dnd 5e – Ways to prevent Counterspell from being cast?

You can counterspell a counterspell to prevent it from effecting the original spell. It can also be prevented by simply being out of range of counterspell (60ft or 120ft with a sorcerer’s distant spell).

You could also deny the enemy a reaction through multiple different effects such as Stun or slow.

All of your options seem pretty viable. If the person doesn’t see the spell, they can’t counterspell it.

dnd 5e – Are there ways Changelings can overcome their shape-shifting limitations?

While the changeling’s shapeshifting ability does provide the player with quite a variety of creatures (both pc and npc) to choose from, the rules do limit it to medium human-like (as humanoid is a type) creatures lacking tails, horns (and arguably horns).

As an action, you can change your appearance and your voice. You
determine the specifics of the changes, including your coloration,
hair length, and sex. You can also adjust your height and weight, but
not so much that your size changes. You can make yourself appear as a
member of another race, though none of your game statistics change.
You can’t duplicate the appearance of a creature you’ve never seen,
and you must adopt a form that has the same basic arrangement of limbs
that you have. Your clothing and equipment aren’t changed by this
trait.

However, I am left to wonder if this means that the changeling is barred from accessing the image of nearly half the PC list, or if the wording of “a form that” suggests there are ways for a changeling to overcome their limits, relying on RAW?

For instance:

  • Could a changeling personalize the visage they use beyond the race’s traits, such as a Drow with black hair, a shifter’s shifting features, or a tiefling that lost its tail?
  • Could a potion of giant size, or the Enlarge-Reduce spell allow a changeling to temporarily dip in the visages of other races?
  • Would consuming “Blood of Lycanthrope” give them access to the tail due to the hybrid form?
  • Are there any feats yet in 5e that can allow the changeling to upgrade his shifting from alter-self like to disguise self like?

As a side question, I noticed that changelings don’t appear to have darkvision like their doppelganger cousins(?) do. Did I miss this point or would this also apply a disadvantage to the kinds of masks a changeling can effectively use?

dnd 5e – What are all the ways that stacking resistance becomes immunity by RAW?

This particular search on DND Beyond reveals 1 racial trait, 2 spells, and 21 magic items having both “resistance” and “immunity” in their descriptions. The only items appearing having the sought after property are the ones already observed: the dragon masks.

Is this a thorough enough search? I would think so. An ability, spell description, or magic item certainly must contain both word, resistance and immunity (or one of its forms, I tried all those as well), so if it exists, it at least is not on DND Beyond.

Maybe this seems like an unsatisfactory answer, but sometimes the answer is no. I hope I’m wrong.

Now for the details of my reasoning.

First, we have the rules for damage resistance:

Multiple instances of resistance or vulnerability that affect the same damage type count as only one instance.

And of course, specific beats general:

If a specific rule contradicts a general rule, the specific rule wins.

The general rule is that multiple instances of resistance count as one. For a particular rule to trump this, it must be a specific rule that mentions resistance and immunity. The idea is that for it to be specific for the purposes of overriding specific-beats-general, it must cite resistance to override normal resistance rules, and it must cite immunity to grant immunity.

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I’ve been missing the experience of traveling due to the pandemic and I’m curious if there are other apps or websites etc such as this one https://driveandlisten.herokuapp.com/ (which allows people to take a virtual drive around a variety of cities around the world) that allow people to travel virtually.

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Ways to explain my code when told it doesn’t make sense

As a programmer I have found my code frequently elicits the reaction “I don’t understand”. Whenever I get this response I try my best to explain my code patiently, and not make anyone feel afraid to ask questions.

I am pretty sure I’ve got the second part right, people are certainly not afraid to ask me questions about my code!

However I have good reason to believe my explanations are not effective. I routinely have hour long discussions trying to explain my code, and on many occasions the conversations have ended with my coworker saying they still don’t understand, but they have somewhere else to be (lunch, or home, or a meeting, etc).

I believe this is a problem with my code, as I cannot recall the last time some else’s code has taken an hour of explanation to understand. As well, I rarely see my coworkers spending anywhere near as much time explaining their code to each other.

Specifically, when posed with the question “I don’t understand your code”, what are some tactics I can use to explain my code?

I have previously employed the following follow up questions, which have rarely worked:

  • What part specifically seems to be confusing?
    • Sometimes this works, but often the answer is “the whole thing”. I have been in meetings with 5 other programmers, where all of the programmers agreed they didn’t understand my code, but none of them could give any specifics parts which were confusing.
  • Are you familiar with concept “X”?
    • I have tried to learn the names of the coding patterns I tend to use. I will bring up these names, such as “the visitor pattern”, and ask them if they are familiar with this pattern. If they are familiar with it I try to show them how my code is an implementation of that pattern. This seems to stop them from immediately asking more questions, but invariably we seem to come back to the same code, and so I am afraid while they fully understand the pattern, the connection between the pattern and my code is not obvious.
  • What are some solutions to problem “X”?
    • Sometimes I try to get them to actively engage with solving the general problem, hoping that if they explain how they would solve it, I can show them the parallels between their solution and mine. This works, however often times the problem is a bit too complicated to just solve in your head, and so they can’t quickly describe how they would solve it.

NOTE: It may be the case that my code is simply confusing to read for various code hygiene reasons (spaghetti code, lack of abstraction, etc), although I have not received complaints of this nature. I am open to improving my code quality, but for this question I am more interested in WHICH questions to ask when my code is stated to be not understood generally (not when it is said it is hard to follow, or fragile, or has bad variable names, all of which are specific enough for me to fix).

probability – Two “equivalent” ways of computing CVaR

I have a random variable $U$ which is a mixture of 2 random variables.
$$U=begin{cases}
0,~&mbox{with probability }1-q,\
X,~&mbox{with probability }q,
end{cases}$$

where $X$ is a continuous random variable with support $mathbb{R}$.

Clearly, the cdf of $U$ has a vertical jump at $u=0$. I have 2 ways of computing $CVaR_eta(U)$.

Method 1. Compute the cdf of $U$ and then the quantile function of $U$, i.e., the $VaR_eta(U)$. Then I compute
$$
frac{1}{eta}int_{0}^eta VaR_gamma(U)dgamma
$$

I have also seen from other paper that you can solve an optimization problem

Method 2.
$$max_{vinmathbb{R}}~v-frac{1}{eta}mathbb{E}((v-U)^+)$$

My question is: if my $U$ has point mass in some points, then will these 2 methods give the same outcome?