Hi. I am putting the final touches on a Classic Spycraft serial of my own making, my first time ever doing so. And by first time, I mean first time ever writing my own module and first time ever playing Spycraft, so please bear with my noob questions. The one thing that still confounds me as I am "statting up" the NPC's is trying to figure out their effective Challenge Rating (CR). The serial is designed for two 10th-level characters, so I am figuring that Encounter Levels (EL's) of 8 or 9 would be "equal" to the two characters' effective party level. I am using Table 9.16 on p. 264 of the Classic Spycraft Espionage Handbook as my primary guide.
Am I correct to assume that a scene where the PC's encounter a single squad of minions with a CR of 7 is the same as an EL of 7? And then if I add another threat with a CR of 5 that this now constitutes a scene with an EL of 8? If so, then based on my reading of this table, a squad of three 4th-level minions (standard NPC's by definition on p. 265 under the subsection "NPC Statistics") would have an EL of 7. Combining them with a 5th level henchman (a special NPC) would result in an EL of 8.
However, when looking at the "Sample Threats" in the Control section of the Handbook starting on p. 248 and ending on p. 261, my assumptions seem like they might be wrong. Specifically, the example of the "Royal Colonial" minions on p. 258 indicates that a squad of seven (7) of these 7th-level minions would have a CR of 6. I would have thought that this Royal Colonial squad would have an EL of 13 based on my reading of Table 9.16? Am I correct to assume the difference has something to do with the standard vs. special NPC quality? If so, how much of a discount does this quality have in CR calculation? Is there a formula for calculating minion squad CR's somewhere?
Table 9.16 is a terrific aid and all of the related discussion and examples within Chapter 9 are something I consider to be a huge help for a novice Control, and a critical must-have for any core book of a RPG game system. I hope a similar section will be provided in the upcoming Spycraft 3 core materials. I'm stating the obvious, but RPG's are nothing without willing and enthusiastic GMs. The easier it is for novice GM's to take the plunge, the more likely it will be for the game to gain traction and expand its player base. And I hope that answers to my questions in this post can help inform the analogous section in the upcoming Spycraft 3 rules
Thanks for any and all assistance.