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Lancer

Intuitive Rules - 2nd Ed. AD&D vs. D&D 3E/3.5

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I'm waiting for the D&D supplements where human characters with dark skin cannot be paladins and always have rogue as their favored class.

I thought they could only be drow or some other type of evil. <_<

Edited by Gabrielle

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I'm waiting for the D&D supplements where human characters with dark skin cannot be paladins and always have rogue as their favored class.

I thought they could only be drow or some other type of evil. <_<

Hmm..there was Master Windu in SW...maybe same guy as paladin of Lathander? :D

J.E.S.: Whats this discrimination anyway? :(


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I'm waiting for the D&D supplements where human characters with dark skin cannot be paladins and always have rogue as their favored class.

Amen brother! Consistency with the real world, datt's what these damn dirty foureyes's need!


I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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A few comments:

 

While I have played 2e for long, long years as a GM, I will admit that 3e has some good points. The AC increasing instead of decreasing does seem simpler for me, and we adopted it in my campaign (not that it's a problem - just subtract the old value from 20...).

 

However, it is not easier because values going up are easier by definition. No, it's easier due to the difference between addition and subtraction. If I add my THAC0/attack modifier to my die roll, then the order doesn't matter because the result will be the same. The same is not true for subtraction, where order makes a great difference - should I subtract my THAC0 from the die roll or vice versa? I frequently had think twice about that before.

 

Now, before the 3e-fans jump up and down and say this is proof that 3e is more intuitive, I do think you're ignoring several points. Things like this may make 3e look simpler on the surface, but that doesn't mean that it is when you go to the depths of the rules, and if you are to conclude anything about whether the system is intuitive, you have to look at the ruleset in its entirety, not just a small fraction of the surface.

 

I would go as far as to say that 2e AC/Thac0 seems "counter-intuitive" mostly because you use that rule all the time - you are constantly in combat in D&D and have to calculate this every two seconds. So it seems persistent, which is annoying if you don't like it...

 

On the other hand, AoO don't seem "counter-intuitive" simply because the rule is not relevant in every combat round. However, when you have to use the rule, it'll be a major undertaking, and I think most people just ignore it on that basis alone. Which is fine, but still ignoring the designed game balance.

 

And I would agree with Lancer that AoO are counter-productive to easy of gameplay. Of course you don't mind that in CRPGs, because the computer does it all for you, but in PnP the GM has to do it, which slows down gameplay.

 

Also, AoO are not always very logical. People tend to argue in favor of them on the simple basis of "if you drop your guard, then the other guy exploits it". Fair enough, except in true combat timing is actually important, and 3e rules would have you believe that swinging a sword at someone is as easy as casting a spell or stabbing with a knife. It speaks volumes that 3e introduced this into the core rules and yet tossed out the speed factors and casting times of 2e at the same time.

 

Yes, 2e actually did have durations for actions you took in the initiative rules. They were called Speed Factors for weapons and Casting Times for spells, but they were all the same and evaluated into combat units called segments. Magic Missile had a casting of 1. A dagger had a speed factor of 2. A longsword had a speed factor of 5.

 

I don't think it's unreasonable to say that a mage has to drop his guard to cast Magic Missile, but that doesn't automatically mean that orc can swing his longsword before the mage finishes the spell, and 3e completely ignores that possibility. Sure a long sword has longer reach than a dagger, but in the time it takes you to swing it, it'll already have put my dagger in your throat or heart, so your attack is void. By throwing rules like these out, 3e became flawed at its very core, which is a major reason why I dislike it and will not play it. To indicate that swinging a two-handed sword is just as fast as firing my gun is preposterous, yet 3e claims it is so. Or as the 2e PHB says, "Compare how quickly someone can throw a punch to the amount of time required to swing a chair to get a good idea of what weapon speed factors are about". This 3e completely ignores and is therefore a flawed system.

