Let's Talk About THAC0 - Page 10
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  1. #91
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    I always thought it was unnecessarily backwards. The change in 3e was like, "about damned time".

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by billd91 View Post
    I generally subtracted my die roll from my character's THAC0 to get what AC he hit. Other players I knew tried the same with varying results thanks to the conceptual challenges lots of people have dealing with negative numbers. So I don't know exactly where your misunderstanding is coming from... but the main issue here is the DM wasn't telling us what our target was. We were telling him what target we hit.
    Ahh, ok. Yeah, that sounds generally worse than adding your attack bonus to your roll result and saying what AC you got. Of course, both sound worse to me than the DM telling you what AC you need to hit and telling them if you hit or miss. And when doing it that way, it seems that doing the math to figure out what number youíll need to roll on the die first and then rolling would be the ideal way to execute that. Of course, I recognize that a lot of DMs donít like to tell the players the ACs of the monsters or the DCs of the checks. So ya know, YMMV.

  3. #93
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    I'm about as old-school as it gets and I've never used or liked THAC0.

    As a DM, I just use the 'rule of 21' (if the roll + bonuses - penalties + target's AC + attacker's fight level (a.k.a. BAB) adds to 21 or higher it's a hit).

    As a player, I'd rather let the DM worry about it. It's what she's there for.

    EDIT TO ADD: That said, I've never yet had a problem with the concept of descending and-or negative AC. I did take the -10 cap off, however; a character in my current game is running around at -12 but it doesn't always help him...
    Last edited by Lanefan; Friday, 7th June, 2019 at 07:02 AM.

  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gradine View Post
    Moreso than the maths, which as many people have pointed out (and is relevant, by the by) is a tad more complex, the reason why BAB (and especially Proficiency Bonus) is much simpler is because the numbers are right there in your class/general level up descriptions.
    Which represents a big underlying philosophy shift: it moves that information from the DM side (combat matrix) to the player side.

    I'd rather it stayed with the DM.

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlaquin View Post
    Did you do it differently? I guess I never considered the possibility that the DM might just ask you to roll and tell him the number you got and your THAC0, do the math himself, and tell you if you hit or not.
    How else do you do it? It's not like the combat matrix is player-side information.

    In this instance telling the DM your THAC0 is needless info for her. Just tell her your roll and your then-applicable bonuses and-or penalties; and she'll worry about a) the combat matrix and b) any bonuses/penalties that you don't know about.

    That sounds awful
    Why? Less for the players to worry about, and once you've done it for a session or two as DM it's as easy as pie.

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanefan View Post
    How else do you do it? It's not like the combat matrix is player-side information.
    Err... We were talking about THAC0, which is player-side information. Also, the character sheet posted up thread with a space to fill out rolls required to hit targets of various ACs would seem to me to indicate that the combat matrix (or at least the part that was relevant to your own character) was functionally player-side.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lanefan View Post
    In this instance telling the DM your THAC0 is needless info for her. Just tell her your roll and your then-applicable bonuses and-or penalties; and she'll worry about a) the combat matrix and b) any bonuses/penalties that you don't know about.Why? Less for the players to worry about, and once you've done it for a session or two as DM it's as easy as pie.
    It mucks up the dramatic tension of the die roll, even worse than adding a modifier does. If you know the targetís AC and your THAC0, you can quickly work out what number you need on the die, and then you get the craps-esque rush of knowing exactly what number you want to see on the dice, holding them in your hand, giving them a good shake, and holding your breath for the result as they roll. Thatís a viscerally satisfying experience right there because it perfectly follows that dramatic tension curve that our human brains go bananas for.You kind of get that with BAB, but thereís an extra step of having to add a modifier to the die roll to figure out the total. That really messes with the drama of the die roll in a way that isnít immediately obvious to most people but affects them nonetheless. Thatís why critical hits are so exciting. Itís not just the fact that you do extra damage, itís also the fact that they fix the broken dramatic tension curve. You see that 20 and immediately know you got a hit. The natural 20 is more exiting in an of itself than the actual damage, because it tickles your brain just right.The way you describe it, the die roll isnít exciting or satisfying at all, itís just a formality you have to observe before the DM can tell you what happens. At that point it would be more interesting (or at least less busy work) to just let the DM roll the die too, because youíre not getting any of the dopamine that rolling dice normally triggers.

  7. #97
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    THAC0 - Don't be so negative....

    Seriously though, my maths is quite poor and I started with THAC0 and never had any issues with it. It was just how the game was played and I never knew otherwise then.

    I have met people since who like to dis THAC0, who have never actually used it.

    I miss THAC0
    Weirdly, as a player I also miss Level Drain. Go figure.

  8. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oofta View Post
    Kidding aside, I never met anyone who didn't pronounce it THACK-OH. Maybe it's a midwestern thing.
    Possibly, it seems to vary by region. When I was in South Africa we said THAK-OH; when I moved to the UK people (who were old enough) said TAK-OH; but at university I knew a guy from elsewhere in the UK who said THAYK-OH.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    I feel sorry for poor old THAC0. It has a bad reputation for being complex, when it's exactly as complex as the current method!
    I wonder how much of the bad rap comes from the varying AC of the edition - flat footed; surprised; attacks from the rear - rather than THAC0 being complicated.

    People only remember AC being more complicated and itís easier to blame one thing.

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by TallIan View Post
    I wonder how much of the bad rap comes from the varying AC of the edition - flat footed; surprised; attacks from the rear - rather than THAC0 being complicated. People only remember AC being more complicated and itís easier to blame one thing.
    I kind of liked flat footed, surprised and facing. It added a bit more tactics. Never cared for calculating THACO.As far as the "only people who didn't use it dis it" ... umm ... no. My wife learned to play with 2E and was quite happy with the change in calculation with the advent of 3, as were several other people in my group at the time. It accomplished the same goal while being more complex for most people.

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