Is there an official explanation for the fluff of why magical healing is less effective on creatures with lots of hit points?

I’m most familiar with D&D 3.5e and 5e, which both have pretty similar ways of describing hit points. The 3.5e SRD says

Hit points mean two things in the game world: the ability to take physical punishment and keep going, and the ability to turn a serious blow into a less serious one.

5e’s Player’s Handbook has a couple bits about hit points, but the most descriptive part is on page 196.

Hit points represent a combination of physical and mental durability, the will to live, and luck.

Hit points are a reasonable abstraction by themselves, since in both the editions I know about, they effectively convey the fact that a tougher or more experienced character is better-able to survive dangerous scenarios. They also allow a novice and an epic hero to spend similar amounts of time recuperating after an adventure (since natural healing scales with the number of Hit Dice a creature has), which makes sense, given what hit points are stated to represent.

However, magical healing (be it via potions or a divine caster’s spells) scales with the caster’s abilities and not with the target’s hit points. This means that, in both editions, an average peasant or a 1st-level fighter who drinks a healing potion will instantly heal from all their injuries and be brought back to full fighting strength. However, an epic dragon-slaying adventurer (or, in a more extreme case, an actual dragon, with its mountains of hit points) would drink the same potion, and only a very small percentage of their vitality would be restored.

What’s with the difference? I know that mechanically it serves as a sink for high-level parties’ gold and spell slots to force players to use stronger magical healing, but narratively, I haven’t been able to find any information on why everybody’s natural healing happens at similar rates, but the efficacy of magical healing is inversely proportional to a target’s natural fortitude and adventuring experience. Did 1st and 2nd editions handle healing differently, or is there something specific about healing potions and magic that causes them to behave this way, or is there simply no explanation given, with the assumption being that "it’s just a mechanical thing, don’t think about it too hard"?

Does a spell cast from a Glyph of Warding with a range of Self have infinite effective range?

It is widely agreed that spells with a range of "Self" can be stored in a glyph of warding. The top answer to "What are the targeting range limitations of Glyph of Warding?" states:

That’s it: the spell is cast with all its normal statistics including range.

While the trigger of the glyph can be unlimited in range ("Trigger when I move 12,000 miles away") the spell that is cast is cast from the gylph with all its normal limitations.

Spells with a range of "Self" do not have a numerical range limit on them, and as stated above, there is no range limit on the trigger either. So, using glyph of warding, could I effectively trigger a "Self" range spell from any distance?


Example:
I cast fire shield into a glyph of warding in my home with the trigger "When I speak the command word ‘flame on’".

Could I then speak the command word to have fire shield cast on myself when I am 100 miles away in a dungeon, or on another plane?


Most effective way of improving survivability for an Ancestral Guardian Barbarian?

The Path of the Ancestral Guardian Barbarian (Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, p. 9-10) is an extremely powerful barbarian. It pretty much makes your allies invulnerable against an enemy boss.

But it does nothing for your own health. It will greatly incentivize enemies to take you down first to be rid of your annoying Guardian benefits.

Assuming I’m currently level 3 as an Ancestral Guardian, and leveling soon to 4, my stats are average (point buy), and I have no healing from allies, what is the best way to maximize my survivability for fights to come?

  • I’m willing to look into multiclassing, if there’s a valid strategy there.
  • I don’t expect anyone else to grab any healing abilities.
  • I’m not interested in specific magical items. (Potions and other common/uncommon magic items are fine)
  • I expect the campaign to last until about level 10.
  • By character level 10, I would like to have at least 6 levels of Barbarian
  • Emphasis on surviving against bosses, if possible.
  • Expected about 2 combat encounters per day.

If it helps refine your answer, my party consists of:

  • A Champion Fighter (who is very cowardly and selfish, doesn’t tank much)
  • A Fey Warlock (fairly standard, supportive player)
  • An Evocation Wizard (who lives to blow stuff up)
  • A Ranger/Rogue (who uses stealth and long range)

Curse of Strahd most effective use of Hallow

In Curse of Strahd,

Note that the Hallow spell has two principle effects.

The first is that it bars the entrance of undead, as well as prohibiting them from charming those on the hallowed ground and removing the effects of charms on anyone who enters the hallowed area.

The second effect, however, is chosen by the caster of the spell from a list of ten possibilities.

  1. Does the second effect apply in this case? If so, is it chosen by the relic or by the priest?

  2. While the first effect will go a long way to excluding Strahd and his minions from entering the hallowed ground, which second effect choice would best protect from his non-undead minions? If the priest were the one making the decision, what would he be most likely to choose, based on what he knows about Strahd’s minions?

Note that Strahd’s minions include bats, rats, wolves, and dire wolves, but also living humans.

Humans could be those Vistani that serve him, but could also include cultists under the direction of the diabolist. I think it is likely that the priest knows about these loyalties and activities.

Humans could also include town guards who are not charmed themselves, but might be acting under orders should Strahd decide to charm the ‘mayor’ or the ‘captain of the guard’, possibilities that I think the priest would consider.

Note also that the relic far outdates the priest, so he is unlikely to have considered making this choice before, and that he is incapable of casting hallow himself or indeed any spells above third level, so he might lack practical knowledge of what his actual choices are.

