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I don't get the AD&D confusion...

GygaxianProseGygaxianProse Member Posts: 201
....rant zone......
I just don't get the weird confusion about AD&D rules. Especially if you're just talking core books + a few supplements, it's a fairly rules light, easy system that holds up very well today, tossing and modding a rule here or there.
I don't ever recall players being confused, back when 1st and 2nd were in print, about things like whether a Saving throw penalty is described as +4 (to the save) or -4(to the roll), or that AC was hard to understand. So I wonder if the confusion is more for people who didn't/haven't played any edition up through 2nd, and particularly exclusively CRPGers. Because I believe AD&D is far less "byzantine" in practice than modern legend would have it. It's complex, and runs better in PnP watered down IMO, but its just not the obscure beast it seems to be portayed as from time to time.
If it helps, maybe look at AC as a modifier to an enemy's attack roll, as relative resistance -
Saving throw priority? A bit obscure, more of a DM thing, but a straightforward mechanic.
Ability checks do roll under on d20, but they're not core until 2nd, and there are good arguments to not using them much. Even so, it was't confusing. OMG I want high on attack rolls, but low on ability/ NWP checks!? IT'S BYZANTINE!!! *brain implodes*






QuartzMoomintroll
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Comments

  • ShinShin Member Posts: 2,338
    I agree @GygaxianProse, but I think at that time there was a greater tolerance for having to sit down and read rule books before you started playing, or manuals in the case of computer games. Since then the expectation of being able to just "pick up and play" a game and have everything becoming clear as you go along has gotten more and more common.

    and_then_or
  • GygaxianProseGygaxianProse Member Posts: 201
    decado said:

    Some people are speshul and usually too lazy to make any effort to learn unless it it spoonfed to them (which BTW doesn't count as 'learning').

    Some, to be sure. But There is much game evolution to take into account. My perspective is from learning with the red box, then 1E, then 1E on teenage steroids, and then RIFTS. 2nd edition was there, but was quaint by our standards of the time.
    Shin said:

    I agree @GygaxianProse, but I think at that time there was a greater tolerance for having to sit down and read rule books before you started playing, or manuals in the case of computer games. Since then the expectation of being able to just "pick up and play" a game and have everything becoming clear as you go along has gotten more and more common.

    I know I'm guilty if some of that.
    But I also don't think that younger people are lazy per se. I know I am plenty lazy. : ) There is a physical medium gap. Like with the saving throws, if you have a long association of rolling high, and not really ever modifying the target number itself, it's bleeding obvious a penalty is a - to the die roll.
    But if you are a programmer, or post 3E gamer, and don't have the decade+ of pnp informing your game logic, then you wouldn't have such an apparent assumption. I have the same problem trying to play 3rd.
    However, I think just playing basic/1E/2E, pnp, is easier than it appears. Whereas this might not be the case with more complex rules systems.

  • CyhortCyhort Member Posts: 78
    As much as I loved manuals, I will say this, any time it got into the rules part with saving throws and +4 and 2d whatevers my brain glazed over. I'm pretty much useless when it comes to any kind of math, I need my fingers for simple addition still, so I never really understood the rules. I just know that higher stats = easier fights. The part about manuals I love, love, LOVED was the lore and the backstory and character descriptions that they all used to have. I really miss being able to read those while the game installs (for PC games) or before putting the disc in the tray (for console games).

    Kristie83typo_tilly
  • BytebrainBytebrain Member Posts: 602
    @ajwz ^^
    That made me laugh SO hard! :-)

    SCARY_WIZARD
  • RazorRazor Member Posts: 435
    I learned without manual, just trial and error. And a... persistence.

  • LordsDarkKnight185LordsDarkKnight185 Member Posts: 615
    AD&D does not confuse me (I prefer BG to be as close to it as possible, which is why I wait semi-patiently for Divine Redux to be updated so i can have my spell spheres and Painbearer)

    But I simply prefer 3.5 (And I really like what I am seeing in Next)

    Why is this so wrong?

