Securing internet connection with hostile ISP

Please excuse the lack of details, you can understand why. I have a friend in a foreign country who is certain that he is a surveillance target of his local government. Other people he knows in his same category have already had their internet connections spied on, and seen contents of their emails leaked. He refuses to use his local ISP because the government runs it, so he uses another means of internet but which is very unreliable.

He really would like to use a landline ISP for it’s stability, but knows he can’t trust it. I thought of setting him up with a serious firewall (like pfSense) with a permanent VPN tunnel to a provider that is based outside of his country.

Given these considerations, would this be a safe solution? Or rather if the ISP is compromised, are all bets off?

How does a person under surveillance safely download tor or tails in a hostile environment?

One of tor’s stated goals is to help individuals such as journalists, activists and whistleblowers protect against surveillance, and in many countries people in those lines of work or activities are usually subject to surveillance, especially targeted surveillance.

Given a scenario in which a journalist working in an environment where he is subject to active targeted surveillance, how would he safely download tor? Assume that the journalist in question is using a new computer with a freshly installed Linux distribution. In what ways could an adversary with man-in-the-middle capabilities affect or compromise the download?

Does using https to download TAILS or the distribution package manager to download tor provide enough security to protect from malicious third-parties? How can someone in this scenario safely download tor or TAILS?

Scope of Character Aspects and Hostile Invocations


Core of the Problem

Reading Condensed, I’m unsure of what scope of Aspects is supposed to be covered by the term ‘Character Aspect’ (officially described on page 23, but not without ambiguity; see below), and consequently, what is the scope of applicability of the Hostile Invocations rule (page 24).

Things that I assume would also be helpful for clearing the confusion: Did the scope of either or both change between editions, or am I just perhaps misreading the Condensed edition, or did I perhaps even misread the Core edition in the first place? Or is perhaps Core considered an extension of Condensed for the purposes of establishing what is RAW in the ‘baseline’ ruleset?

Details of Confusion

In Core, the Hostile Invocations did not have a label, but their behaviour was described rather precisely in multiple places:

Have Your Aspects Invoked Against You: If someone pays a fate point to invoke an aspect attached to your character, you gain their fate point at the end of the scene. This includes advantages created on your character, as well as consequences.

Invoking an aspect attached to another character gives them a fate point at the end of the scene.

If the aspect you invoke is on someone else’s character sheet, including situation aspects attached to them, you give them the fate point you spent.

Condensed is both more specific in its description of Hostile Invocation, yet more ambiguous about defining the scope of Character Aspects. Page 23 says this about Character Aspects:

These aspects are on your character sheet, such as your high concept and trouble. […]

But page 63 clearly states:

Consequence: Character aspect; represents lasting harm

So in one place Condensed states that Character Aspects are the ‘permanent’ ones, but in another it confirms that one of the fleeting ‘attachable’ types of Aspects is a subset of Character Aspect too.

I have trouble finding an explicit confirmation one way or another about whether there is supposed to be an overlap between Situational (such as Grappled or On Fire) Aspects and Character Aspects in Condensed. The text seems to imply that overlaps are possible, since Character and Consequences have their own entries in the same listing (page 23) despite having an overlap. But then the listing also includes Boosts under Aspect Types, despite the SRD telling us those are not Aspects, so I’m not sure how much I should rely on it for such analysis at all.

These may at first seem like negligible minor differences, but they cascade into a significant differences in the way the FP Economy works in those cases. I understand that some tables may make changes of their own based on personal preferences, but for now I’m hoping to figure out what is RAW, and am not looking for houserules or personal experiences of rulings.

Can “Friends” be used to to make any creature in the universe hostile?

Friends is a cantrip with a range of self that reads:

For the duration, you have advantage on all Charisma checks directed at one creature of your choice that isn’t hostile toward you. When the spell ends, the creature realizes that you used magic to influence its mood and becomes hostile toward you.

Since the range is “Self” and the spell does not specify restrictions apart from being non-hotile do usual targeting restrictions apply? If not then could a PC with this cantrip make any creature, on any plane of existence, hostile? This seems rather powerful although not easily useful.

