3,287 reputation
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bio website vyznev.net
location Helsinki, Finland
age 35
visits member for 3 years, 9 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.


5h
comment Dice probabilities when rolling more dice than needed
This doesn't look right. 1/36 would be the probability of rolling (say) a 3 and a 4 on 2d6 in that order. But the OP seems to be asking for the probability of getting those two dice in any order, which is twice that. And I don't think your other calculations are right, either; besides the ordering issue, you're also double-counting some rolls (because, for example, a roll of 1,2,2,3 can match a subsequence of 1,2,3 in two ways; either as 1,2,*,3 or as 1,*,2,3).
11h
comment Modelling an opposed dice pool mechanic in AnyDice
I'm pretty sure this is wrong; it certainly doesn't give the same results as my code. I believe the main bug is that, in your code, A_DICEand B_DICE are dice instead of sequences: the reason this matters is because AnyDice will treat each use of those variables as a separate, independent Ad6 or Bd6 roll. See this program for a simple demonstration.
17h
comment AnyDice Help: ORE-Like Resolution
You could simplify your code by using the built-in [highest of A and B] instead of your custom [max of A and B]. But, actually, it turns out you could simplify it a lot more than that.
Jul
15
comment Player has little faith in DM, unhappy with in-game events, acts stubborn, obstructing game play
This. I wish I could +2 this. The only thing I'd like to add, regarding the "meta-gaming" issue, is that you (the OP) might be able to convince her that "Don't split the party." is indeed the good kind of meta-gaming, simply because there's only one GM and only one table to play at. Mind you, if she really does want to leave her character sulking, that could also make a good learning experience (and it could even be a good solution, if she really doesn't want to play just then). Just warn her in advance that, if she does stay behind, she won't have much if anything to do.
Jun
17
comment How should I emulate the highest in an irregular dice pool in AnyDice?
I think this answer has a bug; to get correct results for X,Y,Z > 1, the output of the second function should be [highest num of 1@A 1@B 1@C] instead of [highest num of X@A Y@B Z@C]. (Also, I obviously think my own code is shorter and cleaner, but I may be biased there.)
Jun
17
comment How should I emulate the highest in an irregular dice pool in AnyDice?
For "highest of 3d4, 2d6 and 1d8", if you roll (4, 4, 4), (5, 5) and (7), do you want a result of 7 (= highest individual die) or 12 (= highest sum of each kind of die)? Or, in other words, is there a difference between "highest of 1d6, 2d6 and 3d6" and "highest of 6d6"?
Jun
13
comment A slave's tongue has been cut out. How can we restore her ability to speak?
As another aside, while this probably makes for a great setting detail and plot hook, in most (all?) real-world slave holding societies such mutilation, if done at all, would be used only as a very severe punishment. That's because a) cutting out someone's tongue isn't exactly easy or safe, b) it makes the slave less useful and valuable, and c) it really pisses them off. IRL, you don't really want your slaves to hate you; indeed, you'd much rather prefer them to be mostly content with their lot, and to have at least some hope of some day winning their freedom if they work hard enough.
May
30
comment Calculating 6D6 similar to poker dice
Huh, that's weird... I'm not sure how I was able to post this answer, given that the question was closed while I was writing it. Anyway, does it answer your question, or is there something else you'd like to see clarified?
May
12
comment How can I use roll for shoes to introduce someone to roleplaying?
+1 for "start in the players' world." All my most successful RFS games have involved a setting that the players are already at least a little bit familiar with, enough so that they have some pre-existing ideas about how their characters might behave in the situation they find themselves in. Combined with the minimal (one might almost say nonexistent) chargen in RFS, that lets you start in media res and skip any awkward setup and orientation steps.
May
8
comment How can you create one PC that is more than one “person”?
+1 for "flat-out play two characters". The main issue with that option is making sure you don't hog more "screen time" than the other players. Giving the two characters complementary abilities, so that, in most situations, only one of them has anything significant to do, helps a lot there. The rest pretty much comes down to self-control and awareness of the issue.
May
6
comment What are the limitations of Gloves of Missile Snaring?
Moral of the story: don't give your players items that don't make sense to you.
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 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.