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About jlhorner1974

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  • Birthday 08/11/1974

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    Cary, NC, USA
  1. If you took the time to read Julia's awesome post, I expect you'd be interested in reading another long post talking about my role in this endeavour. I want to thank Julia and her husband for involving me in this project, and I'm very excited that they will be posting our findings to the community. If this were a book, I feel like I should be writing the forward here. Julia and her husband spent quite some time working out some the math behind the game in order to analyze the balance in terms of adventure probability, rewards gained, average number of elder signs offered as rewards, and other such things. Julia's husband put together some impressive Excel spreadsheets with some detailed formulas to calculate the probability of passing the adventures. But as it turns out, calculating the odds of passing a relatively easy adventure involves a long and tedious formula, even if you greatly simplify the assumptions and cut corners. This is where I came in. I'm a computer scientist. Independently of Julia and her husband, I was thinking about how to write a program that calculated Elder Sign adventure probabilities by simulating them. At the early stages of the program's creation, I talked with Julia about it and that's when our team effort began. I created a framework that can represent adventures, tasks, and dice, and developed an algorithm that can roll dice and use them to complete adventures much in the way a human would. If I repeat the process many, many times, I can find how many times I succeeded out of the total number of runs, and with a large enough number of trials, I can get a relatively good approximation of the true odds of passing the adventure by playing similar to the way a real human would (thanks to the law of large numbers). Because it's a simulation, I didn't have to write any crazy formulas or do any real math other than some simple adding and subtracting. I was able to add support for things like: * Retrying the adventure with one less die after a failed roll * Handle adventures with many tasks and/or requirements * Adding the red and/or yellow dice * Adding the cursed (black) die * Factoring in locked dice * Terror effects that fail the adventure or devour you * Trying to complete the most difficult adventure first when more than one can be completed with the rolled dice Though my algorithm that attempts the adventure is far from perfect, it's good enough to get pretty good results, and Julia and her husband have been able to take these probabilities and use them to great effect in their analysis and really explore the deeper math behind the game. The program took a week or two to get preliminary results, and enhancements made gradually over the last few weeks have resulted in the improvements mentioned above. I maintain that my role in this was but a small part of Julia and her husband's overall analysis, but even so, this exercise has been an incredibly successful collaboration. Each of us has helped make the others' work better and the fruits of our labor will soon be made to all of you. I hope all of you enjoy reading about it as much as we did working on it.
  2. Wow, that's old school. Trivia: Did you know that Gradius was the first game that contained the famous Konami code (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start)?
  3. Tibs explained it well. I usually think of it in this way: a Fight check is any check in the game that uses Fight. If you get a bonus to Fight, it applies to all types of Fight checks: Combat checks, checks to close gates based on Fight, checks in encounters that use Fight, and so on. A shotgun will only provide a bonus to combat checks, and not any of the other types (it does not help you close gates).
  4. My wife says I'm like Leonard. I was flattered because he's the most normal one.
  5. Excellent analysis, very well done. I want to digest your post a bit more, but I have a couple of thoughts: As Yemon said, if getting to the Tick Tock Men is an issue, remember that the encounter effects in Tokyo cannot defeat or discard epic monsters, but they can damage epic monsters. Dumping a number of investigators on Tokyo is a viable strategy for dealing with the situation. Also, if clues are scarce, park someone on London, as the encounters there often generate clues. Charlie is fantastic for this as he can buy items there and send them to people while he clue farms. If you want to meta-game the system, look at the mythos deck construction recipe in the ancient one card. Based in the current phase the game is in (I, II, or III) and what cards you have seen, you can determine how many reckoning effects are left, and thus, if a rumor will detonate before the game ends. If it will not trigger, you can ignore it if the ongoing effect is not serious.
  6. I make sure never to lose shuffleboard. I'm not above creating a diversion and kicking an opponent's puck out of the way when nobody is looking. Plus, the prosthetic fish gills ensure that the organizers don't give me any trouble. Even if I were writing this from inside a large be-ten-tickled creature, I wouldn't admit it anyway.
  7. Yep. 1. If you've got a pile of monsters, pick one. 2. Each round of combat, decide whether you want to evade or fight. 2a. If you evade, make an Evade check. If you succeed, you're done with that monster this turn. If you fail, 2b. the monster does its combat damage to you and you begin a new round. 3. If you fight, make a horror check if you haven't already made one against this monster. 4. Make a combat check. If you get a number of successes on the check equal to or greater than the monster's toughness (number of blood drops) you defeat the monster and move on to the next. Otherwise, you take the monster's combat damage, and then begin a new round. Damage you do is NOT cumulative, so you need to get the required number of successes all in one check to defeat it. 5. If you defeat or evade the monster, you choose another monster on your space and repeat steps 2-5. So, once you encounter a monster, you continue performing rounds of combat against it until you evade it, you defeat it in combat, or it defeats you.
  8. I tend to avoid the buffet, but Wednesday's shuffleboard tournament and bingo night are quite lovely.
  9. They should just make you an admin... Then I should probably stop answering questions :-// Dunno. I'm headed Innsmouth searching for retired people, Star Spawns and see what happens. No! We need you here! Walk away from the light... er, docks.
  10. Here, I fixed it: The investigators can retire be retired in Innsmouth.
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