Heat Metal – Questions about the components

I’m a rookie DM with an even more rookie group of players. I have some questions about Heat Metal (2nd level transmutation).

It says you need a piece of iron and a flame. It also says the target of the spell is a manufactured metal object.

  • The piece of iron and the manufactured metal object are two separate objects, right? The caster needs to be in possession of the piece of iron, and the enemy would optimally be touching the manufactured metal (any metal – not just iron) object. Is that right?
  • Does the flame need to be close enough to the caster to touch (for example, if the caster would need to hold the piece of iron into the flame), or simply in the range of the spell? Intuitively I would have opted for the latter, as I’d imagine the caster would be drawing energy from nearby flames.
  • If there is no environmental fire nearby, would they have to use one action to light a fire with their tinderbox first? The PHB says "Don’t bother to keep track of material components with negligible cost. Assume you have all you need as long as you have your spell component pouch." Does that apply here? Obviously the flame doesn’t have a cost, so can I just assume the caster.. uhm.. has a flame in their pouch? Or can we say lighting a small piece of tinder is part of the spell action?

I guess some/all of these could be answered with "DM-fiat", but in that case I’d be interested in how seasoned DMs rule it 🙂


Questions on updating statistics and index maintenance jobs

Since my question Index and statistics optimization scripts duration and log bloat problem. Looking for good strategy? has been closed because it was not focused enough I’ve three questions:

For statistics and index optimization I want to use Ola Hallengreens scripts.

  1. If I update statistics only or rebuild/reorganize indexes: Is there anyting dangerous by cancelling the job right in the middle of it if I see logfile becomes too big or the job takes too long and slows down daily work?

If not there is nothing I need to worry about and I can run it maybe on any evening or on a saturday and watch how it works and cancel it with no problem if some of the mentioned problems occur. Is this true?

  1. If I use Olas script configured like this (no offline index rebuild):
  • FragmentationLevel1 = 50%
  • FragmentationLevel2 = 80%
  • FragmentationHigh = ‘INDEX_REBUILD_ONLINE’
  • @UpdateStatistics nvarchar(max) = ‘ALL’,
  • @OnlyModifiedStatistics nvarchar(max) = ‘Y’,

Can I use this safely during worktime when people are working on the database?

  1. Is there any dangerous by doing such maintenance jobs (statistics update/index rebuild/index reorganize) which could damage the database if I use Ola with those parameters? The only thing I’ve seen where growing a large log file. Or can I install this with no worries and if anything occurs just cancel it (see question 1)?

When answering optimization questions in E6 (D&D3.5 variant), can you assume bonus feats whenever convenient, or only at level 6?

When answering optimization questions in E6 (D&D3.5 variant), can you assume bonus feats whenever convenient, or only at level 6?

I’m very familiar with the underlying 3.5 system, but not very familiar with the conventions of E6. It seems like character-build questions handwave feat requirements away freely, but it’s not clear to me how that works. Can you select arbitrary many bonus feats at any arbitrary level? Or is there some known way to achieve the same effect?

Generally, I would expect this sort of question to be “read the book.” However, E6 does not have a “book” per se (or does it?), and to the extent that it does, that book appears different from how common practice appears.

A few questions about Armorer Artificer

1.) If you have, say, plate armor +3, and make it your arcane armor can you still infuse the helmet/gauntlets/boots separately?

2.) If you’re already wearing boots such as Boots of Elvenkind (as basic clothing) and you don your arcane armor which has a Winged Boots infusion, would you get both effects, only effects from one, or is this 1000000% a no go?

3.) Can you only put infusions that specifically state they go on helms into the arcane armor’s helm or could I use infusions that say "a suit of armor" such as Enhanced Defense?

Getting catagory title total number of questions and answers order by number of questions

I have three tables. Which is in at this fiddle, http://sqlfiddle.com/#!9/46dfd6

Which is like this?.

CREATE TABLE `user_answers` (   `id` int(250) NOT NULL,   `question_id` varchar(250) NOT NULL,   `user_id` int(250) NOT NULL,   `answer` text NOT NULL,   `date` date NOT NULL ) ENGINE=MyISAM DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1;  CREATE TABLE `user_questions` (   `id` varchar(250) NOT NULL,   `user_id` int(250) NOT NULL,   `note_id` int(250) NOT NULL,   `title` text NOT NULL,   `question` text NOT NULL,   `date` timestamp NOT NULL DEFAULT CURRENT_TIMESTAMP ON UPDATE CURRENT_TIMESTAMP ) ENGINE=MyISAM DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1;  CREATE TABLE `material_univarcity_list` (   `id` int(100) NOT NULL,   `name` varchar(50) NOT NULL,   `about` mediumtext NOT NULL,   `date` date NOT NULL ) ENGINE=MyISAM DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1; 

I want to get a resultant table which has count – Name(Name is from material_univarcity_list) Total number of questions to that particular name. Here id of material_univarcity_list table is the note_id of user_questions and I want total number of answers to that particular catagory here question_id is the id of user_questions. How can I do this?

My expected result is like

no|catagory        |number_of_questions |number_of_answers  1|DBMS 5th sem ISE|            2       | 3 

How can i do this?

