We talked about the 15-minute adventure day back in (appropriately enough) “Adventuring Day”, but this is a whole nother ball of wax. The question of kicking open one more door, of pushing that little bit farther into the unknown before resting and resupplying, is at the core of resource management games like D&D. As a player, finding the balance between risk and reward is half the fun. As a GM, it’s vital that you let your players make that decision for themselves.

In a classic dungeon crawl this stuff is easy. Generally speaking, these are your options:

  1. Forge ahead and you may meet a boss monster while you’re unprepared.
  2. Rest in town and the previously cleared rooms might fill up again with “revisit” encounters.
  3. Camp in the dungeon and you may meet with dire consequences in the form of nocturnal random encounters.

I think that this is the way the game was designed to be played. When your resources run low different choices have different consequences, and it’s incumbent on the players to weigh them against their remaining strength. If you stray from the forge ahead/rest in town/camp in the dungeon trifecta, then you’ve got to come up with something to replace it. That might be a ticking clock (the cultists gather at the next full moon), a competing band of adventurers (sound familiar?), or the PCs’ own sense of pride (what kind of wimps take a nap right outside the BBEG’s door?). Regardless of what you choose, it’s important for this central part of the game to remain in play. Pushing your luck is at the heart of the adventurer’s life, and kicking open one more door should always be an exciting gamble.

Question of the day then. Have you ever made the wrong choice when it comes to resting vs. not resting? Did the dungeon flood while you were napping? Did you walk into a storm giant mess hall with half health and no potions? Let’s hear it in the comments!