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D&D 5E Finally switching my campaign from 4th to 5th Edition.


I don't have the published adventures, but I understand that they do follow the adventuring day guidelines fairly well in parts, so at least they give us some examples.

We have just run through a dungeon level in Princes of the Apocalypse which the party did in a single adventuring day. There was a total of 13 encounters. One was a spell trap, two were spotted and avoided, one we talked our way out of and the other 8 were combat encounters. There were 4 main encounter areas so we theoretically could have had 3 short rests between these, although you don't know in advance which areas are safe to rest. Rest to early and you get attacked - rest to late and you stumble into the next area. We took two short rests. Withdraw for a long rest and the area gets repopulated and fortified and is much harder next time.

I acknowledge this is a particular adventure design (living dungeon?) which works well under base 5e guidelines.

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That opens a can of worms as imo the numbers for difficulty are way off and a hard encounter is more like an easy encounter and deadly is medium etc. For my group atleast

Thats becuase your PCs are nova striking your encounters because you are not enforcing/ policing the 6-8 encounter adventuring day.

As a consequence of letting the players dump [rage/ divine smite/ spell slots/ action surge] at will, the encounters seem weak and get steamrolled; so in response you increase the difficulty - in other words all you are doing is encouraging nova strikes and the 5 minute AD (reinforcing bad behaviour), and further messing with class balance.

Try this: Instead of 1 'super deadly' encounter, give them 6 medium or hard encounters in a row. Do not tell them that its 6 in a row and do not let them long rest until they have had all six, but DO give them the opportunity to short rest every 2 encounters. Make it a 'magic curse that does bad thing X to them all at midnight unless they slay the BBEG' (in three hours time) or something.

You'll immediately notice the classes play very differently to what youre used to, they all balance out perfectly, and the encounter difficulties will be spot on.
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Thats becuase your PCs are nova striking your encounters because you're not enforcing the 6-8 encounter adventuring day.

As a consequence of letting the players dump rage/ divine smite/ spell slots/ action surge at will, the encounters seem weak, so in response you increase the difficulty - in other you are encouraging nova strikes and the 5 minute AD (reinforcing bad behaviour), and messing with class balance.

Try this: Instead of 1 'super deadly' encounter, give them 6 medium or hard encounters in a row. Do not let them long rest until they have had all six, but do give them a short rest every 2 encounters.

Youll notice the classes play very differently yo what youre used to, they all balance out perfectly, and the encounter difficulties will be spot on.
Ill give it ago but if dropping a 1st lvl spell slot is novaing we have different meanings of the word


Follower of the Way
*quietly transfers this post to the thread it was SUPPOSED to be in...*

So, I'm not sure if this has been pointed out yet, but the 4e tools are accessible again. I am not a subscriber--I haven't been for years now--and I was able to open the Compendium, Dungeon and Dragon magazines, and Character Builder just fine. The CB actually launched, which surprised me, but suffered a fatal error during the spinny-hourglass loading phase. The Compendium worked flawlessly. Since all the other tools were also listed, I assumed they also worked as they had before.

And despite it being hidden, it DOES seem that you can renew a subscription (though you cannot start a brand-new subscription if I'm not mistaken). You can click "manage subscription" on an order page, if you have any orders in your Order History. From that "manage subscription" link, there is a renewal option. Since I'm not currently interested in renewing, I haven't actually tested whether it works beyond the "are you ready to checkout?" page. But you can get a subscription plan into a shopping cart, and it still has stuff for accepting your payment info and such.

Of course, all of this may be too late, if [MENTION=84661]Tallifer[/MENTION] has already committed to the jump to 5e. Just thought I'd let you know that, if you haven't committed to it yet, or if 5e doesn't seem to be cutting the mustard for whatever reason, the 4e DDI tools SEEM to still work, at least for now.


Personally, I like it when there's a cost to resting. My usual way of doing this is just to use basic fiction plotting advice and making sure hostile forces have goals. It's hard to give universal advice for this, but, for instance, in my HotDQ campaign, there's a day when the flying castle leaves and after that day, the party won't be able to catch it again. The bad guys are working toward something.

Totally agree. In addition you can use penalties for resting to often like this even when there is no overriding time constraint. For example if the party clears most of an area of a location but then rests leaving some creatures alive I would have them join up with and inform the next group, making that so much harder. An encounter with some humanoids sat around playing cards and dice might become a well prepared ambush with archers ready in out of reach areas and warrior types protecting them.

