful battle in the day.  But for longer dungeon crawls, you can more reasonably predict what will happen for greater consistency.  You can reliably know where there upper end will be.  And you can stick to that without having to on-the-fly adjust it when it turns out their resources are reduced.  I see that as a genuine benefit.  But I'm not convinced it's actually better.  Or that it provides more options.
The Bruce Campbell of D&D.
I look at rests as a narrative tool. The PCs get an extended rest when I decide that they get an extended rest. This could be over the course of a 24-hour stay in a town or it could be over the course of a 5-minute inspiring speech given by the King or it could be over a 10-minute lunch break that just includes some really delicious sandwiches the husband of one of the characters packed for everybody. Sometimes the PCs could go a week in-game without getting an extended rest because they only have one or two encounters every couple of days.


While I don't let my players go an in-game week before getting an extended rest this is pretty good advice for any DM running a home campaign. Give your player characters a rest when it suits the story and you'll find not only your players surprised and happy but also a bit more engaged and thinking actively about their resources.

Yeah, you could have 200 really hard encounter if you wanted. You could have INFINITE if you really wanted! Would most people do that? No. Would that be the assumption of the system? No. Does it "undesirably narrow the band of acceptable encounters"? No, because it let's you do everything you could before, and more, even if that "more" is probably reserved for special times.



The only thing about "everything is an encounter resource" is that there is absolutely no risk of any kind during an easy encounter. Currently the trick is to spend as little daily resources as possible, but when there's no carry-over it doesn't matter if you end with 1 hp on every character and every power spent, or you end up with only 1 character damaged and half the powers un-used.

I fear that under such a system any battle that is less then "really difficult" will feel extremely unthreatening.



Other games pull it off. Final Fantasy Tactics, for example, restores all of your resources after every battle (analogous to an encounter), yet it's still a challanging game. I think the trick would be to change the focus of an "easy" encounter. In the current system, you really can't lose an easy encounter. You will almost 100% of the time come out with everyone being alright. But the purpose of the easy encounter wasn't to defeat you, it was to make you use resources which you then didn't have in the next encounter.

But why even go through that formality? The encounter was a forgone conclusion. The players were going to win. The only reason it was even played out seemed to be to explain why you have less resources. Then why don't we just put you into an actually challenging encounter with less resources?

Under an Encounter-based system, you obviously can't make the purpose of an encounter being to make further encounters harder. And why should they be used for that? If I want an encounter later on to be harder, it should harder because I MAKE it harder, not because of an unlucky roll or two in a trivial encounter. More likely than not, there wouldn't BE "easy" or trivial encounters in an Encounter-based system, at least as anything other than a trivial enocunter for the players. Every encounter would have to be challenging on its own merits. Even then, you can obviously make some harder or easier, and if the DM wanted they could very easily throw in the sort fo trivial encounter that an "easy" encounter presents, but they would all have, as the ultimate goal, to challenge the players, not just to drain resources.

Could you run a game under the current system where each encounter is challenging by its own merits? Sure. But you run into the problem that a later encounter, that was balanced around being challenging by itself, is suddnly rendered even MORE difficult because all the encounters leading up to it have drained resources.

Kinda like running only a single at-level encounter in a day when players still have all their Dailies. If they know there won't be another one, they'll just unload everything and get it over with. There is no real challenge and the outcome is already known at the start. You'll get the same effect with an "easy" encounter with only encounter resources (since it's conceptually the same)



So to avoid that in an Encounter-based system, you don't make "easy", non-challenging encounters unless you intend for them to not be a challenge. But under the current system? You need to balance encounters around the draining effects of other encounters. There isn't any way around it.
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)

Now, to your question does it narrow?  Well, yes and no.  The loss of dailies is narrowing.  You can't have that upper end encounter that relies on limited dailies.  You can't have that ever.



Under the current system, you ALSO can't do that if there were any other encounters during the day, because there is no way to know if the players will use their Daily powers before the big encounter.

You can't do that one really powerful battle in the day.



Why not? Just make the "one really powerful battle" incredibly challenging. Make it require a great amount of player skill using the resources at their disposal, rather than making it based on how well they did at OTHER things during the day.

But for longer dungeon crawls, you can more reasonably predict what will happen for greater consistency.  You can reliably know where there upper end will be.  And you can stick to that without having to on-the-fly adjust it when it turns out their resources are reduced.  I see that as a genuine benefit.  But I'm not convinced it's actually better.  Or that it provides more options.



I can't really tell you you're wrong for not thinking it's better. That's your opinion. But I'm convinced, personally, that it provides more options. Because now I can make each encounter do EXACTLY what I want it to, without worrying about how another encounter in the same day will negativly effect it.

