Again, the STORY puts time limits on like everything, but then the mechanics don't follow through. It's not just the tadpole, though that is still the biggest one even after they tell you it's not acting normal.
And Im not talking about Time Limits as in, you have to complete certain quests in 2 hours of gameplay. I'm talking about Timed Events that take place after every x number of Long Rests that buy you, the player, more time to complete the quests because you are taking longer to complete the quests than the story would allow.
Story Time Limits
Tadpole = Unknown, but could start changing ANY DAY, multiple people tell you this
Druid Ritual = just started because Arabella stole the idol. Time limit unknown but ain't gonna last more than a week tops. Anything more than a week would not make sense and even a week is a stretch to me.
Goblins Attack = Aradin leads them to the Grove. Again, they could attack any day, but time limit is unknown. They've been looking for the grove for awhile with a mandate to wipe it put. Assuming they, for some reason, need some time to prepare a full on assault, would it really take more than maybe a week...2 tops?
Lae'zel Wants Cleansing = Unknown time limit, but again, how long do you think she's going to realistically stay with you if you ignore her wanting to get cleansed. It is her number 1 priority, and she is more than happy to tell you this again and again.
There are more, but the point is that there are MANY game elements affected by not limiting long rests. I agree, putting a long rest limit that is too short would ruin the game, and that's why I thought that the timed events idea would fix this.
So, say you dethrone Kahga after only using 2 long rests after you first learn about the ritual. The reward for completing the quests in a timely fashion is and awesome weapon...not that cursed druid staff but a genuinely cool flaming scimitar or something.
However, let's say you take 3 long rests and still havent dethroned her. Something happens to stop the druids and the ritual starts over again. You have three more days. Now you beat Kahga within another 2 days. You get a slightly less cool things, like a cloak of cold protection.
But lets say it takes you 6 long rests from when you came to the grove the first time and still the quests is not done. Another timed event happens to star the ritual over again. This one is Rath locked up going to be executed for interfering. You have to sneak in and save him. Either way, ritual now wont be completed for 3 more days.
This provides more interesting gameplay and rewards players for succeeding quicker and explains why events aren't completed in reasonable timefranes.
Thing is timelimits tied to a mechanic like resting doesn't sound enjoyable to me as a limit.
Tadpole, yes unknown, but over time your characters would become used to it, still looking for a cure but less fervent and terrified. Constantly worrying and rushing would wear them out and cause them to die.
Druid Ritual, also unknown. A ritual on that level in dnd could be very variable, all depends on the writer. It could easily take only days, or weeks, months, or even a year to permanently seal off the grove. Move in faerun can be like that, and this seems like a very largescale ritual.
Goblin Attack, something I am actually more surprised is that there is not goblins laying a siege and trying to starve the tieflings out at some point. Its kinda the basics of warfare and the goblins could easily have done it. Though prepping for a raid to exterminate could take week.
Laezel, she begins to have her doubts over time, and she does talk about needing to go to the creche a lot, and even then there are cases where she can leave your group or try to kill you without timelimits.
And again 2 long rests are very very little, considering how many encounters are on the way to khaga, unless you are abusing the game systems or really really skilled, you will have to use at least one of them, but considering there is the goblin battle and a whole other dungeon you are intended to do before, then you are likely to use up your two just by playing the game normal. And that goes into an issue, how do you telegraph this to a player without them feeling like it is unfair? With no clear indicators of time in the current set up, you would have to add very very clear indicators of how much time which can then detract it in a different way. Like if every side quest giver tells you exactly how much time you have it would feel less like a living world and also would feel draining.