Author Topic: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.  (Read 28712 times)

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AleksanderTheGreat

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2011, 09:14:26 PM »
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and then I will run them through a set of four CR appropriate encounters, as per the encounter guidelines
This means that the encounters will be of different CRs (i.e. 1st CR -2, 2nd CR -1, 3rd CR +0, 4th CR +1) or all will have the same CR? I guess the later but want to be sure.
What about multiple retries? And about one user sending multiple requests/parties?
Encounter will be tailored to the party?
What about solo-ing encounters? One character against either a lower CR encounter (to make it fair) or level appropriate encounter (to make it more challanging :>)

And just to be clear - Your goal is to defeat the party with any means, right? don't forget that advantages increase encounters CR (so an ambushing Ice Devil is more then 13 CR). ;)

It's a very interesting and cool idea BTW. :D
« Last Edit: March 19, 2011, 09:39:19 PM by AleksanderTheGreat »
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Optimizing is the antithesis of roleplaying because it takes focus away from the important parts of the game.
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The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2011, 09:37:28 PM »
This is kind of futile unless you agree not to screw around with badly rated CRs.

Going up against, say, a cloaker lord or sharn with additional casting levels is going to be death regardless of whether WotC thought it was "CR appropriate"

Yes, let's just go over all the monsters that are too powerful for their CR (IE, Wizards cannot solo them with a single spell) Anything with the Demon or Devil Subtype. Anything with the angel or Archon subtype. Anything with the Dragon type. Anything with the Outsider type actually. Aboleths, Mindflayers, Beholders. Oh wait, let's just ban the entire type. Ect.

Look, I'm going to let everyone know what the encounters are, it's not like people are going to have to take my word on this. If they think that "An Ice Devil" is too overpowered for a level 12 party to face, that's their problem, because it turns out that it's totally expected that level 12 parties will have to fight Gelugons.
The problem is that cloaker lords cast as wizards of a higher level than their CR. And also have more HD than their CR.

So do Planetar, except Cleric casting. Still CR monsters. Yes, there are abnormalities that exist, between CR NPCs and Players of level X, but those are usually accounted for by WBL differences between Monsters and NPCs vs PCs. Like I said, I will be presenting the encounters during and/or after the battles, so that anyone can see what the encounter consisted of, and whether they think that's appropriately representative or not.

As long as you choose the encounters before picking the party, I don't have a problem with it, but I would prefer if we were to prove something other than "the CR system is totally broken, and a wizard 12 is considered the same threat as a soulknife 12".
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Nachofan99

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2011, 11:21:44 PM »
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As long as you choose the encounters before picking the party, I don't have a problem with it, but I would prefer if we were to prove something other than "the CR system is totally broken, and a wizard 12 is considered the same threat as a soulknife 12".

Very agree TML.  The DM can always drop the giant with equal wizard levels of non-associated class levels worth of HD - this method rocks every party at all levels.  CR system is actually more abusive than character building IMO.

In addition, situational modifiers change CR, RAW.  So if I hamstring myself and don't have an arcane caster or divine caster or all the other factors that say "having this makes the fight easier" - I should expect to face significantly lower CR's.  Will that be that case?

Echoes

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2011, 11:49:21 PM »
In addition, situational modifiers change CR, RAW.  So if I hamstring myself and don't have an arcane caster or divine caster or all the other factors that say "having this makes the fight easier" - I should expect to face significantly lower CR's.  Will that be that case?

That is the most phenomenally retarded thing I have read today. And I just got done arguing with someone who's seriously claiming that using a tower shield to hide you and all your gear (including said tower shield) is less immersion-breaking than opposed skill checks.

Not having a Wizard isn't a situational modifier. Fighting a water elemental underwater is a situational modifier.
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Kaelik

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2011, 12:48:13 AM »
Things about CRs:

1) I will be using mostly a very low variation for CR. For example, I told one person (you?) that they are facing an Aboleth as a threat. That's a CR 7, but against a party of level 6 characters. So to compensate, at least one encounter will be EL 5 or lower. Though I could argue telling him "Aboleth" beforehand justifies the +1 CR by itself, I'm not going to.