 

Finally, on the point of experience vs. familarity. Yes, of course "old-timers" like Lancer and myself are "used" to 2e and not 3e. However, I fail to see how that in some way makes us incompetent or unfit to evaluate the strengths or weaknesses of 3e. In most other walks of life, the principle is that those who are able to best pass judgment on the success or failure of a revision are the people who best know the previous version or edition. This is untrue for RPGs? >_<

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A few comments:

 

 

I don't think it's unreasonable to say that a mage has to drop his guard to cast Magic Missile, but that doesn't automatically mean that orc can swing his longsword before the mage finishes the spell, and 3e completely ignores that possibility. Sure a long sword has longer reach than a dagger, but in the time it takes you to swing it, it'll already have put my dagger in your throat or heart, so your attack is void. By throwing rules like these out, 3e became flawed at its very core, which is a major reason why I dislike it and will not play it. To indicate that swinging a two-handed sword is just as fast as firing my gun is preposterous, yet 3e claims it is so. Or as the 2e PHB says, "Compare how quickly someone can throw a punch to the amount of time required to swing a chair to get a good idea of what weapon speed factors are about". This 3e completely ignores and is therefore a flawed system.

 

This is exactly why I wonder why AoO even exists. It makes no sense. Just because someone lets down their guard for a split second (be it from walking from one end to the room to the other and entering another's threat, or casting a spell..etc) doesn't mean that a nearby opponent should automatically get a free attack on you.

 

This is a key problem with the validity of AoO as a concept:

3.x assumes that your character is always aware of all his surroundings 100% of the time AND able to attack everyone around him at all times--- even in situations when he can't possibly be.

 

For example, if you are in a heated duel with another combatant of similar ability, struggling just to deflect HIS blows... How can you possibly be able to launch an attack at another hostile enemy that happens to walk by you while simultaneously being able to meet the attacks of the first combatant at the same time?

 

More than likely you will ignore the passerby or try to position yourself so that you are in less danger of getting hit by the passerby...If you even notice the passerby at all. But there is no way you can block an opponent's blows and at the same time make a sword strike at someone that just happened to walk by you at that particular instant in time.

 

In a chaotic mess of a battle with 20 combatants you just can't afford to dodge someone's blows WHILE in a heated duel, AND lounge at everyone single person that happens to come within 5-10 ft of your character.

 

It is just not realistic.

Edited by Lancer

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However, it is not easier because values going up are easier by definition. No, it's easier due to the difference between addition and subtraction. If I add my THAC0/attack modifier to my die roll, then the order doesn't matter because the result will be the same. The same is not true for subtraction, where order makes a great difference - should I subtract my THAC0 from the die roll or vice versa? I frequently had think twice about that before.

 

 

No.

 

You don't have to worry about order of operations at all.

 

The formula for calculating to hit in 2ndEd (not including other weapon/str bonuses or items) is ALWAYS the following:

 

To hit = Base THACO - enemy AC

 

If the AC is positive for example (AC 4),and for a Level 1 character (Base THACO 20)

 

20 - 4=16

 

 

If the AC negative.. No problem.. Say, AC -4

 

20 - (- 4). = 24

 

Two negatives is just a positive so the Level 1 character needs a natural 20 to hit..etc

 

 

What is so unintuitive about that? The key is to have that little math formula in your head:

 

To hit= Base THACO - enemy AC

 

And when you have two negatives, it becomes a plus. That is all there is to it. And it is always like this. There are no exceptions. There also is no worrying about order of operations or any of that stuff when you think of it like this. The math takes care of itself.

Edited by Lancer

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Even better I would do the following:

 

Calculated your Modified THACO in advance with strength/weapon/magic bonuses, penalties and everything so that your equation is just:

 

 

To hit= Modified THACO - enemy AC

 

Cake.

Edited by Lancer

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You don't have to worry about order of operations at all.

