Custom encounter/session questions from a new GM

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Hey everyone,
I'm new to tabletops in general having been only involved in one campaign so far (a lengthy Mouse Guard campaign) and a one off here and there.   I picked up Gamma World to try out with my regular group because our GM for Mouse Guard has never had the chance to join a game as a player, plus I'd love to try my hand at GMing.

Here's where my questions come in.  We ran the first example encounter from the Gamma World box where you battle a couple badders and porkers on the hill to the tower.  They're going to keep these characters for a future campaign I'm working on, but there was only 3 players in the initial encounter.  For the campaign I may run it will probably jump to 5 or 6 at most, but I have no sense of how many enemies they should be encountering in this.  I know it's a very combat driven system but I want a mix of them exploring and doing some battle along the way, then having them do full on battle encounters against a group of enemies.  How do I judge when to raise the level of the enemies? How do I scale it?  How do I decide what is too much or too little fo them to be facing?  Not to mention if I let them keep their characters we may have say... 3 level 2 guys, and 2 level 1 in a party together.  What are my options in creating opponents for them to handle?

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated
I got your answer covered on Reddit  ;)

The guideline for 1st level characters is 100xp per player, you can go over a little and it won't hurt much. Just multiply the number of players by 100 and use that amount to 'buy' monsters to fill the encounter. For mixed level groups you would just use the right xp amount for each player, in your case 3x125 + 2x100 = your monster xp budget of 575.

The chart is on page 92 of the rulebook.

Look here for my GM advice on scaling the encounters in "Steading of Iron King," as well as how to introduce NPCs who are run by the GM outside of combat and by the players during combat:

Caoimhe Ora Snow

Game Designer, The Queen's Cavaliers

5e D&D Stuff: Birthright Conversion

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