How safe is dm-crypt/LUKS? Would TPM make me more secure in this case?

I’ve been looking to purchase a new laptop and I need to have security in mind. I’ve specifically been looking for laptops with discrete or integrated TPM because it’s been my understanding that TPM would improve disk encryption security, but after doing some more research I’ve heard a lot of sources saying that it doesn’t really make a difference and some go so far as to suggest TPM has unpatched vulnerabilities and may even be backdoored by intelligence agencies such as the NSA.

For someone such as myself who is becoming more active in activism and investigative journalism, should I bother with TPM? And how safe is dm-crypt/LUKS? I currently use Linux Mint which I believe uses LUKS by default for disk encryption and I’m wondering how vulnerable it is to attackers with physical access to my laptop.

(P.S I’ve heard of Qubes but at the moment I’m unable to use it. In my case I’ll be using Linux Mint + AppArmor and sometimes Whonix when appropriate.)

How to add more combat into an investigation-heavy campaign?

I have experienced such an issue with a previous run of our Fate RPG campaign. The setting is somewhat influenced by the Dresden Files, which means the campaign involved lots of investigation (sometimes railroaded in) as our heroic band of vigilantes and rogue government agents uncovered the sinister plot of the villain.

One of the players did not like that direction and preferred to see more combat. Our GM argued that he is not putting us in combat often because he believes that since character growth comes from milestones rather than smashing mooks over the head, getting into fights often will only use up our Consequences and be a punishment instead of reward. In addition, he pointed out that beating/shooting/fireballing random thugs is likely to complicate the plot as more and more attention being put on the gang of (anti)heroes.

Is there a way to retain the interest of players who want more physical confrontation in an investigation-heavy campaign? None of us are really experienced at DMing a FATE based RPG and I would like some advice before I attempt a campaign with a revised version of the old setting. Do I need to make combat rewarding? Or should I just count on people treating the act of turning a sicario into tomato paste via fireball its own reward? Or is what I am trying to do pointless and it is best for that player to find another game?

Building Suffix Array from Suffix Tree. Inorder visit when node has more than two children

From the notes:

It is not difficult to observe that the suffix array $ \texttt{SA}$ of the text $ \texttt{T}$ can be obtained from its suffix tree $ \texttt{ST}$ by performing an in-order visit: each time a leaf is encountered, the suffix-index stored in this leaf is written into the suffix array $ \texttt{SA}$ ; each time an internal node u is encountered, its associated value is written into the array $ \texttt{lcp}$ .

How do you do the inorder visit when a node has more than two children?

Let’s say you visit the leftmost child, then the node, then the other leftmost child. Then do you visit again the node?

SA in an array of pointer to suffixes, ordered lexicographically.

lcp contains the longest common prefix between two consecutive suffixes $ \text{suff}_{SA[i]} \text{ and } \text{suff}_{SA[i+1]}$ .

The $ represents a char that’s smaller than every other char.

The value associated to each node is the length of the prefix spelled so far.

The leaves represents indices of suffixes. If T = banana$ , the leaf 3 represents nana$ (T[3,7])

In the image there’s what is supposed to be a suffix tree, but I think there’s an error since the edges should be sorted according to their label and the leaf 7 with the edge labeled "$ " should be the leftmost leaf and edge.

enter image description here

When simulating the algorithm, first you visit the node 7 ( using the fixed version of the tree ), then the root, so you have

SA = [7, ...] lcp = [0, ...] 

Then let’s say you keep going on with an inorder visit of u. When you go back to the root, do you insert the value 0 again in the lcp? Or do you do it just the first time you visited the root?

In other words, do I visit child-root-child-root… or child-root-child-child…

Understanding $\lambda \mu$-calculus in more programming way

I am learning $ \lambda \mu$ -calculus (self-study).

I learned it because it seems very useful for understanding Curry-Howard correspondence (e.g understanding the connection between classical logic and intuitionistic logic)

I searched the internet, there is some information about $ \lambda \mu$ -calculus on Wikipedia, but it does not explore it further (at time of writing). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambda-mu_calculus

Is there any more programming way to interpret the intuition behind $ \lambda \mu$ -calculus?

