D&D General The Crab Bucket Fallacy

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Not what I meant. How many attacks against a shield-wielding target got to use the shield bonus? Or Dex bonus, depending on the direction of the attack? At least those were pretty much all gone in 3e.
It's possible the DM shielded you from incorporating some of those on your own, but they sure did clutter up the AD&D combat head space.
It depends on the size of the shield, naturally. Don't forget the modifiers for flanking or attacking from the rear!
 

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Sacrosanct

Legend
Months back, I arranged a game with my old AD&D GM to join my current 5e D&D group. I'd pitched them an "old school" 2e experience and they seemed interested. Everyone had their characters made and we started the first session. Pretty quickly, the nightmares began.

"Wait, so AC goes down, right?"

"Yes, that's correct."

"Then that +1 chain mail we found is cursed?"

"No no, +1 bonuses subtract from AC."

(Another player) "Wait, that can't be right, my Dexterity gives me a -2 to AC, that's good, isn't it?"

"Yes, it is..."

(Third player) "I'm still trying to understand why everything isn't a penalty if a lower Thac0 is good. Like, my Thac0 is 19, but I get +2 to hit from my Strength and +1 to hit from my Weapon Specialization. Wouldn't it be easier to say my Thac0 is 16?"

(AD&D friend) "No, see, you add the bonus to the die roll, then you compare that to the Thac0."

(Third player) "But...look, AC goes down, right? So why not have low numbers be good on the d20 and subtract all modifiers? So instead of +3 to hit, I'd have -3 to hit, and if I want to hit AC 3, then I need to roll a 6 on the die or less."

(AD&D friend) "Uh..."

(Fourth player, chiming in) "Then you'd have to make ability checks work the same way."

"Well actually, that is how they work."

(Fourth player) "...so wait. We roll high to attack to hit a low number, but low on skill checks? This is all backwards!"

(AD&D friend, not getting everyone's frustration) "Well, sometimes you roll d% too!"

It was decided after that session to go back to 5e, and my AD&D friend has been put out about it ever since.
I am dubious this actually happened. It's like you took every hyperbolic argument against AD&D and expect us to believe literally every single player in your group was legit making those hyperbolic arguments, and making them in a specific order that just so happens to cover all of those arguments in the most convenient way. Presumably if your players were not familiar with AD&D, they wouldn't make half of those statements unprompted, because they require a knowledge of how the system worked. And others just don't make sense from an organic sense, like your first example.

Honestly, I liked the idea of weapon v. armor just fine, I love when different weapons have different reasons to be used. But where it fell apart was with monsters, who only occasionally specified what the source of their AC was, so you had to make ad hoc rulings on whether two monsters with AC 5 had natural armor that was equivalent to chain mail...
Like what? Do you have an example of where it's confusing is a monster wore armor or not? It as pretty clearly spelled out. Take the orc for example. It told you what the natural AC is in parentheses. That's how it was handled, as described in the MM.

ARMOR CLASS is the general protection worn by humans and humanoids, protection due to physical structure or magical nature, or difficulty in hitting due to speed, reflexes, etc. Humans and humanoids of roughly man-size that wear armor will have an unarmored rating in parentheses.

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Sacrosanct

Legend
Not what I meant. How many attacks against a shield-wielding target got to use the shield bonus?
In 2e? All of them. Limiting the shield was an optional rule.

Sure, in 1e there were a ton of weird stuff like that, but 2e cleaned most of that up. Like THAC0 (which was not a 1e thing, even if it showed up at the back of the DMG for monsters).

Look, I'm not advocating we bring THAC0 back. That ship has sailed, and I don't think it should come back. I'm only arguing that it wasn't as difficult or bad as some people are making it sound, and it's entirely reasonable that some people prefer it for the reasons given.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
What you think "popular" means for a commercial product?
I think there's a difference between 'popular' and 'met corporate expectations due to splitting the market with a poor license. ' and we shouldn't be cherry picking loaded terms in order to make the later seem like the former because it create an alternative narrative that is inaccurate.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Months back, I arranged a game with my old AD&D GM to join my current 5e D&D group. I'd pitched them an "old school" 2e experience and they seemed interested. Everyone had their characters made and we started the first session. Pretty quickly, the nightmares began.

"Wait, so AC goes down, right?"

"Yes, that's correct."

"Then that +1 chain mail we found is cursed?"

"No no, +1 bonuses subtract from AC."

(Another player) "Wait, that can't be right, my Dexterity gives me a -2 to AC, that's good, isn't it?"

"Yes, it is..."

(Third player) "I'm still trying to understand why everything isn't a penalty if a lower Thac0 is good. Like, my Thac0 is 19, but I get +2 to hit from my Strength and +1 to hit from my Weapon Specialization. Wouldn't it be easier to say my Thac0 is 16?"

(AD&D friend) "No, see, you add the bonus to the die roll, then you compare that to the Thac0."

(Third player) "But...look, AC goes down, right? So why not have low numbers be good on the d20 and subtract all modifiers? So instead of +3 to hit, I'd have -3 to hit, and if I want to hit AC 3, then I need to roll a 6 on the die or less."

(AD&D friend) "Uh..."

(Fourth player, chiming in) "Then you'd have to make ability checks work the same way."

"Well actually, that is how they work."

(Fourth player) "...so wait. We roll high to attack to hit a low number, but low on skill checks? This is all backwards!"

(AD&D friend, not getting everyone's frustration) "Well, sometimes you roll d% too!"

It was decided after that session to go back to 5e, and my AD&D friend has been put out about it ever since.
okayyyyy?.... I'm not sure if that has much of anything to do with my point about how thac0's good points involved being proactively calculated for d20 rolls & recorded on a per weapon basis though. The incongruity between your post & the one you quoted seems to add a lot of weight to what @Sacrosanct said in #653 too given that there were other posts talking about it more broadly and pointing out other areas.
Why don't the player's sheet just have +10 to hit next to their weapon? There is no need to recalculate it for every roll.
IME because they wrote "dex" or "str" in that box and trying to force them to change that instantly makes the GM sound like this guy because the PHB does not really talk about filling in the sheet where it explains how to calculate stuff
 


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