Down to the Wire

PlaidCTF 2020: Catalog Writeup

PlaidCTF 2020, with the theme Ready Pwner One, ran from April 17 to 19. We had a lot of very difficult problems, and all of them got solved… except for one:


At this point, it should probably come as little surprise that Catalog is one of mine; I don’t have the best record at having all of my problems solved (see: Toaster Wars Stormy Flag, idIoT: Lights). Here, I’ll discuss the intended solution to the problem, and a little behind-the-scenes look at what led me to write this problem and what I’d do differently if I had the chance to do it again.

Generating Unsupervised Ways to Die: The Making of a D&D Monster Generator

About 6 months ago, I had some downtime while transitioning jobs and decided to look for a project to entertain myself with. I had previously run into Minamaxir’s GPT-2 Magic Card Generator and thought it could be quick and fun to apply that idea to a hobby of my own, Dungeons and Dragons. Such a generator could end up being a useful tool, but more likely I figured I would end up with a toy project to play with while quickly teaching myself a little more about GPT-2. Unfortunately, it didn’t end up being quite as simple as I had imagined.