## Re: [pcgen] Re: [a little ot] encounter ratings

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• If you use a little program calle TableSmith by Bruce Gulke http://www.mythosa.net/ I use a table I created to do all my calculations for me (by the book).
Message 1 of 21 , Apr 1, 2003
If you use a little program calle TableSmith by Bruce Gulke
http://www.mythosa.net/
I use a table I created to do all my calculations for me (by the book).
Anyone interested in a copy of this table contact me off-list.

Vance
clubvance@...

--- In pcgen@yahoogroups.com, Emily Smirle <smirle4498@r...> wrote:
> Got a question for the Seething D20 Masses with a gift for math etc.
>
> How do you calculate the Encounter Level of a really mixed
encounter?
• Got a question for the Seething D20 Masses with a gift for math etc. How do you calculate the Encounter Level of a really mixed encounter? Example: 4 generic
Message 2 of 21 , Apr 1, 2003
Got a question for the Seething D20 Masses with a gift for math etc.

How do you calculate the Encounter Level of a really mixed encounter?

Example: 4 generic orcs and an orc NPC (3rd level fighter) and an Ogre
NPC (3rd level barbarian)

A generic orc is CR .5, the orc captain is CR 3, and the ogre thug is CR 5.

officially when you double the number of critters you add two to the EL,
which makes two orcs an EL 2.5 encounter and four orcs EL 4.5? that
makes no sense, so I'm assuming I'm wrong.

What's the total encounter level of this encounter?
--
"Is he an evil outsider?"
"Well, he was one of the loners in evil kindergarten..."
• ... There are two main rules: 1. Two creatures of the same CR equal an encounter level of two higher than that CR. (CR1 + CR1 = EL3) 2. Two creatures, one
Message 3 of 21 , Apr 1, 2003
> How do you calculate the Encounter Level of a really mixed encounter?

There are two main rules:
1. Two creatures of the same CR equal an encounter level of two higher than
that CR. (CR1 + CR1 = EL3)
2. Two creatures, one with a CR two higher than the other, make an EL of
one higher than the highest CR. (CR1 + CR3 = EL4)

To keep it as simple as possible, break the cretures or groups of creatures,
down into whatever groups make the math easiest. You're example is
relatively simple because the different groups of creatures make the math
easy.

> Example: 4 generic orcs and an orc NPC (3rd level fighter) and an Ogre
> NPC (3rd level barbarian)

> A generic orc is CR .5,

According to the rules, combine creatures with a CR less than 1 to get 1,
therefore four CR 1/2 Orcs are equivalient to two CR 1 creatures.

Again, according to the rules, two creatures of the same CR equal an EL two
above that CR, so two CR 1 = EL 3.

> the orc captain is CR 3,

Applying the same rule, the EL 3 from the four orcs combines with the CR 3
of the Orc Capt to yield an EL 5.

> and the ogre thug is CR 5.

And the same rule again gives 7.

Sometimes they don't work out that nicely, you just have to remember that
you're free to move the groups around to give you situations where you can
use the two main rules. If there are any situations where you can't force
it into one of the two rules, try to arrange it so that situation comes out
as the last step. Then arbitrarily make a decision.

Brass
• ... encounter? I ripped this off someone who posted on the wizards.com website. It ... Determining EL Single creature: EL = CR. Example, one ogre (CR 2) is EL
Message 4 of 21 , Apr 1, 2003
--- In pcgen@yahoogroups.com, Emily Smirle <smirle4498@r...> wrote:
> Got a question for the Seething D20 Masses with a gift for math etc.
>
> How do you calculate the Encounter Level of a really mixed
encounter?

I ripped this off someone who posted on the wizards.com website. It
seems to be a very clear explanation:
------------------------------------
Determining EL
Single creature:
EL = CR. Example, one ogre (CR 2) is EL 2.

Multiple creatures:
When dealing with CRs of 2 or below: Add CRs together. Example, 2
orcs (CR 1/2) are EL 1. 2 1st level paladins (CR 1) are EL 2 and 3
kobolds (CR 1/6) are EL 1/2.

When dealing with CRs of 2 or more: doubling the number of
challenges increases the EL by +2. Example, 2 ogres (CR 2) are EL 4,
4 ogres are EL 6, 8 ogres are EL 8.
• ... Don t know if its official, or not, but here s how my groups do it. If the party defeats the encounter fully, award XP by adding what the party would get
Message 5 of 21 , Apr 1, 2003
> Example: 4 generic orcs and an orc NPC (3rd level fighter) and an
> Ogre NPC (3rd level barbarian)
>
> A generic orc is CR .5, the orc captain is CR 3, and the ogre thug
> is CR 5.

