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How do I calculate the the CR adjustment when adding Divine Rank 0?

Note: Yes, I know that not everyone agrees with the CR but it is a useful overall guide. So, with that being said I need to make sure I don't completely murder my PCs.

Related: This Question is similar but it's asking a completely different question.

Context: I will have a 20-HD enemy (main boss) that will be granted divine status at Rank 0 while he is doing his bidding. (with the promise of higher status once complete.) I would like to make sure I place the encounter that is atleast possible to win.
(I am planning to have the party be lvl 18)

Divine Rank 0 gives some, but not all of a god's benefits.

A quick rundown of quasi-deity abilities

There are many more abilities that they do not get until rank 1 which I didn't list since they don't apply.

Hit Points:
Deities receive maximum hit points for each Hit Die.

Deities can move much more quickly than mortals. (Medium biped: 60', 30 climb, 120 Fly if capable)

Synergy Bonuses
For every 20 extra ranks a deity has in a skill, the deity’s synergy bonus from the skill (if any) increases by +2.

Immunities Deities have the following immunities. Individual deities may have more immunities. Unless otherwise indicated, these immunities do not apply if the attacker is a deity of equal or higher rank.

  • Transmutation A deity is immune to polymorphing, petrification, or any other attack that alters its form. Any shape-altering powers the deity might have work normally on itself.

  • Drain: Energy Drain, Ability Drain, Ability Damage A deity is not subject to energy drain, ability drain, or ability damage.

  • Mind-Affecting Effects A deity is immune to mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects).

Damage Reduction: 10/epic

Fire resistance: 5 + divine rank (0)= *Fire Resist 5

Spell resistance: 32 + divine rank (0)=SR 32

Immortality: All deities (even those of rank 0) are naturally immortal and cannot die from natural causes. Deities do not age, and they do not need to eat, sleep, or breathe. The only way for a deity to die is through special circumstances, usually by being slain in magical or physical combat.

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It's pretty hard to put a CR on a deity. I'm assuming your using deities and demigods? –  Antonio Apr 13 '13 at 2:22
Curse Deities and demigods for not having an index! –  Antonio Apr 13 '13 at 2:28
Yes I am using that book & have found nothing of assigning CRs in this manner..though other "encounter" suggestions are mentioned. –  Ben-Jamin Apr 13 '13 at 2:54
I found what you were looking for –  Antonio Apr 13 '13 at 2:55

4 Answers 4

This is from Deities & Demi-Gods page 56

Deities do not have challenge ratings.Entities of this sort are so far above the realm of mortal heroes that determining their level of power in re Relation to mortals becomes almost meaningless.

After that it also goes on to say...

If you feel the need to calculate a Challange Rating for a deity,try adding its total Hit Dice to its divine rank. The result may or may not be an accurate estimate of what level of characters could Challange this god...

Also for your information a divine rank of 0 is quasi- deity or hero-deities. A "Demi-God" is divine ranks 1-5 this information is found on page 25 of Deities and Demigods.

So with that said your "Quasi-Deity's" CR would equal the amount of hit dice he or she would have. So if your Quasi-Deity had 20 outsider hit dice as the norm of any deity you would add 20 to the number of class hit dice he would have easily putting him out of reach with a level 18 party.

But as you stated in your question your creature only has 20 hit dice so his "CR" would be 20. No adjustment for the divine rank of 0.

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+1 & Thanks for the correction. "Most deities" have 20 outsider HD, but for an ascended deity (hero-deity was another name for quasi) they may not have that many..so I'm having a regular 20HD (non-outsider) based on class levels achieve this status –  Ben-Jamin Apr 13 '13 at 2:57
It seems 20HD + divine rank 0 equaling Challenge Rating 0 would be woefully inadequate. I was hoping someone would be able to find something that was more helpful, but sadly that may not exist –  Ben-Jamin Apr 13 '13 at 3:00
I think I would put his CR above 20. He is flat out immune to so many types of attack and to boot a lever 22 caster will loose have his spells, and thus turns to his spell resistance. 18th level players my be able to approach CL 22 with feat and items but they are still going to lose a lot of spells. If your players don't have epic equipment they can't beat his DR. Add that all together and he is much tougher than any class at level 20, even tougher than a titan which has a CR above 20. I will see what else I can find as ideas for setting a CR. –  Edward Goodson Apr 13 '13 at 5:29
@EdwardGoodson CRs for any creature with a divine rank are meaningless;when you do calculate one it is a very rough estimate that could be horribly wrong. –  Antonio Apr 13 '13 at 12:26

The monster manual has rules for creating monsters starting on page 296, I would recommend reading the entire section to get a feel for what the CR of a creature should be based on its abilities, ability scores, etc.

Drawing from those rules, in a very general way: CR is about 1.5 times it attack modifier plus 2, CR is roughly 13 plus total AC, Monsters with SR should have about 11 higher than their CR, A monsters good saving throws should be about 1.5 times their CR, its poor saving throws should be about equal to their CR.

