windows 10 – Blue Screen of Death after BIOS Update (Solved)

This is not anything I need help with, as I have solved the issue, but I have a general question that I would love some insight on. I am going to be upgrading my CPU to a Ryzen 5600X, and needed a BIOS update as such.
After the update I immediately went into the BIOS and began making all my changes, enabling DOCP, etc. That I do to increase performance. This apparently was a terrible idea, as I could not boot. Constant BSOD, usually after 1-3 seconds of loading system files. The errors that were reported were mostly Kernel and Driver issues. After it failed to boot 6 times or so, I attempted tried to do a system restore point. The PC crashed during this as well, the same Driver “SQL” error. I do not know exactly what was failing, but I know it was core system files.
After this I decided maybe I needed to boot once with default BIOS settings, then make the changes afterwards. I boot to BIOS, cleared the CMOS via the UEFI, and boot into Windows on the first try. Being a person of moderate Tech Literacy, I probably should have done the CMOS clear first, but I thought I would at least try the restore point. Just a waste of time.
I shut down the PC, and restart into the BIOS. Make my changes that I mentioned before, and boot successfully into Windows on the first try. No issue.
So first, If you are having BSOD issues after a BIOS update, your first step should be to clear CMOS. Second, does anyone know any more about why this may be happening? I would love some insight into this issue, why booting into a modified BIOS immediately out of the gate was a bad idea. Does Windows Kernel just need to boot once to get used to the new BIOS? Some other issue?

dnd 5e – Is there a magic/mechanic that could cause an item to disappear/teleport/planeshift on death?

I’ll try my best to make things within the rules

Normally, your best bet for “if X happens, then I want a spell that does Y” is contingency. Unfortunately for your purposes, in 5e, Contingency can only be cast on Self, and can only trigger spells of 5th level or lower (which eliminates using Teleport or Word of Recall). Further, contingency also triggers only spells that have a casting time of one action, which means we can’t use it to try to lower the level of teleport by using a teleportation circle or have it cast and then immediately trigger a glyph of warding with one of the aforementioned spells stored in it.

Without access to Contingency, you’re going to need a fair bit of ‘creative interpretation’ for this, but here goes.

First, you need a really nice Ring of Mind Shielding. In mean, we’re going to have to trick that bling out.

The ring of mind shielding needs to be in the form of a tiny replica of an exquisite treasure chest. Something like this will do. (Note to mods: this is for illustrative purposes only and hopefully will be understood as not an advertisement on my part).

Also, the ring of mind shielding has to serve as a ring of spell storing as well. (Note: I don’t have a stat block for Xanathar but I am assuming it is both a beholder and not a caster).

Now that you have your three-in-one ring, have a caster with access to the Secret Chest spell store one in the ring.

Xanathar takes the ring and wears it – perhaps as a tongue piercing? While doing so, he casts the secret chest spell while touching the larger version of the chest (“an exquisite chest, 3 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet, constructed from rare materials worth at least 5,000 gp, of which the ring is the replica”), thus fitting the conditions for casting the secret chest spell, “You must touch the chest and the miniature replica that serves as a material component for the spell.” Or perhaps not, if using the spell storing function means you don’t need material components. In that case I guess you don’t need the miniature treasure chest on the ring, but it is still a nice touch.

In casting the spell, Xanathar sends the secret chest into the Ethereal (for at least 60 days risk-free).

Pause for party to arrive.

Your party assaults Xanathar and appears to have killed him, at which point the mind shielding function of the ring activates and his soul enters it. Once he is inside the ring, he calls for the Secret Chest…and here is where we hand-wave a bit.

“While the chest remains on the Ethereal Plane, you can use an action and touch the replica to recall the chest.” Can Xanathar’s soul within the ring be considered a “you” that is “touching” the replica? Fortunately, there is no game-definition of “you”. Xanathar at this point is a soul inside a metal object…so not that different from warforged? Also, Magic Jar? Can a soul inside the ring use an action? Again, magic jar. Fortunately, the secret chest activation doesn’t require any V, S, or M – just an action.

The chest appears “in an unoccupied space on the ground within 5 feet of you.” – fortunately Xanathar’s old body is no longer occupying the space, so have the chest appear just below the (previously floating) body and the body drop into it. Or, if Xanathar’s body is too big, his dying act is to bite off his tongue, and spit it through he air, whereupon it falls into the just-appearing chest. That’s nice and dramatic and also gives your players a clue that he had a back-up plan and might not be dead-dead.

