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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.

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closed as too broad by Purple Monkey, Miniman, Ruse, Oblivious Sage, Blake Steel Mar 3 at 3:33

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\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 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 at 3:34