How to prepare my party to reasonable be able to bring down a prismatic wall?


In my campaign I have a villain who uses misdirection and avoidance as their main combat methods. As last resort when the party confronts them in their lair it would be appropriate for them to use Prismatic Wall to prevent the party from killing or capturing them.

Prismatic Wall requires 7 different, very specific, spells in a specific order to remove. Namely; Cone of Cold, Gust of Wind, Disintegrate, Passwall, Magic Missile, Daylight, and Dispel Magic.

This enemy is clever but arrogant, they will likely cast this spell toward the end of a drawn out battle meaning the party may already be down on resources. Without warning they might need to defeat a Prismatic Wall the party may expend the required resources before it appears.

Party Details

In my party I have:

  • A Half-Elf Wizard
  • A Human Druid
  • A Gnome Oracle
  • A Halfling Bard
  • A Half-Orc Paladin.

The party is currently 9th level and they will likely confront this enemy some time between 12th and 14th level depending on how direct their approach is.

The party is equipped slightly below normal for their level due to some decisions made to this point in the campaign. None of their current items will be a particular benefit in this task.

The Problem

I would like my party to have a reasonable chance of actually being able to bring down this wall. If I just throw it at them the chance of this is basically 0. This is the first campaign for all of my players and they have never encounter anything like this before.

Between the various spellcasters in the party they already have access to 5 out of the 7 required spells. Disintegrate and Passwall being the exceptions. I can easily provide them access to the others between now and the confrontation. However, the party does not always prepare these specific spells and may not have them available when required.

How can I, as DM, prepare my players to defeat a Prismatic Wall spell, without explicitly telling them it is coming?

I will likely need to provide them both with information on how to defeat it and provide some resources to help them do so. I am willing to provide help in the form of items, lore dumps from NPCs and potentially NPC allies, though I prefer not to have NPC perform critical actions in place of the players.

In a mechanics and lore perspective is this reasonable customized dragon mechanics [duplicate]

I am working on the first main antagonist for my campaign a DnD 5th edition

This will be a green or blue dragon who has the ability to shape change into a human and is a magic user.

The dragon will be attempting to gather magical knowledge, spell books, arcane items etc therefore gathering strength and becoming harder for the party to combat as the campaign progresses. Initially appearing as an ally.

My question is that I know there is an arcane dragon archetype in the monster manual but these dragons seem to have inherent magic much like a sorceror as opposed to learnt. I am looking for my dragon to have some inherent magical ability strengthened by utilizing spells more like a wizard, having an ever growing list of available spells that grows as it gains more knowledge but needing to prepare a set amount each day based on its development.

In terms of either Current or historic DnD lore and mechanics are there examples of dragons learning spells in this way, gathering a magical Arsenal in the same way as a wizard would and growing in terms of magical ability over time by learning new knowledge? Am happy if the lore or mechanics ideas come from older editions of DnD that I can tweak to fit in with 5th edition.

I am specifically looking to see if there is any precedent I can work from to try and make this more balanced as the campaign progresses.

Is there a reasonable chance of a well-funded agent obtaining raw traffic over Tor circuits

If an agent has a few middle Tor relays (Am) and a few exit Tor relays (Ae), could they obtain the original traffic of some of the circuits with a reasonable probability?

Let’s assume, without too much loss of generality, that Tor only uses middle-middle-exit circuits and that there are M middle relays and E exit relays.

The probability of such a circuit consisting only of nodes this agent controls then is:

P = Am/M * (Am - 1)/(M - 1) * Ae/E 

According to Tor Metrics, there are just short of 7000 relays in total, with almost 2000 being exit relays. I will round these figures up into 7000 – 2000 = 5000 middle relays and 2000 exit relays.

Assuming the attacker owns 10 middle relays and 10 exit relays, the probability of them getting to control the whole circuit is

P = 10/5000 * 9/4999 * 10/2000 ~= 1.8e-8 

which is very low. However, once you factor in the enormous amount of Tor circuits being established (could not find a reliable figure anywhere, will gladly edit one in if someone has it), wouldn’t this agent be able to consistently get complete circuits through their relays and, as a consequence, have complete access to the data it was relaying?

I understand that some of the data through the circuits would also be using TLS, but at least some of it should be plaintext.

It may also be worth pointing out that if this is a really well-funded agent, they might have substantially more than 20 relays at their disposal.

Is it reasonable to think that most magic users would be familiar with the spell Silence and thus know easy ways to counter it? [closed]

The spell Silence as described in the PHB:

For the Duration, no sound can be created within or pass through a 20-foot-radius Sphere centered on a point you choose within range. Any creature or object entirely inside the Sphere is immune to thunder damage, and creatures are Deafened while entirely inside it. Casting a Spell that includes a verbal component is impossible there.

The spell is obviously a useful tool against magic wielders, but I’m trying to get clarification on its limitations.

Would it be common for magic users to recognize the Silence spell and know easy ways to counter its effects? For example, a wizard familiar with the spell might know to just run a short distance in any direction to leave its area of effect, and then continue casting spells. I understand that different types of characters will have different knowledge of spells, but Silence isn’t a high level spell and would seemingly be well known to many mid- and even low-level magic users.

The related question below might shed light on how a character would react to the Silence spell, because they might instead interpret the effect as being deafened.

Related questions:

Deafness vs Silence – How to distinguish Darkness from being blinded and Silence from being deafened?

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what are reasonable age expections for levels?

This is not a question about enforced limits but about plausible NPC reactions, to the PCs and how they explain other NPCs to the players. (Minimums more than maximums, since all a character has to do to stay lower level is not adventure.)