Now that the tongue with the three-purpose ring is inside the chest, Xanathar just has to “send the chest back to the Ethereal Plane by using an action and touching both the chest and the replica,” which he can do from his position inside the ring.

Result: Xanathar is safely hidden on the Ethereal Plane, his soul inside the ring of mind shielding inside the chest. Hopefully he has some sort of beacon for his minions to find him there before his 60 days are up.

dnd 5e – Is there a 5e magic/mechanic that could cause an item to disappear/teleport/planeshift on death?

I am running a 5e campaign where my players may encounter the Xanathar. Being the murdering hobos that they are, they may eventually successfully kill him since he is just a normal beholder stat block. He has a couple magic rings, including a Ring of Mind Shielding.

I was thinking of having his soul go into the Ring of Mind Shielding on death and then have the ring disappear to a place he can be true resurrected/wished to life later on.

Would there be a mechanic/spell that allows me to do such a thing? I try my best to make things within the rules instead of just DM ‘it happens because I say so’. In Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Rezmir has a chest on Skyreach Castle that is similar to my question. From Page 79:

In addition, the chest here is locked and magically attuned to Rezmir so that if she dies, its contents are teleported to the Well of Dragons and out of her slayers’ hands.

However, it does not go into what caused this chest to do so.

Thanks in advance! The loss of the Xanathar to the realm would be truly disappointing.

dnd 5e – How do I clearly foreshadow a potential out-of-combat death?

Let me first set the scene

The group I DM for is in a position where they are at the mercy of a group of people who are contemplating what to do with the party.

I have decided on a game of chance to decide their fate (It makes narrative sense), and at a certain point one of the PC’s may do so badly that their fate is to be killed (Again it makes narrative sense).

The particular method of death is that they are going to be pushed off a very high ledge.

While I do plan to give the player chance to do something to avoid this fate (Running, bribing, fighting, etc.) the gist is that if the player doesn’t do anything they will be pushed to their death.

The player may well trust the ‘enemy’ because there is a likelihood that other members of the party have had amusing fates, and be curious to find out their own.

Further to the above:

Some of my players read this site, so I was trying to be vague, but the players are already ‘captive’ in this scene, and due to language barriers the level of communication is minimal. As such I can’t forewarn the party, and I think having the enemy communicate clearly for the first time cheapens the scene.

The PC’s are literally sat at a table playing cards and losing may mean being thrown off a cliff. They don’t know the rules, can’t read the cards, can’t understand much of what is said around them and are 100% out of their element.

Examples:

  1. Player draws the king > character doesn’t know what it means > NPC’s
    lead character somewhere > something potentially ominous happens such as being surrounded by NPC’s > character is given his stuff back and set
    free
  2. Player draws the queen > character doesn’t know what it means > NPC’s lead character to a cliff edge (The ominous happening) > character is pushed over

So:

What techniques are there to ensure that this player knows they face potential death, without just outright telling them?

Basically when they get to the cliff edge I want them to have a good idea that they are going to be pushed off.

Note on answers: I am playing D&D 5e but I am very influenced by ideas from other systems so I am happy to hear about how to successfully pull this off as a GM, regardless of system. I don’t stick to RAW either.

dnd 5e – Is this “Bead of Final Countdown” homebrew magic item (for one final act of defiance in death) balanced?

I’m playing a fighter in a pretty standard D&D 5th edition game. My character is currently 7th level. I’m wanting to ask my DM for a magic item that would be something like the following:

Bead of Final Countdown

When a creature is locked in mortal combat, it may become apparent
that this will be its last such encounter. The creature can use a
bonus action to place this bead in its mouth, biting down on it. This
begins to charge a delayed blast fireball. When the creature dies
(not just unconscious, but truly dead) the fireball explodes as in the
delayed blast fireball spell, dealing damage to all creatures in range and destroying the creature’s body. If the creature that places
the bead in its mouth does not die within two minutes, or if it
removes the bead from its mouth, it suffers one level of exhaustion
from the stress of holding such an explosion in its mouth.

I’ve tried to make it something that would let me go out with one heroic bang (and also give one of my backup characters a chance to shine…) without making it something that is “always on”, hence the drawback if it’s not used. I’m also trying to make this a conscious decision as one final act of defiance. Perhaps it’s something given to soldiers of a certain army?

Anyhow, I’m wondering if this is a reasonable item to ask for and if there exists anything similar to this that already exists rather than being goofy homebrew of an inexperienced player. And if there is anything that can be done to improve it, mechanically or wording-wise.

dnd 5e – Death by leveling? The effects of 0 max HP and leveling with negative CON

Well now, the premise of the question no longer seems to be true after the latest errata, as you can’t lose maximum hit points anymore through levelling. The following is my original answer, from when that wasn’t true.


