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Eltern
Here for a while
(2/16/03 1:18 pm)
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Sorry
but I got a rules question that often comes up in my RttToEE campaign:

When determining the EL of an encounter, can I treat multiple ELs as multiple CRs when determining what the end EL is? This is mainly for when I'm trying to determine the EL for multiple rooms in RttToEE, and I want to just look at the given ELs for each room that Monte gave us, instead of tallying it all up.

Hope that made sense

Eltern

Infiniti2000
Here quite a while
(2/16/03 5:25 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Sorry
Yes. However, keep in mind that if you do add them up, then they should be the same encounter. For instance, it makes no sense to add the EL for two separate rooms together (say EL 5 + EL 5 = EL 7), unless the challenges in both rooms somehow must be met in the same encounter.

On that note, exactly what are you attempting to do?

Cordo Crowfoot
Here for a while
(2/16/03 7:27 pm)
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just to make sure...
You realize experience is calculated by CR of the individual creatures faced, and not the ER of an area, don't you?

Just wanted to make sure as it is a common misunderstanding and it seemed you might be wanting to calculate ERs for experience calculation purposes.

Freethinker
Looking around
(2/17/03 10:19 am)
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Re: Sorry
I think what we want to determine here is the EL when you have a chain of events involving forces arriving from different rooms in the immediate area. If my group of 7th level PCs is heading towards a chain reaction area, I would want to figure out the total EL should all nearby forces be alerted and join in the fray, so that If I come up with an EL of 16 or so, I can be ready for when the PCs start taking a serious beating.

Eltern
Here for a while
(2/17/03 1:16 pm)
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?
Cordo, what is this you speak of ERs and CRs such being mixed up? What is an "ER"?

Eltern

Tychus
Here for a while
(2/17/03 5:08 pm)
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Re: ?
A good example of a chain reaction area is the main gate to the CRM. Taken alone, any one of the rooms in the area ranges from EL 2-6. However, if someone manages to ring a bell (or otherwise raise an alarm), pretty soon everything from areas 2-12 is involved - obviously a much more difficult encounter.

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(2/17/03 11:47 pm)
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ER/EL
My guess is that Cordo meant EL. ;)

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Eltern
Here for a while
(2/18/03 7:20 am)
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sdf
Then mayhaps I am in a deep misunderstanding.
EL is determined from the CR of the creatures comprising it.
EL can also be determined from the ELs comprising them, right? Just pretend that an EL of 2 and an EL of 3 together are CRs, and then look in the pretty little chart in the DMs Guide
And then determine experience from another table in the DMs guide

Right?
Eltern

Infiniti2000
Here quite a while
(2/18/03 8:16 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: sdf
No. Do not use EL to give out XP. Use only single monster CR to give out XP. Only use EL to determine if an encounter is a good encounter for your players, or otherwise serves its purpose.

Of course, feel free to modify the XP from the single monster CR using any ad hoc rule you want, but the base XP should not be from the EL.

PS At least, that is not the intent from the DMG.

ZansForCans 
Here for a while
(2/18/03 9:30 am)
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Re: sdf
You are right about combining ELs together. In that table on page 101, you can use CR and EL interchangeably, but be aware that it's not particularly rigorous (entries like '1 or 2' for example and there's lots of rounding going on...). It might be worthwhile doing it a few different ways to see if you end up with the same EL, although I doubt you'll be off by + or -1 using different combination methods.

But, as Inifin says, don't use that number for anything but to give you an idea how hard it will be. You shouldn't use it to give out XP.

Just to drive this point home with more explanation, there are two basic reasons why you don't want to do this.

First, using EL as CR on pg. 166 breaks down in two major places:

* Even though a matched pair of creatures has an EL=CR+2, when you are far below [CR = avg PC level] (the bold diagonal line of entries), the XP for 2 x CR does not equal the CR + 2 award anymore. This is especially true for higher party levels.

* Low level parties have 'special' XP awards that don't follow a math trend. Note that 1st-3rd are all mushed together and that the CR 1 award doesn't even drop off until 7th level. This is a strong hint that you don't want to meld CR's together to calculate awards.

Second, EL's are never computed to be fractional. So, when you have a three creature matched encounter, or just about any mixed encounter, the EL you calculate is rounded. If you use that to calculate XP, you aren't going to be close to what is intended by the DMG and may end up robbing or over-rewarding your PC's systematically depending on how you decide to round each EL.

Bottom line again is: use each individual monster/trap CR for calculating XP awards. Sum them up and divide among your party.

EL is only there to give you an idea of the strength of an individual encounter. What ELs are really for is to help you balance a whole adventure when you're creating it. There's a recommended distribution of ELs per adventure that has been deemed a good challenge that you can use as a guide (see the Difficulty section on pg. 102 of the DMG).

Edit: added first para about combo ELs.


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Edited by: ZansForCans  at: 2/18/03 9:41:09 am
Eltern
Here for a while
(2/18/03 2:48 pm)
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wow
Ick, so I've been doing it wrong this whole time? Yet it seems to work semi-ok, since the party is at an appropriate level all the way through the adventure so far......?

Eltern

Cordo Crowfoot
Here for a while
(2/18/03 4:00 pm)
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Re: ER/EL
> My guess is that Cordo meant EL. ;)

Yeah that's what I meant... :o

"They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers. They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came... They were scum who died violent deaths, hanging on to a certain cachet among the impressionable through their undeniable bravery and their occasionally impressive exploits" China Mieville, Perdido Street Station

ZansForCans 
Here for a while
(2/18/03 9:40 pm)
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Re: wow
Quote:
Ick, so I've been doing it wrong this whole time? Yet it seems to work semi-ok, since the party is at an appropriate level all the way through the adventure so far......?


Well, look at my post on the flip side, especially for RTEE. The first point about the XP chart you've probably avoided because your party likely started at or above 3rd level and the encounters are meant to be close in EL to the average party level. That would put your XP awards close to that bold line where using EL turns out to be about the same as using the sum of CRs. The second point may even out if you follow the module ELs rather than compute your own.

I wouldn't worry about it too much if they seem on track. I'd recommend that you try using the CR method for the next few sessions and compare it to what you'd have given them with an EL instead for your own reference. It might give you more confidence that the awards were OK in the past.


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