Rest for the Weary

I don’t think I could sum up today’s update any better than I did in the document so I’ll let the introduction speak for itself!

In D&D 5e certain classes are designed to regain their powers after a long rest while others regain powers after a short rest or do not require rests at all. This can lead to a dynamic where players of characters whose power resets on long rests set the pace of the game as they quickly use all of their powers and then have little else to add to the adventure until they complete a long rest again. That dynamic can then create a feedback loop where classes built around regaining their powers less often are setting the pace of resting negating what is ostensibly supposed to be a limiting factor to their power.

The DM’s Guide offers an interesting rule that has the potential to change this dynamic simply by changing the length of short and long rests. In the Player’s Handbook the length of a short rest is at least one hour and a long rest is 8 hours (with a few caveats). The “Gritty Realism” resting variant presented in the DM’s Guide (pg. 267) changes the time required for rests, making a short rest take 8 hours and a long rest takes 1 week. While this change does work to disrupt the dynamic of taking a long rest after every combat or three it adds additional balance concerns as classes that require short and long rests get those opportunities significantly less frequently than their class design assumes they will.

The rules presented here, Rest for the Weary, are intended to patch that consequence allowing the “Gritty Realism” resting variant to be used with a less dramatic effect on class balance by adding in a system of Idle Talents.

Rest For The Weary

We will be taking a short vacation next week while I develop second drafts of the Scholar and the Magus. See you in a couple weeks!

10 thoughts on “Rest for the Weary

  1. Great job again! I will pitch this to our DM. We use the Gritty Realism rules to round out D&D’s awkward timescale issues; when a player character ascended to godhood in a matter of two weeks, something had to change!

    One concern is that a human ranger can potentially run out of options. Taking Well-Traveled essentially grants an extra Talent, for a total of four. One must be Survivalist, and the others must be Self Care, Deep Sleeper, and…null. Gonna take this as an opportunity to expand this later, either on your end or ours! Thanks again for the great content!


    1. I don’t think I follow. A ranger will likely take Well-Traveled at level 1 giving them 1 ranger talent (let’s say Night’s Watch) & 1 talent available to any class (let’s say Meditation). Then at 2nd level he takes Survivalist. Then at 4th level he still has the option of Deep Sleep or Self-Care. Right?

      That said, even if there are enough, I would love to write more Idle Talents or here what your group comes up with!


      1. Aha! You’re not at fault; I am. I didn’t notice Night’s Watch is available to the Ranger. However, I would suggest changing the wording of Well-Traveled. At the moment, I read it as “choose one Ranger-only and one class neutral,” but it seems you give the Ranger a free pick among all of them. Maybe just saying “any other class” would be sufficient?


  2. I was working on a somewhat different feature to the Spellcaster’s Recovery for Gritty Realism actually lol. It was a rest opinion that allows “the caster can spend two hit points and receive 1d4 + half your proficiency bonus (rounded down) in spell levels. You can only regain a number of spell levels that you’re able to cast and you cannot exceed that.”


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