What is the best way to help a new player join a higher level party?

Having spent lockdown watching us play from the sidelines, and having played in one shots of a couple of different systems. One of our party’s partners would like to join the d&d campaign I am running. As a DM I have no issues with this, she gets the game and has been reading the rules and the party of 4 could easily accept a 5th member.

However I am now wondering how best to create her character with her. In the past when a party member has joined a campaign I am running they are not new to role playing, this is not their first campaign and so they have already experienced taking a level 1 character through the ranks, therefore starting them at the same or a slightly lower level then the party is not an issue, they have played enough to be able to quickly pick up all the extra skills and abilities a sudden jump gives them, the magic items I allow them to start with at that level are not something more to learn to use. The party are all roughly levels 8-10 so I can’t bring her on as a level 1 character.

What is the best way to help her not feel overwhelmed by everything while allowing her to jump in with a more powerful character then most starT with. She hasn’t yet told me her race or class, we are planning an evening together to flesh all that out soon and I would like to go in prepared with some tips to help her get the most out of this and not spend the first few sessions feeling lost as she tries to remember everything her character can do.

Casting a cantrip on a higher level when multiclassing [duplicate]

Some cantrips such as ‘Thunderclap’ says in higher level(not in higher spell slot), we can give more damage.


Casting Time: 1 action Range: Self (5-foot radius) Components: S Duration: Instantaneous

You create a burst of thunderous sound, which can be heard 100 feet away. Each creature other than you within 5 feet of you must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 1d6 thunder damage.

At Higher Levels. The spell’s damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 5th level (2d6), 11th level (3d6), and 17th level (4d6).

When we are multiclassing, does the overall level of the character effect this, or is it about the individual level of the class that is used to cast this spell?

Can an algorithm complexity be lower than its tight low bound / higher than its tight high bound?

The worst case time complexity of a given algorithm is $ \theta(n^3logn)$ .
Is it possible that the worst time complexity is $ \Omega(n^2)$ ?
Is it possible that the worst time complexity is $ O(n^4)$ ?
The average time complexity is $ O(n^4)$ ?

IMO it is possible as long as you control the constant $ c$ , but then what’s the point of mentioning any other bound than the tight bounds?

Can a Circle of the Stars druid fire an arrow from its star form and cast a spell of 1st level or higher during the same turn?

The druid subclass Circle of the Stars from Unearthed Arcana: Subclasses, Part 3 has the 2nd-level feature Starry Form, part of the description of which states:

You gain a bonus action that you can use to make a ranged spell attack, hurling a luminous arrow that targets a creature you can see within 60 feet of you. On a hit, the attack deals radiant damage equal to 1d8 + your Wisdom modifier.

Does “making a ranged spell attack” count as casting a spell and therefore limit your action to a cantrip or can you cast a spell of first level or higher because the arrow is not a spell? Could I cast one of the freely available Guiding Bolts and fire an arrow or do I have to stick with something like frostbite and an arrow?

How are warlocks viable at higher levels?

Im just getting started and am interested in the warlock class. From reading a bunch on this class it seams like the easiest way to play one is as an Eldritch Blast spammer. I understand the damage output can be quite high.

However, at mid to high levels don’t enemies start having resistance to spells below a certain level, making EB unviable? With so few spells seems like at this point the Warlock won’t be useful in combat any more under those scenarios. I understand that not all encounters will play out like that, but it’s a pretty big deficiency.

Why is disk IO higher on Debian 10 (MariaDB 10.3) with MySQL replication?

I have a MySQL/MariaDB master-master replication setup that has been working well for several years, the db and tables are not very large (under 200MB for 18 tables). These were on 2 servers running Debian 9 and MariaDB 10.1.44. Now I’ve spun up 2 new servers running Debian 10 and I’m in the process of moving things over to them, but stopped half-way because I’m seeing much higher disk IO usage on the new servers (about 6x more).

So currently, one of the Debian 9 servers and one of the Debian 10 servers are in master-master relationship, with one Debian 9 still being a slave of the master Debian 9 server, and same on the Debian 10 side of things.

