View Full Version : CR adjustment?

2008-04-05, 07:42 AM
I remember hearing that a monster's CR was how hard it would be for a "standard group" of a Fighter, a Rogue, a Cleric, and a Wizard. However, I'm about to start DMing with a group with 6, possibly 7 people, and I'm not quite sure how to set up the CR. My plan was, for encounters against a single enemy, pick a CR equal to theirs +2, and then just make even bigger groups of CR appropriate enemies for large encounters.

If it changes anything, the characters are a bard, a ninja, a cleric, a barbarian, a dragon shaman, a spirit shaman, and then possibly a wizard. They're level 3, with a 32 point buy.

2008-04-05, 07:46 AM

Encounter calculator's your friend.

2008-04-05, 07:55 AM
Cool, but, it places the party level at 7.8. That's not really a problem, but if the difficulty level skips from Easy to Very Difficult going from an EL 7 encounter to an EL 8 encounter. Which one am I supposed to go with? <_<

2008-04-05, 08:00 AM
Start with the lower end and work up if the party seems to be doing alright, TPKs, or any player death for that matter, should never be an accident.

There are only two possible downsides to sending monsters that are on the weak side against the party, those are a lack of feeling challenged on the player's part (which is the best clue that you can turn up the danger knob) and a slow progression of experience, which you can counteract almost effortlessly with ad-hoc awards.

Any party is going to shuffle the equations around and require some fine tuning for the best experience, the CR system isn't so well designed that messing with it becomes verboten.

2008-04-05, 10:49 AM
Alright, then, one last question. For NPCs with class levels, what's their CR? For example, one of their first encounters is going to be against a druid with some animal friends, so would the druid's CR be equal to his ECL?

2008-04-05, 11:26 AM
Assuming the druid hasn't been templated, yes.

2008-04-05, 11:28 AM
Joe, it might be easier just to have them fight larger groups of monsters than worry about sending more powerful ones. For example, if your group had an average level of 7, then an encounter with two or three CR 7s should equal out well.

Let your group know that you don't have your encounters down to a science yet, and experiment a bit. You'll figure it before too long.

EDIT: For BBEGs, just tack on an extra CR appropriate monster. One CR 10 BBEG might fall a bit too quickly for a Lvl 7 party, but a CR 10 BBEG with a CR 6 or 7 minion won't.

2008-04-05, 11:33 AM
You should not send them at a single level 7 character when they are level 3. You will kill half of them.

You should send multiple level 3 characters at them.

2008-04-05, 11:45 AM
The party level is not 7.8... I'm not sure where you're seeing that. A party of 7 3rd-level characters is equivalent party level of 4.6, according to that calculator.

2008-04-05, 11:48 AM

Yeah, I just realized that. I didn't read the isntructions carefully enough. <_<

2008-04-05, 11:57 AM
The characters are going to be getting 4/7 the XP they got previously, so you need to raise the average encounter level by a bit less than 2 (since raising it by 2 doubles the XP).

So 4-5 is a "challenging" encounter, and the other levels (in the DMG) shift accordingly. Be careful with high-CR monsters, though - probably better off using more of the same CRs.