"The two basic tools for determining CR are comparing and playtesting." page 302 MM Compare him to other creatures with similar abilities to those he gains from the deity level 0. Does he have more or less hit dice/ hit points, is his AC higher or lower, is he attack higher or lower, does he deal more or less damage, does he have more or fewer deadly special attacks, etc. If he is clearly superior to monsters of a particular CR he is a higher CR if he is clearly inferior he is a lower CR.

Play testing is more time consuming but but will give you a clearer picture. Create a team of char and play out the fight. If they start fresh, all hit points, spells, etc. and with gear appropriate for their level a party of 4 should beat a monster with CR equal to their level with no fatalities, and consuming only about 20% of their resources.

In this case with what information I have from your post (I know nothing of what the 20 hit dice gave him and how well the deity abilities complement them) I would guess his CR to be about 22 - 24.

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In the D&D3 Encounter Level system, adding +2 Challenge Rating is roughly equivalent to doubling the number of opponents, and +3 CR is like tripling them. You can use this equivalence to estimate CR. If a tweak doubles your attacks and defenses, that's roughly like adding another creature, so it's worth +2 CR.

Adding Divine Rank 0 gives your boss roughly double hit points plus resistances, but it doesn't affect offense at all. That's worth at least +1 CR, maybe a little more. To give the players the benefit of the doubt, I would use this estimate or the Deities & Demigods guideline, whichever is higher.

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It's not exactly like adding another creature! If you have three creatures, you can focus fire, and in the last third of the battle they will be at one third strength. If you have one creature three times stronger, in the last third of the battle they will be just as strong as they were at the beginning. –  doppelgreener Apr 18 '13 at 9:18
@JonathanHobbs True, it's not exactly the same, but it's close enough for estimating something as rough and fuzzy as CR. The D&D4 desigers used similar reasoning in the design for Solo monsters: It's the reason they get extra actions and attacks, instead of just more hit points and damage. –  Bradd Szonye Apr 18 '13 at 9:21
Okay, that's a really good point. :D –  doppelgreener Apr 18 '13 at 9:21
@JonathanHobbs You made a good point too. I tweaked my wording a little. –  Bradd Szonye Apr 18 '13 at 9:23

Answer: A (class) level 20 with a Divine Rank 0 is calculated to have a CR26.
This answer is derived from the "Savage Species" book

On page 107 of SS we get the formula
(I will paraphrase for ease of reading and to avoid Copyright issues):

Take Class Level 20

Next, for each special ability that the monster can use in combat, add 1 to the base CR.

We've already identified the special abilities in question:

Damage Reduction: 10/epic =+1CR
Fire resistance: 5 + divine rank (0)= *Fire Resist 5 =+1CR
Spell resistance: 32 + divine rank (0)=SR 32 =+1CR
Transmutation Immunity =+1CR
Energy/AbilityDrain & Damage Immunity =+1CR
Mind-Affecting Effects Immunity =+1CR

Total: Class Level 20+6 Special Abilities =CR26

Yes, as @JohnUnderwood pointed out, the d&d book specifically states deities do NOT have a CR, & then goes on to give an idea of how to calculate one if needed. However, that formula is for traditional deities with "20 outsider HD & 30-40 class levels"; this formula does not work out for an "ascended" deity. In this case, SS has the most appropriate way to calculate a normal being with this newly granted template.

This answer also has the ability to be expanded upon for future DMs who wish to calculate Divine Ranks 1-21+

Note: I will leave the question open for a few days for comment/corrections incase I missed anything.

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Sure, you've found some printed rules (from 3.0, not 3.5) that spit out a CR. But even more than normal, this is totally irrelevant to whether the party can survive the guy. Just look at what you've written! Is resist fire 5 really equivalent to SR 32? Likewise, if the party never uses mind-affecting spells that immunity won't make him any harder; if they have an enchantment specialist wizard, it will make a huge difference! You're missing that, since you know the composition of the party, you can determine which of the guys abilities are worth including. –  starwed Jun 8 '14 at 20:37
-1: Like what Starwed said, this is adding way too much CR. As an example: Take a regular Magmin, CR 3. Which is a tougher fight: A Magmin with SR 32 and immunity to Mind Effecting, or two regular Magmins? Both have the same ECL, based on your numbers, but two Magmins are going to be a much harder fight than one with a couple immunities. –  DuckTapeAl Jun 8 '14 at 20:53
Just so I understand, your -1 is b/c u disagree with the CR mechanic altogether? That's fine for u to disagree with that but a -1 should be reserved for a bad answer not bc u dislike a game mechanic. if u have an idea of how to improve my answer or why it does not answer the question then by all means -1 & offer your own answer! –  Ben-Jamin Jun 9 '14 at 2:23
I don't disagree with the CR mechanic altogether. I think CR is just fine as a guideline for how difficult a fight will be. My -1 is because the way that you're applying the rules you quote is adding way too much CR to a creature. Those rules are terrible at computing a reasonable CR. Like many of the things in Savage Species, you need to apply the rules carefully, and make sure that they make sense and play well before you actually run with them. Not only that, but those rules were designed for advancing monsters by hit dice, not applying templates. –  DuckTapeAl Jun 9 '14 at 6:40
The reason that I haven't made an answer of my own is that there are other answers that say everything that I would want to say anyway. –  DuckTapeAl Jun 9 '14 at 6:42

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