For example:

In $ \lambda \mu$ -calculus, there are two additional terms called $ \mu$ -abstraction $ \mu \delta .T$ and named term $ [\delta]T$ .

Can I think $ \mu$ -abstraction as a $ \lambda $ -abstraction which waiting for some continuation $ k$ (here, is $ \delta$ )?

What’s the meaning of the named term?

How does it connect to call/cc?

Can I find the corresponding roles in some programming language (e.g. Scheme)?

PS: I can understand $ \lambda$ -calculus, call/cc in Scheme, and CPS-Translation, but I still cannot clearly understand the intuition behind $ \lambda \mu$ -calculus.

Very thanks.

How to give the players more felt impact on the “Battle of the Silkwiesen”?

Today I started playing "The Year of the griffon" with my DSA (TDE on German) group (after about 4 or 5 sessions to teach rules, make characters, learn a bit about the pre-orc-invasion Griffon March). I use the DSA 4 re-release of the old DSA 3 adventure and the 4.1 rules, but that does not change it significantly. While the players did like the epic part of the tale, the chance to be able to take part in the biggest battle since the first demon battle1, they did correctly note that the tale dragged on:

They had little chance to do anything impactful for most of the battle, and true, they are just 5 soldiers in a body of ca. 15000 soldiers. Yet, in the 15-page long chapter dedicated to the battle, they were supposed to act inside of the constraints of a conscripted milita unit.

Even as they helped at saving Prince Brin by blasting a bunch of Orcs with flash spells (Blitz dich Find in German), making the retreat of him probably much easier, even as they were part of the final strike against the shaman raising the dead of the battle as undead, they felt like being pushed over the battlefield by forces beyond them (their commanders as proxies, the surpreme fieldmarshall Helme Haffax in person and thus (by proxy) Prince Brin himself), and true, they were.

They had large eyes about the ‘life is cheap’ attitude of the battle as I descriebed how some of their buddies died right next to them, even if I didn’t drag out the training too much (there are 2 pages dedicated to how to narrate out the training in detail and who each of those people were) but glossed over quite some of it. Mostly I was giving small ‘flashbacks’ on the training that were previously not mentioned as they saw the soldiers die – which turned out to be just as impactful as playing a whole evening to make them like the expendable NPCs.

In the end, after achieving all the optional plot goals and reducing the casulties quite some by the right choices at the right times, they cried out (with good reason) that for very very large parts it became rather boring to listen to the constant rush of high battle.

When they HAD good chance to act, then they discussed over each other what to do at all, trying to gaugue what might even have an impact and what was expected from them by the author while I clearly told them "This book has a solution for almost anything you come up with, and no, you very most likely won’t die in the prologue". I did tell them after the adventure part they had total plot armor in that battle alone, and they facepalmed: One mentioned "I could have been more reckless?!" – I did however reward that they had not been reckless.

All in all, the 15 pages translated to about 5-hourincluding interrupts, player actions and one rolled out skirmishof gaming… and gave me a rather dull feeling about playing this battle ever again, possibly using the shorcut of just summarizing the battle and its results (yes, that IS an option given!) if I ever do it again. But I did at least want to try.

Annotations

1 – The Ogre battle of 1003 BF would qualify for the biggest battle of their lifetime before the Silkwiesen. They don’t know about that battle as players. They DO know though about the Battle in front of Gareth – the first Demon Battle – that happened 1556 years ago right next to the Silkwiesen.

While page-long narratives are not uncommon to TDE and several pages of mainly narrative battle happen (ca 5 pages of interrupted narrative in the Ogre battle), The Battle on the Silkwiesen in The Year of the Griffon is probably the worst offender after the Year of the Fire, which does somewhat interrupt its massive battle with playercentric action. These battle-narratives are an exception in the bulk though: of about 200 adventures/campaigns only maybe 10 do have these large scale battles.

