View Full Version : New DM (3.5) has a question.

2009-06-09, 10:15 PM
Hi. I'm getting ready to DM for the first time, and, foolishly, I have let my players have a point buy of 50 points. Also, there will be one flying PC, though that will be a race I am creating with a class I am creating, so I'm going to post that on the forums at some point asking about how balanced it is. I also have let 8 players join my party. I was wondering if anybody had any advice on how to deal with figuring out the right CRs for encounters, as well as XP and treasure since it is a much larger party then the sourcebooks plan on.

Just to reiterate what the problems are:

1. There will be 8 players.
2. One of whom will be flying.
3. They all have a point buy of 50.

Thank you in advance.

2009-06-09, 10:19 PM
Keep the encounters fit for their level, no matter what the size at the beginning and adjust as you see fit. Easiest way.

2009-06-09, 10:33 PM
Have at least 3 enemies per encounter. With parties of 6 or more, level-appropriate single-enemy encounters tend to kill 1-2 people per round, and then get mobbed down by superiority of actions.

This is double the "normal" party size. Doubling the number of monsters is a +2 for CR, so count the group as 2 more CR than it'd default have.

Phenomenal stats (likely two 18's and no penalties) might add 2 CR near the start, but once spells and feats become bigger players (call it level 7), reduce it to +1CR.

So... 4 enemies of individual CR (APL-1) should be about right. This also gives you the ability to have an APL+1 or 2 deal with the optimizers of the group, and a weaker monster tie up the lesser members. If the players split the enemy resources well enough, it should result in few deaths but everyone being challenged.

Use tactics and co-ordination only as clever as the player do- having one mind knowing exactly what every monster is capable of and plans on doing can make them so dangerous it's just no fun, unless your group knows eachother's tics well enough to cope.

2009-06-09, 10:35 PM
What level are they? 50 PB gets them 3 18s if they so choose, which means they'll have most weaknesses covered. But you know what 18s and flying and numbers can't stop?

Tucker's Kobolds.

2009-06-10, 12:21 AM
They will be starting at level 1, and going for as long as the group stays together. I'm going to try to have enough scenarios ready for them to go all the way to level 20 or 25.

What does APL stand for?

What are Tucker's Kobolds?

2009-06-10, 12:36 AM
These are. (http://www.tuckerskobolds.com/)

Basically very well organized and cunningly played kobolds, capable of taking down very powerful players through the sheer force of their awesome nastiness.

2009-06-10, 04:22 AM
With 8 players, I would seriously think about spliting the group.
In my experience, 5 is the absolut maximum that works well, 4 or even 3 are much more enjoyable for everyone. With 8 people, there should be at least one, who knows the game good enough to gm a game himself.

2009-06-10, 04:34 AM
What does APL stand for?

Average Party Level.

With a party of that size, the chief pieces of advice I'd give are a) send more, not stronger, enemies; and b) discourage summons, or anything else that gives one player multiple entities to control (animal companions, henchmen, etc.). Just makes for too much hassle to keep track of them at the table.

Flight isn't a huge issue. Just don't use/design encounters that require the party to find heights an obstacle.

2009-06-10, 08:58 AM
Oh, and make sure to state at the outset: "When your turn rolls around, you have x minutes to do it. No sitting there for half an hour deciding what to do."

2009-06-10, 09:09 AM
One of the first things I was thinking about throwing at them was 8 goblins, led by 2 hobgiblins, with the hobgoblins being 1 level 2 fighter, and the other being a level 2 sorcerer. Do you think this will be to difficult for a party of 8 level 1s with 50 point buy and nothing better then masterwork weapons?

2009-06-10, 09:32 AM
This tool (http://www.penpaperpixel.org/tools/d20encountercalculator.htm) might be useful for you. See what the average outcome for a party of 4 characters fighting Monster X is, and then monkey with the numbers factoring in your large party until you have a relatively similar balance on the Monster CR side. It references pg. 48 of the DMG as useful in scaling such encounters.

This rates the encounter you describe as 'very difficult', which is a good challenge for them. If they get in trouble, just have the sorcerer start spamming Arcane Mark all around the room instead of Color Spray, y'know, stuff like that. (A good Color Spray or Sleep will wipe your party out at level 1, be careful where you point that!)