I have a minor hiccup in the system. The DM for the second table ran session 12 and 13 last week so he would have this week off for his college finals. Although his group is finished, four of his five players would like to join my table on Wednesday just so they can play some D&D. This is fine by me as they already know that they will have no RP say so in the outcome, they are just there to roll dice, but I need to scale the encounter up for 10 people, and I have never successfully done that before.
Also, besides the last two sessions and the session with the splitting oozes, my group has gone fairly unscathed through the season, so I would like to make this encounter very hard hitting. Not guarenteed TPK, I am not out to get them, but I want them to feel some pressure.
With those two aspects in mind, hard hitting and for a group of 9 - 10, any advice on how to scale the encounter?
My gut reaction is to try and split it up so you can run two separate games in the night, like a 6:00 and 8:00 start, but if that isn't possible here are some suggestions:
The duergar for this one are Minions, just switching out a few of them with some of the ones that appeared in Week 12 will make a big difference.
A standard thing I do for increased difficulty is give an accross the board +2 to all defenses of the baddies. With 10 you may even be able to do +3. I would also bump up all the health of baddies by 20%, maybe a bit more for the big bad.
I don't remember all the stats off the top of my head by making a close blast 3 move up to a close blast 4 might be worth it for a bigger group.
If all else fails you can go the Munchkin route and have a clone of the big bad (they were actually a pair of siblings not just one).
Here are my suggestions: Place two of the striker duergar from the previous room in the encounter along with the warlord like duergar (level 5) from the newest essential monster manual. When the striker duergar go invisible, you can have one of them do striker damage out of normal turn order. It is highly effective. If you need even more, I will tell you that I ran this session last week and included a bookend monster to it to balance from the first encounter. I threw in an undead stirge (flier) that floated down through a crack in the ceiling during round 2. The party thought it would be an easy kill but they nearly ran when it spit blood and bone at them in a close blast three. The flying around hindered the mainly melee pregen characters even at levels 2 and 3. Any flying enemies would make a good symbosis with the mainly grounded melee dragon and duergar minions.
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