Would it be balanced to increase the Spell Level of Hypnotic Pattern?

To me, Hypnotic Pattern seems quite strong for a 3rd Level Spell. The main reason I think so is that it can affect a huge number of targets, and a creature that fails the saving throw will not get another chance and may very well be taken out of the picture for almost the entire combat encounter.

I’m aware of two of the spell’s relative weaknesses. First, a creature can only be affected once when the spell is cast (other than with the 2nd Level Spell Web), even though the spell still requires concentration. Second, the apparent effectiveness against large groups of creatures is somewhat reduced by the fact that some creatures will usually succeed on the saving throw and will wake up others. On the other hand, this requires their action, so one might in fact argue that this makes the spell even better for the first round of combat.

All these things considered, I’m wondering if it would be balanced (possibly even more balanced) if Hypnotic Pattern were moved to Level 4. Or am I missing something?

Can you ever use an ASI to increase an Ability Score above 20?

My question stems from this one: Does the Star card from the Deck of Many Things increase your ability score above 20?

How exactly does increasing an ability score above 20, by any means, work at all?

Relevant quotes:

Ability Score Increases: Some of these features allow you to increase your ability scores, either increasing two scores by 1 each or increasing one score by 2. You can’t increase an ability score above 20. -PHB pg. 15

Manual of Gainful Exercise: …your Strength score increases by 2, as does your maximum for that score.

Say you have a Strength score of 18, and use a Manual of Gainful Exercise to increase it to 20, can you still not use an ASI to increase it to 22, despite the “maximum” now being 22? In fact, is 20 even the maximum for your ability score when using items; the quote seems to only apply to Class Features.

Can the Bag of Beans increase an ability score above 20?

The Bag of Beans states:

[…] 81-90: A nest of 1d4 + 3 eggs springs up. Any creature that eats an egg must make a DC 20 Constitution saving throw. On a successful save, a creature permanently increases its lowest ability score by 1, randomly choosing among equally low scores. On a failed save, the creature takes 10d6 force damage from an internal magical explosion. […]

Interestingly, this item does not a list a cap on the increase like nearly every other item:

  • Star card of the Deck of Many Things:

Increase one of your ability scores by 2. The score can exceed 20 but can’t exceed 24.

  • Ioun Stone of Agility:

Your Dexterity score increases by 2, to a maximum of 20 […]

Even Ability Score Increases and similar features clauses under “Class features and Hit Dice” and also under “Ability Score and Modifiers”:

[…] You can’t increase an ability score above 20. […]

[…] Adventurers can have scores as high as 20 […]

There are also a multitude of “half-feats” which include lines like the following:

Increase your Charisma score by 1, to a maximum of 20.

Meanwhile there are other items that explicitly increase the maximum of 20 such as the Manual of Gainful Exercise:

[…] your Strength score increases by 2, as does your maximum for that score.

The Bag of Beans does not list a maximum score from its ability score increases; does this mean it does not have one?

If the inherent maximum is actually 20, does that mean that things like the Ioun Stone of Agility and various half-feats did not have to include “to a maximum of 20” in their descriptions?

Some related questions:

  • Does changing race allow for the increase of ability scores beyond 20?
  • Can you ever use an ASI to increase an Ability Score above 20?

How can I increase the pace and intensity of a text based game as a GM?

Well long story short I have been running text based TTRPG’s via Roll20 and Discord for a while now. I prefer them because they encourage roleplaying and describing your characters actions rather than rollplaying which I have been exposed to a lot during my time when doing voice based or IRL games.

Though text based games can slow down quite a bit especially when it comes to combat (But it happens in other areas as well) which deducts from my players investments with some outright playing games in the background. So what I wish to ask is how can I make my games more fast paced and with higher player investment?

Things I have tried so far.

Give each player a thing to do separately to improve the situation.

  • The face talks to people and gathers information from bars.
  • The rogue scouts the area.
  • the soldier helps peasant levies train so that they have basic discipline.

This one has had a mixed success as some players simply don’t enjoy being in the spotlight and things got a bit hard to track.

Hurry things along when players hit a dead end.

  • As players are stuck at what to do they hear a creak.
  • After being unable to find the criminals hideout they run into criminals intimidating someone.
  • The evil things awakening gives the priest a tingle.

This felt really railroady.

How can I permanently increase my Dexterity ability score?

Currently, I am playing a level 5 Halfling rogue with 22 dexterity. 17 base + 2 for race + 2 for gloves of dex(+2) + 1 from level up. How can I increase my dexterity to its relative maximum using only rules in the 3.5e PHB and DMG? Ways I know already:

  • 17 points base
  • 2 points from race
  • 5 points from leveling
  • 6 points from item
  • 5 points from wishes Totaling 35

How can PCs keep up when maneuver DCs increase so quickly?

Lots of maneuvers call for a DC of [some number]+2×[the ship’s tier]. Yet as your character levels up (and your ship’s tier with it), your max ranks in a given skill only increase by 1/level.

Thus, as you gain experience and get to know your ship better and modify it to suit you, it actually becomes harder to get it to do anything not in the base specs.

Coming off of 5e’s bounded accuracy, this is a bit of a shock. Am I reading this right? Am I missing something? I know there are ASIs, but those don’t happen that often — is there an assumption of assistive gear that would make maneuvers easier over time, or at least not harder?

Are there any ways to increase weapon attack bonuses, besides, perhaps advantage? [closed]

After running a few combat encounters with my PCs, I’ve noticed that they appear to be missing their attacks more than I’ve expected. I was wondering if there are ways for them to increase the attack bonuses with their weapons in order to hit more often. As a DM, what should I do or instruct them to do?