My planned changes for 4e about healing.

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I do not like how 4e is now pushing us to have more encounters per day (atm I have 2 at most), and how one night of rest makes everyone at top health and ready for more although they all might have been near death the evening before.

So my changes are these. All chars get half of the standard number of healing surges. They also do not get all their healing surges in 6 hours of rest but only their Constitution modifier + one half their level (round down). If they rest for 24 hours they get all the healing surges back.
I am also thinking of making this 1+one half level.

As for natural healing, 6h of rest gets them 1/4 of their max HP back and 24h of rest 1/2.

Also Cleric spells will heal allies and cleric even after their healing surges are expanded but will then only heal the amount that is mentioned in the spell (maybe I will limit to certain times per day - probably equal to Wis modifier).


So what do you think?
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Why?

It doesn't actually change much of what happens at the table, just that Players say "okay, we stay in town for two days and then go back out."

1/8th per day: "Okay, we spend a week in town."
1/16th per day: "Okay, we spend two weeks in town."
1hp per day: "Okay, we spend a month in town."

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
held his heart in his hands, and ate of it.
I said, "is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"but I like it,
"beacuase it is bitter,
"and because it is my heart."

Am I the only person who's actually going to play with the RAW before starting to mess with them? You know, maybe it's just me, but I trust full rules with years of playtesting behind them (plus a few months of my own direct experiences with those rules) more than my own theoretical judgements from incomplete leaked information...
Yup, that's pretty much it, the OP wants to force the PC's to do less encounters per time interval and and adjusting how fast they can heal up is a pretty linear tool to do that.

Just remember though if you're just going to throw 1-2 encounters at the party their daily powers will be quite alot more powerful since you allow them to be reckless with them, after all they'll need to rest soon to replenish their healing surges anyhow.
I do not like how 4e is now pushing us to have more encounters per day (atm I have 2 at most),

You do realize that 3.5 ed assume ~4 encounters a day right? It pushes for that ammount using the CR system, and having less than that is roughly equivilent to turning the CR system down from say a CR 8 encounter to a 7 or so.

4e is pushing to up the ammount per day from like 4 to as many as you want, which i think is a good thing. I always thought it was dumb when my group says "ok its 9am, but we already fought 2 hard fights, lets go to the inn and grab some sleep" In 4e I expect this scenario to go like so "ok, its 10pm, and getting dark, our torches are going out, so we need to gather some more in the daylight. lets camp until morning. "

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I do not like how 4e is now pushing us to have more encounters per day (atm I have 2 at most), and how one night of rest makes everyone at top health and ready for more although they all might have been near death the evening before.

My view of it has always been that 4E doesn't require you to have more encounters; rather, it allows you to have more encounters if the situation demands. The way it meters out HP on a slow, somewhat-per-encounter basis means that you could have 1 fight one day, then 4 fights another day, and 2 some other day, and each fight would be challenging without being overwhelming.

Let me ask you this: When you say you have 2 encounters at most per day, is it because the story in your games only has that many encounters, or is it because you use the HP drain in a fight to keep your players from progressing too fast through the fights? I.E. if your players had access to more backup healing in a 3.5 game, would you still only have 2 encounters per day? If so, then I think 4E's system will work just fine for you, with the added benefit that you can throw in a 3rd or 4th encounter every now and then if the story demands it.
Am I the only person who's actually going to play with the RAW before starting to mess with them? You know, maybe it's just me, but I trust full rules with years of playtesting behind them (plus a few months of my own direct experiences with those rules) more than my own theoretical judgements from incomplete leaked information...

This is particularly true with the hit point system, which is very diferent. I can see disliking a race, for example, but how can we tell at all what effect a major system change such as healing surges will do for the game? My crystal ball is very fuzzy on this one.
The thing that I like the most about 4th edition is the simplification of the rules.

What you have proposed is a heck of a lot more complicated than use all the healing surges you want after 5 mins and full health after 6 hours.

Players will need another table to look at, and how much does this add to the game in terms of fun for all the extra work?
So what do you think?

I think you should play with the system before making changes. There were millions of playtest hours put into creating 4e. Eyeballing something as crucial as the way healing works seems presumptuous.

But, that's what I think.
Is that really necessary?
I remember a time, when a party cleared a whole dungeon (of the size of a small castle) without any time to rest and regenerate. With the new rule that hit points are part endurance, part morale and only part the original hp we know from the first three editions, we do not need complex regeneration rules.
Is that really necessary?
I remember a time, when a party cleared a whole dungeon (of the size of a small castle) without any time to rest and regenerate.

Way back in 1E and 2E, I would have my players more-or-less stuck in positions where the convenience of "resting" after every encounter just wasn't possible. Encounter after encounter in places such as Mith Drannor, the Underdark, Zhentil Keep, and dozens of others kept the players going, forcing them to rely on their wits and cunning instead of the convenient "time out" afforded by frequent healing rests. Not only, in my opinion of course, are the new healing rules extremely unrealistic (imagine that in a fantasy game), they don't exactly make for a smooth-flowing game. To me (and I'm probably in the minority), having the ability to rest and regain HP every few minutes could possibly cripple the game-play, as any little bit of damage received in an encounter can be undone by a few minutes' rest. Naturally, I'm going to play 4E as is, right out of the books for quite a while before making any house-rule changes. The above statement is just my opinion.
It's really simple.

