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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8 votes
1 answer
258 views

Converting Oonga from "Isle of the Ape" to 5e

My party of five level 15 PCs is adventuring in my homebrewed conversion of the 1e module Isle of the Ape. I would like the Boss Monster, Oonga, to be a Deadly encounter for the party, so I am aiming ...
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10 votes
7 answers
3k views

Trouble determining CR or difficulty for homebrew creatures

My dnd campaign is completely homebrew, to the setting, gods, storyline, and even creatures. I did this so I could have more creative freedom, and in creating this world I enjoyed doing so. My problem ...
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

How would resistance to non magical weapons change a creature's challenge rating?

Suppose we took a normal monster - say, perhaps, a lion (CR 1) - and gave it resistance to non-magical slashing, piercing, and blunt damage. How much would this affect the threat to a party? I'm ...
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4 votes
1 answer
283 views

CR for half-green dragon assassin

The party is in Rise of Tiamat and their next encounter will be I am trying to budget for a Deadly encounter, as suggested in the adventure. One of the possible foes to include is a half-green ...
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13 votes
3 answers
2k views

How can I avoid accidentally deadly encounters from monsters that are more deadly than their challenge rating suggests?

Monster Deadliness: In the DMG (p.82) there is guidance about the calculating encounter deadliness. This is entirely based on the XP of the monsters encountered, and each challenge rating (CR) has a ...
9 votes
2 answers
454 views

How would permanent invisibility affect a monster's challenge rating?

I’m attempting to convert a phantom fungus to fifth edition. The creature is always invisible while alive, similar to an invisible stalker. When calculating challenge rating, how would this ...
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17 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why is an archmage only CR12?

The monster's manual archmage is overpowered, but has a CR12!? It is a monster with Time Stop from 9th circle, mind blank and teleport. If you put him with some other melee monsters (meat for the ...
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7 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is there any generalised formula for converting monster CR into XP in D&D 5e?

I am trying to make a spreadsheet to track encounters, and I was wondering if there is any generalised formula I can use to calculate the average XP for any given Challenge Rating, or is it like ...
12 votes
2 answers
539 views

Are NPC Spellcasters with access to Mage Armor generally assumed to have precast it for an encounter in CR calculations?

In about a week I will be throwing a homebrewed CR4 illusionist NPC with an AC of 12 and 15 with Mage Armor at my party. (Essentially a slightly buffed version of the Illusionist on page 214 of Volo's ...
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4 votes
2 answers
156 views

What is the closest Pathfinder 1e equivalent to the graboids from the movie Tremors?

Clip What is the closest Pathfinder 1e equivalent to the graboids from the movie Tremors? I'm trying to design an underground dungeon dive for an APL 8 adventure. Wikipedia At nearly 30 ft. long, ...
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1 vote
0 answers
118 views

Is there a CR balancing system for PCs to be used as bosses against a party? [closed]

I want to make a PC and stick to the build but don't know what level would be appropriate. The party are 5 players in level 3 (CR of almost 4 in the CR system). As a level 15 PC will be way too much, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
263 views

Is this homebrew Crococow a CR of 3?

I'd like answers to detail why the CR proposed is the right one. Specifically are the HP and Attacks combination suitable for CR of 3? With the body of a cow and the head of a crocodile, the Crococow ...
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Does reducing the Purple Worm's HP to 184 really reduce its challenge rating to 13?

On page 113 of Princes of the Apocalypse, the text reads in part: As the tremor ends, a young purple worm with 184 hit points (challenge rating 13) burrows [...] No other changes to the Purple Worm'...
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7 votes
1 answer
180 views

Calculate CR of creatures that share spells (like a hag conven)

I recently got inspired by this stat block, that shows that witches can get more powerful when together. https://www.dndbeyond.com/monsters/green-hag-coven-variant I want to make a similar creature ...
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12 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
1 vote
3 answers
620 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 votes
1 answer
183 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 ...
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6 votes
1 answer
663 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 votes
1 answer
206 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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
508 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). ...
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2 votes
1 answer
310 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 ...
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9 votes
1 answer
568 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 votes
2 answers
543 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 ...
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5 votes
2 answers
591 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 ...
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11 votes
2 answers
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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
793 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 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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6 votes
2 answers
383 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 ...
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14 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
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13 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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23 votes
2 answers
7k 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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
791 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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
245 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
193 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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
144 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 ...
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9 votes
1 answer
849 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 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
75 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 votes
2 answers
4k 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 votes
7 answers
6k 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 votes
1 answer
402 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
1 answer
870 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 ...
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12 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
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10 votes
2 answers
10k 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 ...
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8 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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12 votes
1 answer
675 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
487 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, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
428 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 ...
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11 votes
3 answers
3k 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 votes
8 answers
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
1 answer
316 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 ...
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