If an NPC can gauge a human sorcerer’s level, and meets one that is 25, and the expectation is that most start adventures at 18 and go up a level generally once a year:

  • a second level one spent most time doing things other than adventure
  • a fifth level one spent a fair amount of time doing other things, or had many encounters with little experience
  • a seventh level one has adventured steadily
  • a tenth level one has hit some amazing adventures with much danger and experience
  • a fifteenth level one has had nothing but amazing adventures (or is a fraud, or the apparent age is a factor of illusion or de-aging magic)
  • a twentieth level one is certainly a fraud or using magic to de-age or appear younger

These can be widely off, of course, with the second level one having been the victim of aging magic or the twentieth level one having had to start adventuring young and had some amazing adventures, but they are accurate enough that NPCs would not find such assumptions — an inn keeper saying that the sorceress staying at the inn isn’t the real adventuring type, or a high-level wizard commenting that another wizard has certainly gotten far for his age — blowing up in their faces often enough to discourage estimates.

Is a year a plausible? Six months? Two years? Or would variation be too much for NPCs to form expectations?

The setting is one that does not require training to go up in level, and in which there are plentiful known dungeons where adventures can be had and with routine supplies near enough to not require travel. Unusual supplies or moving to a new dungeons takes weeks at most, usually days. So, characters who want to can adventure with minimal down-time.

Is it reasonable to let Inquisitive Rogues get advantage on Perception and Investigation outside combat?

I am DM in a campaign and recently my players reached level 3. The Rogue chose to take the Inquisitive archetype.

I am looking at the Eye for Detail feature, which allows the rogue to make a Perception check to look for hidden things or an Investigation check to uncover or decipher clues as a bonus action. At first glance I interpret this as an extension of the Cunning Action feature (similar to the Thief’s Fast Hands or Mastermind’s Master of Tactics), by giving the rogue more things to do with their bonus action.

The Eye for Detail feature definitely has uses in combat. Bonus action Perception checks are an excellent counter against foes which like to hide (which my players face semi-regularly). Investigation is more situational, but not useless.

However, outside combat the action economy is not so important. If you are acting on the timescale of minutes rather than seconds it is not practical to track individual actions. But on the same timescale of minutes (rather than hours) you can, in principle, track things by individual actions.

By this reasoning, an Inquisitive Rogue can make twice as many Perception or Investigation checks in a given time-frame as any other character (assuming that is the only activity they are doing, and that the checks fall under the specifications for the Eye for Detail feature). They are able to search faster so, given a fixed time-frame, can search more thoroughly, or search a wider area.

Of course, I don’t actually want to track actions round by round for a search which would take a few minutes. That would involve a stupid amount of die rolling and completely skews the statistics. But I was wondering whether the Inquisitive’s Eye for Detail should still provide some benefit.

Would it be reasonable, under appropriate circumstances, to grant an Inquisitive Rogue advantage on Perception and Investigation checks outside combat? Or would this be unbalanced?

‘Appropriate circumstances’ being cases where simply searching more would plausibly improve chances of success (e.g. hide and seek), the timescale of the activity is short enough to make an intensive effort practical (but long enough to not be measured in rounds), the check pertains to the activities described in Eye for Detail, and the rogue is not dividing their attention between other actions.

My rationale behind this is that, in combat, a rogue can roll twice as many checks as someone else, so rolling advantage is essentially equivalent to that. I figure that a small circumstantial non-combat buff which emphasises the archetype’s strengths is acceptable.

My concern is that this might be too advantageous. This greatly extends the usefulness of the feature by allowing it to be useful outside combat, and advantage is a large bonus. If this makes the archetype far more powerful than it should be, or has unintended interactions, then I should be wary about granting such regular advantage. I have not had much experience with Inquisitive Rogues; if they are a powerful archetype then such a buff would be unneeded, although if they are a weak archetype then this buff might be beneficial.

Note that I am not planning to explicitly modify the Eye for Detail feature. Rather, I will use my latitude as DM to grant advantage based solely on the implied usefulness of the Eye for Detail feature. But I wish to discern whether such a ruling is wise or unbalanced before setting a precedent.

Help in understanding ‘reasonable’ encoding of inputs

I read that a reasonable encoding of inputs is one where the length of the encoding is no more than a polynomial of the ‘natural representation’ of the input. For instance, binary encodings are reasonable, but unary encodings are not.

But say that the input is a graph, and its natural representation is a vertex and edge list. Suppose that the graph has $ k$ vertices. If I use unary to encode, the overall length of the input referring to the vertex list would be $ O(k^2)$ , i.e. $ =|1^1|+|1^2|+|1^3|+…+|1^k|$ . Isn’t this unary encoding still a polynomial with respect to the number of vertices of the graph (which is $ k$ )?

What am I missing here?

What is a reasonable player cost for Manor rebuilding?

At some point during the introductory adventure Lost Mine of Phandelver, the PC’s are capable of liberating a manor.

My question is, what is a proper price to charge the party as a cost to rebuild that particular Manor which has largely been abandoned and uncared for save for the basement level? Should I worry about upkeep? Tax? I can not find much in the way of how to go about this in the DMG.

How to modify a monster to be a reasonable challenge for a level 1 party?

I was preparing a one-shot adventure for my friends. It will include a fight with a weakened mind flayer and a giant heart which will be the boss of the adventure. The heart will summon gory minions (could be anything, must be suited to the gory theme).

How do I modify the mindflayer to be a reasonable challenge for a level 1 party and what official monster is the closest to a giant pulsing hearth (mabe gibbering mouther?) might still be workable. The party will include four first level player characters consisting of the folk hero fighter, cleric, wizard and a rouge from starter set character sheets. Thanks 🙂