Encounter Calculator

D&D Encounter Level and Experience Point Calculator

Enter the number and CR of each opponent the party faces.

Note: CR's may be entered as fractions (2/3, 3/4, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/8, 1/9, 1/10).

# CR

Enter the number and ECL of characters in the party.

Note: For PHB races ECL = class level.

# ECL CR Based Difficulty Based
Uniform XP
Treasure Value
Spot Check Distance
Effective Party Level
Average Party Level
Encounter Level
% of Encounter to use

Experience Point Awards per Character

  • CR based Individual XP (listed per ECL) uses the 3.5 DMG rules and numbers to calculate XP based on the actual character levels (treated as a minimum of 3), individual opponent CR's, and the number in the party. This grants higher XP to lower level participants, allowing them to catch up to their higher level comrades.
  • CR based Uniform XP uses the 3.0 DMG rules with 3.5 DMG numbers to determine XP based on Average Party Level (treated as a minimum of 3), individual opponent CR's, and the number in the party. Analysis proves this only really works for a party of four with the same ECL's.
  • Difficulty based Individual XP is based on the idea that it should take 13 1/3 typical (ECL = Average Party Level for a party of 4) encounters to advance a level. However, using this method, differing level companions will never catch up in either XP or level.
  • Difficulty based Uniform XP uses the guidelines that 13 1/3 typical encounters to advance a level. However, because Average Party level is used as a multiplier instead of the individual character levels, differing level companions will eventually catch up in level (but not XP).

Notes & Observations

  • Effective Party Level and Average Party level will show the difference in the 'CR' of the PCs if the group has more than 4 characters. Once there are more than 4 Effective Party Level will start to go up even if the extra members are lower level and thus drive the average down.
  • % of this EL to use shows how many encounters in a balanced adventure design should use ELs of this difficulty. This along with Difficulty and the Advice to Party provide tools for gauging encounter design.
  • A further caution: EL and CR become less and less reliable the further the PCs differ in stats from '25 point buy / standard array'. However there's no agreement on exactly how much of an impact this has.

Version Notes

Version Author(s) Notes
4.04 Alistair Minor adjustment to fix some auto-calculation items.
4.03 Alistair jQuery UI Tabs added.
4.02 Alistair Modified for support on mobile devices
4.01 Arcady  
3.13 Tiera Starr  
2.1 John Dells  

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