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DND 5E. Gritty and Brutal


Short rests take about an hour, long rests about 8. Thats fine, makes for a fun light-hearted adventure. But do you long for a grittier game. Do you want to suffer and fear for your life at every bump in the night? Then do i have good news for you! Introducing a rule hidden away in the DMG that makes short rests 8 hours, and long rests take a week. Not only that but I, your GM, will be throwing difficult and dangerous encounters and puzzles at you with nary a second to catch your breath. If this is the game you have been longing for then look no further. Sign up here!

Cheesy stuff aside, i came across this rule while reading through my DMG and it sounds pretty rad so i wanna give it a shot. Im not very good at worldbuilding unfortunately as a DM so i might not be the best person for this job and ill gladly step aside if someone wants to take over as the GM but i thought id bring some attention to this at least.


That sounds fun! I cannot join (I have other duties here, and am a DM and have other stuff IRL), but I have bookmarked it so I can spectate from the sidelines, I do this for a lot of other forum games.

It sounds brutally entertaining!


Awww how unfortunate. If your time frees up down the road i could totally fit you in. Maybe spread the word a bit for me if you wouldnt mind? The other game i tried to start didnt take off


@SleepyWill has been really prolific with forum RPGs, he might be able to help. He knows this place and the people pretty well.

Also @Scribbs, @RossM, @UllinBethalto, @Sagantine, @clg6000, @twispby, @Abubu,

(oh, hell, I can’t possibly finish this list, there would be dozens of more people, including @system. There are only so many hours in the day. Hopefully some of these will get a notification since I "@"ed them, and if they can’t play, will direct you to some who can.

There are so many more, I’m just a bit burnt out on social interaction after going Christmas shopping with my son and my mom).


sounds good, ill give it a day and see if any show up here, then possibly hunt them down myself.


Hehe, hi! I really like the idea of your game, it could be interesting and I am dying to play a 5e game but I am maxed out in my games at the moment and can’t possibly take on any more.

If I were to offer advice, it would be to build a world and sell us on it! It’s great that you’ve been inspired by that rule, let’s build on that - where do the payers start - if it’s in town that’s a very different game to starting in the wilderness a weeks march from civilisation.

How are you going to stop players not playing? If the penalty for injury is excessive downtime, be prepared to watch your players avoid all the challenges you set. Maybe food is scarce and they are being driven on to live, maybe there is a goal you have in mind - so sell us on it. Are they against the clock perhaps.

5e is notorious for killing low level characters, how are you going to balance for the inevitable mixed level parties?

If you can answer all the above questions in a succinct and enticing way, you’ll have a game!


I read this thread and found the concept interesting. However, I have never played DND, let alone 5E, and sadly, I do not have the time to learn it at the moment. My line of work is seasonal, and we are in the busy season. Hopefully, you will get some bites on your line soon! :slight_smile:


Man everyones just so busy all the time. But @SleepyWill your absolutely right, so to attack those questions, adressing them to the would be players.
You will all be starting in a maximum security prison far in the north called Frost Mountain, Why you are there i will discuss with you each individually but you will all be cell mates. The first little bit of this adventure i can safely spoil, but you will get out somehow, and you will run from the guards until you either a) lose them entirely or b) Make it too Dunron. The closest city that is out of the influence of The Legion. For the first part i will be managing food religiously and it will be scarce. The Outlander background feature will not work for the first part, and the spell goodberry will be houseruled to CONSUME the sprig of mistletoe. After your escape arc food wont be as much of an issue, but i will still harp on it a bit.

Additionally you will milestone level, so i wont be tracking experience. When you do a big important cool thing, you will level up. If your character dies, a new character will be a level behind your last. So dont worry about murdering the maximum amount of things for the experience. Accomplishing the objective is the important part.

As for characters im pretty much alright with anything, if its homebrew run it by me cause it might be too strong for the setting. Im saying no to warforged right now however, the fact that they dont need to eat sleep or drink is a lot for this setting. But otherwise, i like for my players to be as cool and crazy as they want so go nuts, throw some wild shit into your backgrounds for me to work with. i love that stuff.

And dont worry about mixed level parties, ill give everyone something to die too :wink:


i suppose i should include a disclaimer. A brutal world has brutal consequences. A bunch of bloodthirsty orcs smash up a village, they arent likely gonna spare any women or children. I really wanna make you feel the despair with this one, so its not for the faint of heart. No sexual assault though. I am not comfortable with that myself so i wont include it even if the realism is hurt by that.

This is definitely an M rated game.


Hey ColdCanadian, just wanted to voice my support–but also to say I think my RPG plate is full at the moment. I’m finally to the point where I can check in on our Firelight games reliably (and have another RuneQuest campaign fliickering on and off elsewhere), and don’t want to upset the proverbial apple cart, now that I’ve got it moving forward…

But if anyone reading this is at all curious but concerned about RPG PBF, I’d say jump in! It’s a blast once it gets going (though maybe “a blast” isn’t the right way to describe this kind of gritty campaign…but sounds like it could be entertaining though!)