Don't know if its official, or not, but here's how my groups do it.

If the party defeats the encounter fully, award XP by adding what the
party would get by defeating a 2, 3 and 5 level encounter.

Paul W. King
OGL/PL SB and BoD
• ... Personally, I use this http://www.d20reviews.com/Eric/downloads/Encounter_Calculator.htm ... There s some other thing about doubling the number of
Message 6 of 21 , Apr 1, 2003
> Got a question for the Seething D20 Masses with a gift for math etc.
> How do you calculate the Encounter Level of a really mixed encounter?

Personally, I use this

> Example: 4 generic orcs and an orc NPC (3rd level fighter) and an
> Ogre NPC (3rd level barbarian)
>
> A generic orc is CR .5, the orc captain is CR 3, and the ogre thug is
> CR 5.
>
> officially when you double the number of critters you add two to the
> EL,
> which makes two orcs an EL 2.5 encounter and four orcs EL 4.5? that
> makes no sense, so I'm assuming I'm wrong.

There's some other thing about doubling the number of creatures if
the CR is less than 1. I can't remember it exactly, but it's in the
DMG.

> What's the total encounter level of this encounter?

7. I could launch into a very long explanation, but the above link
is usually correct.

-Greg G

=====
--
RPN, the other Gaming Network

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• ... It doesn t really apply when the CR is less than one. ... I d probably put this one at: 4 * 0.5 = 2. 3 + 2 = 4.? 5 + 4.? = ~6.?-7 Generally, CR+CR = CR+2,
Message 7 of 21 , Apr 1, 2003
On Tue, Apr 01, 2003 at 09:49:10AM -0500, Emily Smirle wrote:
> Got a question for the Seething D20 Masses with a gift for math etc.
>
> How do you calculate the Encounter Level of a really mixed encounter?
>
> Example: 4 generic orcs and an orc NPC (3rd level fighter) and an Ogre
> NPC (3rd level barbarian)
>
> A generic orc is CR .5, the orc captain is CR 3, and the ogre thug is
> CR 5.
>
> officially when you double the number of critters you add two to the
> EL, which makes two orcs an EL 2.5 encounter and four orcs EL 4.5?
> that makes no sense, so I'm assuming I'm wrong.

It doesn't really apply when the CR is less than one.

> What's the total encounter level of this encounter?

I'd probably put this one at:

4 * 0.5 = 2.
3 + 2 = 4.?
5 + 4.? = ~6.?-7

Generally, CR+CR = CR+2, CR+(CR-2) = CR+1. Four orcs is somewhere
around a CR 2 encounter; a CR 3 plus a CR 2 is somewhere between 4 and
5; add that to a CR 5 encounter and you're pretty close to CR 7.

I'd probably consider it closer to CR 6, though. At that point a
sixth-level party should be able to handle it without too much risk. A
brick will be able to stand up to the ogre unless it gets in a nice
critical or two with its great axe (you *were* going to give it a great
axe, I hope?), the normal orcs are laughable, and the orc captain isn't
particularly a threat.

Especially if the party starts far enough away and the baddies are
stupid enough (and they are...) to clump up well enough for the sorcerer
to pick them off.

So, I'd consider this no more than a CR 6 encounter, I think, unless you
do something to make it more interesting (such as making the encounter
happen in the dark, for instance). Darkness, the great leveler. Miss
chance, sweet, frustrating miss chance... and it makes ranged attacks
almost impossible.

Keith
--
Keith Davies
keith.davies@...

PCGen: <reaper/>, smartass
"You just can't argue with a moron. It's like handling Nuclear
waste. It's not good, it's not evil, but for Christ's sake, don't
get any on you!!" -- Chuck, PCGen mailing list
• ... There s a rule no one has mentioned yet that says CRs less than 3 are added together until you start getting ELs higher than 3. 4 CR 1/2 orcs are EL 2,
Message 8 of 21 , Apr 1, 2003
--- Keith Davies <keith.davies@...> wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 01, 2003 at 09:49:10AM -0500, Emily
> Smirle wrote:
> > Got a question for the Seething D20 Masses with a
> >
> > How do you calculate the Encounter Level of a
> really mixed encounter?
> >
> > Example: 4 generic orcs and an orc NPC (3rd level
> fighter) and an Ogre
> > NPC (3rd level barbarian)
> >
> > A generic orc is CR .5, the orc captain is CR 3,
> and the ogre thug is
> > CR 5.
> >
> > officially when you double the number of critters
> you add two to the
> > EL, which makes two orcs an EL 2.5 encounter and
> four orcs EL 4.5?
> > that makes no sense, so I'm assuming I'm wrong.
>
> It doesn't really apply when the CR is less than
> one.

