Showing posts from November, 2010
Desperate & Dateless?
Challenge Ratings and Encounter Level
(originally posted at the RPG Stack Exchange)

The Challenge Rating of a monster is a very useful guide for judging the difficulty of an encounter, but it is not an exact science. Experience with your own players will tell you how tough an encounter they can handle, and what kinds of encounters they are best at. When the entire party can gang up on a single monster (even one with multiple attacks) tactics on the battlefield can be less important than when they are outnumbered. However, the more monsters you have, the less certain the estimate of Encounter Level (EL) / "CR Equivalency" becomes. You should also be careful when advancing monsters (adding extra hit dice to increase their CR), as this too can lead to some nasty surprises. I find this online calculator to be very useful for estimating EL, especially when I'm using monsters with a range of different CR's in a single encounter:…
Gnod Yriah and his army of 1000 orcs had captured a village on the river Brallen, 70 miles downriver from Marchion. They used it as a staging point for raids on neighboring thorps and hamlets, as well as blockading the river and capturing any merchant caravans or ships that came past. Yriah, being a barbarian, is illiterate (as are most of his army). However, the adepts (orc shaman) are not.

The village itself has a diameter of 1000ft, so roughly 18 acres (785,398 sq ft) A village has an adult population of 401-900, with 2 adults per acre (43,560 sq ft) of crops 450 acres of arable land (150 acres left fallow + 150 acres of winter wheat), irrigation ditches 14 acres of forest and 18 acres of meadow

I created this map using Campaign Cartographer: City Designer 3 CD-ROM and exported it to PDF.

I installed the printer driver for the HP DesignJet 4500 postscript plotter and defined a custom page size of 1066.80mm wide (the maximum) by 1930.40mm, equivalent to 42in by 77.8in. The size …