Telling Players to Use Dailies

I was thinking about something: Our campaign has done away with the 15-minute work-day, mostly because we rarely get more than one combat encounter in per game day. The big reason for this is because the campaign is focused more on roleplaying and plot than combat and action. With that in mind, my players rarely have to hold back their character’s dailies. In fact, it’s almost a waste to not use a daily… unless, for some reason, they’re holding out on the thought that I might sneak in a second combat encounter in a single day.

In order to “fix” this issue, I was thinking about letting players know when a combat will be the only combat in a day so they don’t waste their dailies by not using them. I feel a major pro and major con come into play with this idea:

  • Pro: You don’t waste a daily by not using it on a day that will only have one combat encounter.
  • Con: It lessons the surprise of what’s just around the corner, possible taking some of the “danger” away from adventuring.

I opened up the option to my group and they were definitely against it. The biggest reason is that they want to keep dailies memorable—and by knowing if a combat is the only combat in a day, using the daily won’t be much more exciting then using an encounter power. Dailies are special and should be used accordingly; not knowing brings more of a surprise element to the game that would quickly go missing. Lastly, telling the group that a particular encounter will be the last one before an extended rest would disrupt immersion.

As a DM and not a player, it’s hard to imagine what I would want were a DM to present this idea to me. I just thought that, since dailies are resources that are meant to be used, people would like to know if not using them would be a waste. Luckily, my group knew exactly what they wanted—and that’s for things to stay the same.

For more discussion on this topic, visit the thread I made on EN World.

Looking back on this entry, I’m very glad we decided not to change anything. Our games now bounce back and forth between drawn-out combats in massive cardstock setpieces to quick, 30-minute skirmishes using nothing more than the theater of the mind (and a little magic from a magnetic whiteboard). Currently, the campaign averages more than just a single combat encounter per game day, so the “problem” above is moot!