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    HalflingRogueGuy

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    Default [4.0] Short rest abuse

    Ok, so a question came up in the last session of my 4th ed game. Party was resting after an encounter, time was... sort of an issue, but not really, and they decided to take 3 or 4 short rests in a row to maximize their healing surge values via leader powers.

    Now, this is explicitly allowed in the rules. But at the same time, if PCs do it, I kind of now feel compelled to provide some kind of risk or punishment for the PCs taking the extra rests. I hate being compelled to do anything when I'm running a game.

    But if I don't ever punish this behavior, then I'm letting them juice up the value of their healing surges greatly. Likewise... there are other encounter powers that could be opened up to abuse, though I'm not sure I can list any off the top of my head.

    Anyone else run into this? Or have a quality reason to allow/disallow it?

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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    I don't know 4e, but it doesn't matter whether it is broken or not. As DM, it is your right to ban things you feel don't work in your campaign. If you feel it's abuse, stop it. Either outright or by making consequences for their actions.
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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    It's fine, but if they're in the middle of a dungeon crawl or something, they might not have the luxury of sitting out for 10 or more minutes. For a random hole of kobolds, it might not be true, but if they're infiltrating a castle, then the PCs might need all the time they can hope for before someone sounds the alarm and the room fills with soldiers. It might not be shorter than 10 minutes, but if there's a ritual or something that needs to be cast, have it be conveniently enough time for them to get in one rest and get done what needs to be before the next planned encounter. If they spend an extra five minutes taking an additional short rest, then the next patrol might appear sooner into the encounter than if the group hurried, meaning that they could be a little overwhelmed.

    Remember, push and nudge. Don't shove. If you make them feel a sense of urgency, they likely won't waste thirty minutes trying to save one healing surge each.
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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    Squeezing more value out of each surge doesn't really change 4e encounters. You don't get any more encounter powers, surge triggers, or max HP than you would otherwise. All that chaining short rests really does is extend the adventuring day, which consequently forces PCs to be more careful with daily resources. It's a lot less of a problem than it looks like at first glance.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    4e is already based around the assumption that the PCs will usually start every fight with all encounter powers ready for use and hp at maximum. Taking repeated short rests to use Healing Word (for example) for all healing does not change this at all. The only effect it has is increasing the number of encounters the party can go through before actually running out of healing surges, allowing them to do more adventuring in one day before violating 4e's normal per-encounter balancing principles. The amount of healing available in a single encounter is unaffected, and that's the real concern for normal 4e balancing.

    Really, this only matters if you're deliberately trying to put them through an endurance run intentionally designed to force them to run out of healing surges, and that is a very unusual situation.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    Well of course, there is time when you acnnot do this.

    As DM you should decide how long the player can wait before something else triggers after an encounter. Try to be logical and not vindictive because you dont like them doing it. I would also suggest to let the players knows this could be dangerous in the situation.
    Let say they are in a dungeon and decide to stop and use the cleric healing power to maximize their healing surges. You decide a patroll come by after 8 minutes.
    You let them do their things and after 8 minutes, well they get attacked. This leave them with a cleric without healing words (since he used them and is resting to refresh them) and possibly some players with damages (since they are waiting for the next healing words ot pop up). That fight, they will have to rely on their second wind/potion and other options. It could even make a fun fight (be carefull not to TPK).

    BTW, this is well within the rules. Even if it isnt clearly stated that players should do this, there is a feat that let you get max dice rolls on healing powers while doing a short rest.

    Beside, this doesnt really change much for the DM, they simply will be able to do more fights, it is quite simple to adjust for a DM I'd say.

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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    Tooling around in a dungeon hall way for 20-30 mins doesn't sound like a good plan in my book. I'd prolly just have a kobold or two wander around a corner and get trounced once or twice and if they don't get it theres a feywild panther thing that can go invisible and insubstantial have it harrass them for pretty much ever.

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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    It's not cheating and it's not abusive - it's just good tactics.

    Of course you should still make sure to throw some time-pressure at your party from time to time - just to keep things lively.

    Nothing makes a party squirm like realizing they can't afford to waste time after they've gotten used to lazing their way through dungeons

    N.B. Don't use "gotcha" encounters like Fey Panthers. Surprising the PCs with something they should have seen coming is one thing; slapping encounters at them for personal amusement is unhealthy.
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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    This might help you (I can be so mean):

    If your party doesn't press on in a dungeon, have the dungeon BBEG get word of the adventurers who are just sitting around in the dungeon.

