[RPG] How to calculate APL and CR for thethic PCs and enemies


I'm GMing a Pathfinder campaign and some players have mythic tiers. They seem really powerful to me? As far as I can tell, even adjusting CR for mythic tiers, their power makes the CR system even more "broken". I just don't get the logic of the changes Mythic Adventures makes to CR calculations.

Putting together some encounters, the math looks all wrong to me. For an example:

  • A mythic Wolf with 4 tiers is supposed to be a challenge for two normal PCs at level 1? In the manner explained in Mythic Adventures, the wolf has a CR 3 (1 + 1/2 his mythic ranks).

Other things I don't get:

  • How to determine the individual CR of PCs and APL of a group when mythic tiers are involved
  • The correct CR of mythic monsters
  • How to deal with special mythic abilities. The book says

    Some new monster abilities are especially powerful; at the GM's discretion, they can count as two abilities toward this total

    Dual initiative is that powerful? How am I supposed to work with that and not accidentally make a monster too hard or too easy?

In general it seems really unbalanced. How can I ever put a group of four normal PCs against a mythic monster and not have them be walking into a slaughter?

Best Answer

First, a minor point. As a general rule, monsters have Mythic Ranks(MR), non-monsters have Mythic Tiers(MT). For the purposes of abilities dependent on mythic level, they are treated as equal.

Second, under general rules, a monsters MR is equal to half its original CR. In your example, the wolf's MR is significantly higher than average. The benefits to the wolf are: +4 Natural Armour, 32 HP, may 4 times a day as an immediate action add 1d8 to any d20 result(and do so after the results would normally be known), adds +2 to 2 ability scores(the same one may be taken twice), two mythic feats, and up to 5 mythic abilities.

To calculate CR, take half the MR and add to base CR. As to Dual Initiative, for a wolf or other single attack/no spell-casting creature be likely valued at a 1. For a creature with multiple attacks/spell-casting, it would be a 2. As consideration, a monster with quickened spell casting/like ability, could potentially hit a party with 4 spells a round.

As to mythic breaking the traditional CR, it does. Depending on the party make up, and the abilities taken, it can trivialize encounters that should be upwards of impossible. That said, it is entirely possible for non-mythic PCs to fight CR appropriate mythic creatures.

Especially at low levels, mythic should be used sparingly, and remember a CR3 encounter is going to be a very challenging fight for a party of 4 level 1s.