I suspect my question really is, "can I calculate the CR rating for a player character generated via the PHB rules for the purposes of determining combat/encounter difficulty for a party?" A follow up question would be "How can I scale an NPC or monster up or down in difficulty".

I have not found any direct rules to convert a player character into an NPC and calculate the CR for the purpose of combat. In the DMG, there are rules for creating NPC monsters (p.273) and rules for calculating encounter difficulty (p.82). However, if I have a level 5 wizard player character that was generated by following character creation in the PHB, that becomes an NPC that the players decide to attack or is wanted to be used as en encounter, is there a way to calculate the CR of this NPC and apply the Encounter calculation tables to determine difficulty vs. the party strength?

Commenters may (rightly so) see my question as a duplicate, as there are similar questions:

However, the answer seems to be that there is no direct way to calculate the CR from a player character generated by the PHB rules. The most accurate way to generate and size a foe seems to be to go through the process of generating from scratch using the Creating a Monster guidelines and sizing accordingly.

I also used the Monster Manual's NPC section on Mages (MM p.347), Priests (p.348) and Veterans (p.350) as a reference to design. I could not find rules on how to scale these up or down in hit dice and AC to tailor them for a party of a certain level. (How to scale down Princes of the Apocalypse for a 3-adventurer party?).

Maybe the real answer is always to generate an NPC with the traits of what a Nth level PHB character would have, and size according to DMG p.273?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Creating monsters and determining their CR is detailed in the DMG. Do you have a specific question? Stuff that is answered in the books is not appropriate for this site. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 7:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM This, first of all, except I'm trying to work it out for 5e: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/19480/…. You're saying to create human wizard NPCs from the monster creation guidelines in the Workshop section of the DMG? \$\endgroup\$
    – solarfly
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 8:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PurpleMonkey I didn't question party vs. monsters with an established CR, the tables and instructions on pages 274 and 245 are fine for that. My question is the Character Advancement Table in the PHB on page 15 says a LEVEL 10 character starts at 64,000 experience points. Now, what is the CR of that character? Or is DaleM's answer correct, that you just don't allow characters to fight characters? \$\endgroup\$
    – solarfly
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 8:33
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ So you're actually asking how to assign a CR to a character built as a PC using the PHB? Whatever the case, you're actual question is difficult to extract out of the way it's currently written. Could you revise to make it clear as to exactly what you're asking. Also this is possibly a duplicate of rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/54008/… or rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/58083/… \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 8:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay, thanks for the feedback and I will look at this link you shared! \$\endgroup\$
    – solarfly
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 14:37


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