is it possible to get an ability score of 30 or more an any way? how?

I have noticed spellcasters ability to get bonus spells from having a high ability score depending on class (wisdom for clerics and paladins, intellgence for wizards, charisma for bards and sorcerers, I forgot about druids and rangers). Well, what I want to know is, is there a way for someone to get one of their scores up to 30? That includes temporary affects such as spells (ones that aren’t permanent, but ones that are count too of course) and items of any type that could raise that one score. If you can find a away for any of them, that works, but it would be great for someone to find a way to do so for all three (I do know that the solutions would be similar, but different for each score). If you can’t find a way for those scores to get up to 30 but you do have one for strength, dexterity, or constitution, that work too.

Making pit traps more interesting

I’m currently running the Barrowmaze campaign, which has many 10x10x10 ft³ pits. When reading the campaign, I thought they would be quite interesting, and serve as obstacles the characters would need to come up with creative ways to get over, or go around.

After encountering a few pits, I see they are mostly just a minor annoyance to the players. They are only really a danger when unrevealed, when a character can accidently stumble into them. Once they are revealed, they can simply jump across them. Jumping with a 10 ft running start allows characters to jump up to their strength score in feet. Most characters have a strength score of more than 10, so they clear it with ease. Then they throw a rope back across for the one character with a strength of 8.

Is there a way to make such pit traps more interesting?

How to make a low CR villain more dangerous

My PC’s in one campaign are currently traveling to their first major town and, unbeknownst to them, there is a Rakshasa, disguised as the town mayor, using the town to feed and kill as he pleases while performing experiments on the town’s populace etc etc other evil acts. While I like the character I have made for him so far, and don’t want to give HIM more powers, I need him to be more of a threat in the story.

Rakshasas focus mainly on deception and trickery, But aside from literally turning the PC’s on each other (which I’ve thought about) I can’t think of alot of ways to add more depth to this villain. The town has a Thieves Guild indebted to him, and he has several Chuul under his command, working for an Aboleth that is his master, but this would still be a pathetic fight if I just threw them at the PC’s.

The CR of a Rakshasa in 5e is 13, the party is comprised of four characters at level 6. This seems rather even, but Rakshasas are very non-combat focused, so the CR is only a rough estimate of his abilities

The goal for this villain is to be a Master strategist. The Rakshasa is arrogant, so he’s likely to reveal himself too early to the PC’s depending on how things work out, and I’m okay with that, but he should not be caught flat-footed. What are some ways I could use cleverness or manipulation to give him the advantage in an urban setting against PC’s that like to get violent?

The best way to do this would be with the least amount of flair. The Rakshasa needs to keep his cover or lose all power in the town, so blockading and attacking the PC’s needs to require the least amount of overt effort on the part of the Rakshasa. Subtlety is key.

How can I help one of my players be more tanky?

I’m running a game of four (currently) 5th-level characters. All of them are heavy damage-dealers (a wizard, warlock, ranger and paladin) with the paladin as the nominal tank. However, the paladin is consistently going down the first few rounds of every combat. He has a pretty high AC (20 with shield of faith), but low constitution, and the ranger (a dwarf) and even the warlock have more hit points.

I can sense that the paladin’s player wants to be more tanky, but isn’t really sure how. They are already in the habit of using shield of faith, as I mentioned, and took the protection combat style. What kind of magic item/special ability/other help would be good to give them to help them feel like they’re achieving their goals, without just having them stumble upon the Amulet of Health and letting them dominate?

What are some ways one might implement a more story-driven spell/skill acquisition?

What are some ways one might implement a more story-driven spell/skill acquisition? Hopefully in a way that isn’t a complete slog.

The idea of the players’ handbook being used as a shopping catalogue kinda ruins the immersion for me. It doesn’t make much sense that a character can go to sleep one day and then wake up the next suddenly knowing a bunch of new spells or skills if they happened to reach a new level. Especially that often those spells/skills have nothing to do with any in-game actions or backstory of the character. I’d love to see a game where the characters have to actively work towards acquiring their skills, and not just waiting till they’ve passed the next level threshold.

The question is largely about how a DnD5e system might get modified to fit my concerns because I don’t really have a group yet and 5e players are easiest to find. That said I’m open to hearing about other game systems.

In the context of 5e I was thinking of flipping the relationship between levels and skills/spells on its head and not have levels grant you skills but rather the achieving skills bumping your level up (at GM’s discretion). By "achieving skills" the character pursuing an RP way to acquire a skill. Depending on what’s going on in-game it might be super easy for some skills (e.g. you find that move that you’ve been trying to do all this time suddenly just works after enough practice) or verging on impossible for others (e.g. getting an ice-y spell for a character who is all about fire stuff). I imagine this could create a greater sense of anticipation and, ultimately, reward at the advancement of characters. Or I might be completely wrong and it’s only going to scare off potential players who just want to minmax.

