Questions tagged [cr-calculation]

For questions that deal with the calculation of a Challenge Rating, a method of evaluating the combat-difficulty of monsters and encounters in D&D and derived systems. Such questions should ideally demonstrate that the querent has first tried official methods of calculating CR and describe what problems they encountered in doing so.

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13
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3answers
802 views

How can I make a CR 1/2 Imp?

I am new to playing 5e, and my DM is also new to DMing 5e (although they have extensive prior experience as a 3.5e DM). We are interested in using the Sidekick rules presented in Tasha's Cauldron of ...
-4
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2answers
239 views

Can you Wild Shape into a beast with the half-dragon template?

In D&D 5e, Half-Dragon is a template (MM, 180) that can be applied to any beast, humanoid, or giant. When I applied the Red Dragon Wyrmling's dragon breath - which deals 7d6 fire damage in a cone -...
0
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1answer
95 views

Checking CR calculation for homebrew larger version of Giant Ape

I am considering allowing a larger version of a Giant Ape, in which some of the stats have been embiggened to achieve the low end of CR8. I would appreciate a confirmation that I am calculating this ...
6
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1answer
200 views

How does the Evoker NPC statblock have a CR of 9?

The Evoker in Volo's Guide to Monsters (p. 214) is listed as CR 9. However, I just can't figure out how to calculate its CR to get that high a result. AC: 15 (with Mage Armor) & HP: 66 with 2 ...
2
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1answer
143 views

What challenge rating ('CR') is a Medusa given the textbook NPC-Diviner-Wizard casting ability?

I wanted to give a recurring villain / anti-hero medusa some (15th level) wizard abilities, a.k.a. the N.P.C. Diviner as featured in Vole's or Xanathar's or Tasha's or somewhere. She can use this NPC ...
4
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1answer
153 views

Does Spell Resistance scale when advancing a monster?

I just advanced a Canoloth (MM 3, p. 200) as I wanted to use it against a level 14 party. It is originally CR 5, and I wanted to raise it to CR 8. So I added 4 HD (CR+2) and the elite array (CR+1). ...
2
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1answer
121 views

What are the rules around challenge ratings for magic users and spell?

I know that different types of creature have their own challenge ratings, and that different versions of the same creature also have them. But what are the rules around determining NPC enemy magic ...
7
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1answer
204 views

Does the Archmage’s challenge rating factor in the buffs from its pre-combat spells?

The statblock for the Archmage contains an interesting footnote: The archmage casts these spells on itself before combat. The three spells are: mage armor, stoneskin, and mind blank. These spells ...
6
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2answers
272 views

How to interpret “round up or down” in monster CR calculation

In the "Creating Quick Monster Stats" section of the DMG (p.274) we are given the procedure for determining the CR of a new DM-designed monster. Step 4 of that procedure (pp.274-275) tells ...
5
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2answers
214 views

How would giving a creature a Vorpal Sword affect their CR?

The Vorpal Sword is a legendary magical item that allows heads to be struck from bodies, as well as doing a tonne more damage if it doesn't. A good summary has already been discussed on this site. I'm ...
11
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2answers
2k views

What is the AC equivalent of mirror image?

It is suggested (by the DMG) to account for defensive options by assuming increased AC, e.g. +2 AC for magic resistance. I would like to give some of my monsters the spell mirror image as part of a ...
1
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2answers
186 views

How should I convert this character's level and stats into a CR?

This QA's answers along with the DMG say that you calculate the CR for a monster based on its stats but the examples given seem to expect that all the stats line up with one another. For example, a ...
10
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3answers
2k views

How dangerous is exhaustion?

I'm interested in adding exhaustion effects to monsters. I might homebrew changes to the exhaustion mechanic, but for now, I'm interested in assessing how dangerous it is if monsters can cause RAW ...
6
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2answers
282 views

What is the proper CR for this homebrewed Souls-esque NPC?

Returning for another year of a gothic horror adventure, I wanted to try my hand at creating a truly difficult encounter. Following on past my original npcs I opted to turn a certain Dark Souls boss ...
11
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3answers
783 views

What is the impact of banishment on CR?

Disclaimer: I know that monster balance is never exact and I don't expect it to be, I'm looking for rough guidelines like they are given in the DMG for many traits. I like to flavor up my monsters ...
12
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2answers
687 views

How can I make this homebrew Elder Aboleth the CR rating I want it to be?

A party I'm running for are going up against an aboleth as a late-game "boss" (but not the "final boss"). They are currently Tier 4, level 17 to be precise, so a basic CR 10 ...
22
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2answers
4k views

Why do red dragons and gold dragons have the same CR?

