# Is this a deadly encounter?

My DM is insisting that he is not giving us DEADLY encounters, so I am bringing one example to this community to see if I am calculating incorrectly.

I am in an adventuring party as one of THREE 12th level characters [wizard, warrior, cleric]. We came upon (4) Ooze, Corrupting (Tomb of Beasts 311). According to the DMG to determine threshold I should:

Determine XP Threshold

12th Level: Easy=1,000 xp; Medium=2,000 xp; Hard=3,000 xp; Deadly=4,500 xp

Determine the Party's XP Threshold

[Easy] 3×1,000 = 3,000 xp
[Medium] 3×2,000 = 6,000 xp
[Hard] 3×3,000 = 9,000 xp
[Deadly] 3×4,500 = 13,500 xp

Total Monsters' XP

[4] Ooze, Corrupting (Tome of Beasts pg.311) 4 × 1,800 xp = 7200 xp

Modify Total XP for Multiple Monsters

Number of Monsters: 3-6
Multiplier: × 2

Result: 7,2000 × 2 = 14,400 Monster XP

Compare XP

Party Threshold for DEADLY encounter is 13,500 XP
Monster XP is 14,400 XP
MY UNDERSTANDING: This is a DEADLY encounter.
Is this a DEADLY encounter?

• What the combat circumstances were? – enkryptor Nov 3 '19 at 11:14
• @sevenbrokenbricks has given a good answer, but I'd like to know how the encounter actually went. Did you, in fact, barely survive (or not)? Or did you manage to defeat the oozes with 'only' moderate injuries and a fair amount of resource expenditure? – PJRZ Nov 3 '19 at 16:38
• Is your GM running a homemade campaign or a ready-made module? – kviiri Nov 3 '19 at 17:47
• Future researchers might consider using kobold.club/fight/#/encounter-builder – Destruktor Nov 3 '19 at 23:51
• To comment on how well designed the encounter difficulty system is, I can share that I threw a group of 5 level 3 players into an over triple-deadly encounter, and thanks to a tight corridor and some good tactics, nobody went even unconscious. This last week the same group, now level 5, went against a 150% deadly encounter. After two fireballs only three of fifteen enemy combatants still stood, and only one of the PC's has lost more than 25% hp at the end. – Mark Nov 4 '19 at 7:55

Carcer and I can independently verify that all your math checks out.

That said, take a deep breath. I doubt this question was prompted by your lack of faith in your own math and reading skills, but instead by your DM's insistence that this encounter wasn't deadly, and this much bold formatting and all-caps in a question (prior to style edits at least) makes it pretty clear that personal feelings are running hot (and probably being hurt) over this issue. If the game is causing you that much stress, maybe it's time for a break, or for a different activity - or for just walking away. No game is preferable to a game prompting this kind of emotional response.

So why are they saying it's not a deadly encounter? I'm not your DM, so I don't have direct access to their thought processes and reasoning, but if I had to guess?

Maybe they don't realize they need to add the additional difficulty multiplier for groups of monsters, as this is something that causes some confusion in 5E. Under this math, the encounter would incorrectly show as medium.

Maybe, and this is what I believe is most likely, you're not talking about the same thing when you say "deadly encounter". They could be using "deadly" to refer to the encounter in plain English - like "trivial" or "effortless" or "frustrating" - while you use it to describe this very specific 5E concept of encounter difficulty. Few things are more frustrating than being separated by a common language like this.

Maybe the oozes were at some disadvantage: surprised, distant enough for your ranged folk to get a licking in before they closed the distance, or something else specific to the encounter that only the DM knew about. Per the DMG, a disadvantage like this drops the encounter one step from deadly to hard.