All in all the book is – including all handouts, index and pictures – 185 pages long. The Battle on the Silkwiesen does contain maybe 6 pages of condensed narrative with almost no player freedon if all GM info are struck. Abbreviation takes… the lines below

Battle on the Silkwiesen & Year of the Griffon abbreviated

The "Battle on the Silkwiesen" is the prologue/intro to the adventure campaign "The Year of the Griffon". It’s basically a single scripted scene with some player interaction with the surroundings. About 10000-15000 orcs clash against the same amount of mass recruits, militia, and every trained soldier the empire has available, some quarter to half of them veterans, professionals, and noble knights. In the end, 3000 soldiers and the same amount of orcs lie dead, another 3000 soldiers are wounded severely, but the orc army is in disarray and retreats back. A Pyrrhic victory, as neither side can muster enough reserves to make a strike for the following weeks…

Question

Are there situations in the battle on the Silkwiesen where players could be given more playground, even as it is a scripted 15 pages piece of narrative?

Can Mage Hand drag more weight than it can carry?

I have been watching/listening to Chance’s D&D Spellbook, which highlights a potential ‘loophole’ in that the spell doesn’t list how much the hang can drag, say if attached via a rope that weighs less than 10lbs.

Normally a spell only does what it says, but carrying and dragging seem closely enough related that there might be some room for interpretation.

Would these adjustments to the ranger archetype Beast Master help the animal companion be more useful?

I recently playtested a Beast Master ranger from level 1 to level 20 (I was playtesting a new homebrew archetype, which was my primary reason for doing so; the Beast Master ranger was just one of the other party members), but there were a few things I noticed regarding the relative power of the beast companion itself. For reference, the beast I went with was a wolf, which is probably a fairly standard choice.

Issues

Now, I know that Beast Master rangers are infamously weak, but I still wanted to see if I could try to improve what I felt were some of its weakest points during my playtesting. I was already using the popular houserule of letting the ranger tell the beast to attack using a bonus action instead of an action, but the other things that bothered me were:

  • Relatively low HP (as the first linked Q&A points out), although this was more of a problem during Tier 1/2, less so during Tier 3/4, at least during my playtesting;
  • Hardly any hit die, which is related to the above problem, since I remember having to spend a lot of healing resources to keep bringing the wolf’s health back up to full/close to full;
  • The DC for resisting the knocked prone secondary effect from the wolf’s Bite attack remains pathetically low at DC 11 for the whole game.
  • The lack of any saving throw proficiencies really screwed the wolf over during the big finale where it died to a meteor swarm, but with a decent DEX saving throw bonus, it would probably have made it.
  • I was sometimes hesitant to use the wolf, because it was dropped to 0 HP a few times at lower levels, unless I knew it would probably land the killing blow or could avoid an opportunity attack or otherwise being hit.

I will point out that at higher levels, the AC was fairly decent (for a wolf), and the HP wasn’t as bad as it was at earlier levels, and I was impressed with the damage output thanks to attack rolls and damage scaling with the ranger’s proficiency bonus. Its Stealth and Perception skill bonuses were also impressive. These things I don’t feel the need to change.

Changes

Here are the changes I propose, somewhat inspired by the UA Sidekick rules:

  • You get a new hit die whenever you take another level in ranger, so at level 3 your wolf starts off with two hit die, but at level 4 they would have three hit die … by level 20 they have 19 hit die. I doubt this would make their max HP better than four times the ranger level, so it would only really be for the purposes of short resting.

  • To improve the max HP a little, maybe something as simple as adding the beast’s CON modifier to that, so it’s now:

    \begin{align} \text{ (ranger level + beasts’s CON modifier)} \times 4 \end{align}

    This way, the animal’s toughness is also taken into an account; I feel like the wolf having 5 instead of 4 more HP each level would have been just enough to help, combined with more hie die to heal, but also from a flavour perspective, I feel like choosing a boar should end up tougher than a hawk, whereas RAW, they would both have the same HP. I would however, keep the minimum HP gained per level to 4, in case the beast somehow has a negative CON modifier, since I think taking HP away from the beast would be cruel, given how underpowered this whole archetype is.