A good answer will explain why the priest or relic is likely to choose what they would, based on how the mechanics would interact with Strahd’s non-undead minions.

What’s the most effective way to maximize skills as a character of any class?

I feel like Pathfinder skills are very compact when compared to 3.5 skills, as a result that makes each individual skill point worth more than each individual point in 3.5, due to combining some skills to form others that perform multiple functions.

Since skill points are more valuable, what are the best ways to gain as many skill points as possible as a character of any class? What’s the best way to optimize a skills modifiers for each set of classes below without affecting combat stats?

I’d prefer if the answers were formatted in the following way, explaining how each group can more easily gain skill modifiers:

  • High skill point classes: Rogue, Bard
  • Medium skill point classes: Monk, Barbarian, Alchemist
  • Low skill point classes: Fighter, Magic-users, Paladins

Tunnel defense effective against Specters? [closed]

This is a fun one…DND 5E session.

Assume a 5′ corridor that if 25′ long leading to a dead-end (5 squares), and 5 party members (all medium size) fill each of those squares. A well armored tank as at the front, trying to defend the party. This is the scenario a party has encountered a bunch of times fighting various creatures. But never against incorporeal creatures.

The party is trying to hold off 7 specters being controlled by a Wraith.

Since the Specters are incorporeal and can pass through one another, as well as the players, as difficult terrain, are they limited to attacking the front-line only? I would rule yes, in theory, because you can’t attack from an occupied space:

What happens when allies occupy the same space?

That rule is a fundamental aspect of the tunnel defense / choke-point strategy, and in theory even works for these non-corporeal creatures, preventing them from being able to infiltrate the middle of the party, as there is no unoccupied space for them to attack from. The PC’s literally fill every available 5′ square. Pretty simple and clear cut I think.

But then, there’s the fact that the Specters can pass through walls…and that’s where they fun begins. They have 50′ of movement, so even through walls they can move 25′, attack blindly through the wall, and then return 25′ back. Muahhahaha. They could easily reach PC #2 and PC #3, although the two way in the far back would be safe (unless the Specter was willing to end it’s round in the wall and take the 1d10 Force damage).

Seem legit? I ruled that they would NOT take the 1d10 Force Damage for stopping to attack from inside the wall, because they did not "end their turn" on that space. That’s straight from the rules on Incorporeal Movement in their stat block. Do others agree? A few players weren’t happy lol.

However, things quickly got so crazy complicated from here, I quickly whiched that I had ruled they simply couldn’t do it. 😉

If allowed to attack, would they attack at Disadvantage since the specter can’t "see" through the wall? I ruled yes. However, since the PC can’t see the attacker (it’s in a wall!), the attack should be at Advantage, thus cancelling each other out!

But what if the PC saw the hand coming? You could offer a Perception vs. Stealth to see if the PC see’s the "hand reaching out", and if they did, then Disadvantage would be re-asserted, right? And if so, what if that PC is also Dodging and sees the hand come out? Should the attack then be at super-disadvantage (which we don’t have as a house rule and I avoid like the plague, although this one tempted me big-time).

The way I ruled it is those who were Dodging gained Advantage on their Perception check to see the hand coming. If successful, then the attack happened at Disadvantage. Therefore, there was a benefit to foregoing an attack to Dodge. However, even those who used their Action to attack still had a chance to see the hand coming if they made their Perception check, and if they did, the Specter attacked at Disadvantage. If they didn’t see it coming, the Specter attacked normally as it’s Advantage (attacking a creature who can’t see you) and Disadvantage (blindly attacking a creature you can’t see) cancelled each other out.

I’m really curious to see how others would have handled this. The party was quite shocked when their tried and true tunnel defense imploded upon them.

Also, this didn’t come up, but what if a PC in the back cast Daylight? I would have ruled that the Specters in the walls would not have suffered Disadvantage on attack from it, because they couldn’t see the light (it wouldn’t penetrate the walls). Only the specters attacking from up front would have been at disadvantage. This would have in turn driven them all to enter and start attacking through the walls (INT 10 after all)! Major backfire potential there!

simplest algorithms and effective

If I explore all the algorithms and tools necessary for learning from data (training a model with data) and being capable of predicting a numeric estimate (for example house pricing) or a class (for instance the species of an iris flower) given any new example that I didn’t have before. If I start with the simplest algorithms and work toward those that are more complex. The four algorithms represent a good starting point for any data scientist.

Regression has a long history in statistics from building simple but effective linear models of economic, psychological, social or political data, to hypothesis testing for understanding group differences, to modeling more complex problems with ordinal values, binary and multiple classes, count data, and hierarchical relationships, it is also a common tool in data science, a swiss army knife for machine learning that I can use for every problem. Stripped of most of its statistical properties, data science practitioners perceive linear regression as a simple, and an understandable, yet effective algorithm for estimations and in its logistic-regression version, for classification as well.

I would like to know about the simplest algorithm, as a tool in data science for machine learning and linear regression as a simple and understandable, yet effective algorithm for estimations. , if possible in its logistic-regression version, for classification as well.