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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Default Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    So I'm still fairly new to playing barbarians in dnd (half-orc is the race of my guy, level 5 bear totem barbarian) and had my third session ever playing as one in a homebrewed campaign. We were investigating some murders on the docks of the city and and went to the docks to question the dock workers again, but they had all just been murdered by some kind of zombies and we got into a fight with four of them. I don't know much about which specific creature they were, but they had extra attack and rolled 3d6 damage on a hit and seemed to also have a high attack bonus because they were often getting attack rolls of over 20 total to hit vs. my mere 17 ac and even with bear totem, I was taking 7+ damage per hit from 2 of them. At one point I had to disengage and drink a health potion, then re-enter rage on my next turn and STILL ended up having to resort to my racial ability to keep from going down due to being reduced to 0 hp. Fortunately the last guy attacking me (the last of the 4) was killed before my next turn came up, but I'm wondering if this is typical for barbarians or not.

    For reference, the rest of the party consists of an Inquisitive ranged rogue with 1 level of cleric, a champion fighter who was getting hit a lot even with heavy armor on (I think his ac was at least 19), a wild magic sorcerer and a gunsmith artificier. The fighter was also getting ganged up on and taking lots of damage most of the session in battles, but the dock battle was too close for comfort for me. Just not used to getting into situations like this, tbh, and wonder if this is typical for barbarians. My HP was 55 to start with and I was at full health when that battle started. After it was over, we were allowed to level up and I took a level of fighter for an extra way to heal and took the great weapon master fighting style because with monsters rolling that high to hit, 18 ac wasn't going to be that useful for me (17 ac from half-plate and +2 dex)
    Last edited by samcifer; 2019-04-13 at 12:35 PM.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    From my (limited) experience with barbarians, this happens only when there is little or no BC or CC going on. If all the enemies ganged up on you in a big fight (as it seems they did and it was), it might go either way on whether they managed to get you down (let's say 35-40% chance) before the party got them down. You're 'only' about twice as tough as most.
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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Frankly, it means you did your job as a Barbarian. You took the abuse and kept it away from the other more squishy characters.

    It's kind of like my Moon Druid in animal forms. If they are abusing my animal forms, they are not abusing the archer or anyone else. So, it's effective.
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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Congratulations, you just ate at least 110 damage that could have gone to your party members. That is awesome! You did a great job in tanking for your party. This is bear-totem life in a nutshell.

    If you fear for your life I can recommend carrying a reach weapon as back-up. With it you can attack and then backpedal without disengage (it's tactical, not cowardly). With your superior speed a lot of enemies won't be able to reach you, thus preventing a lot of damage.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Quote Originally Posted by Crucius View Post
    Congratulations, you just ate at least 110 damage that could have gone to your party members. That is awesome! You did a great job in tanking for your party. This is bear-totem life in a nutshell.

    If you fear for your life I can recommend carrying a reach weapon as back-up. With it you can attack and then backpedal without disengage (it's tactical, not cowardly). With your superior speed a lot of enemies won't be able to reach you, thus preventing a lot of damage.
    I'm using a +1 / +1 glaive as my main weapon. I've never done this kind of character before, tbh, and am surprised at just how nerve-racking they can be to play as I take hit after hit. Towards the end of the fight I stopped attacking recklessly to avoid granting my enemies advantage on attacking me. My CON is at 17 and am wondering if going to fighter 4 and taking the toughness feat for an extra +2 hp per level for an extra 18 hp would be better than going polearm master like I had originally planned. I could then go to fighter 6 and get pa then.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Quote Originally Posted by samcifer View Post
    attacking recklessly


    If you are supposed to be the main damage sponge, you should consider packing a shield and a onehander as well.
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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    As others have said, great job! One thing people don't seem to understand about Barbs up front is their role in a party isn't so much massive damage (though they do have that) as it is straight up tanking. All that damage you absorbed could have gone to the Rogue or the Cleric. You locked them down and took those hits like a boss. That's your job! And your good at it! Feel good about that.

    If you start getting really worried, talk to the Cleric about getting some healing every now and then.

    Balancing on the edge of death is a part of the class. Don't be afraid to stand side by side with the Champion and let him take some hits, too, especially if he has HAM. Also, Reckless is not always the answer, especially if you have another martial at your side. I would wager that the advantage you were giving the enemies is a generous part of why they were hitting you so much. Misses here and there are okay for the tradeoff of keeping them locked down.

