2,738 reputation
1023
bio website vyznev.net
location Helsinki, Finland
age
visits member for 3 years, 6 months
seen 4 hours ago

I'm a PhD student in biomathematics, working on stochastic individual-based models of evolution in spatially structured populations. My other interests include cryptography, programming games and puzzles, photography and graphic design.


I'm the main author and maintainer of the Stack Overflow Unofficial Patch (SOUP), a user script for browsers with GreaseMonkey-compatible user script support (Firefox, Chrome, Opera, possibly Safari) that fixes or works around a number of outstanding issues with the Stack Exchange user interface.

I tend to answer a lot more questions than I ask. Some answers I'm rather proud of:

CC-Zero 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
28
comment Should I warn my players when they're about to do something stupid?
@Tritium21: The last paragraph does answer the question. In fact, it (IMO) even answers it quite well, despite using much fewer words than some of the other answers. The only minor tweak I'd like to see would be an explicit note that player forgetfulness is just one of the ways in which players can end up with incomplete knowledge; for example, if the DM forgot to tell the player how dangerous the Tarrasque is, even though their character should've heard about it, that's also an (even better) reason to warn them before they try to punch it on the nose.
Apr
27
comment Should I warn my players when they're about to do something stupid?
While the general advice seems OK to me, something about the way you've phrased your examples honestly just grates on my ear. Especially the first example ("Eriwan should know...") comes across to me with a subtext of "Let me just play your character for you a bit, since you obviously don't know how." To me, the examples would sound much better with "you" (or the player's name) instead of "Eriwan"; that way, by addressing the player instead of the character, the GM leaves the player with the final choice to decide if their character really knows or remembers those things.
Apr
27
comment Is there a way to completely eliminate the penalties for Two-Weapon Fighting?
@HeyICanChan: I assume Dorian was referring to the fact that transcribing material not published under the OGL (or the GNU FDL) into the wiki may count as a copyright violation, if not done with the original publisher's permission (which I assume, in this case, they don't have). The Tempest page, in particular, seems to be a blatant copy-paste from Complete Adventurer.
Apr
27
comment Is there a way to completely eliminate the penalties for Two-Weapon Fighting?
+1 just because this suggestion made me laugh. It's not often that you see a question for which "grow yourself a second head" is a valid answer. :)
Apr
8
comment How to build a flexible and scalable system for PCs' NPC organizations?
I have to agree with SSD here -- the question just feels too broad to me. To quote our help center, "Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much." I can easily imagine a book about managing NPC organizations in an RPG; heck, you've listed several such books in your question. Thus, too broad.
Mar
10
comment How to prevent a stand-off because the player that moves opens himself up to attack
Related, almost duplicate: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/55212/…
Mar
6
comment Upkeep of a fortress?
@gomad: To answer an old comment, the fortress might've had strategic value in the past, but lost it. Maybe it was a border fort on a border that has moved, or no longer exists at all (one side conquered the other), or maybe it used to guard a trade route that's no longer used, or lands that are no longer fertile since the climate changed. From the OP's decription ("in the middle of an ancient forest with a once-overrun road leading to it"), it sounds like something like the latter might be the case.
Mar
4
comment Can a Gnome Ranger use his Animal Companion as a Mount?
If a weasel can ride a woodpecker, surely a gnome on a panther is plausible enough. ;p
Feb
25
comment What success rate design is the most “fun”?
I also posted an answer, but deleted it. Honestly, after re-reading your question, I feel it needs a lot more detail to be properly answerable. In particular, what are these "DCs" / success rates of yours for? Skill challenges (for what)? Attack rolls (against what)? Whole encounters? Absolutely anything ("I roll to see if I'm secretly a space alien")? In particular, there's a huge difference between, say, missing a single attack and losing the entire fight; a good success rate for one could be horrible for the other.
Feb
3
comment Can a lake of eternal fire be created with the spell blast of flame?
Sure it can, if you cast it into a natural gas well.
Feb
3
comment Can a lake of eternal fire be created with the spell blast of flame?
@KRyan: Physics nitpick: falling (or flying) drops of liquid are not actually "teardrop-shaped"; they're really shaped more like flattened spheres. (The exact shape depends on details like size and velocity; smaller drops are more spherical, while drops that are too large will just spread out until they break up into smaller drops.)
Jan
29
comment What memories does your clone have when you die?
From the title, I totally assumed this was a paranoia question.
Jan
22
comment What is the average roll of a die with an expanded explosion threshold as compared to one with an expanded success threshold?
@SevenSidedDie: No problem, that happens. Actually, that literal 6 in the code was kind of ugly anyway, so I just added an extra parameter for it to make the code more generic and, hopefully, self-explanatory.
Jan
22
comment What is the average roll of a die with an expanded explosion threshold as compared to one with an expanded success threshold?
You could also consider keeping the restriction, but letting the "explosion expander" allow a reroll on an initial roll of 4+; see edit above.
Jan
12
comment If two hostile players approach, why the fastest one gets to attack in second place?
Waiting is only a good option if you have some reason to believe that the other character can't or won't also wait. Otherwise you'll both just end up standing there, staring at each other. Which, I suppose, might be realistic and/or dramatically appropriate in some situations, but you do need some way to break the stalemate if you want any actual combat to occur.
Dec
5
comment How do I keep the game moving without undermining player agency?
@DCShannon: This answer doesn't seem too long to me -- to badly misquote Tolkien, it's just as long as it needs to be. But yes, if I had to distill its key point into just one sentence, it would be exactly the one you picked out.
Oct
12
comment Can I change the alignment of my intelligent item?
Or, failing that, sell the belt to the paladin and buy a less troublesome item instead.
Oct
12
comment Can I change the alignment of my intelligent item?
Reading the link posted by BBlake, I don't see "sprouts legs and tries to throw its owner into lava" listed as a typical result of an ego conflict, not even under "extreme circumstances". What did you do to that poor belt to deserve such treatment, anyway?
Sep
25
comment What is the average outcome of this opposed roll resolution mechanic?
I edited my answer to eliminate the skill+1 cap for crits. I think it now finally meets the spec. (Ps. Yes, treating any triple -- except maybe 1,1,1 -- as a crit would probably make more sense; the probability of rolling a triple other than 1,1,1 is 5 / 6³ ≈ 2.3%, or a bit less than half the probability of rolling a natural 20 on a d20. Still pretty rare, but at least likely to happen a few times during a reasonably long game.)
Sep
23
comment How should I handle a ruling that really hurts my character?
@user2623010: ...left something out of your comment? ;)