Wednesday, February 09, 2011

In Which The Warlock Contemplates Sleep...

With nearly a full week off last week due to the ice storm, then a weekend away at a local bed & breakfast, I have well and truly screwed up my sleep schedule, my friends and neighbors.  Having slept in comfortably for almost a week, waking up at 6:00am to do the teaching thing has been brutal.  I've been averaging about 4 hours of sleep a night, since Sunday, which has left me pretty bleary in the mornings.

However, it's occured to me:  adventurers have got to have the worst sleep routines of anyone else out there in fantasy-land. 

Bear with me here:

Wake up, Crono!  2 hours aren't enough?
A wizard has it easy at first, studying under another mage or the like, or attending a mage academy.  One would figure that if a mage academy is anything like a modern college, said wizard probably spent three nights of the week at the local tavern, followed by a harried Sunday of writing theses and practicing cantrips that will never see use in the field anyway.  Is it any wonder that warlocks and sorcerers skip all of this mess?

After graduating, that wizard must spend at least 8 hours asleep each night, followed by another hour studying their spellbook to attain their spells for the day.  Afterwards, follows an absurd amount of travel--usually to some far-off adventure site--during which there are typically three encounters, each taking approximately a minute and a half of dodging, spellcasting, getting stabbed, and trying to stay conscious. 

Following said encounters, the wizard has to make dinner for his comrades, get patched up (especially if the party's warrior-type didn't do his job well), then settle down for a night of camping in dangerous, foreign territory.  If he's lucky, he won't have to take a 3 hour watch, interrupting his sleep even further.  And then?  After all this?  He has to do it again tomorrow!  Madness!

The "ideal" version of the D&D campsite...

Imagine for a moment, if your day was like this.  You wake up after a night of sleep only to find out that your work will take longer, if you didn't get enough sleep.  You then go on a road trip, deliberately out in the middle of nowhere, during which you'll be mugged not once, but three separate times!  Then, instead of sleeping in a motel or the like, you have to camp out in the wilderness--regardless of weather--and do it all again the next day.  And just hope that you don't get woken up in the middle of the night by some more muggers!

I might complain about my sleep schedule, but if I was Magey McWizardson, I'd be passing out constantly!  It's almost a necessity that GMs hand-wave the exhaustion of travel and the like, or every adventurer would be dying of sleep deprivation and other related diseases.

All this actually reminds me just a touch of my "Tear of Ioun" game.  At the start, as the PCs explored the Forlorn Tower, their resources--and sanity!--dwindled away, they actually feared sleeping!  After all, who would want to sleep in a corrupted, dripping tower that shifted into and out of the Far Realm over and over again? 

Do your friendly neighborhood adventurer a favor--get them some rest!  That "extended rest" might not seem like much to us, but they need their beauty rest!


  1. Thunderforge11:27 AM

    Things are a bit nicer for Magey McWizardson IV, but now he has new problems. For instance, he has to budget about 6 uninterrupted hours of time to copying a ritual from his buddy's ritual book. Tthe copy page ritual just won't do because he's got to study the whole thing like a college student cramming for an exam. And Magey McWizardson IV now only needs 6 hours of sleep a night, which for most 4th generation adventuring parties, means they skip meals and sleep for the full six hours. Geez...

    For a guy who is usually weak and fragile, it's a miracle he even decides to get out of bed in the morning!

    In my Zombie campaign, I'm going to be making them actually have to deal with lack of sleep. It's currently 5:30 in the morning game time and they didn't sleep at all last night because they stayed until the bar closed and then had to deal with the beginning of a zombie outbreak. They'll have a little time to sleep this session, but they'll still have to make Vigor rolls for Fatigue.

  2. Nothing like pulling a 12 hour workday for poor Magey IV...especially when there are multiple rituals to be transcribed!

    Good to hear that you're not letting the zombie-slayers off the hook. Long nights of zombie hunting make for difficult mornings. Just don't let them drive to Centralia anytime soon!