[sf-perl] Thinking about psuedo-randomness

Steve Fink sphink at gmail.com
Wed Apr 1 14:52:18 PDT 2009

I've always wanted (and have implemented, once) this sort of esthetic
randomness in the context of games, where the specific values of the
random numbers are not what needs to feel right/fair. It's the
continuous as opposed to discrete case, I suppose.

The sort of thing I'm talking about is where I just paid 45000 gold
pieces for this supposedly awesome Jagged Glass Sculpture of Angry
Broccoli +5, which happens to have a high variance in the damage it
deals. I'm totally fine with it occasionally dealing out puny amounts
of damage, but if the first four times I use it, it just happens to do
no better than my previous Limp Spaghetti Whip +0, then I'm going to
get pissed off and dump it in the trash heap and burn down the shop I
bought it from. Especially if I have to recharge it in the Glass
Vegetable Steamer after every four uses. So I'd like it to pull from a
distribution with memory -- sometimes even as extreme as coming up
with the total damage dealt in advance, and partitioning the eventual
total over the number of uses it allows before shattering into glassy
bits. (That's one way to be perfectly "fair", using one definition of

Nothing really to add; mostly just an example of where I've
encountered something similar.

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