I'm about to run The Sellswords of Punjar by Goodman Games - the PCs will enter Cutpurse Alley (my version shown here:) Cutpurse Alley, Smoke, Punjar

The introductory text says:

Here, crossbowmen can make attacks from second-story windows, assassins appear from any shadow, and no area is safe to rest unless every entrance is guarded and warded. Once alerted, the defenders will not passively sit by, waiting for the heroes to attack at their leisure. Rather, the beggars will launch repeated assaults on the heroes in an effort to wear them down, denying PCs the chance of an extended rest. [emphasis mine]

This is an assault on a lair: There are going to be up to 22 encounters and, as written, it is entirely possible that they won't be able to take more than one or two rules-as-written extended rests without stretching the fiction till it breaks. Besides, I like the idea of having to press on quickly to build the tension - but that's going to result in a TPK somewhere around the 4th or 5th encounter.

Since extended rests are required to recharge daily powers and recover surges, they are critical to get through this much content.

What techniques have you seen used to restore personal daily powers and healing surges that don't require 6 hours of uninterrupted rest?

Though the party at present is a Rogue, Bard, Paladin, and an Artificer (who can at least recharge an item daily power), solutions that work for all groups are welcome.


3 Answers 3


There are 2 main techniques I'm familiar with.

  1. Everyone regains a couple surges & recharges a couple daily powers every time the party reaches a milestone (every 2nd fight). This has the advantage of not caring how many fights the party gets into, only how hard they are (particularly hard fights will drain resources faster than milestones replenish them). It also rewards the party for efficiently dealing with fights, which may or may not be desirable (depending on how tactically-minded you want/expect the party to be). If the scenario permits, this might be described as the party finding crystallized life essence or something along those lines that the bad guys have somehow harvested/condensed, which can be consumed for a small boost (surges & dailies).

  2. Pick certain fights or accomplishments throughout the mission that seem particularly heroic, and say that the party is recharged as if they had taken an extended rest (the party should not know ahead of time which things will count as an extended rest). This has the advantage that it doesn't care how efficient the party is with their resources. The disadvantage is that the party can actually make things harder for themselves if they bypass these fights or accomplishments. In game, this might be represented by the party getting a morale boost (similar to warlord healing) as they celebrate their heroic deeds.

Both options can also be fluffed as a blessing from a deity or other powerful entity on whose behalf the party is working.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Good answer - that's how we handle it also and it works well. In addition to deities and powerful entities, we've also used the ideas of holy/blessed locations that grant succor. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chuck Dee
    Aug 16, 2012 at 20:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ This approach is most compatible with my personal style. After the first session (two combats) they are each at 5 surges before applying these benefits. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 20, 2012 at 18:46

Most methods of recharging powers/surges/etc outside of an extended rest require a Deus Ex Machina. That's not to say that it's a bad thing, just that it's probably going to involve deities and might feel a little more helpful than the players want or deserve. Here are some that I've seen used in my game to give PCs a boost without seeming too much like the DM giving you a helping hand:

  • Solve a puzzle and get the benefits of an extended rest. The one we used involved a dwarven priest trapped somewhere that gave us a boon from Moradin of full recovery. A bit cheesy, but it worked well.

  • Reach a certain point in the quest and just automatically get back to full or partial power (get back an expended daily or two, get some surges back etc). I'm not a fan of this being full power back up, but it's at least something.

There are some other options if you want to try those. First if you stagger safe places to rest with level ups (with 22 encounters you're party should be ready to level up somewhere around twice) you may not even have to do anything if you let your party fully heal up on level up.

Last thing to keep in mind. This is obviously a module designed to test PCs and tax their resources to the extreme. It's probably worth it to see how the first session goes with any chance at extended resting (and I'd make it clear at least implicitly that extended rests will be hard to come by in this area). Let them go a session with no rests and see where they are at, and then if you feel like they are incredibly over taxed heading into session 2 then give them some opportunity to rest or recharge during the session. (our typical session is 2-3 encounter, that's usually the point at which 4e resources start to run down at low levels).

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your great answer! I had to pick one, so for this case, I thought that another answer was a better fit for my exact problem. I will be using your advice in another game I have on tap later.... \$\endgroup\$ Aug 23, 2012 at 6:42

My mini-campaign 4e experience is comprised exclusively of fourthcore adventures. While they usually only contain about 5 combat encounters, they are HARD. There are also many puzzles and traps which can exhaust just as many resources from a group of PC's as combat does.

It is a common rule throughout most of fourthcore that extended rests are not permitted. But there's no way a group could feasibly make it all the way to the end without some sort of opportunity for recuperation - and that's where the rewards come in.

Many of these things could be nearly game-breaking if they were readily available to the PC's, but by handing them out as unique rewards it becomes more of a resource attrition game with some awesome perks rather than a balls-to-the-wall slashfest with periodic sleepy-time breaks.

  • A potion that restores all hit points for no surge cost.
  • A scroll of resurrection that brings the target back with all powers recharged.
  • A scroll of the Comrade's Succor ritual (lets you redistribute all healing surges within a party at the cost of 1 healing surge from someone)
  • A tome that teaches a PC an additional daily power of their level.
  • A stone that recharges a random used Daily power as an Encounter power.

Note: Some of these are inspired by fourthcore, others are my own ideas.

Since you're obviously already outside of RAW with these suggestions, the possibilities are endless. The benefit of doing things this way is that it puts power in the PC's hands, rather than just handing out an extended rest for free which carries the sting of D.E.M.

  • \$\begingroup\$ haven Comrade's Succor as a ritual in this party might be a good idea anyways, casting time isn't long, and it costs a surge, but redistro's them to the part (the artificer's healing powers already sort of work like this though)... \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Aug 18, 2012 at 13:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Great minds think alike - There's a bard's instrument that gives Comrade's Succor, and I gave it to the bard at 1st level. (I think I reduced the other benefits, though...) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 19, 2012 at 0:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ I SO want to try a FourthCore game sometime. Anyone willing to run on in the SF Bay area? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 23, 2012 at 6:43

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