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incredibly confused +1 AC adds reduces my Armor Class?

I get that a negative Armor class is better and the worst is 10. So why do items that are +1 AC reduce my overall Armor class. This is so confusing. I see an item that a merchant is selling that is 8 AC does that reduce my overall Armor class by 8?

EnterHaerDalisQuartz
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Comments

  • moopymoopy Member Posts: 938
    If armor says X AC like 8 AC. That means your base is set to 8. Your base with no armor is 10.

    Then every PLUS or bonus is actually a good thing. So an item with +1AC is making your armor class one BETTER. Since the AC got better it is one less.

    So with armor that sets AC to 8 and a ring with +1 AC. Your base would be 8 and you'd get 1 AC bonus, making your total 7.

    Did that make it make more sense?

  • Gustx8Gustx8 Member Posts: 47
    Yes, this makes more sense. However, I equipped the item that says Bracers 8 AC and I have a ring like you said that has +1 AC, but that it appears that the bracers haven't change my Armor class at all. I looked on the character on my character sheet.

  • WilburWilbur Member Posts: 1,173
    Gustx8 said:

    I get that a negative Armor class is better and the worst is 10. So why do items that are +1 AC reduce my overall Armor class. This is so confusing.

    That is kind of misleading, but you get used to it. (Isn't it the same thing with thac0?)
    It would be more clear if it was a "AC bonus 1" and not "+1 AC".

  • SplodSplod Member Posts: 114
    And this is the reason Thac0 was abandoned...
    What other equipment do you have? Bracers of armour don't stack with any other armour you're wearing.

  • TheCoffeeGodTheCoffeeGod Member Posts: 618
    Gustx8 said:

    Yes, this makes more sense. However, I equipped the item that says Bracers 8 AC and I have a ring like you said that has +1 AC, but that it appears that the bracers haven't change my Armor class at all. I looked on the character on my character sheet.

    Bracers are actually a unique case.
    They are ment to be worn without armor or magical bonused items.

    Therefore, if you had no armor or magical AC enhancing equipment on, your base AC would be dropped to 8 then your DEX bonus gets added.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    Nah, bracers of X AC just replace your body armor, you can still wear rings and stuff with them, even in PnP, the only thing they don't stack with is other items or spells that alter your base armor class rather then magical bonuses. They're just A LOT more comparatively expensive and rare then armor of an equivalent protection since they have no downsides at all. BG actually nerf'd them, as they're supposed to give the exact same bonuses as the type of armor they replace but with none of the weight, skill, or casting penalties (so bracers of AC 3 SHOULD have the extra bonus vs piercing and slashing that plate does, but currently doesn't).

    Most armor that has a + modifier will already be accounted for in its description's AC entry.

    TJ_Hooker
  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    Generally speaking anything called a "bonus" to THAC0 or AC will reduce the number, which is good. There are inconsistencies in some descriptions, so things say "will give you a -1 AC bonus". Bonus = good.

    If the description is neutral and just says +/-x to THAC0/saves/AC, you can assume it's normally good.

    Anything called a penalty regardless of being + or - is bad.

    e.g. the Barbarian rage description:

    Can Rage once per day for every 4 levels (starts at 1st level with one use). Rage gives them +4 to constitution and strength for 5 rounds. Gives a -2 armor class penalty and +2 to saves vs. magic (for 5 rounds). Rage also gives immunity to all charm, hold, fear, maze, confusion and level-drain spells.

    Thus the -2AC is a penalty (bad) and the +2 to saves is good.

  • KaltzorKaltzor Member Posts: 1,050
    edited January 2013
    THAC0 works in a special way but I personally think it makes more sense than the AC that replaces it...

    Base THAC0 - Modifiers = Your actual THAC0

    The attack is a d20 + targets AC (add a negative number and it subtracts)

    You need to reach above your THAC0 with that roll to hit.


    But yea, Bracers will essentially count as an armor of what AC it says on it's name, Bracers of AC 8 is a leather armor that goes in your gloves slot and if you wear any better actual armor it doesn't do anything.

