I'm running a campaign for the first time and I'm having trouble gauging how hard the combat should be. My friends and I only recently got into DnD, but between me and one other guy, we've scoured these books, so we're familiar with the rules pretty well.
We ran a few practice sessions using downloaded adventures, but now I'm setting up the beginning of the true campaign. I'm letting them keep their previous characters, though. I have a druid, fighter and rogue, all 3rd level.
I set up my enemies (3 small animated objects) and ran a test battle. After the battle was over, my druid was down to 12/20 HP, the rogue was at 11/14, the fighter was still at 25/25 and the druid's wolf was 13/18. No magic was used in combat, and I ignored the rogue's sneak attack(I didn't do this on a grid, I just let anyone attack anyone, and I didn't want to have to account for flanking).
This was only the first encounter, and I wanted to have a few more like this throughout the dungeon, plus a miniboss(large animated object) and a boss(3rd level human ranger).
Is this an acceptable level of damage for a setup like this, or are they being hurt too badly, too quickly?
I may not have given all necessary information, because as I said, I'm new at this. If you need any more information or see anything that looks flat out wrong, let me know.