The default long rest rules don’t make me happy: they permit you to hit level 20 in 20 days, and they fill back up access to your resources in super-irritating ways.
Here’s my completely untested replacement:
- Short rests take 1 hour (as writ).
- They really do take an hour! Roll random encounters, check for danger, and you can’t be exposed to the elements or anything! No work harder than keeping watch (though others in the party can). No searching the room. They’re not guaranteed!
- Long rests take 8 hours (as writ, but…); you may only take a long rest once per month.
- They completely refill HP and HD (no complex math please).
- The downtime “recuperation” action refills your long rest whenever you take it.
- Basic Recovery: When any spellcaster ends a short rest with 0 slots available of their second highest level spell (or 5th, whichever is lower), they regain 1 slot of that level.
- If all you have are 1st level spells, you don’t get anything back. Sorry. Feature doesn’t do anything before 3rd unless you have a Foo Recovery, see next.
- Arcane, Natural, etc Recovery: You lose the Basic Recovery feature. Instead, when you end a short rest with 0 slots available of your highest spell level from the granting class (or 5th, whichever is lower), you regain 1 slot of that level. (Multiclassing: these combine to determine spell level, but don’t stack or repeat: you only get 1 slot back. Example: A wizard 5 barbarian 3 gets a 3rd level spell back; a wizard 5 + land druid 4 gets a 5th level slot back.)
- At 12th level, you also regain a 1st level slot if you had 0 remaining.
- 14th: the additional slot is of 2nd level.
- 16th: of 3rd level.
- 18th: of 4th level.
- 20th: of 5th level.
- This robs the warlock of a lot of their juice, since their big thing is “being the shortest restiest”.
- Give warlocks a now standard casting progression, the Arcane Recovery feature, and the new feature Patron’s Potence.
- Patron’s Potence: When you cast a spell which you know due to the warlock spells known feature or a warlock invocation, you may cast it at the highest level spell level you can cast as a warlock (half your class level round up).
- This means they’re blowing HUGE fireballs all the time. Good for them. It also gives them a lot of (eventually) 9th level slots. I’m pretty okay with that.
- Spells with multi-hour durations (or which create food, shelter etc) are less powerful in this version, since you might need to cast them multiply each short rest to get their benefit. The Recovery feature should combat that to a large degree; some of them are rituals.
- Most magic items refresh on a calendar-day cycle instead of a long rest cycle.
- THIS IS THE MOST UNTESTED PART. On the one hand, it’ll be super annoying: a totally different resource track than the others. On the other hand, I think it makes magic items feel cooler. So…?
The result of this is that wizards and certain druids will join the warlock in blowing a fireball equivalent in every encounter, secure in the knowledge they’ll get it back (they hope). The sorcerer, cleric and bard will still have their nearly-best spells on tap in every encounter, but not their truly best spells.
I hope that this leaves the warlock in an interesting place: they still “always cast everything at the highest level”, and they can nova as a wizard. The short rest refresh gets spread out a little, but I hope this means that the fiend-warlock’s incentive-warping “fireball” spell will stop eating all of their casts and they’ll do some interesting stuff instead.
Of course, the warlock still has Eldritch Blast. And I still hate it like poison. I don’t have anything else to say there, just… yuck, Eldritch Blast. You nasty.