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2

Give them the fight you're paying them for. You played these NPCs by standard companion rules, I'm assuming, and deducted their XP from the encounter payout before you gave it to the PCs. This represents the expected amount that NPC will contribute to the fight. Instead of playing it out, you could just make that assumption directly, and only budget the ...


6

A prelude: I don't have easy access to all of them Dragon magazine electronicals, so this is just from the paper books - the Player's Handbook, unless otherwise noted. Contacting Them Sending is useful for speaking to someone when you don't know exactly where they are. It's a level 6 ritual; simpler rituals like Animal Messenger require you to have a ...


2

Use Third Parties While the player party is the protagonist of our DND adventures, that doesn't mean they are the only adventuring party in the world. In the spirit of fleshing out the world, introduce NPC adventuring parties working either with or in competition with the player party. This can be from adventuring guilds in the area or independent parties ...


2

Explaining short rests It's a 5 minute breather. Get a cup of coffee, eat a sandwich, rest your eyes, catch your breath. It's the difference in time between chatting at the coffee machine at work on break and the boss noticing you are gone. You can tighten your armor, clean your blade, rearrange potions and knives in your vests, zone out, and drink a beer. ...


5

More easy encounters My suggestion is rather than "punish" them for making a fairly reasonable (in their minds at least) decision, try using more encounters, and make those encounters easier. For example: Split a deadly encounter in two parts, and with the last orc's dying breath he laughs, "You'll not fare so well when the rest of the squad catches you....


5

What are they using for food and drink? If your party has a cleric who knows Create Food And Water then fair enough. If not, they're going to get very hungry and thirsty, and then they're going to die. In a straight dungeon crawl, they can't guarantee any food and water apart from what they carry with them. In the wilderness they might find streams, but ...


2

Bust out the big guns Just rebalance your encounters to ULTRA HARD/Deadly and make them spend 80% or more of their resources to beat them, that way the long rest at least makes sense and you don't rob them of their agency or force another playstyle. You could make your fights multi-part, like the sigma bosses in Megaman X or in waves not allowing ANY rest ...


15

Re-Balance the Long Rest Mechanics This answer suggests changing the Long Rest mechanics, but without (it seems) too much direct knowledge. I've done exactly that and have extensive experience with it, so I can give some insight into what I did, why I did it, and how it worked. (Although not actually in that order.) That will give you some insight into ...


11

It's not a long rest unless you say so. Fate, karma, or some other subtle and unseen force propels the heroes through their adventures. As heroes, they prevail when they press on, not when they retreat and lick their wounds. Once the characters have fought about four battles, they earn a full heal-up. -- 13th Age, "Rest and Recharge" This is ...


51

The First Step Is Admitting You Have a Problem Have you tried talking to your players about this playstyle? Why are they sticking with this approach? Before you start punishing them for not playing the way you expect them to, make sure this behavior isn't a symptom of a deeper problem. Do they just enjoy unloading on every foe they see? This can indicate ...


27

Wandering Monsters The risk of resting in most locations in a fantasy setting is the potential to be set upon by any manner of strange and dangerous events. Many DM’s use a random encounter table when players choose to take a rest and you can determine the likelihood of things running afoul. The players will learn quickly that they have to get somewhere ...


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