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Challenge Ratings in MoM/Pugmire vs. D&D

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  • Challenge Ratings in MoM/Pugmire vs. D&D

    So in vanilla D&D the Challenge Rating for a creature states that a CR X character is an appropriate opponent for a part of 4 level X players (DMG 274). It looks like in MoM/Pugmire the rule is that a CR X creature is a moderately difficult challenge for ONE level X player. This would mean to me that for balance I'd need to use a lot more (3-4 times as many) CR 1 enemies for a starting party in MoM than I would in my D&D campaign, but I wanted to verify this is the intent before I TPK my group.

    Thanks,

    Rick

  • #2
    Hmmm... good question. You could always test it. If they die, it was a prophetic dream warning of the dangers ahead. Surprise!


    Jason Ross Inczauskis, Freelance Writer
    Currently writing: Dark Eras 2, Mummy: The Curse 2e, Pirates of Pugmire, TC In Media Res. Previous projects: DtD Night Horrors: Enemy Action; C20 Anthology of Dreams
    Masculine pronouns preferred.

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    • #3
      Seems right to me, based on the game I’ve been running. This is a good thing: keying the system to an assumed party size always bugged me, as I will pretty much never exactly have that number at any given time. Much better to key it to each PC.

      It’s still not an exact science and never will be. For example, a larger number of enemies than the PCs makes them more challenging than their CR alone would suggest, whereas a single opponent will be less so. But it works well enough, and I’d call it one of several small but welcome improvements that Eddy has made to the underlying system.
      Last edited by Black Flag; 02-18-2019, 07:40 PM.

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      • #4
        I’ve been looking at these systems quite a bit as I prepare for my first pugmire game. the same DMG page you mention (274) gives hard stats per CR as well; pugmire has a similar chart on 196. Regardless of the philosophy of vs 1 player or 4, those hard stats of AC, Damage per round, to hit bonus, and save DV are what make monsters a greater or lesser challenge, and we can use those to guess a CR conversion between systems.

        What I noticed is that the damage per round stays the same between pugmire and D&D CRs; pugmire increases AC much faster, and pugmire has a to hit / save dc that’s a little bit higher than the same CR in D&D - which makes it hard to draw an exact parallel. I ended up using averages to ballpark it. Here’s my guesstimate...
        Pugmire CR 0 covers the range of D&D CR 0, 1/8, 1/4, and 1/2.
        Pugmire CR 1 is identical to D&D CR 1
        For CR 2-7, add +1 to the CR when converting pugmire to D&D; they’ll deal less damage than one would expect, but will hit with effects more consistently and be harder for PCs to damage. Likewise, for D&D into Pugmire, -1 to the CR expectation, but you want to deliberately reduce the damage. (Ie, pug 2 ~> d&d 3)
        For CR 8-10, add +3 CR for pugmire to D&D. Pugmire has way higher ACs and to hit bonuses at the upper levels, equivalent to D&D CR 16-20, but do way less damage. Converting D&D to pugmire, anything above CR 11 will dish out damage way too high for pugmire characters to deal with, but the rest of their stats will be lower, so cap damage at 70/round, but otherwise the higher CR monsters can still be used as top tier challenges.

        That’s just what it looks like to me from the numbers. I was pretty surprised at how those stat ranges compared, because I figured pugmire would have much weaker monsters if CR was designed to scale for a single PC, but they’re actually harder to hit and more consistently hit the players with both attacks and effects. Damage is probably the more impactful stat, though, so that likely skewed my estimates.
        If you look at damage alone, a D&D monster has equal CR in pugmire, so you could do a 1:1 port D&D -> Pugmire without too much issue.
        Spells and special abilities can be a game changer, of course, along with any number of other variations (tactics, terrain, groups, player party composition). High level D&D monsters do some crazy stuff....


        Anyway, those are my estimates; I’d be interested in feedback on how to look at those tables more effectively. And When I start game I’ll give an update as to how it’s working out...


        Second Chance for

        A Beautiful Madness

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        • #5
          I just started up my chronicle this weekend. We're starting at first level, and haven't had too many encounters yet. But I did use a crocodile and a rust monster straight out of D&D5E. These fall within CR0 on Pugmire's 'make a monster' chart, and since they were single monsters vs 6 PCs... they died quick. I was trying to be cautious about damage-per-round, though, as 5/6 PCs had 10 Stamina or less. These early levels should be tough to balance challenging fight vs one-shotting a PC.
          I'll keep posting as the chronicle progresses. I'm liberally using D&D to design encounters, including the XP budget from the DMG (82) to gauge difficulty, but it'll be a few months before we get above CR2, methinks.

          The crocodile was a cool and scary encounter though. They were traveling by boat, so I had it sneak up on them and attack with a surprise round. it leapt onto the back of the boat and bit the Hunter, establishing a grapple. Because everybody dumped Strength, he didn't make the save to break free. The party couldn't kill it in one round, so it dove underwater with the Hunter, and was hiding in the murk. But the Shepherd had hit it with Sacred Flame, so it was glowing faintly and showed up clearly when the Mancer used detect magic - so I let her help others aim with crossbows to cancel out the disadvantage. They were able to get it the second round, and the hunter took a rest during the rest of the boat trip.
          Last edited by Seraph Kitty; 08-20-2019, 04:46 PM.


          Second Chance for

          A Beautiful Madness

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          • #6
            We just had our third game session. The players went into this session as level 2, and they fought two monsters out of D&D: a Chuul (cr 4) and a giant goat (cr 1/2). The goat was more of a skill challenge to climb a steep rocky hill while a mountain ram tried to knock them off, but they did use spells and attacks to out-maneuver it; it was fun, but pretty easy (as expected).
            [I didn't post last time, as all of our encounters were against Pugmire monsters - they fought a badger tribe. But I did learn that multi-attack would one-shot somebody, so I decided to avoid that power entirely until they have a bit more Stamina..]

            The chuul was serious fight. It took 3 rounds for them to take it down - but they did really well on saves, so escaped its grapple before it could do serious damage. It had high enough defense that several attacks missed, but most landed (and they had 3 crits!). I did not use it's multi-attack, which did nerf its damage pretty well, but at level 2 they still have low enough Stamina that I was worried about 1 shotting them.
            They also fought a Breath Taker, which is CR 4 for Monarchies of Mau, so I got a good comparison between CR in the two systems. (I also did not have the breath taker use multi attack). With a lower Defense, more hits landed, but it had resistance to all of their attacks, so it lasted about as long as the D&D monster. It was serious enough that they finished it off with clever tactics: the mancer threw up webs (which it dodged), but the Guardian then pushed it into the webs. It rolled low on the save to break free, so they set it on fire and finished it off.

            Comparing these fights side-to-side I think I have a better feel for using D&D CR in Pugrmire. It's feeling about equivalent so far. I did fudge those encounters to be easier (but the same way in both), because damage per turn increases pretty quickly; letting them have two attacks could have easily 1-shot any of my party members still. But that was something I new going in, and intentionally changed.


            I'll post again after next session - we're going to have some more complex multi-foe combats in our next encounter (using more Monster Manual ports) - but so far so good!
            Last edited by Seraph Kitty; 09-07-2019, 11:32 PM.


            Second Chance for

            A Beautiful Madness

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