Revised Quick Match up Charts
Here is a wonderful post discussing changes to XP thresholds to make 5e encounter design match up to our powerful parties of player characters.
Personally, my players have been able to mop the floor with the encounters I build. Partly because they are clever and, upon occasion, actually avoid direct combat. But in the occasional straight up slug fest, they tend to easily win out, even if the encounter guidelines scream that its “too dangerous”.
I am VERY interested in updated encounter guidelines (they take in to account multi-classing, well balanced parties, and feats). Unfortunately, I find XP threshold method too cumbersome, and really like the quick match up chart provided in Xanathar’s Guide (and by other authors too, like Sly Flourish’s version here). So I spent some time with excel and made some CR quick match up charts using the new thresholds. I just followed the encounter building guidelines in the DMG, and used the new thresholds provided by Dave2008. See an example below.
Thus, when a party of 6 players with an average party level of 6 kicks down the door, the chart would recommend that they face a CR 5 creature, which would count for 2 of the characters, and 4 CR 3 creatures, which would count for the remaining 4 characters. This fight should drain about a third of the party’s resources.
One last thing. These are untested. I just did the math as recommend in the DMG, and haven’t had a chance to test my party yet. Your mileage may vary.
You can download a nice PDF the charts and explanatory information, here. Let me know how they work out.