HP are a per-encounter resource.
Healing surges are a daily resource.

Encounters can be individually dangerous. If sufficiently tough, they may cost you daily resources as well as encounter resources. (OK, when it comes to hp they will cost you daily resources unless they are a walkover).

Eventually, your attrition of daily resources will force you to "stop adventuring" and recover them. You'll probably need to go through several encounters before reaching this point. Daily resources act as a cap to how many encounters you can "just keep going" through rather than something that is likely to impact your character immediately after the first encounter.

Feel free to break whatever parts of the system you like, but understand that cripppling the healing surge mechanic encourages a single-encounter workday and disrupts ongoing adventures by forcing more "game-time" downtime.
It's really simple.

Feel free to break whatever parts of the system you like, but understand that cripppling the healing surge mechanic encourages a single-encounter workday and disrupts ongoing adventures by forcing more "game-time" downtime.

So...if I present my players with repeated encounter opportunities without allowing "healing" pit-stops, then I'm forcing game-time downtime? In my humble opinion, these HP rests are no different than hitting the "heal potion" button in a video game. I have always preferred my players to use their brains to a certain extent. I would prefer them to plan an encounter instead of running head-on into every battle knowing that they'll get a HP refill afterward. I feel this encourages "battle-only" RPing, discourages communication between the players, and makes the overall feel of the game very PS3-ish. If the players will think a minute before barreling into that beholder-cave, they can not only conserve resources, but might actually enjoy the encounter more. As for "single-encounter workdays", well... sometimes that's part of D&D. To have my players battle a horde of orcs, sit down for a few minutes, then take on a dragon, sit a few more minutes, then get ambushed by drow on the way home with no actual danger of death just seems a bit too much MMORPG for my tastes. Like I said before, though...I'm absolutely going to play the game as-is for a while before tinkering with ANY mechanics, the "spontaneous health" rules included.
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So what do you think?

Messing with a core mechanic of a system, especially a system you have not seen the full rules for is a bad idea. As of right now, all the healing presented is tied to Healing Surges. And let's not forget.

Out of combat healing (so far as we have seen) is Healing Surge Only.

I could possibly see have a full night's rest healing 1/2 HP instead of full. That's aboot it though.
So...if I present my players with repeated encounter opportunities without allowing "healing" pit-stops, then I'm forcing game-time downtime? In my humble opinion, these HP rests are no different than hitting the "heal potion" button in a video game. I have always preferred my players to use their brains to a certain extent. I would prefer them to plan an encounter instead of running head-on into every battle knowing that they'll get a HP refill afterward.

4e is balanced very differently with those things. Yes, they can recharge after battle easier then in 3e, but if they screw up it's actually easier to die in battle in 4e. Players are going to have to plan their fights, but for different reasons.

I've got some worries about the nightly reset button effect and degree to which is stretches the already weak logic behind D&D HP. But it does work fairly well mechanically in battle.

Jay
4e is balanced very differently with those things. Yes, they can recharge after battle easier then in 3e, but if they screw up it's actually easier to die in battle in 4e. Players are going to have to plan their fights, but for different reasons.

I've got some worries about the nightly reset button effect and degree to which is stretches the already weak logic behind D&D HP. But it does work fairly well mechanically in battle.

Jay

Sorry, I haven't played 4E yet. I didn't know all the rules...
...and how one night of rest makes everyone at top health and ready for more although they all might have been near death the evening before.

This bothers me, too. I think toning down the healing surges is a reasonable think to do.

Another way to think about it is that PCs actually have 3 times their listed max HP, but they can only withstand losing a fraction of their total hit points in any one battle. This would explain why they seem to be in good shape 5 minutes after a battle, but it's still bizarre that they recover full strength every morning. One easy change would be only to eliminate the overnight return of all hp. Let the healing surges return, but if they go to bed weakened, they have to start the day by spending surges.

A weirder but fully consistent way to look at it is that all PCs are "chi-warriors" who have a pseudo-magical ability to heal themselves. Corny, but it works.
I do not like how 4e is now pushing us to have more encounters per day (atm I have 2 at most), and how one night of rest makes everyone at top health and ready for more although they all might have been near death the evening before.

You can have fewer encounters per day without having to make any house rules.
<\ \>tuntman
About the "how can a night's sleep cure everything?" part, allow me to quote Valdrax:

Sometimes, you're just too Bruce Willis to care.

(Look in one of the other "should healing work like that" threads for the complete post, it's gold.)
OK, I see I got a mix of responses, more against my proposed house rule (as I expected). Too bad I am in a different time zone then most of the visitors of this forum so I couldn't reply to certain posts right away so I will just give some general responses to no one in particular.

