I'm trying to improve the pacing of my encounter design. (I suspect that I've been making them too easy for my players, or that I haven't been paying close enough attention to how many resources they are consuming during an encounter.)
Assuming that an encounter of medium difficulty has "one or two scary moments for the players, but they should emerge victorious with no casualties" and "one or more of them might need to use healing resources" (which has been the case so far), how many such encounters should a party of 3 PCs, level 1 through 3, typically have before they are expected to take a long rest?
So far, my party has been having 3 to 4 such encounters, which might be too high. They are fighting low-level "mobs" (kobolds, goblins, an ooze or two, a mimic, a bunch of skeletons, and other such oddities one might find in a sewer system).
Note: These players are new to the game (my two cousins, 7 and 11 years old, and my mother). I'm trying to introduce them to the game. Don't know if that's relevant or not. I don't want to scare them away from the game, but I don't want them to become munchkins, either.