Mechanical Solutions to the 5 Minute Workday

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This is a subthread of the original 5 Minute workday thread, found here. http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/29450607/The_5_Minute_workday_and_why_its_a_huge_issue?pg=1

That thread got bogged down with discussing the issue of fixing the problem with story-based methods, and largely missing the point so I created this thread to (hopefully) stay on topic with developing actual fixes.

The Stated Design Goal
 
The goal of this is to create an optional rules module to fix the 5MWD problem.

 This should be as simple a solution as possible, where solutions like "remove vancian casting" are an absolute last resort and frowned upon.  So with the fix I don't want to have to rewrite a bunch of classes.

What goes in this thread


  • Proposal for a mechanical solution to the 5MWD

  • Critiques or support of one of the proposed solutions.



What doesn't go in this thread (post this stuff in the other thread)


  • Arguments that the 5MWD can be fixed in a non-mechanical way, such as gentleman's agreements and story-based methods.

  • Arguments that the 5MWD doesn't need to be fixed or isn't a problem.

  • Arguments that people using the 5MWD are powergaming/metagaming munchkins and should just be kicked out of the game.



When Proposing a solution
Name your solution as the first line of your post and put it in bold-face so it stands out. that way people skimming the thread can easily see what the solutions themselves are, as opposed to critiques of those solutions and hopefully less information will be lost that way. Also when proposing a mechanical solution, try to be as specific as possible when writing it.

The Milestone Solution

To recover daily abilities (such as spells) after a long rest, the PCs require 5 "milestone points". Milestone points reset to 0 after PCs recharge their daily abilities.

You gain milestone points by completing an encounter. Easy encounters grant 1 point, Medium grant 2 points and hard encounters grant 3 points. A life-or-death encounter designed to be the only fight in a day grants you 5 points.

It requires 5 milestone points to recover your spells. Resting without the necessary points enables you to heal wounds naturally, but not recover spells or recharge other "daily" abilities.

I've seen suggestions to:

Reduce the total number of daily powers used per encounter.
Change the "recharge" of daily powers to a once per X encounters mechanic.
Remove easy teleport, dimensional shift and other "safe resting" powers.
Eliminate daily powers from the game entirely.

I think everything else which has been suggested falls under one of those categories.
The XP Reduction Solution

Gained XP is not tallied until the party takes a long rest, where it is then awarded. Based on the number of encounters they've had, total gained XP is modified.

1 encounter      1/3rd normal XP
2 encounter      50% normal XP
3 encounters    75% normal XP
4 encounters    100% normal XP
5 encounters    125% normal XP
6 encounters    add another 25% XP bonus for  each encounter beyond 5.
The XP Reduction Solution

Gained XP is not tallied until the party takes a long rest, where it is then awarded. Based on the number of encounters they've had, total gained XP is modified.

1 encounter      1/3rd normal XP
2 encounter      50% normal XP
3 encounters    75% normal XP
4 encounters    100% normal XP
5 encounters    125% normal XP
6 encounters    add another 25% XP bonus for  each encounter beyond 5.



While this is not useful to me (I abandoned XP long ago and allow leveling when suited to the story, which would be nice to see supported in a "module"... really only a side note in the DMG) it still looks like a good potential system which may work as a "soft mechanical fix". 

Reduce the power of daily spells so that they cannot singlehandedly dominate an encounter.

Increase the number of daily spells to 3x as many as currently but reduce them to more or less at-will strength.

Mana burn: if a caster uses more than one daily spell in a row they suffer mana burn. They suffer 1d6 damage per level of the spell cast. (This will encourage casters to rotate between slots and at-will spells).

Turn Vancian into an encounter resource. This would be far more logical (study during a short rest to memorize vs fire and forget all day long). Reduce the number of spell slots accordingly: 5 or so should be fine.

Make rituals easy to find and cheap to cast (ie negligible component cost). Make ritual casting cover utility magic. The wizard will have the greatest utility but be the weakest in combat.

Make AoE spells do 1/2 the damage of the fighter's at will attacks. The artillery wizard trades AoE power for single target damage.