Is MySQL more scalable than PostgreSQL due to the difference in how they handle connections?

I’m trying to decide if either MySQL or PostgreSQL would be more suitable for an application that will get hit by potentially thousands of simultaneous requests at a time.

During research, one fact that stands out is that PostgreSQL forks a new process for each connection, whereas MySQL creates a new thread to handle each connection.

  • Does this mean that MySQL is more efficient than PostgreSQL at handling many concurrent connections?

  • How much of an impact does this difference have on how well both systems scale? Is it something that I should worry about to begin with?

Can a ranger pick two humanoid races as their favored enemy at level 1, and then two more humanoid races at level 6?

Can a ranger pick two humanoid races as their favored enemy at level 1, and then two more humanoid races at level 6 or level 14?

My reading of the Favored Foe feature is that any time the ranger chooses a favored enemy, be it at Level 1, 6 or 14, the ranger may alternately choose two humanoid races instead of one non-humanoid creature type. However, D&D Beyond does not allow a player to choose two more humanoid races at level 6 or 14 if they have previously chosen two humanoid races at level 1 or 6.

Is my interpretation of the Favored Foe feature incorrect, or is D&D Beyond’s implementation incorrect?

Note: My question is similar, but not a duplicate, to this one. That question is about a scenario where a ranger chooses a non-humanoid creature type as their favored enemy at level 1, and then wants to choose two humanoid races at level 6. My question is about a ranger who chooses two humanoid races at level 1, and wants to choose two more humanoid races at level 6.

Shouldn’t we move past repeating “rules do what they say and nothing more?” [closed]

More the start of a conversation than a real question. It’s a wall of text, so I thank you in advance if you reach the end.

So hear me out: I’ve lurked on this site for months, learning hidden rules, exploring audacious interpretations and studying new mechanics: the honeymoon is not over yet and I’m very grateful to the community. But I also have a bone to pick with ya all: under most questions I often find this mantra, repeated mindlessly as premise for any reasoning:

Rules do what they say and nothing more.

I get the intent: don’t interpret the text beyond its scope, or you’ll end up unbalancing the game. Absolutely. But most of the times it’s used to stop the conversation instead of providing a fruitful contribution.

Case in point: in my first answer regarding the uses and limits of Mage hand, I said:

[The spell’s text] mentions manipulate an object, open an unlocked door or container, stow or retrieve an item from an open container, or pour the contents out of a vial; is this all it can do? I don’t think so, because it adds later that the hand can’t attack, activate magic items, or carry more than 10 pounds. The description remains generic on the things you can do, but is very strict on what you cannot. Could the Mage hand hold a light living creature, like a mouse? It’s certainly not an object, but it wouldn’t make sense to forbid it. As I interpret it, it’s a phantasmal hand with very little strength (therefore no attacks or any effort beyond 10 pounds) and which can’t complete complex tasks (therefore no activating magic objects): beyond that, the player’s fantasy’s the limit, and it should be rewarded […].

I later realized that my example concerning a mouse was not as blatant as I thought, and in fact made for a different can of worms altogether. I can hear the rebuttals in the back: "The text says you can manipulate an object, so you can’t manipulate a mouse, your example is dumb and all that follows is voided". I’m sure some agree with my non-existent, pesky alter ego, but let me add something. If you can’t hold the mouse, what happens a player tries anyway? The manuals don’t offer an easy solution, so perhaps you could simply 1)Have the cantrip stop and the hand disappear; or 2)Have the living creature fall through the ghostly limb; or maybe 3)Have the hand become unresponsive for as long as it’s interacting with incompatible things (in this case, creatures). I’m sure you can come up with any number of different solutions, and at the moment your ruling may seem to harmonize the rule with the situation.

Then again your mischievous mage player could exploit your ruling in any number of ways. Case by case: 1)If any living creature interrupts the cantrip, couldn’t another player simply highfive it and interrupt it at every turn? "AntiMage hand maneuver is a go, let’s go clap the lil’ bugger". 2)If living things fall through the hand (and in a world with constructs and undead, have fun deciding what is living), could you also use it to scout for mimics? Actually, can the ghostly hand normally go through walls? How is the feeling of having the mage hand cross your body? Could the mage use the Mage hand to convince the king he is the ghost of his great grandfather, who eternally cursed his lineage by not adequately paying a party of adventurers for their services, and the spell can only be broken by emptying the royal treasuries onto the hand of the first random party of adventurers that show up at his presence? (I know there are easier ways, but we are squeezing all possible uses out of a measly cantrip just to make a point, come on). 3)Could you use your otherwise useless adventuring gerbil Jeremiah as a reliable counter to stop very specifically worded spells and magic items which can’t possible operate with living creatures, displaying "Error 403, forbidden" when interacting with any?

