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View Full Version : [4e] Consecutive Monster Difficulty?

Goober4473
2008-06-29, 02:26 AM
So, when you have multiple monsters in a challenge, you add their XP together to get the total XP of the challenge, which you can compare to your target XP. But what if you don't add the monsters together, but rather have a monster show up after another is defeated?

For example, you have two level 10 solo monsters. Together, they make a level 14 encounter (for 5 PCs). But what if they fight one, then immediately the other, giving them no chance to rest?

When you combine two monsters, you're really giving them about 3 times the damage output. FOr example, if it takes 5 rounds to kill one, you have 5 rounds of both attacking, followed by 5 of one attacking. Whereas with consecutive monsters, it's 10 rounds of one attacking. Does this mean it should be about 150% of the XP of one monster? Meaning the two consecutive level 10 solos would be worth 3,750 XP rather than 5,000 (where one is worth 2,500)?

Dhavaer
2008-06-29, 02:33 AM
Does this mean it should be about 150% of the XP of one monster? Meaning the two consecutive level 10 solos would be worth 3,750 XP rather than 5,000 (where one is worth 2,500)?

This seems odd; if you had the PCs fight the monsters in two seperate encounters, they'd get 100% xp each time. Why would they get less XP for a more difficult scenario (i.e. fighting the second without time for a short rest)?

Myshlaevsky
2008-06-29, 02:37 AM
Is it not more than they would get for fighting two level 10 solo's individually? If not, I'd award that, as Dhavaer says.

Otherwise, you should probably judge it on the relative difficulty of the battle to them. If they really struggle (and not just through random, variable factors) give them more; if it's a breeze, give them less.

Goober4473
2008-06-29, 02:53 AM
Well, the issue is that I want to design this for my Boss Compendium, which will be something I put up for anyone to use, rather than used for my party only, so I want to know what the approximate difficulty should be.

OneFamiliarFace
2008-06-29, 03:00 AM
I think on the wizards website, they just put up an issue of Dragon that involves encounters like the ones you are describing.

Go there and look up "Heathen." The last boss encounter in that is an elite guy immediately followed by a solo guy without any rest in between. So that might provide a good springboard.

Dhavaer
2008-06-29, 03:25 AM
Well, the issue is that I want to design this for my Boss Compendium, which will be something I put up for anyone to use, rather than used for my party only, so I want to know what the approximate difficulty should be.

As for 2 Solos, I'd say. There's no bonus for fighting 2 at once, so there wouldn't be one for fighting one after the other.

Helgraf
2008-06-29, 03:32 AM
Conceptually, fighting two encounters without a short rest between is fighting a single extended encounter. I'm pretty sure it says something to that effect somewhere in the DMG, but I'll be dipped if I'm going to look it up right now.

Basically, you're throwing them a fight with 2 solos (effectively equal to 10 regular monsters of their level), whether or not it's worse that they're consecutive rather than concurrent depends on how much of your party's power outload is designed for solo targetting and how much works better against multiple targets. If you have a lot of multi-target powers, then it's harder on them to fight consecutively because they can't hit both monsters with a single power. If you have a preponderance of single-target powers then the difficulty is about a little easier consecutively since only one of the two solos is dishing out damage each round instead of both being able to go simultaneously.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-06-29, 04:30 AM
As for 2 Solos, I'd say. There's no bonus for fighting 2 at once, so there wouldn't be one for fighting one after the other.

Agreed. They're more dangerous together than consecutively, and you get no bonus XP for fighting them together - so no bonus XP for fighting them consecutively.

It's not a matter of XP, but a matter of adventure planning; PCs don't get more XP when they have fewer resources to use, but the DM must consider how likely the encounters are to TPK the party, etc.