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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1answer
111 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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1answer
189 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 ...
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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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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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2answers
149 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 ...
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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
270 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
767 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
597 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
3k 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 ...
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1answer
409 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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2answers
134 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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1answer
143 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
126 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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1answer
147 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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0answers
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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?
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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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
334 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
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1answer
247 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
919 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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2answers
2k 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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2answers
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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
244 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
230 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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1answer
340 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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3answers
428 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
203 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
683 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 ...
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1answer
253 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 ...
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4answers
707 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
414 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
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1answer
389 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
390 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: ...
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2answers
336 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 ...
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2answers
191 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 ...
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1answer
957 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
126 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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
627 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 ...
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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
509 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 ...
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1answer
243 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
309 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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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3answers
9k 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 ...