How can I have a villain restrain PCs in an “intelligent” way without killing or disabling some or all of them?

The party got captured during a showdown with a major villain at the end of the last session: three of them died and the survivor got trapped while trying to flee the dungeon.

All four of them can cast spells, and the villain saw them doing so during the fight. He also saw that two of them have magical companions (it’s 5e D&D, they are an Imp familiar and a Ranger’s Primal Beast) that they can summon to help. He’s a spellcaster himself, so he’s intelligent and he’ll be aware of the capabilities of an Imp familiar, which is a handy companion to have when you’re planning an escape.

He doesn’t want them dead: he wants to send them as slaves to the even more-major villain that he’s working for.

As a clever person, aware of the escape risk posed by spellcasting characters with magical companions to help, I can’t see any reason why he wouldn’t just kill the two with companions and keep the other two bound and gagged, or even unconscious, until they’re at their destination.

But this is a game, and we’re here to have fun, so I’d prefer that not to happen. I’d prefer they weren’t even gagged so they can, at least, hatch an escape plot. I’d also prefer not to have a deus ex machina solution, such as a rescue party arriving, for the same reason as it robs the PCs of their agency. It’s more fun to come up with a plan yourselves. Ideally, I’d also prefer not to fall back on a tired old trope like "the villain is so arrogant he ignores your magical powers and leaves you unbound".

Are there some good ways I can give the players a fighting chance in this situation without making my villain look like an idiot, or taking away their agency?

What are some ways one might implement a more story-driven spell/skill acquisition?

What are some ways one might implement a more story-driven spell/skill acquisition? Hopefully in a way that isn’t a complete slog.

The idea of the players’ handbook being used as a shopping catalogue kinda ruins the immersion for me. It doesn’t make much sense that a character can go to sleep one day and then wake up the next suddenly knowing a bunch of new spells or skills if they happened to reach a new level. Especially that often those spells/skills have nothing to do with any in-game actions or backstory of the character. I’d love to see a game where the characters have to actively work towards acquiring their skills, and not just waiting till they’ve passed the next level threshold.

The question is largely about how a DnD5e system might get modified to fit my concerns because I don’t really have a group yet and 5e players are easiest to find. That said I’m open to hearing about other game systems.

In the context of 5e I was thinking of flipping the relationship between levels and skills/spells on its head and not have levels grant you skills but rather the achieving skills bumping your level up (at GM’s discretion). By "achieving skills" the character pursuing an RP way to acquire a skill. Depending on what’s going on in-game it might be super easy for some skills (e.g. you find that move that you’ve been trying to do all this time suddenly just works after enough practice) or verging on impossible for others (e.g. getting an ice-y spell for a character who is all about fire stuff). I imagine this could create a greater sense of anticipation and, ultimately, reward at the advancement of characters. Or I might be completely wrong and it’s only going to scare off potential players who just want to minmax.

Using some homebrew i created. How to design a level 1 encounter with 7 level 1 characters

Me and my friends decided to play some dnd 5th edition. The issue is, though i am a long term DM i am only well-versed in the rules for 3.5e and Pathfinder 1st, same as Open Legend but it uses a completely different base system than the other ones.

I am essentially playing in a world that has been changed by the invention of Magitek. Technically it was discovered by some ancient ruins by the big empires expedition into the wilderness, though they honed and reverse engineered all that old tech in those ruins.

Right now my adventuring party is about to meet in the common tavern setting. All of those characters are of level 1 and consist of:

-Life Cleric

-Artificer

-Barbarian

-Monk

-The UA Pheonix Sorcerer with a few tweaks.

-A warlock with homebrew. Pact of the Vengeful Spirit as a mounted warlock kind of deal.

-Blood Hunter

Right now i want to make a small adventure playing in a neutral swiss like country, which is outside of the large and political conflicts of this world. To get the characters to bond in a more neutral environment. Since 1 Character comes from the "evil" empire and the other 3 come from it’s natural enemy. So to build up a group i decided to let them start in a neutral environment. Though i would like to introduce that little homebrew i entered into the world.

Magitek Items or rather Items with the Magitek Keyword are like magical items, but require fuel to sustain themselves for a more beneficial effect. What i was thinking of was that a Beast Tribe with enough Intelligence, probably Goblinoids, stole some shipments from the place they are currently situated at and are using that to raid the lands.

Though personally with a relatively balanced lineup of characters and essentially 7 turns in player character action economy. I personally do not know how to make an engaging encounter for them or multiple during this mini-adventure so that the players feel challenged and feel that this is an actual threat if these items get out of control. Obviously i would also not hand my players magitek items early on in the campaign. The Life Cleric is a Kleptomaniac. So should i maybe build in a failsafe ?

