What do I do about PCs using Con damage to “nuke” bosses?

So recently my players realized that they can spam poison-based Con damage on my bosses to effectively nuke them down in a couple rounds. This is basically ruining the challenge of my fights, but they seem to love it. I’m not sure how to handle this without basically saying “No, you can’t do that.” Or making the bosses suddenly immune for some reason. Their entire tactics rely on lowering the enemies saves, then spamming Con Damage to lower it more, which allows easier Con Damage spam, until it’s dead by round three.

I don’t know how to handle this. I don’t want to be an ass and just start doing it back in a “Well fine, if you do ima do it too” fashion.

This sucks…

How do I discourage or work with “nuke it from orbit” solutions?

Here’s the issue: some of the players in my group tend to be pragmatic…a little too pragmatic. They are the type who’ll figure out the most efficient and cleanest way to take care of any problems, who rather to nuke it from the orbit to play things safe rather than taking on risks.

My current campaign is heroic fantasy, and I have taken pains to emphasis that while it is not ‘heroic stupid’, the players are to be the heroes. We used the Same Page Tool to ensure we all knew what that meant. However, one or two of the players still frequently come up with brilliant plans that negate them adventuring. For instance, if there is a brigand stronghold in town, the player will rather spread rumours to neighbouring lords that exaggerate the amount of wealth and atrocity of those brigands as to entice them to attack the stronghold, instead of venturing in themselves. And they would suggest heading back for reinforcements and so on.

There are a few reasons why I would rather them not do it. First, it’s not about them adventuring any more. Some other people will step into the limelight. Second, in case of reinforcements, it’s more combatants and that drag things out. Third, if I say “yes, but,” anything I do may come across as vindictive. Fourth, we agreed not to play those kinds of stories.

I have tried, the last time this happens, to say, “Look guys, this isn’t the genre of adventure we agree on. Don’t do this. I won’t enjoy GMing this type of game.” but I rather not do that a second time. (Meta-railroading, how low can I go?). Or, how I can accept such solutions, but still keep the PCs in the limelight?

It’s not that I don’t want creative solutions, but I want to—and we’ve agreed to—play dramatic stories. The specific kind of creative solution that results in a humdrum “safe” course of action is not a good fit as it doesn’t create a dramatic story.

We’re playing 13th Age, a narrative-centric variant of d20, which has this topical advice to players about creative solutions:

Create Dramatic Stories
In traditional roleplaying games, players try to invent the smartest, best or most efficient solutions… the worst approach is to come up with the safest solutions… We encourage you to be exciting rather than prudent. When inventing a solution to an open-ended problem, approach the issue the way a good writer approaches a plot point… Think about what would generate fun.

I am also looking for ways to work with the PCs’ solutions, as long as they remain the focus of the game. How do I encourage players to contribute drama to the narrative instead of playing it safe all the time?

Should on each test create and nuke a testing database?

In my case I inherited a poorly engineered code, on that piece of code I have been tasked to increase the code coverage in integration tests. But instead of the usual pattern:

  1. Create/Populate a test database with specific test data
  2. run the test
  3. Delete the test data or Nuke the db
  4. Repeat test 1 until no more tests.

The project itself is a laravel API that some logic implemented originally in codeigniter has been poorly migrated (Lots of time I came across, some logic in MVC controllers). Also not asny sort of migration tests has been implemented as well.

In this codebase I have been tasked to increase the code coverage of integration tests. I am the exra member of a team of 2 people and on the existing tests I noticed that is relied upon existing data and due to lack migration scripts the workflow above is not followed.

As a result there is no consistency of the test results of the existing database integration tests and some tests depending the test execution sequence either pass or fail.

Also the database has been left as is with the very same schema that the codeingiter uses, also the code has not been fully migrated in laravel from codeigniter and as a result I inherited some mess. Not to mention that the migration scripts in laravel do not fully cover the whole database.

So I wonder:

  • What’s the point of having integration tests if we have not the right tools, (creating on ther fly a test db)?
  • Should I spent a time to create a way to create on the fly a database and refactor all tests to create on the fly a test database from existing snapshot schema?
  • Should I gradually do gradually small scale redesighns (without telling to anyone) whilst I implement the tests, if yes what procedure I should follow?

LUKS Nuke on Ubuntu 18.04?

So I’ve been searching through the Internet recently about a LUKS nuke patch from Offensoce Security for cryptsetup, but all of the places I’ve looked have the patch for cryptsetup 1.6.6 or earlier, while I have cryptsetup 2.0.2. I haven’t been able to get any of the patches to work with my version, so does anyone know how to set it up so that I can add the luksAddNuke option to cryptsetup?

Nuke it from orbit – surely can only mean bin and buy replacement?

If there are places on a laptop malicious programs can leave elements, hooks, back doors etc, in locations such as BIOS, device controllers, firmware etc – what confidence can one have in wiping the disk and installing a fresh os image.

If I were to first use data destruction software to overwrite every individually addressable location on the hard disk, before secondly installing a freshly downloaded Windows image, this presumably isn’t much of a solution.

Surely, binning and buying a replacement is the only option? (Which would be dire, since the machine is new)