There are 4 variants of each type of dragon, each corresponding to a specific age. At each age, the red and gold dragons each have the same CR (4, 10, 17, and 24). The dragons are superficially ...
4
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1answer
454 views

How powerful is a high-level caster PC with barely any or no equipment?

Let's assume your caster PC has crossed a high-level spellcaster and his minions the wrong way, or was overwhelmed by an army of guards. You are stripped of all equipment save for some clothes on your ...
3
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2answers
142 views

How do the damage rules from blogofholding's “5e monster manual on a business card” work?

http://blogofholding.com/?p=7338 Damage: This is the damage budget for all the monster’s attacks. Limited-use (daily, recharge, or situational) attacks do 4x the damage budgeted. Multi-target ...
4
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1answer
146 views

How does my character's awakened mount and 2 awakened companions affect what CR the party can handle?

So some things happened and now I have 3 awaken scrolls. The rules say I don't have to use material components so I can just use them. I also switch with the dm occasionally and run it myself. How ...
4
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2answers
128 views

Do non-player monsters add up to CR difficulty and if so how?

I am GM and my group's party is 3 level 4's. They went to a black market and bought two CR 2 creatures. I forget how much they paid but they spent roughly 50 gold. One is a Orc and the other is a ...
8
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1answer
201 views

Does adding the Damage Absorption trait to a not-immune creature change its CR?

The DMG has a "Monster Features" table (p. 280), containing traits that can be added onto monsters for customization purposes. One of the traits with no effect on CR listed is Damage Absorption (it ...
1
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0answers
72 views

How do save-or-die effects modify CR in 5e? [duplicate]

I have a homebrew monster with an ability that can drop a target to 0 hp if they fail a saving throw. How should this alter its CR?
5
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2answers
2k views

What CR would this level 5 wizard “mini-boss” be?

I'm about to start the first session of a big campaign tomorrow night. I have three experienced players and one newbie and I've got a big opener planned. The way things will most likely go in the ...
19
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7answers
5k views

As a DM, how do you adjust the difficulty to create challenging encounters when your party is well constructed (aka Power Players)

I am a newbie DM and started DMing because our current DM was not bringing a nice and engaging story. I am doing really good on the role playing and storytelling, but my encounters had been nothing ...
6
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1answer
339 views

How would a major buffing ability effect challenge rating? [closed]

I'm homebrewing a creature that has the ability to summon things that buff its attacks and gives it resistances/immunities. The stat block is shown below. Toadstool Huge monstrosity, unaligned ...
11
votes
1answer
328 views

How is Challenge Rating (CR) calculated for a mixed group of multiple monsters in regards to the Treasure Table?

I understand that encounters are balanced around exp thresholds in the DMG (e.g. https://rpg.stackexchange.com/a/105360). With that said, there are loot tables in the DMG 136-139 that have "Challenge ...
11
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1answer
1k views

What challenge rating should the Ebondeath stat block have been given?

In the adventure Divine Contention, there's a creature called Ebondeath, and the adventure provides a stat block for this creature, available on D&DBeyond. This creature's stat block appears to ...
8
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2answers
3k views

How to determine CR of a group of enemies?

I have played some games of D&D and when it comes to groups of enemies, I'm always asking myself "Does this encounter have a good CR for my group? Is it too strong/weak?". I might have missed the ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Are these homebrew metallic/chromatic pseudodragons the same CR as RAW pseudodragons?

Pseudodragons are Tiny CR 1/4 dragons, but they're not quite dragon-like enough for my purposes. I want to homebrew some alternative stat blocks to the pseudodragon so that they more so resemble the ...
12
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1answer
270 views

Does a monster's Proficiency Bonus increase when its CR increases due to it being in a lair or coven?

Some monsters have a note saying that their CR is increased when in its Lair or Coven. Since the Proficiency bonus is directly tied to the CR/XP-rating, does this mean that it increase when in a Lair ...
4
votes
1answer
270 views

What is the CR of one half of an Ochre Jelly?

Suppose I want my party to fight an ochre jelly, but they're low level, so it would be too hard a fight for them. What I could give them is a smaller ochre jelly: the original jelly got split somehow, ...
3
votes
1answer
356 views

What is a proper CR for this homebrewed bloodborne-esque NPC?

Having ventured into the lands of gothic horror for a soon upcoming adventure, I wanted to create something a little more out there from the normal rules of D&D 5e. So I came up with this idea ...
11
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3answers
881 views

What level character might win a solo fight with a CR 8 monster? [closed]

I'm running a fifth edition game heavily featuring intelligent undead. One such undead is a Sword Wraith Commander who was killed in a duel with a noble, who had cheated during the fight to ensure ...
12
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8answers
7k views

Is this homebrew CR 12 monster too difficult an encounter for two level 4 characters?

I'm about to lead a raid into an orc camp for a party of two characters. Both are level 4, one is a bard and the other is a barbarian/warlock multiclass. I found a CR12 homebrew monster, the Orc ...
7
votes
1answer
210 views

Calculating CR of monsters that do not deal calculable damage

How do I calculate the challenge rating of monsters that feature abilities that do not directly do damage? For example, my homebrew monster has the two following abilities: The target takes a ...
4
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2answers
720 views

How to interpret the challenge rating of creatures?

I looked at the proposed topics and, it seems, did not find similar to my question. I understand that the challenge rating is the creature's level of danger, and the more deadly it is, the higher the ...
0
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1answer
312 views

Would it be possible to get a dragon to CR27 using only official material and variants (Shadow Dragon/Dracolich, innate spellcasting, etc.)? [closed]

Ancient Gold Dragons and Ancient Red Dragons have a CR of 24. This means that, if you were to have such a dragon of the innate spellcasting dragons variety (MM p.86), they could know spells up to 8th ...
12
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4answers
839 views

What is the CR of a Metallic Dragon after it uses Change Shape?

The older Metallic Dragons have the Change Shape ability: Change Shape. The dragon magically polymorphs into a humanoid or beast that has a challenge rating no higher than its own, or back into its ...
7
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2answers
491 views

How would giving Hydra a Breath Weapon affect game balance and CR?

I wanted to spice up a fight I'm planning for my party by giving a Hydra a Breath Weapon. I'm flexible on the specifics, but the change would effectively be described as such: Actions Multiattack. ...
5
votes
1answer
497 views

How to calculate the CR of innate spellcasting dragons (and how that affects their highest spell level)

I have a rough understanding of how to calculate expected challenge rating, but I'm not sure how it works in the case of the innate spellcasting dragons variant. Consider an Ancient Gold Dragon: ...
4
votes
1answer
484 views

How do I determine Shadow Dragon's Breath Save DC?

From the Shadow Dragon template, it would appear that the Shadow Breath has the same damage and save as the original dragon's breath weapon, as no change is stated in the template: New Action: ...
7
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2answers
374 views

Understanding CR calculations of these monsters from the Monster Manual

I've been working on a tool to help me design monsters, specifically doing CR calculations as described in the DMG. In order to test it, I've tried it out on some monsters in the Monster Manual, which ...
3
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2answers
219 views

How do I compute an encounter level of monsters with vastly different CR?

In D&D 3.5, how do you add creatures with different CR which are more than 2 CR apart? The table in the DMG 3.5, p. 49, describes how to calculate the encounter level of a mixed pair creatures ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Can you just subtract the challenge rating of friendly NPCs?

The party have bitten off more than they can chew and the DM wants to help them out to avoid a likely TPK by adding a friendly NPC to an encounter. Can they get a good sense of how difficult the ...
4
votes
1answer
127 views

How do you calculate CR for running battles?

I am creating an encounter for a game I am DMing and am wondering how you calculate CR for a running battle. What I mean by this is that characters will be fleeing through a zombie infested town, with ...
30
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4answers
7k views

I've given my players a lot of magic items. Is it reasonable for me to give them harder encounters?

I'm running a campaign for a group of 6 level 8 characters. Last session, they went shopping, and I let them buy about 2 magic items each. On top of this, I let them each start with an extra feat and ...
8
votes
1answer
11k views

Is the official Necromancer NPC’s CR calculation accurate?

I am planning to make a variation of the official Necromancer NPC statblock from Volo’s Guide to Monsters, and I wanted to make sure the challenge rating was correct based on the original. However, ...
4
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2answers
1k views

How much does adding the Pack Tactics trait to this homebrew monster affect its CR?

I am using this Beowolf homebrew monster as a basis to create a Large Mountain Wolf. It currently has a CR of 3, if I add the Pack Tactics trait (as listed below) to this monster, how does that affect ...
6
votes
1answer
148 views

How would strategic but non-damaging actions affect monster CR?

I'm in the middle of designing a dungeon with heavy fire and ice elemental themes influencing a lot of undead enemies. I'm relying on CR a lot to rough out encounters, as I don't have a super great ...