Learndash 3: Custom scoring for quiz questions

I have a project in WordPress + Learndash 3. The whole point of my project is to simulate an exam that that has some weird scoring rules for each question.

Here is how points should be awarded for multiple answer questions:

All multiple answer questions have 5 answers from which 2 to 4 answers are correct (depending of the question) Let’s say some questions has the following answers:

A B C D E = 5 answers from which 2 are correct (A and C)

If I mark correctly A and C I get 5 points:

A B C D E  X   X   1 1 1 1 1 = 5 points 

If I mark A and B I get:

A B C D E X X 1 0 0 1 1 = 3 points 

In this case the user gets 1 point for A because is correct, 0 points for B because is incorrect and marked correct, 0 point for C because it was the correct answer but is not marked, and 1 point for each D and E because they are wrong answers but the user has not marked them as incorrect.

In conclusion I need Learndash Quizez to award:

  • 1 point for each correct answer
  • 1 point for each incorrect answer that user has not marked as correct
  • 0 points for answers that are incorrect and marked as correct
  • 0 points for answers that are correct but not marked as correct

The whirpool application of the Control Water spell leads to several questions regarding creatures caught in it

As written, the whirlpool usage of the Control Water spell says:

Whirlpool. This effect requires a body of water at least 50 feet square and 25 feet deep. You cause a whirlpool to form in the center of the area. The whirlpool forms a vortex that is 5 feet wide at the base, up to 50 feet wide at the top, and 25 feet tall. Any creature or object in the water and within 25 feet of the vortex is pulled 10 feet toward it. A creature can swim away from the vortex by making a Strength (Athletics) check against your spell save DC.

When a creature enters the vortex for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, it must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 2d8 bludgeoning damage and is caught in the vortex until the spell ends. On a successful save, the creature takes half damage, and isn’t caught in the vortex. A creature caught in the vortex can use its action to try to swim away from the vortex as described above, but has disadvantage on the Strength (Athletics) check to do so.

The first time each turn that an object enters the vortex, the object takes 2d8 bludgeoning damage; this damage occurs each round it remains in the vortex.

Are creatures or objects in the water and within 25′ of the vortex automatically pulled 10′ toward it? Do they continue to be pulled 10′ further toward the center of the vortex every round they are in it? Is a creature or object caught in the vortex also pulled down toward the bottom? On a failed save, are they caught for the entire duration of the spell, with no more chance at saves, or until they can swim free of it? On a failed save, does a creature continue to take 2d8 bludgeoning damage every round they are in the vortex? Can the whirlpool be cast so that it is completely underwater? Also, can the whirlpool be cast ‘upside down’ so the widest part is at the bottom?

How to stop players from trying to gauge success of meta-ideas via meta questions?

I am running a campaign in The Dark Eye, the Year of the Griffon to be exact.

Due to having quite an abundant downtime by having taken initiative quite early

the group had about 2 and a half months of downtime. That in itself is not a problem. Yet my group did spend the downtime in ways that start to make me think carefully: The siege-engineer did recruit all the carpenters and masons to fix up the walls

while the Maga did start to research a variant of Greek fire. That luckily took her most of the time… But exactly there lies the problem:

My players are all students, some of them with at least a good degree of chemistry and physics knowledge (including the Maga, who has 2 semesters of chemistry behind her). As a result, they tend to come up with ideas that make incredible sense in themselves… but the rules for TDE explicitly state that some stuff is simply not possible. For the most part, they did swallow that gunpowder simply can’t be made due to “it’s just like that” and that the recipe for fireworks is not only highly complex but also so arcane, that nobody knows it.

YET this makes them try to figure out how to use the little Greek fire they managed to produce up to now (4 flasks) much more efficiently – as in getting more area of effect. While they did not yet test it, they had ideas like

  • How about training a dog to carry a jar of greek fire into the orc camp and then shoot the jar from the walls with a flaming arrow?

On ideas like this I did say up to now “I did look into that topic in the books and I will have to make a ruling as there are no rules written yet. I have a vague idea how to rule on it, but would you mind stopping to speak in hypotheticals and bring this up in character through action or prompting that in an officer’s meeting?” Pretty much I try to go by In Character Action = In Character Consequences and Not Said = Not Done.

The idea to weaponize the results of a failure on the alchemy I could squat luckily: “You don’t exactly know how you made it create the poison gas it made… you could try to recreate the experiment though. Do you want that?”

Up to now, the only three things they did act on based on sentences like those was to build up some siege engines for defense (a trebuchet, 2 catapults, repairing one ballista), re-inventing greek fire (which did blow up the Maga twice already for it is so dangerous to work with as established in the rules) and digging ramparts1 around the city wall (ongoing, they are about 2/3rds done) and will be finished by the end of the months.

How can I discourage the players from directly adapting ideas from modern warfare methods (like gas, using chemical waste (dioxin) or trained dogs with bombs) and instead staying in the established canon, that puts greek fire at the pinnacle of chemical warfare and lobbing corpses as the pinnacle of biological warfare?

1 – Yes, they made Ramparts, not moats.