  • MadhaxMadhax Member Posts: 1,416

    And Gygax said "Let there be Base Attack Bonus". It was so, and Gygax saw that it was good. And then there was evening, and then morning - the third edition.

    Say what you will about third addition, the math makes SO much more sense.

    The_Guilty_Party
  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    Madhax said:

    And Gygax said "Let there be Base Attack Bonus". It was so, and Gygax saw that it was good. And then there was evening, and then morning - the third edition.

    Say what you will about third addition, the math makes SO much more sense.
    The math works perfectly well either way. It's just a matter of understanding the mechanic. Some descriptions here may have been poorly written for those unfamiliar with the system. But it's not rocket science; lower armor classes are good; so bonuses lower AC, penalties raise it.

    JTMQuartz
  • moopymoopy Member Posts: 938
    I think that if you are new the key is understanding that +1 doesn't mean PLUS one it means BONUS one.

    JTMQuartz
  • MadhaxMadhax Member Posts: 1,416
    atcDave said:

    Madhax said:

    And Gygax said "Let there be Base Attack Bonus". It was so, and Gygax saw that it was good. And then there was evening, and then morning - the third edition.

    Say what you will about third addition, the math makes SO much more sense.
    The math works perfectly well either way. It's just a matter of understanding the mechanic. Some descriptions here may have been poorly written for those unfamiliar with the system. But it's not rocket science; lower armor classes are good; so bonuses lower AC, penalties raise it.
    It's not rocket science, but it still seems needlessly complicated. A new player will have difficulty keeping track of which stats need to be low and which need to be high, and the problem is compounded with inconsistent language in certain items and spells. There was a new player a few weeks ago in the bug forum asking why the Gauntlets of Misplacement's massive THAC0 negatives were making his fighter so much weaker. You can't sum up how the system works in a simple sentence, you have to go case-by-case when explaining it.

    In third edition, it's a simple case of bigger=better. My massive AC is higher than your less-massive attack bonus, so I'm safe, etc. etc.

    TJ_Hooker
  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    Madhax said:

    atcDave said:

    Madhax said:

    And Gygax said "Let there be Base Attack Bonus". It was so, and Gygax saw that it was good. And then there was evening, and then morning - the third edition.

    Say what you will about third addition, the math makes SO much more sense.
    The math works perfectly well either way. It's just a matter of understanding the mechanic. Some descriptions here may have been poorly written for those unfamiliar with the system. But it's not rocket science; lower armor classes are good; so bonuses lower AC, penalties raise it.
    It's not rocket science, but it still seems needlessly complicated. A new player will have difficulty keeping track of which stats need to be low and which need to be high, and the problem is compounded with inconsistent language in certain items and spells. There was a new player a few weeks ago in the bug forum asking why the Gauntlets of Misplacement's massive THAC0 negatives were making his fighter so much weaker. You can't sum up how the system works in a simple sentence, you have to go case-by-case when explaining it.

    In third edition, it's a simple case of bigger=better. My massive AC is higher than your less-massive attack bonus, so I'm safe, etc. etc.
    I've used 1E or 2E rules in PNP games for 30+ years and never had any particular problems explaining things to new players. Its NOT needlessly complicated, it IS a pretty simple system.

    Its one thing to have a favorite system, obviously many folks here prefer 3E, I have no problem with that. But objecting to the "complexity" of 2E seems a little silly when we look at all the mountains of rules we use for any edition of D&D. Anyone here can grasp the mechanics of any rule set, and unless everyone is ready to concede that I'm smarter than the rest of you I refuse to believe there's anything about 2E that should go over anyone's head.

    Quartz
  • TJ_HookerTJ_Hooker Member Posts: 2,438
    edited January 2013
    atcDave said:

    Madhax said:

    atcDave said:

    Madhax said:

    And Gygax said "Let there be Base Attack Bonus". It was so, and Gygax saw that it was good. And then there was evening, and then morning - the third edition.

