Hello friends, in this post we are going to talk about the D&D best encounters. We detailed explained their action potential, and their different type of challenges. So let’s start the post.
As interesting as it is to talk about a adventures (and the stories behind them), the game is really composed of encounters. Each individual encounter is like it’s own game- with a beginning, a middle, an end, and victory conditions to determine a winner and a loser.
Tailored or status quo:
Just as with motivation, encounters can be tailored specifically to the PCs or not. A tailored encounter is one in which you take into codideration that the wizard PC has a wand of invisibility and the fighter’s AC is 23. In a tailored encounter, you design things to fit the PCs and the Players.
In fact, you can specifically design some things for each PC to do-the skeletal minotaur is a challenge for the barbarian, another skeleton with a crossbow is on a ledge that only the rogue can reach, only the monk can leap across the chasm to pull the lever to raise the portcullis in front of the treasure, and the cleric’s hide from undead spell allows her to get to the treasure the skeletons are guarding while the battle rages.
A status quo encounter forces to PCs to adapt to the encounter rather than the other way around. Bugbears live on Clover Hill, and if the PCs go there, they encounter Bugbears, whether bug-bears are an appropriate encounter for them or not. This kind of encounter gives the world a certain verisimilitude, and so it’s good to mix a few in with the other sorts of encounters.
If you decide to use only status quo encounters, you should probably let your players know about this. Some of the encounters you place in your adventure setting will be an appropriate challenge for the PCs, but others might not be. For instance, you could decide where the dragon’s lair is long before the characters are experienced enough to survive a fight against the dragon.
If players know that the setting includes status quo encounters that their characters might not be able to handle, they will be more likely to make the right decision if they come upon a tough encounter. That decision, of course, is to run away and fight again another day ( When the party is better equipped to meet the challenges).
Challenge ratings and encounter levels:
A Monster’s Challenge Rating (CR) tells you the level of the party for which that Monster is a good challenge. A monster of CR 5 is an appropriate challenge for a group of four 5th-level characters. If the characters are of higher level than the monster, they get fewar XP because the Monster should be easier to defeat. Likewise, if the characters are of lower level than a monster’s challenge rating, the PCs get a greater award.
Parties with five or more members can often take on monsters with higher CRs, and parties of three or fewer are challenged by monsters with lower CRs. The game rules account for these facts by dividing the XP earned by the number of characters in the party.
Multiple Monsters and Encounter Levels
Obviously, if one monster has a given challenge rating, more than one monster represents a greater challenge than that. how many monsters equate to a given Encounter Level (Useful in balancing an encounter with a PC party).
To balance an encounter with a party, determine the party’s level (the average of all the members’ character levels). You want the party’s level to match the level of the encounter, so find that
number in the “Encounter Level” column. Then look across that line to find the CR of the kind of creature that you want to use in the encounter. Once you have found it, look at the top of that column to find the number of creatures that makes a balanced encounter for the party.
For example, suppose you want to send ogres against a 6th-level party. The Monster Manual entry on ogres shows that they are CR 2. Looking at the “6” row in the “Encounter Level” column, you read across to the “2” entry and then check the top of that column to find that four CR 2 monsters make a good 6th-level encounter.
To determine the Encounter Level of a group of monsters, reverse these steps (begin with the number of creatures, read down to find the CR for the creature, then look left to find the appropriate EL).
In general, if a creature’s Challenge Rating is two lower than a given Encounter Level, then two creatures of that kind equal an encounter of that Encounter Level. Thus, a pair of frost giants (CR 49 each) is an EL 11 encounter. The progression holds of doubling the number of creatures for each drop of two places in their individual CR, so that four CR 7 creatures (say, four hill giants) are an EL 11 encounter, as are eight CR 5 creatures (such as shadow mas-tiffs). This calculation does not work, however, with creatures whose CR is 1 or lower
Mixed Pair: When dealing with a creature whose Challenge Rating is only one lower than the intended EL, you can raise the EL by one by adding a second creature whose CR is three less than the desired EL. For example, a DM wants to set up an encounter with an aboleth (CR 7) for an 8th-level party. Two aboleths would be EL 9, and she wants an encounter of EL 8, so she decides to give the aboleth a companion or pet to raise the encounter to EL 8.
finds that the entry for 8th-level encounters in the “Mixed Pair” column is “7+5.” Thismeans that a CR 7 monster and a CR 5 monster together are an EL
Encounters with more than a dozen creatures are difficult to judge. If you need thirteen or more creatures to provide enough XP for a standard encounter, then those individual monsters are probably so weak that they don’t make for a good encountr.