Reduce the power difference between spell levels to discourage novaing.
Reduce the power of daily spells so that they cannot singlehandedly dominate an encounter.
Increase the number of daily spells to 3x as many as currently but reduce them to more or less at-will strength.
Mana burn: if a caster uses more than one daily spell in a row they suffer mana burn. They suffer 1d6 damage per level of the spell cast. (This will encourage casters to rotate between slots and at-will spells).
Turn Vancian into an encounter resource. This would be far more logical (study during a short rest to memorize vs fire and forget all day long). Reduce the number of spell slots accordingly: 5 or so should be fine.
Make rituals easy to find and cheap to cast (ie negligible component cost). Make ritual casting cover utility magic. The wizard will have the greatest utility but be the weakest in combat.
Make AoE spells do 1/2 the damage of the fighter's at will attacks. The artillery wizard trades AoE power for single target damage. Reduce the power difference between spell levels to discourage novaing.



Some of these are good, but the ones entirely altering the whole sweep of spells are likely too major for a module.

Still, things to keep in mind for when "Arcane Power", or whatever they call it this time, is released. 
The Milestone Solution

To recover daily abilities (such as spells) after a long rest, the PCs require 5 "milestone points". Milestone points reset to 0 after PCs recharge their daily abilities.

You gain milestone points by completing an encounter. Easy encounters grant 1 point, Medium grant 2 points and hard encounters grant 3 points. A life-or-death encounter designed to be the only fight in a day grants you 5 points.

It requires 5 milestone points to recover your spells. Resting without the necessary points enables you to heal wounds naturally, but not recover spells or recharge other "daily" abilities.




This one was 8 milestone points to work with the 4 average encounters per day.

It was also updated to combine the 'shrines/lab/study' into it. It also was updated to allow incremental memorization.

It went something like this:

Each encounter grants milestone points. Easy encounters grant 1 point, medium encounters grant 2 points, hard encounters grant 3 points. Each point can be used to half the time it takes to recover spells. It takes 10 minutes per spell level per spell to recover a spell. Shrines, Labs, or Studies reduce the amount of time a caster needs to memorize spells from 10 minutes per spell level to 1 minute per level.

level   time to recover
1        10m
2        20m
3        30m
4        40m
5        50m
6        1h
7        1h10m
8        1h20m
9        1h30m
10      1h40m

If you had 2 spells of each level that would be 18 hours and 20 minutes. If you spent 1 milestone point that would be 9 hours and 10 minutes. If you spent 2 that would be 4 hours and 35 minutes. If you spent 3 points that would be 2 hours and 18 minutes. If you spent 4 points that would be 1 hour and 9 minutes. If you spent 5 points that would be 35 minutes. If you spent 6 points that would be 18 minutes. If you spent 7 points that would be 9 minutes. If you spent 8 points that would be 5 minutes. If you were at a 'shrine/lab/study' and spent 0 points it would be 1 hour and 50 minutes. If you spent 8 points on top of the 'shrine/lab/study' it would be about 1 minute.

Shrines can be created with a ritual that takes uninterrupted 2 days of meditation and prayer in a stress free safe place.

Labs and studies can be created with 1000gp worth of chemicals and/or books on magic. It takes 2 days of stress free safe concentration and planning to build a lab or study.
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
The Lead Lined Room Solution

The party can not use the "scry and die" attack routine because the BBEG's lair is immune to scry/teleport. 

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The Milestone Solution

To recover daily abilities (such as spells) after a long rest, the PCs require 5 "milestone points". Milestone points reset to 0 after PCs recharge their daily abilities.

You gain milestone points by completing an encounter. Easy encounters grant 1 point, Medium grant 2 points and hard encounters grant 3 points. A life-or-death encounter designed to be the only fight in a day grants you 5 points.

It requires 5 milestone points to recover your spells. Resting without the necessary points enables you to heal wounds naturally, but not recover spells or recharge other "daily" abilities.


This might be the best and most effective way (other than removing mechanics with daily limits like spells, hp, etc).

An alternative to the mechanic might be that milestones make healing and recovering spells more effective and efficient, so that after 5 milestones an overnight rest recharges all your abilities and HD as well as extra hit points. However, resting with fewer milestones still offers some benefits (20% less per milestone?).

Sometimes you just need to rest sooner. Maybe the adventure is overland and it's a week between fights. Maybe the DMs dice were hot and the player's were off and more resources were spent than normal. Maybe a bad call was made. Whatever. But sometimes you just need to stop earlier than expected and if you can't recharge anything it hurts.  
Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: 
What Would Wrecan Say?

5 Minute Workday

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Updated Tue & Thur

 

I've seen suggestions to:

Reduce the total number of daily powers used per encounter. 



It doesnt feel the same as my limit the rate of use of dailies during the encounter


Mine allows them to continue to perform in longer encounters and can be done flavorfully... and in a way that is in some ways keeping with limitations on spellcasters from the history of the game (casting time) and in myth/legend/fiction. (after effects).

