63

Absent Extenuating Circumstances, Yes According to Kobold Fight Club, which gets its information from the DMG, a party of two level 4 characters would consider 250xp worth of monsters Easy, 500xp Medium, 750xp Hard, and 1000xp Deadly. Furthermore, they should not encounter more than 3400xp worth of monsters in a single day (between Long Rests). A CR 12 ...


60

Try it yourself If you have a copy of their character sheets, run the encounter by yourself a few times playing both sides. You should get a decent idea about how outmatched the PCs might be.


44

In part it depends on the magic items. Did you give them magic items that were useful in combat? Like, have they mostly got +3 plate armor or have they mostly got sovereign glue? Broadly, the answer to your question is yes: it's probably appropriate to give them more difficult encounters because they have nice stuff. But, especially at higher levels, the ...


38

Just fake it You're asking for an epic one-on-one duel for a player, and it has to feel suitably epic. Sadly enough, CR ratings are only a rough estimate and one-on-one duels in D&D are extremely 'swingy'. Two misses on the players end or a crit on the monster's will likely make the encounter completely impossible. On the flip side, if the player crits ...


36

We can determine the Challenge rating of the new "Koldbold" (like it? it's all yours!) by using the steps in DMG page 273. Firstly, a few assumptions: The Kobold's ability scores do not change. With this, we can assume that the spell attack bonus is at +1 using either Int or Cha, because Wisdom is just... no... You're only giving it Ray of Frost as a ...


35

Mearls wrote an article about Challenge Ratings that actually specifically explains the Ogre's Challenge Rating of 2: http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/building-adventures-0 The important bit for your question is: For example, an ogre is worth 450 XP and is a CR 2 threat. A party of five 1st-level characters should expect to face about 500 XP ...


31

The short answer is that a regular bugbear (CR 1) is a closer add on to the party -- even so, he's a fighter who might outshine other martial characters at level 3, and is at least comparable. The other answer is No, there isn't a ratio that is easy to use Note: At low levels, the relationship gets tied to difficulty level of an encounter, and the ratio ...


31

Firstly, there are no official (as in, published by WotC) monsters with a CR higher than 30. The rules for creating monsters are on page 273 of the DMG. While there is no explicit statement that monsters are limited to CR 30, all of the tables and rules for monster creation that depend on CR only go up to 30. The DM can (as always) do whatever they want, ...


31

Your initial premise is flawed: The encounter tables are designed for parties of three to five characters. A CR4 monster is a challenge for 4 fourth level characters. The DMG says to adjust for smaller parties. The preceding guidelines assume that you have a party consisting of three to five adventurers. If the party contains fewer than three characters, ...


30

Generally speaking, larger numbers of enemies (not tougher enemies) and better tactics. It's a common tactic to just increase the stats of existing monsters or to choose higher CR creatures for them to fight, but that has a few problems. First, no matter how high their attack bonus and damage get, a single monster only gets one turn per round while the PCs ...


26

Calculation according to the DMG DMG 274 has a nice table for calculating CR based on offensive and defensive stats. Running the numbers for the Will-o-Wisp: Offensive CR Its damage is only 9 (2d8), which is CR 1. Its attack bonus is +4, but this is not two points higher than the CR 1 attack bonus of +3, so it doesn't change its offensive CR. It does ...


24

I've been struggling with this but figured it out, I think. The thing that's hard to get from a lot of D&D player/DMs' perspective is that there simply is no level => challenge correlation directly. Challenge is almost entirely derived from: Hit points Damage per round (from your most damaging attacks) And to a lesser degree from: Save DC or attack ...


22

I think I have to answer this question with a question: Are your current encounters challenging the players appropriately? If yes, then there's no need to increase the difficulty. If they're already getting close to dying in every fight they get in, or if they're blowing all their abilities just to stay alive, then there's no need to make things harder on ...


21

Do you reduce the CR of monsters with resistance to Fire or Lightning when facing a party with no Fire- or Lightning-based attacks, since the resistance doesn't affect that party? I'm going to guess that, no, you don't, even though it doesn't affect play. Non-magical weapon resistance is no different. Some parties will be affected by the resistance. ...


20

It seems too weak. From the DMG p. 273 onwards, if you make the math: For defensive CR: It is not resistant to Slashing, on the opposite, it is vulnerable. As it is resistant to Bludg. and Piercing, I would say it doesn't change the CR, but by strict DMG ruling it probably would have even lower effective HP. With the HP you got there, it would be a CR 1/4 ...


