In my campaign style, I not not usually run more than a few encounters per adventure. In fact, I usually do not run adventures, per say. How it usually goes is:
1) Mission select
2) Go to place
3) Deal with RP and Skill challenges
4) Combat encounter
5) Go back to step 3 or 2, if necessary
6) Task resolution? (go back to step 3 if necessary)
And that is what an adventuring day looks like at my table. But that is because my campaigns usually involve a lot of over-land travel and RP, and very little dungeon exploration. So what happens is that usually characters have too many healing surges and daily powers per encounter. We sure do not have a 5-minute adventuring day, but we also almost never reach milestones.
I realized that if I have too many daily combat resources, then the party needs to be able to expend those resources during the other parts of the adventuring day. Now, I have a few ideas for this, but I need some help populating ideas, and editing them. Here is what I have so far:
- Rituals: Expend a daily power to fuel a ritual of the power's level* or lower. You do not pay the ritual's component cost. This does not work for Creation rituals that produce permanent items.
- Calling a Favor: Expend a daily power; you instead channel your energy into calling a favor from a contact, and gain 2 expendable items of the power's level* or lower -- or another item/service of equivalent value. You do not regain the power until you use or sell the items/service, even if you take an extended rest. You must be within reasonable proximity of a reasonably connected contact to do this.
- Whip Something Up: Expend a daily power; you focus on crafting with what you have on-hand. Perform an alchemy recipe or creation ritual to produce a consumable item of the power's level* or lower. You do so twice, without paying the component cost (you may change rituals/recipie if you desire, so long as the items produced meet the level restriction.) You do not regain the power until you use or sell the items, even if you take an extended rest.
- Spontaneity: Expend all your daily powers; your luck completely changes. Draw a non-combat purple card** from the deck, and play it immediately. If you cannot play it immediately, keep it face down, show it to your DM, and shuffle it back in the deck; redraw until you find one that can be played. You cannot do this if you have already used any of your daily powers. For each daily power sacrificed after the fourth, draw an additional purple card; you choose between all the applicable purple cards drawn in this way.
* If the daily power with no indicated level, it counts as the level at which you obtained the feature.
** Or whatever kind of bonus cards you use at your table.
- Rituals: You may pay 2 healing surge to reduce the component cost of the ritual you are casting by half. You may do this once per ritual.
- Expedited Travel: You and yours travel overland faster - the overland traveling speed of the party becomes lowest traveling member's speed +2. When you arrive at your destination, you and all player characters traveling with you begin play with 1 fewer healing surges per day traveled.
- Push Yourself: When you make a skill or ability check, you may roll twice and take the better result. This costs 2 healing surges.
- Extra Exertion: When you make a skill or ability check and fail, you may add +2 to the roll and take the new result. This costs 1 healing surge. You may do this as many times as you like per check.
- Empower Assault: When you hit with an attack, you may lose up to 3 healing surges. The damage dice are brutal X, where X is the number of surges you lost.
- Protective Prayer: When you are out of combat, you may pay 1 healing surge to reduce the number of healing surges drained from you by enemy attacks by 1 until the end of your next rest.
... I am conflicted if I want alternate means to spend item powers or not. I am leaning towards no.
And of course, I am open to criticism and other ideas! I think this ought to work pretty well for my own campaign, and I hope that we can all help make this work even better for all of us!