GMJ 202: DMG Chapter 3: Creating Encounters

Today Lex returns to his exploration of the DMG with a discussion on creating encounters.

You can now purchase Game Master's Journey T-shirts and other swag! 

Call the Game Master's Journey voice mail: 951-GMJ-LEX1 (951-465-5391)

The Starwalker Studios Discord server is up! 

Check out Lex's D&D adventure, The Trickster's Labyrinth.

Check out Lex's D&D campaign, Hinterlands of Elandria.

Lex's Series on the Dungeon Master's Guide

Episode 151: DMG Introduction - Know Your Players

Episode 152: DMG Chapter 1 - A World of Your Own

Episode 154: DMG Chapter 1 - Gods of Your World

Episode 155: DMG Chapter 1 - Developing Gods & Pantheons for Your World

Episode 156: DMG Chapter 1 - Mapping Your World

Episode 158: DMG Chapter 1 - Creating Settlements for Your Campaign

Episode 161: DMG Chapter 1 - Factions & Organizations

Episode 163: DMG Chapter 1 - Magic in Your World

Episode 164: DMG Chapter 1 - Creating Campaigns

Episode 165: DMG Chapter 1 - Creating Campaign Events

Episode 173: DMG Chapter 1 - Play Style & Tiers of Play

Episode 175: DMG Chapter 1 - Flavors of Fantasy

Episode 179: DMG Chapter 2 - Creating a Multiverse

Episode 183: DMG Chapter 2 - The Astral Plane

Episode 200: DMG Chapter 3 - Creating Adventures

Lex's Series on the Player's Handbook

Episode 137: PHB Prelude through Chapter 4

Episode 138: PHB Chapter 5 - Equipment

Episode 139: PHB Chapter 6 - Multiclassing & Feats

Episode 140: PHB Chapter 7 - Ability Scores

Episode 142: PHB Chapter 8 - Adventuring part 1

Episode 143: PHB Chapter 8 - Adventuring part 2

Episode 145: PHB Chapter 9 - Combat

Episode 146: PHB Chapter 10 & Appendices - Spellcasting, Conditions & Exhaustion

Get the encounter building guidelines from Xanathar's Guide for free from the Unearthed Arcana (pdf direct download).

Previous episodes on this topic:

GMJ 64: Building D&D Encounters Part 1

GMJ 65: Building D&D Encounters Part 2

GMJ 82: To XP or Not to XP, Random Encounters & Should the Players Always Win?

GMJ 84: XP & Random Encounters Feedback

GMJ 93: Fixing D&D's Broken XP & Advancement System

GMJ 98: Designing Adventures & Campaigns for D&D

GMJ 136: Building Encounters using the UA

GMJ 138: Some feedback and further discussion of 136

GMJ 139: More feedback and discussion

GMJ 191: Discussion of flexible encounters

Creating Encounters

Character Objectives

Creating A Combat Encounter

  • Combat encounter difficulty
  • Evaluating encounter difficulty
  • Party size
  • Multipart encounters
  • Building encounters on a budget
  • The adventuring day
  • Short rests

Modifying Encounter Difficulty

PLEASE NOTE: I made a mistake in my discussion of my proposed alternative system for awarding xp. The factors that impact the encounter difficulty (like the PCs being surprised) move the difficulty of the encounter up or down one step (e.g. from Hard to Deadly). It doesn't have any impact on the encounter multiplier for having multiple monsters. 

So a more correct example would be say I determine an encounter is Hard based on the monsters' adjusted xp (factoring in the multiple monsters multiplier). However, I then determine the encounter is in reality Deadly because the PCs have a disadvantage that their foes do not--let's say the PCs are all surprised. So I would award xp for a Deadly encounter, since that is more reflective of the actual difficulty of the encounter. 

Fun Combat Encounters

How to Support the Podcast

Visit our Support page to learn the many ways you can help us out and help support the show.

Music Credits

©2016 Starwalker Studios LLC