Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
What I am asking is if "an encounter that consumed 20% of the party's resources," is an appropriate challenge. Not "will a CR 8 stone giant really use up 20% of the an eighth level parties resources".
Probably, but it's still so generalized that you need to be careful. Resources aren't split evenly between party members, so keeping it challenging without it become deadly can be...difficult. Because it's just a really obvious resource that literally every class has, let's use HP as an example: if you've got a classic four-person party at level, you're probably looking at 10d4+10d6+10d8+10d10+120 damage to get the whole party to 0, and then another 40 to get them all dead. So "80% of party resources consumed in a day" might be 256 damage...but if you're not careful about spreading that damage evenly between them all after crits, evasion, healing, or what have you, you could very well be looking at "rogue is untouched, but fighter/wizard/cleric are all dead". That's obviously the far end of a spectrum, but the other far end where damage is extremely evenly split is where all four are alive at the end of the day...and that conclusion of "four living-but-heavily-injured characters" doesn't have a ton of room for error. This is least true in the middle levels - at low levels, a random crit outta nowhere can throw all the calcs off, and at high levels, rocket tag is kind of a thing - but even then, it's still true.