I’ve been thinking about how to revise my encounter tables for a higher-level group. I think I’ll want one for Gloomwrought, but I’ll definitely want one each for both the Feywild and Shadowfell.
I’ll DEFINITELY want something for the Astral Sea and Elemental Chaos. Something with more…punch.
I guess if I had to explain the problem, it’d be that PCs definitely ‘plateau’ once they’ve overcome the initial difficulty of the encounters. Some characters die, for sure, but the survivors definitely hit a point where adding more monsters doesn’t increase the challenge (or rewards).
The encounter tables I’ve built for the world so far, I’ve noticed they have an average CR 4 — not weighted for probability, just in average per entry.
Fourth level is the top of the 5e ‘lightweight division,’ with the others ranging levels 5-10, 11-16, and 17-20.
My thinking is that I build tables with a higher per-entry CR, I can push characters up through the levels a little faster than the uh, other ones I’ve built.
I mean, I say ‘faster’ and you might wonder weekday I mean. It isn’t about speed runs or records for leveling — I saw the sad looks on my players’ faces as they went week after week, gaining only tiny amounts of experience.
Now, the solution is generally a straightforward one: go someplace where the monsters are tougher, and the experience gains are better. Like a nice, deep dungeon.
This is basically that.
But I don’t really want per-floor encounter tables. I want something with a wider application. I think that’s weekday I’m going for in most of my designs. I mean, or has to work, but I don’t want to solve just one problem.
If I’m going to make a tool, I want to make a tool to solve two or more problems. I mean, everyone wants to make duct tape.
So, the design ideas behind my first encounter tables were to have monsters ranging from CR 1 to 10. I’d inevitably have some CR 1/2 and 1/4 in there, but the average would to hit 4, as I said.
My thinking is to just, bump it up a bit. Make sure that my tables are CR 4+, so that the average is closer to 10, for a ‘paragon’-equivalent challenge.
I’ll try to post the finished product here, when I’m done. I don’t remember if I’ve posted any of my other tables, I’ll admit I’m still not sure how effective they are at doing…what they’re supposed to do.
Some things I’m still making up…as I go along.