2) For solo members, it may be a single encounter of EL equal to their level, or two encounters of EL equal to level -2, or four of EL equal to their level -4. With the normal variation. You will find this is all according to the Encounter guidelines for reduced party size. Additionally, for parties of four, it is technically within my rights to pit them against a single encounter of EL equal to their party level +4, though if I do so, it will be rare.

3) I am going to be using, for the vast majority of fights, monsters, not NPCs. Some monsters do cast spells, or use SLAs, and they are usually some of the tougher monsters. But I am not trying to abuse the CR system, or use four level 12 wizards going nova from ambushes as a demonstration of the fact that fighters can't face equal CR encounters.

4) All the encounters are made ahead of time, because I have a long list of "generic EL X encounters" that I have made for most levels. If you pick a level I don't actually have prepared (hint anything above 13 falls into this category) then I will be forced to make them then. However, I will definitely have them all finalized before I ask anyone to prepare spells, and hopefully before I look at in depth sheets. That said, it really is within the DMs normal duties and actions to dictate who fights the party based also on their characters, such as not sending Shadow Hit Squads against people with no access to Magic weapons or Ghost Touch effects, and to have plot involved hit squads who have some knowledge of the PCs past tactics, so when I pick challenges that I think are good challenges for the party from my list, that's not good complaining.

5) My goal is not to defeat the party by any means. My goal is to show that high powered characters are actually pretty well balanced against appropriate CR, and that smuck classes are actually weaker than is needed to face them.

So for examples:
a) A party of Fighter/Dragon Shaman/Factotum/Favored Soul, my "goal" would be to defeat them, and make them all look bad. Because those are smuck classes.

b) A party of Wizard/Druid/Wizard/Cleric, my goal would be for them to survive all four encounters, but have had some genuine serious tension in most fights, and generally feel like "Man I don't have another one of those in me" after the fourth one.

c) A party of Wizard/Druid/Cleric/Fighter, my goal would be something like b, but with a strong does of "Jim was not particularly useful, and I kinda wish we had another Bob instead of him."

6) "Situation modifiers" No, an "ambushing" Gelugon is not of higher EL. A Gelugon has at will Persistent Image, amongst other things, and the fact that you might run into a Persistent Image den, and the Gelugon detects you before you detect it does not make it a higher EL. If you can't deal with the abilities of an appropriate CRed monster actually means you can't deal with the abilities of an appropriately CRed monster, not that it's unfair for a Gelugon to use Persistent Image. It's also not unfair for it to fly, because it has fly as an at will SLA.

Likewise, to quote from the blue Dragon combat description: "Typically, blue dragons attack from above or burrow beneath the sands until opponents come within 100 feet. Older dragons use their special abilities, such as hallucinatory terrain, in concert with these tactics to mask the land and improve their chances to surprise the target."

If a Blue Dragon surprises you, it's not a higher EL fight. Because that's what they are expected to try to do.

Also, fighting a monster in it's natural habitat does not increase it's EL either. Fighting an Aboleth or Water Elemental in water is not higher EL than CR X, it's CR X assumes it is in it's natural habitat.

And for double sure choosing to be a party of commoners is not a situational modifier that gives you a pass on fighting level appropriate challenges.

Amechra

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2011, 12:56:11 AM »
What about defeating them by moving them out of their natural habitats?

Like somehow teleporting the Aboleth out of water, where it is incapable of breathing.
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Sounds fine to me.
probably over on "Off-topic".
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dark_samuari

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2011, 01:00:40 AM »
4) All the encounters are made ahead of time, because I have a long list of "generic EL X encounters" that I have made for most levels. If you pick a level I don't actually have prepared (hint anything above 13 falls into this category) then I will be forced to make them then. 5) My goal is not to defeat the party by any means. My goal is to show that high powered characters are actually pretty well balanced against appropriate CR, and that smuck classes are actually weaker than is needed to face them.

