878 reputation
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bio website vyznev.net
location Helsinki, Finland
age
visits member for 2 years, 5 months
seen 3 hours ago

I like programming in Perl and C. I know Java and PHP too (I'm a MediaWiki developer), but I can't really say I like them. I keep meaning to learn Python some day, but never seem to get around to it.

I'm working on a Ph.D. in biomathematics. I also like programming puzzles and cryptography.

Please consider any (original) code I post to Stack Overflow (and other Stack Exchange sites) to be released under CC-Zero unless stated otherwise. You may do whatever you want with it and don't have to credit me in any way, although of course that would be nice.


Apr
12
comment Is there a pattern for d8 dice?
I believe there are actually 16 distinct d8 patterns that satisfy the "opposite sides sum to 9" constraint. Specifically, the sides numbered "1" and "2" can share either an edge or just a corner. (They can't be opposite due to the constraint.) Either way, rotate the die so that "1" is facing you and "2" is to the left of it; that's enough to fix the orientation of the die, and leaves four choices for the placement of the "3" side and, once that's determined, two choices for the placement of the "4" side, for a total of 2 × 4 × 2 = 16 unique configurations.
Apr
11
comment Is there a pattern for d8 dice?
There are three (obvious) ways to divide a d8 into two halves. It's perfectly possible for both of your descriptions ("only even / only odd" vs. "1,8,5,4 / 2,3,6,7") to correctly describe the same die.
Apr
6
comment Are there any rules for jumping/falling attacks such as jumping from a ledge or table?
Whatever you end up doing, from a "cinematics" viewpoint, I'd say that diving down on an enemy axe-first from above is a spectacular action, and it should either succeed spectacularly or fail spectacularly. Turning it into nothing more than a normal attack with a small situational bonus would seem rather disappointing.
Apr
6
comment How can I get Sharpie off my d6s?
+1. If you're spending more than about $0.15 per die on cleaning them (labor included), you'd be better off buying new ones. A standard Chessex 36d6 set will cost you a little over $6 in most places, and for $30 you can get enough cheap dice to hurt you if you drop them on your toe. I'd suggest just treating the sharpie-marked ones the same way as you'd treat, say, used scrap paper. You made something with them, got some use out of them, learned something in the process, and now they've served their purpose.
Apr
3
comment Do you generally do anything with a creature's remains?
@MatthewNajmon: Assuming that trolls magically regenerate faster than they eat, I guess you could always keep them alive by feeding them troll meat...
Apr
2
comment How can player characters restore a mostly-burned note?
Per the rules, "[a]ll of the pieces of an object must be present for [Mending] to function." If half of the note has been literally burnt away, I would not consider it to be present. I could see it working if it had only been charred to illegibility, though.
Mar
22
comment Can I use touch creature spells on myself?
The rules don't seem to actually say you have to touch the target with your hand, so, even assuming that your body doesn't automatically count as touching itself all the time, you could claim to, say, touch your palate with your tongue, or your lower eyelid with the upper one.
Mar
2
comment Reproduction of copyrighted content by website users
I'd flag to close this as "off topic" or "too broad", since I wouldn't really expect this to be a good forum for getting advice on copyright law. However, Kyle Willey's answer is impressive enough to convince me that I might be wrong, so I won't.
Mar
2
comment Reproduction of copyrighted content by website users
+1 for the nice summary, but I'd like to note that the administrative requirements for qualifying for the DMCA 512(c) safe harbor are slightly more specific than what you list above; for instance, you need to register a "designated agent" (basically, someone to send the takedown notices to) with the Copyright Office. The Digital Media Law Project has a pretty nice summary of the DMCA 512(c/d) safe harbor requirements.
Feb
24
comment Changing Type Of Enemy During Combat
If the minions are smart / well trained enough (and it really doesn't take that much training), the patrols that hear the initial call for help will split up, with one member running to help and the other running to raise proper alarm. So the ranger actually gets to fight three minions now, and n minions plus whatever other defenders the minions can call up a few moments later. Of course, if you really follow that kind of reasoning to its logical conclusion, we all know where that leads. ;-)
Jan
18
comment How do I help a player who struggles with a tactics-focused character?
+1. One suggestion I'd add is that, if and when the player does start coming up with tactical ideas on her own, go along with them no matter how outlandish or half-baked they might be! She's the tactical genius, so if she thinks that, say, the dragon might be distracted by bawdy singing, then she's probably right. (And do let the player know that this is explicitly a part of her "tactical genius" powers: any tactical plan of hers, no matter how off the wall, will have a better-than-usual chance of working.)
Dec
20
comment What system increases skills based on skill use?
@waxeagle: One way to allow some continuity between RFS games, while avoiding excessive skill accumulation, might be to let characters retain one skill of each level between games. (In the variant I've used, I've also let new players start with one character-appropriate skill at 2. Together, these rules ought to keep old and new characters fairly well balanced, since higher skills are, or at least should be, also correspondingly more specialized.) Of course, this would still be more like a bunch of separate adventures, just with recurring characters, than a single continuous campaign.
Nov
26
comment What counts as ground for Tenser's Floating Disk?
@SevenSidedDie; If the rules indeed say "ground", and if it hasn't been specially defined anywhere (which I'll have to trust you on, since I've never actually played 4E), then strictly by RAW, I'd have to say that no, a constructed floor is not ground as the word is usually understood in English. Of course, it's pretty obvious that the rules here should say something like "solid, walkable surface", and that's how I'd personally rule it as a DM -- but as written, they don't.
Nov
26
comment What counts as ground for Tenser's Floating Disk?
@SevenSidedDie: What you seem to be arguing, then, is that "ground is whatever I say / the DM says it is." Because your implied definition of "ground" above is certainly way off from how I'd understand that word in everyday English. (To my mind, a floor is not ground, a ship's deck is definitely not ground, and a paved road is only ground insofar as it's just a thin layer above the actual ground it lies upon. Bridges, elevators, airplanes? Totally not ground.)
Nov
14
comment Speak with burrowing animals
I'm pretty sure this ability is specific to D&D (and possibly to games inspired by it), so I think this would be better tagged dungeons-and-dragons rather than system-agnostic.
Nov
13
comment Prices/rules for intentionally buying cursed items
That would make sense if the curse was deliberately placed on the item. Apparently, however, most cursed items in Pathfinder are supposed to be the result of ordinary magic item crafting gone wrong (so they're really not so much "cursed" as "broken").
Oct
19
comment How to counteract an Anti-Gravity Spell
It should be noted that, IRL, air does have weight. Even without any active "reverse gravity" effects, a truly weightless object should shoot up like a helium balloon. (Indeed, almost exactly like a helium balloon -- compared to air, helium is very close to weightless.) Of course, we're talking about magic here, and it's quite possible to interpret "weightless" as "weighing the same as the surrounding air", which would give the effect you describe as "case 1". Still, I figured that this additional wrinkle was at least worth noting.
Oct
4
comment What should a DM do if a player wants to do something impossible?
+1 for the mental image of "take a well into the dungeon with them" (and for good advice, too).
Sep
11
comment What is the ideal Numenera party size, and the practical min and max?
+1. Also, with more than five or six players, the amount of "face time" each player gets usually starts to get uncomfortably low. Past a certain point, spending most of your time waiting for the other n-1 players to do their stuff gets boring fast. (Ps. There's a very nice answer by aramis to a related question that goes into more detail on this stuff.)
Aug
19
comment How can I depict three dimensional combats?
@Adriano: The images in your link seem to have succumbed to bit rot. Here's an archive link with working images: web.archive.org/web/20111117021132/http://penny-arcade.com/2009/…