There's a rule no one has mentioned yet that says CRs
less than 3 are added together until you start getting
ELs higher than 3. 4 CR 1/2 orcs are EL 2, and 8
would be EL 4. Three CR 1 Lizardfolk would be EL 3,
but 6 would be EL 5 (EL 3 + EL 3 = EL5).

Dusty

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• ... Bless you! A thousand times, bless you! It s in javascript! I can see the source, so I can see how he does it! Logical steps! Algorithms! Oh, bless you!
Message 9 of 21 , Apr 1, 2003
Phantom of Krankor wrote:
>
>>Got a question for the Seething D20 Masses with a gift for math etc.
>>How do you calculate the Encounter Level of a really mixed encounter?
>
>
> Personally, I use this

Bless you! A thousand times, bless you!

It's in javascript! I can see the source, so I can see how he does it!
Logical steps! Algorithms! Oh, bless you!

*does a little "Hail Greg" dance*

...

Ahem. You know you've been a programmer too long when you have to use a
computer algorithm to judge encounter levels.
--
"Is he an evil outsider?"
"Well, he was one of the loners in evil kindergarten..."
• ... ... Don t know if its official, or not, but here s how ... I belive that that is close to the way you are suppose to award experiance as oppose to
Message 10 of 21 , Apr 1, 2003
--- "Paul W. King" <kingpaul@...> wrote:
...> Don't know if its official, or not, but here's
how
> my groups do it.
>
> If the party defeats the encounter fully, award XP
> party would get by defeating a 2, 3 and 5 level
> encounter.
>
> Paul W. King
> OGL/PL SB and BoD

I belive that that is close to the way you are suppose
to award experiance as oppose to determine encounter
level. Officialy I don't believe you have to defeat
the encounter to get the experiance just encounter it.
The EL is a tool for GM's to use to determine how
much of a challenge a group encounter is. As such it
must be used carefully as the number and power of the
characters for instance can impact the real vs the
calculated EL.

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• ... It *is* official. You shouldn t use EL on the XP rewards chart in the DMG. It s intended to be used only for CR and that implies that you do it for each
Message 11 of 21 , Apr 1, 2003
--- In pcgen@yahoogroups.com, "Paul W. King" <kingpaul@e...> wrote:
> > Example: 4 generic orcs and an orc NPC (3rd level fighter) and an
> > Ogre NPC (3rd level barbarian)
> >
> > A generic orc is CR .5, the orc captain is CR 3, and the ogre thug
> > is CR 5.
>
> Don't know if its official, or not, but here's how my groups do it.
>
> If the party defeats the encounter fully, award XP by adding what the
> party would get by defeating a 2, 3 and 5 level encounter.

It *is* official. You shouldn't use EL on the XP rewards chart in the DMG. It's intended to be used only for CR and that implies that you do it for each challenge (monster, trap, etc.) in the encounter and add the results together. I

wrote a long-ish post on another board on why using EL alone breaks down (I can hunt it down if anyone's curious), but I think a short summary is that using EL breaks down quite badly if you have either low-level PCs or a good number of low-level monsters in the encounter with higher-level PCs.

Always use CR for awarding XP, not EL...

mh - ZansForCans
• ... Where is that rule? Do you have a book and page?
Message 12 of 21 , Apr 1, 2003
> There's a rule no one has mentioned yet that says CRs
> less than 3 are added together until you start getting
> ELs higher than 3.

Where is that rule? Do you have a book and page?
• ... If that s the same one I was using last year, it uses a formula to calculate CR, which periodically came up with some different numbers than the table
Message 13 of 21 , Apr 1, 2003
> > Personally, I use this
>
> Bless you! A thousand times, bless you!
>
> It's in javascript! I can see the source, so I can see how he does it!
> Logical steps! Algorithms! Oh, bless you!

If that's the same one I was using last year, it uses a formula to calculate
CR, which periodically came up with some different numbers than the table
lookup method from the DMG. Close, but not quite identical.

If you want, I've got a spreadsheet that calculates FR type XP (which I use
IMC) based on the tables in the DMG. It wouldn't be too hard to modify it
(or fool it) into doing average party level type XP.
• ... Ah. Err. Well. I just report the news, I don t make it. ... And it s easy to edit, too. I ve modified it to have more rows than come with it. Something
Message 14 of 21 , Apr 1, 2003
> Phantom of Krankor wrote:
> > Personally, I use this
>
> Bless you! A thousand times, bless you!
>
> It's in javascript! I can see the source, so I can see how he does
> it! Logical steps! Algorithms! Oh, bless you!
>
> *does a little "Hail Greg" dance*

Ah. Err. Well. I just report the news, I don't make it.

