Nickorish of SteppedOnAD4 asked me to write a bit about how it is that eight hours of rest can heal a good deal of hit points in most versions of GLoG.
- It reminds players that their characters have basic needs, such as sleep.
- It acts as a wish-fulfillment fantasy. These are people who consistently get a full eight hours of sleep in!
- It forces time to pass and sets things to a sensible duration of days and nights.
- It offers an opportunity to linger just a moment on the sensation of rest. Pleasant sensory experiences such as eating, drinking, and sleeping actual can enhance a game, if you give them a modicum of focus.
- HP damage doesn't represent actual wounds. We may not feel great the day after a work-out, but the rest is still necessary to keep going.
- HP damage totally represents actual wounds. Regenerating overnight reminds the players that while their characters aren't superheroes they exist in a mythic milieu that supports the genre of derring-do they've come to the table for.
- HP is a trick to make players think they have some slack before they start getting dismembered, when really it will be gone after one good hit. Frequently replenishing this resource encourages glorious/vainglorious attempts by PCs.
- Sleep is a useful contrivance for GMs to give information and atmosphere through dreams, nocturnal wildlife, camping conditions, and downtime.