Why is burying yourself not such a great plan?

One of my player is a clever guy. At night when the others are putting the camp together he digs a hole big enough for himself (between 3-4 feet deep) and asks someone to cover his body with dirt; he then uses a straw to breath. His idea is to avoid ambush at night.

The first time I was baffled by this idea and had no response. After a couple of nights I started challenging his strategy. I identified a couple of potential complications but he was able to answer everything I offered.

  • Sleeping under 3 feet of dirt at night would be terribly cold (But I have a bedroll which is warm enough
  • You wouldn’t sleep comfortably and be sore in the morning (No specific rules for sleeping in armor I can use as a reference)
  • Breathing through a straw requires keeping your mouth closed and doing so while you’re sleeping is impossible (I’m an elf and when I’m in trance I’m not asleep so I can keep my mouth shut)

    He has no intention of quickly being able to help the rest of the party if they get attacked, so escaping his hole is not something I can use against him (I tried).

    So far the problem has not transpired out-of-game. I’m annoyed because he’s obviously trolling but the other members of the group don’t mind his selfishness (he doesn’t get XP or loot from attacks at night).

Am I wrong to think that this is not such a great plan? I can’t think of any reason or mechanics to point out the flaws of his plan.

I don’t mind him doing it. I just think I’m not emulating the consequences properly because it’s an obviously stupid decision.

Clear plan for self-study?

I’m still student in university, and I need 2 years to graduate, but the thing is I still don’t know anything about computer science other than problem solving, C++/Python OOP and DataStructure; I know these are heavy important subjects but I’m still lost, my university is also lost for me and I have the power to learn more and more alone but all I need is a clear plan to do that..

I think this question had been asked hundreds of times.. But still there’s no good enough answers.. So let me rephrase the question and ask this :

How to know what kind of majors do I want to learn and work with in the future as graduated computer science student? AND Where to find a tree-plan of skills that I need to learn to reach my goal on that major? AND When I find that tree of skills, Where to learn those skills other than my University?

So I need to know what major I do really need, and how to learn it in a very good way..

Please give me any helpful websites, articles, tests to know what major I want (idk if that’s even exist) and anything you see it could help me 😀

Thanks in advance

Allowing your party to plan their own mission

Based on some feedback from my players, I’m going to allow them to plan their next mission, which will be a ‘seemingly’ straight forward heist affair onboard a moving vehicle (limiting their geographical range).

What I’d like advice on, is how can I impose limitations on their plans to prevent them from going completely off-track?

Narratively, I’ll provide them with the objective and some key facts and stats, but what’s the best way to try and ‘plan for the unthinkable’ from my perspective? Normally as the DM, I can react to the team going off-road within the context of a quest because I can generally foresee the branches they might take, but in this instance, giving them the ability to map out their approach might make things tricky for me to manage.

Hope this question isn’t too vague!


Is filling up plan cache causes a decrease in space allocated for data cache?

SQL Server uses allocated server memory for different kind of purposes. Two of them are plan cache and data cache which are used to store execution plans and actual data correspondingly.

My question: Do these two caches have different allocated space section in Buffer pool, or in contrary, they have just one section in Buffer pool which they share between each other?

In other words, if plan cache is filling up, does space for data cache is reducing as well?

How do you plan Savage Worlds combats based on PC ability?

Last night I ran my first Savage Worlds combat, to try to get a feel for the system. The combatants were two sword-wielding fighting men against three orcs (extras) and their chieftain (a wild card). I enjoyed a lot of the combat, but when all the orcs had been dropped, all progress seemed to stop. We had endless whiff and ping on both sides. I have already read about reducing whiff and ping in SW, and that advice is good for combats that are underway. My question is about planning combats ahead of time.

Savage worlds doesn’t have a challenge rating or threat level system, which makes sense in many respects, because of the general unpredictability of encounters. Unfortunately, it means that without having experience with the system, it’s hard to guess at what threats will not be boring. In the case of the orc chieftain, for example, his high Parry and Toughness made it impossible for the PCs to damage him without acing out the wazoo. This wasn’t a question of a sure-thing TPK from a massive threat: the PCs, too, had high parry, which made it almost as difficult for them to be hurt. Even when we slowed down the combat to really look at bonuses everyone could work for, we kept whiffing and pinging.

In retrospect, I probably would have done better to replace the chieftain with plain old orc who was a wild card and had a higher Strength and Fighting. He could’ve hit the PCs more easily and been hit more easily himself.

