8/2/13 Packet: first session

Switched my party over to the new packet, level 3.

Party is: rock gnome illusionist mage, wood elf moon druid, stout halfling thievery rogue, hill dwarf elemental monk, and half-elf light cleric.

First impressions: positive overall.  Everyone had a blast.

The druid is the only one who is disappointed, because the druid really got knocked down a few pegs (but he also freely admits that it was too powerful before).  Wild Shape might be too weak now, he didn't use it at all during the session, instead focused on spells and bow.  Wild Shape does less damage than the longbow, and you can't switch between that and spells.

The monk was VERY happy with the new Flurry of Blows.  He picked Iron Root Defense, but didn't use it yet.  I think the fact that it takes an action will stand in the way of its usefulness.  Players rarely ever use actions like Total Defense, prefering to attack instead.  I let him pick Strength for expertise (because that is his focus, he was trained in Str skills before), and he put it to good use.  During the final fight he used his rope and grapple to snag a dire bat and drag it down to the ground.

The cleric enjoyed the new Channel Divinity power (Radiance of the Dawn), but we all felt it was too strong.  2d10+3 damage to ALL enemies within 25 feet is better than most daily spells (if not all) at level 3, and so being able to do it every encounter seems too strong (more on that below).

The rogue loved Cunning Action, using it to dash in, deliver a sneak attack, and disengage to safety.  The new sneak attack rules are MUCH better...quick and easy and not confusing.  She was very sad about the loss of the katana, but we just reflavored her new sword as one.

The mage didn't change too much, she is mostly just happy about her level 2 spells.

They don't seem to miss the skill die at all, and they like the +10 bonus from lore.  As the DM, I also like it: the point of lore skills is to give out information to the players...a low roll tends to just derail the plot.  With a +10, it makes it very unlikely that they won't at least learn something.

Still underwhelmed with the critical hit rule.  I have been using max damage plus a roll of the die instead.

They are all looking forward to level 4 for their first feat.

I didn't have a chance to print out the new monsters, so I don't have any feedback about their changes.

My main question is about Short Rests.  They are supposed to take an hour, which I find very silly.  In terms of opportunities to rest, there isn't much difference between 1 and 8 hours.  You certainly can't expect to rest for an hour without getting interrupted if you are in a dungeon or otherwise dangerous area.

So what is the expectation regarding Short Rests and features that are regained after a Short Rest?  Is the assumption that the party should be able to take one after every fight, thus making things like Ki and Channel Divinity encounter powers?  Or is the assumption that the party should be able to take one occasionally, sometimes not at all, thus making such features into something between daily and encounter powers?

I don't like the second assumption, because it makes balancing such features impossible.  It also makes characters that rely on such features far weaker in situations where you don't have time for a 1 hour rest (such as any dungeon).

For my game, I have been using 5 minute short rests.  I don't think the monk's ki feature is too strong, but the cleric's channel divinity is definitely too powerful. 

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Thanks for the write up, Arithezoo.   It's nice to hear about groups having a good time with the system.

The "short rest" issue is a big one.   It would be neat if it could be a dial that any DM can change depending on the feeling of the game he or she wants,  Gritty = 1 hour....Heroic = 10 min or so.   But, as you mentioned since some pretty substantial class features recharge after them, changing the time shifts balance.   With 1 hour rest, the class features that recharge can be more substantial (like the Channel Divinity ones).   With a 10 min rest, the recharge features have to be scaled down.

Our group doesn't like the 1 hour rest.   They feel that it breaks up the narrative and makes resting too much of a big decision.   As DM, I don't really like it either because if the group decides to rest, it is more difficult for me to decide what the other monsters in the area will do for a full 1 hour.   In 1 hour, the amount of actions and movement any creature can do is so much more than in only 10 or 15 min.   In the WotC streamed playtest games, they concluded that it was easier for the DM to have the short rest 1 hour, but I disagree.   

I'd like to see a compromise.   Make it 10 or 15 min.   Then, DMs can interrupt it if they feel it isn't right for the story, or they can use wandering monsters, or they can just let the group take a breather and refresh.    If they do that, they definitely will have to scale the channel divinity features down a bit.   I think keeping Ki is ok, and fighter dice, etc. is also ok.    Barbarian rage is also ok with a shorter rest since there is a daily limit in addition to the time to recharge.