Aftermath to casting a daily includes "arcane weakness" can only perform minor magics like at-wills during the round following a greater casting. 

Including at-will defensive action synch holes as another technique to eat up there action economy so that less of it can will be spent on using up those daily.
 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Eliminate daily powers as a concept.
Problem solved.
The Milestone Solution

To recover daily abilities (such as spells) after a long rest, the PCs require 5 "milestone points". Milestone points reset to 0 after PCs recharge their daily abilities.

You gain milestone points by completing an encounter. Easy encounters grant 1 point, Medium grant 2 points and hard encounters grant 3 points. A life-or-death encounter designed to be the only fight in a day grants you 5 points.

It requires 5 milestone points to recover your spells. Resting without the necessary points enables you to heal wounds naturally, but not recover spells or recharge other "daily" abilities.


This might be the best and most effective way (other than removing mechanics with daily limits like spells, hp, etc).

An alternative to the mechanic might be that milestones make healing and recovering spells more effective and efficient, so that after 5 milestones an overnight rest recharges all your abilities and HD as well as extra hit points. However, resting with fewer milestones still offers some benefits (20% less per milestone?).

Sometimes you just need to rest sooner. Maybe the adventure is overland and it's a week between fights. Maybe the DMs dice were hot and the player's were off and more resources were spent than normal. Maybe a bad call was made. Whatever. But sometimes you just need to stop earlier than expected and if you can't recharge anything it hurts.  



I like mine better...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />I like mine better...



Do me a favor and name your solution and put the name in boldface and underline at the top of your post where you present it so that it stands out more.

I'd like the proposed solutions to be easy to skim through for people and also to all have names so we can refer to them pretty easily. It just makes it easier so the thread doens't turn into a big mess of text like the prior one did.
Effort-Based XP

The amount of XP gained from a combat encounter depends on how easy the encounter was.  Use of any ability that makes the combat easier will reduce the amount of XP gained.  If everything dies in one fireball, then there was no real challenge and XP gain should be insignificant.  If things go poorly or the party accepts the challenge of using mostly at-will attacks, then bonus XP is awarded.

Bonus XP is awarded if the party continues "without a net" since they won't have the option to break out the big guns if things turn south.
The metagame is not the game.
Mile Stone Points, Shrines, Labs, Studies, and Preparation Times

Each encounter grants milestone points. Easy encounters grant 1 point, medium encounters grant 2 points, hard encounters grant 3 points. Each point can be used to half the time it takes to recover spells. It takes 10 minutes per spell level per spell to recover a spell. Shrines, Labs, or Studies reduce the amount of time a caster needs to memorize spells from 10 minutes per spell level to 1 minute per level.

level   time to recover
1        10m
2        20m
3        30m
4        40m
5        50m
6        1h
7        1h10m
8        1h20m
9        1h30m
10      1h40m

If you had 2 spells of each level that would be 18 hours and 20 minutes. If you spent 1 milestone point that would be 9 hours and 10 minutes. If you spent 2 that would be 4 hours and 35 minutes. If you spent 3 points that would be 2 hours and 18 minutes. If you spent 4 points that would be 1 hour and 9 minutes. If you spent 5 points that would be 35 minutes. If you spent 6 points that would be 18 minutes. If you spent 7 points that would be 9 minutes. If you spent 8 points that would be 5 minutes. If you were at a 'shrine/lab/study' and spent 0 points it would be 1 hour and 50 minutes. If you spent 8 points on top of the 'shrine/lab/study' it would be about 1 minute.

Shrines can be created with a ritual that takes uninterrupted 2 days of meditation and prayer in a stress free safe place.

Labs and studies can be created with 1000gp worth of chemicals and/or books on magic. It takes 2 days of stress free safe concentration and planning to build a lab or study.
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I would personally create a resource for both martial and magic classes. 


Lets call it Endurance and Mana

Endurance is used for fighter abilities, powers, moves or whatever else you want to call them.  They have X amount of endurance based on a combination of attributes (to prevent min maxing) like Strength, Constitution and Dexterity (maybe an average of the three).  Each "ability" costs X amount of endurance.  Some abilities that are lower powered require no endurance (a basic melee strike) while others that are super powerful require lots of endurance.  You create a simple way to track it (tokens for example).  Players can regain endurance through taking defensive actions or in rounds where they are not attacked or attack they can regain some endurance.

As characters level up they gain endurance points giving them a larger reserve. 

Spells would basically work the same way but using the mana resources.  

