What is the impact of banishment on CR?

Disclaimer: I know that monster balance is never exact and I don’t expect it to be, I’m looking for rough guidelines like they are given in the DMG for many traits.


I like to flavor up my monsters with spells. One spell that seems particularly interesting is banishment.

Monsters with that spell appear in the MM, e.g. the Death Knight, Sphinxes, and Guardian Naga. It is not clear however what effect the spell had on their CR.

I came up with the following assumptions:

  • It seems that since that since banishment is 4th level, i.e. for level 7 players, it should not appear below level 7 encounters.

  • Further, the spell requires concentration, but it seems reasonable to assume that a boss monster (no banishment for random critters) can hold concentration for some time through good saves, defense from minions, and, potentially, legendary resistance.

  • The effect of a missing PC is relevant for offense and defense since the party’s damage output is reduced and the remaining PCs get more damage (relatively).

  • a priori it does not seem that banishment will get much better or worse on higher levels, since both the concentration maintaining capacity and the effect of a missing person seem to scale with level.

Are these assumptions valid? And how can these (and other factors that I might have missed) translate into CR?

How to give the players more felt impact on the “Battle of the Silkwiesen”?

Today I started playing "The Year of the griffon" with my DSA (TDE on German) group (after about 4 or 5 sessions to teach rules, make characters, learn a bit about the pre-orc-invasion Griffon March). I use the DSA 4 re-release of the old DSA 3 adventure and the 4.1 rules, but that does not change it significantly. While the players did like the epic part of the tale, the chance to be able to take part in the biggest battle since the first demon battle1, they did correctly note that the tale dragged on:

They had little chance to do anything impactful for most of the battle, and true, they are just 5 soldiers in a body of ca. 15000 soldiers. Yet, in the 15-page long chapter dedicated to the battle, they were supposed to act inside of the constraints of a conscripted milita unit.

Even as they helped at saving Prince Brin by blasting a bunch of Orcs with flash spells (Blitz dich Find in German), making the retreat of him probably much easier, even as they were part of the final strike against the shaman raising the dead of the battle as undead, they felt like being pushed over the battlefield by forces beyond them (their commanders as proxies, the surpreme fieldmarshall Helme Haffax in person and thus (by proxy) Prince Brin himself), and true, they were.

They had large eyes about the ‘life is cheap’ attitude of the battle as I descriebed how some of their buddies died right next to them, even if I didn’t drag out the training too much (there are 2 pages dedicated to how to narrate out the training in detail and who each of those people were) but glossed over quite some of it. Mostly I was giving small ‘flashbacks’ on the training that were previously not mentioned as they saw the soldiers die – which turned out to be just as impactful as playing a whole evening to make them like the expendable NPCs.

In the end, after achieving all the optional plot goals and reducing the casulties quite some by the right choices at the right times, they cried out (with good reason) that for very very large parts it became rather boring to listen to the constant rush of high battle.

When they HAD good chance to act, then they discussed over each other what to do at all, trying to gaugue what might even have an impact and what was expected from them by the author while I clearly told them "This book has a solution for almost anything you come up with, and no, you very most likely won’t die in the prologue". I did tell them after the adventure part they had total plot armor in that battle alone, and they facepalmed: One mentioned "I could have been more reckless?!" – I did however reward that they had not been reckless.

All in all, the 15 pages translated to about 5-hourincluding interrupts, player actions and one rolled out skirmishof gaming… and gave me a rather dull feeling about playing this battle ever again, possibly using the shorcut of just summarizing the battle and its results (yes, that IS an option given!) if I ever do it again. But I did at least want to try.

Annotations

1 – The Ogre battle of 1003 BF would qualify for the biggest battle of their lifetime before the Silkwiesen. They don’t know about that battle as players. They DO know though about the Battle in front of Gareth – the first Demon Battle – that happened 1556 years ago right next to the Silkwiesen.

While page-long narratives are not uncommon to TDE and several pages of mainly narrative battle happen (ca 5 pages of interrupted narrative in the Ogre battle), The Battle on the Silkwiesen in The Year of the Griffon is probably the worst offender after the Year of the Fire, which does somewhat interrupt its massive battle with playercentric action. These battle-narratives are an exception in the bulk though: of about 200 adventures/campaigns only maybe 10 do have these large scale battles.

