Get Rid Of Slimy dailieS: My Most Hoped-for Sacred Hamburger in 5e

(re-posted from the Future Releases sub-forum)

Every edition since the beginning has had daily resources, though some more than others (Vancian casting, I'm looking at you). Unfortunately, daily resources, or really any resource that doesn't refresh every encounter (or, at most, every other encounter) has several significant negative impacts on the game.

Problem 1: The Five Minute Workday
If resources refresh based on some specific character action, rather than on a per-encounter basis, there will always be the temptation to refresh them between every encounter. "Uh oh, the wizard used two of his top-level spells, better take an 8-hour nap," or "Crud, the wizard got hit twice and used half his healing surges, we need to rest, just in case." In addition to it being obnoxious from a story-telling perspective for only getting into one fight per day, this also contributes to the next issue.

Problem 2: Swingier, Longer Encounters
Resources that aren't dependent on encounters make encounters harder to build: the DM is forced to guess how many such resources will be expended during the encounter. Guess low, and the fight is a short cake-walk. Guess high, and the fight is a painful or even deadly multi-hour grindfest. Players who try to conserve resource for "harder" fights later on make the earlier fights harder than they should be, as well as more time consuming.

Problem 3: Class Diversity & Balance
If you want classes to be balanced (and you should), they must have exactly the same daily resources. Otherwise, you end up with the main problem 3rd edition had: some characters are built for short, explosive fights, while others are built for long slugfests. Naturally, the party will pick one of these two (traditionally, the short and decisive battles), and anyone whose character is better for the other kind is just **** outta luck. If, however, all daily resources are eliminated, encounter balance becomes easier, which makes it easier to balance different mechanics since you know how long fights should be lasting and thus can build each class to contribute about the same amount over that time period.

TLDR: Daily resources make it harder to design encounters and harder to create balanced but mechanically distinct classes.

NOTE: I am not arguing that all resources should recharge after every encounter (though I would be OK with that), but simply that they shouldn't be tied to something as arbitrary and player-controlled as when people sleep.

Edit: Here's some comments I made further in to try to explain this a little better.

57135478 wrote:
I don't necessarily mean everything should be an encounter power, just that nothing's recharge should be tied to anything longer than "every other encounter".

Here are some examples of mechanics that meet that criteria:
1) at-will abilities
2) 1/encounter abilities
3) X/encounter abilities
4) die-roll recharge (like many monsters have in 4e)
5) power points (like psionics in 3.5 and 4e)
6) cycling recharge (crusaders from 3.5 Bo9S)
7) triggered recharge (warblade from 3.5 Bo9S)
8) conditional recharge (such as dragons that regain their breath weapon when bloodied)

And those are just off the top of my head, there's probably plenty more mechanics that could be used to create diversity in class mechanics without breaking balance.


57135478 wrote:
I've thought of another (potential) advantage to eliminating daily resources. This works by combining two things that would otherwise be somewhat bad.

1) In both 4e and previous editions, abilities that were on a per day basis tended to be the most powerful (with the exception of the rare per week, per month, or per year ability, which I obviously loathe even more). Taking those out is likely to take away some of the player's big guns.

2) One of the common complaints about 4e is that it doesn't encourage improvisational roleplaying during combat, i.e. why would someone think to swing from a chandelier and kick people when they're concentrating on their powers. While I personally don't feel it inhibits that sort of thing, I can agree that for some people it could be an issue.

What if we solve both these issues by replacing daily-strength abilities with improvised attacks? Imagine a simple ruleset or table explaining how to express an improvised attack in terms of mechanics. For a given level, you might have:

single target: A + iX damage, or B + iX damage & status effect(s)
multi target: C + iX/2 damage, or D + iX/2 damage & status effect(s)
where i = the number of skill checks you had to succeed at to perform the action (you would need acrobatics and/or athletics to swing from a chandelier, for example, while tipping a pile of rocks on foes would use athletics or be automatic with a lever)
A > B > C > D

The numer, type, & difficulty of skill checks would be totally up to the DM, as would any status effects applied.

This not only makes high-powered effects available to players again, it also encourages improvisational roleplaying during combat.


57135478 wrote:
While I am a fan of 4e's surge mechanic, I'm not suggesting that HP & surges should refill every encounter. Rather, you should have a max number of surges and then recover some fraction of your total every encounter or every milestone.