As well, I think it would be useful for far more than just "longer dungeon crawls". It could work for anything, regardless of length or setting. The only thing it doesn't do well, by its very nature, is attrition. I personally feel that mechanically-enforced attrition isn't needed in D&D.
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)
I think Dailies are a slight Vancian vestige (and can cause meta-gaming); many campaigns/sessions may not have more than a single combat encounter in a day/for days/weeks etc, the game shouldn't be designed around an assumed number of encounters (on one day there could be 5 fights, and weeks later, maybe one).

Now, to your question does it narrow?  Well, yes and no.  The loss of dailies is narrowing.  You can't have that upper end encounter that relies on limited dailies.  You can't have that ever.



Under the current system, you ALSO can't do that if there were any other encounters during the day, because there is no way to know if the players will use their Daily powers before the big encounter.

Yes, you can.  You are in control of the encounters as a DM.  If you only have the one encounter that day, then you will know they haven't used the dailies anywhere else.  Or if you know they haven't blown the dailies yet on a sequence of encounters, you can toss a little extra difficulty on a later fight.

You can't do that one really powerful battle in the day.



Why not? Just make the "one really powerful battle" incredibly challenging. Make it require a great amount of player skill using the resources at their disposal, rather than making it based on how well they did at OTHER things during the day.

You're saying that instead of X, use Y.  Well, the logic that bothers me here is that X and Y both exist in the daily system.  In the only-encounter system, only Y exists.  So with dailies, you can make the encounter rely on resources and player skill.  One that does so should, by a reasonable definition, be a more difficult encounter.  Though perhaps more swingy.

I understand that would be harder to build and adjust.  I also think the other gentleman made a fair point better than mine in pointing out that it doesn't allow the players any fallback on regular encounters.  I think I'd subscribe to his newsletter before my own.
The Bruce Campbell of D&D.
I sort of like the current 'Daily' setup. As a player, I would almost be okay with a rate of 'once per session.' But a rate entirely up to the DM's discretion would not work for me as a player. Guess it's one aspect of character control that I would like to be predictable and open to the player. Undecided
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
The session is no less subjective a distinction, and worse still is subjective in a fashion uncontrollable from within the game.

How is "session" subjective? By what definition of "subjective" are you evaluating the term "session" to make such an assertion?

Session is relative, but it is not subjective. A session begins when the players arrive and ends when the players leave. There is no doubt in anyone's mind what "the session" means. Your session may be five hours, and mine may be eight hours, neither of us is in doubt about what "once per session" would mean to us.

I'm not insisting that you like my idea. I'm not insisting that you agree with my idea. But at least keep your objection valid.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Maybe Dailies could be Encounter, and Encounter Recharge 6 or something.
Part of my problem is I'm pretty flexible as to when the players can take their extended rests. I don't like to say no if it's reasonable, and it's a hassle having to come up with reasons why the rest is interrupted or even decide if I should penalise them for taking an extended rest at a given time. To me, the whole extended rest thing is a pain the butt to manage. ;)

So it's not really daily powers that are my problem, but the extended rests, but daily powers and extended rests go hand-in-hand. 
My players, like many may, always hold their Daily powers till they think its the end.  No matter what I say or do, they always try to do this.

I therefore use the following:

1. encounter powers are all reliable if they miss (unless they have a miss result).
2. daily power are all reliable if they miss (unless they have a miss result).
3. encounter powers can be rechared at the expense of 1 action point.
4. daily powers can be recharged at the expense of 2 action points.
5. as usual, and extended rest resets everything to unused and 1.

∴ "Virtus junxit, mors non separabit." 

More likely than not, there wouldn't BE "easy" or trivial encounters in an Encounter-based system, at least as anything other than a trivial enocunter for the players. Every encounter would have to be challenging on its own merits.

In my mind, an encounter system that is truly and reliably challenging to a party that has access to all resources at all times will likely flirt regularly with TPKs.  As a player I find that unacceptable unless there was a dramatically different causality system or a character stable from which I could pull replacements of some sort. 


 


That, and daily resource management is a skill that some people do enjoy practicing.


 


And, oh yeah, trivial encounters can make PCs feel heroic.  It’s awesome to wade through a score of goblin minions knowing that they cannot challenge your hero, and that just makes the villains that actually are difficult seem more so.  The contrast between the easy goblin encounters and the hard Lord Soth encounters helps to add drama to the game.

Rule one isn’t “The DM is always right.” Rule one is: Everyone should be having fun at the table. Plans for 5e: Kill the d20, and replace it with a bell curve for task resolution.
Ugh, no. Dice recharge is quite possibly the single worst-designed mechanic in 4th edition.