You do need to differentiate between the two for hybrid classes (aka characters that both cast spells and use martial abilities) but a hybrid class might have seperate types of resources.  Like Chi for example for a monk style class.  Or Rage for a barbarian style class.


As for Vanican magic lovers, you can continue to have a spell book and prepare spells... you could say that a mage can only remember so many spells at any given time and so when they rest each night they can "memorize" new spells.           

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Longer Recovery Times


At-Will abilities. Things that you can do continually. Not terribly powerful, but at least magical abilities which you're more competent with than you would be with a weapon if they're attacks, and that give you some useful capabilities if they aren't.


Encounter abilities. You might have three or four of these, at high levels. After every encounter is completed, one recharges. They're quite abit more powerful than At-Wills, but using more than one in an encounter means you'll lack some in the next. Fluff-wise, spells which "reduce your mana" until you can rest for a time.


"Daily" powers. The really powerful magics, that used appropriately might change the course of an encounter. That you can't recharge with an extended rest "in the field". Rituals need to be performed before you can attempt the spell, and any time you want to repeat it.


If you're a cleric, your spells recharge during worship services at a temple (perhaps, for some, only one particular temple). And not just by going there and praying for a few hours, you need a proper service of worship to your particular god, with a congregation present, at the proper time. For some spells you need a large service, one that might only be performed once every week, every season, or even every year. The biggest services recharge all of your spells, but only take place once a year, while smaller ones won't give you back the larger powers.


If you're a wizard, then you need the paraphernalia of your trade. A proper spell-laboratory, where you can carefully open a channel to the elemental plane of fire and slowly draw off some flame and place it into your enchanted ruby, before expending it to cast a Fireball spell. And while that doesn't take more than a day or so, you can only work on one of those at a time. The more daily spells you have, the more bargains you've made, planes you have to reach out to, sacrifices you have to make; and the longer it's going to take to renew all of them.


And the result in both cases is to discourage full-casters from throwing everything they've got into every encounter, since regaining the spells takes a lot more effort, while still permitting it in desperate situations. In theory, the people who want the casters to have awesome abilities get what they want; and the people who don't want casters dominating every situation also get that, because once they've expended the most powerful abilities you won't get them back quickly and easily.

These, in the day when heaven was falling, The hour when earth's foundations fled, Followed their mercenary calling, And took their wages, and are dead. Playing: Legendof Five Rings, The One Ring, Fate Core. Planning: Lords in the Eastern Marches, Runequest in Glorantha. 

The Milestone Solution with Flexibility:

To recover daily abilities (such as spells), now called milestone abilities, after a long rest, the PCs require 8 "milestone points". Milestone points reset to 0 after PCs recharge their milestone abilities.

You gain milestone points by completing an encounter. Easy encounters grant 1 point, Medium grant 2 points and hard encounters grant 3 points. Each party member cannot have more than 8 milestone points at any one time.

A DM is free to modify the amount of milestone points players gain based off of circumstance. For example, if a party fights what was supposed to be an average encounter, but due to consistent bad rolls or a bad tactical plan, the party spends an incredibly amount of resoruces, then the DM should feel free to grant them additional milestone points. Another example is after the party completes a capstone combat, such as defeating the final boss of a dungeon, adventure, or phase of a campaign; the DM should feel free to give the PCs enough milestone points to bring them to 8 points.

It requires 8 milestone points to recover your milestone abilities. Resting without the necessary points enables you to heal wounds naturally, but not recover spells or recharge other "daily" abilities.


Slow, but Constant Recovery:

Spells and "daily" class abilities can be regained through a series of short rests at a near constant rate, however, it takes time to regain each such ability.

It takes 10 minutes per spell level per spell to regain a spell slot (which includes the time required to memorize a new spell in that slot), but this can be done at any time. For example, after a combat in which a caster used two second level spells and a third level spell, she could spend 70 minutes regaining all of those spells back. By the time a Wizard reaches high level, assuming two spells per spell level, it would a solid portion of a day for a caster to go from having no spell slots prepared to having all spell slots prepared.

It takes an hour to regain a use of a class ability that is currently limited to daily uses (there are no such abilities in the current playtest package). For example, if a Paladin was limited to using Lay on Hands to three times per day, it would take 3 hours to regain those uses back if the Paladin had used them all.