This way, a series of nasty fights still puts you at risk of running out of surges if you spend more than you're recovering, while a series of easier fights lets you restock back to full if you're spending less than you're recovering. Similarly, because you recover a fraction of your total, characters with lots of surges can afford to spend more per encounter.


TLDR: Daily resources make it harder to design encounters and harder to create balanced but mechanically distinct classes.


I agree with this 100%. However, I think daily resources are lots of fun, so they should be included even though they make adventure design and balance trickier, as you rightly say.


TLDR: Daily resources make it harder to design encounters and harder to create balanced but mechanically distinct classes.



I agree with you. But unfortunately Daily Powers or Vancian Magic are one of the unifying things between the editions, and the Wizards seek to unify us this time.

Besides I want to see again the iconic phrase, "Once per day when you die..."

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I think what made the enounters a bit weird were the encounter powers.  Dailies I didn't care about.  Sure, an old school wizard could clear a room with a fire ball + shut door, or a 4th team could drop the hammer hard and fire off all their nukes, but usually people conserve them for a possible solo, or when the fit is hitting the shan.
Encounter powers, however, regened quickly, so there was always that impitus, (that I felt) to make each encounter meaningful.  I suppose as a DM I could have ruled "you can take a five minute rest once you've done an encounter's worth of work" and then divide up my guys were I wanted them.

I'd like to see a system where the surges are the one resource that pays for everything.  Its your hitpoint regen, its your extra umph to the attack, its your extra attack.  If you add a surge cost to everything, you can easily have it broken out so that you can have x encounters and y dailies and z healings for the folks who like that sort of thing.  The other folks just have a day full of open potential that isn't pre-coded.

Make the adventuring rest 1 hour to get back a fraction of the total, instead of the short 5 minutes. 
I think what made the enounters a bit weird were the encounter powers.  Dailies I didn't care about.  Sure, an old school wizard could clear a room with a fire ball + shut door, or a 4th team could drop the hammer hard and fire off all their nukes, but usually people conserve them for a possible solo, or when the fit is hitting the shan.
Encounter powers, however, regened quickly, so there was always that impitus, (that I felt) to make each encounter meaningful.  I suppose as a DM I could have ruled "you can take a five minute rest once you've done an encounter's worth of work" and then divide up my guys were I wanted them.

I'd like to see a system where the surges are the one resource that pays for everything.  Its your hitpoint regen, its your extra umph to the attack, its your extra attack.  If you add a surge cost to everything, you can easily have it broken out so that you can have x encounters and y dailies and z healings for the folks who like that sort of thing.  The other folks just have a day full of open potential that isn't pre-coded.

Make the adventuring rest 1 hour to get back a fraction of the total, instead of the short 5 minutes. 



While I prefer encounter powers to dailies, your point about making healing surges a more universal form of "boost" currency sounds pretty valid. If healing surges can be used for a variety of power ups, then it gives players something to manage and the DM something to budget for. 

Powers or Vancian Magic, neither have given me a problem as a player or DM. I house ruled out the power surge though. Might as well give every player a ring of regeneration. By sixth level how many healing surges does the average PC have? Why have a cleric to "act" as a healer, just make it a controler class stripped of all hit point related healing abilities.

I could see a system of "points" used for what Austinwolf is talking about. Though I still have to say not for healing.
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Three for three, tylara67, good points with the ring of truth.  Hope someone's listening.

I just want the system to cater to those who have 4-6 fights a day and to those who have 1 fight per gaming session, at the same time.

Getting rid of dailies entirely would greatly fascilitate that goal.

 

 

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Yes, eliminating dailies would solve those problems. However, dailies are awesome, powerful and cinematic. They make players feel like cool, badass heroes. A big part of their charm is that you can't use them often, you have to be careful, but when you finally use them, BOOM, instant coolness.

So they're not entirely "bad", they have a purpose.

Edit: one way to keep dailies in the game an still solve those problems could be to tie their recharge to milestones, instead of rests. So you can rest all you want, but you still won't get that daily back until you reach a milestone. Just a thought.
Powers or Vancian Magic, neither have given me a problem as a player or DM. I house ruled out the power surge though. Might as well give every player a ring of regeneration. By sixth level how many healing surges does the average PC have? Why have a cleric to "act" as a healer, just make it a controler class stripped of all hit point related healing abilities.

