View Full Version : Encounters per day

2009-11-25, 05:15 PM
DMs, how many encounters per day do you normally have? Because I was thinking of creating (Lots of fluff) an Arcane Striker. Duskblade/Favored Soul/Mystic Theurge. No not extremely optimized but I was thinking that I could make it through the day with a group blasting almost anything with Arcane Strike repeatedly with that massive spell list and rationing them into the strikes.

I would love some Pros and Cons on this btw.

2009-11-25, 05:17 PM
My usual group tends to vary wildly. Some days, one. Some...a dozen a more. Me, I vary, but not usually to that extent.

All in all, I'd say we have more encounters per day than usual, because even though our average isn't that far off, we tend to use standard ECL opponents as a starting point, and build upward from there.

2009-11-25, 05:19 PM
Our combats take a long time, so usually we get none, and on exceptional days we get one. On days where we're actually in a dungeon instead of doing other things, it can be as many as I think 7. Typically, we're fed encounters several CRs above our level (I got a solo encounter CR of 19 when I was level 9) so doing too many combats is generally viewed as excessive. When we have more than 7, it's quick ones with things we can squash in a round or two.

Human Paragon 3
2009-11-25, 08:51 PM
We usually do not hit the suggest 4 encounters per day when I DM. I like to have fewer, more memorable encounters. Say, 2-3.

However, last time I played we had about 6 encounters. Those encounters were short, though, with not too much time to sling spells around.

Unsolicited advice: Divine Power is your friend in this build.

2009-11-25, 08:57 PM
Varies. 3's probably the average, sometimes 2, sometimes 4. Our last session, though, we had a total of 7. (The Battle of Brindol, in the Red Hand of Doom module)

2009-11-25, 09:00 PM
Depends on the GM. One of mine likes 1/day. Another averages 4/day. The difference is that the first GM is always trying to murderize you with every encounter. The second is trying to wear you down a little, but expecting you to win. Against the second it's not necessary to cast every turn, and conversely you could probably get by attacking without arcane strike against his enemies.

Kurald Galain
2009-11-26, 04:44 AM
Varies wildly. I tend not to think in terms of "encounters" and tend to run campaigns that don't focus on combat.

Of course, whenever I do run RPGA, the answer is "four".

Last time I ran a good dungeon crawl, I think it was about 15 encounters total, of varying difficulty, and the party did put in a night's rest about halfway through (among others, because they needed to cast reincarnate on a fallen comrade). They made it to the final fight (a red dragon) in pretty good shape, and would probably have made it if not for their poor tactics in that fight (i.e. two party members didn't participate - ouch!)

Kol Korran
2009-11-26, 05:02 AM
my play group usually had 3-6 battle encounters per day, with 1-3 non combat encounters usually. it's importent to say though that most locations i plan are set for that amount of encounters- i usually have a time limit so players don't sleep mid dungeon.

as to the build- mystic theurage means you're a support character, and a bit of a weak one. make sure your party can heal plenty (wands of lesser vigor) so that they won't stop just because they lack HP. consider that you'll be 2 spell levels behind the max level assumed for the CR you're facing. i'd suggest cleric instead of favoured soul (if you're support, better have all spells of your level, plus- you're a bit higher on spell levels), and wizard instead of duskblade (i don't iamgine you'll be a meleer anyway. and again- variety of spells)

hope this helps,

2009-11-26, 10:04 AM
I prefer just one or two encounters per day. Even with a wear them down mentality, I prefer that to be one long, rolling fight, moving through multiple rooms, picking up new combatants as it goes.

2009-11-26, 11:52 AM
I tend to run a pretty even amount of rping and combat when I DM. I generally give my PCs encounters that only make sense in the story, so there's usually about 1 or 2 encounters per day at most. However, sometimes my PCs like to poke hornets nests (read: wooden fort full of bandits at level 3 & 4) and that encounter took the entire session. It was a massive battle that ended with the fortress' leader dead and every PC was in single digit hit points. They all got away, but just barely.

2009-11-26, 11:59 AM
Depends on what the PCs are doing, if they are in a dungeon, the encounter number tends to be higher, otherwise I try to throw less combat oriented "encounters" at them, but one of my players likes the You see... I hit with stick approach so it tends to be lots of combat all the time! Gets dull after a while but hey their the ones that hit with stick!

Try less combat unless in a dungeon.

2009-11-26, 12:02 PM
Edition: 3.5....Barring "rest" days, I go with somethinglike this:

1-2 (85% times) Messing around.

7-8 (10%) Adventure.

15+ (5%). Deep dungeon.

High CR monsters could count as more. Most encounters are monster party. (pair, many, big + many small).

Please note that if players manage to go around the encounter talking, sneaking or feeing, the best.

Overall, it works nicely.

2009-11-26, 12:04 PM
The game's designed around the concept of 4 encounters per day. I suggest planning for 6 per day. It'll give you a safe reserve to fall back on, and give you flexibility.

A good DM tailors encounters to party capabilities. He's not going to throw 9 rough encounters a day at a group that can only reasonably take 4.

2009-11-26, 12:24 PM
My current group averages around sixish, though some of them aren't combat based. This isn't to say they aren't dangerous... for example, an Indiana Jones-style tunnel o' traps with a giant boulder chasing you doesn't really need monsters, but you should still probably count it as an encounter.

2009-11-26, 01:23 PM
A little off topic, but a party usually levels every 13.333 encounters, if memory serves, do you groups tend to level up once per real life day, or 1 per 2 real life game days? Or something else entirely?

2009-11-26, 01:31 PM
My groups tend to level up at key plot-related points. Since some campaigns involve weeks of searching/trudging/research, and others involve a minute-to-minute battle for survival, it's impossible for me to generalize how quickly this works out.