What deities are common knowledge along the northern parts of the Sword Coast? (post-1480 DR)

Specifically between Neverwinter and Icewind Dale, which religions are common knowledge in the years following 1480 DR?

Common knowledge being that if a player character grew up in this area, they would realistically already know that that deity is a deity and maybe something about their religion.

Example: When asked, the average person in the region may say "Mystra is the deity of Magic" if Mystra and her religion are common knowledge.

Does D&D 5e have a rule for character knowledge about monsters?

In the 3rd and 4th editions of D&D, there were explicit rules for determining if a character knew anything about a monster before them. In 3rd edition, for example, use of the Knowledge skill with a general DC of 10 + the monster’s HD allowed for determining one fact, plus one fact per 5 points over the check.

Looking at the Intelligence section of the 5e PHB, I don’t see any similar notation. Does 5e provide any guidance as to when a player could use their out-of-game knowledge about a monster, or when the player might be told things their character would probably know in-game?

How do you discourage “player knowledge” as a GM?

  • As a trivial random encounter is winding down, a player thinks “That was too easy… The GM wouldn’t give us an encounter that doesn’t give XP,” and starts searching for hidden bad guys or other clues.

  • There are four statues in a room, and you use miniatures to represent them. The players think to themselves “Well if the GM used miniatures, these things are definitely coming to life,” and get ready to fight.

  • When you lay down a map of a seemingly random part of the forest trail, the players think “This must be important, let’s search around / prepare for battle.”

  • You roll a 1 for a player’s knowledge check and feed them inaccurate information. They saw the roll and know you’re full of it.

Even the most disciplined players sometimes will take advantage of “Player Knowledge” over “Character knowledge.” Sometimes it’s hard to even tell the difference. You know that you should switch to your frost battleaxe against that Fire Demon, but does your city-raised fighter with the intelligence of an old boot know?

What strategies are there to discourage the use of player knowledge, and how can you cut back on perceptions that players have of the genre itself?

How to provide knowledge to players?

I’ve read a lot of articles on player vs. character knowledge, where the crux of the article is always that players know more than their characters, and metagaming is an issue. For good or for bad, I have the opposite problem. My players don’t study the source material, and are effectively blank slates. This means that even if their characters would have a piece of knowledge, the players certainly don’t.

We’re playing Rifts, so there’s a lot going on. Tons of skills, magic, psionics, tech – a lot for a player to know, even if they’re only concerned about what their particular character can do.

Generally speaking, how do I impart knowledge to the players that their character would know, without "giving it away". Ex. the party was prepping for a delivery into hostile territory. The Shifter (mage) in the group should have gone to the magic store and bought some scrolls that might be useful. But the player of the Shifter isn’t really aware that scrolls are a thing, and doesn’t have all the spells memorized so wouldn’t even know what spell scrolls to buy. As the GM, I know both of these things. How do I give that knowledge to the player without saying "You should go buy some scrolls of x, y, and z spells"?

Recovery possibilities with Zero knowledge encryption

I have some encryption understanding however I fail to get my head around following scenarios. I would like to know if they are possible with a zero knowledge encryption system.

What the system can or can’t do can be added to the answer. Example:

  • The system needs to keep a encrypted copy of the key.
  • The user has to have the key on a USB stick.

In the end, all scenarios ask the same questions.

  • Can the user access his data?
  • Does the system know about his data?

Scenario 1: User logs in on a new computer. Does not have the key with him.

Scenario 2: User logs in on a new computer. Does have the key with him (e.g. USB stick).

Scenario 3: User lost his password. His identity has been verified and approved.

Scenario 4: New sub-users are assigned to the same resource.

Double proficiency from blessing of knowledge

A player in my new game chose knowledge domain gaining blessing of knowledge.

At 1st level, you learn two languages of your choice. You also become proficient in your choice of two of the following skills: Arcana, History, Nature, or Religion.

Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either of those skills.

My player chose two of the skills but had the other two from elsewhere and thus noted double proficiency in all four.

I’m pretty certain that double proficiency is only gained on the chosen two skills, because

  • It was implied in this question: How does the Cleric's Blessings of Knowledge feature interact with the rules for gaining proficiency when already proficient in a skill?

  • It seems like in 5e you do not usually gain double proficiency for skills you might not even be proficient in. I might be wrong on this one.

  • It says "either of those" instead of "any of those" implying that it is of two and not of four. Then again, I’m not a native speaker.

I told the player my reading of the feature and they accepted it without problem, however, they said they find the wording ambiguous.

My question is: Are my assumption above correct and can blessing of knowledge give double proficiency in skills that you might or might not have?

About Familiar Archetype Sage and Sage’s Knowledge?


Sage’s Knowledge (Ex)

A sage stores information on every topic and is happy to lecture its master on the finer points. A sage can attempt all Knowledge checks untrained and receives a bonus on all Knowledge checks equal to 1/2 its level. Additionally, a sage gains 2 skill ranks at each level.

Does the "2 skill ranks at each level" mean 2 skills ranks to add to a singular skill, all skills, to a class skill, all class skills, a X-class skill, or all x-class skill?

Does mobile biometric authentication count as Knowledge, Possession, or Inherence authentication

Apple claims in this year’s WWDC that Face ID and Touch ID count for both Possession and Inherence identity factors, because they are using Biometrics (Inherence) to access the secure element on your phone (Possession) to retrieve a unique key. See here: https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/wwdc2020/10670/

I think both claims are a stretch. For Inherence, yes, you have proved to iOS that the person who set up Face ID is again using the phone, and therefore given access to the secure key. So iOS can claim Inherence. But your app has no proof that the human possessing the phone is actually your user. Hence my app considers mobile local authentication merely a convenient Knowledge factor–a shortcut for your username and password that resolves common credential problems like human forgetfulness.

As for Possession, again, I think the claim is a stretch unless before writing the unique key to the phone’s secure element you somehow prove that the possessor of the phone is your actual intended user. I suppose if you enable Face ID login immediately after account creation you can have this proof–the brand-new user gets to declare this is their phone like they get to choose their username and password. But on any login beyond the first you would have to acquire proof of Possession using an existing factor before you could grant a new Possession factor. Else a fraudster who steals credentials can claim their phone is a Possession factor by enabling Face ID; a situation made extra problematic by Apple’s claim that Face ID also counts as Inherence!

Am I wrong in this assessment? Which of Knowledge, Possession, and Inherence should an app developer grant mobile local biometric authentication?

Who decide which check to make on a recall knowledge action?

In Pathfinder 2, a character can attempt a Recall Knowledge check to get some information about a monster. There are several skills that can be used for such checks, but only some of them work for any monster.

Let’s assume a player decides to use Recall Knowledge on an animated armor (as a Construct it can be identified with either Arcana or Crafting). How does it work? Here are two guesses:

  • The player chooses one skill she wants to use (either Arcana, Crafting, or maybe Religion if she thinks it might be an armor possessed by a ghost). The player rolls and the DM tells her about what she learns regarding that specific skill (for example if the player chose the skill Nature and rolled well the DM would say “this is definitely not an animal, a plant, a fey, or some other natural thing”)
  • The DM tells the player about which skill to roll (depending on what the monster is and which skills the character is trained in). The player rolls this skill and eventually get more information.

The first hypothesis seems more natural to me as a DM but my players told me it wasn’t supposed to work like that. Who is right?