D&D 4E in Google Wave – Encounter’s End
In a previous post I discussed some of the mechanics and processes were are putting into our Google Wave game to help speed up some of the more mundane and often used aspects of the game while trying to keep the narrative and gameplay enjoyable.
In this post I describe what we are trying to do when an encounter had completed.
The short rest is straight out of the rules – encounter powers are replenished, milestones are reached, characters can level up, and healing surges can be spent.
With the latter I automatically spend healing surges for the characters to get them up to full hit points – the players can then let me know if that’s something they do not wish to do.
Within the timeframe of a short rest (about five minutes) the characters also automatically:
- check the bodies of any enemies (for gold and obvious items)
- have a cursory check around the room for anything hidden (using the highest passive perception of the party)
- have a cursory check of the exits from the room (direction, how to go through, sights/sounds/smells)
During this time there is no chance for the party to be disturbed (unless there is a specific story-led reason for doing so).
The mechanical aspects of the short rest are treated in a separate post to a narrative post by the DM which describes the event in a more flavourful manner.
At the moment the party always do a short rest, regardless of their next actions.
Short Rest Example
The characters have magically appeared in the room shown by the map below. They have fought off and defeated four goblins all armed with short swords, taking a few cuts of their own.
The post in the current wave would include a marker to indicate that the encounter is completed.
This would be immediately followed by the short rest mechanics.
A post would then be added by the DM to narratively describe the short rest.
At the prompting of Khâlin’s player the party might also take an ‘investigative rest’. This could take anything from ten minutes to six hours, depending on what the players want to do. An investigative rest incorporates the short rest as well as some extra features.
Within the timeframe of an investigative rest (up to six hours) the characters spend more of their time giving the corpses, room, and exits a thorough examination. The investigative rest is led narratively by myself.
The characters check any corpses thoroughly, finding any gold or items upon them as standard, and anything secreted upon the body (using the best perception score of the group plus 20 if required). This check takes up 1 minute per corpse divided by the number of people searching (round up).
Any item found that is magical in nature is checked by anyone with arcana skill with an active arcana check (1 minute each).
The characters make a thorough check of the room (using the best perception score of the group plus 20 if required) to find any secret doors, traps, or other hidden specifics. This check takes up 1 minute per square of room divided by the number of people searching (round up).
The characters then make a thorough check of the exits, making active perception checks on any doors or corridors for noises, spotting traps, checking if locked, etc. If traps or locks exist, then they are left for the players to decide what to do. This check takes up 1 minute per check.
This investigative rest can take a fair bit of game time, so there is a chance for an encounter to happen. This makes the investigative check a conscious decision for the players, rather than an automatic choice.
Investigative Rest Example
Following on from our short rest example, Khâlin’s player might let me know via OOC (or even as an in-character post) that the party wish to make a more thorough examination of the room. In this case I would add the narrative for what they may find.
The decision whether to don the bracers, disarm the trap on the secret door, or which exit to leave by is now left entirely to the players.
The DM would note that 30 minutes of time has passed:
- 5 minutes for the original short rest
- 2 minutes whilst the party checked the corpses (4 corpses divided by 3 characters is 1.33 minutes, rounded up to 2 minutes)
- 14 minutes whilst the party checked the room (40 squares divided by 3 characters is 13.33 minutes, rounded up to 14 minutes)
- 3 minutes to check the main doors (find traps, listen, and find locks, 1 minute each)
- 3 minutes to check the secret door (find traps, listen, and find locks, 1 minute each)
- 2 minutes to check the chest (find traps, and find locks, 1 minute each)
- 1 minute for the magic item identification
The extended rest is straight out of the rules – the only addition is that the party can perform an investigative rest beforehand if they wish.