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Inquisitor Tremayne
01-27-2011, 02:01 PM
So I figured out a pretty good formula that works for figuring out how to choose opponents for encounters.

The philosophy behind this formula is to figure out what an "average" encounter is for your PCs, since power levels fluctuate widely from gaming group to gaming group. You can use this formula to get you started. Typically I have found the formula in the core rulebook is right most of the time. Note that it is for 4 PCs.

First you want to figure out the average party CL, take all their levels and divide by the number of PCs. If you have more than 4 PCs you should add 1 to their CL. If you have 3 PCs do not make any adjustments. This formula breaks down for fewer than 3 PCs. An average encounter should be equal to this number or 1 CL higher.

Again, it varies depending on the party make-up. you may have 5 PCs but they might all be nobles so you would want to stick with their average CL and not add 1 to it.

Then take that CL and multiply by 3. That will give you the total number of opponent CLs to choose from.

So for my 5 first level PCs, an average encounter would have: 1 (Party CL) + 1 (extra PC) x 3 = 6. So I could then choose six CL 1 opponents, or two CL 2 opponents and two CL 1 opponents, or one CL 3 and three CL 1 opponents, etc...

Make sense?

I found it works rather well and gives a good degree of control over power levels of encounters AND almost sticks to the 10 encounters per level recommendation.

Dytrrnikl
01-27-2011, 05:57 PM
I have a party of 7 steady players. I must admit, I've never followed the CR thing, as other than (9 times of 10), only having a sentence or two with a vague description for the sessions festivities, I run almost completely on the fly. In rare circumstance, like this weekends session coming up, I find that a little planning is necessary. I do see how your formula works.

Inquisitor Tremayne
01-27-2011, 09:28 PM
Cool. I am horrible at running stuff on the fly and thus need to prepare in advance. Thats not to say I can't wing it when necessary but I am usually scrambling to get the PCs back on course.

I also will adjust the XP as necessary if the PCs find a typical challenge easier or harder than I had planned.

A Flannel Shirt
01-28-2011, 11:24 AM
I have a party of 7 steady players. I must admit, I've never followed the CR thing, as other than (9 times of 10), only having a sentence or two with a vague description for the sessions festivities, I run almost completely on the fly. In rare circumstance, like this weekends session coming up, I find that a little planning is necessary. I do see how your formula works.

I'll second that. I don't have the same amount of players but I do the exact same thing.

Even a bunch of storm troopers can become a challenge if you put them in the right situation.

I'll try it out because I do like to mix things up a bit.