Is trying to break a door considered a hostile action, as far as Sanctuary spell is concerned?

On page 366 of Pathfinder 2e Core Rulebook, for the Sanctuary spell it states:

You ward a creature with protective energy that deters enemy attacks. Creatures attempting to attack the target must attempt a Will save each time. If the target uses a hostile action, the spell ends.”

Does trying to break a door count as a hostile action? It does not specify if the action is considered hostile only if it is directed towards a creature.

What spells below spell level 6th from ANY spell list allow for protection from harmful effects from hostile plane environments?

I am playing a 5th-level character in a campaign, planning to advance through the chameleon prestige class from Races of Destiny.

We are being heavily hinted at needing to go to the plane of a greater deity in the future, most likely at a much higher level. One of the effects of the plane is that if you are not of Lawful Good alignment, you must make a Fortitude save every minute or be disintegrated. Drastic, I know.

Avoid planar effects, found in Manual of the Planes, Planar Handbook, and Spell Compendium, is the only spell in any spell list I can immediately think of that would prevent us from being obliterated if we so happen to be there. Are there any other spells that we should know and prepare before our journey? With the chameleon class, it is possible to grab any spell from any spell list so I am not afraid of going into the obscure books here, like Book of Vile Darkness’s demonologist has a Transmutation-school greater bestow curse at 4th level for example.

What is the difference between “hostile” and “enemy”?

What is the difference between “hostile” and “enemy”?

Why do I think there should be a difference? Well first off, they are different words. In dnd there is difference between attack and Attack action, so it’s not unusual that small differences in words used are intentional. This alone hints they probably used the words on purpose where they used them.

Also I use them differently in daily use. I might act hostile towards someone that told a joke I don’t like, but that doesn’t make them my enemy. But of course daily life is not combat for life or death so that is a weak example.

Last, there are some game situations where in my opinion a difference makes sense. Let’s assume the following situation:

We have characters A and B from the same party and C is a character hostile towards them, so an enemy of A and B. For now the words are synonymous. Now C casts “Enemies Abound” on B and B fails the save. He is now “regarding all creatures [he] can see as enemies until the spell ends.”. Let’s assume A hasn’t noticed the spell. If A would now for whatever reason try to cast “Friends” on B, the spell should fail because B regards A as an enemy and is hostile towards him. Friends requires the target to not be hostile. However here A does not (yet) regard B as an enemy. So hostile and enemy are not the same. Contrary A is not hostile towards B so B could cast Friends on A, even though he considers A an enemy.

This makes sense to me so far. It is not limited to the spell “enemies abound”, I think the same logic would apply if B was a hidden enemy in the party. Then B should be able to cast friends on A because A trusts him, but A should be not able to cast it on B because B is actually hostile towards him.

So when A interacts with B, whether B is an enemy is something A decides, however whether B is hostile towards A is something B decides. All good? No! This definition has other problems.

On PHB page 195 under opportunity attack it states:

You can make an opportunity attack when a hostile creature that you can see moves out of your range.

So in the example above B would not be able to make an opportunity attack against A because A is not hostile towards him. That makes no sense at all. B considers A an enemy and should totally be able to make an opportunity attack.

Also B could not target A with any spells that require A to be hostile.

Another example with opportunity attack:

An enemy courier has an important message in the bags of his horse. I push him off his horse, but the horse runs on on its turn (probably afraid). Can I make an attack of opportunity against the horse? The horse is probably not hostile towards me. So I can’t? That doesn’t make sense.

I hope I made clear why I am confused about the usage of “hostile” vs. “enemy”. Maybe someone can explain me why they make this differentiation and what the differences are.

What can a hostile magic user do with your blood?

A GM had a city guard ask a vial of blood from every visitor in order to verify identity in cases of small crime and the like.

If that city guard, or other members of government had access to that blood vial, what sort of dangers would my character be exposed to? I’m basically looking for spells/other actions which are enabled by having some blood and are harmful/show things about my character.

The only thing I found myself was Blood Biography, but while annoying, from a broader fantasy background I assumed some more malicious stuff was possible. Is it?