HOUSE RULE no2: I also need to mention that I plan to halve the XP gain from fights and give XP for roleplaying and ideas like I do now. Also I think that "the all players have same XP no matter what their contribution or even showing up for sessions is" recommendation of 4e is bull*hit. I am not a kid, do not play with kids and will not play with kids or such kind of thinking. In the REAL world you do not get the same reward with less effort and will never do. I see no reason to use this kind of thinking in D&D.

Well I wanted to replay to the comment of why change it when I can just have 2 encounters if I want:
First, I like more realistic gameplay, and I want players that got into a bad (tough) fight to not just continue forward like unstoppable machines (especially not at low levels). I want them to have 1-2 tough fights and then need to lick their wounds and look for cover for a while. It makes them realize they are not supermen (or superelves :D ), and makes for interesting and bit different gameplay.
My sessions are mostly not dungeon romps, but different kind of adventures. I like big, tough fights instead of many smaller ones.
If I let them have full resting rules and normal number of healing surges even after 2 encounters (even tough ones) the rules would let them just keep going, and I would need to railroad too much to stop that (like removing access to further enemies without real logic behind it). This way it is easy, rules say 4 encounters, I halve the HS and remove the full hp after 6 hours and they cannot do 4 encounters but 2 even if they wanted. And if I ever want to give them more then, then I will put weak fights for the first couple and then 2 tough ones.

The reply to the 3.5 is also about having 4 encounters:
Well that is recommended but not required, I am pretty adept at depleting PC resources after 2 encounters. I see no way of doing that in 4e after 2 encounters if I go by 4e RAW.
Starcraft Saga Edition: http://sc2se.wikispaces.com/
Well, it seems that you are trying to reconstruct the simulationist aspect that have been carefully stripped from the game. HP now represents luck, morale, fatigue(all of which a nights sleep can do wonders for)

The point that seems to be missed is that the new healing rules allow you to control the flow of the adventure much better and with less guesswork and need for fudging to avoid TPK's.

You can plan on the players being at full for each encounter.
Every fight can be balls to the wall, tension filled spectacular fight. The wild cards of daily powers and action points arent enough to throw off your plans.

If you think that healing makes the players unstoppable killing machines that will stroll through your dungeons, you're still thinking in 3E terms, where you had to take it easy on the players in one fight if you wanted them to be able to get through another encounter that same day. I see that planning for only 2 encounters per day narrows that down and gives you a much better window of control, but the new rules should give you even better control.

Every fight can be a harrowing life or death experience because you don't have to worry about the players running back to the inn and wasting time on pointless metagaming.
You can push them to the edge every time, mark of the healing surges and get back into it.


If you cut the healing rules, you wont be able to build your encounters per the 4e rules. They will assume that your players are ready for a full blown all out encounter, when really they are ready for the standard 3e 'uses 1/4 of the party's resources' encounter.

As far as realism goes, lets consider soldiers who survived hours or days or even weeks of combat. If a few hours sleep, reading a letter from home, a cigarette or chocolate bar, or simply not hearing stuff explode for a few minutes didn't give back 'hit points' how the heck did we manage to win the second world war?:D
Every fight can be a harrowing life or death experience because you don't have to worry about the players running back to the inn and wasting time on pointless metagaming.

This sentence gives me all the information I need.
For me D&D is 1st the "pointless metagaming" as you call it and then the H&S aspect that is being put into highlight with 4e.
Starcraft Saga Edition: http://sc2se.wikispaces.com/
OK, I see I got a mix of responses, more against my proposed house rule (as I expected). Too bad I am in a different time zone then most of the visitors of this forum so I couldn't reply to certain posts right away so I will just give some general responses to no one in particular.

HOUSE RULE no2: I also need to mention that I plan to halve the XP gain from fights and give XP for roleplaying and ideas like I do now. Also I think that "the all players have same XP no matter what their contribution or even showing up for sessions is" recommendation of 4e is bull*hit. I am not a kid, do not play with kids and will not play with kids or such kind of thinking. In the REAL world you do not get the same reward with less effort and will never do. I see no reason to use this kind of thinking in D&D.

Well I wanted to replay to the comment of why change it when I can just have 2 encounters if I want:
First, I like more realistic gameplay, and I want players that got into a bad (tough) fight to not just continue forward like unstoppable machines (especially not at low levels). I want them to have 1-2 tough fights and then need to lick their wounds and look for cover for a while. It makes them realize they are not supermen (or superelves :D ), and makes for interesting and bit different gameplay.
My sessions are mostly not dungeon romps, but different kind of adventures. I like big, tough fights instead of many smaller ones.
If I let them have full resting rules and normal number of healing surges even after 2 encounters (even tough ones) the rules would let them just keep going, and I would need to railroad too much to stop that (like removing access to further enemies without real logic behind it). This way it is easy, rules say 4 encounters, I halve the HS and remove the full hp after 6 hours and they cannot do 4 encounters but 2 even if they wanted. And if I ever want to give them more then, then I will put weak fights for the first couple and then 2 tough ones.

The reply to the 3.5 is also about having 4 encounters:
Well that is recommended but not required, I am pretty adept at depleting PC resources after 2 encounters. I see no way of doing that in 4e after 2 encounters if I go by 4e RAW.