I suspect that there wasn’t a lot of playtesting around the rules for creatures with 0 maximum hit points. As we’ll see, there’s some implied expectations that creatures only lose hit points due to damage, and it makes some rules come across awkwardly as one can also lose current hit points due to having one’s maximum hit points decreased. Having one’s maximum hit points go all the way down to 0 is something that’s a consequence of other rules as you mention, but it’s pretty unlikely to come up in practice.

But let’s not let the rarity of this situation prevent us from exploring it. I’ll give a bunch of quotes from the rules and tell you how I’m reading them. I’ll mostly be quoting from the online Basic Rules, in the Combat chapter, in the Damage and Healing section.

First, let’s make sure we know what hit points actually are.

Hit Points

Hit points represent a combination of physical and mental durability, the will to live, and luck. Creatures with more hit points are more difficult to kill. Those with fewer hit points are more fragile.

A creature’s current hit points (usually just called hit points) can be any number from the creature’s hit point maximum down to 0. This number changes frequently as a creature takes damage or receives healing.

Whenever a creature takes damage, that damage is subtracted from its hit points. The loss of hit points has no effect on a creature’s capabilities until the creature drops to 0 hit points.

It’s generally established, though I don’t know of a rule that makes it perfectly explicit, that if your maximum hit points becomes lower than your current hit points, that your current points becomes your maximum hit points (See “What happens to current hp upon loss of max hp?”.) Since due to the definition of “current hit points” it needs to be within the bounds of 0 to your maximum, it makes sense that it has to change, and it’d be real silly if it were to change to, say, 0, or to a random number less than the new maximum. Changing to the closest number that’s still within the bounds allowed for current hit points makes the most sense, and nobody would really expect it to work differently.

Regardless, if a creature’s hit point maximum is 0, then the creature’s current hit points can be any number between 0 and 0, which I can’t read as any other way than their current hit points become 0.

Your hit points just “becoming” a number is part of what’s a bit odd about all this. Does this count as “damage”, or is it just some other generic “change in hit point total”? As we’ll see a little later, a lot of rules care about when damage is dealt, so this ends up being an important question.

Arguments in favor of it being damage

Arguments in favor of just being a change in current hit points

  • Nothing in the rules calls out this reduction in current hit points due to a reduction in maximum hit points as “damage”, and generally game terms are used in a somewhat consistent manner.
  • The sentence “Whenever a creature takes damage, that damage is subtracted from its hit points.” says that while damage subtracts hit points, it doesn’t say that it’s the only way to do so.
  • When describing how damage works,

    Damage Types

    Different attacks, damaging spells, and other harmful effects deal different types of damage.

    None of the types listed seem to apply, as we have “rules damage” or “maximum hp reduced damage”, and it’s clearly a different sort of thing than the types of damage listed.

So which do I call it?

Well, feel free to read it however you find reasonable. In practice, we’re going to get the most sensible answers if we call it damage, or at least if we decide to apply the same rules later on even though they say “damage” and it might not be in some technical sense. But if you’re one who likes literal rules-as-written, if only as an exercise in how silly we can make these rules seem, there’s certainly a good argument to be made that it’s not damage and that damage rules shouldn’t apply to this hit point change.

There’s a rule that suggests one of those things sure ought to happen:

Dropping to 0 Hit Points

When you drop to 0 hit points, you either die outright or fall unconscious, as explained in the following sections.

This rule seems fairly clear. A creature at 0 hit points should either die outright, or just fall unconscious. So, which is it?

You don’t die instantly

Instant Death

Massive damage can kill you instantly. When damage reduces you to 0 hit points and there is damage remaining, you die if the remaining damage equals or exceeds your hit point maximum.

And here’s where you start to see why I made a big deal of whether of not this hit point change counts as “damage”. This seems to only apply to damage that reduces you to 0 hit points. If your reading is that it’s not damage, then this rule doesn’t apply. But even if you say that the change in your hit points is damage, or that this rule should clearly apply anyway based on it being in the more general “Dropping to 0 Hit Points” section, I don’t think there could be any “damage remaining”. I can’t see how this rule would cause you to die instantly.

You probably fall unconscious

Falling Unconscious

If damage reduces you to 0 hit points and fails to kill you, you fall unconscious (see appendix A). This unconsciousness ends if you regain any hit points.