I could see a system of "points" used for what Austinwolf is talking about. Though I still have to say not for healing.



Asking for clarification, not confrontation: have you played 4th and seen the healing mechanic?  While yes, you might have 10 healing surges, you only get to use 1 per combat (usually) and that costs you your attack (usually) The rest are stitting there hoping you have a potion, or a power, or a Leader (cleric, bard, warlord, etc) who grants you access to that pool.

I would still recommend using a similar mechanic.  You can only heal yourself once per combat, but an ally (cleric) could allow you to heal more, (and under this suggestion, they'd be spending x surges to allow you to use 1)

My personal opinion is that the basic system of At Will, Encounter and Daily powers give a good balance.  Everyone has abilities that can be used all the time and require no management, some more powerful abilities that can be used each encounter which require some basic management and Daily abilities that need to be managed well to have their best effect.  I, for one, like to have some level of resource management in my games.

Tying some of the recharges to Milestones may help to mitigate the "5 minute workday" issue.  This would encourage characters to continue on as they would only need to go through another encounter or so to get some of their more powerful abilities back.

Having a generic currency for boosts (such as Healing Surges) has the benefit of simplicity but could introduce new resource management issues where some members of the party may "burn out" too quickly.
Powers or Vancian Magic, neither have given me a problem as a player or DM. I house ruled out the power surge though. Might as well give every player a ring of regeneration. By sixth level how many healing surges does the average PC have? Why have a cleric to "act" as a healer, just make it a controler class stripped of all hit point related healing abilities.

I could see a system of "points" used for what Austinwolf is talking about. Though I still have to say not for healing.



Asking for clarification, not confrontation: have you played 4th and seen the healing mechanic?  While yes, you might have 10 healing surges, you only get to use 1 per combat (usually) and that costs you your attack (usually) The rest are stitting there hoping you have a potion, or a power, or a Leader (cleric, bard, warlord, etc) who grants you access to that pool.

I would still recommend using a similar mechanic.  You can only heal yourself once per combat, but an ally (cleric) could allow you to heal more, (and under this suggestion, they'd be spending x surges to allow you to use 1)





Yes I have. I not only play 4e but DM as well. It is really the concept that kinda bother me. I can see a fighter boosting his resolve and gaining "temporary hit points", just not full on healing of damage.  I have also extrapolated the mechanic over level progression for the core classes to see the effect. I like that it is at least scaled for progression.

But why even have those extra points dangling out there. I just disagree that in order to "drink a potion" or "use a power" that you need to have surges. The potion is a consumable, one shot and gone. Powers have to be regained by rest and therefore if the character is getting harried or bashed hard are temporary one shots.



I really do not want to see surges used as a “power up point” as has been suggested elsewhere. This make the feel of the game a little CRPG not TTRPG.

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Having a generic currency for boosts (such as Healing Surges) has the benefit of simplicity but could introduce new resource management issues where some members of the party may "burn out" too quickly.



I am okay with this, as it adds a learning curve/challenge/combat option to the game.  And for the folks who don't want that much combat accounting to consider, they can play in the same system and just have pre-set AEDU, second wind, and action point.  They don't have any more or less power than the other guy or gal, (theoretically) he is just trading some of his free will for structure.

Frank the Frontloading Fighter may burn out all his neat tricks early, but Bob "by the book" Barbarian can help bail him out.

Roger, the Ridiculous Reaper, Ranger doesn't care, cause he can twin strike/quarry all day without much in the way of extra bennies and still be a damage machine.

I love twin strike.  I'm not expecting to see it in DnD Next.

I just disagree that in order to "drink a potion"



I don't disagree on this one point at all.  I never liked surges and potions being linked, especially since the early potions seemed to be less effective than the surge.


I just disagree that in order to "drink a potion"



I don't disagree on this one point at all.  I never liked surges and potions being linked, especially since the early potions seemed to be less effective than the surge.



Even the cure spell, now that some of the scaling is gone in 4e for how much a pc heals makes surges more effective. With potions and other forms of healing they become resource management. They obtain some high levels of value to the pc because of the limited ways to heal characters. so you have items that can heal, spells to heal, a skill to heal and then rest. This can have a dramatic effect on the next encounter and even the next day. Keeping the party healed was a little more tactical in pre-4E.