Okay, I have to ask --- why exactly are you switching to 4E? The game is obviously not what you want so why break the game before even getting it? Why not stick with 3.5 or even possibly look at some of the other systems that are out there?

While I will be the first to admit that I have some concerns over the direction they have taken it (I really believe they have gone too far and dumbed the system down too much) I am holding my final judgment until I get my hand on the actual rules and have played a few sessions. If I don't like it we'll either stick with 3.5 or move to another system. There really is no point to making massive changes to the core part of a game system - that generally creates more problems than it solves.
As far as realism goes, lets consider soldiers who survived hours or days or even weeks of combat. If a few hours sleep, reading a letter from home, a cigarette or chocolate bar, or simply not hearing stuff explode for a few minutes didn't give back 'hit points' how the heck did we manage to win the second world war?:D

I think you've hit the nail on the head, here.

Archangel, if you're trying to make the game more simulationist, you might want to consider making a less lethal variant of the wound/vitality system from Unearthed Arcana. Wound damage would represent actual serious wounds, whereas vitality would represent things like morale, etc.

I know one of my plans is to include a wound/vitality system. I'm waiting until I've seen the rules in full to actually make the system, and I intend to play at least a short campaign without the system before implementing it. What I have so far is that crits generally do a little damage to wounds and full to vitality (more damage to wounds if the weapon had a larger critical multiplier in 3.x), damage beyond a "damage threshold" (from Star Wars SAGA, dunno if they're including it in 4e) does a single point of wound damage (exceeding the threshold multiple times in one strike increases the damage to wounds), and healing surges only heal vitality damage. If this looks like what you're shooting for, feel free to use and modify it.

Incidentally, I realize that you don't like the "full night's rest for all that ails you" approach, but it really isn't that different from 3.x. Unless you just got done with an absolutely harrowing day (or were really low level), the cleric generally still had enough cure spells left at the end of the day to heal everyone up to near full, then replenish his spells the next day. Hell, even if he were completely out, come the next day he'd be full up and could heal everyone up to full and still have enough spells to be useful for a while.
Am I the only person who's actually going to play with the RAW before starting to mess with them? You know, maybe it's just me, but I trust full rules with years of playtesting behind them (plus a few months of my own direct experiences with those rules) more than my own theoretical judgements from incomplete leaked information...

Nope, you're not the only one. Not only for the reasons you gave but also I find houseruling to be ane xercise fraught with unintended consequences in the best of circumstances. No way I am going to do it blindly.

As to the OP, the 'Six Hour Rule' doesn't bother me in the least. Yeah its unrealistic, but so are a lot of things in the game. And as a practical matter, even from day one of a groups adventuring career, I have found that there are only two circumstances in which the group ever has to spend more than one night healing anyway. The first is if the cleric is down, then they may need a night or two to get him back up, depending on how badly beaten up everybody else is. The second is if the party is high level, and is beaten up very badly and the cleric is low on spells, then it may take an extra day to get the clerics healing back and another day to gird up for resuming the adventure the next day. So the rule actually changes little.
I've noticed something.

While this isn't 100% true and I've seen a couple individual posts that go against the grain, it seems like the majority of people who are clamoring for a harder, grittier approach to 4E healing are almost all people who say they want to DM with that style, not people who say that they want to play in that style. Now, I'll grant that typically people DM the kinds of games they want to play in - I keep running Eberron games because I wish someone would DM one for me, for example :P - but it seems like almost everyone is approaching this as something they want to inflict on their players. That bothers me, because it fits it into the same category as tracking ammunition or encumberance - they're all something that very few players (in my experience) actually enjoy, and that are usually enforced by a DM for the first few sessions in an attempt to make things more "realistic" before everyone concludes that they're slowing things down and interfering with the flow of the story.

Again, I'm sure there are exceptions, but this is reminiscent of the arguments I've seen in the past about low-magic campaign settings; 9 times out of 10, it seems the only people who want a low-magic setting are the people DMing the game, not the people who actually have to play in it.
Eh to me this is another "AS the Dm i must try to wear the players down to 5 hp and no spells by the end of every day adventuring" thread just think how long the great fantasy novels of the world would have been LOTR especially would have been had we seen "And so the Frodo and the hobbits went back to Bree for the fifth time after they encountered yet another party of orcs."
I've noticed something.

While this isn't 100% true and I've seen a couple individual posts that go against the grain, it seems like the majority of people who are clamoring for a harder, grittier approach to 4E healing are almost all people who say they want to DM with that style, not people who say that they want to play in that style. Now, I'll grant that typically people DM the kinds of games they want to play in - I keep running Eberron games because I wish someone would DM one for me, for example :P - but it seems like almost everyone is approaching this as something they want to inflict on their players. That bothers me, because it fits it into the same category as tracking ammunition or encumberance - they're all something that very few players (in my experience) actually enjoy, and that are usually enforced by a DM for the first few sessions in an attempt to make things more "realistic" before everyone concludes that they're slowing things down and interfering with the flow of the story.

