Friday, April 17, 2009

The 5 Minute Adventuring Day

Just a thought...

One of the adjusments of 4E was to break special abilities into things that can be used always (basic), nearly all the time (at-will), every encounter (encounter), every other encounter (magic items), and every extended rest/sleep (daily).

One interesting house rule I've seen says that you can only benefit from an extended rest if you have hit two milestones. That is, about 4-5 encounters. This seems like a reasonable enough house rule for balancing encounters out and nicely puts the "5 minute day" (i.e., where a party goes nova, nukes one encounter with all their resources, and then goes back to bed) to rest for good.

I think it could work fine with clerical powers, flavor wise. The gods only grant you a boon every so often on your quest. You want more miracles? Go smack around some heathen idols! This would shift divine types into being the most resource-management intensive, because magic-users could still get their mojo back after a five minute adventuring day.

I still want there to be some differentiation between a short 5-10 minute rest and a long sleep, though. It has some nice flavor to let folks recover some of their mojo when they hole up for a few hours. After all, how else can you rationalize barricading doors against zombie hordes or hiding out and resting after suffering grievous wounds?

I've thought a bit and come up with this period-of-rest-time mechanic.

Pause - 1-3 round's rest (combat rounds, useful for Recharge type mechanics)
Short Rest - A "turn" (5-10 minutes)
Milestone - 2-3 encounters
Extended Rest - A night's sleep (~6-8 hours)
Quest 0r Adventure - Around 3-4 milestones

Extended rests could restore only limited benefits, for example, perhaps a few healing surges, UNLESS you have hit at least 1-2 milestones or UNLESS you "hit the stack" (c.f. Amagi Games). Hitting the stack adds a token to a pot that the GM can spend to make complications occur. So, sure, you get your night's sleep, but find that rivals have taken advantage of the time to race ahead to the next dungeon level and plunder the treasure room you were going for! You'd need a table of "costs" for tokens but that'd be easy enough to come up with.

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