Keep enjoying and let us know how the next session goes.        

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I'm glad to see your having a positive experience.

I agree with you on the short rest rules. I think it becomes a issue that comes up at the table that before was an after thought.

I would prefer having abilities specifically say how much rest they require to regain them instead of forcing strict short rest times. If channel divinities are stronger than ki then just say have them requires 30 minutes of resting to regain and let ki regen after  5 minutes of rest.

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I like that idea Sleypy; it is a great way to balance such abilities.

But ultimately, I think it is simpler to just reduce the power of CD and have everything recover after a normal short rest.
I like the tactical choice of the current short rest. Do we rest and allow the monsters to prepare an ambush or do we press on but with less resources? It's a choice now, where as in 4e it was assumed...ofcourse we take a short rest, otherwise next battle will be boring, its only 5mins anyway!

They talk about this in the 3rd livestream podcast, and they seem aware that classes need something beside short rest resources. Symbolic example they use is "monk can run on walls at will, but spend a ki and he can run on the ceiling". And this I think is very key, if you can get through an encounter in a fun but challenging way without spending resources, then the resources you DO spend anyway are fun extras that enhances the game experience. 

As to the exact duration I would prefer it vague or dialed. I more or less want a short rest to be "enough time that your enemy can regroup and prepare for your arrival" if that is 20mins or 1hour is up to the situation. 
Thanks for great feedback. I just wanted to mention that there is a little column on page 7 in the Equipment document that explains reflavoring standard weapons as oriental weapons. According to the column you can easily reflavor a longsword as a katana.
I missed that podcast, thanks Keendk.  I think that would be a good solution. 

LesserCure, the problem is that Rogues can't use longswords...but I have always been of the mindset that a little reflavoring never hurt anyone...
Oh sorry, didn't realise that. A little reflavoring won't hurt anyone then.
I am a big fan of 1-hour short rests. Since it was implemented, I have seen a significant change in how my players act in dungeons.

Previously,  with a 5-min rest, my PCs would only push forward if they had full resources. Since a short rest was so short, and taking one restored HP (through HD), the party worked under the assumption that the adventuring day ended when their HD ran out.

Now, however, they are using spells and potions to top off hp after every fight and they actively work to take as few short rests as possible. I've heard phrases such as "let's keep attacking before we rest, maybe we can keep these orcs on their toes." Awesome! When someone is greviously injured from a battle, they retreat a bit, fortify a position, and short rest to spend HD. If they know a tough fight is eminant, they save their short rest powers until that encounter.

Like Keendk stated, it's a tactical choice now, not an assumption and I think that it enhances my players' experience.
I would prefer having abilities specifically say how much rest they require to regain them instead of forcing strict short rest times. If channel divinities are stronger than ki then just say have them requires 30 minutes of resting to regain and let ki regen after  5 minutes of rest.



This sounds like a great idea, and should be implimented.  Personally I do not think it would be too complicated, but I could see some protests about keeping track of different abilities.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/17.jpg)

I would prefer having abilities specifically say how much rest they require to regain them instead of forcing strict short rest times. If channel divinities are stronger than ki then just say have them requires 30 minutes of resting to regain and let ki regen after  5 minutes of rest.


This sounds like a great idea, and I would love to see it implimented.  Personally I do not think it would be too complicated, but I could see some protests voiced about keeping track of different abilities, especially if there are different resting times for a single class/character.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/17.jpg)

Here are my thoughts regarding short rests.  The length of a short rest depends on how hard the previous fight was for the characters.  Thus, it could be anywhere between 10 and 60 minutes long (d6 x 10 min).  As a DM, you could roll it each time.  A longer rest has an increased chance of a random/wandering encounter.  Or, you can use your judgement.  If the characters just want to take a quick break after an easy encounter, it is only 10 minutes long.  If the PCs nearly got killed, then their rest is an hour.  For medium difficulty encounters, the length of the short rest is somewhere in between.
I like the 1-hour short rests. My players (all 2nd level) handled 4 encounters (about 120XP per encounter) without stopping for a rest between any of them. When they finally will stop to rest (which I'm basically going to force them to do using the NPC they are traveling with), the fact that it's a 1-hour rest means that I'm going to roll on the encounter table; they may be interrupted while they rest.

