When creating a character above 1st level, can you give them the effects of spellcasting services?

Page 199 of the DMG explains how new characters can start with magic items, even those they choose to make themselves (with the assumption these items were created some time before the character became a PC)

But let’s say a non-spellcaster wants to give themselves an extra point to an ability score. If they have 27,500 gp, they could start with a Manual of Quickness of Action and either use it immediately or possibly say they’ve used it already and begin with an inherent +1 bonus to Dexterity.

That book costs 27,500 gp. Using the formula on page 129 of the PHB, however, it would only cost 26,530 gp to have a 17th-level wizard cast wish on them as a service. For an 8th-level character (or a higher-level character with lots of other gear), that’s the difference between getting the bonus, and not.

Can the character simply decide to begin with this effect present (or a different spell with a permanent duration, like enlarge person+permanency, since 9th-level wizards are easy to find in large cities) and 26,530 gp less, or since the DMG only describes starting with magic items, must they spend 27,500 gp for the magic item?

Encrypt backup files and send them to AWS S3

I have a backup routine via crontab on Ubuntu. This routine generates a compressed tar.gz file and sends it to AWS S3.

But I want to encrypt these files and be able to decrypt them when necessary on another machine only if I have the private key.

While searching I found gpg, and I execute the command below to compress the backup file:

gpg --output my-backup-file.tar.gz.gpg --encrypt --recipient secret-key-mail-address@example.com my-backup-file.tar.gz 

Is this a safe and good way to encrypt these files?

My children want to start playing RPGs; at what age should I allow them to participate unsupervised?

Some games, such as Dungeons and Dragons, come with ratings/recommended ages before they can be played. Are those accurate? Beyond the ratings, are there any general guidelines I should follow when deciding whether to allow my children to participate in an RPG game, unsupervised?

Does the Thief rogue’s Use Magic Device feature let them ignore class, race, and level requirements on attuning to magic items?

The Artificer’s Magic Item Savant feature states (E:RftLW p. 58, WGtE p. 180; emphasis mine):

[…] You ignore all class, race, spell, and level requirements on attuning to or using magic items.

In contrast, the Thief rogue’s Use Magic Device feature merely states:

[…] You ignore all class, race, and level requirements on the use of magic items.

The Use Magic Device feature doesn’t mention ignoring requirements on attuning to magic items, only on using them. It seems like that would mean a Thief rogue can not attune to a magic item if it has a specific requirement on who can attune to it (e.g. the holy avenger).

Does the Use Magic Device feature let a Thief rogue ignore class, race, and level requirements on attuning to magic items?

How can I add attributes to all characters in a folder and set them to a default value?

I recently decided to consolidate my macros that refer to a character’s gender by pronoun into a single one using attributes on the character sheet (ie subjective, objective, possessiveA, and possessiveP) and am looking for a way to loop through each character in a folder and add those attributes to each of them and set them to a default of {it, it, its, and its} respectively. Is there any way I can do that? I do have api access if it’s required to do it.

Where can I find this Discipline that allows a Vampire to disbelieve in sunlight, stakes, etc. so strongly that it can ignore them?

I had a character around 2001 that I was working on for a game that fell apart, and while reading through some book I came upon a very high-power ability that allowed a Vampire to disbelieve in something so strongly that it didn’t exist for it any more. This could be anything, including doors, which would allow for entry into any room, or blood, which would be less than bright.

I have not been able to find this particular Discipline since, and I would love it if someone can tell me what it is and which sourcebook it’s in.

Can continual flame be cast on an opponents helmet to blind them?

The Spell Continual Flame(p227 of the Player’s handbook) Is a touch spell. It does not offer any parameters as to what qualifies as a target other than it has to be an object. In theory you could touch an opponents helmet and a flame would spring forth. Potentially blinding him. (With no save and no attack roll).

Where as the light cantrip (p255 of the Player’s handbook) Specifically states:

If you target an object held or worn by a hostile creature, that creature must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw to avoid the spell.

This leads me to believe the spell is working as intended.

Is there a rule or ruling that I am missing?

My DM played a NPC from my backstory weird. Should I have confronted them about it?

