Converting class levels to CR - Page 3 - Myth-Weavers


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Converting class levels to CR

I would agree that there is a certain variable number of rounds for a healthy encounter. A 3 round fight simply isn't fun. While SOME fights should be beatable that quickly, if you want a good challenging experience for players, I would argue most should not. It doesn't have to be 9 rounds filled with attacking. But 9 rounds encompassing various skill checks and strategized moves is a good fight.

Probably because it's boring. Especially in PbP. But even on tabletop. If you have fights that go for longer than 3 rounds, either you're playing padded sumo, your PCs are dead, or they're killing endless amounts of stuff that could never hurt them, which you can literally just handwave and save everyone 2-3 hours of rolling dice pointlessly.

Unless it comes down to a one-on-one duel between a pair of similar characters (counterspelling mages or Dex-based meleers), in which case it can add drama.

Of course, that means you're running a solo game, and the dynamic you follow will be much different than what would be appropriate for even a small party.

Duels don't just happen in solo games. Extraordinary circumstances, or 'staged/phased' fights can extend fights beyond that without making them boring or padded sumo rollingfests, but most of the time the '2-3 rounds at most' rule holds true.

I don't know. I look at some of the things in monster descriptions, and I couldn't even fit many of that into just 3 rounds. I like to think certain monsters are simply meant to last longer than others. Some come right out and do lots of damage, some widdle you down and try to wear you out. I agree that if its lots of little monsters it might be pointless dice rolling, unless you have a unit trying to simply wear the adventurers out with numbers. As to duels, you can create a small team battle if you handle it carefully. These can essentially lead to dueling, what with counterspells, various combat modifiers and alternate battle moves, etc. A group of 4 on 4 could have an interesting engagement. Will the your mage try to lend aid or cancel out the enemies spells? Will you take on different targets or aid each other in attacking one? Different tactics lead to different results and you now have an interesting flow going on. :3 but hey, I'm a rookie. Here is where I say "I disagree but have not enough evidence to directly go against your statements"

You're not supposed to fit every single thing in a monster's entry into one fight with a monster. That's the whole point. Otherwise there are no themed sets of encounters, because you blew all the interesting stuff on the very first fight - the whole party knows the Yechzui can fly, use webs, use web blasts, have an eyebeam attack they can seemingly only use once, hidden extra claw arms, and improved grab and great grapple now. So clearing out the Yechzui nest just lost any possibility of any surprises from the Yechzui themselves, unless you go the 'suspension of disbelief? What's that?' 4e route and have different Yechzui with different powers that all look the same.

You gain nothing, lose the opportunity to show more abilities of the enemies in different situations (later, the party flee from 5 Yechzui, getting across a chasm using levitation, and all duck behind cover - why? They know about Yechzui eyebeams. You just lost a great 'gotcha!' moment, where the party thinks it's safe, but no, no it isn't! Or deprived the wizard of a chance to use his Knowledge (Dungeoneering) skill to warn the party about the Yechzui's ranged capabilities), and suffer ALL the downsides of long samey rounds of combat i.e. boredom, endless dice rolling, loss of momentum.

Rookie, whatever, none of that has to do with anything. If things are not changing, your players get bored. Sure, different groups can survive different amounts of boredom. Some will happily roll d20s to attack the same goblins forever. Most won't. Combat in DnD takes ages. Making it take longer than like 3 rounds, fighting the same enemies, is generally beyond the boredom threshold of most groups. Either the terrain has to change (running battle over the roofs reaching a dead end, party detaching the giant mill wheel and fighting on it as it rolls down a hill, pirates of the Caribbean style), the enemies have to change (the noise alerted the guards - the Vampire Queen and her attendants are coming to deal with the interlopers personally!), or some other dynamic of the fight needs to change to keep it interesting.

Things being the same for too long = boring. Like if there are no clues in an investigation, and it goes nowhere for three hours, people get bored. Combat is no different than any other part of GMing in that regard.

I actually read a design article about how they started giving monsters fewer things because they're not expected to last more than a few rounds, and having too much stuff which will never get used (especially plain worse options than other options they had) just confused DMs.

At low levels, semi-defensive characters can easily last several rounds against each other, but I would say that longer than 10 rounds is rare, and 20 virtually unheard of. Certainly without dead rounds where a foe disappears, flees and returns, or whatever.

Now, I think meaningful fights really ought to last over 2-3 rounds. One-shotting can happen, and probably should now and then depending on builds etc, but whilst beheading or being beheaded in one hit might or might not be true to life, it's not all that cinematic or "epic struggle"-like. That said, rolling over and over to hit things is also boring - at that stage, I'd be willing to say "Doofus keeps attacking the goblin until it's down - unless something unusual happens" and expect the DM to be willing to roll several rounds at once for me. Certainly if it boiled down to a bunch of people attacking constantly. OK, in a team game with lots of people who might have different options I might still have to wait for them, but I can post the shouting and description whenever I want without people having to wait for me.

I agree that that sort of thing is boring, but an enemy spellcaster for example ought to be able to cast several spells before being defeated, ideally, since otherwise everything he has is wasted. Your foes ought to last a couple of rounds, and be able to take down the party in no fewer than a couple of rounds (but be able to do it) because one-shotting PCs before they can act isn't fun.

Fights can go on for as long as you want as long as they aren't static.

Rolling dice for hit or using spells and rolling saving throws for more than 3 rounds is tedious. Even if it's not a clear win or lose, it's still tedious. Some people like it, but they are the statistical outliers when it comes to roleplaying groups, just like the people who can happily listen to someone monologuing poorly for three hours about how 'dark' and 'mysterious' their vampire is.

On Spellcasters; Unless a spellcaster is surprised, which should lower his CR considerably, spellcasters should have used the majority of their spells setting up traps, charming monsters, scrying to prepare specifically for the PCs, set up 'tricks' and runes/glyphs in their lairs, or buffing themselves. A spellcaster is by definition an ensemble encounter, because with a single spell he can summon up some cannon fodder, and there are entire schools of spells devoted to getting various kinds of minions as a spellcaster.

Ensemble encounters, being as they are inherently multi-part can run longer than a 'regular' encounter, or with split party attention, with less trouble than a 'regular' encounter.

Spellcasters typically prioritize personal survival, have defensive spells, and run away if their trap fails via any number of spells. So you can expect to face the same spellcaster multiple times, although, since there are very few good attack spells at each level unless you start going into splats, you will likely have him start repeating his spells by the end of the 2nd encounter or start of the 3rd.

Also, the point of spellcasters is they use the right spell, not all their spells, in sequence, because they are a World of Warcraft Boss Monster and programmed with code instead of run by a human being.


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