I didn’t notice the increased disk IO until after all read/write operations were moved to the Debian 10 master. I was trying to browse tables and saw how slow it was outputting the query results, and it felt like I was on a dial-up connection watching the rows scroll across. It turned out there was some disk contention with the virtual host that was partly responsible, and that problem is now mostly gone.

Now, as you can imagine, none of this is crashing the server with such a "small" set of tables, but as things continue to grow, I’m concerned that there is some underlying mis-configuration which will rear its ugly head at an inopportune time. On the Debian 9 servers, iotop shows steady write IO at around 300-600Kb/s, but on Debian 10 it spikes as high as 6MB/s, and averages around 3MB/s.

Here is the standard config on all 4 servers, everything else is default Debian settings (or MariaDB, as the case may be), full config for Debian 10 at https://pastebin.com/Lk2FR4e3:

max_connections = 1000 query_cache_limit       = 4M query_cache_size        = 0 query_cache_type        = 0 server-id               = 1 # different for each server log_bin                 = /var/log/mysql/mysql-bin.log binlog_do_db            = optimizer replicate-do-db         = optimizer report-host             = xyz.example.com #changed obviously log-slave-updates       = true innodb_log_file_size    = 32M innodb_buffer_pool_size = 256M 

Here are some other settings I’ve tried that don’t seem to make any difference (checked each one by one):

binlog_annotate_row_events = OFF binlog_checksum = NONE binlog_format = STATEMENT innodb_flush_method = O_DIRECT_NO_FSYNC innodb_log_checksums = OFF log_slow_slave_statements = OFF replicate_annotate_row_events = OFF 

I’ve gone through all the settings here that have changed from MariaDB 10.1 to 10.3, and can’t seem to find any that make a difference: https://mariadb.com/kb/en/replication-and-binary-log-system-variables/

I also did a full listing of the server variables and compared the configs on 10.1 to the 10.3 configuration and didn’t find anything obvious. But either I’m missing something, or the problem lies with Debian 10 itself.

Results of SHOW ENGINE INNODB STATUS are here: https://pastebin.com/mJdLQv8k

Now, how about that disk IO, what is it actually doing? I include 3 screenshots here to show what I mean by increased disk IO: Resource graphs on the Debian 10 master

That is from the Debian 10 master, and you can see where I moved operations back to the Debian 9 server (more on that in a second). Notice the disk IO does go down slightly at that point, but not to the levels that we’ll see on the Debian 9 master. Also note that the public bandwidth chart is pretty much only replication traffic, and that the disk IO far outstrips the replication traffic. The private traffic is all the reads/writes from our application servers.

Resource graphs on Debian 9 master

This is the Debian 9 master server, and you can see where I moved all operations back to this server, the private traffic shoots up, but the write IO hovers around 500kB/s. I didn’t have resource graphs being recorded on the old servers, thus the missing bits on the left.

Debian 10 slave server resource graphs

And lastly, for reference, here is the Debian 10 slave server (that will eventually be half of the master<–>master replication). There are no direct reads/writes on this server, all disk IO is from replication.

Just to see what would happen (as I alluded to above), I reverted all direct read/write operations to the Debian 9 master server. While disk IO did fall somewhat on the Debian 10 server, it did not grow on the Debian 9 server to any noticeable extent.

Also, on the Debian 10 slave server, I did STOP SLAVE once to see what happened, and the disk IO went to almost nothing. Doing the same on the Debian 10 master server barely did not have the same drastic effect, though it’s possible there WAS some change that wasn’t obvious; the disk IO numbers on iostat fluctuate much more wildly on the Debian 10 servers than they do on the Debian 9 servers.

So, what is going on here? How can I figure out why MariaDB is writing so much data to disk apparently and/or how can I stop it?

Thanks in advance!

Does the “higher level spell slot” clause in Globe of Invulnerability do anything?

