How does ambushing / surprise work?

I have perused the Core rulebook to figure out how to handle an ambush. What I found seems very underpowered, and I am not sure if I have missed something or this is intentional and all there is to it.

From what I found the advantages (successfully hiding) ambushers enjoy are:

  • They can roll Stealth for initiative.
  • The ambusher is unnoticed before they act, which confers the flat-footed condition to the targets (-2 AC). This ends with the first action they take, ie. works for only one Strike per attacker.
  • The targets might not be prepared, eg. not have buffs active or weapons drawn. The value of this will vary wildly.
  • While not explicitly stated, I would assume that any targets with a higher initiative than the ambushers will be skipped in the first round due to there being nothing to fight from their perspective. If the ambushers roll together this will mean that they win initiative, if not, the results are less powerful.

And that is about it. There is no mention of a surprise round or similar mechanic, nor of another, more severe condition that would apply to a surprised creature. All in all, you get some bonuses to initiative, inflict -2 AC once and might get bonuses keyed to the flat-footed condition, plus the targets will likely have to waste 1 action to draw their weapons.

This means that hitting a guard standing stock still and unaware of your existence is mostly the same as hitting him while he is actively fighting against you and a buddy 2-on-1. Only that the ambush is weaker as it ends after one Strike, while flanking does not.

To me this seems rather weak, especially compared to other systems. Have I overlooked any rules or any consequences of these rules that would make ambushing stronger?

How does the Way of the Four Elements monk’s Fangs of the Fire Snake elemental discipline work?

I’m confused by the wording of the Way of the Four Elements monk’s Fangs of the Fire Snake elemental discipline.

Specifically, how long does its bonus to the reach of unarmed strikes last, and how many times is the extra fire damage applied?

Here is an example scenario, with how I think it works:

  • A level 8 monk gets 2 attacks on his turn during the attack action, and a bonus action for Flurry of Blows, giving 2 additional unarmed strikes and a total of 4 unarmed strikes on his turn for 1 ki.

  • If he spends 1 ki for Fangs of the Fire Snake, the unarmed damage changes from bludgeoning to fire damage, and the reach is increased to a total of 15 ft.

  • When the monk’s turn ends, Fangs of the Fire Snake ends, so it is not possible to make an opportunity attack with this discipline.

  • If I hit with an attack I can expend another ki to add 1d10 of fire damage. This extra damage only applies to that singular hit, the next attacks don’t have the extra fire damage, and I can’t expend more ki to add another 1d10 on those attacks.

Is my interpretation of how the discipline works correct?

How to make office network printers work at all times [closed]

I have 20 computers hooked up by Ethernet to our router, and 2 printers. All wired. I install the official hp printer software/drivers and everything works.

Now throughout the day, different days, someone can’t print… I check their print queue, it’s just sitting there, often multiple items since they tried to print multiple times because the first attempt did not work.

This is happening constantly, almost every day at least 1 person has issues and I need to restart the print spool, the printer itself, or restart their PC for it to work.

How do you work with spells in homebrew subclasses on D&D Beyond?

I’m trying to create a homebrew subclass on D&D Beyond, but I can’t seem to figure out how to make spells work. There are different places for an added list of spells and actually adding spells, there’s no option for making spells always prepared or not, etc.

Can someone who has more experience with D&D Beyond tell me how exactly this all works?

I want give Helmets AC in DnD 5e, would this work?

Basically I was thinking about giving helmets a +1 AC to players. Now I know its’ basically allowing players to get plus 1 AC for like 10-20 gp so here are some draw backs that I think would make the player really think twice. A guaranteed one is basically anyone who wears one gains a point of exhaustion for every 3 hours of continued use without taking it off for at least a few minutes. This doesn’t apply when the character is sleeping during short or long rests.

1: -3 to -5 on Perception rolls of any kind. (can be modified for type of helmet)

2: -3 to investigation of any kind

3: and finally, very susceptible to flanking maneuvers in combat

I was thinking of applying 1 or 2 appropriately to the type of helmet they wear. Only way all 3 would apply is if I decide the helmet gives +2.

Main reason is because my players like to look cool wearing the helmets but wanted some function to them as well. Is this a viable option?

How does vampirism work in 5e?

A PC in our group was off on his own following a recurring villain of our groups. He was paralyzed where he could move, and the vampire bit his neck. The vampire said “now you get to remain 19 (years old) forever” before he left the cave. This was all done in RP.

We found him later, and healed up his bite marks. Our characters know of vampires, specifically only the one that bit him (recurring villain), but don’t really know how vampirism works, because it isn’t a super common thing in this world yet.

My question as the player is:

How does RAW vampirism work in 5e?

Is it a disease that develops over time? Is it something where they have to die and be brought back as a vampire?

Does Mind Blast work through barriers (e.g. walls)?

I’m specifically looking at the elder brain’s mind blast. Based on the line of effect rules for spells, I would say no… But it’s not a spell really. Based on logic, I would say yes, because psychic attacks wouldn’t be affected by physical barriers (unless we’re assuming it’s creating a physical force with its mind?). Any thoughts?

I’ve sent a clear copy of my ID card using the WiFi at work

The title says it all, I needed to send my ID to some website so that they could verify my identity. But I took the picture with my phone, then sent it to myself via Messenger on iOS. I sent the picture to myself on Messenger so that I could download it on my PC and then censor my personal information. Right after I’ve downloaded the image, I realized that I am using the WiFi at work instead of using my own 4G hotspot. The image I sent contains a clear copy of my ID, so does the image that I downloaded. Is there any chances that they can intercept the traffic and obtain a clear copy of my ID?

How do curses work with magic resistance?

For instance, when casting the Bestow Curse spell on a creature with magic resistance it would have advantage on making the wisdom save. However what happens after it fails the save? Does it have advantage on all subsequent saves or do curses operate differently?

For an example curse I usually choose:

While Cursed, the target must make a Wisdom saving throw at the start of each of its turns. If it fails, it wastes its action that turn doing nothing.

Do attacks that give the Grappled condition work against creatures more than 1 size larger?

Many creatures, such as the Giant Frog, have attacks that grapple on a hit:

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: […] Hit: (1d6 + 1) piercing damage. The target is grappled (escape DC 11).

Does this grapple work against a creature Huge or larger? Usual Grapples don’t work if the target is more than one size larger than the grappler.

The target of your grapple must be no more than one size larger than you and must be within your reach.