What do I do about a prescriptive GM/player who argues that gender and sexuality aren’t personality traits?

I play RPGs (usually D&D but other stuff too) every week with a group of friends who I’ve known since middle school. The group is me; Ecru, my best friend; Khaki, our usual GM; Desert, another friend; and Lemon, our resident problem. (Names changed to protect identities). All of us except for Lemon are part of the LGBTQIA+ community and proud of our identities, while Lemon is cisgender and straight.

Lemon wanted to GM a six session D&D5e adventure (it started as a two-shot and the time frame kept growing as he actually wrote the adventure) set in another part of our usual setting as a break from our main campaign, and we’ve been making characters on and off for a while. We’ve all made characters with diverse gender identities, sexual orientations, and romantic orientations before, and it’s never been a problem (in our main campaign, Ecru’s rogue is nonbinary and my sorcerer is awkwardly-not-straight-and-not-going-to-specify, and even in this adventure, Khaki’s character is gay and my bard’s entire motivation for being involved is to impress her girlfriend).

Last week, we were fleshing out a backstory and personality for Desert’s character, and Desert wanted the character to be bisexual and gender-questioning. That was fine, until Desert decided to put that as a personality trait for the character. Lemon was really upset at this and he started arguing that LGBTQ characters were fine, but that’s not a part of personality and so shouldn’t be written down as a personality trait.

I feel deeply uncomfortable with Lemon’s statement (as do others in the group). For me, as well as the rest of the group, our gender identity and sexual/romantic orientation has shaped our personalities, especially because it shapes how we interact with society and with ourselves. To me, it feels like he’s trying to be prescriptive and tell us what can or cannot shape our personality when he has not personally experienced any of what we have (for instance, I’m nonbinary at a bigoted school and have to be careful about even mentioning anything about my gender, which has made me more cautious than I was in middle school).

How do I deal with another player/GM being prescriptive about personality traits when he has not had the same real life experiences that the rest of us draw on when creating personality traits? I don’t want answers that say “that’s not how personality traits work” or that talk about RAW personality traits, as our group prefers to use custom personality traits to help us play the characters better rather than the suggested ones for our backgrounds and Desert says that it would be a useful personality trait; I also don’t want answers that suggest asking Lemon to leave the group since that’s not an option I can bring up to the group.

How can dash be used as a main action if actions and bonus actions aren’t interchangeable?

I’ve found two twitter chains that I can’t seem to make sense of.

From Jeremy Crawford:

"Actions and bonus actions aren’t interchangeable." [source]

Also from Jeremy Crawford:

"Double dash in one turn can happen with dash as bonus action." [source]

So how can a rogue use both their action and bonus action to dash twice with [Cunning Action]? It is specified in [Cunning Action] that the [Dash] can only be used with a bonus action.

Do any published adventures contain spells a wizard can copy that aren’t written in a spellbook?

A wizard can copy a spell they find into their spellbook. This is described in the "Your Spellbook" section of the Wizard’s class features:

When you find a wizard spell of 1st level or higher, you can add it to your spellbook if it is of a spell level you can prepare and if you can spare the time to decipher and copy it.

Notably, it does not say "when you find a wizard spell in a spellbook". Are there any instances in published adventures where a wizard can copy a spell from something other than a spellbook?

I’m obviously not concerned about spell scrolls here. I’m looking for something like a spell written on a wall or stone tablet, or other surface that does not require a check like a spell scroll does.

This Q&A firmly establishes that the wizard can copy their spells from any written source, but I am not aware of any published examples of this outside of found spellbooks.

[ Politics ] Open Question : George Floyd was on meth, fentanyl and had the coronavirus. Why aren’t people talking about that?

According to the official autopsy the medical examiner determined Floyd died from a heart attack not asphyxiation Google Methamphetamine and this comes up: Can cause rapid or irregular heartbeat, delirium, panic, psychosis, and heart failure. Google fentanyl and this comes up: Can cause respiratory distress and death when taken in high doses or when combined with other substances Google coronavirus symptoms and this comes up: Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing @skeptik: It sounds like you’re the one struggling with understanding English. This is what it says at the bottom:  “Manner of death classification is a statutory function of the medical examiner, as part of death certification for purposes of vital statistics and public health. Manner of death is not a legal determination of culpability or intent, and should not be used to usurp the judicial process. Such decisions are outside the scope of the Medical Examiner’s role or authority. ” @skeptik (con)- Do I need to dumb that down for you so you can understand it? 

What does the OGL mean for things based on d20 elements, but which aren’t games?

I’ve been thinking lately about how the Overlord novels/manga/anime are so clearly based on 3e/3.5e/d20/whatever, yet were still commercially published–and, as far as I’m aware, suffered no legal action from Wizards of the Coast.

Much of the “mechanics” of the series (at least from what I’ve seen) are entirely possible within the parts of d20 that are covered by OGL.

