# 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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### 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'...
106 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 ...
887 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 ...
37k views

### Are there higher CRs possible than the Tarrasque's CR 30?

We were discussing with a DM friend of mine about the challenge ratings in D&D 5, and I affirmed the highest known to this day in the official content is the Tarrasque, with a CR of 30. He then ...
265 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 -...
318 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 ...
99 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 ...
224 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 ...
151 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 ...
173 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). ...
138 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 ...
548 views

### How much would Sanctuary affect a monster's CR?

I'm currently designing a Cleric "monster" according to the guidelines in the DMG. So far, the stats are falling short of my expectations, so I've decided that the cleric casts sanctuary on itself ...
216 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 ...
11k 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 ...
423 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 ...
237 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 ...
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 ...
234 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 ...
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 ...
294 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 ...
813 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 ...
866 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 ...
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 ...
468 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 ...
150 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 ...
151 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 ...
571 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. ...
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 ...
283 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 ...
73 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?
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 ...
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 ...
344 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 ...
380 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 ...
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 ...
464 views

### “Episode Boss” encounter balance assessment

I am creating a boss battle for the end of an episode in my campaign using the following homebrew monsters: Knight Zombie AC 16 (chainmail) HP 28 STR 13 DEX 15 CON 10 INT 7 WIS 10 CHA 6 ...
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 ...
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 ...
4k 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
303 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 ...
10k views

### Is my homebrew lower-powered Lich's CR calculated correctly?

I created a "Lesser Lich" so my party would be able to fight something interesting in the story I have. In my game, a lich undergoes development changes the first time it "ascends(...
2k views

### Is this “Timberwolf” Balanced?

Based on the dire wolf an a twig blight, this creature is a essentially a large wolf-like construct made of wood, held together by arcane magic. Timberwolf Large Construct, unaligned Armor Class 14 (...
303 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, ...
375 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 ...
1k 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 ...
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 ...