With this change, spells, especially low-level spells would have to be changed to reduce overall power since they would be used far more often over the course of an adventuring day. This is especially true for level 1 and 2 spells that effectively become encounter powers with this change. Healing hit points might also have to be taken into consideration because it is possible that a Cleric could fully heal the party after every time, forever, until the party just couldn't proceed due to exhaustion and physically needing to sleep.
Effort-Based XP

The amount of XP gained from a combat encounter depends on how easy the encounter was.  Use of any ability that makes the combat easier will reduce the amount of XP gained.  If everything dies in one fireball, then there was no real challenge and XP gain should be insignificant.  If things go poorly or the party accepts the challenge of using mostly at-will attacks, then bonus XP is awarded.

Bonus XP is awarded if the party continues "without a net" since they won't have the option to break out the big guns if things turn south.



While it makes wonderful sense... we dont bother with experience points... too much bookkeeping too little bang
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

This is something we're trying out right now with my group (so far it's going quite well).

Basic rule: You need 1 Action Point to charge up a 'Daily spell'

Beginning of the day everyone has 1 AP.

During stressful/risky situations players are allowed to roll a d20 'Recharge' dice - Basically that means at the end of each combat round (but could be a skill challange as well).
A result of 16+ awards 1 AP (the number is up to the DM, according to his preference on recovery rate). 

The same Daily power cannot be used twice in a single encounter.

After an extended rest the AP counter for each character resets to 1.
  
We use poker chips to represent APs, putting them in a pot in the middle of the table for players to pcik on succesful recharge rolls and toss in when expeding them to fuel up powers - it's good fun.      


Magic Paid for with Action Economy 



Multi-action casting time.
This allows casters to continue to perform in longer encounter (unlike putting caps on the dailies per encounter). This has a heritage from earlier editions and if it only delays the casting doesnt waste the magic.  (optionally if you rush it you might let it be beginning of the next turn and risk actually being lost from memory or prepared materials destroyed)

Aftermath/Snap Back - casting a daily includes "arcane weakness" can only perform minor magics like at-wills during the round following a greater casting. This can be extended or over-ridden by spell specific flavorfull limits. Casting a death spell causes stun... Casting sleep leaves the caster slowed/drowsy.

Action Eating Defenses : Including defensive action synch holes as another technique to eat up there action economy so that less of it can will be spent on using up those daily. Two examples are forms of mirror images and shield which can be restored once depleted by spending an action.  

Thought I would present and format mine
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Redefining & Adding Terms



I do not like a direct mechanical solution to this problem for several reasons:



  • The definition of "encounter" can be different from one group to the next. An encounter could encompass one event or many events; ten rounds of combat or 100 rounds of combat; or a 5 minute verbal exchange or a 10 hour verbal exchange; or a mixture of combat and verbal exchanges of variable length.

  • The definition of "day" is similarly variable. Some game worlds have an earth day or something close to it (most D&D rules assume an earth day when they say "day"), but some don't have days at all. Some have many days in the space of an earth day or many earth days in the space of a game day.

  • Strictly defining what an encounter is carries baggage for more freeform playstyles. The term is, quite rightly, left vague so the DM or adventure writer is free to use time length as a measure of encounter difficulty. It's also kept vague so it can accomodate a wide variety of playstyles. Alternative solutions to accomodating those playstyles bring problems of their own because nobody is actually so dualistic in their approach to D&D (or life in general, for that matter) that they'll always want the same definition every time.

  • A strict definition of rest as a marker for regaining abilities makes players feel as though they can force a new day to happen. The classic example of this is a party goes and blows all their resources on the first encounter then goes back to camp for 8 hours so they can do the next room refreshed. It's ridiculous and rarely happens but that's the logical extreme and it's a direct consequence of strict definitions given to rest.

  • A strict mechanical solution imposes an encounter limit on the day. Doing this limits the flexibility of adventure writing and forces the DM to start house ruling around the resource refreshing mechanics to accomodate their party should he want to have fewer or more encounters in a game day. Another approach to including different number of encounters than what the strict mechanical solution allows is to make the individual encounters easier or harder, which is fine but it's better if no such limit exists.


For those reasons, here's what I do to avoid a direct mechanical solution and it works quite well at my table. I've been using this basic premise for years without actually spelling it out for anyone and it dovetails really well with most rule systems:



  • Rest Day: A rest day is a period of time no less than 20 hours and no more than 30 hours, depending on the campaign world. Campaign worlds can have multiple rest days in a single game day or multiple game days in one rest day, depending on the physics of the world in question.

  • Sunrise: This is just a general term to note the start of a new rest day. Daily abilities generally refresh at sunrise, provided a long rest has occured during the rest day. This happens in the morning most of the time, but can happen at any point during the game day. Most campaign worlds have days of sufficient length to correspond a rest day with a game day and sunrise is a predictable time that happens each game day.

