D&D.Sci (Easy Mode): On The Construction Of Impossible Structures [Evaluation and Ruleset]

post by abstractapplic · 2024-05-20T09:38:55.228Z · LW · GW · 1 comments

Contents

  Ruleset
      Impossibility
      Cost
    Strategy
  Reflections
  Scheduling
None
1 comment

This is a followup to the D&D.Sci post [LW · GW] I made last Friday; if you haven’t already read it, you should do so now before spoiling yourself.

Below is an explanation of the rules used to generate the dataset (my full generation code is available here, in case you’re curious about details I omitted), and their strategic implications.


Ruleset

Impossibility

Impossibility is entirely decided by who a given architect apprenticed under. Fictional impossiblists Stamatin and Johnson invariably produce impossibility-producing architects of the time; real-world impossiblists Penrose, Escher and Geisel always produce architects whose works just kind of look weird; the self-taught break Nature's laws 43% of the time.

Cost

Cost is entirely decided by materials. In particular, every structure created using Nightmares is more expensive than every structure without them.

Strategy

The five architects who would guarantee an impossible structure are D, E, G, H, and K. Of these, G - and only G - intends to use Nightmares as construction material. The optimal choices given the Duke's stated preferences are therefore [D, E, H, K].

Reflections

This challenge was created with the intent of being egregiously easy and anomalously accessible. From the performances I saw, it looks like it fit the bill: congratulations to everyone who played publicly on reaching my intended solution. (Particular congratulations to aphyer for providing said solution within an hour of me posting the challenge, and to new player Lorxus for managing to correctly identify every named impossiblist on their way to a perfect answer.)

I hope this scenario managed to be fun despite - or because of? - the simplicity and lack of greater point. If you liked it, in lieu of correctly attributing thanks, please be slightly kinder to everyone you meet: after all, you have no way of being certain any given person wasn't my sponsor. (Conversely, if you disliked it, please wander the streets of your nearest metropolis glowering at random strangers until you feel karmic balance has been restored.)

(. . . also, please share your opinions with me. I find myself very curious about how/if players think I should aim to run smaller/lower-difficulty games going forward.)

Scheduling

Unless someone gives me a reason not to, I (tentatively, falliably) plan to run my next scenario from Friday 7th June to Monday 17th June. We'll see if reality plays along.

1 comments

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comment by Lorxus · 2024-05-20T13:41:41.902Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I really liked this one! I'd kept wanting to jump in on a DnD.Science thing for a while (both because it looked fun and I'm trying to improve myself in ways strongly consistent with learning more about how to do data science) and this was a perfect start. IMO you totally should run easier and/or shorter puzzles sometimes going forward, and maybe should mark ones particularly amenable to a first-timer as being so.