New user's initial thoughts / criticisms of Python

Robert Kern robert.kern at gmail.com
Mon Nov 11 12:53:40 CET 2013


On 2013-11-11 10:39, Chris Angelico wrote:

> A 'minor weapon' is based on a roll of a 100-sided dice. If it's 01 to
> 70, "+1 weapon: 2,000gp [weapon]"; if it's 71 to 85, "+2 weapon:
> 8,000gp [weapon]"; if 86 to 90, "Specific weapon [minor specific
> weapon]"; and if 91 to 100, "Special ability [minor special weapon]
> and roll again".
>
> My code to handle that starts out with this array:
>
> "minor weapon":({
>      70,"+1 weapon: 2,000gp [weapon]",
>      85,"+2 weapon: 8,000gp [weapon]",
>      90,"Specific weapon [minor specific weapon]",
>      100,"Special ability [minor special weapon] and roll again",
> }),
>
> (that's Pike; in Python it'd be a list, or maybe a tuple of tuples),
> and denormalizes it into a lookup table by creating 70 entries quoting
> the first string, 15 quoting the second, 5, and 10, respectively. So,
> with a bit of preprocessing, a lookup table (which in this case is an
> array (list), but could just as easily be a dict) can be used to
> handle inequalities. But this is because lookup tables can be treated
> as data, where if/elif/else blocks have to be code; there are roughly
> 42 million such lookup tables in the code I snagged that from, and
> having code for each one would work out far less manageable. Normally,
> you'll want to render inequalities with code as if/elif.

Heh. I've done pretty much exactly the same thing to implement an engine[1] to 
draw from the random tables on Abulafia[2] which have nearly the same structure. 
It scales up reasonably well beyond d100s. It's certainly not a technique I 
would pull out to replace one-off if-elif chains that you literally write, but 
it works well when you write the generic code once to apply to many tables.

[1] http://rollmeup.mechanicalkern.com/
[2] http://www.random-generator.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

-- 
Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma
  that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had
  an underlying truth."
   -- Umberto Eco




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