Are abilities that “Treat the results as a bull rush attempt” modified by feats and abilities that modify your standard Bull Rush?

Specifically I’m looking at the power Wind Blast from the Wind subdomain of the Air domain. The ability reads as follows:

Wind Blast (Su): As a standard action, you can unleash a blast of air in a 30-foot line. Make a combat maneuver check against each creature in the line, using your caster level as your base attack bonus and your Wisdom modifier in place of your Strength modifier. Treat the results as a bull rush attempt. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

With this and similar abilities, do any bonuses or effects from class abilities, feats, or traits such as Greater Bull Rush apply to the roll or result?

Can I use modified playtest characters in my 5e game?

I understand that some of the information will change, and that there are some important differences between the last playtest package and the basic rules.

For player characters I see the major changes being proficiency modifier is higher at level 1, more skills from background and less from class, and more money being dumped in to the gear from backgrounds (making starting characters that use the packages far better off in their initial gear than those who don’t).

My question is, “If I take the above things in to account, can I use the classes, builds, and races listed in the last playtest reasonably until the PHB comes out next month?

They seem mostly compatible with small alterations.

Is my modified ‘Scent’ ability balanced?

I am homebrewing a race based on the Skeksis for DnD 5e. The canonical Skeksis have a strong sense of smell, so I am using this as a racial trait. I looked up references but could only find a modified version of ability from 3.5 DnD and a very ambiguous trait for 5e. I took part in the 3.5 ability and modified it. The race has no other racial traits currently unless the ability score modifiers are counted.

The original ability:

Scent. This extraordinary special quality allows a creature to detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell. Creatures with the scent sense can identify familiar odors just as humans do familiar sights. Creatures that would have this sense normally have Keen Smell trait or similar feature such as the Wolf, but it is ultimately up to the DM to grant this sense to a creature. The Scent sense will grant the creature the ability to do the following below:

Detection. The creature with the Scent sense can detect other creatures within 30 feet by sense of smell. If upwind, the range increases to 60 feet; if downwind, it drops to 15 feet.

Strong scents, such as smoke or rotting garbage, can be detected at twice the ranges noted above. Overpowering scents, such as skunk musk or troglodyte stench can be detected at triple the ranges noted above.

When a creature detects a scent, the exact location of the source is not revealed, only that its presence is somewhere within range. Whenever the creature with scent comes within 5 feet of the source, the creature pinpoints the source’s location.

My modified version:

Keen Smell. You can detect other creatures within 30 feet by sense of smell and determine what race they are solely by smell. You cannot detect how many there are. If upwind, the range increases to 60 feet; if downwind, it drops to 15 feet. When a creature detects a scent, the exact location of the source is not revealed, only that its presence is somewhere within range.

Full statblock:

Skeksis get +2 to constitution,

Young adult / ≤300: +1 dexterity

Adult / ≥500: +1 intelligence, +1 strength

Elder / ≥700: +2 intelligence, -1 dex.

Skeksis lifespan: 900 years, skeksis reach maturity by 250 years

Skeksis naming conventions and titling. Skeksis names are always structured with Skek-, followed by the suffix that gives their name individuality. Skeksis names are saved for formal situations, close friends or to clarify a certain individual who has the same job or title as others. Skeksis refer to each other by their profession or social standing. For example, a sheepherder would be referred to as ‘Shepherd’, a Skeksis with no job or home could be called ‘Lazier’, or ‘Vagrant’ respectively. Child Skeksis are typically called ‘Youngling’. Skeksis have four arms however most Skeksis only use the larger pair causing the secondaries to become atrophied unless exercised regularly.

Language. Altho they do have their own native language, Urske, it has become a nearly dead language as Skeksis have switched over to speaking Common as a first language. Only linguists and a few others still know or even use Urske. 

Alignment. Skeksis are known for many things, however, a kind and generous nature is not one of them. Skeksis, while not wholly inclined towards evil, have found themselves to be such as a result of their selfish nature. However, most Skeksis tend toward neutral. Skeksis are quite inclined towards lawfulness due to their tight-knit societies however some who are more distant from Skeksis society may be neutral.

Speed. Due to their short legs, most Skeksis shuffle to get around. However, those who have trained their legs with lots of exercises can boast a faster gait to get around. Base walking speed is 25. 
 Size. Skeksis are 6 feet tall on average.