    Say what you will about third addition, the math makes SO much more sense.
    The math works perfectly well either way. It's just a matter of understanding the mechanic. Some descriptions here may have been poorly written for those unfamiliar with the system. But it's not rocket science; lower armor classes are good; so bonuses lower AC, penalties raise it.
    It's not rocket science, but it still seems needlessly complicated. A new player will have difficulty keeping track of which stats need to be low and which need to be high, and the problem is compounded with inconsistent language in certain items and spells. There was a new player a few weeks ago in the bug forum asking why the Gauntlets of Misplacement's massive THAC0 negatives were making his fighter so much weaker. You can't sum up how the system works in a simple sentence, you have to go case-by-case when explaining it.

    In third edition, it's a simple case of bigger=better. My massive AC is higher than your less-massive attack bonus, so I'm safe, etc. etc.
    I've used 1E or 2E rules in PNP games for 30+ years and never had any particular problems explaining things to new players. Its NOT needlessly complicated, it IS a pretty simple system.

    Its one thing to have a favorite system, obviously many folks here prefer 3E, I have no problem with that. But objecting to the "complexity" of 2E seems a little silly when we look at all the mountains of rules we use for any edition of D&D. Anyone here can grasp the mechanics of any rule set, and unless everyone is ready to concede that I'm smarter than the rest of you I refuse to believe there's anything about 2E that should go over anyone's head.
    Being able to explain it to someone face to face is a lot different than trying to communicate through instruction manuals and text in game. Especially when it comes to a situation where you're not sure if a negative number is a bonus or penalty, vice versa for a positive number; you can't just ask your DM about it when you're playing a video game.

    And I would say it is needlessly complicated, seeing as how 3E managed to acomplish the same things (i.e. hit rolls, AC, saving throws) with a more straight forward and intuitive system. It may seem simple to you seeing as how you've been using it for 30 years, but I can assure that when I first started playing DnD based video games, it took me a fraction of the time to fully understand 3E as it did for me to understand 2E. I'm not saying that understanding 2E is terribly difficult, I'm just saying it's more difficult than it needs to be.

  • karnor00karnor00 Member Posts: 679
    Gustx8 said:

    I get that a negative Armor class is better and the worst is 10. So why do items that are +1 AC reduce my overall Armor class. This is so confusing. I see an item that a merchant is selling that is 8 AC does that reduce my overall Armor class by 8?

    Welcome to 2E. It had an unnecessarily complicated combat system.

    The system in 3E had exactly the same results but was set up to be much more straighfoward.

  • LifatLifat Member Posts: 353
    @atcDave 2nd edition combat rules might not be impossible to understand but you have to admit that bigger=better is more simple than sometimes we subtract and it is positive for our character and sometimes we add and it is positive for our character...

  • karnor00karnor00 Member Posts: 679
    3ED wasn't perfect however. It had the complicated system of 5 different types of armor (natural, shield, armor, dodge and something else I can't remember).

    Avenger_teambgQuartz
  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    Lifat said:

    @atcDave 2nd edition combat rules might not be impossible to understand but you have to admit that bigger=better is more simple than sometimes we subtract and it is positive for our character and sometimes we add and it is positive for our character...

    No I really don't agree. 3E made 2E seem more complicated only because it reversed the process. I would agree with saying the wording of some item and bonus descriptions makes things seem more complicated than they need to be; but for a player the system is quite simple, an unprotected human starts at AC10, and numbers get lower as they get better. I find that as simple to understand as any game mechanic I've seen. And the math of AC, thac0, and hit rolls can be done so fast I hardly even think about it.

    Again, I have no problem with anyone having a favorite rule set. But complaining 2E is too complicated rubs me wrong. I got my start playing real war games, and any version of D&D is simple.

    Quartz
  • LifatLifat Member Posts: 353
    @atcDave So you are saying that of these two examples there is no difference in complication?

    2nd
    I start with AC 10. Then I get an armor that sets my AC to 4. I then subtract my bonus from dex of 3. I then subtract my +2 protection ring. I now have an AC of -1.
    You then have a thac0 of 15 and you are trained with the weapon used therefor you get a -2 to that value. That gives you a modified thac0 of 13. You then roll a d20 and subtract that from 13. If that value is -1 or lower then you hit. (this example isn't even taking into account different bonuses and penalties of armor that could change your AC depending on which weapon the opponent uses)

    3rd
    I start with AC 10. I then add my dex modifier. I then add my armor bonus. I then add my +2 from a protection ring giving me an AC of 21.
    You then have a bonus to hit of +5 and you have a feat that gives you +1 and it is a magical weapon of +1 add that together for a +7 and add a roll of a d20. If it is 21 or higher then you hit.

