How can I help my player fight against a Mind Flayer’s psionic blast?

I am running a pathfinder campaign for a group of 5 players. I have a half-elf wizard, human druid, dwarf barbarian, halfling bard and half-orc paladin. The party were all level 5 at the time of this encounter and reached level 6 at the completion of it. It is also worth noting my party typically punch above their weight in CR calculations so hard or deadly encounters are normal for my campaign.

In our last session the group came up against a Mind-Flayer (using the stats from 3.5e D&D MM) and their mind-controller orc minions (story reasons). I choose to not have the Mind-Flayer act directly in combat until attacked. The encounter was going fairly well, the party had the orcs under control and turned their attention to the Mind-Flayer. When the following sequence occurred:

  1. The wizard attacked the Mind-Flayer with a fireball. Angering but not seriously harming it.
  2. On the Mind-Flayer’s turn it used it psionic blast spell-like ability targeting the wizard and anyone that happened to fall in that area of effect.
  3. The wizard, bard, and paladin (along with a bunch of orcs) were all within the area of effect. The wizard and paladin failed their saves and were stunned for 6 rounds.
  4. The orcs that were not stunned continued to attack the paladin.
  5. The bard began to attack the Mind-Flayer on her turn.
  6. Mind-Flayer used suggestion on bard to make them surrender.
  7. The orcs dealt massive damage to the paladin, killing him before the stun ended. I had intended to stop hitting him once he went unconscious but the orcs rolled enough damage to kill him.
  8. Remaining PCs kill the mind-flayer. I ruled that suggestion broke when the orcs continued attacking.
  9. The players felt frustrated that the stun left them unable to prevent his death.

The party is currently on their way to get the paladin resurrected. For story reasons it is highly likely that the player will come up against Mind-Flayers again. Potentially even multiple at once.

How can I reduce player frustration and risk of PC death due to the mind flayer’s psionic blast ability?

I am looking for anything I can do as a DM to prevent the players from being frustrated by the stun condition from the psionic blast. This could include:

  • Magic items/abilities to help them fight the stunned condition
  • Changes to my encounter design/how I run the Mind-Flayers to reduce frustration
  • Tested alterations to the Mind-Flayer’s stats to make it less dangerous without changing the feel.
  • Anything else that could help this situation.

Answers are reminded of the Good Subjective/Bad Subjective criteria for our site. I want answers where people have experience similar situations and how they have changed things to prevent it in future.

How can I orchestrate a fight between a Major Image and a gullible combatant?

Picture this: the 10th level Fighter NPC has been engaging in close quarters combat with the party’s Monk for several rounds. The Fighter misses every attack, until finally, she lands a blow. But, to her surprise, her sword goes right through the Monk! She realizes the Monk has been a Major Image she failed to notice the entire time (low Investigation check): a distraction while the party escapes.

The description of Major Image specifies that

Physical interaction with the image reveals it to be an illusion, because things can pass through it.

Furthermore, it states that you, the caster, can do the following:

As long as you within range of the illusion, you can use your action to cause the image to move to any other spot within range.

Given this option, is there any rule or common knowledge on how the caster can use their action to give their Major Image a “dodge”-like movement, such that someone can fail to interact with the image due to missing?

To put it another way, assuming the Investigation check is a failure, how can I use Major Image (or a similar spell/effect) to create the scenario I described above?

If I cast the Polymorph spell on an ally to assist the group in a fight, will he attack us or fight alongside us? [duplicate]

This question already has an answer here:

  • Does a polymorphed creature remember who his friends are? 1 answer

What happen if I polymorph an ally to assist the group in a fight? Will he end up attacking us, or remember the fact than we are ally and help us?

The only relevant part I can find is this:

The target’s game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the chosen beast. It retains its alignment and personality.

f3 Fight Flash Fraud: “f3probe command not found” Mac OS Mojave

I’m testing SD Flash Cards and my linux machine decided to be rude and stop operating the SD Card Reader (time for a USB device). So I switched over to the reliable old iMac to happily find that F3 can be installed via Homebrew. After the brief installation however, Bash cannot find f3probe, an essential testing tool that is supposed to come together with f3 for SD Card Fraud testing. F3Read and Write do appear, while no commands or manual entries exist for f3probe or f3fix.

sudo: f3probe: command not found 

Thanks for your time,

Tmanok

Code Jam Fair Fight

In this year’s code jam round 1B there was the third task called Fair Fight. Note that the competition is over already, so I’m not asking this question for personal gain. I don’t think I should paste the task here, as it can be found under the provided link.

I’ve submitted the following solution in C#, which passed the test cases but failed the submission:

using System; using System.Linq;   namespace FairFight {     internal static class Program     {         private static void Main ()         {             var count = long.Parse (Console.ReadLine ());              for (var i = 1; i <= count; i++)             {                 var     c1 = Console.ReadLine ().Split (' ');                 var     c2 = Console.ReadLine ().Split (' ');                 var     c3 = Console.ReadLine ().Split (' ');                 long    n  = long.Parse (c1 [0]);                 long    k  = long.Parse (c1 [1]);                 long [] ci = c2.Select (long.Parse).ToArray ();                 long [] di = c3.Select (long.Parse).ToArray ();                  long res = 0;                  for (long l = 1; l <= n; l++)                 {                     for (long r = l; r <= n; r++)                     {                         long maxCharles = ci [l - 1];                         for (long j = l; j < r; j++)                             if (ci [j] > maxCharles)                                 maxCharles = ci [j];                          long maxDelila = di [l - 1];                         for (long j = l; j < r; j++)                             if (di [j] > maxDelila)                                 maxDelila = di [j];                          long diff = Math.Abs (maxCharles - maxDelila);                         if (diff <= k)                             res++;                     }                 }                  Console.WriteLine ("Case # {0}: {1}", i, res);             }         }     } } 

I and a few friends of mine have spend multiple hours wondering about what might be the problem with this code – I’ve also compared it with the explanation in the Analyze section of the problem but still don’t have a clue why I’m receiving Sample Failed: WA.

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