dnd 5e – Should opening doors be Strength or Strength (Athletics)

As I read the description of the Strength ability and the Athletics skill, it seems that brute force checks, such as pushing/shoving/kicking or pulling open a stuck, heavy or locked door should be a simple Strength check, with the Athletics skill applying only to things that involve more coordination such as jumping, climbing, or swimming.

However, in the published Dungeons & Dragons adventures, examples are inconsistent. Other than the Starter Set, where all door checks are just Strength and all Athletics checks involve climbing or other more complicated activity, other supplements seem to contain a mix of Strength or Strength (Athletics) to force open doors, seemingly at random within the same adventure.

What should be the standard check to force open a door, gate, portcullis, etc.? When should Athletics skill apply, if ever?

(The same question & inconsistency applies to clearing rubble).

java – Android APP Password Strength Assessment class implementation

java – Android APP Password Strength Assessment class implementation – Code Review Stack Exchange

dnd 5e – How to DM unlikely strength checks

Model the contest as multiple steps, e.g. win by two

This greatly amplifies a statistical advantage, making the final odds of winning the round much more in favour of the stronger (and proficient-in-Athletics) contestant.

Having the math odds be very unlikely opens the door to weirder narrative explanations, like a fluke muscle cramp, on top of brilliant technique by the weaker arm wrestler. You can say that multiple factors conspired to produce the result.


Some contests, like shot put, involve significant technique so there’s room for having a good vs. bad throw, i.e. chance. (Although if this isn’t the Olympics, and the trained shot-putter knows they only have to beat a puny mage, not try to come out on top of their peers, their consistent throw may be farther than the mage’s best possible throw.)

Other contests, like a foot race or arm wrestling, are almost always going to be won by the stronger contestant. i.e. a significant difference in ability will swing the outcome statistics very strongly in one direction. (Some games of mental skill are like that, too, notably chess where a grand master can simultaneously beat a room full of amateur opponents.)

A single roll in 5e’s bounded-accuracy design doesn’t model the latter kind of contest at all well. This is what creates the disconnect between what you’d estimate the -1 Wizard’s chances would be against the +6 Orc: we can’t rule out the wizard winning, but we know it’s very unlikely.

@RHS calculated the chances of a -1 vs. +6 contested check at 22.75%. (I didn’t check the math, but seems reasonable). That’s far too high a chance for the wizard to win an arm-wrestling contest.

On Critical Role, Matt Mercer has run arm wrestling as a series of opposed Athletics checks, moving the arm position by one step (or two with a big success margin or a nat 20). The starting point is like Deuce in tennis, with the first win creating “game point”, within one more success of overall victory. Or returning from that point to neutral. This appears to work well for creating fun, if the DM and players can get into the spirit of excitement over the give and take of the contest. (CR 2×17 “Harvest Close”, from 1:22:10 through about 1:38:38 shows this in action, including the whole party getting really into cheering on one player in an exciting match.)

Mathematically, the chance of the mage winning two or three consecutive rolls is quite a lot lower, low enough to not be totally silly. In fact, 0.2275 squared is 0.052; about 5% or 1 in 20. (I’m ignoring the chance of coming back to even, then eventually winning. I think that’s not a huge problem for lopsided contests, but 0.5 squared = 0.25 is obviously not right for an evenly-matched contest. That’s just your chance of winning without any setbacks.)

Doing something outrageous with the same odds as a nat-20 sounds just about right for D&D. If you model it as even more small steps, odds swing even more strongly towards the side with even a minor advantage. (But that’s not fun to roll; in most games there’s a win-by-2 condition, like tennis’s deuce / advantage.)

Of course, don’t allow a roll at all when there’s no plausible narrative explanation. It’s up to the table where you draw the line; some groups like outrageous things to be possible when someone rolls a natural 20. But picking up a boulder 10 times your own weight isn’t something you should get to roll for at all. It’s harder to justify not allowing a role for a contested check, but if you limit yourself to modelling it as only deuce / advantage (win by 2) then the odds may still be too high if a weak human wants to arm-wrestle an ogre.


Food for thought: perhaps in the world of 5e, long jump is the most popular event, because everyone’s success is linearly correlated with their Strength score, no randomness involved.

You cover a number of feet up to your Strength score if you move at least 10 feet on foot immediately before the jump.

