What mechanical implications exist when allowing duplicate stronghold types in a castle?

Matt Colville’s supplement Strongholds & Followers details, among other things, rules for building optional strongholds and castles, with castles being complexes of multiple strongholds.

The strongholds are divided into four broad types: keeps, towers, temples, and establishments. A stronghold (of any variety) can be controlled by only one PC at a time, and can only offer its most direct benefits to that character. On page 11 of Strongholds & Followers the rules state that castles cannot contain more than one of each stronghold type.

A castle cannot contain multiple of the same type of stronghold. If you build a castle with two towers, for instance, only one of them grants the benefits of spell research. Also, a stronghold’s benefit only applies to one character at a time. (Strongholds & Followers, page 11)

I am running a game using these rules in which two PCs (a Wizard and a Sorcerer) will almost certainly want to build a tower each. Even if they don’t, the party has no use for a temple (or variant on a temple, like a Druid’s Grove). With four players that means that unless there is at least one duplicate stronghold type, at least one player will be left out. This is easy enough to just overrule (I plan on allowing two towers), but I’m curious about why the restriction on duplicates exists. I have not found anything in the book itself.

Is there a mechanical implication to duplicating stronghold types within a single castle?

Ephemeral Tread’s balance implications

The feat ephemeral tread paired with the spell dream travel, seems to let you travel to the dimension of dreams, and perform impossible actions. This seems to let you at a low level, cast wish upon yourself to gain permanent bonuses. Or to create an artifact, then astral project yourself onto the material plane with new artifacts? Is this actually possible uses or is there something that prevents the use of such powerful methods?

Using astral projection would be difficult as you would have to work around the duration of dream travel and the 1/day impossible action. However I’m sure there exist methods to prolong or regain your use while on the dimension of dream.

What are the security implications of adding an Intermediate Certificate into the Trusted Root Store in Windows?

I have 2 certificates (one root and one intermediate).

In Windows OS, the Root certificate is in the trusted root store (for current user). The other intermediate certificate (signed by the root CA), is to be found (under current user also) under the Intermediate CA store.

I am using SSL verification in one of my client applications (Kafka Confluent) and realized the client only enumerates certificates in the root store. Therefore SSL handshake fails (the intermediate CA is needed).

One solution is to import that certificate into the Trusted Root Certificate Authorities. With that solution, SSL verification at client works. However, is there any concern in doing so?

From security point of view does it make a difference if the intermediate CA exists in the Root store vs the Intermediate store on Windows?

UPDATE If more context is needed as to what exactly I am facing you can check the issue here https://github.com/edenhill/librdkafka/issues/3025

Balance implications of +3 racial bonuses

Many races have a +2 bonus to one ability and a +1 bonus to another ability. They do not usually have +3 to a single ability.

I am wondering about the implications of having races with such bonuses in my game.

I am considering point buy only. What I see is possible that was not possible before (with +2/+1), is

  • 18 in the primary stat at level 1
  • 20 in primary stat with first ASI

However, this 20 in the primary stat means that I cannot exceed 15 in the secondary stat. It seems to me that no class in 5e benefits from less than two abilities (at least constitution and one other).


  • The changeling race can already have a +3 bonus
  • It is entirely possible to have 18 on level one with rolled stats, yet rolling stats is, so far as I know, not considered unbalanced.

Is my analysis above correct and does this mean that a +3 racial bonus instead of +2/+1 does not pose severe balance issues?

What would be the balance implications of allowing multiclassing with the same class (e.g. for access to multiple subclasses)?

The rules for Multiclassing on page 163 of the PHB state:

With this rule, you have the option of gaining a level in a new class whenever you advance in level, instead of gaining a level in your current class.

By RAW, it seems clear you cannot start out at level 1 again in your current class in order to achieve something like a Sorcerer (Draconic Bloodline) 1 / Sorcerer (Divine Soul) 1.

Would it be balanced to allow this anyway? Which problems would occur?

Assume that all other rules for multiclassing remain intact, such as the spell slot calculation or the limitation of multiple instances of Extra Attack.

Related: the same question for Pathfinder, clarification that this is not allowed by RAW

Mechanic implications of the Psionics tag?