How to get the most recent modified date of anything in the footer of my site?

I would like to be able to post the most recent updated date in my footer. However, I can’t seem to find a way to do that globally for the site, just for each post/page at a time using get_the_modified_date().

So for example if I make a change to my home page the footer would be updated to that date and time. If I later make an edit to a miscellaneous page, then the "Updated" date and time would change to reflect that more recent update.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

How dangerous is this modified exhaustion compared to other harmful conditions?

In this question, I asked about the ramifications of monsters causing exhaustion:

How dangerous is exhaustion?

The answers concluded, that this would generally be very risky and dangerous.

I therefore decided to limit myself to a reduced threat version for the time being, which has the following modifications:

1. Limited effect

A target only gains exhaustion levels this way up to three levels. Any excess levels that would be caused this way are not applied.

And

2. Easy recovery

Taking a short rest or casting lesser restoration removes one level of exhaustion gained this way. Taking a long rest or casting greater restoration removes all levels of exhaustion gained this way.

How does this compare to other harmful conditions, such as stunned or paralyzed? Could I replace a stun or paralyze effect with one level of this reduced threat exhaustion and maintain a similar power level of the monster?

Can one trust OS and apps from Onyx: app store, modified Android, Onyx Cloud

Onyx Boox is a brand of e-book reader produced by Onyx International Inc, based in China. They have e-book readers based on Android OS. They have features that can violate user privacy or other accounts security:

  1. App store with optimized for e-book apps from other App stores: kindle, office, evernote and etc
  2. Account manager: Dropbox, Evernote and etc
  3. Option to enable Google play and other Google services (like Calendar)
  4. Onyx Cloud (sync personal notes and etc)

So the question is: are there any sings of backdoors or vulnerabilities known about their modified apps or OS itself or other stuff that can lead to user data leaks (like privacy leaks or leaks of sensitive information: like passwords or other data)?

Is this modified Dual Wielder feat balanced?


The Issue

So, it is well known that the Dual Wielder feat is bad. Even if you are building a Two-Weapon Fighting character, the feat is still worse than simply getting straight-forward ASI. Unlike Polearm Master which is a go-to for someone using a Polearm, or Crossbow Expert for someone using a Crossbow, or GWM/Sharpshooter as good increase in DPR against low-AC enemies, plus some nice utilities (extra attack with bonus action, or almost-infinite range), the Dual Wielder is the last thing you are getting as a Two-Weapon Fighter (although you are probably still getting it, at least).

Furthermore, the Dual Wielder feat as is, for me, is boring. If I am playing a dual wielder I probably want to be dealing lots of damage, not have a +1 AC. And finally, Dual Wielder pretty much assumes Two Weapon Fighting, which is known to be subpar as Extra Attacks get into the game, since the benefits of +1 attack get diminished when you are already able to make 3 attacks anyway.

To summarize, the issue I have is:

  • Two weapon fighting is already subpar.

  • The feat that should make this style more viable is near useless.

The Proposal

With that in mind, I decided to change the Dual Wielder feat for something more in line with the glass canon damage dealer I have in mind.

Dual Wielder

Prerequisite: Two-weapon fighting (Fighting Style)

When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to take another Attack action with a different light melee weapon that you’re holding in the other hand. If you do so, Attack Rolls against you have advantage until your next turn.

So, the idea here is that now, if you have Extra Attack, your bonus action actually can use them.

Comparisons

As baselines, I have used the following Pure Fighter builds:

  • Greatsword, Great Weapon Fighting and +1 ASI.

  • Greatsword, Great Weapon Fighting and Great Weapon Master.

  • Two-weapon Fighting, +1 ASI.

After getting the feat, all levels are +ASI.

Obviously, at 4th level, TWF with +1 ASI is better (since you don’t get extra attacks yet), as well as the GS+GWM. At 5th level, it is still worse than GS + ASI for all ACs.

At 6th level, it starts getting interesting as we get +ASI in our primary attribute and that is used in each of our attacks. However, GS + GWM still outdamages this feat for low ACS (AC <= 13), GS + ASI outdamages for high ACs (AC >= 19), and the feat is the best option for mid-range ACs (13 <= AC <= 19). Note that this still comes at the cost of being vulnerable to enemy attacks with advantage. An example figure for better visualization.

enter image description here

At 8th level, we get a +5 modifier in our main attribute and the feat starts to shine. It can only be outdamaged by GS + GWM for low ACs (<= 11), and shines for anything higher than that.