> Ahem. You know you've been a programmer too long when you have to use
> a computer algorithm to judge encounter levels.

And it's easy to edit, too. I've modified it to have more rows than
come with it. Something about making encounters with 8 different
monsters... >:)

-Greg G

=====
--
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• ... Hrm... not readily, it s not where I thought it was, but I can verify that WotC modules (like Sunless Citadel) stick to it, by my math.
Message 15 of 21 , Apr 2, 2003
--- Brass Tilde <brasstilde@...> wrote:
> Where is that rule? Do you have a book and page?

Hrm... not readily, it's not where I thought it was,
but I can verify that WotC modules (like Sunless
Citadel) stick to it, by my math.

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• (one little voice from the sidelines meekly speaks up) One note ... Even if what you said is correct, the original question was reguarding Experience which is
Message 16 of 21 , Apr 2, 2003
(one little voice from the sidelines meekly speaks up)
One note ... Even if what you said is correct, the original question was
reguarding Experience which is calculated by individual "monster" CR, NOT by
EL. (DMG page 166, top left corner). The only lines concerning monsters
below CR1 are in the second column:
Speaking of Orsc .... CR 1/2 ...
"For these cases, calculate XP as if the creature were CR 1, then divide the
result by 2"
For 1/3 you would divide by 3, etc.

VR

>
> --- Brass Tilde <brasstilde@...> wrote:
> > Where is that rule? Do you have a book and page?
>
> Hrm... not readily, it's not where I thought it was,
> but I can verify that WotC modules (like Sunless
> Citadel) stick to it, by my math.
• ... DANGER! DANGER WILL ROBINSON! I asked nothing about experience, as I don t use the experience charts. My players go up a level once every five sessions
Message 17 of 21 , Apr 2, 2003
Vance wrote:
> (one little voice from the sidelines meekly speaks up)
> One note ... Even if what you said is correct, the original question was
> reguarding Experience which is calculated by individual "monster" CR, NOT by
> EL. (DMG page 166, top left corner).

DANGER! DANGER WILL ROBINSON!

I asked nothing about experience, as I don't use the experience charts.
My players go up a level once every five sessions (give or take). Yes,
this is over twice as fast as the DMG suggests. It's not Hurting Bad
Fun, however, so I don't care. :)

All I was looking for was how to calculate Encounter Level, which is a
reasonable ball-park figure for how tough a given group of critters is.
I like to start with an 'official' ball-park before I monkey with it for
situational modifiers (like throwing ghouls and ghasts at a party with
no clerics, paladins, and one incompetant elf : +2 CR )
--
"Is he an evil outsider?"
"Well, he was one of the loners in evil kindergarten..."
• ... If you find it, I d be interested. The only thing I ve ever seen is that creatures with a CR below one are combined until they total one. So, four 1/2 CR
Message 18 of 21 , Apr 2, 2003
> --- Brass Tilde <brasstilde@...> wrote:
> > Where is that rule? Do you have a book and page?
>
> Hrm... not readily, it's not where I thought it was,
> but I can verify that WotC modules (like Sunless
> Citadel) stick to it, by my math.

If you find it, I'd be interested. The only thing I've ever seen is that
creatures with a CR below one are combined until they total one. So, four
1/2 CR Orcs would be treated as two CR 1 creatures, and four CR 1/4
creatures would be treated as one CR 1 creature. I *think* this is in the
back of the PHB, in that "mini-DMG" section, but I'll have to check.

I hope you won't feel too badly about me not paying too much attention to
the way a module does it. <g/>
• ... (and walks away with foot in mouth)
Message 19 of 21 , Apr 2, 2003
> > (one little voice from the sidelines meekly speaks up)
(and walks away with foot in mouth)
• ... If I find it I ll let the group know... my roommate s car (which I share with him) was broken into, however, so I ll be a couple days before I have free
Message 20 of 21 , Apr 2, 2003
--- Brass Tilde <brasstilde@...> wrote:
> If you find it, I'd be interested.
> I hope you won't feel too badly about me not paying
> too much attention to the way a module does it.

If I find it I'll let the group know... my roommate's
car (which I share with him) was broken into, however,
so I'll be a couple days before I have free time to
sit down and flip through books.

And if you can show me a man who runs everything by
the book, I'll show you a liar :)

Dusty

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• I run everything by the book! DMG Page 6 You get to decide how the rules work, which rules to use, and how strictly to adhere to them That s me...
Message 21 of 21 , Apr 3, 2003
I run everything by the book!

DMG Page 6
"You get to decide how the rules work, which rules to use, and how strictly