Quite a few monsters have the Innate Spellcasting trait. Some of them, such as the Gith (MM) and the Neothelid (VGtM) have a trait called Innate Spellcasting (Psionics) instead.

I cannot recall having seen any mechanic referencing the fact whether or not someone is a psionic. So my question is: Does the Psionics tag on Innate Spellcasting have mechanic implications?

Are there any security implications to changing the base of a hash?

File this under "gosh, I’d hope not," but I’ve been surprised before.

I have a hash (SHA-1 specifically). I need to store the full hash, but due to constraints outside my control, I can only use a limited number of characters to store it. I chose to change to base-36 to make the hash a shorter length.

Changing to base-36 makes the number of characters vary (between 27 and 31 instead of the original 40). This made me wonder about possible security implications of changing the base. Are there any?

What are the general security implications behind using a web app vs its equivalent desktop app?

In 2020, there are a lot of applications which have a web interface as well as “desktop apps.” Such applications are either the same in functionality or very close. Three examples of this situation are the Slack, Discord, and Keeper Security applications. As a user, I am often left with a choice: Do I use the webapp in the browser, or do I download and install the desktop app?

In order to not be too vague, I’m not going to ask the question “which is more secure?” As this may not be possible to answer without a specific reference. However, there is truth to the fact that many of these applications are running on top of runtimes like Chrome, V8, Electron, Mono, etc…. For the purposes of this question, please assume that the app is of this style and not a “fully native” compiled app written directly in C or C++.

Ignoring any functionality differences (such as, I need the desktop app in order to do livestreaming), please list the general security implications of using the browser app vs desktop app.

For security reasons, why might I prefer to run the web in-browser version of the app rather than the desktop app and vice versa? One such implication could be, “exploitation in a browser-run web app would be limited to the tab’s process, whereas in a desktop app, it could potentially access a greater scope” for example.

What are the statistical implications of doubling damage on crit instead of doubling the dice rolled?

I’ve been playing with a group that frequently allows players to double the value of dice rolled for crits (and other things) rather than rolling double the dice. Example, someone crits with 2d6 and rolls for 8 damage, which they then double for 16 total crit damage, rather than rolling 4d6.

This mostly just bugs me on principle, but I was curious what doubling the value rather than doubling the dice does mathematically. Does it actually make a difference? Is there a greater chance to hit extreme ends of the range of values (low and high)? Does the amount and type of dice create greater inconsistencies between the two scenarios?

Balance implications of these output to input luck change house rules?

What classes and approaches are helped and/or hindered by this set of house rules?

For an upcoming DnD 5e campaign I am considering two house rules, both of which substantially effect one another. The implications are far reaching and complex enough I am having trouble deciding what classes, techniques, and playstyles come out ahead or behind.

Rule 1: Players Roll Rule

  • When a PC is attacked, they roll a defense and add ac bonus vs a static attack (calculated as attack bonus +10)
  • When a PC casts a save spell on an NPC they roll, and add the DC bonus (static save for npc is calculated as save+12)

Rule 2: Deck Play in Combat

  • Use a 52 card deck (without Jokers) instead of a D20 during combat rounds.
    • When initiative is rolled in combat draw 10 cards.
    • When a D20 would be rolled as part of an action (not a free action) instead you must play a card from your hand.
    • Red number cards are listed value
    • Black number cards are listed value plus 10
    • Aces are 1 (1 if red, 11 if black)
    • Royals are top of your discard minus a value. K=D-1, Q=D-2, J=D-3
      • If the top card of the discard is a royal or the discard is empty, the royal is =2
      • When the last card is played from your hand, draw back up to ten
    • When the last card is drawn from your deck, shuffle in the discard.
  • Adv and Disadv
    • Advantage is “play 1 card from your hand, and the top card of the deck, take the higher result”
    • Disadvantage is “play 1 card from your hand, and the top card of the deck, take the lower result”
  • You may take a full round action to discard your entire hand and draw up to ten.


The title of this campaign, as pitched to the players, is “An extremely house rule heavy and experimental campaign” so they at least know what they’re in for. ^_^

Rule tweaks and alternatives sound conversationally fun, but are not quite answers.

The motivation here is to turn some output random into input random, inspired by this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwI5b-wRLic

This is intended to embrace the “figure out the enemies’ ac/hp/attack value” aspect of some combat.