 

The formula for calculating to hit in 2ndEd (not including other weapon/str bonuses or items)  is ALWAYS the following:

 

To hit = Base THACO - enemy AC

 

First of all, the calculation is actually:

 

To hit = THAC0 - die roll,

 

because you generally don't know what the enemy AC is - you roll the dice, subtract it from your THAC0, then state what AC you hit, and then the GM or player tell you whether that's enough or not.

 

Second, I know that the calculation is always the same. My point is that even after doing it hundreds if not thousands of times, I still had to stop for a second and rethink what was to be subtracted for what. If that happens, then adding numbers together naturally becomes more convenient and so easier.

Edited by Jediphile

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First of all, the calculation is actually:

 

To hit = THAC0 - die roll,

 

because you generally don't know what the enemy AC is - you roll the dice, subtract it from your THAC0, then state what AC you hit, and then the GM or player tell you whether that's enough or not.

 

Yeah you use a slightly different variant:

 

AC = Mod THACO - die roll.

 

I don't go through all that hocus pocus...

 

The players may not know the ACs but the GM does. In my game the players roll and since I know the AC (and they know their Mod. THACOS),I tell them if they hit or not. And they need not ever know the AC. Simple. Efficient.

 

I probably custom-tailored the equation a long time ago but the point is that for me, it works. It works very well. Maybe that is why I never had problems with THACO?

 

And it is faster than doing all that stating and what not especially since my variant gives you the "to hit" roll right away.. I effectively know what they need to hit the enemy even before they start rolling the dice.

The AC variant only gives you the AC, and although you get the same final answer.. You have an extra step to do after they roll.

Edited by Lancer

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I believe I just stumbled upon why some people find 2ndEd THACO counter-intuitive. If they were to use my method...

 

 

I should publish this and become famous.. :shifty:

Edited by Lancer

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THAC0 and 2nd edition AC are the least intuitive thing I have ever seen in a game. Do you know what intuitive means? The fact that it has to be explained to a person more than once, or even twice, pretty much destroys your whole "its intuitive!" debate.

 

"Wait... so having a negative AC is GOOD?"

Yes.

"That makes no sense." <-- The reply you'll get, 9/10 times.

 

"Wait... why is this table call 'to hit armor class 0?' What if the AC isn't 0."

Then you have to add or subtract to figure out what is actually needed to hit the AC.

"I hate this game." <--- The reply you'll get, 7/10 times.

 

As where in 3.0 or higher its simply, comparing to-hit vs. AC and seeing which is higher.

 

I think we have a winner in terms of intuitiveness.

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THAC0 and 2nd edition AC are the least intuitive thing I have ever seen in a game.  Do you know what intuitive means?  The fact that it has to be explained to a person more than once, or even twice, pretty much destroys your whole "its intuitive!" debate.

 

"Wait... so having a negative AC is GOOD?"

Yes.

"That makes no sense." <-- The reply you'll get, 9/10 times.

 

"Wait... why is this table call 'to hit armor class 0?'  What if the AC isn't 0."

Then you have to add or subtract to figure out what is actually needed to hit the AC.

"I hate this game." <--- The reply you'll get, 7/10 times.

 

As where in 3.0 or higher its simply, comparing to-hit vs. AC and seeing which is higher.

 

I think we have a winner in terms of intuitiveness.

I played AD&D for 3 years before changing to 3.0 (and then to 3.5), and i hated the sys. I didn't get to know, or understand the rules in all the 3 years, and then the Messiah was here: 3.0 :shifty:

In just a month I was an expert for the rules and I did know half of the classes and what they get at a lvl gain just out of memory.

 

Ergo: Shadowstrider is way more then simply correct on this.

 

 

 

PS: intuitive-ness is better in 3.0/3.5 than AD&D becouse of the ability to costumize the char better, SS just mentioned why the new sys is better, but thats not the same as being more intuitive :-

Edited by jorian

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Declaring 3e more intuitive simply on the basis of the to-hit rule seems incredibly oversimplified and short-sighted to me.