So for examples:
a) A party of Fighter/Dragon Shaman/Factotum/Favored Soul, my "goal" would be to defeat them, and make them all look bad. Because those are smuck classes.

b) A party of Wizard/Druid/Wizard/Cleric, my goal would be for them to survive all four encounters, but have had some genuine serious tension in most fights, and generally feel like "Man I don't have another one of those in me" after the fourth one.

c) A party of Wizard/Druid/Cleric/Fighter, my goal would be something like b, but with a strong does of "Jim was not particularly useful, and I kinda wish we had another Bob instead of him."

So you will be applying a personal bias to the exercise?

Kaelik

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2011, 01:14:25 AM »
What about defeating them by moving them out of their natural habitats?

Like somehow teleporting the Aboleth out of water, where it is incapable of breathing.

Depends on the situation, but if you did so, and it died, that would be success for you. And if you planeshift it somewhere so that it dies for some other reason, same thing. On the other hand, if it just walks back into the water, and comes back to eat you, then you obviously didn't win.

So you will be applying a personal bias to the exercise?

No. I will be running the encounters as I would run them for any non cheese party. And if they happen to all result in TPKs every time, no matter what, I will just call you guys all losers, and tell you how you should have built your characters/what you should have done instead. If people manage to vastly outperform my goals (IE, entire party of Wizards, but one guy solo kills every encounter while the others watch, and wait for a tag in that never comes, or party of fighters even manages to survive to victory) then that will obviously be the kind of evidence that proves me wrong.

dark_samuari

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2011, 01:19:23 AM »
So you will be applying a personal bias to the exercise?

No. I will be running the encounters as I would run them for any non cheese party. And if they happen to all result in TPKs every time, no matter what, I will just call you guys all losers, and tell you how you should have built your characters/what you should have done instead. If people manage to vastly outperform my goals (IE, entire party of Wizards, but one guy solo kills every encounter while the others watch, and wait for a tag in that never comes, or party of fighters even manages to survive to victory) then that will obviously be the kind of evidence that proves me wrong.

Perhaps I came upon the purpose of this exercise incorrectly. But if your goal towards one party is to destroy them while the other is shown favoritism I don't know how you would go about maintaining any proper viability. You could maybe apply the same level of tactics against a both types of groups? I can understand if you even explained it as the monsters (the ones with higher int scores) targeting the weaker members from a pure tactical standpoint. Ideally my concern is if such a hostile bias is implemented we'll be left with a tainted study which leaves us back where we started.

Kaelik

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2011, 01:30:40 AM »
Perhaps I came upon the purpose of this exercise incorrectly. But if your goal towards one party is to destroy them while the other is shown favoritism I don't know how you would go about maintaining any proper viability. You could maybe apply the same level of tactics against a both types of groups? I can understand if you even explained it as the monsters (the ones with higher int scores) targeting the weaker members from a pure tactical standpoint. Ideally my concern is if such a hostile bias is implemented we'll be left with a tainted study which leaves us back where we started.

Perhaps you could learn to read? I never said I would show favoritism to any party. I explicitly stated that I would play the monsters just as well against any party combination.

dark_samuari

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2011, 01:35:03 AM »
Perhaps I came upon the purpose of this exercise incorrectly. But if your goal towards one party is to destroy them while the other is shown favoritism I don't know how you would go about maintaining any proper viability. You could maybe apply the same level of tactics against a both types of groups? I can understand if you even explained it as the monsters (the ones with higher int scores) targeting the weaker members from a pure tactical standpoint. Ideally my concern is if such a hostile bias is implemented we'll be left with a tainted study which leaves us back where we started.

Perhaps you could learn to read? I never said I would show favoritism to any party. I explicitly stated that I would play the monsters just as well against any party combination.

Oh really?

a) A party of Fighter/Dragon Shaman/Factotum/Favored Soul, my "goal" would be to defeat them, and make them all look bad. Because those are smuck classes.

b) A party of Wizard/Druid/Wizard/Cleric, my goal would be for them to survive all four encounters, but have had some genuine serious tension in most fights, and generally feel like "Man I don't have another one of those in me" after the fourth one.

c) A party of Wizard/Druid/Cleric/Fighter, my goal would be something like b, but with a strong does of "Jim was not particularly useful, and I kinda wish we had another Bob instead of him."

