When my 5 players go up to 8th level, they will be encountering their first dragon. I need help building an encounter that will feel tense without a TPK.

To create a deadly encounter using Kobold Fight Club, I determined this encounter:

  • 1x Young Silver Dragon (CR 9)

  • 3x Magma Mephit (CR 1/2)

But is a CR 9 too weak, and should I be looking at a higher CR? I know the DMG warns against using CRs higher than your average party level.

I know a lot can change based on terrain, but I just wanted to get a ball-park idea of what you all think.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Please note we're not a forum and don't handle open-ended "what do you all think" type questions. Instead, try asking about the actual problem you're facing. Why do you think CR 9 is too weak and that you should be looking for a higher CR? What about the encounter as a whole do you have a problem with and feel needs balancing out? Explain to us the actual problem and we're more likely to be able to help. \$\endgroup\$ – Purple Monkey Mar 2 '19 at 23:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ On the other hand, the forums we recommend, including our very own Role-playing Games Chat, do handle "what do you all think" very well. So there're options, too. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Mar 3 '19 at 3:34