First, my apologies for not posting anything recently. Most of my time went to finishing an assignment. Thankfully, Jacob and Joe have been able to post some interesting stuff while I've been busy.
Because I didn't have time to write a second part for series of articles about map design, this week I'll instead show you something I designed to make my freelance work easier: An encounter CR calculator with a very visual interface. Let's have a look!
So, this is how it works: You type the name of a monster / villain / mook in the Creature name field and then enter its CR in the CR field.
The spreadsheet then automatically calculates the xp value of that creature as can be seen in the xp column. The spreadsheet also shows a graphical representation of how much of you xp budget each monster uses. In the example above, I'm building a CR 8 encounter.
What's great about the calculator is that it's very easy to see how much adding or removing a creature would affect the CR. For example, if I had to scale the encounter down to CR 7, I could slap the young simple template on the vorpal elephant and remove a few mooks. Voilà!
This is very useful especially when you're writing a Pathfinder Society scenario (or quest). PFS scenarios have not only two subtiers (which are always 3 CRs apart), but they also have encounter scaling rules for parties of four (five or six PCs is the standard assumption).
And no, this example is not from a real adventure. The vorpal elephant would have a much higher CR, duh! :-D
Any ideas on how to make the spreadsheet even more useful?