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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3
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2answers
109 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
135 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
119 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 ...
7
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1answer
117 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
70 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
878 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
331 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 ...
10
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1answer
205 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
813 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
992 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
952 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
233 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
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1answer
191 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
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1answer
322 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 ...
10
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3answers
276 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
6k 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 ...
6
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1answer
196 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
665 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
226 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
598 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 ...
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2answers
355 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 ...
5
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1answer
293 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
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1answer
321 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
288 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
174 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
925 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
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1answer
124 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
6k 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
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1answer
8k 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 ...
6
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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 ...
9
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3answers
480 views

Is there a quick and fair way to adjust stats for an upcast Conjured Elemental?

The 5th level spell Conjure Elemental spell states (PHB, p. 225, bold added): An elemental of challenge rating 5 or lower appropriate to the area you chose appears in an unoccupied space within 10 ...
16
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1answer
1k views

How does the ability to cast healing spells affect a monster's CR?

I've been making a few homebrew monsters for my current D&D 5e campaign, and I ran into a problem when I wanted to create a creature that used healing magic. There were general rules for offensive ...
5
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1answer
500 views

Is this conversion of a Cloud Ray Elder CR 16?

In the finale of the 3 part series on Cloud Rays, we take a look at the stat line of the largest pancake in the universe. From Pup to Adult to finally Elder, I am hoping to gain insight on the balance ...
1
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1answer
226 views

Is CR 14 accurate for this conversion of a Cloud Ray Adult?

In a series of three questions involving the largest flying pancake of D&D, I am looking to gain some insight into the balance for a conversion of the Cloud Ray. In this question, I ask about the ...
3
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1answer
294 views

Is CR 8 accurate for this conversion of a Cloud Ray Pup?

So I have been running a campaign that I wanted to focus in on a super cool unique "monster" that the party could utilize for narrative, combat, and transportation purposes. So I looked through my old ...
8
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1answer
917 views

How can high-CR (20+) NPCs be created?

I remember in earlier editions villains and NPCs sometimes had astronomical levels (Elminster, etc. all are 20+ Spellcasters). Currently I am making a campaign where the major NPCs are all Legendary ...
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2answers
7k views

How do I determine a dragon's new Challenge Rating when applying the Shadow Dragon template?

The Monster Manual contains a template whereby any true dragon may be turned into a shadow dragon. A shadow dragon differs from a true dragon in the following ways: It has resistance to necrotic ...
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3answers
1k views

What would be the challenge rating for this homebrew “Obelan Enforcer”?

Obelan Enforcer Medium construct, lawful neutral Armor Class 15 (natural armor) Hit Points 48(10d6+4) Speed 30ft. STR 18 (+4) DEX 10 (+0) CON 16 (+3) INT 8 (-1) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 6 (-...
5
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3answers
358 views

How do I account for attack distribution when calculating CR?

When calculating a monster's CR, how do I account for whether the monster deals all its damage in one attack or via several attacks? Based on the DMG, it doesn't matter how the damage is distributed, ...
2
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0answers
63 views

How do I calculate challenge rating against a player character? [duplicate]

I am trying to pit a party against a powerful, epic-leveled Goliath Barbarian, using the abilities he would have as a player character. I do not want to make him too powerful, but I still want him to ...
7
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2answers
134 views

XP & CR for Monsters with magic equipment?

Suppose I have a monster. OK he's not really a monster, he's just Knight like the one on page 347 of the monster manual. Only this particular Knight has a Spellguard Shield as described on page 201 of ...
8
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2answers
2k views

The CR of a Dragon [closed]

I've been looking to scale up the CR of a few Ancient dragons for one of my settings, so I've been figuring out the offensive and defensive CR of each dragon to determine how my scaled-up dragons ...
21
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8answers
8k views

How to increase a monster's CR without adjusting its flavour too much?

Background I have a player who has a level 8 Half Orc Paladin (STR 16, CON 18, CHA 14, Vengeance oath, Sentinel and Orcish Fury feats, no magic items) whose backstory involves running away from his ...
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1answer
127 views

In a homebrew campaign, how should I set CR for lesser and Boss monsters? [closed]

I am currently trying to make a campaign, and I am steadily homebrewing new monsters, all the way up to the boss at the end. I am aware of how CR works, but unsure how my monsters would shape up ...
11
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4answers
1k views

How much does “Defender Wins Ties” affect challenge rating math?

In my group, we couldn't be bothered in session 1 to look up whether the attacker needed to score equal to or greater than the defender's AC in order to hit. We decided to live in a "defensive" world, ...
4
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2answers
997 views

Do the Bronze Scout's burrow speed and Earth Armor trait make it stronger than a CR 1 creature?

The Bronze Scout Clockwork construct from Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes (p. 125) is a CR1 monster, but has a set of traits that seem to make it incredibly powerful, unless I'm interpreting them ...
8
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1answer
782 views

Are aberrations of CR 6 and below approximately as powerful as demons of CR 6 and below?

Background I'm currently playing a Great Old One (GOO) Pact of the Chain warlock in one homebrew campaign. Originally, I had designed the character to be evil and roleplay-heavy, with skill and spell ...
5
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1answer
557 views

What would a Shadow Pseudodragon's CR increase to?

I want to create a shadow version of the Pseudodragon for a Pact of the Chain warlock's familiar, and wanted to know if it would be unbalanced. It would gain the gain all the features a dragon gains ...