Again, I'm sure there are exceptions, but this is reminiscent of the arguments I've seen in the past about low-magic campaign settings; 9 times out of 10, it seems the only people who want a low-magic setting are the people DMing the game, not the people who actually have to play in it.

This is a good point, and I never really thought about it like this. I think a lot of it is related to your Eberron situation, however. I know, in my case, the reason I come up with alternate rulesets for more simulationist play (or for different fighting styles, new weapons, or what have you) is because that's the kind of game I'd like to play in. However, because it's my system, I intend to be the first one to actually DM a campaign with it. If it works out nicely, I'll try to get the other DM's in my group to start using the rules, but I'm not going to walk up to one and say "Here's a great system I came up with. Make a campaign with it so I can play."
Okay, I have to ask --- why exactly are you switching to 4E? The game is obviously not what you want so why break the game before even getting it? Why not stick with 3.5 or even possibly look at some of the other systems that are out there?

Because I do not like D&D as it is. For instance SW Saga Edition is almost perfect as far as I am concerned but it would take to much effort to convert that into D&D so I am going to play 4e and use house rules to make it more similar to 3.5e and Saga.
As for other systems, I got all the books for latest WW edition but could not make myself learn all the rules (although I played the edition before that one and know those rules, but these ones are much different). I also have Arcana Evolved but again, although better then 3.5e that system is not close enough to Saga.

Archangel, if you're trying to make the game more simulationist, you might want to consider making a less lethal variant of the wound/vitality system from Unearthed Arcana. Wound damage would represent actual serious wounds, whereas vitality would represent things like morale, etc.

Tried that in a 3.5e game about 2 years ago. Both me and the players hated it, it slowed the game down too much and was a hell to track. Also played with that system in the old SW PnP and hated it there as well.
While this isn't 100% true and I've seen a couple individual posts that go against the grain, it seems like the majority of people who are clamoring for a harder, grittier approach to 4E healing are almost all people who say they want to DM with that style, not people who say that they want to play in that style. Now, I'll grant that typically people DM the kinds of games they want to play in - I keep running Eberron games because I wish someone would DM one for me, for example - but it seems like almost everyone is approaching this as something they want to inflict on their players. That bothers me, because it fits it into the same category as tracking ammunition or encumberance - they're all something that very few players (in my experience) actually enjoy, and that are usually enforced by a DM for the first few sessions in an attempt to make things more "realistic" before everyone concludes that they're slowing things down and interfering with the flow of the story.

I see no problem in this. After all the DM is the one who creates the world and the story and sets the rules. The players know these rules before the game starts and can choose to play with them or find another DM. But my experience tells me that everyone wants to be a player and none the DM.
After all the golden rule of D&D is that you should not play with people that you would not be friends with, and most people choose to be friends with people that they share similar life views.

Eh to me this is another "AS the Dm i must try to wear the players down to 5 hp and no spells by the end of every day adventuring" thread just think how long the great fantasy novels of the world would have been LOTR especially would have been had we seen "And so the Frodo and the hobbits went back to Bree for the fifth time after they encountered yet another party of orcs."

Well if Frodo (or better to say Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli) was fighting his level enemies he would need to take extensive rests. Of course they do not need to go back all the time when they are lvl 10+ and they fight Orcs.
Starcraft Saga Edition: http://sc2se.wikispaces.com/
I'd be careful about reducing the number of healing surges as it affects different classes disproportionately. The defender classes will likely be the ones most frequently out of healing surges.

If you reduce the recovery of healing surges with an extended rest, I would probably make it a proportional system, rather than a fixed number or one that increased with level. Again to be fair to the characters that take more damage and those that have more healing surges. 1/3 the maximum number of healing surges probably works.

I'd still have characters recover their full hit points after an extended rest, since the actual hit points are a minority portion of their health (the majority being healing surges). Changing it doesn't really have the desired effect and adds an needless layer of complexity.

I would also consider limiting the recovery of daily powers to further equalize the effects of this change. If you only recover 1 daily power per extended rest, even characters that aren't down on healing surges would share the desire to rest for several days.

I advise against making the proposed changes to how cleric healing works. 4e was designed with the conscious effort to reduce the reliance on clerics for healing. Adding that back in makes clerics required and limits your players' choice in party composition.
I see no problem in this. After all the DM is the one who creates the world and the story and sets the rules. The players know these rules before the game starts and can choose to play with them or find another DM. But my experience tells me that everyone wants to be a player and none the DM.
After all the golden rule of D&D is that you should not play with people that you would not be friends with, and most people choose to be friends with people that they share similar life views.

Fair enough. My point was more along the lines of "how much have you considered whether or not this would be fun for the players?" I think with things like this, or tracking ammunition, or restricted magic items, DMs tend to think in ideal terms and visualize great dramatic scenes where the party stumbles into the BBEG's lair with the wounds and scars of previous battles and barely manages to beat him, or the ranger fells the troll with her last arrow, or the party gasps in awe when they find the one magical sword in all the land. And frankly, I think none of those are what you'll actually get 90% of the time. You'll get the ranger who takes up everyone's time figuring out which orcs she shot so she can reclaim all of her arrows, and you'll get the party who carefully works their way into the dungeon, but falls prey to a couple of unfortunate crits and has to wait for 5 days to recover, throwing the whole plot into disarray.