The reason you think that Channel Divinity is overpowered is because you aren't playing using the playtest rest rules. Of course the power is going to be overpowered if they are supposed to only use it twice a day, and you let them use it 8 times a day. That doesn't mean that Channel Divinity is too powerful; it means you're too soft on your players regarding their rests.

The entire reason for the 1-hour rest is to make it cost the players something. I track my sessions on an hourly basis. My players in the above example have been adventuring since around 8am until 1pm; it's time for lunch, and Miglin's going to say so, and he's going to sit down and pull out his mushroom-bread and blind-cave-fish sandwitch and the players aren't going anywhere until he's done eating.

You may have guards that come by every 30 minutes; that means that there's a 50% chance of the 15 minute rest getting interrupted, but a 100% chance of an hour-long rest being interrupted. That's the whole point of the longer rest.
I like the 1-hour short rests. My players (all 2nd level) handled 4 encounters (about 120XP per encounter) without stopping for a rest between any of them. When they finally will stop to rest (which I'm basically going to force them to do using the NPC they are traveling with), the fact that it's a 1-hour rest means that I'm going to roll on the encounter table; they may be interrupted while they rest.

The entire reason for the 1-hour rest is to make it cost the players something. I track my sessions on an hourly basis. My players in the above example have been adventuring since around 8am until 1pm; it's time for lunch, and Miglin's going to say so, and he's going to sit down and pull out his mushroom-bread and blind-cave-fish sandwitch and the players aren't going anywhere until he's done eating.

You may have guards that come by every 30 minutes; that means that there's a 50% chance of the 15 minute rest getting interrupted, but a 100% chance of an hour-long rest being interrupted. That's the whole point of the longer rest.



If you're planning to have a 1 hour "short rest" almost always be interuppted, then that - by extrapolation - means that there is very little chance of actually successfully completing the "short rest". If you don't want the players to get whatever 'recovery' comes with a 'short rest' then just eliminate the concept.  Maybe some folks run their games differently, but the chances of a group being able to sit, undisturbed, inside a 'dungeon', during an adventure, for a whole hour... are basically NIL in any game that I've run, or played in. Think about it - you can walk THREE MILES in an hour... chances are something is going to come by in that period of time.

I think 5 minutes is probably too short, but an Hour is too long. I'd use a 15 minute increment. You get so much recovery in 15 minutes. Then, if you want to push it... try for another 15 minute increment...and get another dose of recovery...

I suppose its really up to the GM and any 'short rest' can be worked into the game... I guess I could have a Factory Whistle blow and the Dungeon Supervisor announce that it's' LUNCH TIME and have all the Monsters head down to the cafeteria for a sandwich... Sure - that works.       

I like the 1-hour short rests. My players (all 2nd level) handled 4 encounters (about 120XP per encounter) without stopping for a rest between any of them. When they finally will stop to rest (which I'm basically going to force them to do using the NPC they are traveling with), the fact that it's a 1-hour rest means that I'm going to roll on the encounter table; they may be interrupted while they rest.

The entire reason for the 1-hour rest is to make it cost the players something. I track my sessions on an hourly basis. My players in the above example have been adventuring since around 8am until 1pm; it's time for lunch, and Miglin's going to say so, and he's going to sit down and pull out his mushroom-bread and blind-cave-fish sandwitch and the players aren't going anywhere until he's done eating.

You may have guards that come by every 30 minutes; that means that there's a 50% chance of the 15 minute rest getting interrupted, but a 100% chance of an hour-long rest being interrupted. That's the whole point of the longer rest.



If you're planning to have a 1 hour "short rest" almost always be interuppted, then that - by extrapolation - means that there is very little chance of actually successfully completing the "short rest". If you don't want the players to get whatever 'recovery' comes with a 'short rest' then just eliminate the concept.  Maybe some folks run their games differently, but the chances of a group being able to sit, undisturbed, inside a 'dungeon', during an adventure, for a whole hour... are basically NIL in any game that I've run, or played in. Think about it - you can walk THREE MILES in an hour... chances are something is going to come by in that period of time.