Going back to the number of times you can use a healing surge though 4E allows out of combat use of the surege linked to the CON score. Unlike the second wind you had mentioned. I have had episodes where the party just dropped out of combat, spent the max number of surges and it was like nothing really happened.

If you continue the number of encounter in a day to prevent rest is gets a little "random encounter like". Meaning that every mile or so there is another creature waiting for the PCs. Sure they can avoid them but, if you force combat you a little railroad ride.
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One fix we did was pooled all of a character's daily attacks and then gave them one daily per fight. We also talked about pooling encounters and having them scale up to the 3/encounter they eventually became.

This way, 1 fight or 5 fights are all understandable. We also talked about reducing healing surges to something like 1/4th of what they were, and were discussing another way to make Con important instead of healing surges.

I hate daily resources, and they can only be balanced if the game forces/assumes a set number of encounters per day, or a set experience pool per day; that's bad for narrative design. 

Poe's Law is alive and well.

I completely agree with the OP.  Good post!
I hate daily resources, and they can only be balanced if the game forces/assumes a set number of encounters per day, or a set experience pool per day; that's bad for narrative design. 



Yep.  In my games the AEDU system only seems to work well in the late teens where, assuming our general 3 encounter work day, we use roughly the same amount of resources each fight.  But that's a big assumption.

I'd like to see a system somewhat similar to psionic power points in 4E.  They'd remain a set number throughout a character's carreer and would be a "daily" resource that would refresh after a long rest.  As the character leveled, they'd learn better ways to use their power points (more powerful abilities).  Powerful effects which in 4E would be considered dailies would take a lot of power points, so they'd still feel big.  However, if the narrative called for only one fight between rests, it could be scaled such that the characters could be using "dailies" every round to deal with the increased challenge, without making it a 3 hour fight or affecting the game's math in an irregular way.  Likewise, if the narrative called for 6-7 fights between rests, characters would avoid big expenditures.
I much prefer a fatigue system to handle "hard" abilities. This dovetails nicely with wanting at will powers for casters. (since an at will is just a spell you have overleveled to the point where it costs no fatigue).

It works for martial, divine, and psionic powers as well. You just set the fatigue used per ability dpending on how often you want them to be able to do it.

Since healers will quickly overlevel basic healing spells it also makes it easy to top off and remove such trivia as wands of cure light wounds.

I used a system where I set fatigue points equal to con and had abilities take 0,1,4,or 9 fatigue. It works surprisingly well. You can also let people get tired and take minuses or let them spend a round recovering doing nothing to regain a fatigue.

This along with some major focusing of the magic users and a slight decrease in their power is enough to make everything work, or at least it did for us.
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I personally think there needs to be some kind of point system, I've experienced too many boss-fights where the players held back all their dailies and then killed the boss in a single round. Sure, you can tease dailies out of players with false boss fights, mini bosses, or just long, grueling days, but it would be nice if non-boss fights actually used up resources other than just healing surges.
I personally think there needs to be some kind of point system, I've experienced too many boss-fights where the players held back all their dailies and then killed the boss in a single round. Sure, you can tease dailies out of players with false boss fights, mini bosses, or just long, grueling days, but it would be nice if non-boss fights actually used up resources other than just healing surges.


If you're getting rid of dailies, presumably you balance powers on the assumption they'll potentially be used every encounter. If you want powers at the level of daillies, just limit it to one such power per encounter (actually, you can do that with dailies too, and it should cause people to be more willing to use their dailies in the lesser fight, just saving one for the big fight. Of course, if you don't know what the big fight is, you might save several to keep options open).
While I would love a point system, I don't expect to see it. Something tells me it's "not D&D", except in Psionics.

Poe's Law is alive and well.

If you get rid of daily resources, how am I meant to have the party gradually get worn down?

If there's no lasting effect from a fight that you've won, fights become a binary issue; either you win, and all's good, or you lose, and all's bad.

Daily resources allow for situations where you go "We won, but dang that was a costly victory" 
I, personally, feel that a points or fatigue system could work as a great unifying element. One issue that I have had with 4e is that entire "adventures" must be divided into bite sized encounters, you really don't have the choice to not run things that way and that is what I find to be the most limiting.  While earlier editions (can only speak from experience w/ OD&D and AD&D) were far from perfect they did promote, or at least allow for, a more natural flow to adventuring. You could very easily give the players a map or description of the location and let them explore and encounter at their own pace as opposed to the Clear a room, rest, clear a room, rest tempo.