There was a quote in one of WotC's podcasts about the low-magic thing, in particular, that I just felt the need to go dig up...
D&D Podcast quote
Yeah, I wonder about DMs who want the low-magic campaign, if there's some sort of element of aspirational DMing going on. Where like, you know, the player might have the aspirations of "One day I'll be 20th level and have all these cool feats," and to the DM, it's "One day, I'm gonna hand out this magic item, and everyone at the table is going to look at me with this wide-eyed sense of wonder... and they'll praise me for weeks, months, years after as this great DM who built this awesome story... and this item I gave out was just the total cincher on this great and epic story I wove in my world... and the players finally memorized all the history I wrote up... and can remember the names of all the NPCs and the nations I created, and all that..." because in a way [...] if you're the kind of DM who wants to tell a really gripping story, and that story's not really working, and you've spent all this time giving all these explanations of NPCs and the players are dozing off, and then you say "well, and then you find a +1 shortsword on this guy" and then everyone starts paying attention... You know, sometimes I wonder if there's a little bit of jealousy going on there.

It's not exactly the same thing, but I feel like there's some of that "I want the players to appreciate my setting and take it seriously" mindset sneaking in there without much consideration for whether it actually makes the game more enjoyable for them.

Well if Frodo (or better to say Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli) was fighting his level enemies he would need to take extensive rests. Of course they do not need to go back all the time when they are lvl 10+ and they fight Orcs.

Here's a thought. Would fighting high-level enemies and running back to Bree every time for several days of rest have made for an interesting/exciting book or movie? Probably not, which is neither Tolkien nor Peter Jackson took that approach... and which is why D&D isn't taking it by default, either.
I do not like how ... one night of rest makes everyone at top health and ready for more although they all might have been near death the evening before.

I think this is the issue right here.

I'm not going to tell you how to think of things, but I'll share how we do, which we believe is how the rules suggest you think of things. So I hope you don't take this as me telling you how to play.

You are not at "near death" if you have almost 0 HP.

HP merely measure luck, fatigue, glancing blows, will to fight on, endurance, morale, etc. Not your health. You're true health is between 0 HP and your negative bloodied value. For a character with 50 max HP, their health is 0 HP to -25 HP. Within that range, you are nearing death.

Until you reach 0 HP, you have not sustained a true wound that could threaten your life. If you have 1 HP left after a fight, you could simply call that truly exhausted, like after doing a crazy workout. No blood spilled. Some weary arms from swinging heavy weapons and blocking with thick shields while dodging in heavy armor. You're tired, nothing more. Sit down, eat, rest for a few minutes, and you're good to go. Thought of this way, it doesn't bother us at all that HP above 0 can so easily be recovered.

Now to my suggestion that might help what you are trying to achieve with limited alterations.

I humbly suggest your house rule is to simply change the words "damage" and "healing" to something else so that you don't feel like HPs going down means dying. Perhaps you "weaken" or "fatigue" or "unnerve" or "demoralize" your foe (rather than damage) and you "embolden" or "encourage" or "inspire" (rather than heal).

Then when someone hits 0 HP or below, they get the wounding blow that draws blood, knocks them down, and they start their death saving throws. Now, they are near death. Even if you keep rolling 10-19 on the death saves, you are only delaying death unless you get stabilized. So it's finally in the danger zone.

You can also have the DM dramatically describe things in this light, so that it follows the weaken/inspire vs. damage/heal lingo. Your fighter gets hit for 10 damage is instead described as the foe's hammer hits your fighter's shield at a strange angle, forcing it down, straining the fighter's arm a bit. The tension and twisting causes some discomfort, which is abstractly converted into the mechanic of reducing HP.

I'd bet there will be some variant rules in the DMG for handling a more lethal system, but you could simply add that whenever someone visits the range of 0 HP or below, they suffer a scar they can RP, or if you are itching for more resting-from-wound, they need an extra hour of rest per point below 0 HP to recover. If you hit -30 HP, you need the base 6 hours rest, plus 30 more to be back to normal.

Just my 2 cents.
Well I wanted to replay to the comment of why change it when I can just have 2 encounters if I want:
First, I like more realistic gameplay, and I want players that got into a bad (tough) fight to not just continue forward like unstoppable machines (especially not at low levels). I want them to have 1-2 tough fights and then need to lick their wounds and look for cover for a while. It makes them realize they are not supermen (or superelves :D ), and makes for interesting and bit different gameplay.

I believe that you feel that 6 hours is too short a time for players to get back to 100%. I believe that your definition of "taking time to lick their wounds" is a span of time much longer. I see where you are coming from. I've played in a 2E campaign with no cleric, so it took weeks to recover from a tough fight.