I forget, what were the recharge mechanics like in ToB?
At-Will

Recharge (with a mechanism to, failing a recharge roll, to recharge the power via a sacrifice (healing surges would work). 

1.) the recharge bloodied

2.) recharge reliable

3.) recharge alternating powers




1.) In regards to daily, or encounter?

2.) As in Daily powers are all reliable?

3.) Sounds interesting, would you elaborate. 
They've been replacing the dice recharges on new monsters with different recharge types such as those I listed. So instead of having a "recharge 5" power where it may come up anywhere between 4 and 1 times in the fight, they'll have a recharge bloodied, where it always comes up twice. Or a power that recharges after you save against it, so that the monster can keep using its nasty status effect the whole fight but not lock down the entire team at once if a couple people suck their saves. etc. etc.



Ah, yes, I've noticed that with newer critters, I thought you were talking about a variant for PCs.
Part of my problem is I'm pretty flexible as to when the players can take their extended rests. I don't like to say no if it's reasonable, and it's a hassle having to come up with reasons why the rest is interrupted or even decide if I should penalise them for taking an extended rest at a given time. To me, the whole extended rest thing is a pain the butt to manage. ;)

So it's not really daily powers that are my problem, but the extended rests, but daily powers and extended rests go hand-in-hand. 




In the D&D4e campaign I am currently running as DM, the characters have the opportunity to cross between planes with different time streams.  As a result of this, I renamed "Encounter" Powers to "Lesser" Powers and "Daily" Powers to "Greater" Powers (and "At-Wills" are "Innate").  Once the Powers are renamed, the DM is free to adjust when recharging occurs as necessary, according to the "environment" of each individual plane (and its relationship to the various power sources).  The starting (and therefore "home") plane works according to all of the quirks that are canon in D&D4e (including one of my favorites: diagonal spatial anomalies!).  The most extreme case experienced by the characters so far is "one day equivalent to one year", thus an extended rest (six hours) in one frame is equal to a whole season (3 months) in the other, and a short rest (4 minutes) is equal to a day.

Anyway, my point is that once you dispense with "Encounter" and "Daily" as parameters (with the absolute time criteria of short and extended rests for recharging said Powers), while retaining their relative strength (Lesser/Greater), you (the DM) can retain the inherent balance of the Powers within whatever reference frame suits your purposes.

-DS

I worked out a similar system to allow multiple uses of encounter and daily powers, and included a set recovery rate of 1 healing surge per hour. While in combat, you can re-use a encounter power at the cost of 1 healing surge, and a daily by extending two. I basically wanted to get rid of the extended rest mechanic to recover all your daily powers and healing surges each day. It is far from perfect, but I would like system where resources are managed and gained back over an entire day, and perhaps add in a sleep mechanic to inlfuence the character's skills or combat powers, if they are deprived. This was before Essentials was released and the changes that were made in regards to class structure and AEDU.
Part of my problem is I'm pretty flexible as to when the players can take their extended rests. I don't like to say no if it's reasonable, and it's a hassle having to come up with reasons why the rest is interrupted or even decide if I should penalise them for taking an extended rest at a given time. To me, the whole extended rest thing is a pain the butt to manage. ;)

So it's not really daily powers that are my problem, but the extended rests, but daily powers and extended rests go hand-in-hand. 



This is funny.  Not what you say, and not laughing at you, but in the fact that THIS is exactly what they were trying to stop with the whole power system, that and the healing surges for packing 100 potions with you.

We did it as well, and yet here most of us (in this thread) are trying to find ways to revamp the power system.

Someone said it earlier, and I like the suggestion, recharge daily at milestones.  Now in a way, we do this with the whole spending action points, but still, not a bad idea.  In short 3 encounter adventures, it still means only one use per adventure, but in (for example) the 15 session adventure we have running now, that's a milestone "almost" every 3 encounters.  In this way, the extended rest is really only a storyline aspect now.

∴ "Virtus junxit, mors non separabit." 

To be honest, daily powers could go away alltogether. Move weaker at wills to in place of basic attack. Weaker encounter powers become at wills, highest end dailies get toned down and all pushed into encounters. Surges could become an encounter resource solely that after the beginning ofan adventure, you might get -1 to your max surges once you've spent a few to keep things fair. Even better now that two daily mechanics are gone, we can get back to every fight possibly having some serious tension rather than the players assuming the last fight of the day is their best time for a daily or any longer have the ridiculous setup of "the early fights eat up the resources of the party". This is why daily power items were so out of hand at first, and honestly was nly preserved because they weren't ready to do away with "we can't come up with a good thematic/flavor reason you can't spam daily power items/broken consumables, so we'll leave this for the DM and PCs to be P/A with each other for a few years over this simple issue!"

Hey, that reminds me a lot of how monte cook handled Dming!
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