    Two outcomes:

    1) He plans an attack, since he has time to arrange everything (like setting an ambush, stocking up on traps and deadly pointy things)

    2) He packs his treasures and leaves secretly, leaving all the minions there for the party to kill, without any loot in the end.


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    Last edited by Farlion; 2010-12-08 at 01:07 PM.
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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Farlion View Post
    This might help you (I can be so mean):

    If your party doesn't press on in a dungeon, have the dungeon BBEG get word of the adventurers who are just sitting around in the dungeon.

    Two outcomes:

    1) He plans an attack, since he has time to arrange everything (like setting an ambush, stocking up on traps and deadly pointy things)

    2) He packs his treasures and leaves secretly, leaving all the minions there for the party to kill, without any loot in the end.


    Cheers,
    Farlion

    This is a pretty good starting point. Basically come up with a timetable for the dungeon. If they take X amount of time Y happens, if they take Z amount of time D happens, whatever. Have the baseline assume something like 1-2 minutes per encounter (that's 10-20 rounds, more than enough leeway), with a single 5 minute short rest between each. Assume they do exploring of the room they're currently in while taking that short rest, and allow an appropriate amount of time for exploring everything else (varying depending on what sorts of puzzles/traps there are and how big the dungeon is).

    Now, if they go outside of that expected time line, things start going wrong. At first it's little things, monsters start preparing ahead of time for their arrival. Later, reinforcements start showing up, increasing the likelihood of two encounters going off at once. Given more time, monsters might have the exact location of the PCs, and start ambushing the party mid short rest.

    Finally the BBEG might withdraw all monsters back to a tighter defense, thus making future exploration of the dungeon easier, but that last fight may well be beyond the PC's abilities, or as the above person suggested, the BBEG might just pick up and leave while you're taking your 20 minute break in the armory.

    Of course, feel free to reward the players for pressing forward faster. If they refuse to short rest after a fight and press on into the next encounter to cut down on time, taking a rest only once every 2 encounters or so, they're increasing risk to themselves significantly. Let them catch the enemies off guard for progressing faster than planned. You may even want to award bonus exp for pushing forward like that (especially if there's something time sensitive involved, they're risking death to make sure that timer doesn't go off, that's worthy of a little extra).


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    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    You should just let this go.

    Remember that 4E is designed this way. The characters are meant to be at 100% for every encounter of the day.

    After all, if a player had a character with less then full HP....that character could die in an encounter. And that would be no fair and no fun, especially to the player.

    4E the fun comes from the adventure itself, not the risk of the adventure. Think of 4E as more of a kids show, where everything is always PG and works out good at the end.

    If you want a more deadly game, try an earlier edition.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamer Girl View Post
    You should just let this go.

    Remember that 4E is designed this way. The characters are meant to be at 100% for every encounter of the day.

    After all, if a player had a character with less then full HP....that character could die in an encounter. And that would be no fair and no fun, especially to the player.

    4E the fun comes from the adventure itself, not the risk of the adventure. Think of 4E as more of a kids show, where everything is always PG and works out good at the end.

    If you want a more deadly game, try an earlier edition.
    I feel the need to call BS on this, if he wants a more lethal 4e game it is within his abilities. You aren't forced to party up with the teletubbies in 4e any more than any other game. You can have just as much rape and murder in 4e as you can in a particularly bad game of Fatal. PC's can die, it's fine thats why they have resurrection spells.

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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamer Girl View Post
    You should just let this go.

    Remember that 4E is designed this way. The characters are meant to be at 100% for every encounter of the day.

    After all, if a player had a character with less then full HP....that character could die in an encounter. And that would be no fair and no fun, especially to the player.

    4E the fun comes from the adventure itself, not the risk of the adventure. Think of 4E as more of a kids show, where everything is always PG and works out good at the end.

    If you want a more deadly game, try an earlier edition.
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    Don't forget about Dailies and Healing Surges - these resources don't refresh until an Extended Rest. Everyone deals with resource management in 4E; particularly the DM. If you're planning to give the PCs plenty of time between Encounters to heal up, you can plan more and stronger Encounters; if there isn't much time then you need to keep the Encounters weaker.

