I am putting together a campaign and have been experimenting with the guidelines for creating encounters and managing difficulty. I've done the math for quite a few encounters at each of the "tier" levels (5th, 11th, 15th) just to get a feel for how it works. One example is below. Does my method look correct?
15th level party, medium difficulty, 5 PCs XP Threshold: 5(2800) = 14,000 xp 4 monsters so 2x Encounter Multiplier: 1 fire giant 1(2)(5000 xp) = 10000 xp 1 ogre 1(2)( 450 xp) = 900 xp 2 ettins 2(2)(1100 xp) = 4400 xp -------- 15300 xp
So a wee bit more than the medium difficulty threshold but still less than the hard difficulty threshold. There are a lot of other factors to take into account when designing encounters and this is just back of the cocktail napkin math. A fire giant figures prominently in the campaign and I'm trying to figure out "when" to bring him in should it come to blows.