Let's Talk About THAC0 - Page 2
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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincegetorix View Post
    Ha, that was my understanding.

    Follow up question: Would ''THACO'' be a feminine or masculine word? Believe it or not, this as been the subject of many friendly debate at my table :P . For those who speak french, would it be ''le THACO'' or ''la THACO''? There's unfortunately no true neutral in french.

    Thanks for your time, this thread will help me assert my DM domination over my table :P

    As for the mechanic itself, once it is explained like this its indeed quite easy, I dont know why I thought it was way more obscure than that.
    I suppose a neutral approach would be 'Le', since Gygax is the foundation of Dungeons and Dragons, he and Arneson are both male.
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  2. #12
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    The common argument is that adding is inherently easier than subtracting. Which is true, I suppose, but it's so minor I can't see the difference. 2+2 is just as easy as 4-2. I recall an interview Skip Williams did re: 2e and ascending AC. He said, "Of course we thought about ascending AC at the time we were designing 2e, but we wanted players to be able to use their 1e stuff with the 2e system." I think they made the right choice.
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  3. #13
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    All I can say is that for some people, THAC0 was a stumbling block. It never really bothered me but it is easier to add than subtract, especially into the negatives. But some people have enough problems adding two simple integers. I don't see how it could really affect the end result all that much but "high is always better" and one concept for attacks/saves/checks streamlines things.

    In other words, I've never seen any advantage to THAC0 other than nostalgia. It worked in it's day but I'm glad it was replaced.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oofta View Post
    In other words, I've never seen any advantage to THAC0 other than nostalgia. It worked in it's day but I'm glad it was replaced.

    It capped max AC at -10 (which you hardly ever got that low anyway). That's a huge advantage over the incredible numbers bloat of 3e, where ACs could go into the 40s and higher.
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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oofta View Post
    In other words, I've never seen any advantage to THAC0 other than nostalgia.
    It's not that it had more value than the current one. Nobody's claimed that. It's just that it's not as complex as it has a reputation for. That's all.
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacrosanct View Post
    It capped max AC at -10 (which you hardly ever got that low anyway). That's a huge advantage over the incredible numbers bloat of 3e, where ACs could go into the 40s and higher.
    Numbers got crazy in 3/4, but I've never seen an AC of 30 in 5E. They could exist in theory but it would be easy enough to just set a max AC of whatever you want. I don't see any link between THAC0 and limiting AC to a reasonable number.

    Whether we should limit AC to some number (20, 30, sky's the limit?) is a separate topic.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    It's not that it had more value than the current one. Nobody's claimed that. It's just that it's not as complex as it has a reputation for. That's all.
    I'm just relating, like, my experience man.

    Several people I played with were relieved when we switched to 3 that they no longer had to do what they considered "backwards math". Maybe you and people you played it didn't think it was bad because it was a self-selecting group. Personally I didn't hate THAC0, but I wasn't fond of it either. D&D has enough idiosyncrasies and sacred cows I'm glad some were turned into rule-burgers along the way.

  8. #18
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    What was the problem? Did your momma only allow you to sharpen your pencil once a month.
    You found your Thaco. Then wrote 10, 9 ,8 etc etc to -10 on the bottom of your notebook paper. And below that you wrote the number. Easy. Or you could do a column thaco 15
    10 - 5
    9-6
    etc
    etc
    0 - 15
    -1-16
    etc
    etc
    -10 - 25.
    easy as pie.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincegetorix View Post
    A question for older players and/or english speaker:
    Do you ponounce THACO as ''tak-zero'' or ''tako''? Me players and myself are all under 30 (never used THACO in any games beyond BG1-2) and french speakers and I've seen both ways. So which is the right way (as Gygax and God intended, as someone would say :P )?
    We always pronounced it tako as opposed to tak zero, and used masculine pronouns. That seemed pretty universal in my groups from the Laurentians to Montreal to Sherbrooke here in Quebec. Never played in the Quebec city area however.
    Last edited by Laurefindel; Thursday, 6th June, 2019 at 05:59 PM.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oofta View Post
    Numbers got crazy in 3/4, but I've never seen an AC of 30 in 5E. They could exist in theory but it would be easy enough to just set a max AC of whatever you want. I don't see any link between THAC0 and limiting AC to a reasonable number.

    Whether we should limit AC to some number (20, 30, sky's the limit?) is a separate topic.
    Well, 5e went to bounded accuracy in large part because of the huge numbers bloat of previous editions. A much needed design change. But given a choice between 2e's THAC0 and 3e's ascending system, 2e all the way. Even with doing subtraction, it was way easier and faster. You didn't sit there adding a half dozen modifiers that constantly changed depending on what was going on just to figure out what AC you hit.
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