GOBLIN RATING – how to measure lethality/difficulty in D&D

A chart with GOBLIN RATING 1-5

I came up with this silly little system to measure lethality in a D&D game. All editions are different in this perspective, as are all OSR clones. Dungeon Masters also have different approaches to death and dying. The GOBLIN RATING is a way of defining the lethality at your table. It is also a good way to make it clear to players what to expect by providing them with an example most of us can relate to by answering the question “how dangerous is a goblin?

How to define your GOBLIN RATING

To determine the goblin rating of your game decide how many goblins would it take to pose a serious threat (risk of character deaths, or even a total party kill) to a party of level 1 adventurers in a head on encounter. A high goblin rating indicates a more forgiving game than a low one.

Click here to view the GOBLIN RATING chart (opens in new tab)

GOBLIN RATING – the five steps

GOBLIN RATINGDESCRIPTION
1CATASTROPHIC – Avoid combat at all costs!
2FATAL – I have a very bad feeling about this …
3PERILOUS – We’re ready to negotiate to avoid conflict.
4THREATENING – We pick our fights carefully and only when at an advantage.
5RISKY – We’re here to kill monsters and steal shit.

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