I'm running Tomb of Annihilation, and my players have finally arrived at the Tomb of the Nine Gods. As they have been deciding when it is safe to take short rests, I've been rolling for random encounters, only to realize that there don't seem to be random encounters inside the tomb.

This appears to give a lot of leeway to the DM regarding how often to allow short and long rests. A generous DM could allow a short rest after nearly every major encounter, while a sadistic DM could interrupt the party's long rests, not let them recover spells and other long-rest refreshing abilities, and maybe add levels of exhaustion to boot (for lack of sleep).

The only guidance I can find in the adventure is the following:

As the characters delve deeper into the tomb, they should come to know these monsters [tomb guardians] well. (p. 126, under "Tomb Guardians")

36. Chamber of Respite The tomb's keepers have all but forgotten this tiny room lodged between two crawlways. Characters who shelter here are rewarded with undisturbed rest. (p. 151, under "36. Chamber of Respite")

Arguably, it is always up to the DM how to manage rests, but many published modules use randomization as a way to balance between cakewalk and death trap. How should rests be handled inside the Tomb of the Nine Gods?


1 Answer 1


Well, first of all, a long rest is only interrupted by an hour or more of activity, so it's pretty difficult to deny the party their long rests:

If the rest is interrupted by a period of strenuous activity - at least 1 hour of walking, fighting, casting spells, or similar adventuring activity - the characters must begin the rest again to gain any benefit from it.

Short rests, however, are more easily interrupted and denied, so that's where the DM really needs to decide how to handle them, and what to allow the party to take:

A short rest is a period of downtime, at least 1 hour long, during which a character does nothing more strenuous than eating, drinking, reading, and tending to wounds.

This is also where some spells can be very helpful (or completely useless if the party never needs them), such as Catnap (take a short rest in 10 minutes instead of an hour), or Rope Trick to rest in, and so on.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ On your interrupting of short rests in the Tomb, that also comes up in this answer of mine: "Withers can scry the party's movements, direct tomb dwarves and communicate with other legendary monsters, and is not above playing unfair." \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Commented Mar 14, 2021 at 1:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's interesting. I always read the rules on long rests as if they were "fighting, casting spells, or 1 hour of walking". Since fights never last for an hour, and very few spells take an hour to cast, I just never read it that "at least 1 hour" applied to those activities. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 14, 2021 at 6:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RedGeomancer - Related: Does a short combat or casting one spell interrupt a Long Rest? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Mar 14, 2021 at 6:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ By the way, @PhilB - is there a reason you rolled an edit back, then rolled that back, then rolled that back, and so on for 11 edits in a row? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Mar 14, 2021 at 11:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast: Thanks for the link re: long rest interruptions. Re: edits, I haven't been editing/rolling back, so not sure what that's about. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 14, 2021 at 15:46

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