My sessions are mostly not dungeon romps, but different kind of adventures. I like big, tough fights instead of many smaller ones.
If I let them have full resting rules and normal number of healing surges even after 2 encounters (even tough ones) the rules would let them just keep going, and I would need to railroad too much to stop that (like removing access to further enemies without real logic behind it). This way it is easy, rules say 4 encounters, I halve the HS and remove the full hp after 6 hours and they cannot do 4 encounters but 2 even if they wanted. And if I ever want to give them more then, then I will put weak fights for the first couple and then 2 tough ones.

I understand why the 4E healing/recovery rules would allow your players to continue on without too long of a rest. The 6 hours to recover seems like too short of a time to recover 100% to you. Realistically, depending on the severity of injury, it may take people weeks to months or more to recover before they can recover. Take a look at sports athelets and the recovery time some of them take. Some of my injuries from sports require me to rest 2-6 weeks before I can play again.

Anyway, suppose with whatever house rules you apply, you change the recovery period from 6 hours to say 6 days or 6 weeks. What's the difference between the party going back to town for 6 hours, 6 days or 6 weeks? They get into two very tough fights that deplete their resources. Now they decide to rest 6 units of time before continuing. What is there to prevent the party from resting those 6 units of time no matter how big those units?
<\ \>tuntman
I agree with Stuntman here, and I think I have a nifty solution.

Just change hours to days/weeks/months as you please.

Instead of changing the game so as to require that they rest for many periods of 6 hours, just change the word hours, and the number 6 to whatever you want. Now you've eliminated what you consider unrealistic fast healing, and kept the balance that's been worked so hard into the system.


HUZZAH!
Fair enough. My point was more along the lines of "how much have you considered whether or not this would be fun for the players?" I think with things like this, or tracking ammunition, or restricted magic items, DMs tend to think in ideal terms and visualize great dramatic scenes where the party stumbles into the BBEG's lair with the wounds and scars of previous battles and barely manages to beat him, or the ranger fells the troll with her last arrow, or the party gasps in awe when they find the one magical sword in all the land. And frankly, I think none of those are what you'll actually get 90% of the time. You'll get the ranger who takes up everyone's time figuring out which orcs she shot so she can reclaim all of her arrows, and you'll get the party who carefully works their way into the dungeon, but falls prey to a couple of unfortunate crits and has to wait for 5 days to recover, throwing the whole plot into disarray.

Well this is how it is done now. And all players play it like this and none have complained about it. So if we switch to 4e but keep the same recovery rate I see no reason for them to not like it. If I started to DM to a whole new group of people that only ever played 4e then this would be a valid concern.
It's not exactly the same thing, but I feel like there's some of that "I want the players to appreciate my setting and take it seriously" mindset sneaking in there without much consideration for whether it actually makes the game more enjoyable for them.

I am not a crazy DM about my story and setting. I improvise most of my sessions and do not care if players stray off the path I set for them, I just find them a new path then.
Here's a thought. Would fighting high-level enemies and running back to Bree every time for several days of rest have made for an interesting/exciting book or movie? Probably not, which is neither Tolkien nor Peter Jackson took that approach... and which is why D&D isn't taking it by default, either.

Books and movies story does not equal PnP story. You were just explaining me this in your last paragraph. You are contradicting yourself now.
I would also consider limiting the recovery of daily powers to further equalize the effects of this change. If you only recover 1 daily power per extended rest, even characters that aren't down on healing surges would share the desire to rest for several days.

I advise against making the proposed changes to how cleric healing works. 4e was designed with the conscious effort to reduce the reliance on clerics for healing. Adding that back in makes clerics required and limits your players' choice in party composition.

That is a good idea, I just might do that as well.

As for clerics, my change to cleric healing will not make others dependent on clerics any more. It makes cleric healing a bit more useful since it depends of healing surges which I would halve.
-SNIP-

No, that would not get me what I want, and that is 2 real, dangerous encounters per day + more walkover encounters if I need them. How the HP and damage is named has nothing to do with that. Or with time players need to heal 100%.
As for more lethal rules in the DMG 4e: I hope some will be put in there and if I find them good I will use them, but I am forming these house rules if none are present.
I believe that you feel that 6 hours is too short a time for players to get back to 100%. I believe that your definition of "taking time to lick their wounds" is a span of time much longer. I see where you are coming from. I've played in a 2E campaign with no cleric, so it took weeks to recover from a tough fight.

No, I am not a 2e lover. I only played about 4-5 sessions in 2e and led maybe 6-7 before 3e came out. I switched to 3e immediately and never looked back. So I do not want this so players need weeks to recover. I just want more then 6 hours. 1 or 2 days sounds OK. I also want players to sometimes make a choice of going forward or retreating to lick their wounds. This is also a chance for them to show how heroic they are, or they can roleplay their coward or sly side.
Anyway, suppose with whatever house rules you apply, you change the recovery period from 6 hours to say 6 days or 6 weeks. What's the difference between the party going back to town for 6 hours, 6 days or 6 weeks? They get into two very tough fights that deplete their resources. Now they decide to rest 6 units of time before continuing. What is there to prevent the party from resting those 6 units of time no matter how big those units?