I think 5 minutes is probably too short, but an Hour is too long. I'd use a 15 minute increment. You get so much recovery in 15 minutes. Then, if you want to push it... try for another 15 minute increment...and get another dose of recovery...

I suppose its really up to the GM and any 'short rest' can be worked into the game... I guess I could have a Factory Whistle blow and the Dungeon Supervisor announce that it's' LUNCH TIME and have all the Monsters head down to the cafeteria for a sandwich... Sure - that works.       





If your party is camped out in the Ogres quarters, and they killed the Ogre, then nobody is going to "wander by" and disturb them; the monsters will all be afraid of the ogre and won't know he's dead. On the other hand, if they are infiltrating a fortress, then trying to rest in the tower during guard change is going to get them in trouble. Basically, choosing where and when to rest will be a strategic decision.
Yeah, I can see that... like in a situation where you're approaching a 'wizard's tower' and run into the band of Hobgoblins that live in the woods surrounding the tower. You fight the Hobgoblins, win, and are pretty sure none of them got away(but one might have). Do you take the hour rest before continuing on to the wizard's tower, or do you push ahead... just in case one of the Hobgoblins got away and is hotfooting it back to the wizard to warn of your approach?


Like I said, even though I had to be sarcastic about it... As the GM you can work around the Hour Rest by organizing the adventure with 'rest points' that will work, and other situations that "look" like a good time to take a short rest but actually are 'traps' where the party is under covert observation and the enemies are preparing defenses while the party rests...  
Yeah, I can see that... like in a situation where you're approaching a 'wizard's tower' and run into the band of Hobgoblins that live in the woods surrounding the tower. You fight the Hobgoblins, win, and are pretty sure none of them got away(but one might have). Do you take the hour rest before continuing on to the wizard's tower, or do you push ahead... just in case one of the Hobgoblins got away and is hotfooting it back to the wizard to warn of your approach?


Like I said, even though I had to be sarcastic about it... As the GM you can work around the Hour Rest by organizing the adventure with 'rest points' that will work, and other situations that "look" like a good time to take a short rest but actually are 'traps' where the party is under covert observation and the enemies are preparing defenses while the party rests...  



I guess it really just depends on how a DM envisions his session to play through.  There are the die-hard players who say that if you are in a tough position you got to bear with it and figure out a way to survive.  Others are of the mindset that you should be able to plow through the dungeon with only the cliactic battle at the end being the scariest part of the adventure.

In regards to these rules, I am thinking it is better that WotC just picks one of the mind sets and works with it (As theyhas: which was the first described).  It is not like these rules are set in stone: any DM can switch it up or alter it - he/she just needs to inform the players of the changes so that they know whow they should be playing.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/17.jpg)

I like the 1-hour short rests. My players (all 2nd level) handled 4 encounters (about 120XP per encounter) without stopping for a rest between any of them. When they finally will stop to rest (which I'm basically going to force them to do using the NPC they are traveling with), the fact that it's a 1-hour rest means that I'm going to roll on the encounter table; they may be interrupted while they rest.

The reason you think that Channel Divinity is overpowered is because you aren't playing using the playtest rest rules. Of course the power is going to be overpowered if they are supposed to only use it twice a day, and you let them use it 8 times a day. That doesn't mean that Channel Divinity is too powerful; it means you're too soft on your players regarding their rests.

The entire reason for the 1-hour rest is to make it cost the players something. I track my sessions on an hourly basis. My players in the above example have been adventuring since around 8am until 1pm; it's time for lunch, and Miglin's going to say so, and he's going to sit down and pull out his mushroom-bread and blind-cave-fish sandwitch and the players aren't going anywhere until he's done eating.

You may have guards that come by every 30 minutes; that means that there's a 50% chance of the 15 minute rest getting interrupted, but a 100% chance of an hour-long rest being interrupted. That's the whole point of the longer rest.




Barbarian Rage works the same way.    A 6th level Barbarian with 4 rages, is a powerhouse if rests are 10 or 15 minutes. 

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

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