Yes Vancian magic could be an issue and did promote the "oh crap I used the big guns, must find safe place to rest right now" scenario. I believe their could be a nice melding of old and new magic elements that may appease some old school players. I would love to see the Memorizing of spells returned but not the one shot use for all spells return, and when you link this with a points or fatigue system it could balance number of ability uses with adventure flow.

This could also be used to add more flavor to the classes/races element as well. Certain Class/Race combos could be gently promoted by point/fatigue bonus or penalties. Magic users could have points to represent mental or spiritual fatigue and may have considerably more points than a fighter or rogue who may not need quite as many points to truely be effective.
 
Just a thought and not meant to offend anyone out there.
Personally I like the idea of something that allows you to turn an encounter into a more powerful hit (action point, healing surge etc.)  In turn I perfer action points because they build as you successfully do encounters.  I would switch to something like gain an action point per encounter (which resets to one when you take a long rest) type of thing.  In turn most abilities would allow you to sacrifice it to increase damage, effect more people etc.
I personally think there needs to be some kind of point system, I've experienced too many boss-fights where the players held back all their dailies and then killed the boss in a single round. Sure, you can tease dailies out of players with false boss fights, mini bosses, or just long, grueling days, but it would be nice if non-boss fights actually used up resources other than just healing surges.


If you're getting rid of dailies, presumably you balance powers on the assumption they'll potentially be used every encounter. If you want powers at the level of daillies, just limit it to one such power per encounter (actually, you can do that with dailies too, and it should cause people to be more willing to use their dailies in the lesser fight, just saving one for the big fight. Of course, if you don't know what the big fight is, you might save several to keep options open).



the most simple energy mecanic I can think up from the top of my head would be somthing like :

you start a encounter with 3 points, and gain one ot the end of each turn.

0 point abilities are the ones that are now at will.
1 point abilities are the ones that are now encounter.
3 point abilities are the abilities that are now daily.

you can use a standard action to gain 1 extra point.
you can spend a action point to gain 3 points instead of taking a extra action.
I've been recently plaing a d20 based system where the only thing limited on a daily basis is certain uses of the medicine skill; everything else is managed at a more meta level; you've got resources that can be used however many times you want as you have actions (of which you get two regular actions or one full action, rather than a move and stand or full), some once per round, some X per combat/encounter, some X per scene, some X per session, and some X per adventure.

It works out rather well. There are long term resources to manage, but not so much that you have the 5 minute work day.
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Having everything reset to full gives the game an incredibly narrow tactical focus, and eliminates all long-term strategy.  Everything is just a test of attrition where you eventually win and then you do it again.  It ruins all the adventuring aspects of the game in favour of more tactical minis.

Not D&D, and I don't know why you remade this thread. 
If you really want a game where you're concerned about resource depletion, daily powers aren't the way to go; it should cost money to recover powers, and quite possibly a return to town as well.
If you really want a game where you're concerned about resource depletion, daily powers aren't the way to go; it should cost money to recover powers, and quite possibly a return to town as well.


Resource's don't have to be monetary to exist.

Daily powers are a DAILY resource. Money is a PERMANENT resource, Encounter powers are an ENCOUNTER resource.

A lot of people like having something in between encounter and permanent. Something that isn't gone forever, but doesn't come right back. 
Resource's don't have to be monetary to exist.


Unless you're putting rather sharp time constraints on the PCs, daily resources do not represent significant resource limits. Yes, there are problems where you can't spend eight hours between significant fights, but it takes a fair amount of management and often feels artificial. Dramatically slower recovery does start being meaningful, but can make games drag quite a bit.

For 5e, either daily powers should be designed with the understanding that PCs will tend to save them for the 'big fight', or they should be designed in a way where saving them for the 'big fight' doesn't make sense.
Resource's don't have to be monetary to exist.


Unless you're putting rather sharp time constraints on the PCs, daily resources do not represent significant resource limits. Yes, there are problems where you can't spend eight hours between significant fights, but it takes a fair amount of management and often feels artificial. Dramatically slower recovery does start being meaningful, but can make games drag quite a bit.