So, my question is: how could I have known that from the start? Is there a simple often-right-enough formula for comparing PC traits to threat traits? Is there other common wisdom on doing this?

Is it safe to share your password security plan with others?

The recent epidemic situation has given me enough time to reconsider my password security seriously. I have devised a detailed plan for how to use elements such as a password manager, 2FA, U2F keys, etc. in conjunction with each other to create the optimal security architecture for my personal use (according to my rather limited knowledge of information security).

Now, the plan grew to such an extent that I decided to write it down as a document, so that I remember how certain parts of it work, why they are designed in a particular way, the weak points and so on. Is it safe to show this plan to, e.g. a friend who is also interested in strengthening their security? What about a hypothetical, extreme version – to share it online?

According to the Kerckhoff’s principle, the security of a system should not depend on its secrecy. That’s what I had in mind when designing my plan. I believe that anyone competent enough to try to break my system would also not be obstructed by the lack of knowledge of the design. Its strength relies on secret keys (and some informed use of MFA), also in agreement with the principle. However, I have seen on this site that sometimes users are scolded if they reveal a lot about how they organise their security in a question.

We can easily find how AES or public-key cryptography work in a few moments. That doesn’t prevent them from being widely used and considered safe. Would the same reasoning apply to my personal scheme?

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DELETE a single row from a table with CASCADE DELETE picks a slow plan… but not always

Schema Summary

A dozen tables related by foreign key to a central table (call it TableA). All tables have a PK that is INT IDENTITY, and Clustered. All the tables’ FKs are indexed.

This looks like a star configuration. TableA has fairly static personal info such as name, & DOB. The surrounding tables each have lists of items about the person in TableA that change or grow over time: for example, a person might have several emails, several addresses, several phone numbers, etc…

In the unusual event that I want to delete from TableA (test data that gets inserted during performance checks, for example), the FKs all have CASCADE DELETE to handle removing all subordinate data lists if they exist in any of the surrounding tables. I have three environments to play with: DEV, QA, and UAT (well, four if you count PROD, but “play” is not something I would want to do to PROD). DEV has about 27 million people in TableA with various counts upward of 30M in the surrounding tables. QA and UAT are only a few hundred thousand rows.

The Problem

The simple “delete from TableA where Id = @Id” takes < 1ms on DEV (the big one) and the execution plan looks fine, lots of tiny thin lines and all index seeks… but here’s the rub: infrequently on DEV, and ALWAYS on QA and UAT, the simple delete takes about 1 second and the plan shows almost all the indexes are being scanned, with big fat lines showing the entire row counts.


The delete statement is issued by Entity Framework Core running inside an API so I have limited capability to mess with it (making it into a stored procedure, index hinting, using a different predicate, and other ideas…)

Despite all three environments being identical (same script created all three environments), nothing I have done so far has improved QA and UAT, but DEV is usually fast.

When DEV becomes slow, it remains slow until “something” happens. I haven’t figured out what the “something” is, but when it occurs, the performance reverts to fast again and remains that way for days.

If I catch DEV at a slow time, and use SSMS to manually run a delete statement, the plan is fast (<1ms); but the deletes coming from the API use a slow plan (1s). Entity Framework is (as best I can tell) using sp_executesql to run a parameterized “delete from tableA where Id = @Id”. The manual query is “DELETE FROM TableA WHERE Id = 123456789”

The row being deleted is always a recently-added row, meaning that the Id is right at the “top” and probably not within the range of the index statistics (although I speak from a position of profound ignorance on that topic and probably have my wires crossed…)

What I have tried so far

Reading up on FK cascade delete issues, it seems all the FKs need to be indexed, so I did that.

Rebuild (not just Reorg) every index.

Selectively delete the bad plans from the plan cache using DBCC FREEPROCCACHE (plan handle)

Running the excellent tools from Brent Ozar got me checking that the FKs were all is_not_trusted = 0

Looked at these (and other) previous StackExchange questions:1, 2, 3, 4

Of those, I suspect that the last one, with a description of how the cardinality estimator gets confused, might be pointing to the source of the problem, but I need help figuring out what to do next…

The plan shot below (from ssms) shows the slow plan: some of the FK indexes are being scanned (but not all) and there is an excessive memory grant. The fast plan would show all index seeks. The whole plan is at ShowMyPlan Link

I hope someone can point out what I have missed, or what I can investigate further.


enter image description here

Bad Plan