D&D Long Rests as Written

For new players especially, I think the rules as written are just fine -n- dandy…

I just saw an post on Twitter complaining that the long rest rules were unrealistic. This makes the Old Sellsword in me shake his head. I think 5th Ed has the most forgiving healing rules of all of the editions. I kind of like it, but I see the point that a lot of Dungeon Masters, writers, and YouTubers are making about it.

Back in the day, some almost 40 years ago, back in the BECMI and 1st Ed AD&D days, healing looked a lot different. Probably why my first real character as a player was a Cleric, but I digress. Healing used to be a game of waiting for the party healer to get his spells back and/or a tedious, boring long wait as I recall. I would dare say most of us have used a homebrew fix for healing between adventures for a very long time. I think 5th Ed has taken strides to fix this instead of the DM just saying, “You’re all healed up now.”

Hit Points used to have a different flow back then.

In almost four decades behind the screen, I’ve seen more versions of health, hit points, wounds, and relative armor systems than I care to remember. I’ve used some of them. I’ve adapted my own from other systems such as Role Master and Warhammer Fantasy RPG. All that experimentation and I still go back to the old notion that I believe Gygax intended with D&D.

Hit Points represent fatigue, exertion, shock, and trauma in combat more than just the squishy red stuff flowing from you gaping sword wounds. So rest and recovery would also take into account the fatigue, shock and trauma from being in a combat with orcs twice the characters’ size. Eight hours of meaningful sleep in a bed maybe should help heal some of that. Not to mention all of the spellcasters get to recover their stuff and isn’t that great?

Do you really want hours and days to go by outside of a dungeon crawl?

To a certain extent, all RPGs are abstract. If/when you look past that fourth wall, crawling around in a tomb full of death traps and horr

Author: Jeff Craigmile

I'm a tabletop role-playing game writer and designer from Des Moines, Iowa. I'm the father of four boys and human to three cats.

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