The difference is that in the time they are back they can get another adventure, they can meet new or old friends/enemies. They can ROLEPLAY, not just ROLLPLAY. They can make choices that are more then just which power they will use to kill the next opponent. Also adventures that are based on time restrictions will make the players make difficult choices. There are million different things that can happen (chosen by me or more important by the players) while they are resting. Maybe they decide to not go back and this opens a whole lot of adventure options. Something that would never happen if they had double HS and all got to full HP after each fight and could just take a 6 hour break and be fresh and like new, they would just keep going.
Starcraft Saga Edition: http://sc2se.wikispaces.com/
I agree with Stuntman here, and I think I have a nifty solution.

Just change hours to days/weeks/months as you please.

Instead of changing the game so as to require that they rest for many periods of 6 hours, just change the word hours, and the number 6 to whatever you want. Now you've eliminated what you consider unrealistic fast healing, and kept the balance that's been worked so hard into the system.


HUZZAH!

So what is here different that just halving the max HS and making them rest for 24h-48h instead of 6h? It is the same thing, but in different definition.
Starcraft Saga Edition: http://sc2se.wikispaces.com/
So what is here different that just halving the max HS and making them rest for 24h-48h instead of 6h? It is the same thing, but in different definition.

The difference is that by just changing how long they have to actually rest you aren't screwing dangerously around with, what I believe is safe to assume, a very thought out, balanced, and essential mechanic to 4th Ed.

Why change the mechanics when you could accomplish the same thing -without- possibly destroying the game?
Am I the only person who's actually going to play with the RAW before starting to mess with them? You know, maybe it's just me, but I trust full rules with years of playtesting behind them (plus a few months of my own direct experiences with those rules) more than my own theoretical judgements from incomplete leaked information...

No, you're not. I've already tried out a few house rules with the PHbLite, but I won't be porting them over to full 4E until after I've had a chance to play the full game as written.
I also want players to sometimes make a choice of going forward or retreating to lick their wounds. This is also a chance for them to show how heroic they are, or they can roleplay their coward or sly side.

Hello Archangel. I can understand your concern with the quick over night healing. I also enjoy the opportunity for players to roleplay and make the decisions of Fight or Flight (or trick, or hide, etc).

With the information we have now, I do not agree that to achieve your goals you will need houserules. I only know the same amount of information that you do (and have done a few playtests with what limited information is available) but I think that the current healing surge system still gives the characters PLENTY of opportunity for this to happen.

During some brief playtesting (and again, this is not the -official- playtesting, just mock combat from DDXP) I have found 4th edition combat to be EXTREMELY deadly and/or challenging to the players. There are many combats that characters can walk into with full hp and still come out with exhausted resources.



Every combat seems a gamble, and once those daily powers are spent, the party could conceivable walk into a combat with full hp and many healing surges left, but with no powers to actually USE those healing surges (ie, the paladins 3x lay on hands, and some -assumed- clerical/warlord dalies), could wind up TPK or fleeing at the very least.

My suggestion is to try D&D as written for a game or two, and see if the loss of role playing really exists. I think you -might- find that you will beable to give the players the feeling of "oh, *$%#, do I risk going forward, or do I risk healing back up while the enemies fortify their defenses?".

I really think, even with FULL HP, the players will still have PLENTY of reasons to run back to town.

And heres an anecdotal tip - if they get too GUNG-HO, throw a Bugbear Headreaver at 'em. Or two, or three. That will take care of your healing surges right there =P.

In any case, my advice for house rules is to always consider how it might change other balances in the game, but either way, I hope you find the right balance that works for you and your group! - Gnome
OK lets change the discussion a bit since I do not feel anything of value can be said about the current topic anymore, or to better phrase it: Anything more said would just be repeating what was already said.

Now my question is, if I wanted to accomplish less encounters per day and slower healing would my house rules which I will repeat for newcomers to the topic do it? Or would you propose different house rules (please no more of the you do not need any house rules to accomplish the same thing)?
1. All players get half their healing surges.
2. 6h of rest does not recover all hp and all healing surges. It recovers 1/4 hp and (Constitution modifier + one half the level (round down) -> min 1) of healing surges. 24h or rest recovers 1/2 HP and +1 HS.
3. (Also under considerations) Only one daily power is recovered per 6h of rest and two per 24h.
Starcraft Saga Edition: http://sc2se.wikispaces.com/
Half healing surges would enforce fewer encounters per day.

You've basically restricted daily powers to 1/day over all powers. If you only get one back, then you only want to spend one unless things are grim or you're confident that you're about to have rest time.

The daily healing mods have a few effects. Firstly, they massively power up Con, especially at low levels. A few points of Con is the difference between healing effectively nothing and healing enough to take an additional encounter. Secondly, they basically guarantee that after the first day your PCs will never be able to handle more than 1 encounter, since they won't have anything like enough surges.

From a higher level perspective, you've essentially added another minor attrition cycle between "encounter" and "day". "day" becomes "downtime", and you add a new cycle called "day" where the PCs get very minor recovery, maybe enough to take on 1 more encounter.

Summary: under these rules, PCs can afford 2 "standard" encounters on the first "day" and 1 thereafter. On the up side, the 5 minute workday now applies to everyone, not just wizards.
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