(with a DC10 Strength (Athletics) check to clear a low obstacle on the way, so that part is random.)

Does that mean you shouldn’t roll contested anything for long-jump competitions? Well, what it really means is that 5e is not a sports simulator; if you want to focus more attention on contests, you’ll have to put some work into modeling them (i.e. turning them into a fun dice game).


I don’t know if arm wrestling is really an example of a contest that’s almost always won by the same person, if two people have multiple matches.

Other sports certainly are like that, though, especially racing.

For example, in short track speed skating, a personal best of 47 seconds over 500m is a lot better than say 52 seconds. A skater with a personal best multiple seconds faster will win almost every time over that distance, even if they don’t win the start and do have to set up a pass on one of the straightaways. (OTOH, it takes a lot more effort to go a bit faster; air drag is approximately quadratic with speed. Similarly for foot race sprints. Still, in 5e terms, someone that much faster might have Str and Con 16 vs. 12, only a +2 difference. And maybe Expertise in Athletics or that specific event for a technique sport, for maybe another +2 or 3 advantage. So in 5e terms, things might only work out if you model each lap as a separate roll where you can gain some separation or close the gap some.)

lo.logic – What is the proof theoretic strength of PCF?

Godel’s system $T$ means different, although equivalent, things to different people. To people working in the traditon of mathematical logic, $T$ is a quantifier-free equational theory of arithmetic higher-order functionals of finite type closed under higher-order primitive recursion, which can be given as the natural extension of $PRA$ to higher-order functionals of finite type. To a type theorist or someone working in programming language foundations, $T$ is an extension of the simply typed lambda calculus, given by adding typing rules for the natural numbers, higher order functionals, and zero, successor, and primitive recursion on the functionals. Again, it is clear how these are distinct and yet equivalent formulations. As is well known, the proof theoretic strength of $T$ is equivalent to that of $PA$.

Dana Scott introduced a system now called $PCF$ (c.f. this note on Wikipedia for the relevant history), which is an extension of the simply typed lambda calculus in the same way as $T$, and is defined the same ways as $T$ is but with the addition of some mechanism, usually the fixedpoint Y combinator, to allow for general recursion of the higher-order functionals. Thus the difference between $T$ and $PCF$ is the difference between primitive and general recursion, and as a result $PCF$ breaks $T$‘s strong normalization/termination property.

What is the proof theoretic strength of $PCF$, that is, $T$ + a mechanism for higher-order general recursion? I have been looking through the literature to see if this is known and the only thing I could find was section 8 of Avigad and Feferman’s paper on $T$, where they introduce a $mu$ operator that converts all arithmetical formulae to a quantifier free form and derive the proof theoretic strength of $T + mu$, but I cannot follow the arguments of some of that section and if a higher-order general recursion scheme is derivable from $mu$ (which would make sense given the name), then I am having trouble seeing that argument. Is the argument a higher-order analog of Kleene’s normal form theorem?

cryptography – Future strength of encryption today

I see that in several training quizzes the “correct” answer is to store encrypted data where somebody could copy it and save it, when it can be done so that the encrypted data is only in RAM and then (hopefully) deleted after it is no longer used. In this example it was sensitive data used to bootstrap an EC2 instance. The recommendation was to store the data with the image. Who knows how easy it will be after 20 years or 50 years to break that encryption? If someone has the encrypted file and after a long time technology will be quite difficult to withstand any new code breaking technology, similar to how easy it is today to break the DES from 1970s.

dnd 5e – Grease spell: Can a creature with 10 strength or more jump over the greased area?

Strict RAW, with STR 10, you cover only 10′, not 10′ + one step. If you keep just jumping, you advance 10′ per jump, which includes the space taken by your feet.

When you make a long jump, you cover a number of feet up to your Strength score if you move at least 10 feet on foot immediately before the jump.

So you’d have to either jump from or land at the greasy area, and while you might avoid the difficult terrain (because you don’t actually spend movement walking in the grease), you’d at least need to make a DEX saving throw. With this reading, you’d need 1 (or even 2, one at both sides) extra foot, in other words STR 11 (or 12), to avoid the grease completely by jumping.

