How should one interpret the word “identical” in the initiative rule?

The rule for initiative in PHB read (emphasis mine)

Initiative determines the order of turns during combat. When combat starts, every participant makes a Dexterity check to determine their place in the initiative order. The DM makes one roll for an entire group of identical creatures, so each member of the group acts at the same time.

I usually thought that identical creature stands for creatures of the same type and with the same name: for example, in a situation where a party is fighting 3 trolls and 2 ogres I read the above rule as rolling one d20 for the trolls’ group and one d20 for the ogres’.

Other DMs would extend identical to a wider meaning (see enkryptor’s answer to "Is this house-rule that has each monster/NPC roll initiative separately (even when there are multiple creatures of the same kind) game-breaking?"): for example, a dragon and their kobolds army fighting the party may be considered identical creatures in the sense that they are allies, as belonging to the same group of enemies.

Is there any RAW interpretation of the word identical in this context of initiative roll?

How to interpret “round up or down” in monster CR calculation

In the "Creating Quick Monster Stats" section of the DMG (p.274) we are given the procedure for determining the CR of a new DM-designed monster. Step 4 of that procedure (pp.274-275) tells us to calculate a defensive challenge rating, an offensive challenge rating, and then the

Average Challenge Rating. The monster’s final challenge rating is the average of its defensive and offensive challenge ratings. Round the average up or down to the nearest challenge rating to determine your monster’s final challenge rating. For example, if the creature’s defensive challenge rating is 2 and its offensive rating is 3, its final rating is 3.

How are we to take the instruction to "round up or down"?

Does the DMG mean to say that it is DM’s choice (rather than defined procedure) whether to round up or down? And that once that decision is made you move to the nearer CR in that direction?

Or, is this passage saying that the rounding should take you to the nearest CR, regardless of whether this means rounding up or down? For example, if the DCR was 1/2 and the OCR was 2, the average CR would be 1.25, which we would round down to 1, because 1.25 is nearer to 1 than 2. But if the DCR was 3 and the OCR was 1/4, the average CR would be 1.625, and we would round up to 2 because 1.625 is nearer 2 than it is 1.

The example then given shows rounding up, but in the confusing case of 2.5 being equidistant from both 2 and 3, which doesn’t let us parse which of the two possible meanings is intended.

There are a number of CR-calculation questions on this site, but I haven’t found this specific question. I understand that the final CR is by DM fiat, involves many other considerations, and is not a direct result of this specific procedure – I am just trying to understand what the actual procedure described in this passage is.

How to interpret this context free language?

$ S -> aAA$

$ A -> aS | bS | a$

Trivial thing:

starting and ending with a

Atleast 3 a’s are definitely present

(These are very layman observations…but seriously I am unable to figure out what exactly this language is all about. …) My attempt:

What I am able to generate



a bS A

a ba AA A

a ba ***

This suggests after b there should be atleast 1 a

*(Coz those *** have all

  1. a’s


  1. if bS used then again a ‘ba**’


  1. if aS used length also increases by atleast 3.)*

I know this is not a good analysis..and so I am not expecting any answer but would definitely expect some comments about some intuition or idea..plz any help would be much regarded..

(Although answers are always welcome πŸ˜‰ )

How to correctly interpret index usages from EXPLAIN of mysql?

enter image description here

I’ve exported the results of an EXPLAIN run on a query. What I find confusing is that there’s the key column listing out one of the indexes from the list of possible_keys(not shown in picture) however only the top row makes mention of Using index explicitely in the Extra column.

  1. What does this mean in the 2nd row, is it not using the index listed in the key column?
  2. How should I interpret what the contents of the key column is about and how it is used?
    enter code here

    a. Should I interpret this as that index is used in the where stage of this query?

Interpret the CPU usage in SQL trace file

During our performance evaluation, we run one load simulation with SQL trace on. And while analyzing the trace file I want to calculate the CPU usage. How to do it? (Please refer the screenshot attached)

enter image description here

So for the physical read, we observed a CPU spike but don’t know how to interpret it.

Tha value showing for 53,682,888 reads, the CPU utilized is 1,254,911. Is it in a microsecond or in cycles?

How to interpret the challenge rating of creatures?

I looked at the proposed topics and, it seems, did not find similar to my question.

