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Balanced Encouters

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:49 pm
by Snoring Rock
Wow, it has been two years since I CK'ed a C&C game. Refresh my memory, how do you balance out encounters? HD = level so would 4 1HD skeletons be a good challenge for a party of 4 adventurers of the 1st level? So in that case, is a single 10HD monster a challenge for 4 10th level characters or 4 10HD monsters a challenge for 4 10th level characters.

D&D 5e has a very nice chart for this, and I have become spoiled a DM using that.

Re: Balanced Encouters

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:42 pm
by Treebore
Those are good starting points, but you still need to factor in how good their AC is, magic items possessed, spells they are able to cast, To Hit modifiers with magic and high attributes taken into account, etc...

Re: Balanced Encouters

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:57 pm
by Snoring Rock
I guess that all of that came naturally to me with C&C. Having been away from it for so long now, I do not have a good feel for it. Oh snap!

Re: Balanced Encouters

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:02 pm
by Buttmonkey
When in doubt, consider throwing monsters at the PCs in waves. Start small. If the party is kicking ass, send in another, bigger wave of monsters. This will allow you to control the degree of difficulty.

I use the same general rule of thumb the OP suggests:

If total HD < total party levels, then it's probably an easy encounter.

If total HD = total party levels, then it's probably a challenging encounter that will absorb some resources, but is unlikely to crush the party.

It total HD > total party levels, then it's probably a very challenging encounter. Dead PCs or TPKs become realistic possibilities the greater the difference in HD and levels.

Re: Balanced Encouters

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:04 pm
by Buttmonkey
The outlier scenario mentioned in the OP (one 10 HD monster versus 10 1st level PCs) is probably going to end in a massacre of the party unless the monster's AC is really, really low and/or you nerf its hit points.

Re: Balanced Encouters

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:12 am
by serleran
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Re: Balanced Encouters

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:39 am
by Captain_K
I try to play Monsters as smart as I can with a survival goal, so many, once you bloody their noses they split.. or once you are not worth the risk to eat.. they leave.... I tend to equal or greater HD and play the monsters into not killing everyone.

Re: Balanced Encouters

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:32 am
by Lurker
Captain_K wrote:I try to play Monsters as smart as I can with a survival goal, so many, once you bloody their noses they split.. or once you are not worth the risk to eat.. they leave.... I tend to equal or greater HD and play the monsters into not killing everyone.
Rgr that, back in the day when I DMed, all my monsters had a plan, a backup plan, and a plan when things went sideways on them. There is nothing like the loos on the faces of players when they realize that monster they were worried about, but then started getting the better hand against just switched gears and now has a fair chance of escaping and running away. That followed by a hasty plan on how to stop or head off the escape ...

Re: Balanced Encouters

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:17 pm
by JohnD
I don't bother. The world doesn't care that you were too cheap to hire a healer, or left your Rogue at home, or didn't want to pay the 10 men at arms 2 gp each instead of 1 gp and 5 sp.

Re: Balanced Encouters

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:10 pm
by Ancalagon
JohnD wrote:I don't bother. The world doesn't care that you were too cheap to hire a healer, or left your Rogue at home, or didn't want to pay the 10 men at arms 2 gp each instead of 1 gp and 5 sp.
Agreed. 8-)

Re: Balanced Encouters

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:13 am
by T1Hound
JohnD wrote:I don't bother. The world doesn't care that you were too cheap to hire a healer, or left your Rogue at home, or didn't want to pay the 10 men at arms 2 gp each instead of 1 gp and 5 sp.
I agree with this as well. 95% of the time I allow the party to run from encounters that may be too challenging.

If an encounter proves too difficult, I may try to play it out by:
1) Push comes to shove. On a critical miss, an opponent hits another opponent. Thereafter, the opponent so struck hits his buddy back. Works well between 2 orcs, etc.
2) Target friendly environment. Trolls may start going after other targets like horses, NPCs, etc.
3) Fresh meat. Similar to the above, certain creatures may want free meat or treasure. The other troll that starts eating a horse may attract the attention of another troll.
4) A mighty deed. For more intelligent creatures, although they may be winning, if the party gets a critical or does another 'mighty deed', they just may take a step back for a moment.
5) The Bigger Badder Evil. Maybe the sound of retreat or sheer fear but the bigger badder evil is coming to the battlefield. I may leave the party slip away or a few rounds to react/heal. Maybe the bigger badder evil will negotiate, intimidate, or try to kill them (like they were going to die already right? why not go out in a blaze) :)
6) The Nicer Guys. Hey never know when those Riders of Rohand show up. Maybe they're nice or maybe a bunch of jerks that help you out - for a price.