  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    @LordsDarkKnight185 It's not wrong. It's a preference. I tend to prefer 2e, because, to me, it's more heroic and less Super-Heroic, and to me, 3e made humans much less interesting to play because of how many races they introduced (in those 50+ sourcebooks), and that all of them could be anything humans could be. And that's a choice and a preference as well.

    RazorQuartzBaptor
  • LordsDarkKnight185LordsDarkKnight185 Member Posts: 615
    LadyRhian said:

    @LordsDarkKnight185 It's not wrong. It's a preference. I tend to prefer 2e, because, to me, it's more heroic and less Super-Heroic, and to me, 3e made humans much less interesting to play because of how many races they introduced (in those 50+ sourcebooks), and that all of them could be anything humans could be. And that's a choice and a preference as well.

    I respect that completely, and understand what you mean.

    I mainly commented here because I felt this thread has a real passive-agressive tone to it. Not that i'm trying to start trouble or anything, please don't think I am as I understand that Baldur's Gate uses AD&D (And as I said I would never dream of changing that, I enjoy AD&D 2e alot, its just not my "favorite" ) But being that it is not my favorite I feel shunned and defensive, that certain people look down at me for not worshiping 2e as THE Dungeon's & Dragons experience.

  • ajwzajwz Member Posts: 4,122
    LadyRhian said:

    it's more heroic and less Super-Heroic

    That's a pretty good way of putting it

  • GygaxianProseGygaxianProse Member Posts: 201

    AD&D does not confuse me (I prefer BG to be as close to it as possible, which is why I wait semi-patiently for Divine Redux to be updated so i can have my spell spheres and Painbearer)

    But I simply prefer 3.5 (And I really like what I am seeing in Next)

    Why is this so wrong?

    Nothing wrong with your preference....I guess think of it more as a change in OS from 2nd-3rd. The lost compatibility, which becomes complete in 4th, is arguably about the dumbest thing one could have done with the franchise.
    So I share the interest in "next" ( bad apple association though ). I think it can be done. I ran games in the 3E ruleset, 2nd edition-ized, and it was a blast. There can come a point where you just don't care which PHB people are using, and just let the players do their crunch, and then interpret through a Basic D&D filter.

    LordsDarkKnight185
  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729
    It's confusing because BG doesn't implement AD&D rules exactly and there are many of the differences are undocumented, there's also mistakes in the BG manuals, even the new BGEE ones

    lolthtypo_tillyTJ_Hooker
  • butcheredbutchered Member Posts: 16
    When I first played this at age 12, it took me awhile to take it all in.
    I think D&D in general has many rules and tables for abilities (but that's why I love it).

    I can understand if someone is confused initially, but you just read up on it and it becomes straight forward.

    I'm really interested in what this D&D Next brings.
    After all it will influence our future CRPG's, and hopefully we get plenty of those.

    LordsDarkKnight185
  • DrugarDrugar Member Posts: 1,566
    2nd Ed:
    Lookie the Halfling's modified thac0 is 12
    Urg the orc's Armour Class is 4
    Lookie attacks with a railgun and rolls 15

    To Hit Armour Class 0 she needs to roll a 12, but Urg's Armour Class is 4 (so 4 easier than 0) so she only needs to roll an 8. (12-4=8, 15 > 8) She hits!

    Higher level;
    Lookie's modified tach0 is -2
    Zurg's AC is -13
    She attacks with a +5 railgun (giving a -5 on thac0) and rolls a 12

    AC-13 vs thac0 -2 means she needs to roll an 11 (-2--13=11, 12 > 11) She hits again and blasts away Urg's vengeful son.


    3rd Ed:
    Dookie the Halfling's modified attack bonus is +8
    Burg the orc's armour class is 16
    Lookie attacks with a gauss rifle and rolls 9

    She adds her attack bonus to the roll (9+8=17, 17 > 16), she hits!

    Higher level:
    Dookie's modified attack bonus is +21
    Lurg's armour class is 36
    Dookie attacks with a +5 Gauss Rifle and rolls a 14

    She adds her attack bonus to the roll (21+14=35, 35 < 36), she misses and Lurg finally avenges his family being murdered by halflings by tearing off her head and using her face as a loincloth.

    ______________

    I vastly prefer 3rd Edition's adding system over 2nd Edition's system of checking what you should roll at a hypothetical armour class and calculating from there. The negative numbers also get confusing quickly.
    It's not rocket science, my puny high-school education brain can still process it, but I do find it needlessly complicated.
    Why count down to beyond zero, why involve a baseline armour class to calculate from, why label weapons as being +5 when they give -5?

    You get used to it as you play, and then it becomes second nature (over 15 years of D&D related stuff, I can whip up a fully equipped and statted character on a blank page in five minutes, which is just practice). But for entry-level people, it makes much more sense to explain that a + is bonus and a - is a penalty, higher is better.

    Added note; this is purely mechanical talk. The 2nd Edition rulebooks had tons of fluff and drawings, some of which I still use frequently. It also didn't have 3rd's tendency to go nutty with powergaming at higher levels, making it a nightmare for the DM.
    Both have their upsides.

    SilyLordsDarkKnight185
  • pacekpacek Member Posts: 92
    You roll a d20 attack die. You ADD your +x BONUS from your +x weapon. You ADD your opponent's AC (if it's negative you SUBTRACT it!!)
    If the total > your THAC0, you hit! IT'S SO SIMPLE!

    SullaGygaxianProselolien
  • MenthroMenthro Member Posts: 85
    Shin said:

    I agree @GygaxianProse, but I think at that time there was a greater tolerance for having to sit down and read rule books before you started playing, or manuals in the case of computer games. Since then the expectation of being able to just "pick up and play" a game and have everything becoming clear as you go along has gotten more and more common.

    The best part of a new game was when I was riding home and I was able to read the instruction book!

    moody_mageSulla
  • CommunardCommunard Member Posts: 554
    edited November 2012
    I've read the 2nd edition core rulebooks in full, I've played it on the tabletop a fair few times too, I understand the rules just fine. That doesn't stop them from being needlessly complex compared to more streamlined rules systems. There's no actual disadvantage to having high numbers always be good and low numbers always be bad, to hear some members talk here you'd think consistency were a bad thing! For example, @pacek, a 3.5/Pathfinder attack roll would be "You roll a d20 die, you add your BAB and weapon bonus, if it's higher than your opponent's AC then you hit." It's mathematically identical to the first one, but in addition to being slightly easier to do on the fly, this has the advantage that the player can simply roll the die, add his modifiers and tell the DM the result without having to know his opponent's AC, which is good for keeping a sense of mystery. Plus it just feels right to be rolling against your opponent's AC rather than your own statistic (Thac0).

    DrugarTJ_Hooker
  • moody_magemoody_mage Member Posts: 2,052
    I too prefer 3.5's method of handling to hit probabilities as well as AC and AB (THAC0) in general. I find it scales much better with level.

    Sily
  • rexregrexreg Member Posts: 292
    @GygaxianProse
    4th ed. broke D&D away from the chains of Gygax
    :(

    SullaWiggles
  • sandmanCCLsandmanCCL Member Posts: 1,389
    I still can't calculate Thac0. I always get it wrong. I simply do not process numbers well so I forget when I need to add or subtract because it's really not self-explanatory.

    I'm going to have to agree with @Communard. Base attack bonus + modifiers to hit the AC number is mathmatically the exact same thing, but is much easier to understand. As the saying goes, "The simplest solution is often the best."

    Plus, another reason I liked 3E and beyond compared to AD&D is there were gaming reasons to roll Human. (@LadyRhian is probably gonna battle me on this one!) Humanity is poorly represented in AD&D because they just sucked. Anything they could do, some demi-human could do better outside of classes only humans (arbitrarily) could be, and dual-classing.

    And I guess that's another reason. A lot of the rules were arbitrary. "Druids can only hit level 14 because, society!" Gimme a break. It didn't allow for a lot of interpretation outside of how they set up the rule books, because they actually wrote in societal guidelines. If I want to set up a druid society that's neutral good and the leader is a druid/archmage, and the actual highest level druids are the protectors of the society rather than the rulers, I want that option in the rulebooks rather than having to break them in order to make it my own.

    D&D is make-believe with rules, so I think the less limitations on it, the better.

    MedullaOblongata
  • rexregrexreg Member Posts: 292
    despite the 50-some-odd races in 3.X, i still usually play Human...that extra Feat is money!!

    LordsDarkKnight185Sulla
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    @ajwz Thanks. :)

    @Drugar That +5 Gauss Rifle doesn't do a thing to add to hitting chances? Wouldn't it be 14+5+21=40? Or is that with the +5 already added in? See, this can be confusing, too...

  • DrugarDrugar Member Posts: 1,566
    LadyRhian said:


    @Drugar That +5 Gauss Rifle doesn't do a thing to add to hitting chances? Wouldn't it be 14+5+21=40? Or is that with the +5 already added in? See, this can be confusing, too...

    That's why I put in "modified" before every final thac0/to hit roll.
    If I also had to show calculating the +5 (or -5 in this case) then I would've had to account for Dex bonus, weapon proficiency and Halfling Racial Bonus with Gauss Rifles and it would've just gotten even messier than it already was.

    It does link neatly with my second big complaint of 2nd Edition; totally wonky stat bonusses. Str between 8-14 is completely equal, then it ramps up slightly, then they discovered they really didn't spread the stats out well so there's suddenly 18/XX. Other stats simply have no function for warrior classes (where in 3rd Ed Int and Wisdom gave Skillpoints and Willsaves respectively, being of at least marginal use).
    Anyway, I'm mostly bothered by almost every stat between 7-14 having no impact at all (while it should be a significant difference) and the relatively low cap of 25 on all stats, making power-scaling more difficult.

    sandmanCCL
  • BW022BW022 Member Posts: 5

    ....rant zone......
    I just don't get the weird confusion about AD&D rules.

    Several reasons for me.
    1. I've never played 2e. I base my knowledge on 1e.
    2. I've played a lot of 3e. My 1e books are in storage. It has been 10 years since I've had to look at AD&D rules.
    3. Computer games never implement rules as per PnP, nor does it play the same way. In PnP, you could ignore the rules and roleplay your way of out almost anything. Heck... play dead!
    4. The manuals in the computer games suck.
    5. At some point, I don't care about the rules. Especially in a computer game. Even in PnP games, a good DM and players will help a newbie. Do I really care about THACO in BG? No... it will roll for me.

    GygaxianProse
  • PairdicePairdice Member Posts: 15
    My biggest complaint about 2.5 was the strength percentile for Fighters/Rangers/Paladins.
    I understood that ogres typically had 19 strength and that no human could ever rival and ogre's strength - hence the compromise of 18/00.

    All other stats were integers, but they just had to fiddle around with strength precentiles. I'm glad 3.0 and subsequent editions fixed it.

  • rexregrexreg Member Posts: 292
    @Pairdice
    Ogres had 18(00)--hence Gauntlets of Ogre Power
    Hill Giants had a 19 Strength

    LadyRhian
  • pacekpacek Member Posts: 92

    I still can't calculate Thac0. I always get it wrong. I simply do not process numbers well so I forget when I need to add or subtract because it's really not self-explanatory.

    You souldn't need to calculate Thac0. It's there as the benchmark you need to hit for a successful attack. All modifiers should be relative to the attack roll, not Thac0. This includes +x from weapon and opponent's AC. See my post above. When you see -x bonus to Thac0, this is a shortcut to saying it is a +x bonus to the attack roll (ie 1d20 +bonuses). So you can either ADD your bonus to the attack roll or you can SUBTRACT your bonus from Thac0. The effect is the same, but the first is more intuitive and the latter is simply quicker.

    GygaxianProselolien
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