Now, this part really depends on whether or not you want to call the hit point change “damage”, or apply the rule anyway (since it’s in a more general “Dropping to 0 Hit Points” section) even if it isn’t damage.

If you apply the rule, then you fall unconscious.

If you decide that it isn’t damage and therefore don’t apply the rule, then you need to treat that sentence starting the “Dropping to 0 Hit Points” section as just more an introduction to the section, and not really as a rule. Since clearly, even though that header text said that you would die instantly or fall unconscious, it appears that neither rule applied. There’s also the sentence at the end of the Hit Points section “The loss of hit points has no effect on a creature’s capabilities until the creature drops to 0 hit points.” You need to read that as saying that while a creature might experience some effect when dropping to 0 hit points, such an effect isn’t required. If you’re willing to take this approach to the text, which admittedly is a bit of a stretch, you’d be walking around completely fine even though you’re at 0 hit points.

I imagine most playgroups would choose to apply the rule, and have the creature fall unconscious. But if your group has fun twisting rules in this way (and I’ve certainly had fun writing up this answer), I sure won’t stop you from having an alert, awake, perfectly happy character who just so happens to be at zero hit points.

This part is actually pretty straightforward.

Death Saving Throws

Whenever you start your turn with 0 hit points, you must make a special saving throw, called a death saving throw, to determine whether you creep closer to death or hang onto life.

Whether your group decided you fell unconscious or not, Death Saving Throws apply because you’d be starting your turn with 0 hit points and haven’t become stable. And even if you roll a 20, you can’t gain the 1 hit point that you normally would since your maximum is 0, though it does count as a death saving throw success.

If you do become stable, then your status doesn’t change from there, since you can’t regain the 1 hit point after 1d4 hours, either. So, you just remain unconscious (or remain conscious if your group goes that way), and you just stay that way since you have no way to get to 1 hit point unless some effect (probably caused by somebody else) manages to raise your hit point maximum back to a positive number.

See this paragraph at the end of the “Death Saving Throws” section:

Damage at 0 Hit Points. If you take any damage while you have 0 hit points, you suffer a death saving throw failure. If the damage is from a critical hit, you suffer two failures instead. If the damage equals or exceeds your hit point maximum, you suffer instant death.

My reading of that last sentence is that if you take any positive amount of damage while your hit point maximum is 0, you will suffer instant death.

dnd 5e – How does the Death Ward spell interact with the Polymorph spell lasting “until the target drops to 0 hit points”?

A Divine Soul sorcerer in our group is quite fond of using polymorph to change herself into a giant ape (MM, p. 323). At one point in our game last night she managed to grapple a Bheur (Winter Hag) that was riding a Nightmare (flying evil Pegasus). And during the fight, the mount was killed, sending them all into a 1200-ft. nose dive. The fall did 120d6 damage (specifically, 311 damage) to her polymorphed Ape form, which was it turned out exactly 3 points from killing her instantly with the massive damage rule (PHB, p. 197).

An argument about the damage rule ensued, which I felt was squared away with simple math, but it then led directly to another argument over the fact that she got to remain in her Giant Ape form because she still had the spell death ward active on her sheet. This might have just been simple confusion over how much time had passed after their long rest, as in her case she had death ward active for 16 total hours, rather than the normal 8 hours, because of the sorcerer’s “Extended Spell” Metamagic option (PHB, p. 102).

The argument then continued, to the entire table’s near complete exasperation, as it became a debate over whether or not she should be reverted back to her original sorcerer form because she hit 0 HP (which triggered the death ward), or if she never actually hit 0 HP because death ward keeps you at 1 HP… (Ugh.)

I made a ruling at the table that yes, she’s going to continue on as a giant ape at 1 HP despite taking over 300 damage, regardless of how “ridiculous” the other players found it to be, because those are the rules (and also “Because: MAGIC”). But the question of how it works by RAW is now eating at me…

When the death ward spell is triggered by damage, do you first technically hit 0 HP and then go back up to 1 HP? Or do you effectively just never go below 1 HP?

dnd 5e – Death Ward with Polymorph

A sorcerer in our group is quite fond of using polymorph to change herself into a giant ape (MM page323). At one point in our game last night she managed to grapple a Bheur (Winter Hag), that was riding a Nightmare (flying evil Pegasus). And during the fight the mount was killed sending them all into a 1200ft nose dive which did 120d6, (311dmg) to her polymorphed Ape form, which was it turned out exactly 3 points from killing her instantly with the massive damage rule (PHB page197).