    Also, this encounter seemed on the higher side of difficulty for your party. Maybe don't judge the entire campaign off of one tough fight.
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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Quote Originally Posted by samcifer View Post
    I'm using a +1 / +1 glaive as my main weapon. I've never done this kind of character before, tbh, and am surprised at just how nerve-racking they can be to play as I take hit after hit. Towards the end of the fight I stopped attacking recklessly to avoid granting my enemies advantage on attacking me. My CON is at 17 and am wondering if going to fighter 4 and taking the toughness feat for an extra +2 hp per level for an extra 18 hp would be better than going polearm master like I had originally planned. I could then go to fighter 6 and get pa then.
    Hmm I see. I am currently playing three barbarians and I like that thrill... Sometimes. I totally understand that a feeling of security goes a long way into daring to enter combat.

    Since it's a homebrew campaign I suspect the DM might be balancing the encounters based on your stats, hp included. By taking that feat he might up the damage potential of his monsters to give you a consistent challenge. This is just speculation of course and depends on DM style.

    As for things you could do right now, you could either kite the enemies, ask your spellcaster friends to pick up some crowd control spells, or equip a shield. Teamwork makes the dream work, so asking the fighter to help tank with his (slightly) superior AC, or the spellcasters for support (cc or heal) could help. Maybe they just don't know the heart palpitations you are having at these games.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    The issue of taking up a shield was that the enemies were rolling above 20 to hit pretty much every time. When I took a level of fighter at lv. 6, I saw that a mere +1 ac from the defensive sighting style wasn't going to be much help, so I opted for increasing damage with great weapon fighting instead. The fighter in our group has 19 ac and was getting hit more often than not in all the combat encounters we were having last night.
    Last edited by samcifer; 2019-04-13 at 02:35 PM.
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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Quote Originally Posted by samcifer View Post
    The issue of taking up a shield was that the enemies were rolling above 20 to hit pretty much every time. When I took a level of fighter at lv. 6, I saw that a mere +1 ac from the defensive sighting style wasn't going to be much help, so I opted for increasing damage with great weapon fighting instead. The fighter in our group has 19 ac and was getting hit more often than not in all the combat encounters we were having last night.
    are you sure the dm is not ignoring bounded accuracy on its monsters?
    Also making sure in your party to have one way to always impose disadvantage to opponents means that the opponents will never have advantage.
    Last edited by noob; 2019-04-13 at 03:53 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    are you sure the dm is not ignoring bounded accuracy on its monsters?
    Also making sure in your party to have one way to always impose disadvantage to opponents means that the opponents will never have advantage.
    I don't know what bonded accuracy is. (I've never dm-ed, so I don't know how the game works from the dm side of things)
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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Actually, I just remembered that during the fight where I nearly dropped, our rogue went down and was still making death saving throws when the battle ended and the artificier healed him to get him back on his feet.
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Sounds like standard Barbarian procedure, especially when Reckless Attacking. I will admit, the Cleric cooould have done a bit more healing, but seeing as they're only a single level dip they could have easily been out of spells. It sounds like your DM threw some strong monsters at you, but nothing you guys couldn't handle. Your HP problems will be mitigated a bit as you level up and gain more HP though.

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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Quote Originally Posted by sithlordnergal View Post
    Sounds like standard Barbarian procedure, especially when Reckless Attacking. I will admit, the Cleric cooould have done a bit more healing, but seeing as they're only a single level dip they could have easily been out of spells. It sounds like your DM threw some strong monsters at you, but nothing you guys couldn't handle. Your HP problems will be mitigated a bit as you level up and gain more HP though.
    To be clear, you're talking about our rogue character who has 1 level in cleric. In addition to him and me, the group consists of a champion fighter, a wild magic sorcerer and a gunsmith artificer. If my barbarian dies, I'll make a light cleric for damage and support or maybe a bear totem barbarian/moon druid hybrid who can heal as well as tank.
    Last edited by samcifer; 2019-04-14 at 01:28 AM.
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Quote Originally Posted by samcifer View Post
    I don't know what bonded accuracy is. (I've never dm-ed, so I don't know how the game works from the dm side of things)
    Bounded Accuracy: Basically its how 5e is balanced. They made it so that smaller numbers have a larger impact For example, a +1 magic weapon has a lot more impact in 5e then it would in 3.5e, and can be perfectly serviceable even past level 10. It also makes it so a large enough group of CR 1/4's could, theoretically, take down a level 20 Wizard. Don't get me wrong, it would require waves upon waves of CR 1/4's constantly throwing themselves at the Wizard and dying, but it is possible.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Quote Originally Posted by samcifer View Post
    To be clear, you're talking about our rogue character who has 1 level in cleric. In addition to him and me, the group consists of a champion fighter, a wild magic sorcerer and a gunsmith artificer. If my barbarian dies, I'll make a light cleric for damage and support.
    Yup, I am talking about them. I assume they did what healing they could before they finally stopped due to lack of spell slots. You should be perfectly fine, I've only ever seen a Barbarian die twice:

    Once because the Barbarian got stunned by a Mind Flayer and was insta-killed the next round before anyone could save him, though it was his fault for charging head first into 3 Mind Flayers while leaving the party behind... >.> High HP won't save you from bad tactics.