The spell “Globe of Invulnerability” says, in part:

Any spell of 5th level or lower cast from outside the barrier can’t affect creatures or objects within it, even if the spell is cast using a higher level spell slot (PHB p.245)

Interpretation 1: For example, Fireball is a level 3 spell, so it doesn’t affect anyone inside a Globe of Invulnerability, even if it’s cast as a level 6 spell.

Then I read the actual rules of the game:

When a spellcaster casts a spell using a slot that is of a higher level than the spell, the spell assumes the higher level for that casting. For instance, if Umara casts magic missile using one of her 2nd-level slots, that magic missile is 2nd level (PHB p.201).

Interpretation 2: Back to the example, Fireball is whatever level slot it’s cast with. Fireball in a level 6 slot is a level 6 spell. Level 6 spells affect someone in a Globe of Invulnerability. Therefore, Fireball cast as a level 6 spell affects someone in a Globe of Invulnerability.

Okay, but then why the heck does the spell say, “even if the spell is cast using a higher level spell slot”? There’s no such thing as a level-5-or-lower spell that’s cast with a level-6-or-higher slot!

I suspect the PHB editors just screwed up with their wording. I suspect that, if I asked a PHB editor what level Fireball was, they’d say “level 3”, not “whatever level slot is used to cast it.” Heck, that’s what I would say. It’s only because of spells like Counterspell, Dispel Magic, and Globe of Invulnerability that I’d pause and say, “Actually, no, 3 is the MINIMUM level slot that can be used to cast Fireball. Per the rule on p. 201, a spell is the level of the slot used to cast it.”

Any other insights on this?

Related questions:

Is a 1st-level spell cast using a 4th-level slot a 1st-level spell, or a 4th-level spell?

Can you use Wish to duplicate a spell at a higher level?

Can a multiclass spellcaster use spell slots of a level higher than the spells he could learn through a class to cast a spell learned through a feat?

The question “Can I use spell slots to cast the spell granted from the Fey Teleportation feat additional times?” asked whether a character can use a spell slot to cast a spell “learned” through a feat such as Magic Initiate or Fey Teleportation. The answer, in a nutshell, was: Yes, but only if the spell is on the spell list of the class providing the slot. So, for example, an elven wizard who learns misty step by taking the Fey Teleportation feat could use wizard spell slots to cast misty step, because misty step is on the wizard spell list.

A piece of the answer’s rationale was the following guidance from Sage Advice Compendium v2.2, p. 8 (emphasis mine):

If you have spell slots, can you use them to cast the 1st-level spell you learn with the Magic Initiate feat?

Yes, but only if the class you pick for the feat is one of your classes…. In short, you must follow your character’s normal spellcasting rules, which determine whether you can expend spell slots on the 1st-level spell you learn from Magic Initiate.

Let’s imagine a multiclassed Rogue 3 (Arcane Trickster)/Wizard 2. According to the spellcasting rules for multiclassed characters, see PHB p. 164-165, this character would have two 2nd-level spell slots but would not — at least not through his class levels — be able to learn any 2nd-level spells.

Now imagine that this character gains a level, becomes a Rogue 4/Wizard 2, and takes the Fey Teleportation feat. He “learns” misty step, which is on both the the wizard spell list and the Arcane Trickster spell list (because the latter is really the former). He still has no access to 2nd-level spells through his levels in either class.

Can this character use spell slots to cast misty step even though he couldn’t otherwise cast, or even learn, any 2nd-level spells?

What makes software video encoder have higher quanlity than hardware video encoder

It is said commonly software video encoder have higher result quality than hardware encoder. Higher quanlity here means higher picture quality at a given bit rate.

Hardware encoder are commonly for realtime usage and some are for mobile application, then there are trade offs in hardware encoder to get realtime performance and have lower power.

Commonly what is exactly the trade off (e.g. which encoding algorithm parameter) in hardware encoder that make it have lower quanlity than software encoder?

Will simply change some encoding parameter (and as a result more chip area and power consumption) make a hardware encoder have the same quanlity as software encoder?

H.264/H.265 are considered.