You see what I mean, any number of possible interpretations both in line with and beyond the text has an infinite number of unforeseen ramifications, and even though every DM can come up with a different answer, I think the only wrong answer would be "You can’t do that at my table because rules don’t give a definite answer, so change your action or lose the turn". That’s how everyone’s morale wilts and how one disincetivizes any experimentation, to the detriment of the game as a whole.

Beside, shouldn’t we stop pretending the manuals were some kind of holy text providing every answer to every situation, a perfectly calibrated machine which was as frail as to crumble at the flimsiest of pokes? Let’s be honest here. Many spells are situational at best, same as several subclasses (and I don’t want to touch upon the OG ranger) and races (there’s a special place in hell for human variants); many (if not most) feats are borderline useless, and several of the conjurable creatures from find familiar are best left at the end of the PHB where they belong. The list could go on and on. And I’m not proclaiming that playing optimally is the only sensed way to (that discussion would need an other post twice as long), but for a player there’s no worse feeling than being locked up in a useless choice and drag behind the rest of a more traditional party for the unforgivable sin of experimenting with existing mechanics. Shouldn’t a DM touch up the weakest parts of the books to improve everyone’s experience at the table? After all, the first page of the contents of the DMG says:

The D&D rules help you and the other players have a good time, but the rules aren’t in charge. You’re the DM, and you are in charge of the game.

Getting back on track, what I meant is: no amount of text could cover every possible mechanic and interaction in the game. As a real life law student (please be lenient in the comments), I can assure you, however you spell a rule, it will be always be open to abuses both in favor and against its subjects, which is why one of the often underestimated roles of a DM outside homewbrewing is to do metaruling, that is to rule on rulings: when to strictly enforce a rule, when to extend its bounds and when to forgo it entirely precisely for the sake of balance. That is why we need human judges to interpret and apply laws in real life (for as long as machines will become smart enough to take that role): whenever the text falls short, understanding why a rule exists and interpreting its intent in a fair way is the way to apply both Rules As Written and Rules as Intended. They are two sides of the same coin after all. Blind faith on the manuals simply can’t solve every problem arising on the table, and even the most conservative interpretation must withstand possible future complications or be overruled when its blindsides have been exposed. No amount of tweets from the almighty JC (which I think are both a blessing and a bane since, again, the game is not perfect at all) can solve any situation in one optimal, definitive way. So let’s stop pretending there is this authentic way to play D&D vanilla.

Sometimes one has to think outside the box to understand what the box was all about.

Do you agree?

Does a clay golem’s haste action actually give it more attacks?

A clay golem has an action called Haste that is thematically similar to the spell of the same name but mechanically rather different:

Haste (Recharge 5–6). Until the end of its next turn, the golem magically gains a +2 bonus to its AC, has advantage on Dexterity saving throws, and can use its slam attack as a bonus action.

At first glance, this appears to grant the golem one additional attack (as a bonus action). However, using the ability costs the golem its action, with which it could otherwise make 2 slam attacks. Since the ability lasts until the end of the golem’s next turn, it can attack with its bonus action on both the turn it uses the ability and the following turn, yielding a total of… 2 additional attacks. Thus, it seems that over the course of these 2 turns, the golem will get 4 attacks, regardless of whether it uses its Haste ability or not. The only difference is that with Haste, one of those attacks comes 1 turn later.

So, am I correct in finding that the net effect of the golem’s Haste action is to delay one of its attacks by one turn in return for improved defenses for 1 round, as opposed to actually granting additional attacks? Obviously there are cases where this is unambiguously a benefit, e.g. when the golem can’t get into melee on the current turn, but I suppose I find it a bit surprising that, if anything, the golem’s Haste action causes it to attack more slowly.

Does increasing the dice pool make messy criticals more likely?

I just read the mechanics for dice rolling in Vampire: the Masquerade 5th edition and something is bothering me. It seems to me that the larger your dicepool is, the more likely it is to get a messy critical.

Just in case somebody wants to answer without knowing the rules, here is a very brief rundown:

A character rolls a number of d10s called a dicepool. For the vast majority of rolls, at least one of those dice would be a hunger die. Let’s just assume it’s a single one for simplicity. If at least two dice come up as 10s, that’s considered a critical. If at least one of those 10s is on a hunger die, then it’s a messy critical where the character succeeds spectacularly but in the most direct and brutal way possible. Picking a lock with a messy critical can lead to the character ripping the door off the hinges – grants passage but it’s not subtle.

These are the relevant rules here. It seems to me that the larger the dicepool is, the more of a chance for a messy critical. My intuition is the following:

  • with a dicepool of 3, if the hunger die comes up at 10, then you have 2 chances to roll a 10 on the other dice.
  • with a dicepool of 7, if the hunger die comes up at 10, then you have 6 chances to roll a 10 on the other dice.

Is my intuition here correct? Is a master at picking locks would be more likely to let the Beast do his job than somebody who’s just average at locks? I am not sure how to properly calculate the odds of messy criticals.