  • Long Rest: This is a rest that usually occupies between 6-10 hours of time. The party must have a long rest during the rest day to have their daily powers refresh at sunrise.

  • Short Rest: This is a rest that happens any time there is a lull in the action. Short rests refresh encounter based powers. This usually happens between encounters but they can happen during an encounter depending on the given circumstances. The DM has the final word on whether a short rest has happened or not, but it's expected to have short rests happen regularly throughout the rest day whenever the narrative of the story permits.


This basically pulls power refreshing out of the hands of the players. The 5 minute workday as we understand it is still possible, but it's made much less likely because players don't have any mechanisms to force the issue. If they blow all their powers in the first encounter they can go decide to hide in a cave for the day, but they can't hide in a cave for 8 hours with the expectation that they'll come out with all their options back. Similarly, they could blow all their encounter powers in the first few rounds of combat, but they don't actually know if or when they will get the opportunity to rest again so there's strong incentive to be conservative. The DM is also then empowered to call a short rest during the lull in a fight if that's their thing (like a second wind or some kind of moment where there's a lull in the fighting that's enough for people to be ready for the next wave).

The Lead Lined Room Solution

The party can not use the "scry and die" attack routine because the BBEG's lair is immune to scry/teleport. 


Joke post... come on.



Do you prefer for the party to set up some kind of shrine on the back of a wagon to go adventuring then?

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The Lead Lined Room Solution

The party can not use the "scry and die" attack routine because the BBEG's lair is immune to scry/teleport. 


Joke post... come on.



Do you prefer for the party to set up some kind of shrine on the back of a wagon to go adventuring then?


hmmm should I ask for a productive post or should I ask for a raspberry.. lets go with raspberry.




We dont use raspberries.  Not enough bang for their buck.

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The XP Reduction Solution

Gained XP is not tallied until the party takes a long rest, where it is then awarded. Based on the number of encounters they've had, total gained XP is modified.

1 encounter      1/3rd normal XP
2 encounter      50% normal XP
3 encounters    75% normal XP
4 encounters    100% normal XP
5 encounters    125% normal XP
6 encounters    add another 25% XP bonus for  each encounter beyond 5.



While I don't use XP in my games, your post gave me kind of a Eureka moment, in that one of the ways I really limited the 5 min day in my games, was by demanding that PC advancement be based on quest completion. So if the players sat a dawdled to recharge powers, they failed, and advancement was slower.


While I think your solution may be a little too heavy on math and calculations, I think you may be on to something with the method. Limit recharge to completed encounters and what not seems to metagamey to me, but there's a lot to be said for a mechanical solution that rewards players for trying to drive on. I think that's a good approach to the solution.

I think that The XP Reduction Solution might encourage meta-gaming, since it incentivizes taking risks for players without giving a good reason for the PCs to take those actions.
The metagame is not the game.
Effort-Based XP

The amount of XP gained from a combat encounter depends on how easy the encounter was.  Use of any ability that makes the combat easier will reduce the amount of XP gained.  If everything dies in one fireball, then there was no real challenge and XP gain should be insignificant.  If things go poorly or the party accepts the challenge of using mostly at-will attacks, then bonus XP is awarded.

Bonus XP is awarded if the party continues "without a net" since they won't have the option to break out the big guns if things turn south.



I think this is actually a pretty damn good solution.

For those of us who use XP in our games.

Though it could be tricky to write up the actual guidelines for it...  how would you word the "rules" Saelorn?   
Apart from a Per Encounter Cap on Daily Powers the other idea I particularly favour is the Story Recharge where "days" are ignored and powers return after 20-30 rounds of combat.

Magic Paid for with Action Economy 



Multi-action casting time.
This allows casters to continue to perform in longer encounter (unlike putting caps on the dailies per encounter). This has a heritage from earlier editions and if it only delays the casting doesnt waste the magic.  (optionally if you rush it you might let it be beginning of the next turn and risk actually being lost from memory or prepared materials destroyed)

Aftermath/Snap Back - casting a daily includes "arcane weakness" can only perform minor magics like at-wills during the round following a greater casting. This can be extended or over-ridden by spell specific flavorfull limits. Casting a death spell causes stun... Casting sleep leaves the caster slowed/drowsy.

Action Eating Defenses : Including defensive action synch holes as another technique to eat up there action economy so that less of it can will be spent on using up those daily. Two examples are forms of mirror images and shield which can be restored once depleted by spending an action.  

