This question already has an answer here:
I've a question about CRs and ELs in D&D3.5 (and probably it has been already answered and I haven't understood it, so feel free to close it).
I have a party of five characters at level 11 (Fighter, Wizard, Cleric, Druid and Rogue, so pretty balanced) quite powerful and experienced (expecially the Wizard). I'm trying to understand how to balance the encounter using the DM HandBook but honestly I'm stuck. That's what I've understood till now:
- To give experience I have to check the table at pg. 38 (italian manual) and for every player see how much xp that mob gives and divide it for the number of PG in party. In my case for example, a CR 11 mob gives 3.300 / 5 = 660xp for player.
- I have to balance the EL adding or removing mobs based on the table presented at page 49...
My doubt is: what if the party is composed by 7-8 people at level 11, or a very experience party? Obviously a CR 10-11-12 it's a piece of cake and yes, it worths less experience, but where's the fun? Should I use higher CR/EL or it's dangerous? I don't want to kill my PGs, just giving them some fun.
How do you DMs out there balance your encounters?