D&D 5E Who wrote these CRs?

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
PCs die from attrition Not individual monsters.

PCs die from grinding them down.Death by a thousand cuts

CR is a measurement of each grinder wheel. Each cut.

CR is not equivalent to modern video game RPG level. Its more like old school CRPGS where you can only heal at the inn or temple.

Like Pokemon Red and Blue where a cave has a billion geodudes and zubats and you run out of PP to fight them all.

This thread is like someone complaining that a fighter is useless as it is a bad spellcaster.
 
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AaronOfBarbaria

Adventurer
If it was working as intended there wouldn't be 11 pages of people describing how their parties can destroy monsters at much higher levels.
CR, used as intended, never says you can't beat up higher CR monsters if you get lucky. The 11 pages of stuff you describe is people complaining that their portable power screwdriver isn't good at driving in nails, nothing more.

If the CR isn't doing what it needs to be doing it's meaningless.
That's the real issue; some folks think that CR needs to be doing a thing it isn't intended to do. It isn't CR that is the problem in that scenario, it's just fine for what it actually is when used as what it actually is. It is people expecting that CR "needs to be doing" something entirely different from what it is designed for.

It doesn't make it automatically a meaningful tool if it doesn't even gauge the party level correctly. Let's say you want to need to hammer something into the wall, and then I gave them a banana and say GOODLUCK! The banana isn't meaningless, but in that situation it's clearly the wrong tool for the job.
If CR is meant to be a hammer in this analogy, then the nail would be saying what level at which a party should be able to defeat the monster without much risk of any characters dying. The banana is the unfounded expectation of CR being some laser-accurate gauge of actual difficulty given all the impossible to guess at variables of party composition, circumstantial encounter information, and the skill level of players relative to DM along with a dozen other things like how prone to fudging dice the DM happens to be or how much they manage to play every last monster like a half-stuffed teddy bear.

So you can say how awesome and wonderful the CR is and it does it's job well. Okay, so that might flt into your playstyle. Other GMs may have better prepared characters, those characters might have some sort of crazy item. They may be different level characters. There's literally thousands of character builds using variables such as HP, Skills, Saves, Items, special ablities, magic system etc. If you have had beyond a 9th grade math education you should INSTANTLY see why the CR is godawful at determining this type of stuff. It's like saying
It fits any playstyle that actually uses it correctly, not just mine - literally any playstyle that uses it as the benchmark for when a monster shouldn't be a lethal threat.

Oh, and just so it is clear: I throw out magic items like candy (see any module from the TSR era of the game for example distributions), my players build characters well and play to their strengths as a party well, and I still think CR works just fine - and I even get my players worried they might lose an encounter while staying within the encounter building guidelines of the DMG.

Find X numerically, X is CR and every other letter is a variable that goes into calculating X.
Nope, that's your misconception of what CR represents, not actually what CR is meant to represent.
The GM must understand the game then apply the understanding.
Same goes for D&D... and as a person that has run those systems you mention, and more besides, let me just say that the reason why they don't rely on a CR-like system is more because of their base mechanics than because of some inherent flaw to the idea of gauging what characters should be able to face without anyone dying - as you even note, those of the systems you mention that can use a system to say "this is okay for your characters" do, whether it is called power level, tier, or some other name.

And I deleted it because I wasn't originally going to address it, but I've changed my mind: If I can't provide my anecdotal evidence as proof that CR works for everyone that uses it as intended - you can't provide anecdotal evidence from the OP or "hundreds more" as proof that CR as used in 5th edition doesn't work when used as intended.

The fact that you think 5th edition CR is the same as the CR that you call "an awful sacred cow that should have been put down years ago," only highlights that you do not at all understand the intended purpose of 5th edition CR, and are confusing it for 3rd edition CR which is an entirely different beast despite the same name being used for both.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
BasicRules said:
A monster’s challenge rating tells you how great a threat the monster is. An appropriately equipped and well-rested party of four adventurers should be able to defeat a monster that has a challenge rating equal to its level without suffering any deaths. For example, a party of four 3rd-level characters should find a monster with a challenge rating of 3 to be a worthy challenge, but not a deadly one.

That's all CR is.

A monster of CR X should not kill anyone in a party of 3-5 Xth level PCs but should require expending some resources.

That's it.
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Define "worthy challenge"?

Medium. A medium encounter usually has one or two scary moments for the players, but the characters should emerge victorious with no casualties. One or more of them might need to use healing resources.

4 level 2 PCs should kill a CR 2 ogre with no casualties. But if the ogre hits anyone, that PC will need to heal. Additionally one could spend resources to kill it faster.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
That's all CR is.

A monster of CR X should not kill anyone in a party of 3-5 Xth level PCs but should require expending some resources.

That's it.

That's not it. The CR section says nothing about only requiring the spending of some resources. What it says is this. A CR 3 creature should be a "worthy challenge" to 4 level 3 PCs, but not kill a PC. A cake walk is not a worthy challenge, and people here are describing fights against CRs much higher than the party level as cake walks. That makes CR broken. It doesn't function like it is supposed to.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Define "worthy challenge"?

Worthy: Deserving effort, attention or respect.

Challenge: A call or summons to engage in any contest, as of skill, strength, etc.

A fight that is a cake walk is neither deserving of respect, nor a is it a contest of anything. The fight is literally no contest. For a fight to be a worthy challenge, it has to be tough enough to be dangerous, yet not so difficult that it will kill someone.
 

AaronOfBarbaria

Adventurer
Worthy: Deserving effort, attention or respect.

Challenge: A call or summons to engage in any contest, as of skill, strength, etc.

A fight that is a cake walk is neither deserving of respect, nor a is it a contest of anything. The fight is literally no contest. For a fight to be a worthy challenge, it has to be tough enough to be dangerous, yet not so difficult that it will kill someone.
I don't think that "literally no contest" is accurate.

I do think that hostile monsters approaching the PCs is a call to engage in a contest, and that if the PCs don't pay attention or make any effort, they will assuredly die because they are literally just standing there letting the monsters do whatever the monsters want - because as soon as they spend actions to interact with the monsters they are certainly paying attention, and if they are using their standard combat abilities rather than some self-imposed limitation like "one hand tied my back" or "no spells, just slaps" that is certainly what I would call an effort (albeit not an intense one).

So, the challenge rating section which you are insisting on reading as if it didn't interact with the encounter building guidelines that provide the detail that [MENTION=63508]Minigiant[/MENTION] has mention, is still accurate despite your choice to have different preferred definitions of the words used.
 

BMaC

Adventurer
At medium and high levels CR certainly appear incapable of indicating to a DM whether or not an encounter will be a "worthy challenge" to a party. The encounter guidelines do not fix this but rather contribute to the expectation that CRs are meaningful/useful.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
That's not it. The CR section says nothing about only requiring the spending of some resources. What it says is this. A CR 3 creature should be a "worthy challenge" to 4 level 3 PCs, but not kill a PC. A cake walk is not a worthy challenge, and people here are describing fights against CRs much higher than the party level as cake walks. That makes CR broken. It doesn't function like it is supposed to.

A CR 3Minotaur deals 22 damage to a level 3 PC on a charging gore and 16 on a normal create axe attack.

That charge takes a level 3 PC down to less than 5 HP and will use all their HD to get back to full HP.
 

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