Encounter Averages

The sagacious Matt Colville posed an interesting question to us: how many encounters, on average, does Vox Machina get through in an adventuring day? We discovered there are many ways to answer this question, so we arrive with many an answer. (All calculations based on the first 108 episodes of Critical Role, excluding ep012).

We narrowed “adventuring days” to those that consisted of exploration, challenge, and the possibility of a threat. We excluded days of appropriate rest, leisure, and recovery. These initial numbers expressly exclude social encounters (which rarely use player resources) and skill or exploration encounters (which may or may not drain party resources). This also excludes planned but bypassed encounters because, hey, if they didn’t happen, we didn’t see them!

  • Total combat encounters: 109
  • Total adventuring days: 100
  • Total days that had combat: 58
  • Total days with only a single combat encounter: 30
  • Most combat encounters in one day: 6 (Duergar Stronghold)
  • Average combat encounters per in-game adventuring day: 1.09
  • Average combat encounters per in-game days with combat encounters: 1.87931
  • Average combat encounters per session: 1.01869

Now, let’s go even further. We’ll still exclude purely social encounters from the list due to their lack of strain on player resources, but let’s include exploration encounters. These include skill challenges (e.g., resurrections, monster harvesting, trammel construction, etc.) and puzzle traversal (e.g., trap rooms, stealthy infiltration and knowledge gathering, etc.), especially those that burn important spells slots, bardic inspiration, and player HP without a specific adversary. Note that this list is far more subjective than the number of combat encounters, so the number may be a few lower/higher than what others may consider “challenging encounters.” However, the average shouldn’t change much.

  • Total number of non-combat encounters: 56
  • Total number of challenging encounters: 109 + 56 = 165
  • Average challenging encounters per in-game adventuring day: 1.65
  • Average challenging encounters per session: 1.542056