View Full Version : Does this sound appropriate? (noob dm needs help!)

2010-04-14, 10:24 PM
I have a party of 5 level 7 adventurers. They are about to enter a city in which the ruling LE priesthood uses mind control to create a "utopia." The artifact they are questing for is in the temple at the heart of the city.

The main part of the quest is a maze in the center of the temple, with the artifact in the heart of the maze. Here's the monster lineup:

2 12th level fighters at the door. Each has a magic item that lets him cast hold person 3 times per day (the effect lasts for only one round, save dc of 13). Other than that they have no magical equipment. Each has a halberd, full plate, and a tower shield.

Possible encounters inside the maze:

One level 13 cleric. Cleric wields a morningstar and wears chainmail and a buckler. Also posesses a helm of telepathy, black robe of the archmagi, and an amulet of natural armor +5.

One Rakasha

Two hell cats

Final encounter:

One Nessiah warhound. This is in fact a planar ally, and as such is wearing full plate. Has the spells death ward, bear's endurance, bulls strength, shield of faith, and aid cast on it. In addition the final area is under an unhallow spell with bane cast on it.

The Glyphstone
2010-04-14, 10:43 PM
um, 2 level 12 NPCs are CR 14 normally. A CR 12 encounter would be "Overpowering, TPK likely". Being stripped of equipment lowers it a bit, but they'll still be giant sacks of HP with very high AC and wailing on your party for fair amounts of damage.

A level 13 cleric will either pulverize them, or get ganged up on and torn to pieces. It depends on if you have him buffed already, or if they catch him by surprise.

2010-04-14, 11:12 PM
I think, maybe you are a bit harsh on them....

...................you wants them dead...dont ya? heh... :smallamused:

Anyway, I don't believe they'll ever cross the door.... I mean: *splortch*

2010-04-14, 11:34 PM
UNLESS the party is heavily optimized and the GM is nub (as noted in the title) in which case the encounter will still probably drag on for ages simply because of how much HP they have to go through. As above, the liklihood of a TPK is probable to certain.

Look closer to 2 level 7-9 guards. Possibly 3 if it's at the lower end of the spectrum. As for the Cleric, probably around level 8 would be a challenge, lower if he's going to be fully buffed.

2010-04-14, 11:47 PM
Hmm...how do the guards wield Halberds and a Shield at the same time?

Also, as far as magic items go, bu the usual rules, something that can cast hold person would last at least 3 rounds, since the minimum caster level is 3 (if crafted by a Cleric, which it seems to be given the DC13).

2010-04-15, 02:02 AM
I'd throw 2 of lvl 4 fighters against them as basic door guards

It's the level of the average guardcaptain in a big city

give them both guisarms and improved trip and a big gong or something

then some lvl 2 peons, like..12 of them, clerics and fighters
throw in a lvl 4 cleric in there that looks older and that curses and shouts at the others.

lvl 8, maybe 9, cleric fully aware of them, order head

and some lvl 6 7 8 monsters that fit the theme, between the mob and the head

2010-04-15, 09:50 AM
Thanks all! Like I said, noob dm here...toning it down!

2010-04-15, 12:29 PM
Sounds like my Co-DM's campaigns. He tends to double the CR, throwing CR 20s at a group with an APL of 10-12.

Here's some quick tables to help gauge encounters.

To Calculate APL, add all players levels and divide by party number. If theres less than 4 in the party, decrease APL by one. If theres more than 5, increase it by one.
For example, 3 level 4s would equal 12 divided by 3, the APL being 4. Because they're under normal party size, you decrease it by one and effective APL is 3. Likewise, 6 Level 4s would be APL 5.

To calculate CR encounters
Easy Encounter: APL - 1
Normal Encounter: CR = APL
Hard Encounter: APL +1
Challenging Encounter: APL + 2
Epic Encounter APL + 3

CR is also added upon by number of enemies in the encounter.
1 Creature CR
2 Creatures CR +2
3 Creatures CR +3
4 Creatures CR +4
6 Creatures CR +5
8 Creatures CR +6
12 Creatures CR +7
16 Creatures CR +8

Using these guidelines, I'd say the 2 guards should be levels 6-7, giving a CR of 8-9, and give them a couple items, to keep them challenging, maybe the ability to use a web spell 1/day.

Inside I'd give them a few mobs of Level 3-4 Soldiers to plow through, with their numbers being 4-6 per encounter. CR 7-9

Big Bad Cleric could probably be an adequate enough challenge at Level 10, but I'd probably lower his level to 8 or 9, and give him a couple body guards to keep the party from just surrounding and ganking him.

Most monsters the party would encounter should probably be CR 6-9.

The trick is not to just throw high CR encounters, but play them viciously. Tucker's Kobolds is a good inspiration, play the guards intelligently, have them use combat maneuvers and magic items to incompacitate the party and keep them from just using them as punching bags. Any spellcasters should use a mixture of buffs and offensive spells.

And don't forget, as DM, if its too hard or too easy, you can always fudge a little :smallwink: