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

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Half of Lancer's replies are so fallacious and insane it is incomprehensible.  Its pretty clear that arguing intuitiveness of something with someone who holds AD&D as intuitive, is a completely lost cause.

 

I never said AD&D was intuitive. I don't over-generalize like some and claim that 3e is "intuitive" (w00t) .. talking about fallacious.. :D

 

My point is that what you personally deem as intuitive is wholly dependent on your previous experiences and what you are used to. Nothing less and nothing more.

 

BTW, Nice dodge though, SS. You are awesome, man.

Edited by Lancer

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Ultima VI was your first RPG?

 

Hmmm....do you know what...probably. I had very briefly played FF2 (4) on a friend's Super Nintendo, but not too in depth. I doubt I knew what "RPG" meant at the time. I remember immediately falling in love with the world of U6, even though I didn't really know how to play the game. When Ultima VII came out, I asked my Dad for a PC to play it on (until then, my "PC" gaming was all Apple...Apple II and the Mac). 386/SX 16 MHz for the win! (though it was slow for U7).

 

 

I just don't think using numbers to characterize stats or explaining any sort of RPG "concept" would be intuitive to a complete novice. After you explain it once or twice or so then they finally say..

 

"oh yeah...I get it."

 

That goes for Armor Class in 3e too. Those who say that novices got 3e AC the first TIME, are lying.

 

Of course there's explaining the rules of combat and all of that jazz that would take time. I'd be surprised if you had to explain more than once that an item with AC 8 is superior to an item of AC 4.

 

 

In any case, perhaps  I should get my parents who don't know anything about PnP or computer games and see what they think in regards to 3e/2ndEd AC and THACO.

 

That's what I did....though also some friends (unfamiliar with D&D). Mine may have been too biased, or maybe not explicit enough. I didn't go into armor class, but it was just "Person A has an 'Attack rating' of 10, and person B has an 'Attack Rating' of 8. Who is the more powerful attacker?" I never once had someone say person B :\ (I only asked 6 people).

 

Maybe it would be better to combine it with other aspects, and try to remove any element I may have. Even then, you have people that, when asked a bizarre question, often expect the question to be a trick one. Removing experimenter bias is a pain in the butt though.

 

 

I know in my experience, I had not a dang problem with AD&D THACO. It is like walking or breathing to me. But then again, maybe I am weirder than everyone else.

 

Just to be clear, I'm not saying AD&D is complicated. Just not as intuitive (which is pretty much the ability to make a decision without any rationality). Once you recognize the way the THAC0 works, it's pretty easy to use.

Edited by alanschu

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Take a group of people that have never seen D&D before.

 

 

Tell them that their "attack rating" is 10.  Then increase that value by 5.  Ask them, did your attack rating improve?

 

So by that analogy, 5th edition Call of Cthulhu also has a "counter-intuitive" system when you have to roll 1d100 equal to or BELOW your percentile score in the relevant skill?

 

Sorry, but I don't agree - whether a bonus should make the value go up or down is completely dependent on the game mechanics. I don't think you can generalize that broadly.

 

 

When talking about "intuitiveness" you have to generalize broadly. Because what is, or is not, intuitive depends a lot on the affordances that you get from your society.

 

Your percentiles scores is also not a good one. For example, standardized testing places people in percentiles. Some in the 99th percentile is on average in a room of 100 people, superior to 99 of them. Furthermore, you are talking about a specific mechanic, which isn't as analogous to THAC0 or AC.

 

Sure, you have to roll a 1d100 below that skill. Without any experience from Call of Cthulhu, your description has already matched what my expectations of skill values would mean....a higher value is superior.

 

With THAC0, it's not about the mechanic of rolling the die and figuring out what to do from there. It's about what the value represents. In AD&D, a lower value represents an increased ability. In Call of Cthulhu, imagine skill X and two people, A and B. Person A has a value of 60 for skill X, person B has a value of 40. Given that I have never played the game, my natural instinct would be to assume that the person with skill 60 is better at that skill than person B and their value of 40. All the rolling the die does is provide a mechanic for applying that skill. Given the percentile analogy, and how examples of percentiles exist outside of the game environment, it's actually pretty inuitive.

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"A player can't even really participate in any game without you explaining what THAC0 is."

 

False. I've played with players who didn't know or even really care for the 'rules' in any edition or game. They played for the thoguht of being part of a group, for role-playing, for the story, or whatever.

 

So, in conclusion, you don't need to know thaco or any other rule to play.  You are, in fact, absolutely 100% wrong in your above statement.

 

Game over.

 

 

Volourn, you of all people know that I don't talk in absolutes. It's always possible to find exceptions.

 

Naturally, if you don't even have any combat, you can play without THAC0. But if you have combat, you have to deal with it somehow.

 

I could just as easily state that AoO is not relevant either, since someone could play and never fight.

 

Poor example.

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Ultima VI was your first RPG?

 

Hmmm....do you know what...probably. I had very briefly played FF2 (4) on a friend's Super Nintendo, but not too in depth. I doubt I knew what "RPG" meant at the time. I remember immediately falling in love with the world of U6, even though I didn't really know how to play the game. When Ultima VII came out, I asked my Dad for a PC to play it on (until then, my "PC" gaming was all Apple...Apple II and the Mac). 386/SX 16 MHz for the win! (though it was slow for U7).

 

I have undying respect for the Ultimas. But even the Ultimas had ACs that got better the higher they were. So, Is it that surprising after getting used to Ultima and then later playing the Gold Box games, that you would find AD&D AC progression to be unintuitive?

 

You must understand that I started playing OD&D and AD&D PnP about the same time I started playing console and computer RPGs. Which is probably why I am pretty indifferent as to how AC is handled. As long as it is easy to learn it doesn't matter to me if it goes up or down.

 

 

Of course there's explaining the rules of combat and all of that jazz that would take time.  I'd be surprised if you had to explain more than once that an item with AC 8 is superior to an item of AC 4.

 

The same way you would explain that and AC -2 is better than an AC of 4 for 2ndEd. Once you let them know that the smaller the AC is, the better their armor class, they get that too.

 

In either case, one thing is understanding the broad gist of what someone is telling you (in this case, the GM).. It is another thing altogether to be able to apply all those mechanics correctly in a PnP game. It takes even more time to become familiar enough with the mechanics that they become second nature. This is true for both 2ndEd and 3e.

 

Just to be clear, I'm not saying AD&D is complicated.  Just not as intuitive (which is pretty much the ability to make a decision without any rationality).  Once you recognize the way the THAC0 works, it's pretty easy to use.

 

That is all that really matters. As long as its easy to use. Whether or not people will think 3e AC is more intuitive at first glance than 2ndEd AC is really not relevant in the long run..AC itself is just a tiny crumb from the entire pie. You still have to learn the rest of the game mechanics and no matter what, that will take a lot of effort regardless of system.

 

Josh Sawyers has said recently that PnP RPG rulesets aren't inituitive. All of them. And that includes 3e. I agree with that assessment. The difference is that some just take less effort to learn than others.

Edited by Lancer

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And by that I think you have proven my point about the game terms. If I tell people "Call of Cthulhu has skills ranging from 1 to 100 that you roll 1d100 against", then people will understand the principle right off.

 

The same is not true for AC in D&D. In 2e you can say it ranges from 10 to -10 and that low numbers are better than high ones, while in 3e you would say that it ranges from 10 and upwards, the higher the better. But that still doesn't tell people what an Armor Class is or what it's used for. It is a game term, and it is not intuitive because it is not logical - you shouldn't be more difficult to hit just because you wear heavier armor, because that not how armor works. On the contrary, heavy armor makes you easier to hit, so that's not why you wear it. No, you wear it because it protects your body from being pierced by sharp objects and weapons. D&D, however, simplifies all this (oversimplifies IMHO) into one mechanic, which is illogical by its very nature and does not serve well to suspend disbelief. That doesn't seem particularly intuitive to me.

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Volourn, you of all people know that I don't talk in absolutes.  It's always possible to find exceptions.

 

Naturally, if you don't even have any combat, you can play without THAC0.  But if you have combat, you have to deal with it somehow.

 

I could just as easily state that AoO is not relevant either, since someone could play and never fight.

 

Poor example.

 

It's perfectly possible and reasonable to run games where all mechanics are done by the GM, it's just an awful lot of work for the GM.

 

There have even been games, where the players had no stats at all - they didn't know their AC, hit points, to-hit values, saves, or anything else. They were just told, "you wear heavy armor" and "you have taken some damage but still feel healthy". In such a game the GM rolls all the dice and handles all mechanics and the players only say what they want to do.

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And by that I think you have proven my point about the game terms. If I tell people "Call of Cthulhu has skills ranging from 1 to 100 that you roll 1d100 against", then people will understand the principle right off.

 

The same is not true for AC in D&D. In 2e you can say it ranges from 10 to -10 and that low numbers are better than high ones, while in 3e you would say that it ranges from 10 and upwards, the higher the better. But that still doesn't tell people what an Armor Class is or what it's used for. It is a game term, and it is not intuitive because it is not logical - you shouldn't be more difficult to hit just because you wear heavier armor, because that not how armor works. On the contrary, heavy armor makes you easier to hit, so that's not why you wear it. No, you wear it because it protects your body from being pierced by sharp objects and weapons. D&D, however, simplifies all this (oversimplifies IMHO) into one mechanic, which is illogical by its very nature and does not serve well to suspend disbelief. That doesn't seem particularly intuitive to me.

 

Exactly. Once you get into the rule SPECIFICS, things become unintuitive real quick.

 

That is the problem with people who only play CRPGs and don't play PnP and then make quick judgements about how intuitive or unintuitive x-system is. Things may seem intuitive in 3e at face value (mainly because the computer does all the complicated calculations and takes into account all the rule intricacies for you) but it is once you start getting into the nitty gritty you realize that 3e (or for that matter, 2ndEd) isn't intuitive at all.

 

Things may just "seem" intuitive to us only because that is what we are used to.

Edited by Lancer

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Ultima VI was your first RPG?

 

Hmmm....do you know what...probably. I had very briefly played FF2 (4) on a friend's Super Nintendo, but not too in depth. I doubt I knew what "RPG" meant at the time. I remember immediately falling in love with the world of U6, even though I didn't really know how to play the game. When Ultima VII came out, I asked my Dad for a PC to play it on (until then, my "PC" gaming was all Apple...Apple II and the Mac). 386/SX 16 MHz for the win! (though it was slow for U7).

 

I have undying respect for the Ultimas. But even the Ultimas had ACs that got better the higher they were. So, Is it that surprising after getting used to Ultima and then later playing the Gold Box games, that you would find AD&D AC progression to be unintuitive?

 

 

I see what you're saying. But when I played U6, I was not a number cruncher. I likely put on plate mail simply because it made sense to me that plate mail would protect me better. I honestly couldn't remember a score for Armor value (or any value), or where I could find it. I don't think Ultima VII has a value for Armor explicitly available either.

 

I did play Eye of the Beholder 1 around the same time as well (I do know this, because I played both of them in a spare room in my Dad's office, which he only had for a single summer. I could have played Eye of the Beholder first. Though I doubt I number crunched that game either.....the first time I really remember an "AC" value was when I was playing around with FRUA. And I remember tweaking the crap out of it to increase it. The big thing about it, and this was probably compounded since I was alone playing with the editor, was my surprise and confusion when I put on a piece of platemail and my AC dropped drastically. I figured it meant my character was probably easier to hit because he'd be slower, but that there was some sort of damage absorption or something (ironically I thought that this was pretty cool at the time, even though it was a complete misunderstanding of how AC worked in AD&D).

 

Of course there's explaining the rules of combat and all of that jazz that would take time.  I'd be surprised if you had to explain more than once that an item with AC 8 is superior to an item of AC 4.

 

The same way you would explain that and AC -2 is better than an AC of 4 for 2ndEd. Once you let them know that the smaller the AC is, the better their armor class, they get that too.

 

But, you have to explain that a smaller AC is a better AC. And in my own experience, I've had more "What?" statements after saying that, compared to when saying higher AC = better. In both cases, which result would you expect if you forgot to say which is better, and just mentioned you can have things with AC 8 and AC 4.

 

In either case, one thing is understanding the broad gist of what someone is telling you (in this case, the GM).. It is another thing altogether to be able to apply all those mechanics correctly in a PnP game. It takes even more time to become familiar enough with the mechanics that they become second nature. This is true for both 2ndEd and 3e.

 

Just to be clear, I'm not saying AD&D is complicated.  Just not as intuitive (which is pretty much the ability to make a decision without any rationality).  Once you recognize the way the THAC0 works, it's pretty easy to use.

 

That is all that really matters. As long as its easy to use. Whether or not people will think 3e AC is more intuitive at first glance than 2ndEd AC is really not relevant in the long run.. You still have to learn all the game mechanics and no matter what, that will take a lot of effort regardless of system.l

 

I think it is relevant long term. If people have less confusion over something when they first encounter it, they'll find it less frustrating.

 

Josh Sawyers has said recently that PnP RPG rulesets aren't inituitive. All of them. And that includes 3e. I agree with that assessment. The difference is that some just take less effort to learn than others.

 

 

Well, there's absolute and relative comparisons. I've tried to make sure I was always talking relatively.

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And by that I think you have proven my point about the game terms. If I tell people "Call of Cthulhu has skills ranging from 1 to 100 that you roll 1d100 against", then people will understand the principle right off.

 

The same is not true for AC in D&D. In 2e you can say it ranges from 10 to -10 and that low numbers are better than high ones, while in 3e you would say that it ranges from 10 and upwards, the higher the better. But that still doesn't tell people what an Armor Class is or what it's used for. It is a game term, and it is not intuitive because it is not logical - you shouldn't be more difficult to hit just because you wear heavier armor, because that not how armor works. On the contrary, heavy armor makes you easier to hit, so that's not why you wear it. No, you wear it because it protects your body from being pierced by sharp objects and weapons. D&D, however, simplifies all this (oversimplifies IMHO) into one mechanic, which is illogical by its very nature and does not serve well to suspend disbelief. That doesn't seem particularly intuitive to me.

 

I think this is beyond the scope of what our discussion was (and more to do with what Sawyer is talking about with respect to PnP games not being overall very intuitive).

 

If you explain to someone what AC represents, I'd bet all of my money that a vast majority of them would initially assume that they would want a higher AC value. I'd suspect you could accidentally forget to explain that a higher value is better with 3rd edition and have little to no confusion more consistently then you could by omitting that detail with AD&D.

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Volourn, you of all people know that I don't talk in absolutes.  It's always possible to find exceptions.

 

Naturally, if you don't even have any combat, you can play without THAC0.  But if you have combat, you have to deal with it somehow.

 

I could just as easily state that AoO is not relevant either, since someone could play and never fight.

 

Poor example.

 

It's perfectly possible and reasonable to run games where all mechanics are done by the GM, it's just an awful lot of work for the GM.

 

There have even been games, where the players had no stats at all - they didn't know their AC, hit points, to-hit values, saves, or anything else. They were just told, "you wear heavy armor" and "you have taken some damage but still feel healthy". In such a game the GM rolls all the dice and handles all mechanics and the players only say what they want to do.

 

 

Some would probably argue that you're not playing AD&D then. I doubt that this is anything but an insignificant portion of AD&D players.

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"Naturally, if you don't even have any combat, you can play without THAC0. But if you have combat, you have to deal with it somehow."

 

Nope. Combat is very much involved. And, the people in question don't deal with it really. They simply tell me (or wheoever is the DM) what their character is doing, they roll a dice, and either the DM or the other players do the calculations - or ebtter yet we write their ab/thaco on their sheet and simply say roll the die + add that number and there ya go. No udnersatnding of thaco, attack bonus, or whatever.


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And by that I think you have proven my point about the game terms. If I tell people "Call of Cthulhu has skills ranging from 1 to 100 that you roll 1d100 against", then people will understand the principle right off.

 

The same is not true for AC in D&D. In 2e you can say it ranges from 10 to -10 and that low numbers are better than high ones, while in 3e you would say that it ranges from 10 and upwards, the higher the better. But that still doesn't tell people what an Armor Class is or what it's used for. It is a game term, and it is not intuitive because it is not logical - you shouldn't be more difficult to hit just because you wear heavier armor, because that not how armor works. On the contrary, heavy armor makes you easier to hit, so that's not why you wear it. No, you wear it because it protects your body from being pierced by sharp objects and weapons. D&D, however, simplifies all this (oversimplifies IMHO) into one mechanic, which is illogical by its very nature and does not serve well to suspend disbelief. That doesn't seem particularly intuitive to me.

 

I think this is beyond the scope of what our discussion was (and more to do with what Sawyer is talking about with respect to PnP games not being overall very intuitive).

 

If you explain to someone what AC represents, I'd bet all of my money that a vast majority of them would initially assume that they would want a higher AC value. I'd suspect you could accidentally forget to explain that a higher value is better with 3rd edition and have little to no confusion more consistently then you could by omitting that detail with AD&D.

 

But that's the point alanschu, You are looking at it through a CRPG player's perspective whereas Jediphile and I can see it from both a PnP and CRPG player's perspective. The difference is that people not intimately familar with PnP are shielded (or some would say protected) by the computer from the ugly details that you take for granted. The computer does all the nasty calculations like AoO, stacking, AC vs. missiles, melee..etc for you. All you see as a result is-- "the higher the AC, the better"... There is so much more to AC than that . There is so much more to 3e or 2ndEd than that.

Unless you are intimate with the PnP ruleset in question you won't really get a good feel of just how complicated 3e is to 2ndEd and vice versa.

Edited by Lancer

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"Naturally, if you don't even have any combat, you can play without THAC0. But if you have combat, you have to deal with it somehow."

 

Nope. Combat is very much involved. And, the people in question don't deal with it really. They simply tell me (or wheoever is the DM) what their character is doing, they roll a dice, and either the DM or the other players do the calculations - or ebtter yet we write their ab/thaco on their sheet and simply say roll the die + add that number and there ya go. No udnersatnding of thaco, attack bonus, or whatever.

 

Yep. Very true. In fact, in OD&D, THACO was an optional rule. You can definitely do away with the concept in AD&D as well.

Edited by Lancer

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"Naturally, if you don't even have any combat, you can play without THAC0. But if you have combat, you have to deal with it somehow."

 

Nope. Combat is very much involved. And, the people in question don't deal with it really. They simply tell me (or wheoever is the DM) what their character is doing, they roll a dice, and either the DM or the other players do the calculations - or ebtter yet we write their ab/thaco on their sheet and simply say roll the die + add that number and there ya go. No udnersatnding of thaco, attack bonus, or whatever.

 

 

I am quite sure that these people make up a significant portion of the AD&D community.

 

 

My apologies.

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But that's the point alanschu, You are looking at it through a CRPG player's perspective whereas Jediphile and I can see it from both a PnP and CRPG player's perspective.

 

Errr, I was looking at it just from a "What is Armor Class" point of view.

 

I felt it was rather PnP/CRPG neutral.

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But that's the point alanschu, You are looking at it through a CRPG player's perspective whereas Jediphile and I can see it from both a PnP and CRPG player's perspective.

 

Errr, I was looking at it just from a "What is Armor Class" point of view.

 

I felt it was rather PnP/CRPG neutral.

And you were right, don't blame yourself. :blink:


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But that's the point alanschu, You are looking at it through a CRPG player's perspective whereas Jediphile and I can see it from both a PnP and CRPG player's perspective. The difference is that people not intimately familar with PnP are shielded (or some would say protected) by the computer from the ugly details that you take for granted.

 

I also disagree with this statement. I played PnP long before I played any cRPG and my first encounter with the concept of AC was from AD&D. And I never thought decreasing AC made much sense.

 

Then again, I think AC the way it works in either D&D edition is stupid anyways. But that is beside the point.

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Then so what is your point if neither 2ndEd or 3e AC make sense? lol

 

 

And why are you all resurrecting this long dead thread? Just let it die. This is old news.

Edited by Lancer

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Then so what is your point if neither 2ndEd or 3e AC  make sense? lol

 

 

And why are you all resurrecting this long dead thread? Just let it die. This is old news.

 

Sorry about that, my internet was down for a couple of weeks and I only checked the date on the last post.

 

Just a small note, I didn't say AC didn't make sense. I understand how it works and the reasoning behind it just fine. I just think it's stupid.

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But that's the point alanschu, You are looking at it through a CRPG player's perspective whereas Jediphile and I can see it from both a PnP and CRPG player's perspective. The difference is that people not intimately familar with PnP are shielded (or some would say protected) by the computer from the ugly details that you take for granted.

 

I also disagree with this statement. I played PnP long before I played any cRPG and my first encounter with the concept of AC was from AD&D. And I never thought decreasing AC made much sense.

 

Then again, I think AC the way it works in either D&D edition is stupid anyways. But that is beside the point.

 

No, that's the point exactly. AC is *stupid*. It makes no sense at all, and attempting to explain it logically is far more difficult than it is whether it should be counted up or down. Why start at 10 anyway? That's silly too, isn't it? I mean, a high AC is good (in 3e), right? So why does my character get a full 10 points to begin with?

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AC is something like combined DR and the ability to dodge attacs  :ermm:

 

Dodge attacks, yes. At least that's the idea, though it makes little sense (I'll get back to that in a second)

 

DR, however, no! There is no Damage Resistance in D&D rules - none.

 

Let me make an example of it. The first time I played Fallout (1), I found a metal armor and put it. This lowered my AC (the chance of being hit in combat), so I removed it again. Why would I willingly lower my AC?

 

I had played D&D for so long, than I didn't immediately stop to think of the logic of it. You wear heavy armor to prevent sharp objects like pointed weapons or bullets from penetrating your armor and then your body. That's what Damage Resistance does.

 

But heavy armor is *heavy*. And so it naturally follows, that it restricts your movements and agility and therefore makes you easier to hit. The point is that you take less damage even if you're hit, because the armor absords most of the attack.

 

It was then that I realised how horribly corrupted I had become by AD&D "logic". Thankfully I saw the light and has now been redeemed o:):-

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I mentioned DR becouse that protect you from damage...as AC does, only more powerful.

..In the latest D&D there IS DR...actually both in 3.0 and 3.5, in the later its quite good. :nuke:


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