RAI, hard to say. The rule could be interpreted meaning, you can jump past an obstacle of that many feet, and a DM could reasonably rule it that way. The argument for this interpretation is, that the rules don’t say how many extra feet of jump distance you need to get over an obstacle like this, so the reasonable ruling is, that no extra feet are needed.

darkroom – Developer has particles floating and testing strength of C-41 kit. Is it still good?

I have a question regarding the usability of C-41 chemicals. I had mixed a batch of Unicolor C-41 development powder kit in distilled water back in late Nov 2019. I had stored the chemicals in a complete;y black bottles with all dirt squeezed out and in refrigerator. So, until February 2020 I had developed 7 or 8 rolls of film (Fuji Superia HQ 200, Xtra 400, Fujicolor 200 & Ultramax 400) in this mix until now.

The developer had turned from light yellowish to pink color now. I guess that from the film dye though I give them a prewash, mainly the fuji films. I tried a film strip test and the results are shown in picture below: 1- Film cut from roll, 2- Dropped in developer, 3- Dropped in Blix. I noticed there are some particles in the developer. Does it mean it’s bad? Can I just vacuum filter it to remove the particles and keep using it? My Blix though seems to have no floating particles and is brownish red color. What is the longest duration you guys have used and store a C-41 kit? Oh and one thing I noticed is with a 4 piece of strip was that after dropping in developer for 4 mins and then in blix for 6.5 mins the film turned out green. I assume this is because the strip got exposed to light completely?

Since C-41 kits have started becoming pricey don’t just want to throw it away if it’s good. I might use this batch of chemicals only for non-important rolls since I wouldn’t need to worry a lot in case something goes seriously wrong. What do you guys think? BTW can the exhausted chemicals be discarded down the drain or they require special handling?

❕NEWS – A recent article shows that Bitcoin’s strength is still not secure | Proxies-free

We are seeing the price of Bitcoin surge, even surpassing the level of 52500 USD. However, the common question that is asked, has been answered by a billionaire Mark Cuban, who answers the question of what determines the price of Bitcoin. As we all know this is decentralized, so put simply, the price of Bitcoin is determined by how much companies and people are willing to pay for the coin. However, with this definition, this does not mean that the value of Bitcoin is secure and sure to rise. In fact, there has been a recent article that has state that Bitcoin is not yet completely a sure thing, and that the coin can still fail. What are your thoughts on this?

architecture – How to defend reducing the strength of code review?

I have started in a new team. I have 20 years experience as a developer, and I have been in the role of a team lead in several projects.

Normally I am very much pro code reviews, but I ended up in a team that use TDD up to religious fundamentalism. Mostly this is led by a single senior resource, me being the second senior. The result is that they have implemented a code review process that requires approval for merge. Not only that it requires approval, but it also requires each individual comment being responded. All that is very nice until you start getting pull requests that can not be approved in days with tens of comments each.

In addition when requests are done, the team does not focus on what is IMHO important (patterns, interfaces, encapsulation, layering, method signatures) but on small details.

Example: There is a code convention that methods doing things logically connected should be in close proximity to each other. But then if you actually require that the methods must be ordered by their chronological execution, that goes a bit further than the general rule.

No-one is just reasoning that if we in first place did not had 50 methods in same class, the positioning of the methods would possibly not matter that much.

Code is just full of examples where developers just go in the nitty picky details instead of focusing on the general problem.

Such heavy code review process in my opinon creates a hostile atmosphere where a newcomer feels simply bad.

How can I justify and defend the thesis that:

  1. The merge button should be enabled by default.
  2. The code review should be a recommendation, but not mandatory
  3. The code author should have the right to merge the code within 6 hours lets say of the pull request creation no matter if there is approval or not.

dnd 5e – Is the armor artificer intended to add strength to thunder gauntlet attacks

You add your Intelligence Modifer, or Strength if you prefer.

The Armorer’s 3rd level Arcane Armor feature states:

Each model includes a special weapon. When you attack with that weapon, you can add your Intelligence modifier, instead of Strength or Dexterity, to the attack and damage rolls.

The thunder gauntlets are the special weapon referenced here.

Alternatively, you can still choose to use your Strength. Since the gauntlets count as a simple melee weapon, the rules for damage rolls state:

When attacking with a weapon, you add your ability modifier — the same modifier used for the attack roll — to the damage.

And the rules for melee weapon attack rolls state:

The ability modifier used for a melee weapon attack is Strength

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