If 5th-level character is equal to 12 CR1/8 enemies, does it means that one character can defeat all of them alone?

One thought on “If 5th-level character is equal to 12 CR1/8 enemies, does it means that one character can defeat all of them alone?

  1. D. Walker says:

    A lot goes into that rough calculation.

    First up, not all classes are made equal. For example, a lone 5th level spellcaster can more than likely kill a dozen CR 1/8 enemies in a single turn with a spell like Fireball, making the combat last only a single round, and if the mage goes first, the enemy never even gets to act.

    But a class like Rogue without AoE or Extra attack is going to be making a minimum of 12 different attacks, and will need to hit with all of them, and do enough damage to kill in single hit every time.

    Even with two-weapon fighting, that’s still a minimum of six rounds of combat, during which time the opposing forces get to make up to a dozen attacks of their own (minus the number slain by that point) each turn. With an ideal situation, with the Rogue always acting first and always killing two enemies per round, that still leaves up to 10 + 8 + 6 + 4 + 2 = 30 enemy attacks against them. And the Rogue simply can’t dodge all of those, so they’re going to take some damage.

    So the mage comes out of the fight without a scratch on them, but the Rogue is in all likelihood going to take a pretty good beating given their not-so-great hit point maximums, and may even die depending on how the dice fall.

    Now, the Rogue can do some things to even the odds. They can employ stealth and make use of the environment to control the flow of the battle in their favor. But that almost certainly means they will be spending a lot of actions running around, and many turns will go by in which neither side manages to do any damage to the other.

    Now, beyond this, there’s also the weirdness of different CR 1/8 monsters having wildly different attributes.

    For example, a Camel is a pretty beefy member of this category, clocking in at an average of 15 HP. This isn’t enough to save them from the average damage of a single Fireball (28), but it’s certainly going to make it impossible for our Rogue to kill them in one hit unless they can get Sneak Attack working. This means the fight takes even longer, and the Rogue has to deal with easily dozens more attacks being directed at them.

    In contrast, Kobolds have an average of only 5 HP, meaning any hit at all from the Rogue is very likely to kill if they have a decent damage modifier. The Rogue will be able to whittle their numbers down much more quickly.

    That said, Kobolds also deal an average of 4 damage on successful attacks, which is twice what the Camel can do, with only 2 damage.They can also easily get Advantage on attacks with their Pack Tactics, making them MUCH more likely to hit, AND they even have ranged attacks as standard. Yikes!

    But then again, the simple fact of the Camels being able to live for longer and getting in MANY more attacks in might actually make up for the difference in potential accuracy and damage.

    But then, Camels are Large creatures, so only 4 of them can be attacking the Rogue at any given time, because they would crowd each other out otherwise. Whereas, the Kobolds could potentially ALL be attacking at the same time if at least a third of their number have slings or other ranged weapons.

    So yeah, everything depends – and frequently it depends on a LOT of factors.

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