What does svirfnebli mean, and how is it different to svirfneblin?

A recent answer to a question has led me to obtain an e-book for The Dark Elf Trilogy, and the section I am reading uses the word svirfnebli as well as svirfneblin, but I am unsure if it is a printing issue (or possibly a scanning issue) or an actual word, and I can’t really tell why is it different from svirfneblin.


When the svirfneblin guards ushered him in

Scores of svirfnebli rushed about their posts

Both seem to be referring to multiple deep gnomes, so I am unsure, but this is the first time I have read the word svirfnebli, and it is used multiple times in the short part of the book I have read so far. Does anyone know what it means and how it should be used?

If possible, I would like to know if the use of the words have changed through the editions, maybe in 3rd edition they both had a use and it was simplified for more recent editions?

What does the entry 3/day mean if several spell-like/psi-like abilities are listed?

I am preparing an encounter involving a psionic Yuan-Ti Abomination. The entry in the XPH lists under the section psi-like abilities:

3/day—body purification (6 points*), psionic charm (all targets, 1 day/level, DC 19*), concealing amorpha, deeper darkness, mind thrust (ML 7th, 7d10, DC 18*), psionic suggestion (four targets, DC 16*); (XPH, p. 218)

Does that mean the Yuan-Ti can manifest

a) each psi-like ability listed here 3/day,

b) a total of three manifestations of abilities in this list, including using the possibility to use one ability three times

c) three abilites out of this list once each

A similar issue arises with the spell-like abilities in the gnome entry in PHB, where it says:

1/day—dancing lights, ghost sound, prestidigitation.

Does this mean gnomes can use each of these abilities once, or only one of these?

What does ‘does not require’ mean?

In this recent question, I asked about Flameskulls and how their Undead Nature interacted with long rests to recover their spells.

In the course of reading an answer, I realized that the poster and I had very different interpretations of what "doesn’t require" means.

Undead Nature. A [specific undead] doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.

(and similar statements for Constructed Nature, Immortal Nature, Shadowy Nature, Elemental Nature, and Ooze Nature)

One interpretation of ‘doesn’t require x’ is suffers no ill effects from the lack of x.

So, for example, since a flameskull doesn’t require air, it is immune to the effects of suffocation (PHB183). Since it doesn’t require food and drink, it is immune to the effects of exhaustion caused by the lack of food and drink (PHB 185). And since it doesn’t require sleep, it would not need to make a Constitution check to go without sleep (PHB177).

Under this interpretation, A flameskull suffers no ill effects from not sleeping, but it still would need to sleep in order to complete a long rest and thus regain spell slots.

A different interpretation of ‘doesn’t require x’ is can accomplish a process without having to use x. Under this interpretation, since a flameskull doesn’t require sleep, it can take a long rest without having to sleep, even though sleep is normally a requirement for a long rest. This would be similar to an elf with the feature of "Trance: Elves do not need to sleep." Even though the general rules for a long rest require sleep, elves specifically do not require sleep to make a long rest.

A similar phrase is used in the description of the flameskull, when it says (emphasis mine)

Spellcasting. The flameskull is a 5th-level spell caster. Its spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 13, +5 to hit with spell attacks). It requires no somatic or material components to cast its spells.

Here the ‘requires no’ clearly means that it can perform spellcasting without needing components, not that if it goes without components, it will suffer some ill effects.

While I am sympathetic to this view, I’m not sure it always makes sense. A monk with Timeless Body, for example, "no longer need[s] food or water." If such a monk was multiclassed with druid, could said monk cast Animal Friendship or Animal Messenger without the "morsel of food" that serves as the material component, because they "no longer need" the component of food?

Unfortunately, as far as I know, the meaning of "doesn’t require" is not explicitly defined, at least in the three core source books. As an undefined term, it falls to a natural language interpretation, and both these uses of ‘doesn’t require’ are natural language in different contexts.

To complicate the matter, in the Monster Manual we have

Sleepless. Thri-kreen don’t require sleep and can rest while remaining alert and performing light tasks. Their inability to sleep is thought to be the reason why thrikreen have such short lifespans, the average thri-kreen life expectancy being only thirty years.

Here it seems to equate not requiring something with the inability to do it. Thri-kreen can’t sleep because thri-kreen don’t require sleep. Is this a general principle of what ‘doesn’t require’ means? Not only do elves and flameskulls not require sleep, but that means that they can’t sleep, either?

How are we to understand what a reference to ‘does not require’ or ‘does not need’, means?

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

My friends and I are very new to D&D, played like 3 times. In a monster’s stats next to weapon damage it says stuff like “+11 to hit” and “Hit: 5 (1d8+1)”. For the premade characters it just says things like “+4, 2d6 + 2 slashing”, though. Why are there two “hit” numbers for monsters? Which do I use for the d20 roll to hit against a target’s AC?

I mean for example like in the Ogre entry in the “Starter Set: Excerpt 7” article on monsters.

Does the now updated Integrated Protection feature of the Warforged mean they are counted as “wearing” armor?

The new and updated Warforged’s Integrated Protection feature, detailed in Ebberon Rising from the Last War, now states:

Integrated Protection

Your body has built-in defensive layers, which can be enhanced with armor.


  • You can don only armor with which you have proficiency. To don armor […]. To doff armor […]. You can rest while donning or doffing armor in this way.
  • While you live, your armor can’t be removed from your body against your will.

With this revised wording, does the warforged now count as wearing armor?

This is important in the context of how something like integrating a set of Plate Mail would interact with Monk features like Martial Arts.

New “Touched” feats, what exactly does ‘appropriate level mean?