I see specific differences in your approach to each party purely made from the party's composition. In fact one goal is to perform a TPK while another is to alienate a specific player within the group.

Kaelik

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2011, 01:41:38 AM »
My goal is not the same thing as my tactics. My goal is what I would like the outcome to be. If your claim is that the mere fact of me having a preferred outcome prevents me from treating parties equally, then you are rejecting a priori the ability to ever have a test that accurately measures anything.

dark_samuari

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2011, 01:49:55 AM »
Listen we can get into the fun of a priori and such but I am just concerned that you'll be unable to separate your goals from the execution of tactics. Maybe it is the way you phrased it. If you were hoping to demonstrate the problems inherit in 'bad classes' by demonstrating how the same monster could provide a challenge for a tier 1 group but devastate the weaker group that is fine. You would be establishing a fair contrast between two subjects.

But from what I can perceive you want to apply a harsher & more hostile approach to the weaker group while going easier on the stronger group. Anything you hope to attain is tainted by such a bias.   

The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2011, 01:50:51 AM »
My goal is not the same thing as my tactics. My goal is what I would like the outcome to be. If your claim is that the mere fact of me having a preferred outcome prevents me from treating parties equally, then you are rejecting a priori the ability to ever have a test that accurately measures anything.
There is such a thing as a blind test or a double blind test.
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Kaelik

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2011, 01:59:35 AM »
But from what I can perceive you want to apply a harsher & more hostile approach to the weaker group while going easier on the stronger group. Anything you hope to attain is tainted by such a bias.   

I'm going to ignore everything you have to say, as you have clearly demonstrated that you have not critically read anything that I have said in this thread, like for example, the very first post, in which I stated the explicit purpose of the thread is to humble those who believe Wizards destroy the CR system, or the post you quoted in which I explicitly said "if someone exceeds my goals, that would be evidence that I am wrong."

Great, you are a fighter fanboi, I don't care. Either make a party, go away, or be silent until some actual unfairness has occurred. But stop whining about how you think the fact that my expectations are not to your liking means that I am incapable of treating parties equally, when I've explicitly stated that is what I am going to do.

My goal is not the same thing as my tactics. My goal is what I would like the outcome to be. If your claim is that the mere fact of me having a preferred outcome prevents me from treating parties equally, then you are rejecting a priori the ability to ever have a test that accurately measures anything.
There is such a thing as a blind test or a double blind test.

Such things cannot be applied to any situation in which a human being must make decisions of tactics on the fly. I can't choose the Aboleths actions without knowing what the PCs actions are, and anyone else choosing the Aboleth's actions would also have expectations of some kind.

dark_samuari

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2011, 02:08:05 AM »
Oh I'll make a party. I'll make a party so hard... I'll make a party that makes you feel so awkward downstairs.

You'll see the party and only be able to respond, "Oh yeah baby."

The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2011, 03:30:54 AM »
Quote
There is such a thing as a blind test or a double blind test.

Such things cannot be applied to any situation in which a human being must make decisions of tactics on the fly. I can't choose the Aboleths actions without knowing what the PCs actions are, and anyone else choosing the Aboleth's actions would also have expectations of some kind.
True.  It might be a good idea to get a third party involved to cut down the meta-knowledge a bit, if possible.  While metagaming is an important part of being a good GM, it makes it more difficult to judge the system
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Echoes

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2011, 05:28:36 AM »
Oh I'll make a party. I'll make a party so hard... I'll make a party that makes you feel so awkward downstairs.

You'll see the party and only be able to respond, "Oh yeah baby."

I'm sorry, but this is the most hilarious thing I've read all day. Even in context, it makes no sense whatsoever. Bravo, sir.
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JohnnyMayHymn

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2011, 07:03:16 AM »
How about gestalt? (With gestalt encounters to match) :smirk
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Kaelik

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Re: CR Appropriate encounters Arena.
« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2011, 07:36:08 PM »
Subforum granted. Please continue making parties.

No gestalt, this is about classes and the CR system. The CR system for Gestalt is some vague poorly defined guidelines at it's best.