D&D 5E Level = Challenge Rating

Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
I hope 5e 2024 eliminates the esoteric and often imbalanced terminology of monster "Challenge" rating. Instead, refer to "levels", such as a "level 13 Red Dragon", or whatever.

In any case, there exists a direct link between Level and Challenge, via the "Proficiency" bonus. Notice how the monster "challenge" in the Monster Manual and again in Mordenkainen Presents corresponds exactly to a player character "level".


Proficiency: Level = Challenge

+2: Level 0 (Background) = Challenges 1/8, 1/4, 1/2

+2: Levels 1 thru 4 = Challenges 1 thru 4
+3: Levels 5 thru 8 = Challenges 5 thru 8
+4: Levels 9 thru 12 = Challenges 9 thru 12
+5: Levels: 13 thru 16 = Challenges 13 thru 16
+6: Levels 17 thru 20 = Challenges 17 thru 20

+7: Levels 21 thru 24 = Challenges 21 thru 24
+8: Levels 25 thru 28 = Challenges 25 thru 28
+9: Levels 29 thru 30 [32?] = Challenges 29 thru 30 [32?]


Hopefully, 5e actually is obsoleting and phasing out the terminology of "Challenge".

Level and Challenge arent the same thing, because multiple monsters can gang up on a player character, and odds are the player character will win.

But as DM I will treat challenge as if it is the same thing as level, then see what happens.
 
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ezo

Where is that Singe?
But as DM I will treat challenge as if it is the same thing as level, then see what happens.
Depending on other chances in 2024 version, the PCs will likely die.

IME, the current CR vs. a single PC becomes deadly unless the PC's level equals the CR +4. For example, a 9th-level PC could likely handle a CR 5 creature 1 on 1, but they could also lose.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I hope 5e 2024 eliminates the esoteric and often imbalanced terminology of monster "Challenge" rating. Instead, refer to "levels", such as a "level 13 Red Dragon", or whatever.

In any case, there exists a direct link between Level and Challenge, via the "Proficiency" bonus. Notice how the monster "challenge" in the Monster Manual and again in Mordenkainen Presents corresponds exactly to a player character "level".


Proficiency: Level = Challenge

+2: Level 0 (Background) = Challenges 1/8, 1/4, 1/2

+2: Levels 1 thru 4 = Challenges 1 thru 4
+3: Levels 5 thru 8 = Challenges 5 thru 8
+4: Levels 9 thru 12 = Challenges 9 thru 12
+5: Levels: 13 thru 16 = Challenges 13 thru 16
+6: Levels 17 thru 20 = Challenges 17 thru 20

+7: Levels 21 thru 24 = Challenges 21 thru 24
+8: Levels 25 thru 28 = Challenges 25 thru 28
+9: Levels 29 thru 30 [32?] = Challenges 29 thru 30 [32?]


Hopefully, 5e actually is obsoleting and phasing out the terminology of "Challenge".

Level and Challenge arent the same thing, because multiple monsters can gang up on a player character, and odds are the player character will win.

But as DM I will treat challenge as if it is the same thing as level, then see what happens.
Very loosely, multiply CR by something between 2 and 4 (4 for low-CR creatures, 2 for high CR creatures) and you get something that kinda-sorta approximates this. It'll never work precisely that way because the CR system is meant to approximate a party of four people, e.g. CR 1 = "four 1st level characters," and the power level of 4 first-level characters scales in highly nonlinear ways across 5e's level range.

Sadly, there's basically zero chance 5.5e will actually move to this system, for two reasons. First, it would remove a major component of backwards compatibility, which is the watchword of 5.5e. Second, it's a distinctive 4e-ism, specifically as part of the design rules rather than the flavor. The designers scrupulously avoided referencing or employing 4e rules whenever possible in 5e's design, to the point of repeatedly reinventing the wheel (and usually with far less testing to boot.)
 

Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
Depending on other chances in 2024 version, the PCs will likely die.

IME, the current CR vs. a single PC becomes deadly unless the PC's level equals the CR +4. For example, a 9th-level PC could likely handle a CR 5 creature 1 on 1, but they could also lose.
Be that as it may, I would rather have the 2024 Monster Manual give the DM guidance, saying the level of each player should be 4 higher than the level of a corresponding monster.

Similarly, advise how many lower level monsters equate one higher level monster.

Talk in terms of "levels".

At least then I know, if I have a DM player character with a level and a character sheet as a recurring villain, I have a sense of what to expect during a combat challenge.

I find the obscure technical jargon of "challenge ratings" to be opaque and deeply unhelpful.
 


Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
Sadly, there's basically zero chance 5.5e will actually move to this system. ... First, it would remove a major component of backwards compatibility, which is the watchword of 5.5e.
In this case, all monsters should upgrade to the math of 5e 2024. So referring to levels is fine.

In any case, the 5e 2014 Monster Manual also refers to the same Proficiency (Challenge = Level). So advice on how to deal with opposing levels during a combat encounter applies to backward compatibility as well.
 


ezo

Where is that Singe?
Be that as it may, I would rather have the 2024 Monster Manual give the DM guidance, saying the level of each player should be 4 higher than the level of a corresponding monster.
I thought guidance was already given in the DMG?

Similarly, advise how many lower level monsters equate one higher level monster.

Talk in terms of "levels".

At least then I know, if I have a DM player character with a level and a character sheet as a recurring villain, I have a sense of what to expect during a combat challenge.

I find the obscure technical jargon of "challenge ratings" to be opaque and deeply unhelpful.
So really what you want is more concrete and accurate guidelines? I mean, the terminology was probably adopted because CR =/= level.

Currently, the best guideline is roughly:
CR 0 = level "0"
CR 1/8 = Level 1
CR 1/4 = Level 2
CR 1/2 = Level 3
CR 1 = Level 4
CR 2 = Level 5
etc.

That level vs. that CR will most likely win. If you go one CR higher, there is a very good chance that level could lose.

Pretty much how I've been running my 5E games for 5 years or so.

I agree it would be nice if the fractional CRs were gone, so CR "1" would be level 1. I don't know why they didn't do it...
 


Quickleaf

Legend
Yeah, definitely agree that on the front-end in terms of the big concept and using existing terminology, Level is more intuitive.

The other "monster axis" from 4e – where they had a level and Minion, Standard, Elite, or Solo – was a really useful conceptual tool because it communicated the bit that was missing from simple numerical description (whether that's called level, challenge rating, or whatever).

You needed a lot of monsters in a scene and didn't have the processing power to track fourteen sets of HP? Use Minions.

You needed a scene of roughly equally matched adventurers squaring off? Use Standards.

You needed some kind of squad leader or gate guardian? Use an Elite.

You needed a boss monster? Use a Solo.

Along with the "descriptor" (artillery, skirmisher, etc), it is one of the things that I thought 4e actually did well, and it's a shame they threw out the monster baby with the bathwater.
 

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