Converting class levels to CR - Myth-Weavers


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Converting class levels to CR

Converting class levels to CR

In a game I wish to put the players (a standard group of four) against a single strong opponent (maybe a few minions as well). However I wish not to use a monster, I want to make a character using classes etc, due to this I want to know how to convert class levels to a single CR. I assume a level ten character is not a CR 10, as too my knowledge a CR 10 creature is meant to give four level ten characters a fair fight.

This will be for Dnd 3.5.

Thanks in advance.

Actually, that's only for "associated classes". The logic being, that giving an Ogre a level in Wizard is not worth as much as a level in, say, Crusader, since L1 Wizard casting is kinda lame and he has a very low Int.

It's only a rough guide, but non-associated (typically spellcasting) levels are only worth 1/2, until they exceed the monster's old HD (then you're a Wizard with monster HD on the side, not a monster with Wizard levels on the side).

Of course, sometimes you can make a Wizard Ogre who is actually better than that CR rule would suggest, so as always, use your judgement, but the book says +1/level for associated, +0.5/level for non-.

Dungeon Master's book, page 38 near the bottom disagrees: 1 class level = + 1 CR.
This seems odd to me, seeing as from what I read (this is on the SRD I believe) a creature of CR X should give four players of level X a reasonable fight.

Meaning a level 5 character should be able to give four other level five characters a reasonable fight, that seems a little off to me. Though it could just be me.

Thanks you two, think it will be best if I use the +1 CR (associated) +0.5 (un-associated) on a base monster.

Also keep in mind that a party is suppose to be able to handle at least five or six "at level" encounters per day- and probably more. So it's not quite the same thing as a "match for"... if you want to match a party, blow for blow, you have to calculate the party's combined ECL. Then give them an enemy matching *that*. If things work out as the charts intend- you should expect a party to be able to handle one of those per day. But a second one should result in a TPK.

A good rule of thumb is that for a single enemy 'boss fight' encounter, the enemy should have a CR about 2-3 above the party's average ECL.

Keep in mind that all classes are not created equal. A Wizard 10 presents a vastly more powerful challenge than something like a Truenamer 10 (especially since the Truenamer's primary mechanic is nonfunctional due to poor design).

The first thing you should decide is what sort of foe you want this boss to be. Next, build it at least two levels higher than the average party level. After that you should compare your Boss to a creature of the "same" CR; is your level 11 Fighter on par with an Elder Earth Elemental? You may need to add a level or three to make your Boss an appropriate challenge, but this largely depends on your party's abilities.

If you have a party of all melee-focused beatsticks, an airborne foe has half the battle won already; even a simple Levitate spell will put your Boss out of range of the deadliest stuff the beatsticks can dish out. Conversely, a party of flying, summoning, invisible spellcasters will require a Boss who is capable of meeting those multiple threats. Perhaps he's a trained mage-killer (with the appropriate feats and gear), or is himself a spellcaster.

An important consideration is timing. Those arcane casters need their beauty sleep if they're going to be casting anything at all, and if he has his minions interrupting them during the night before making a personal appearance, he can give the other players a chance to shine.

Lastly, consider tactics. If the party surprises the Boss, even a large CR split might not make him challenging. If the Boss catches the party while they're sleeping or otherwise vulnerable, it can drastically alter things in his favor. Cover, concealment, traps, terrain, and a wide variety of other factors can contribute to a challenging and memorable encounter if used properly.

A good idea is to playtest your potential Boss by using copies of the PCs. This is particularly easy on the Weave, and not particularly difficult in person. Run through the likely scenarios once or twice, and ask yourself whether or not the Boss is a satisfying challenge. Tweak as needed and repeat until you feel comfortable with the result.

Originally Posted by darkhugh View Post
This seems odd to me, seeing as from what I read (this is on the SRD I believe) a creature of CR X should give four players of level X a reasonable fight.
It says that, but actually I think CR X is about a L X character. Hence, two characters could take an X+1, and four an X+2 (it's exponential like that). I guess if you throw them only CR Xs, well, they will have a challenge if they fight enough per day, but they won't get killed too often. If you throw them exactly the right strength then, in theory, they ought to lose half the time.

In general, if you are using PC classes, CR is equal to character level. Keeping in mind that the CR system is only a rough guide to the actual difficulty of an encounter, as other posters have discussed. Depending on how experienced your players are, and how much you've worn them down ahead of time, usually it's good to make boss encounters harder by selecting a higher CR boss and/or adding minions. This is tricky. I have one group of experienced players that I can generally throw an opponent that is significantly stronger (party level +4 or more) at and expect them to prevail, even if they are a bit worn down. I've played in other games where I can wipe the floor with a party with a party level +1 encounter.

Of course, things also have strength and weaknesses. Some monsters of the same CR are tougher than others. Just go look at a Vampire, say. DR 5/magic and silver, and Fast Healing 5! Amongst other things, like resistances and stat boosts. And yet, only +2 CR. If you stick that on a low-CR creature, you'll have a beast which is pretty hard for a party of that level to take down.


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