    The other happened because I missed a game in Tomb of Annihilation. I was a Moon Druid and acted as both the secondary tank and primary healer. The other two were a Swashbuckler Rogue and a Necromancer Wizard. I missed the game, party got caught by powerful undead with no way to heal themselves, and the Barbarian died to save the team.

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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Honestly, I would see it more as a possitive.

    You tanked two creatures that did 3d6 damages and regularly hit above AC 20, for a whole fight. That's awesome and I would be proud, in your place.

    I feel like multiclassing into Fighter was kinda an overreaction. I mean, if you did it mainly for the Second Wind, it's robbing you of a good bunch of Barbarian perks for a whole level just to get small benefits.
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2019-04-14 at 09:04 AM.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    I agree with some other posters. Sounds like things went well. If anything maybe don't reckless attack next time as that is probably why they were doing so high against you. Let them that it sounds like a great encounter

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    Devil

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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    Honestly, I would see it more as a possitive.

    You tanked two creatures that did 3d6 damages and regularly hit above AC 20, for a whole fight. That's awesome and I would be proud, in your place.

    I feel like multiclassing into Fighter was kinda an overreaction. I mean, if you did it mainly for the Second Wind, it's robbing you of a good bunch of Barbarian perks for a whole level just to get small benefits.
    Not really an over-reaction as I had already planned on doing so. I want to got to fighter 4 over levels 6 - 9 because I want to improve my crit range as a champion fighter as well as gain access to action surge so I can either disengage if I get swarmed or pop a healing potion in a really tough battle and still get to attack during the same turn, or if things are going well, make a nova damage turn. I'll take Polearm Master at lv. 9 (fighter 4) for a guaranteed 3rd attack per turn as well as getting to hit anyone who comes after me when they come into range. As our campaigns tend to only go a few levels, I want to get my next asi asap while still getting the fighter features I want so this will be the route I'm going to go in. After fighter 4, I'll likely go back to barbarian for the rest of mylevels and take either Toughness at lv. 12 or maybe Sentinel.

    So long as my experience is normal for a barbarian, then fine. IT was just rather shocking as I've only played a sorcadin before this who had access to healing spells. Every other character I've ever played before this was a ranged caster who focused on damage or a moon druid who had ways to heal himself as well so this was a new experience for me as a player.
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    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Barbarian 5 to fighter 4 is a common build. GWM is also a great feat for that build.

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Be careful when recklessly attacking by the way; in many cases the math works out such that doing so means you're taking more than double the damage you normally would (usually when dealing with multiple weaker enemies).

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    Devil

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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Quote Originally Posted by Samayu View Post
    Barbarian 5 to fighter 4 is a common build. GWM is also a great feat for that build.
    I've already taken GWM for my lv. 4 asi/feat option. I'm using a +1 / +1 glaive, so I want Polearm Master for my next asi/feat choice at fighter 4. After that, not sure if I should go to fighter 6 for Toughness or maybe take Resilient Wisdom to get me to 13 WIS so I can take 2 levels of Moon Druid for even more tanking goodness by wildshaping into a bear or go back to Barbarian for the rest.
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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Be careful when recklessly attacking by the way; in many cases the math works out such that doing so means you're taking more than double the damage you normally would (usually when dealing with multiple weaker enemies).
    yeah, good to know. :)
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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Quote Originally Posted by clash View Post
    I agree with some other posters. Sounds like things went well. If anything maybe don't reckless attack next time as that is probably why they were doing so high against you. Let them that it sounds like a great encounter
    +1 to this

    I have a storm herald (arctic barbarian)
    And if theirs 3 or more enemies on me I wont reckless attack, if its 2 enemies with multi attack I won't reckless either

    Instead look into taking the attack action then shoving prone (you'll have advantage) although your not high enough for multi attack melee allies will appreciate it.

    Also generally I wont reckless unless it takes more than 8 on dice to hit
    Which for zombies
    13 or 14 a.c. sounds about

    Pretty much just keep track of what rolls miss and what hit dice wise and go from there


    (Also reckless is a good way to get agro. Just be careful doing that got me crit a few times when I was using reckless to get enemies off of our blade pact warlock. 6 enemies)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shuruke View Post
    +1 to this

    I have a storm herald (arctic barbarian)
    And if theirs 3 or more enemies on me I wont reckless attack, if its 2 enemies with multi attack I won't reckless either

    Instead look into taking the attack action then shoving prone (you'll have advantage) although your not high enough for multi attack melee allies will appreciate it.