Or maybe the party clears much of a dungeon and then rests before the final encounter. I might have the main bosses leave entirely taking their treasure with them (my encounter areas typically all have retreat paths). Losing the treasure (and to some degree the xp) is often a penalty enough. Only way you do well in my adventures is to take a few risks

Its also worth saying that not all days are like this. On exploration based days, between main encounter areas I rarely try and threaten the party at all


Because WotC no longer allows new subscribers to the Character Builder and Compendium, which excludes almost all of my players, and because those sites are becoming glitchier with each passing month, I have finally decided to throw in the towel and switch to 5th Edition.

Just a minor question, do you not own the 4e books? I mean, it's not like the character builder or any of the tools are necessary unless you are relying on them to get the game content that would otherwise be offered by the books.


First Post
I really don't like having to let mechanical concerns dictate the pacing of the story, and to always have to throw fights at the PCs that have no other purpose than whittling them down. The huge differences in how different classes manage resources is one of the most serious flaws in 5E, I wish they would have kept something more similar to the AEDU system from 4E.


It is for the first few levels.

Whats the level and class composition of your PCs? Also, what are the key spells known?

Ill stat you up a quick adventure/ some encounters.
Its the same party as before there all 3rd level dwarf tempest cleric, eladrin wild sorcerer, dragonborn champion fighter and a tiefling valour bard. There's a +1short sword floating around and a rocket hammer(1h 1d8 can add 2x str 5charges).

As for key spells fairy fire, cure wounds,heroism,hold person and some blasting spells ofc.

From your earier post you stated 'There either 3rd or 4th level don't remember off head tempest cleric, wild sorcerer,champion fighter and a bard valor'

I'll work off 3rd level.

Tempest cleric
Wild Sorcerer
Champion Fighter
Valor Bard

For 4 x 3rd level PC's we get an xp budget of:

Easy: 300 XP
Medium: 600 XP
Hard: 900 XP
Deadly: 1600 XP

On the way through a forest (anywhere really) the PCs notice a clearing and hear voices (pick the PC with the highest passive perception). Upon investigation they see 1 figure in black robes (a Cult fanatic, increase AC to 16 from scalemail under his robes) and 4 henchmen (1 hulking (str 16) Thug armed with a greatsword (+5, 2d6+3 damage, multiattack) supervising the digging, and and 3 Bandits doing the digging) digging up a grave; a strange glow comes from the grave. The PC's get there just as the team finish their grisly work. If the PC's defeat the passive perception scores of the NPC's they get surprise on round 1 (this, plus the fact the PCs are at full strength, accounts for the difficulty of this encounter).

The cult fanatic uses spiritual weapon and then targets heavily armored foes with Hold Person, and the cowardly Thug uses this opportunity to strike if if he can do so (gaining an automatic critical hit on any held foes). The bandits target any obvious spellcasters. If the Thug dies, the bandits flee. If the cultist dies, the Thug fights on unless his men are also dead, at which point he surrenders. All he knows is that he he was hired by the cultist to escort him to this gravesite and help him with the excavation to recover some kind of powerful magical item. He only met the chap a few days ago, and is spooked out by him.

In additon to the normal gear, the bandits have 2d6 gp and sp each, the Thug has twice this much, and the cultist has 250 gp (payment for the mission for the bandits) two potions of healing, and a map showing both the location of the graves, and a manor marked on the map (that none of the PCs have ever heard of before even with succesful knowledge checks). The manor is marked as 'the Manor of the black knight'. It is 2 hours travel away, but easy to find.

If the PC's investigate the grave, they see a human skeleton, clad in the tattered remains of a gown of white samite. Its skeletal hands bear a ruby ring (worth 50gp) - obviously a wedding band of some sort - and clutch a glowing [weapon - give it a cool name. Preferably something that the champion and cleric like to use]. The weapon is magical and deals an extra 1d6 lightning damage on a succesful hit, and gives off a glow as a lantern that can be surpressed or activated as a bonus action at will (requires attunement).

If the PCs touch the weapon, they trigger an ancient curse, placed on the weapon by the murdered woman whose skeletal remains they now stand before. Suddenly a ghostly apparition appears hovering over the grave; of a spectral woman with raven black hair covering most of her face and clad in white samite; a firey ruby ring adorns her finger.


Before they can act she wails out:

'You have all broken the bonds and now will carry the curse. At midnight, seven hours hence you shall all be struck down. You must track down my killer, the black knight, and put his soul to eternal rest, If you do so, the curse shall be lifted and [the weapon] shall be rightfully yours'

Tell the PCs that they suddenly feel an odd cold feeling come over them, as if someone walked over their grave.. and they all have the strong sense of impending doom. Whover is holding the [weapon] gets a momentary vision of a grand manor house, and for the rest of the adventure will always know the location to it.

After saying this she fades away, with the words 'Seven hours...' echoing ominously through the forest.

More to come...
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