So, what counts as a “challenge”? Since a game session probably includes many encounters, you don’t want to make every encounter one that taxes the PCs to their limits. They would have to stop the adventure and rest for an extensive period after every fight, and that slows down the game. An encounter with an Encounter Level (EL) equal to the PCs’ level is one that should expend about 20% of their resources—hit points, spells, magic item uses, and so on. This means, on average, that after about four encounters of the party’s level the PCs need to rest, heal, and regain spells. A fifth encounter would probably wipe them out.
The party should be able to take on many more encounters lower than their level but fewer encounters with ELs higher than their level. As a general rule, if the EL is two lower than the party’s
level, the PCs should be able to take on twice as many encounters before having to stop and rest. Two levels lower than that, and the number of encounters they can cope with doubles again, and so
on. By contrast, an encounter of even one or two levels higher than the party level might tax the PCs to their limit.
Single Monster Encounters
Many adventures reach their climax when the party encounters the mastermind behind the plot, or when they track a big monster, such as a dragon or beholder, to its lair.
Unfortunately, encounters with single monster can be very “swingy.” If the party takes the tIme to use the Gather information skill and divination spells, they may begin the encounter immune to the monster’s most poweful weapons.
If the party win initiative, they can gang up on the monster and severely weaken it before it can act.
When planning adventures, consider some or all of the following points to make single monster encounters more enjoyable.
Very Difficult: One PC might very well die The Encounter Level is higher than the party lEvel. This sort of encounter may be more dangerous than an overpowering one, because it’s not immediately obvious to the players that the PCs should flee.
Overpowering: The Pcs should run. If they don’t, they will almost certainly lose. The Encounter Level is five or more levels higher than party level.
You have several option for making an encounter more or less difficult by changing the circumstances of the encounter to account for some feature of the PCs surrounding or the makeup of theparty For instance:
Orcs with crossbows, behind cover, firing down at the PCs while the characters cross a narrow ledge over a pit full of spikes are much more dangerous than the same orcs being engaged in hand-to-hand combat in some tunnel. Likewise, if the PCs find them-selves on a balcony, looking down at oblivious orcs who are carrying barrels of flammable oil, the encounter is likely to be mucheasier than if the orcs were aware of the PCs.
Consider the sorts of factors, related to location or situation, that make an encounter more difficult, such as the following.
REWARDS AND BEHAVIOR
Encounters, either individually or strung together, reward certain types of behavior whether you are conscious of it or not. Encounters that can or must be won by killing the opponents reward
aggression and fighting prowess.
Always be aware of the sorts of actions you’re rewarding your players for taking. Reward, in this case, doesn’t just mean experience points and treasure.
Not every-one prefers the same kind of encounter, and even those with a
favorite enjoy a change of pace. Remember, then, that you can
offer many different kinds of encounters, including all of the
Combat: Combat encounters can be divided into two groups: attack and defense. Typically, the PCs are on the attack, invading monsters’ lairs and exploring dungeons. A defense encounter, in which the PCs must keep an area, an object, or a person safe from the enemy, can be a nice change of pace.
Negotiation: Although threats can often be involved, a negotiation encounter involves less swordplay and more wordplay. Convincing NPCs to do what the PCs want them to is challenging for both players and DM—quick thinking and good roleplaying are the keys here. Don’t be afraid to play an NPC appropriately (stupid.or intelligent, generous or selfish), as long as it fits. But don’t make an NPC so predictable that the PCs can always tell exactly what he or she will do in any given circumstance. Consistent, yes; one dimensional, no.
Environmental: Weather, earthquakes, landslides, fast-moving rivers, and fires are just some of the environmental conditions that can challenge even mid-to high-level PCs.
Problem-Solving: Mysteries, puzzles, riddles, or anything that requires the players to use logic and reason to try to overcome the challenge counts as a problem-solving encounter.
Judgment Calls: “Do we help the prisoner here in the dungeon, even though it might be a trap?” Rather than depending on logic, these encounters usually involve inclination and gut instinct.
Investigation: This is a long-term sort of encounter involving some negotiation and some problem-solving. An investigation may be called for to solve a mystery or to learn something new
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