 

There are quite a few other rules that should be considered before making that conclusion, you know...

 

Definitely. Especially when it is such a trivial matter to convert 2ndEd ACs to 3e ACs, as you do Jediphile..

 

3e AC= 20 - 2ndEd AC

 

If you don't like negative ACs then just apply the above and that's it. End of story. It isn't the end of the world. If SS and others changed to 3e just because of that minor nuance then I suggest coming up with more substantial arguments as to why 3e is better than 2ndEd.

 

This "problem" is a quick fix in 2ndEd and really isn't as big a deal as Shadowstrider and others want to make it.

 

Now AoO isn't a quick fix unless I ignore the concept altogether which would kinda be defeating the purpose since it was meant to be a core 3e mechanic.

Edited by Lancer

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Declaring 3e more intuitive simply on the basis of the to-hit rule seems incredibly oversimplified and short-sighted to me.

 

There are quite a few other rules that should be considered before making that conclusion, you know...

 

Definitely. Especially when it is so simple to convert 2ndEd ACs to 3e ACs, as you do Jediphile..

 

3e AC= 20 - 2ndEd AC

 

It really isn't as big a deal as Shadowstrider and others want to make it.

To beginners, its a lot. Many newbies did not play more pnp becouse sys was too confusing to them, and left pnp RPG for ever. With the new sys this don't happen so much (only dummies don't understand the rules of the new sys...or hardcore AD&D-ers, if they don't want to understand it)


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Ergo: Shadowstrider is way more then simply correct on this.

 

PS: intuitive-ness is better in 3.0/3.5 than AD&D becouse of the ability to costumize the char better, SS just mentioned why the new sys is better, but thats not the same as being more intuitive  :)

 

"Better" is entirely subjective, so it's as pointless as a cleric's weapon to discuss...

 

I have already said that I like 3e to-hit rules better than 2e, but that doesn't mean that I think the entire system is better. Of course 3e is better than 2e on some points. Being the conclusion to more than a decade of 2e, it bloody well better be, only it's not on a lot of points IMHO.

 

But there are good points. I like the to-hit rules, for example, and I like the multi-class better, too - 2e had horrible dual- and multi-class rules. Skills would also be infinitely better in 3e if it were not because their restricted based on level, which is preposterous.

 

You cannot declare 3e the winner without first addressing some of the concerns and flaws that Lancer and myself have pointed out in 3e, primarilly the peculiar Attack of Opportunity rules.

 

And some of the 3e classes are just silly and steal from role-playing. I particularly dislike the sorcerer, who was nicknamed "fireball-dispenser" in about five minutes on the official D&D board for good reason... A completely munchkin class with no redeeming features - bleh! It spoke volumes that WOTC subsequently released books that "removed" the one price sorcerers had to pay for extra spells, namely a limited knowledge of spells :):-"

 

Another thing I really dislike is the plethora of classes and spells that spill out of every rulebook and magazine subsequently released under the principle of "well, to get a *really* powerful character, you just need to buy this book and use this new spell/class". The subsequent release of 3.5 after only a few years, truly turning Hasbro and Wizards into Ha$bro and Wizard$... Even one of the designers of 3e voiced criticism of 3.5!

 

But the worst thing in 3e is really the terrible game design. It's similar to previous D&D, of course, but then all those editions are pretty old. 3e is only a few years old, and it's still based on rigid and inflexible game mechanics that are more than three decades old. This was acceptable in 1988 when 2e came out. It is inexcusable today. Besides, 2e at least had a "grandfather clause" that kept it close to 1e rules. 3e rules, however, are completely incompatible with earlier editions. I have friends who like and play 3e, but while the don't agree with me, they do admit that it is an entirely different game. For an entirely newly designed game, 3e is founded on horribly outdated concepts - there are far better designed games out there today, I think.

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