So in our RPG group there is a difference in opinion on what ‘appropriate level’ actually means in the context of the spell.

One interpretation means you can’t cast invisibility or Misty step with a first level spell slot.

The second interpretation means you can’t cast the chosen first level spell at higher spell slot levels.

Which interpretation is correct?

Nulathoe’s Ninemen – what does “Ninemen” mean?

Every reference to this spell of Ed Greenwood’s makes sure to note that "ninemen" is pronounced "nin-em-en" rather than "nine men," making it a unique word of some sort. I’m just curious whether this is some archaic word I’ve never run into, or whether any canonical source (even just Ed Greenwood’s say-so) defines this term. Does anyone have any insight?

What does “no long range” mean on the soulknife rogue subclass mean?

One of my players just hit level 3 and is taking the soulknife rogue subclass, as written in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.

The weapon granted by the class has a weird specification that it has "no long range." I’m curious how this should be interpreted, seeing as I can’t find other examples of such a property.

This is what Tasha’s says:

You can manifest your psionic power as shimmering blades of psychic energy. Whenever you take the Attack action, you can manifest a psychic blade from your free hand and make the attack with that blade. This magic blade is a simple melee weapon with the finesse and thrown properties. It has a normal range of 60 feet and no long range, and on a hit, it deals psychic damage equal to 1d6 plus the ability modifier you used for the attack roll. The blade vanishes immediately after it hits or misses its target, and it leaves no mark on its target if it deals damage.

There are two possibilities in my mind:

  1. The knife simply can’t go beyond 60 feet, just like the range of a ranged spell attack.

  2. The knife can go arbitrarily far, and after 60 feet the attack is at disadvantage.

I’m inclined to lean for the first choice since an infinitely long ranged attack seems dumb. Though I suppose there’s an argument to be made that the manifested blade is a "psychic attack" so you can attack someone so long as you can see them.

This is the language of ranged weapon attacks, per the PHB:

A weapon that can be used to make a ranged Attack has a range in parentheses after the Ammunition or thrown property. The range lists two numbers. The first is the weapon’s normal range in feet, and the second indicates the weapon’s long range. When attacking a target beyond normal range, you have disadvantage on the Attack roll. You can’t Attack a target beyond the weapon’s long range.

What does the “{ }” displayed in the output mean?

When I solved the simultaneous equations, the result was derived as "{ }". The input is as follows.

    s /. Out[112]     θ /. Out[113]      {(-((36*a*θ)/(-36 + 9*b^2 + 2*θ^2)^2) + (18*a*     b*θ)/(-36 + 9*b^2 + 2*θ^2)^2 + (2*     a*(-2 + b)*θ)/(-72 + 18*b^2 + 4*θ^2) -      (4*a*(-2 + b)*θ)/(36*(-4 + b^2) +      8*θ^2) - (18*(-2 + b)*θ*     Subscript[c, f])/(-36 + 9*b^2 +      2*θ^2)^2 - (2*(-2 + b)*θ*     Subscript[c, f])/(-72 + 18*b^2 + 4*θ^2) +      (4*θ*((-2 + b)*Subscript[c, f] -       2*Subscript[c, h]))/(36*(-4 + b^2) +      8*θ^2) + (36*θ*     Subscript[c, h])/(-36 + 9*b^2 + 2*θ^2)^2 +      (4*θ*Subscript[c, h])/(-72 + 18*b^2 +      4*θ^2))/((18*θ^2)/(-36 + 9*b^2 +      2*θ^2)^2 - (18*(-2 + b)*(2 + b))/(-72 + 18*b^2 +      4*θ^2) +      (18*(-2 + b)*(2 + b))/(36*(-4 + b^2) + 8*θ^2))}      Out[115]      Rs = Out[114]     Rθ = Out[115]      {(-((36*a*θ)/(-36 + 9*b^2 + 2*θ^2)^2) + (18*a*     b*θ)/(-36 + 9*b^2 + 2*θ^2)^2 + (2*     a*(-2 + b)*θ)/(-72 + 18*b^2 + 4*θ^2) -      (4*a*(-2 + b)*θ)/(36*(-4 + b^2) +     8*θ^2) - (18*(-2 + b)*θ*    Subscript[c, f])/(-36 + 9*b^2 +      2*θ^2)^2 - (2*(-2 + b)*θ*    Subscript[c, f])/(-72 + 18*b^2 + 4*θ^2) +      (4*θ*((-2 + b)*Subscript[c, f] -       2*Subscript[c, h]))/(36*(-4 + b^2) +     8*θ^2) + (36*θ*    Subscript[c, h])/(-36 + 9*b^2 + 2*θ^2)^2 +      (4*θ*Subscript[c, h])/(-72 + 18*b^2 +     4*θ^2))/((18*θ^2)/(-36 + 9*b^2 +      2*θ^2)^2 - (18*(-2 + b)*(2 + b))/(-72 + 18*b^2 +     4*θ^2) +      (18*(-2 + b)*(2 + b))/(36*(-4 + b^2) + 8*θ^2))}     Out[117]     Solve[{s - Rs == 0, θ - Rθ == 0}, {s, θ}]     {} 

If a symbol such as "{ }" appears in the output, what does this mean? When the equation is wrong or the calculation is wrong, does a symbol like "{ }" appear in the output?

What does it mean for a device to be hardwired?

Recently while reading about security cameras in Shadowrun 5e, I came across a forum post where someone suggested that if you don’t want a decker to be able to disable your security cameras, you can hardwire them. From what I understand this means that they are not connected to the matrix, but what is less clear is whether that’s all, which leads me to my question: What does it mean for a device to be hardwired in Shadowrun 5e?