19

All D20, but DnD 5 especially, are designed and balanced assuming a 4 or 5 player party. And you can kinda tell, when the rules start asking you to apply multipliers to bigger parties, rather than giving any concrete guidelines. Assuming distributed player competence, a 6 person party isn't simply 20% stronger than a 5 player party. It's much higher. There's ...


19

The scenario you describe is a perfect example of the Tiers of Play discussion on page 15 of the player handbook. This edition of D&D is divided roughly into four tiers, the first tier comprising the first four levels, and the second tier comprising levels 5-10. Upon reaching 5th level, characters gain access to 3rd-level spells, find valuable magic ...


19

Petrifying Gaze isn't save-or-die for the party To apply the Gaze, the basilisk have to see the character, and the character must be within 30 feet. The Gaze affects target at the start of the target's turn (more about it down below). If a creature starts its turn within 30 feet of the basilisk and the two of them can see each other, the basilisk can ...


19

I'ts been a long time since I played, much less DMed, 3.5e, so I'm going to try to keep what I say pretty high-level and hopefully system-agnostic, but I'm also saying this as someone who exclusively plays Pathfinder 1e and Starfinder, so forgive any bias. Also, some of what I suggest will require some amount of customizing enemies. That said, these are the ...


18

How is this difference reconciled? Is there something I missed about Nimble Escape? It isn't. No. It has been said before on this site (but damned if I can find it) that the CR of the monsters in the Monster Manual were not set using the methodology set forth in the Dungeon Master's Guide - there were established by eyeballing and playtest. ...


18

Don't increase the difficulty. Let the players do this. The players have some new item. Thus they grow in power. 5e assumes no (to few) magic items (as better answered here). Eventually, more magic items in a group means the power of a group grows. However, keep in mind the players just bought new items. They want to use them. They want to feel powerful. ...


16

You are quoting expected CR - the final CR is much higher. On base hp 178 × 1.5 for immunities gives 262 - so defensive CR 13. Expected AC is 18, so an AC of 16 gives no adjustment. Expected damage per round (~45-55) from its breath weapons (3 with a 1/3 recharge chance - it will have one every round) plus some acid blood splash against 1 PC - assume ...


16

Rules for calculating a monster's CR can be found starting on page 273 of the DMG. Things that affect a creature's CR include: Armour Class Hit Points Damage vulnerabilities, resistances, and immunities Attack bonuses Damage output Save DCs etc.


16

Treat the Dragon's CR as 20 In the specific example you give at face value the current CR seems appropriate, but I would argue given how the spell works and its effects that it was specifically designed to deter low level players and weaker creatures from entering. While the shape-changed dragon has some of the stats of a lower CR creature, it retains some ...


15

The guidelines in the DMG suggest ways to calculate CR. If you ignore the anti-magic and damage immunities then this would probably be a CR 2 or 3. However, it does have a permanent anti-magic field and many immunities, including an immunity to non-magical weapons. As rpgstar's answer points out, these two things combined makes it invulnerable to everything ...


15

Determining CR isn't going to work for this monster While it's possible to apply various schemes to get an estimate for the power of this monster, its set of abilities is so unconventional that its actual difficulty will swing wildly between parties and attempts facing it. I would not run this monster without significant changes, which you should fix before ...


15

Their calculated CR remains the same, but they are far stronger Carcer rightly points out the way your CR is calculated, but I feel like that doesn't capture the entire picture. I feel like this pseudodragon may very well be punching above its 1/4 weight with a 2d6 breath weapon. With a lucky roll, there's a good chance it could knock out an entire first ...


15

The answer to this is slightly more complicated than I think most would like. There's no easy way to calculate the total CR of an encounter; CR is one factor used in assessing Encounter Difficulty. (Which appears to be your actual question, assessing encounter difficulty). You (1) use CR to calculate the XP value of the encounter, and (2) then compare that ...


15

Using the DMG: About 7 On page 274 of the DMG is the "Monster Statistics by Challenge Rating" table, which allows you to quickly come up with stats for a monster based on its CR. You can use the same table to reverse-engineer the CR from a stat block by looking at the CRs for Defense and Offense and averaging them: Defensive CR should be at least 9 In the ...


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