How to increase a monster’s CR without adjusting its flavour too much?


I have a player who has a level 8 Half Orc Paladin (STR 16, CON 18, CHA 14, Vengeance oath, Sentinel and Orcish Fury feats, no magic items) whose backstory involves running away from his home town when he was young (12 or so?) when his orcish father turned up with a horde of orcs looking for him. He hasn’t seen them since and he’s now in his 30s or so.

I was going to have his “father” turn up with a horde of orcs (15 or so) and demand his “son” back, mirroring his backstory. I was planning on guiding the narrative to the paladin PC having an honour duel with the Orc War Chief (MM, pg 246). I have a player and group who are into narrative over gaining XP (in fact we’re using milestone XP) so I think this will go down well (though if they just decide to fling fireballs at the orcs, then that’s what happens; I’m not going to railroad this too hard).

Given that this will be a BIG backstory moment for the player, I want to make sure this duel is suitably epic. I want it to be winnable, but also deadly. It should be a skin-of-his-teeth victory. I imagine (since Chaotic Evil orcs don’t have honour) that when the War Chief starts to lose, the other orcs might join in, or if the War Chief ends up on < 10HP, he might even try to run away, but we’ll see how that goes. I imagine the rest of the party will join in if this ends up happening, but until then, I imagine the duel will be a one-on-one fight between the paladin and the War Chief.


Anyway, if I want this fight to be deadly, a CR 4 monster probably isn’t going to cut it compared to a level 8 paladin (this is based on the encounter design table in the DMG, pg. 82). But at the same time, I like the War Chief’s abilities and flavour and such, so I’d rather not pick a different creature.

Ideally, this monster should be about CR 6, but I wonder if just bumping up his health, AC and attack bonus will be enough, or whether this wouldn’t really make him that much more threatening over the course of the duel (this is me trying to follow the table in the DMG, pg. 274). Even though this PC has none, magic items exist in my world so the War Chief could have one of those, but would a +1 weapon or whatever really change things that much?


How can I change the stats of the Orc War Chief to increase the CR from 4 to 6, without changing it drastically like adding spellcasting or lair actions or otherwise messing with the monster’s flavour?

What are the dangers of renaming spells and changing their flavour, without changing mechanics at all?

I’m about to help get a bunch of interested new players into D&D, running a one-shot for them to give them a feel for the game and hopefully a fun first-taste of tabletop roleplaying.

Before starting, I’ve been asking them what kinds of things they want to get out of the game, and what their expectations are. In particular, as I’m going to pre-gen characters to simplify things, I’ve asked what kinds of character they find appealing.

However, the flavour of things that they want to play aren’t necessarily supported by the PHB – but at the same time I’d rather steer clear of homebrew as far as mechanics go. For example, one player who is interested in being “some kind of magic user that exploits darkness-like-effects”.

For an example spell: turn flaming sphere into a sphere of darkness that engulfs those it touches, absorbing the life straight from their skin. But it still does 2d6 fire damage.

I don’t plan to change damage types as this feels like a bigger can of worms. Fire-damage would still apply, but would be described as darkness eating into the target/wrapping round “like flames”. It would also mean that oil and flammable items would be affected in a similar way to fire.

That’s just one example though. Since I’d be doing this with more spells my question isn’t about one specific spell.

My question is: What dangers, if any, are there of renaming existing spells and changing their flavour text while using their existing mechanics?

Installing Linux Without USB

Trying to install linux on a laptop. I created a boot USB which worked fine on my desktop. I cannot access the BIOS on the laptop and therefore can’t change the boot sequence

Tried burning to DVD with isoburner, it gets to the purple ubuntu screen and stops on ” Scanning disk for index files “

Tried Unetbootin which didn’t work either.

Executing the Docker Command Without Sudo

I found the solution that will perfectly working on ubuntu 18.4.follow the step to solve I thing its 100% working .

If you are already logged in then to add the user to docker group run below command:

step1 :sudo usermod -aG docker $ USER

To apply the membership run below command or again login

step2: su - $ USER

The output should be:

username adm cdrom sudo dip plugdev lpadmin sambashare docker.

for checking run any commond of docker:sudo docker images

Preventing Quota Theft of Embedded Service without API Key

The way the service works is that the user can embed content on their site, that is served from my servers. Usage is tracked in “views”, or how many times the src endpoint inside of the <iframe> has been called.

I am trying to find out a way to verify that the origin site of the request is indeed the customer’s, and not some other web server. Using an API key as a query parameter leaves the possibility to just copy the <iframe> element, and use the service for free, at the expense of the real customer.

Some methods that I have considered follow:

  • Using the origin/referrer header of the HTTP request
  • Using JavaScript to determine the origin site, then send for the data

The first of these methods can be defeated simply by sending a request to the endpoint from an AJAX request with the origin header set to a customer’s website.

The second may work provided the JavaScript method that requests the data is sufficiently obfuscated.

While I know that no solution is fool-proof, I am not quite satisfied with relying on the origin HTTP header to determine usage.

Are there any alternative methods that do not rely on the customer rotating code, api key or otherwise, to prevent quota theft? Thanks in advance.

PDAs without λ-steps

In the definition of PDA, it is allowed for the machine’s reading head to stay where it is, i.e., only perform a stack operation without (reading a symbol and moving right on the tape); this is sometimes called a λ-step. Is this necessary? Is there a CFL that no PDA without a λ-step can recognize? Or can we eliminate λ-steps from any PDA? I’m pretty sure this is known but I can’t find it.

Asavir prestige class grant Djinni’s Blessing (Su) : “The mount … carry a second rider without penalties”, how rule it?

Regarding the asavir prestige class :

And at the read of the Djinni’s Blessing (Su) : When an asavir reaches 4th level, her mount receives the blessing of the djinn, making it swift and tireless. The mount’s speed increases by 10 feet, it doesn’t take movement penalties from wearing barding, and it can carry a second rider without penalties. When the asavir reaches 8th level, her mount’s speed increases by an additional 10 feet.

I’m asking how rule it ? Does both are on the same Saddle ? or two distinct Saddle are need ? In the particular case of a mounted charge, the two riders and the mount declare charge (like for one rider and mount) ? in the case of ride-by-attack feat, does the two riders need it to performed it ?

Does the two rider (considering two M riders on a L mount) are considering adjacent or sharing the same space ? in the second case with or without the malus due to it ?

Thanks for your responses.

Is there a polynomial-time algorithm to minimize regular expressions without Kleene closures/stars?

I have read that minimizing regular expressions is, in general, a PSPACE problem. Is it known whether minimizing regular expressions without the Kleene closure (star, asterisk) is in P?

The language of any such regular expression would be guaranteed to be finite. I suppose an equivalent question is whether the problem of constructing a minimal regular expression from a known finite language is any easier than minimizing an arbitrary regular expression. It seems like this should be the case.

(If the answer is that it is easier and there’s an obvious proof, I’m happy to go attempt it, I just haven’t thought about the problem deeply yet and wanted to see what I’d be getting myself into first.)