  • Any DCs it has, such as the wolf’s ability to knock people prone, should scale with your proficiency bonus, like this AC and attack/damage rolls do, so rather than a measly 11, at level 3-4 it would be 13, and at level 5, it would be 14 … ending up at 18 at level 17+.

  • Unless it already has a "physical" saving throw proficiency (meaning STR, DEX or CON), it gains one of your choice at level 3, which of course would just mean a +2 (because that’s every valid animal companions’s proficiency bonus) but that also has your proficiency bonus added to it, like AC, etc. This would have certainly helped when it was hit by meteor swarm during our final level 20 showdown, it might have actually survived (even with its RAW hit points) had it made that DEX saving throw.

  • Finally, since I’m letting the beast be commanded as a bonus action, the first half of the 7th level ranger feature Exceptional Training is kinda wasted, so I was considering changing that to not only make the beast’s attacks magical, but also to effectively give the beast a rogue’s Cunning Action, which it can use if you command it to using the same bonus action you used to command it to attack (or do something else with its action). In short, you use one bonus action to tell it what to do with its turn, and it can now effectively use its action and bonus action to do something useful.

Question

Do the above changes seem reasonable, and do you foresee any balance issues coming from my proposed changes? My intention is for the Beast Master’s beast in particular to become more useful and survivable, without increasing its damage output (since I was happy with that), but not making it more powerful than I intended by overlooking something. I suppose also double checking whether there’s a problem with making some animals tougher than others based on their CON; does this unfairly favour tougher animals to the point where that’s a balance issue in and of itself?

How To Make a Campaign more fun [closed]

I’m building a campaign for my players and I want it to be the most fun and enjoyable campaign possible. Just some background info. Me and my party have been playing D&D for about a year and a half now. The campaign works off checkpoints for leveling so the players are guaranteed to hit every level 1-20 before it’s over. This is also a sequel campaign in the sense that it takes place in the same world as a past one but thousands of years later. I saw on Critical Role that they ran PVP one-shots in like dream world but it incorporated their same characters and with my PVP loving party that is a great idea that I want to implement. I’m asking you guys what other cool ideas can I throw in ( one-shots or multi sessions) that could just make this campaign more fun

Can Cure Light Wounds Mass target the same creature more than once on its casting?

When you cast the mass version of the cure light wounds spell, its range changes from touch to close and from creature touched to creature touched/level with targets within 30 feet of each other. To this sounds like a ray spell as you would have to make an attack roll vs every creature (this is because you could target undead and living creatures with the same casting). Is it possible to have the same creature targeted by the spell more than once? I dont see any place which states you can only affect a creature once with the casting.

Update:

Since there has been debate over how the rules should be applied in this case, lets do a comparison with out multiple touch spells.

  • Cure Wounds mass spells “Target one creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart”
  • Chill Touch “Targets creature or creatures touched (up to one/level)”
  • Haste “Targets one creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart”
  • Bull’s Strength mass “Targets one creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart”
  • Cat’s Grace mass – “Targets one creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart”

Since I dont know of anyone who can successfully claim that Chill Touch cant be applied to the same target multiple times in a round assuming a sufficient bab or hasted. Someone can be affected by multiple haste spells, but only one has the effect, and is not helpful doubling up in this case because its part of the same spell so any effect that would dispel or counter one would get all instances of it. Same with Bulls and Cats. The most important difference is that the others except for Chill Touch say “One creature” but that can be thought of in two ways. The one likely intended being that a creature can only be selected once for the spell, or the creature can be selected multiple times each time taking up one of the creature targets.

Are there any monsters that can target more than one target/creature?

I noticed that the attacks in Statblocks mention one target (and sometimes one creature). This made me curious. I have been pouring over the MM and VGtM, but have not found any monster that can make a melee/ranged attack against more than one target / one creature.

  1. Do we know of any example within the ‘official’ books where this is more than one?
  2. If it’s always one, do we know of any reason why this is at all mentioned in the statblocks?

Related: Are there any issues with creating creatures that can make multi-target melee attacks?

Related: In the descriptions of monster action options, what's the difference between "one target" and "one creature"?