I’d require some good help for encounter building against overwhelming action economy in 5e as in 3.5 or pathfinder 1st i can handle it. Though there i feel it is quite confusing. Any advice is helpful here.

Thanks for the help in advance.

Was Summon Succubus errataed at some point?

The Summon Succubus spell for Wizard, printed in Dragon 385, seems to have some issues that my group is trying to figure out. Specifically, we’ve found two versions of the Intrinsic Nature, and they are wildly different.

From the Dragon 385 PDF

Intrinsic Nature: If you haven’t given the succubus any commands by the end of your turn, it shifts 1 square and attacks you or your nearest ally within range.

and from the compendium (both offline and portable)

Intrinsic Nature: If you haven’t given the succubus any commands by the end of your turn, it shifts 1 square and attacks the nearest enemy within range that is not dominated. In addition, you are dazed until the end of your next turn.

During the discussion, we’ve found some supporting secondary information for both, but the change is not present in either the compiled 4e errata or in the errata for Dragon 385.

In favor of the PDF is, well, the initial printing, as well as the individual article for Class Acts: Wizard. There’s also this power description in an old Wizard handbook on of our members dug up from 2010

Summon Succubus (D 385) Charm, Summoning: for lash-lovers this summon adds incredible control, in the form of constant field superiority. Each target can be dominated only once, but this is often enough. A great form of control, and the intrisic nature isn’t too shabby, even if it raises a question: if the succubus attacks an ally and dominates it, i am her controller, so the round isn’t completely wasted.

Which is odd since I would never describe that intrinsic as anything other than raw downside, but does acknowledge it dominating allies, which the compendium version cannot do.

Meanwhile, in favor of the compendium version is the character builder (though notably that is not a rules source) and the later Wizard handbook from 2012

Summon Succubus. (D385) Charm, Summoning. She dominates with her attacks. She can even do outside your turn if you’re willing to take being dazed (Hint, Superior Will). Her Symbiosis effect is nice, but nothing special, although it does help to counter the CA you grant from being dazed. A fantastic power.

This references both the general amazingness of a minor>no action dominate, as well as working to mitigate the daze drawback only present in the compendium version.

However, as mentioned, we can’t find any evidence of official errata or reprinting. Does anyone know where this change was made?

How do I make ClickToCopy copy some text rather than string?

Consider the following example:

ClickToCopy["display text","file name"] 

When I click the display text I get "file name" rather than file name without the quotes. Which doesn’t serve my purpose of quick file name access. So when I copy to some location I have to manually remove the quotes.

What should I do to make it copy the actual Text inside the String?

I’d like to do some flashy combat stunts and still deal sneak attack damage. Are the following mechanically possible to do in game?

Feats used

  • Twin Throw: As part of full attack action throw ranged weapons using one attack roll

  • Ranged Feint: Feint using a ranged weapon

  • Two Weapon Feint: Sacrifice an attack to use Feint

  • Throw and Charge: As a full round action, you can throw a light or one-handed ranged weapon, draw another weapon, and then charge. Both attacks are made at your highest BAB with a +2 bonus to your charge attack.

Set up: Initiate Twin Throw (assumed throwing with primary and offhand) use one of the two attacks to do a Ranged Feint. If successful, the second attack can do sneak attack damage followed by what ever method you choose to deliver a the charge attack. (Roundhouse kick, uppercut, shoulder charge, clothes line, Guile’s Flash Kick) With Twin Throw you have 2 chances to do a Ranged Feint and still catch a target flat footed with the charge.

Some addons don’t start

Some addons don’t work or rather don’t start.
For example, Alexa Rank Checker works well.
But Alive check, Anchor Text & Article Scraper does not start.

My scrapebox is up to date (2.10.19) and so are the addons.

What can I do?
Please help!

Virginie

Calling javascript in javascript works for some but not all scripts [migrated]

I have the following code in a script.js file that I call in my html file:

function loadScript(url) {         var head = document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0];     var script = document.createElement('script');     script.type = 'text/javascript';     script.src = url;     script.async = false;     head.appendChild(script); }  loadScript('https://polyfill.io/v3/polyfill.min.js?features=es6') loadScript('https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/mathjax@3/es5/tex-mml-chtml.js') loadScript('https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/highlight.js/10.5.0/highlight.min.js')  hljs.initHighlightingOnLoad(); 

I use this code because I want to call only one .js file in my html instead of multiple .js files.

The first two scripts that I load to call MathJax work fine. The third script to call highlight.js however does not run.

When I paste all the code from the file ‘highlight.min.js’ into the my script.js file, the javascript does run normally when I open the html.

I don’t understand why loading the ‘highlight.min.js’ file with the loadScript() does not work, or what I can do to get it to work. Any help is appreciated.