In my game, daily resources work fine, because most things we deal with need dealing with right away.

But I'd be happy to see codified options for dealing with "adventure resources"; ie. having surges, dailies etc. not come back every night, if your campaign has a slower pace.

One relatively simple optional rule, for a 4e style system, is "Each full nights rest, in comfortable surroundings [rests in dungeons or other dangerous areas may not count, GMs discretion] allows you to restore one Daily power and 1/4 of your healing surges"


You could increase that to a week for a really slow-paced campaign. 
Well you could balance the wear down feature by just doing semi permanent damage instead of healable damage. (something akin to how stat damage was handled in 3.5). Just have some of the fatigue use not instantly recoverable(really mean if you do it with hps as well). If they get blooded or use more then half their fatigue it could take a much longer time to recover then just an 8 hr rope trick rest. It might take some major beers and a week in the local inn instead. Maybe each 8 hr rest gives you the average of your previous fatigue and max fatigue rounded up or something. As anyone who works for a living knows, sometims you just wake up tired after a long grind.

This was how my playgroup handled blood magic anyway. Casting off your health is inherently dangerous and draining to your long term health.
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If you get rid of daily resources, how am I meant to have the party gradually get worn down?

If there's no lasting effect from a fight that you've won, fights become a binary issue; either you win, and all's good, or you lose, and all's bad.

Daily resources allow for situations where you go "We won, but dang that was a costly victory" 



I'm not arguing that all your resources should recharge after every fight, just that they shouldn't be tied to something as arbitrary as when the party decides to sleep.
Having everything reset to full gives the game an incredibly narrow tactical focus, and eliminates all long-term strategy.  Everything is just a test of attrition where you eventually win and then you do it again.  It ruins all the adventuring aspects of the game in favour of more tactical minis.

Not D&D, and I don't know why you remade this thread. 



1) People play D&D for more than resource management. There's a reason most groups don't keep track of how many arrows the ranger has left, and in 3.5 most people just wrote "spell components" on their character sheet and ignored material requirements for spellcasting from then on.

2) Again, I'm not arguing that everything should recharge every encounter, just that recharges need to be tied to something that's not so easy for players to manipulate.

Problem 3: Class Diversity & Balance
If you want classes to be balanced (and you should), they must have exactly the same daily resources. Otherwise, you end up with the main problem 3rd edition had: some characters are built for short, explosive fights, while others are built for long slugfests. Naturally, the party will pick one of these two (traditionally, the short and decisive battles), and anyone whose character is better for the other kind is just **** outta luck. If, however, all daily resources are eliminated, encounter balance becomes easier, which makes it easier to balance different mechanics since you know how long fights should be lasting and thus can build each class to contribute about the same amount over that time period.



I have to say I preferred a system where different classes managed their resources differently.  It created an interesting dynamic where in some situations those built for "short, explosive fights" got to shine and others where those built for "long slugfests" got to shine.  It did take a little more work as a DM to make sure there was some incentive or pressure on the players to prevent 15 minute workday after 15 minute workday though.




Except there is NO way to possibly balance this at all.  Every character should be equally useful in every encounter or the game isn't very fun for anybody.  I like the idea of fatigue actually.  I can even see some fatigue needing more than 8 hours rest or make it so you have to be somewhere safe for the 8 hour rest to fully occur.  Just throwing an idea out there.
If you get rid of daily resources, how am I meant to have the party gradually get worn down?

If there's no lasting effect from a fight that you've won, fights become a binary issue; either you win, and all's good, or you lose, and all's bad.

Daily resources allow for situations where you go "We won, but dang that was a costly victory" 



I'm not arguing that all your resources should recharge after every fight, just that they shouldn't be tied to something as arbitrary as when the party decides to sleep.


I'm all for options whereby it can take weeks, or can be entirely GM decided, for things to recharge.

What I definitely wouldn't use (although I suppose I wouldn't be against it being included in the list of optional rules) is anything where you can come out of a combat encounter feeling more refreshed than you were when you went in.
I personally think there needs to be some kind of point system, I've experienced too many boss-fights where the players held back all their dailies and then killed the boss in a single round. Sure, you can tease dailies out of players with false boss fights, mini bosses, or just long, grueling days, but it would be nice if non-boss fights actually used up resources other than just healing surges.



Totally agree with you.