posted Wednesday, May 23rd 2007 by
Dungeon Mastering Advice
Looks like we’ve got a solution to those players who won’t sleeping in dungeons to get back spells on-demand. I’ve done some research and it seems there’s a solution in sight!
While the rules don’t say you can’t sleep to regain spells more than once daily, the wizard’s casting capacity is called “spells per day” for a reason. This should be enough for you to make a solid ruling. Roughly track the passage of time in-game and ensure that around sixteen hours must pass before you can regain spells by resting – resting before then can restore hit points, but not spells.
We still have the issue of the party barricading itself into a room after only one or two fights to wait until it can sleep. Nothing says they can’t do this, but when the players can take on every fight at full strength, the game becomes unchallenging and boring. Allowing a game to become boring violates a basic tenet of dungeon mastering! Here are a few challenges the over-cautious party might face:
- Wandering monsters, a well established D&D hazard. Resting characters who used their resources up too quickly will have trouble, and sleeping characters won’t have their armour on.
- Opponents have time to prepare for your attack. You’ll have no chance to catch them asleep or unprepared.
- Monsters can team up to ambush the common threat. If this happens, the enemy fights you en masse and on their own terms.
- Opponents can send a messenger for reinforcements.
- Strong or magically-inclined enemies might barricade you into the room with a heavy boulder or magical lock.
- Even if you’re stealthy, there’s always a chance that guards will find you or notice the signs of fights you’ve undertaken, such as blood on the floor or bodies of guards lying around. (For good examples of this, try the PC game Thief.)
- Time limits, while not always applicable, can force players to keep going without rest in spite of low resources.
Feel free to suggest your own; you know where the comment link is.