View Full Version : Challenge ratings for a one-man party

2008-07-08, 02:28 PM
The people we play with are all either terribly busy or travelling at the moment, so I'm going to run a quick dungeon crawl for the one player who can make it to the game.

The CR and EL systems assume that the PC group consist of four able adventurers, right? So are there any guidelines as to what a single character can take EL-wise?
For example, the PC that is going to jump into the dungeon is a 13th level cleric. With a four-man party this would mean that the average "challenging" encounter would be EL 13. A 13th level character can take that, but it would probably be rated as a "very difficult" encounter. I would say that an encounter of EL 11 would be rated as "challenging", but that's just a gut feeling.

Are there any ways to determine a proper challenge for a single PC or should I just examine the monsters stats and make my own calls on the matter?

2008-07-08, 02:33 PM
You COULD go with the epic standby of having one person fighting off hordes of monsters (which of course would be low-level, such as Orcs or Kobolds.) Encounters like this can still be challenging and fun even for higher level PCs, as illustrated by Tucker's Kobolds.

2008-07-08, 03:00 PM
I'm actually doing this myself.

My advice is to give the guy a partner, who you run as a NPC.

My player has a fighter/rogue character which I supplement by a cleric.

This will make things easier on the player, and diversify the party, generally making it more fun.

Anyway, I usually give him stuff a couple CR below his level.

2008-07-08, 03:55 PM
The RAW for CR/EL calculation is that if you quadruple the monsters the EL goes up by 4. A "normal" party has 4 people, so a solo character facing one monster is roughly equivalent to the party facing four monsters, each of which gets in a 1v1 duel with a different party member. So, just treat each monster as if its CR were 4 higher when you plan your encounters and it "should" work out.