Thought I would present and format mine



Though these are all interesting ideas, how do they actually deal with 5MWD? 
Apart from a Per Encounter Cap on Daily Powers the other idea I particularly favour is the Story Recharge where "days" are ignored and powers return after 20-30 rounds of combat.


Encounters or arbitrary milestone points are a better way to track things in this sort of progression since you want casters to feel like they can use spells to handle out-of-combat problems without being penalized inside of combat. For example, if I am a Paladin and I'm in a difficult situation and as part of the party's actions to resolve the problem is me using my Lay on Hands "daily" ability, the DM should feel justified in awarding me some milestone points.

D&D Next already has terminology for easy, average, and tough encounters and it could apply those same terms to out of combat situations and give equivalent rewards for them as well.

I also don't like tracking rounds of combat because it leaves the DM in a position where he is either trying to figure out if a given round of combat is worth value or not. I don't want a DM asking herself if the players just trying to string a battle out to take an extra round or two to recharge faster. Giving a value for a battle or for a situation lets you get away from such considerations.

Multi-action casting time.


This allows casters to continue to perform in longer encounter (unlike putting caps on the dailies per encounter). This has a heritage from earlier editions and if it only delays the casting doesnt waste the magic.  (optionally if you rush it you might let it be beginning of the next turn and risk actually being lost from memory or prepared materials destroyed)

Action Eating Defenses : Including defensive action synch holes as another technique to eat up there action economy so that less of it can will be spent on using up those daily. Two examples are forms of mirror images and shield which can be restored once depleted by spending an action.  

Thought I would present and format mine



I've always been a huge fan of using the action economy to balance magic. I especially like these two options.

But rounds of combat instead of encounters or milestones is better for those of us who want to run one big encounter in a day.

Or even two, for that matter.

And Next may expect you to "count rounds" for balance anyway, so it's not like I'm suggesting EXTRA bookeeping and attention to detail, just more use of what is already being done.   

Multi-action casting time.


This allows casters to continue to perform in longer encounter (unlike putting caps on the dailies per encounter). This has a heritage from earlier editions and if it only delays the casting doesnt waste the magic.  (optionally if you rush it you might let it be beginning of the next turn and risk actually being lost from memory or prepared materials destroyed)

Action Eating Defenses : Including defensive action synch holes as another technique to eat up there action economy so that less of it can will be spent on using up those daily. Two examples are forms of mirror images and shield which can be restored once depleted by spending an action.  

Thought I would present and format mine



I've always been a huge fan of using the action economy to balance magic. I especially like these two options.




But the objective here is not to "balance magic".

I quite like these ideas, but they do nothing to solve the 5MWD problem.   

Pulled from deep within the previous thread:


--



Have spells scaled in power by using "arcane power" or "divine might"


Each spell has a base version that is effective but only as good as an at will power.
During an encounter the caster could use their power to increase the effect up to encounter level power or boost it even further for the use of more arcane power to a daily level.


Each of these power points recharges after a FULL nights rest (6 or 8 hours - dont mind), if you burn them all your still able to continue but your spell potentuals will be deminished somewhat - not crippled (im out of spells) but enough that a well played caster will keep a few in the bank.


You gain power points as you level - at whatever rate people feel is balanced.



Each power ups from at-will >> encounter >> daily levels of power need not be earth shatteringly powerful - you can throttle back on what a full force arcane powered spell looks back a bit - one of the reasons wizards got such big dailies was the nature of 1 shot a day a the spell - that doesnt have to be true.



Other ideas


Use expertise dice to augment effects (only works with spells with dice obviously)


Rate that you gain arcane power - could be throttled back too to even out power growth.


Or at milestones you recover a portion of spent arcane power, no other time.


Or when a spell criticals or simillar event


or perhaps at the end of a milestone or significant fight a wizard can make a Recharge arcanium power roll with a DC based on 15+ level or something (just random numbers)


The key thing is even out of all arcane points a party can continue - the wizard still has power, he/she isnt down to using throwing daggers/xbow and the feeling of "must rest" shouldnt be as strong.


I think it also rewards a resource management without being too harsh/light on the player


 
But rounds of combat instead of encounters or milestones is better for those of us who want to run one big encounter in a day.


I already handled that in my post about Milestone Points with Flexibility. You give DMs a baseline to work with and then offer them the flexibility to give different milestone points when they find it appropriate. If you have one really huge encounter that drains the PCs of all their resources and took 40 rounds to finish and a couple of hours in real time, you are not bound to only give them a handful of milestone points, just give them enough to reach a milestone.

This is just like finishing a capstone battle that ends an adventure, you don't have to leave them hanging with 7 milestone points when they need 8 to recharge, just give them all the points they need.
But rounds of combat instead of encounters or milestones is better for those of us who want to run one big encounter in a day.


I already handled that in my post about Milestone Points with Flexibility. You give DMs a baseline to work with and then offer them the flexibility to give different milestone points when they find it appropriate. If you have one really huge encounter that drains the PCs of all their resources and took 40 rounds to finish and a couple of hours in real time, you are not bound to only give them a handful of milestone points, just give them enough to reach a milestone.

This is just like finishing a capstone battle that ends an adventure, you don't have to leave them hanging with 7 milestone points when they need 8 to recharge, just give them all the points they need.



Fair enough, looks like the system can support both.

But it's a one line addition to mention that tracking rounds and 20 to 30 is the expected number to work from, so why not mention that too? 

The Pacing "Dial"



This 'module' is a simple choice the DM makes - typically for a whole campaign, but it could be adjusted to reflect changes in the campaign.  

When in use, all spells, powers, abilities, item functions, hit points, resources, etc that re-charge on a 'daily' schecule instead re-charge on the interval indicated:



  • Encounter:  After each encounter is completed, character resources are re-set.

  • Rest:  Players take a 'rest' when they feel they have nothing pressing to deal with immediately.  The rest is long enough that all timed benefits on the PCs expire and the party recovers used resources.  

  • Milestone:  The PCs recover resources when they meet a 'story goal' set by the DM.  The DM may or may not inform them what the goal is.

  • Day:  Resources re-charge every 24 hours.

  • Extended Rest:  Resources re-charge after an 8 hour rest, a minimum of 12 hours between the end of the last rest and start of a new rest.

  • Story:  PCs recover resources when they complete a 'story.'  Generally, this will be an objective known to the players when the story 'starts,' though there could be twists or red-herrings.

  • Exp Target:  The PCs re-charge resources when they have gained a certain amount of exp (which increases with level).  This amount presumably corresponds to the guideline for exp/day, but the time covered has no bearing on it.


This doesn't elimitate the 5MWD, rather it makes it automatic at the lowest setting, possible at others (player-driven 'rests'), DM-driven at others (milestone/story), and impossible at the highest, most abstract, setting.  

 

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Story Recharge where "days" are ignored and powers return after 20-30 rounds of combat.



That would be my favourite.  When you are down to the last creature everyone goes on full defense to milk those extra rounds.

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The Healing Method


A character's health bar is divided into tenths (for easy, granular math).  When healing, every tenth that goes from fully damaged to fully healed earns the character a Recovery Point.  RPs can be spent at various rates to recover different types of powers.

Implications of this method are that characters do not recover powers from encounters which barely hurt them.  In addition, the more they want to recover in one go, the bigger the risk they need to take.

Multi-action casting time.


This allows casters to continue to perform in longer encounter (unlike putting caps on the dailies per encounter). This has a heritage from earlier editions and if it only delays the casting doesnt waste the magic.  (optionally if you rush it you might let it be beginning of the next turn and risk actually being lost from memory or prepared materials destroyed)

Action Eating Defenses : Including defensive action synch holes as another technique to eat up there action economy so that less of it can will be spent on using up those daily. Two examples are forms of mirror images and shield which can be restored once depleted by spending an action.  

Thought I would present and format mine



I've always been a huge fan of using the action economy to balance magic. I especially like these two options.




But the objective here is not to "balance magic".

I quite like these ideas, but they do nothing to solve the 5MWD problem.   




OK explanation time... 
The 5wmd is two things... one is Nova and the other is Rest.

This is addressing the Nova part. Using 2 round casting and 1 round after where you are limted to an at-will you can only cast 2 dailies in a 6 round fight... if you have a 10 round day the most you will be able to use in it will 3... ie NOVA ---> no go (spanish pun). 

It limits the amount of daily resources that can be applied to a reasonable porportion of the action.

My ideas are not to have absolute you cant nova/rest things... anymore than the fighter can be stopped from running out of his daily resources in a tough fight (hit points) .. the wizard isnt stopped.. he is just less able to expend the majority of his resources unless the fight is a long runner ie tough.

Action eating defenses opperates on a similar principle. The wizard has need of defenses ... if he is spending actual actions to use or restore them unlike the fighting man with his parry, then his big guns will likely be in holster for natural reasons.(he is under fire from the enemy and having to restore his shield or generate more faux images.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."