So my DM is actually my best friend and she’s the type of DM that likes getting as much backstory from the players as she possibly can. Well my character’s father is a huge part of her backstory and as my DM likes to put backstory characters into her campaigns, I knew my character’s father would be showing up soon. Well, he did and…he was different than I described. Of course my backstory was only from my character’s perspective so I didn’t give anything super specific about her father, but part of the backstory was that they were best friends and he, despite doing some awful things, acted like a pretty sweet guy. Well, my DM played him as creepy and scary which, while cool, kind of goes against the things I wrote about him in my character’s past interactions with him. To be clear, this wasn’t because of a story-based plot, this was just how she interpreted his personality. After the session, I confronted her about it. I told her that I liked how she played the character, but that it didn’t seem to line up with how I described. She responded that she thought his absence from my character’s life would have changed him a bit, but I’m not certain it fits the character, still. I’m afraid she’s mad at me, and I know that it’s ultimately her decision on how to play this character. I told her so. Should I have talked to her about this, or is questioning her interpretation of the character overstepping?

Vertex skinning, calculating the bone matrices (for bind pose) and then animating them

I am attempting to do HW skinning in Opengl. Please note that I am purposefully doing it in a not-game ready optimized way, because I need this to scale. I wrote the following code to ‘apply’ the skinning:

  mat4 BoneXForm;    for (int i = 0; i < maximumInfluence; i++) {     BoneXForm += globalAnimMats[blendWeights[i * gl_VertexID].blendId] * blendWeights[i * gl_VertexID].blendValue;   }    vec4 VertPoseLong = BoneXForm * vec4(vertPos, 1.0);    // Set the vertex postion   gl_Position = MVP * VertPoseLong; 

This code uses ‘globalAnimMats’ a mat4 x bones, and an array of skinning indices/value combos:

struct { int BoneIndex; float Influence; }; 

My issue is, I am not sure what the value of each matrix should be in the matrix buffer. Per each bone on the CPU, I have local space pos/rot and global space pos/rot. My goal here is so also apply an animation to the skeleton.

The position is a vec3 and the rotation is a quat. I have tried doing global pos/rot as a mat4 but the whole model moves above the skeleton.

Combining keys in jsonb with another column and summing them

I have a database scheme that resembles the following (trimmed to the core of the question).

ID  | key_totals (JSONB) ----+----------------------------- 1   | [{"key": "AAA", "total": 1}, {"key": "BBB", "total": 2}, {"key": "CCC", "total": 3}, {"key": "DDD", "total": 4}, {"key": "EEE", "total": 5}] 2   | [{"key": "AAA", "total": 1}, {"key": "BBB", "total": 2}, {"key": "CCC", "total": 3}, {"key": "DDD", "total": 4}, {"key": "EEE", "total": 5}] 

There are millions of rows like these. The keys can be anything and vary a lot. But there are some “special” keys (for projects) that we’d like to name, and group on. Other keys should not be named.

Key         | Name ------------+------------- AAA         | Name 1 BBB         | Name 1 CCC         | Name 2 DDD         | Name 2 

The goal for the query is to have a ordered list which sums the totals of all keys, and combines them too for the “special” keys:

Name        | total ------------+------ Name 2      | 14 EEE         | 10 Name 1      | 6 

I already have following query that sums and gets the name

select soc.key, key_total.key, SUM(soc.total) as agg from (     select key_total->>'key' as key, CAST(key_total->>'total' AS integer) AS total     from (         select jsonb_array_elements(key_totals) as key_total         from project_info     ) ha ) soc left outer join projects on (soc.key = projects.key) group by key_total.key, soc.key  order by agg desc 

would result in something like:

key     | Name      | total --------+-----------+------ EEE     | [null]    | 10 DDD     | Name 2    | 8 CCC     | Name 2    | 6 BBB     | Name 1    | 4 AAA     | Name 1    | 2 

Which feels so close, but I’m just not there yet. I am also concerned about performance though, which seems not optimal at my current point.

(Obviously, the jsonb data structure is not optimal, but it’s something that has to remain for other reasons.)