I understand that the challenge rating is the creature’s level of danger, and the more deadly it is, the higher the CR. But if you try to compare with real things… For example, what is the CR of the T-90 tank and how much this tank is more dangerous than a dragon. In the Bestiary you can find opponents from whom in life it would be necessary to run away as quickly as possible. Their description tells about their dangers, but their CR is only 1/2, which is the easiest test for even the weakest character.

It’s hard for me to ask the question correctly, but I would like to understand what exactly determines the danger of the creature. Can an ordinary mercenary have a high CR if he studied the art of war all his life or is this impossible in principle? What is the main and determining in the concept of Challenge Rating. Now I have a group of characters of the eighth level. In a human city, I have nothing to surprise them with. They are stronger than any guard, veteran or skilled warrior. But the main danger in the city of people is … people!

How to interpret a device’s USB location (i.e. 1-3.2.1)

I have a script that needs to unbind/bind a device and to do that, I need to retrieve the USB location. When I enumerate the ports using pyserial, I get the following:

ttyACM3 Numato 1-3.2.1:1.1 

But when I do the unbind/bind, I believe what I want to use is just this portion of it:


That got me wondering what the “:1.1” was, so I went to /sys/bus/usb/devices and I noticed that I have the following:

lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 Sep  3 12:53 1-3.2.1 -> ../../../devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb1/1-3/1-3.2/1-3.2.1/ lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 Sep  3 12:53 1-3.2.1:1.0 -> ../../../devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb1/1-3/1-3.2/1-3.2.1/1-3.2.1:1.0/ lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 Sep  3 12:53 1-3.2.1:1.1 -> ../../../devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb1/1-3/1-3.2/1-3.2.1/1-3.2.1:1.1/ lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 Sep  3 12:53 1-3.2.1:1.2 -> ../../../devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb1/1-3/1-3.2/1-3.2.1/1-3.2.1:1.2/ lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 Sep  3 12:53 1-3.2.1:1.3 -> ../../../devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb1/1-3/1-3.2/1-3.2.1/1-3.2.1:1.3/ 

I know the beginning of the location has to do with the hierarchy of the USB bus and the hubs, etc – what is the stuff after the colon (1.0, 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3)? It seems like /sys/bus/usb/devices/1-3.2.1 contains all the main details for the device, but I was curious what all the other folders are.

The other reason I ask is because when I use pyserial to list all the devices and their USB locations, is it safe to just truncate everything after the colon when I want the device location?

Can screen readers interpret Unicode styles fonts such as bold and italics?

I have seen serval social media channels using Unicode to make part of their text bold or italicised on websites such as Twitter, where this sort of thing is usually not possible.

It crossed my mind that this could interfere with accessibility for screen reader users – especially since on Twitter, styled text seems to count for double the characters (e.g. “𝗛𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗼” counts as 10 characters).

Can screen readers read this sort of text as easily as regular text?


𝗛𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗼 π˜π—²π˜…π˜ π˜€π˜π—Ώπ—Άπ—»π—΄

π»π‘’π‘™π‘™π‘œ 𝑑𝑒π‘₯𝑑 π‘ π‘‘π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘›π‘”

How do I interpret a monster stat block’s attack line? [duplicate]

This question already has an answer here:

  • What does “+6 to hit, Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4)” mean in a creature's stat block? 4 answers

I am using an app to determine how a bandit does his attack against our group of players. The app saids this

“Scimitar. Mele weapon attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 feet., one target. Hit: 5 (1d8+1) piercing damage”

What I’m confused about is how much damage the bandit does on his d8 roll (assuming he beats my groups AC on his d20 roll). Do I add the +3 to hit, d8+1, and the 5 sitting outside the () or what…?

This all takes place within 5e

How to interpret the effects of a glmm model?

I am new to stats. I ran a glmm with glmer.nb to test the difference among factors’ effects on marine debris. I used effect of package “effects” to get the effects of my fixed factors.

The model and effects are:

glmm.s.c<-glmer.nb(count ~ waters * year + (1 | site) + offset(log(area))) ef.glmm.s.c<-effect("year",glmm.s.c4) ef.glmm.s.c  year effect  offset =  5.739553   year     2015     2016     2017     2018  283.9495 187.0292 160.4977 384.6474  

I see the effect of offset. So could I convert it into area by e^5.739553, which is 310.9254, and then use it to divide the effects of year to get the count density of marine debris of a certain year?

For example, 283.9495/310.9254=0.9132. So the count density of marine debris in 2015 is 0.9132 pieces/sq m. Might you tell me if I am right or not? Thank you in advance.