View Full Version : Advice on scaling lost mine of Phandelver

May 10th, 2016, 23:48
I've recently starting running a LMoP game on FG, this is my first time DM'ing (and running through FG). Originally, my group was quite small, so we agreed to start at level 2 to make the battles a little more survivable. The early battles can be quite brutal. Unfortunately (for me as i'm inexperiences, good for the players), since then some of their friends and a couple of mine have bitten the bullet and joined in (and are genuinely enjoying it), however it leaves me in a difficuly situation scaling the battles now. Originally, when running 3 players at level 2, scaling the enemies health to max seemed to work well so the encounters weren't too easy but were still a challenge without being instakill. However, as of the last game there are now another 3 possible regular players (making 5 or 6 regular level 2's). And the scaling doesn't seem to be linear to the number of players even with the extra health. Adding a few extra enemies still seems to have made the encounters a little too easy for the group. Does anyone have any advice to for scaling the encounters in this situation to keep it interesting? The group is still in cragmaw hideout. I'm running checkpoint leveling, so I can get things back on track later in the game with group size without having to worry too much about messing things up later.

Many thanks

May 11th, 2016, 00:54
I think you have the right idea. There's some good guidance on scaling in the DMG if you have that volume. There's several things you can do like raise the NPC's AC, hit points or numbers or a combination of all three. You could also add in a some with bigger hitting weapons or increase their STR so they hit a little harder. Another thing is to have the environment play a role such as a horrible smell requiring a saving throw and on a failure the PCs get the poisoned condition and so get disadvantage on attacks. You could also introduce cover from rocky ground or other such scenery making the NPCs harder to hit. Also as you are doing use the milestone system to level up characters so that they don't get too far ahead.

May 11th, 2016, 01:03
With the next battle or two, try upping the AC & damage by +1 for regular guys and +2 for boss types. That along with using max HP will probably get you what you need. The next step I would suggest is adding 10-15% more bad guys of the regular type (i.e. not the boss types).

Don't forget, if a battle is turning out too easy, you can always have a couple of reinforcements show up. Harder to adjust mid-battle if it's too hard, but you can fudge some hitpoints or have a boss decide to run away to fight another day.

May 11th, 2016, 01:32
Use an ancient black dragon, that's a good way to scale it up. :)

May 11th, 2016, 02:20
As mentioned above changing AC and HP and increasing the damage by a point or two works great.. I try to have a few monsters of a bit higher challenge rating that may join in as attracted to the fight. I use a encounter calculator to get it close here is one I use http://dhmholley.co.uk/encounter-calculator-5th/ .. If your still in cragmaw hideout then a few strong bugbears added in would even the odds .. you could bring in a returning goblin/bugbear raid party during a stock encounter too. I am new dm too and currently running a LMoP .. on the other hand if you made it too strong.. you could have a party wipe out.. This happened in the game Im running now. but the amazing thing about this game is anything can happen. The party was healed patched together and sold into slavery to the drows . it took them 2 game sessions to escape and make their way back to Phandalin

May 11th, 2016, 06:58
My opinion is that scaling your adventure will become less of a problem as you move forward in the adventure. If you are only at Cragmaw Hideout then you have a lot more adventure and encounters (with stronger creatures) that will come around. I have found that the scaling problem is usually short lived and eventually the adventure balances itself out, especially when leveling takes much longer. Another reason I don't mind over-powered heroes early on is that allows them to worry less about survival and more about how to connect as a party, focus on role-playing, and (hopefully) pay attention to the story. Lost Mine of Phandelver is like a lot of adventures where there are clues that help the party unravel a mystery and confront the final enemy. It might be more directed than others, but it is present and can help enhance the enjoyment of the game if your players like to use their heads.

May 11th, 2016, 16:11
Use an ancient black dragon, that's a good way to scale it up. :)

You, sir, are truly evil! ;)

May 11th, 2016, 20:12
No, if I wanted to be REALLY evil I'd use Mrs Fluffy McFlufferson (http://images1.tickld.com/live/29994.jpg) on them.


May 14th, 2016, 03:29
All you really need to do is drop a Tarrasque or two in the first encounter and then you don't have to worry about the rest of the module.