    At the moment, I'm running my PCs through an Endurance Dungeon where they've faced numerous "blaster" Encounters in which a few Surges worth of damage are dealt out per Encounter but nobody is seriously in danger of being killed. If they handled the Encounters wisely they would be weary but capable when they got to the Big Bads waiting at the end of the dungeon; as it is they're probably going to decide to take an Extended Rest rather than rush for the MacGuffin - allowing their Rivals to make a clean escape.

    If anyone is interested in reliving the Edition Warz, feel free to peruse this old thread. In particular, I think my post on "differently lethal" gameplay might be edifying in this regard.

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    EDIT: OK, the "differently lethal" post is actually from another thread. Still, here's the link to the post if anyone wants to read.
    Last edited by Oracle_Hunter; 2010-12-08 at 03:00 PM.
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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Swindle89 View Post
    I feel the need to call BS on this, if he wants a more lethal 4e game it is within his abilities. You aren't forced to party up with the teletubbies in 4e any more than any other game.
    Your free to Houserule the game any way you'd like, of course.


    But the basic rules are made for a 'fun' but 'non-lethal' game. 4E has such features as everyone gets healing, Encounter powers and the whole 15 minute day format. The idea that a 'weakened party' should have to fight a tough encounter is ludicrous to the whole 4E design.

    Balance and fairness and everyone must have the same level of fun are all an integral part of 4E.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamer Girl View Post
    Balance and fairness and everyone must have the same level of fun are all an integral part of 4E.
    "HAVE MORE FUN DAMN YOU WE CAN ONLY BE AS HAPPY AS OUR MOST BORED PLAYER!!"

    Thats basically what that says.

    Their are no rules saying any of waht you said basically aside from the purely mechanical concepts. The story can push you to be at less than full strength you can't really deny that. It's not a house rule it's a play style.

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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamer Girl View Post
    But the basic rules are made for a 'fun' but 'non-lethal' game. 4E has such features as everyone gets healing, Encounter powers and the whole 15 minute day format. The idea that a 'weakened party' should have to fight a tough encounter is ludicrous to the whole 4E design.

    Balance and fairness and everyone must have the same level of fun are all an integral part of 4E.
    That is a... questionable interpretation of 4E generally, and the OP's situation specifically. AFAIK he's not concerned about the lethality (or lack of it) in 4E, much less in comparison to any other edition.

    I'll just say that the DMG I has plenty of suggestions for using the rules to create Encounters of varying lethality. It is just as easy to run a "lethal" game in 4E as it is to run in any other edition of your choice. I will, however, note that it is easier to run a "non-lethal" game of 4E out of the box than in any other edition of D&D.

    If the OP wants advice on adjusting the lethality of his Encounters, I'm sure he'll ask. As far as I can tell the OP was asking about dealing with an "abuse" of the rules in regard to Encounter Powers and Short Rests. From my point of view there is no "abuse" to worry about and I (and others) have given advice on what to do if he still thinks this is a problem.
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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Swindle89 View Post
    "HAVE MORE FUN DAMN YOU WE CAN ONLY BE AS HAPPY AS OUR MOST BORED PLAYER!!"

    Thats basically what that says.

    Their are no rules saying any of waht you said basically aside from the purely mechanical concepts. The story can push you to be at less than full strength you can't really deny that. It's not a house rule it's a play style.
    In 4E it is mechanics.

    4E-each character can have fun and be special in every encounter....this is why encounter powers exist.

    In oldE a character could use up their 'cool' power for the day and be stuck doing something boring(Sigh, I can't rage anymore..I'll just swing my axe).

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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    blowing your wad every encounter =/= fun every encounter. necessarily.

    I know waht you're saying but I disagree with your conclusion.

    As far as the OP is concerned really the question is wether you want them to have like an encounter and a half's worth of extra surges. thats all that's changing when they abuse healing powers.

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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Swindle89 View Post
    blowing your wad every encounter =/= fun every encounter. necessarily.
    No, but having meaningful decisions to make every encounter is more fun than having the choice between moving and attacking, or full attacking, every turn for the encounter.
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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    I've always gone for "dynamic dungeons". If there are living things in the dungeon they parbably are moving around. Consequently, the players should always expect things to be in motion. I then decide how the denizen will react when they discover they are being attacked; will they flee, hunt down the intruders, or hole up? Having made that decision I'm able to react to their actions. If they spend an extended period anywhere I'll rearrange the assets as I'd expect them to have behaved.

