What Level is the Crew from Jaws?

It’s that time again. I saw a movie at a rep house and got to thinking about Dungeons & Dragons.

This one should be fairly simple. We’ve got a cop, which I’m going to say is analogous to a city guard; head of the town watch perhaps. He’s probably a Warrior–decent, but still an NPC class.

We’ve got a crazy shark hunter, which according to the maritime table would make him, it’s a toss-up, but I think I’m going to go with Rogue.

And we have a scientist, who’s obviously an Expert, with a one-level dip in let’s say Rogue, since the other sailor is a Rogue too.

So the shark is obviously a Dire Shark, challenge rating 9. Now, would we say the shark is “Very Difficult”, or “Overwhelming”? It’s not a TPK but they do lose their Rogue, and they only end up killing it with a trick that probably made the DM roll his eyes. Let’s say Overwhelming. According to the DMG, that’s the party’s effective level plus five, or so. According to the SRD calculator, this puts the party somewhere between level 5 and level 6.

But these are NPC classes! Do we need to increase it? Maybe by a little bit. But they did get lucky too, and lost a party member. Let’s look at wealth by level.

They should each have around 13,000 gold at this point, perhaps more for the Expert. The boat’s probably around 15,000 plus fuel, so that works pretty well with a level 6 rogue. These are fairly high levels for an ordinary shark hunt, but keep in mind this is no ordinary shark. So I guess they have to be level 6, which would make the Expert smarter than Einstein and the Warrior stronger than Conan, so it’s imperfect. But they need a boat and they need to be able to kill a 25 footer, so there you have it.

Maybe level 4 and they got super lucky, or maybe only the rogue is level 6 and the others are level 3 and they got really super lucky.

Or maybe the DM is kind of lazy and the crazy shark guy is a higher-level NPC babysitter that railroads a lower-level party. Perhaps that works better. I could see a level 6 rogue with a boat shepherding two level 2-3 characters through this encounter. He even dies just in time for the PC’s to be the real heroes in the story.

UPDATE: One of my friends makes a decent point.

yeah, or maybe they’re just non-optimized characters who spent all their points on skills like knowledge(sharks) and spent their entire time writing up backstories
they just want scenes like the singing on the boat

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