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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24
votes
3answers
26k views

If I design a PC for use as an NPC, how much XP should he give when killed?

As part of an early quest, my PCs are likely to face off against a wizard. The problem here is that the stat block for Mage NPCs listed in the Basic Rules has a Challenge Rating of 6, while the PCs ...
27
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4answers
11k views

Ogre CR calculation: is it wrong or am I missing something?

My question is about the basic ogre CR calculation in the monster manual, which doesn't make senses to me. I tried to make a concept of an "armored ogre" with chain mail and pikes (AC 16 and 15 (2d10+...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

How does the summoning ability affect the encounter difficulty?

The Drow Mage (CR 7) has the Action Summon Demon (1/day), which allows him to summon a shadow demon (CR 4). Is the shadow demon already included in the CR of the Drow Mage, or do I have to count the ...
17
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3answers
43k views

Is there a playable correlation between CR and level in 5e?

Let's say that I'm about to run a combat-heavy 3rd level one-shot for a group of players. Balance and challenge rating is still very important, but one of my players says he'd like to play a humanoid ...
1
vote
1answer
259 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 ...
12
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3answers
12k 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 ...
9
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2answers
5k views

Goblin's Challenge Rating and Nimble Escape

So I'm trying to tinker with a few custom monsters and decided to give one Nimble Escape. As a reference, I tried to see how nimble escape interacts with creatures that already possess this ability: ...
7
votes
1answer
228 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
520 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
617 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: ...
3
votes
1answer
325 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 ...
22
votes
8answers
10k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
12k 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

Reverse engineering the Hydra CR

There is no info on the hydra traits "multiple heads", so i'm trying to reverse engineer it, here are my thoughs. Effective attack CR 8: Five attacks (1 per head), 10 damage each for an ...
9
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2answers
2k views

Do the HP multipliers for resistance and immunity when computing EHP stack?

DMG p. 277 provides a table and some instructions for the computation of effective hit points based on resistances and immunities when computing the defensive Challenge Rating of a monster, or ...
8
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2answers
4k views

How to determine the proper CR for a Necromancer & Animated Dead

Given the low CR of skeletons and zombies, I have attempted to create a reasonably low level Necromancer villain for my adventurers to thwart. While I am aware that monster creation involves ...
7
votes
2answers
585 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. ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I calculate the CR of a monster that spends their turns healing?

My question is about magic and monster CR. I was building a CR 10 Cleric with capabilities of healing himself and others, but I don't see any rules about calculating CR for a monster that expends his ...
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 ...
11
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4answers
2k 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, ...
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
327 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 ...
9
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3answers
968 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 ...
8
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1answer
4k views

Why is the Werewolf's CR as high as 3?

I'm trying to better understand the Werewolf so that I can design my own varieties of homebrew Werewolves for my campaign. I started by adding together all the stats of the Monster Manual's Werewolf ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
220 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
329 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 ...
4
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2answers
1k views

What is the effect on a creature's CR if it can choose to hit on a miss?

Background: We're playing a high-powered god-centric game where players are direct agents of gods of a pantheon I created. For the next session, I want to surprise them and throw in a couple of ...
3
votes
1answer
349 views

How does reducing a monster's hit points affect its CR?

The Party needs to recover a stolen chariot filled with goods from a large band of kobolds. However, when they arrive, it turns out that all the kobolds have been killed by three ogres. One ogre is ...
1
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2answers
246 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the CR of a monster with class levels?

I can't find very clear rules about how adding class levels affects monster CR in the books, or maybe i just didn't understood clearly. I aim to make more memorable intelligent creatures like dragons ...
0
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1answer
113 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 ...