All in all the book is – including all handouts, index and pictures – 185 pages long. The Battle on the Silkwiesen does contain maybe 6 pages of condensed narrative with almost no player freedon if all GM info are struck. Abbreviation takes… the lines below

Battle on the Silkwiesen & Year of the Griffon abbreviated

The "Battle on the Silkwiesen" is the prologue/intro to the adventure campaign "The Year of the Griffon". It’s basically a single scripted scene with some player interaction with the surroundings. About 10000-15000 orcs clash against the same amount of mass recruits, militia, and every trained soldier the empire has available, some quarter to half of them veterans, professionals, and noble knights. In the end, 3000 soldiers and the same amount of orcs lie dead, another 3000 soldiers are wounded severely, but the orc army is in disarray and retreats back. A Pyrrhic victory, as neither side can muster enough reserves to make a strike for the following weeks…

Question

Are there situations in the battle on the Silkwiesen where players could be given more playground, even as it is a scripted 15 pages piece of narrative?

Impact of query parameters on SEO for a single page application

Might crawlers visit a page if there is no link referencing this page anywhere but a URL to this page is generated client side with JavaScript ?

Context:

Let’s say I have a SPA with Server Side Rendering. Some pages show a list of items and offer a filtering facility. When the user selects some options or fills in some input field to filter the list, I’d like to embed this information in the URL (eg. /items?sort=price&order=desc&q=something) via the history API (client side routing). Behind the scene, an API call is made to get the results.

Since I do SSR, the server will also be able to understand these URLs and render these pages (hence the user can bookmark the page or share it). But nowhere in the HTML pages these URLs will appear, there are only generated client side in response to user events.

In this context, I think crawlers won’t know these pages exist, and so, they should have no impact on SEO. Even if crawlers are now able to run JavaScript, they don’t use it to simulate user events.

Am I wrong ?

(I guess if someone shares publicly that kind of URL, it could suffice to make this page crawled ? In any case, what I’m worried about is the cost on the crawling budget if all these pages are visited, but I’m ok with a few pages being crawled, they could be marked as “noindex” for instance).

Do mounts impact party XP threshold for the purpose of building combat encounters?

The 5e DMG has rules and a process for developing combat encounters of an appropriate level: https://www.dndbeyond.com/sources/dmg/creating-adventures#CreatingEncounters

However, mounts can take actions in combat, e.g. player with a halfling PC mounted on a mastiff could sic the dog onto an enemy, effectively increasing that player’s combat actions.

How should mounts factor into a party’s XP threshold for calculating a budget for use in balancing combat encounters?

Is there an impact of CRLF injection on static sites?

I found CRLF injection on a site but it doesn’t has any login, session or anything or that sort. I wonder if there’s any way to prove impact of CRLF injection here.

Something that I think can be done is, an attacker can craft the payload in such a way that it would respond with Location header and user would be redirected to a malicious site. This is called Response Splitting. But I’m not sure if the company would consider this as a vulnerability because user’s can only be redirected.

I asked myself if that’s the only thing an attacker can do? After sometime I realized XSS can also be perform with response splitting but what would attacker get with XSS as there is no session cookie or anything?

I can’t figure out how to show am impact of this, are you aware of any interesting header or anything, any help?

EDIT: I found a broken link to an external site on this same forum and checked for content on wayback.

It says.

Cross-User Defacement: An attacker can make a single request to a vulnerable server that will cause the server to create two responses, the second of which may be misinterpreted as a response to a different request, possibly one made by another user sharing the same TCP connection with the server. This can be accomplished by convincing the user to submit the malicious request themselves, or remotely in situations where the attacker and the user share a common TCP connection to the server, such as a shared proxy server. In the best case, an attacker can leverage this ability to convince users that the application has been hacked, causing users to lose confidence in the security of the application. In the worst case, an attacker may provide specially crafted content designed to mimic the behavior of the application but redirect private information, such as account numbers and passwords, back to the attacker.

But I don’t understand it properly, can anyone please explain it in simple words?

What is the impact of leaked recaptcha secret key?

Do to server configurations our recaptcha secret key was publicly readable.

The key has been updated to a new one, but what is the actual impact of a malicious user getting a hold of the key?

Documentation is not clear on the impact

https://developers.google.com/recaptcha/intro

The secret key authorizes communication between your application backend and the reCAPTCHA server to verify the user’s response. The secret key needs to be kept safe for security purposes.

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