    Also generally I wont reckless unless it takes more than 8 on dice to hit
    Which for zombies
    13 or 14 a.c. sounds about

    Pretty much just keep track of what rolls miss and what hit dice wise and go from there


    (Also reckless is a good way to get agro. Just be careful doing that got me crit a few times when I was using reckless to get enemies off of our blade pact warlock. 6 enemies)
    Yeah, all of this is stuff I need to learn as this character is much different from my previous ones and the dm this time is a very dominating player. HE's one who tends to dominate rp encounters and when he was playing a sorcerer, he was being allowed to get away with things that were WAY overpowered, such as quickening and twinning Fireball, as a notable example, or twinning a heightened Fireball.
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    Devil

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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    So we had session 2 last night and it wasn't, for my character at least, as bad as the first session. So we're using the 'milestone' system of leveling up and I took a level of fighter, since we had done so at the end of the session, I decided to go ahead and take the Defensive fighting style aver the great-weapon style. We had plenty of money, so I sold my armor to upgrade to +1 half-plate, uping my AC to 19 even though in this campaign it isn't worth much. Meaning that enemies are rolling fairly high.

    In this session we were tackling a case involving elf children being kidnapped. We eventually set up a decoy room in an elven hospital to catch some red caps in the act of stealing kids. There were only three, but they each must have had well over 70 hp, could attack 3 times per turn, got disengage as a free action and managed to knock out the cleric/rogue before combat even began using a cloud of sleeping potion fog. With the sorcerer player missing due to his work schedule interfering, it left only me, the artificer, his bison mount (he's a gunsmith and chose a bison instead of a sabre-tooth tiger for his construct), and the fighter to face off against 3 red caps.

    These things were said to be CR4, but were WAY overpowered and we only technically took 1 out. They each had disengage as a free action, 3 attacks per turn that did 2d6 + atk stat dmg. per attack and must have each had over 70hp.

    The fighter ended up getting hit way more often than not even with 19ac and was taking tons of damage and finally went down. I had to revive him with a healing potion. Then the unconscious cleric rogue went down and I had to revive him the same way in the same battle.

    In the next and only other battle of the night, we found the people who had kidnapped the kids and got into a nother battle with a few weaker foes, 3 more redcaps and what might have been some kind of sorceress or such (she was basically the queen of the elven winter court). The artificer's construct went down, then HE went down after it, we nearly lost the rouge/cleric and the fighter. then our npc boss and his assistant came in and saved us before anyone really died, but with those nightmarish red caps, I didn't dare use reckless attack because 3 attacks per red cap per turn is bad enough, but no way would I have survived if they'd had advantage to attack me.

    We ended the case and the night without reaching another milestone, but I'll have to go fighter 2 for Action Surge next level just to help us all survive this campaign!
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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Quote Originally Posted by samcifer View Post
    These things were said to be CR4, but were WAY overpowered
    Don't take CR as the absolute.

    The group I'm DM'ing for can fairly easily take down a single CR 7/8ish monster. Their last combat had 3xCR1 and 2xCR2 fellas. These guys got them down to 50% health and they used 50%(ish) of their abilities.

    AC19 for a Barb at lvl 5/6 is pretty insane, your DM will have to rebalance encounters, which wont always go in your favour. It's an art in 5E, which wont always go in your favour.

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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    sounds like your DM is a sadist... what level are you now? 7? how many enemies with 3 x 2d6 attacks?? as opposed to the last, which was 2 x 3d6! by your account hitting 19AC reliably..

    sounds like deadly after deadly to me, you might want to suggest to your party some more strategic game play..

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    Devil

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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    Quote Originally Posted by Azgeroth View Post
    sounds like your DM is a sadist... what level are you now? 7? how many enemies with 3 x 2d6 attacks?? as opposed to the last, which was 2 x 3d6! by your account hitting 19AC reliably..

    sounds like deadly after deadly to me, you might want to suggest to your party some more strategic game play..
    We're all at lv. 6 right now, but two of us have AC19 and are still getting hit a lot. We're the two melee characters, true (everyone else is ranged) but that seems like a lot of damage to be taking on a regular basis.

    Also, the cleric/rouge has low accuracy as he focused more on his mental stats and only uses a crossbow for attacking with 14 DEX. He knows that this is an issue but the dm admitted that his character has plot armor because if his rogue dies, he'll bring back his barbarian from a previous campaign and the dm doesn't want to be dealing with 2 of us. :D
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    Imp

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    Default Re: Scary experience for my barbarian last night in battle...

    CR 4 means "is a Medium encounter for 4 lvl 4 PCs).

    3 normal Redcaps (aka CR 3 ones, with 45 HPs) against 3 lvl 6 PCs? It's a Deadly encounter. 3 lvl 6 PCs against CR 4 enemies? It's more half the XP they should be able do handle over a whole adventuring day, concentrated on one point.

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