Does the Scatter spell actually scatter the targets?

Based on the spell’s name, you would think that all of the targets would end up all over the playing field, but per the Scatter spell description:

The air quivers around up to five creatures of your choice that you can see within range. An unwilling creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw to resist this spell. You teleport each affected target to an unoccupied space that you can see within 120 feet of you. That space must be on the ground or on a floor.

But there are two ways to read this;

  1. This is a many-to-one reading. Each of the up to five creatures are teleported to an unoccupied space. So all five go to one space.
  2. Each is for both target and destination. Each target is teleported to each target’s unique designated unoccupied space.

My issue is, that the first interpretation is more “plain English” whereas the second is “loosely based”.

So does Scatter really scatter, or does Scatter just teleport up to 5 people as a cluster to a single location?

Are the female elves in this AL adventure actually Dusk Elves?

In the Curse of Strahd adventure, there are a unique subrace of elf called dusk elves, and the adventure has this to say about them:

So it seems that, during the time that the adventure takes place, there are no female dusk elves left alive

but then, in DDAL04-06 The Ghost, there are female elven characters such as Derali (p. 11) and the “very young female [elf]” (p. 13); however, their subrace is not specified. There are other examples of elves (without a specified subrace) in Barovia presented in other AL adventures, but this is the first one I’ve encountered with female elves included and even named (even included on the “Appendix: NPC Summary” page):

As an additional piece of information from the AL adventure, the Adventure Overview on p. 8 includes the following:

However, I don’t know what “Greenhall” is, or whether that invalidates some of my logic leading me to believe that these elves are dusk elves. The AL adventure itself (and therefore, meeting the elves) does take place in Barovia, however.

As far as I’m aware, there are no other elves in Barovia besides the dusk elves (certainly no other elves besides dusk elves appear in the Curse of Strahd adventure), which implies that these female elves (and for that matter, the other elves-without-a-subrace included in these AL adventures) are dusk elves, although it contradicts the quotes above from p. 232 and p. 237 that says they were all killed.

On other other hand, the quote from p. 232 also says “the dusk elf tribe” and p. 119 says “live in secret places such as this”, so this could be read to mean that there are other tribes of dusk elves in Barovia that had nothing to do with the events of Patrina (presumably not known about by the now-male-only dusk elf tribe), and therefore could still have females. However, this isn’t expanded on in Curse of Strahd, and is only hinted at in these AL adventures.

So I can only see the following possibilities to resolve the apparent contradiction in the above information:

  1. The female elves in the AL adventures are dusk elves, and they were just a separate tribe that had nothing to do with the Patrina incident;
  2. The female elves in the AL adventures were some other kind of elves (say, wood elves or something) and there are, indeed, no female dusk elves after all;
  3. Whoever wrote these AL adventures made a mistake…

Am I missing something? Which of the above is true (or is there an “option 4”)?

Does silent image require the caster to actually have visual contact with the area they want to place the effect on?

Or the 60ft radius is all that matters, even if it is behind a wall?

To be even more specific, what about if it is a 15ft area in a location in-range that you have seen before but is now out of sight? And what about when on your turn you have visual contact with an enemy in a certain area, then move behind some cover and then place the illusion -area around the enemy & within the 60ft range-? I am placing this question because I have seen other illusory spells’ descriptions that specify that you must see where you place your spell. Silent image doesn’t specify whether the sight component is or isn’t required.enter image description here

What does “Summoned creature has maximum hit points” actually mean?

So, I’m running Princes of the Apocalypse for my group, they’re about to encounter their first elemental prince, Yan-C-Bin, and I see that he has the following ability:

The part I’m confused about is “maximum hit points.” Air elementals have their hit points listed as “90 (12d10+24)” in their stat block. Is this line meant to make sure people are deploying a fully-healed air elemental as opposed to one with 30 HP (regardless of whether they use the average hit points or they actually roll their hit dice), or is it meant to convey that these are extremely robust air elementals and each should have the maximum possible hit points as decided by the hit dice, 144 (120+24), and the fully-healed part is implied?

When does setting the SORT_IN_TEMPDB option actually improve performance?

My question is related to index rebuilding, mainly the SORT_IN_TEMPDB option.

BOL states that:

Even if other users are using the database and accessing separate disk addresses, the overall pattern of reads and writes are more efficient when SORT_IN_TEMPDB is specified than when it is not.

On the other hand, one of the users states:

When rebuilding an index you would need twice the space of the index + 20% for the sorting. So in general to rebuild every index in your db you only need 120% of your biggest index in your DB. If you use SORT_IN_TEMPDB, you only win 20%, you still need an aditional 100% in your data file. Further more, using sort in tempdb increases your IO load drastically, since instead of Writing the index one time to the datafile, you now write it one time to the tempdb and then write it to the data file. So that is not always ideal.

Would you like to share your own experience about this option? Have you ever had to use this option while rebuilding indexes? What was the performance result?

How does a CDN actually prevent DDoS attacks, when an origin server accepts direct connections?

I am trying to understand how a CDN (like Cloudflare e.g) does protect against a DDoS attack.

I would think that the internet traffic is routed through a CDN’s reverse proxy, then filtered. This assumes that the DNS record of the website in question points to a CDN reverse proxy of course.

Now, should I / must I have a Firewall at my orginal server that only allows connections from a CDN-related IP?

Note: In this support article, when under attack, Cloudflare suggest to change the origin IP and update some routing:

If an attacker is directly targeting your origin web server, request your hosting provider change your origin IPs and update the IP information in your Cloudflare DNS app. Confirm all possible DNS records are orange-clouded and that your name servers still point to Cloudflare (unless using a CNAME setup) before changing your origin IP.

Why do they not recommend using a Firewall? Now, their solution will have a short term effect, but can be circumvented easily.

Is changing only the IP bad advice? Am I understanding something wrong here?

What to do if the primary action is actually to confirm a cancellation?

Dialog asking for cancellation confirmation with two cancel buttons

I’ll ignore the fact that it isn’t obvious what ‘20190927.6’ is from the screenshot (it would be more obvious in the workflow context).

Obviously someone is following the pattern that the primary button should be labelled clearly as the effective outcome – in this case, clicking on the primary button should result in ‘20190927.6’ being cancelled.

They’ve also included a secondary button which backs out of the process without making changes – labelled ‘Cancel’.

Luckily, there’s a design convention – so the blue button is probably the primary action, and the grey button is probably the secondary.

What would be a better way to label these buttons?

Given the ‘are you sure’ question, wouldn’t Yes/No buttons be good enough in this instance?