Just as an example, let’s look at Overlord‘s spell magic arrow, a clear copy of d20’s magic missile. It’s a 1st-tier spell, equivalent to a 1st-level spell, and it launches an unavoidable bolt of non-elemental (equivalent to force damage, or not having an energy type) magic that deals a small amount of damage and cannot be blocked by normal means. The spell can also create multiple bolts if cast at a higher tier/level, just like how magic missile would (depending on what exactly the Overlord wiki means by this, possibly similar to the Spell Points variant rule, also open content)

By my reading of the OGL 1.(e), “Product Identity” (which, as per section 7, must be agreed to not have any of the following done with it, from 1.(f): “Distribute, copy, edit, format, modify, translate and otherwise create Derivative Material of Open Game Content”; 1.(b) defines Derivative Material as “copyrighted material including derivative works and translations (including into other computer languages), potation, modification, correction, addition, extension, upgrade, improvement, compilation, abridgment or other form in which an existing work may be recast, transformed or adapted”) includes both the “spell” magic missile and the “magical…effect” produced by magic missile, as well as any modification or adaption thereof.

The effects of magic arrow are clearly derivative of magic missile. But the specifics, such as dealing 1d4+1 damage (or what 1d4+1 damage even translates to, beyond rarely being enough to kill a target with one shot), or having a range of 100 ft. + 10 ft. per caster level, or any of those details which pertain to actual d20 mechanics, do not seem to be mentioned in Overlord.

So this brings me back to the question, which is more general than just that single spell. How is it that Overlord‘s use of things which seem like they ought to be forbidden due to being considered WotC’s “Product Identity”, is actually okay? Is it because Overlord isn’t a game (in which case, where are exceptions like this stated in the OGL? Does it have to do with the fact that the above details are generalized into a written/drawn form?)? Is it because magic missile isn’t explicitly designated as Product Identity beyond the proper name of itself as a spell (in which case, what about spells like sleep and animate dead, which Overlord keeps the names of, or elements such as “troll” creatures with high strength and what amount to d20’s Scent/Regeneration abilities?)? Or is it something else entirely?

(Sorry if the formatting of some of this question is a mess, I’m not really used to dealing with talking about licenses and don’t know what’s considered conventional)

Can a bard use a musical instrument as a spellcasting focus if they aren’t proficient with it?

The bard’s spellcasting class features (PHB, pg. 53) includes the following:

Spellcasting Focus

You can use a musical instrument (found in chapter 5) as a spellcasting focus for your bard spells.

In chapter 5, it says this about musical instruments (PHB, pg. 154):

Musical Instrument. Several of the most common types of musical instruments are shown on the table as examples. If you have proficiency with a given musical instrument, you can add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make to play music with the instrument. A bard can use a musical instrument as a spellcasting focus. Each type of musical instrument requires a separate proficiency.

Typically, a bard will have at least one musical instrument proficiency (3 from start, 4 if they get another via background, or as few as 1 if they multiclass into bard from something else).

However, at the end of the chapter 5 quote, it says “Each type of musical instrument requires a separate proficiency”, meaning that a bard could lose their musical instrument but find or buy one that they aren’t proficient in.

The chapter 5 quote also says “If you have proficiency with a given musical instrument, you can add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make to play music with the instrument”, but that’s about playing it, not necessarily using it for spellcasting (and there doesn’t at time of writing seem to be a definitive answer on whether you need to play it to cast spells with it; that’s not the purpose of my question, anyway).

Finally, the chapter 5 quote also says “A bard can use a musical instrument as a spellcasting focus”, but it says it in a separate sentence to the one about proficiency, so the two sentences don’t necessarily relate to one another.

If a bard only has a musical instrument that they aren’t specifically proficient in, can they still use it to cast spells?

Personal Data Services/Stores (“PDS”) – Why aren’t they more common?

Okay, so… bear with me, and please suggest better communication channel, if this isn’t a great place to ask about this concept… this idea has been puzzling me for some time now.

I had a dream once, and in that dream all individuals’ personal data (SSN, Birthday, Drivers License, etc) could be managed by and have access controlled by the individuals themselves.

A centralized repository of information would allow for an individual to update (for example) their mailing address once, and all authorized subscribers of that piece of information would receive an update about it being changed. Think along the lines of pub/sub with granular authorization. Any external system that wanted access to an individual’s personal information would have to be explicitly allowed by said individual. Eureka!

Here is a small collection of examples of projects in this vein of thinking. It’s all I’ve found with some quick searching recently, but these all appear defunct/abandoned, or focused only on enterprise/team sharing, etc:

  • Personal Data Service – Wikipedia

I’ve thought about this a years now. My question is simply this: Why a personal data service of this nature failed to become a common mechanism—perhaps even a standard—by which personal data is maintained and distributed?

How come correctness proofs aren’t tautological?

Consider the following function on binary trees, which is supposed to tell whether a given int is a member of a binary tree t:

type tree = Leaf | Node of int * tree * tree;;  let rec tmember (t:tree) (x:int) : bool =   match t with       Leaf -> false     | Node (j,left,right) -> j = x || tmember left x || tmember right x ;; 

If one wants to prove that this function is correct, one would need to define first what tree membership actually means, but then I can find no formal way of doing this except for saying that x is a member of t if and only if it is either equal to the root of t, or it is a member of the left or right subtree of t. This is essentially saying that x is a member of t if and only if tmember t x outputs true.

What am I missing here?