Converting class levels to CR - Page 2 - Myth-Weavers

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Converting class levels to CR

Vampires do have special rules about minium HD and such, however. Don't forget that.

In rough terms, a single foe with class levels equal to the level of any PC isn't an even match for the party, he's an 'appropriate challenge' for the party; one which will consume some of their resources and such, but not one which is expected to kill anyone. There's some rough idea about which levels higher are enough to make a single enemy strong enough to be a boss, but the math doesn't quite work out; it comes down to individual party strengths more than anything else. Against the right sort of party, for instance, a lower-level rogue might simply sneak in and murder sleeping party members while avoiding the guy on guard, stalking the group and essentially soloing them. Your players would probably cry foul at that, but they wouldn't object to their own rogue doing the same thing to a group of higher level enemies. Similar edge cases abound, demonstrating holes in the system. Ultimately, the numbers aren't more than a rough guide; there's no substitute for good judgement.

Vampire kobolds are real killers for low level players; a vampire kobold warrior 4 is only CR 3

Yes, most fights (equal CR ones) are supposed to be 4 on 1 cakewalks for PCs.

And yes, that means that most characters are not living up to their CR.

CR is wonky as hell, though. Eyeballing is generally a better idea. Get a good idea of your party's capabilities, and plot out the fight - if your guy goes down too fast, make him tougher. If he slaughters the party super fast, lower his offensive potential or water down his schtick.

Generally you want to have a guy that is hard to kill but not necessarily going to instantly wipe out the party. This is fine, because most real-life combat disciplines focus on defense because getting killed is worse than not killing the other guy. The opposite, all-out-attack, do exist, and you can have that as a boss, but it means the party has to desperately hold this guy off long enough to kill him, and you'll have a higher chance of death, defeat, or TPK.

Typically ensemble bosses (boss + terrain + minions) are more interesting and better fights than just one monster in a room.

Typically, but if you build a boss right, he can put up a good balanced and fun fight. I built a single gnoll warrior to 3 CR's over a party of 3 lvl 2's and 3 lvl 1's. He had a warg companion, an armor class of 21, and an axe that could kill you in two hits. The fight managed to challenge the group but as long as they fought together, he could be defeated without any dead players (and he was). CR is a little wonky, yes, but if you use the cr as a guideline for your common sense, good things happen. I find a combo approach works best.

Life is cheap and hilariously random at level 1. At level 1, two enemies IS an ensemble encounter, because you are literally that weak. Just like in real life.

When I first started to DM most of the "recomended" levels of CR challenges were being killed within 3 rounds (PC's were level 4), I spoke to a friend who recomended using monsters with class levels so I did and wow what a change. The players were challenged and had to think their way out, the monsters were lasting 8-9 rounds, a much healthier fight.

My fight lasted a healthy 20 rounds. And part of that was from low levelness, yes, but plenty of it was intense strategy and movement. They eventually had to bargain for a players life.

There is no 'healthy' length of fights. Fights should go for different lengths depending on the theme.

What you probably mean is that it's bad if one PC instantly oneshots an encounter. I agree - it means your encounters are weak, and you are weak. Strengthen your kung fu.


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