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Going Retro

Glade Riven

Oh, those old Transformers episodes were rather terrible :D. Beast Wars holds up because of the writing, but G1...

Still, 3 or 4 of those G1 plots slapped together did make a decent 3rd Bayformer movie. Yes, I can give an analytical breakdown as to why it is terrible. I won't do it, though, because it is not only off topic but may incited flamage. Yes, Gumbal and Regular Show are terrible. Adventure Time...terrible, but has it's moments. Cartoon Network's friday night action lineup is pretty strong, although a few things are hit or miss.

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Something in these recent 5e threads got me a thinking...what if, WHAT if...WotC does something a bit more like their own retro clone.

D&D Anniversery Edition, which plays more like AD&D with a few modern concepts tossed in to make it easier for 4e gamers to pick up (and, y'know, clean up some issues; AC instead of THACO, etc). It may not even be a replacement for 4e, but rather a special release - a box set that goes old school, with no real planned suppliments.

I know, I know, now someone is gonna point out that we already have retro clones. But I'm not thinking a clone so much as a feel or style.

I've a clone with a certain 'style' just out - Tainted thread. Draws across the whole of the Original Game - from S&W through to late SRD content adapted to S&W, OSRIC territory.

As it happens I posted a freebies shout for 10 copies there a few hours ago. Just been too busy handing out copies at the Old School Gamers Facebook to get back over here and mention it. Fancy a try at Old School - please help yourselves while they last :)


After Gary Gygax’s death, the prices on eBay sky-rocketed on his classic modules and rulebooks. To this day I am baffled why WotC didn’t do some sort of limited reprint of the original Players Handbook or some of the still-famous modules, to cash in on the explosion of interest in D&D’s roots. That’s when the retro-clones and OSR blogs really took off. But WotC could still blow the OSR out of the water, and then some, just by doing some straight reprints of IP they already own. Frankly, no-one will ever agree on what a “cleanup” entails, or what a new “edition” ought to “fix,” so why bother? In such an individualistic hobby, where everyone already more-or-less knows their likes and dislikes, who is waiting with baited breath for D&D 5e?


First Post
I actually find retro clones to my liking
my favorite would have to be DCCRPG

BUT that being said, I think I am actually done with WoTC, from a business standpoint I feel fairly betrayed, not to mention them being owned by Hasbro means they're going to market things a certain way (ahem, miniatures)

Whether or not 5e goes back, forward or comes from farther left field than 4e did (which what I mean is how the game changed) I think I'll stay with Paizo, Palladium, and other companies.

one more thing, THAC0 is an interesting concept, but I do have to say, Ascending armor class makes things easier IMO, however, my favorite armor system would have to be Fantasy Flight with Deathwatch (and I assume other of their systems) with rolling under, as in "is your character good enough to hit them?"

hits my fancy

thats my two cents, time for internet pitbulls to tear me apart.


Once A Fool
I've got to ask.

You started with 3e which implies you understood AOOs. But you didn't get THAC0? Really?

Ya know, I never understood what was so difficult about understanding AoOs (maybe because those of us who followed Eric Noah's Third Edition News site hung on every scrap of news released back then--and he had spiffy examples of the rules as new bits were leaked). At any rate, I always found AoOs easy to figure out, as long as the DM used common sense to help remember what provoked.

Thac0, on the other hand, was a system I was glad to see kicked to the curb. It ate up way too much table time, every single attack. I mean, math in a game is fine, and all, but reducing the amount of it that gets done after the dice started rolling was a good thing.


I don't get these people that say they don't understand THAC0.

I just ran a game for some 1st graders...seriously.

They caught on and understood THAC0 in under 5 minutes. (actually it was more like 30 seconds...but giving people the benefit of the doubt...I didn't see some of them show examples of them calculating their to hits based on their THAC0 and monster AC until about 5 minutes into play).

These kids are 6 and 7. They understand it pretty easily.

In relation, this is why I'm completely baffled how adult men can say they just don't get THAC0 when I KNOW kids, grandkids, neices and nephews all get/got it pretty darn easy.

That's the thing I don't understand about this entire THAC0 thing...something seems very odd with people claiming they don't get it when I've seen young kids get it.

Then again, there's the show "Are you smarter then a fifth grader" though in this case I suppose it's a bunch of first graders instead.

Granted, I've never been able to get a pre-schooler to be able to understand THAC0...but hey, give the kids some slack!!!!

Flatus Maximus

First Post
The only possible excuse for not understanding THAC0 is not being able to subtract negative numbers. Really.

If one finds that one cannot wrap one's head around that, just subtract the roll from one's THAC0 and announce the result (the AC that can be hit).


First Post

If players can't understand or spend more than three seconds trying to calculate THAC0 during combat, perhaps less time playing AD&D and more time spent learning the basics of mathematical subtraction are in order.


Squire James

First Post
Being a math nerd, I have no problem doing math. I've played all the editions of D&D since the Red Box Basic Set. THAC0 was a natural extension of the combat tables. BAB and ascending AC is a natural extension of THAC0. Sometimes going back to play a 20 year-old computer game is nostalgic, but to have to patience to FINISH that game? Brutal!

(I admit I done just that for a couple of games, though. For Might and Magic 2, it helps that I remember the answer to that cryptogram at the end... that's "preamble" for those folks who are STILL trying to figure that one out!)

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