    Note: I find experienced players find missing enemies more of a punishement than receiving more to fight. There's nothing worse than exploring a recently abandoned dungeon (no treasure, xp, and the players' plan is disurpted).

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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamer Girl View Post
    Your free to Houserule the game any way you'd like, of course.
    No need to houserule to make 4e deadly. It's a matter of what you throw at players, and how tough you play encounters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamer Girl View Post
    But the basic rules are made for a 'fun' but 'non-lethal' game. 4E has such features as everyone gets healing, Encounter powers and the whole 15 minute day format. The idea that a 'weakened party' should have to fight a tough encounter is ludicrous to the whole 4E design.
    I think that a lot of the healing changes were to get rid of healbot clerics, which most players find tedious to play.

    And trying to suggest that 4e introduced the 15 minute day is pretty silly. The 15 minute day is a long-standing problem in the game, and (arguably) 4e is less prone to it due to the ability of parties to heal themselves back up between fights without blowing the cleric's load of spells for the day.

    In some ways, combat healing is *more* limited in 4e, as each player gets a healing surge, and the healing abilities of healer classes seems, from what I've seen, to be a little more limited...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamer Girl View Post
    Balance and fairness and everyone must have the same level of fun are all an integral part of 4E.
    Yeah, and I'd argue that this is a positive change, given how the style that most people play D&D has changed since earlier editions. Old-school D&D works for old-school games, but more modern games where the assumption is that everyone in the party will go through the whole story require a different set of assumptions... being likely to die at low levels isn't a real detriment when you've got Plot Armor.

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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    Quick list of ideas:

    Time-sensitive situation
    Inhospitable area
    Monsters roam the area
    BBEG plots or prepares
    Encounters lead into one another

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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    Why punish the group for being clever?
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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Endarire View Post
    Why punish the group for being clever?
    It's not punishing them for being clever so much as introducing an element of realism to it. Yes, realistically you can sit there and take a longer break to recover more efficiently. However realistically there are consequences for sitting around for 20+ minutes in a hostile environment to get that efficiency.
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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamer Girl View Post
    Your free to Houserule the game any way you'd like, of course.

    But the basic rules are made for a 'fun' but 'non-lethal' game. 4E has such features as everyone gets healing, Encounter powers and the whole 15 minute day format. The idea that a 'weakened party' should have to fight a tough encounter is ludicrous to the whole 4E design.

    Balance and fairness and everyone must have the same level of fun are all an integral part of 4E.
    Um, DMG has rules for what happens if you fight more than double the "expected" XP budget and explicitely allows this level of difficulty as a "reasonable" encounter. And the DMG explicitely says it's reasonable to use monsters at up to +7 levels to the party.

    You put a level 6 party of 5 up against a couple of encounters with 4 level 13 monsters (or 2 level 13 elites) and see if you think it's low lethality if played BtB, because that's a fine BtB encounter. Double treasure parcels and that one encounter counts as a milestone by itself, but cut back to 3 level 13 monsters and concentrate fire and you're back to something that only counts as one encounter and you're STILL likely to kill at least one PC.

    Similarly BtB you can occassionally throw encounters at them without 5 minutes between encounters, you can have one encounter reinforce another, you can have encounters in unfavorable terrain.

    D&D in any edition only one side brings finite resources to the table.

    What fourth edition DOES do is make it easy to judge if an encounter will be high risk. But the risk is purely at the DMs discression, he can kill your characters just as dead in 4th as in any other edition.

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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    Can people can please STOP ARGUING ABOUT WHAT FUN IS and stay on topic???



    Anyway, I think the easiest way to prevent the PCs from taking 20 minute breaks after every battle is to have intelligent/cowardly minions (not Minion minions) who flee from battle once they are bloodied. The PCs should have some trouble stopping all of them from escaping, and once some get away you have free reign to start the clock for having the rest of the dungeon on high alert, letting the BBEG get away, etc.
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    Sang Real's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4.0] Short rest abuse

    I don't see the problem. Unless I've imposed a really strict time constraint on the PCs, I just assume they use several short rests between encounters without the players even saying so.

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