As we get higher proficiency bonuses and GWM starts to hit more often at higher ACs, GWM comes back against enemies up to 14 AC, however, the new feat still shines against high ACs – which are arguably more common at higher levels.

Trade-offs and concerns

So, basically, the feat gives a good damage potential (from my point-of-view), at the cost of being vulnerable. My concerns are:

  • I can see this being quite overpowered for a Fighter 17/Barbarian 2, exploiting the Rage Damage for +2*8 extra damage and Reckless Attack basically giving advantage with no cost, as the enemies are already getting advantage in their attacks anyway. One way to solve this is simply not allowing both features to be used.

  • I am not sure how this will impact Rangers with Hunter’s Mark. Rangers are quite bad in 5e in my opinion, but this could be a game changer for them. Would they get too strong?

  • Is simply giving advantage to attacks made from enemies enough to compensate for the considerable damage potential?

  • On the other hand, is this as good as it seems? Are my baselines good baselines, or am I using subpar damage dealers anyway and outdamaging them is no big deal?

Additionally, there are a few trade-offs that are not obvious on how to evaluate and depend on the campaign:

  • Getting one magic weapon is easier than getting two magic weapons.

  • Forcing 8 Concentration saving throws is better than forcing 4 concentration saving throws.

  • Having your bonus action for something else is better than not having your bonus action for something else (although it’s hard for me to figure out what would be better than using it to considerably increase your damage).

So, for example, if we take into account a +3 Magic Weapon at 20th level, the GS + GWM build outdamages the new feat up to 20 AC, and loses by less than 10% above that, without costing the bonus action and without costing advantage for the enemies.

So, for now, I think this is decently balanced, but am I missing something? This is a very simple change and I would assume someone has already tried it out, if this is the case, I would love to get an answer from actually testing it.

In the case it is overpowered, is there some way to balance it through making it "cost" more, but maintaining the idea of attacking twice the number of usual attacks?

If it is underpowered… Well, then dual wielding seems to have no hope other than for flavor haha.

Modified BoxWhiskerChart for statistical summary of data

I would like to make a statistical graph (chart) from data in the format {x-value, mean value, standard deviation} as in:

{{10, 10.73, 0.72}, {20, 14.10, 0.49}, {30, 13.96, 0.49}, {40, 13.43, 0.51}}

I would like the graph to resemble a BoxWhiskerChart, where at each x value the mean is plotted and thin bars extending above and below the mean by a distance equal to the standard deviation. However, BoxWhiskerChart requires the data at each x value to be an entire data set (of multiple points), not the statistical summary. I have merely the mean and standard deviation.

I can kludge drawing lines by computing ranges and such, as follows:

Show[ListPlot[data[[All, {1, 2}]],   Joined -> True,   PlotRange -> {0, Automatic}],  Epilog ->    Table[{Red,      Line[{{data[[i, 1]], data[[i, 2]] - data[[i, 3]]}, {data[[i, 1]],         data[[i, 2]] + data[[i, 3]]}}]}, {i, Length[data]}]] 

enter image description here

However, because I have lots of data, and ultimately wish to place several such plots on a single graph (of different colors), I was hoping there was a way to modify BoxWhiskerChart (or related chart) so I can exploit the internal functions and styling.

Modified sign function VC dimenson

If we have $ f:\mathbb{R} \rightarrow \{\pm 1\}$ , and $ \mathcal{F}$ and $ \mathcal{F}’$ , what are the VC dimensions of

$ \mathcal{F} = \{sign(\prod_{i=1}^n (x-\theta_i), \forall a_i \in \mathbb{R} \}$

$ \mathcal{F}’ = \cup_{n=1}^n \mathcal{F}$

I think VC dimesion of $ \mathcal{F}$ is $ n$ and $ \mathcal{F}’$ is infinity

For $ \mathcal{F}$ , we know that it is in 1D, and expanding the polynimals in makes it possible to separate the points with a large polynomial

For $ \mathcal{F}’$ taking the union will add at least one in each increment, and there are infinite functions. Thus infinity.

Do I have the right approach?