An argument about the damage rule ensued, which I felt was squared away with simple math, but it then lead directly to another argument over the fact that she got to remain in her Giant Ape form because she still had the spell Death Ward active on her sheet. This might have just been simple confusion over how much time had passed after their long rest, as in her case she had Death Ward active for 16 total hrs, not 8, because of the divine sorcerer’s “Extended Spell” metamagic (PHB page102).

The argument then CONTINUED to the entire table’s near complete exasperation, as it became a debate over whether, or not, she should be reverted back to her original Sorceress form because she hit 0hp (which triggered the ward), or if she never actually hit 0hp because ward keeps you at 1hp…. Ugh

I made a ruling at the table that yes, she’s going to continue on as a giant ape at 1hp despite taking over three hundred damage, regardless of how “ridiculous” the other players found it to be because those are the rules and also: “Because: MAGIC”. But the RAW question that’s now eating at me is: Does the spell Death Ward keep you at 1hp after you technically hit 0hp, or do you just never go below 1hp?

python 3.x – Getting Death Row Inmates Last Statement

Initial version of the code appeared as an answer to an SO question. I refactored the code a bit and it works pretty well, IMHO. I get a solid .csv file with all the data from Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Death Row page.

What I was especially interested in was getting all offenders’ last statement, if there was any, which the codes accomplishes.

What I’d want to get here is some feedback on utilizing pandas, as I’m relatively new to it. Also, some memory efficiency suggestions would be nice too, I guess.

For example, should I save the initial version of the .csv file and then read it so I can append the last statements? Or keeping everything in memory is fine?

If you find any other holes, do point them out!

The code:

import random
import time

import pandas as pd
import requests
from lxml import html

base_url = "https://www.tdcj.texas.gov/death_row"
statement_xpath = '//*(@id="content_right")/p(6)/text()'


def get_page() -> str:
    return requests.get(f"{base_url}/dr_executed_offenders.html").text


def clean(first_and_last_name: list) -> str:
    name = "".join(first_and_last_name).replace(" ", "").lower()
    return name.replace(", Jr.", "").replace(", Sr.", "").replace("'", "")


def get_offender_data(page: str) -> pd.DataFrame:
    df = pd.read_html(page, flavor="bs4")
    df = pd.concat(df)
    df.rename(
        columns={'Link': "Offender Information", "Link.1": "Last Statement URL"},
        inplace=True,
    )

    df("Offender Information") = df(
        ("Last Name", 'First Name')
    ).apply(lambda x: f"{base_url}/dr_info/{clean(x)}.html", axis=1)

    df("Last Statement URL") = df(
        ("Last Name", 'First Name')
    ).apply(lambda x: f"{base_url}/dr_info/{clean(x)}last.html", axis=1)
    return df


def get_last_statement(statement_url: str) -> str:
    page = requests.get(statement_url).text
    statement = html.fromstring(page).xpath(statement_xpath)
    text = next(iter(statement), "")
    return " ".join(text.split())


def get_last_statements(offenders_data: list) -> list:
    statements = ()
    for item in offenders_data:
        *names, url = item
        print(f"Fetching statement for {' '.join(names)}...")
        statements.append(get_last_statement(statement_url=url))
        time.sleep(random.randint(1, 4))
    return statements


if __name__ == "__main__":
    offenders_df = get_offender_data(get_page())
    names_and_urls = list(
        zip(
            offenders_df("First Name"),
            offenders_df("Last Name"),
            offenders_df("Last Statement URL"),
        )
    )
    offenders_df("Last Statement") = get_last_statements(names_and_urls)
    offenders_df.to_csv("offenders_data.csv", index=False)

The scraping part is intentionally slow, as I don’t want to abuse the server, but I do want to get the job done. So, if you don’t have a couple of minutes to spare, you can fetch the offenders_data.csv file from here.

How to alleviate the tedium of PC death at higher levels?

In our high-level Pathfinder game, player characters die relatively often, whether to save-or-die or just to high damage.

When a PC dies, then players either defeat the enemy or escape, and unless the player wants to start playing a new character, they then teleport to a safe place, bring the corpse to a temple, pay for raise dead and restoration and hopefully remember to cast the second restoration again in a week.

This seems like a simple process, but in practice it tends to eat up quite a bit of time which is not particularly interesting. The teleport could miss, inhabitants of town might react to PCs returning, PCs might want to haggle down on the price of raise dead and the party might want to spend the downtime between the two restoration spells somehow. It is noticeably slower in real time than a PC falling unconscious and getting tapped with a wand of cure light wounds until at full HP.

Can this time somehow be minimized or made more fun?