    These examples are not limited to AC/thac0. They are also present when it comes to saving throws and the like.

    I'm not saying that 3rd is better than 2nd. I'm simply stating that 3rd is a hell of a lot more intuitive. The fact that you yourself is able to do it with 30 years of experience doesn't mean that it isn't hard for new players. I for one felt completely lost when I used 2nd's combat system but understood 3rd's combat system a lot better (except for grapple.... wth?).

    Looking back I actually enjoyed 2nd a lot because of the very strong flavour it had. 3rd simplified the rules a lot but it lost some of it's magic. Whether that was because of growing up or if it really did have less flavour I can't be sure of though.

  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    edited January 2013
    Lifat you know either system can get massively complicated with temporary or situational modifiers, equipment that only works in certain circumstances, or skills that only apply against certain types of opponents. But I don't believe the core mechanic of 2E is any more troublesome or difficult a concept than the core mechanic of 3E. And yes, I have over 30 years of experience with AD&D, but I have often introduced new players to the game, many of whom were very casual about the game mechanics and had no interest in being anything other than casual about it. So as I said before, there is no particular difficulty in explaining 2E in exactly the level of detail that suits any gamer; casual or dedicated. But in the end, the DM is the only one who needs to understand the mechanics, as long as players know enough to figure good from bad. And that's exactly how it works in a computer game also; I don't need to do the math myself, just understand the good and bad of it. And no, I'm not suggesting any sort of rules elitism on the issue, only that the mechanics can be understood on a simple/conceptual level, or a more involved nuts and bolts level, that is purely up to the individual gamer. And I think it's pointless to call one system simpler than the other. When I look at 2E characters and equipment I have an immediate intuitive grasp of their power and balance, that is the product of 30 years of experience. People with more experience with 3E will naturally feel that way about 3E rules, but that is not a reflection of anything innate to the rules themselves.

    Post edited by atcDave on
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,611
    Deflection is the last armor type in 3rd edition. It comes from magic rings or amulets, usually, or spells.

    Armor, shield, natural, dodge, deflection. Like in 2nd edition, none of it stacks, except for dodge. You can only have one bonus of each type.

  • LifatLifat Member Posts: 353
    @atcDave A system that switches between - and + being a good or bad thing is inherently more complicated than a system that goes + is always good - is always bad. I can't see why that isn't clear.

    The fact that you can get new players to understand the system isn't a good selling point when it comes to simplicity. A good selling point is how easy it is to make people understand. I know plenty of people that played 2nd for a while without fully understanding even relatively important and basic things such as thac0 and saving throws.

    Whether or not you care about simplicity is another matter. I for one think that simplicity has value. The amount of value is debateable and really is subjective.

    TJ_HookerThe_Guilty_Party
  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    I just don't buy that 3E is in any way "simpler" than 2E. It adds skills, and feats, and a dexterity modifier that changes based on the type of armor you're wearing, and numerous other new concepts that are in no way simple. None of that is bad, its just changing one set of issues for another. And I think introducing new players to the experience is exactly the issue that matters. The only complaints I have ever heard about 2E rules come from 3E players, NOT newbies. My newbies learn quickly and well, and I would add, character generation typically goes much faster and easier in 2E.

    Again, I have nothing against you or anyone else preferring 3E, but I think all the differences are about taste; neither rule set is objectively simpler or better than the other.

  • LifatLifat Member Posts: 353
    @atcDave
    I for one started out with playing 2E and I thought it very confusing. I played it for a year and never really got the hang of it. When 3E came out I learned most of the system quite quickly.
    I'll grant you that 3E has more options for the characters than 2E and that does add some complexity but 3E is built around a less confusing principle of bigger is always better. (a part from creature size which isn't always the case :P)
    I agree that introducing new players to the experience is exactly the issue that matters. All I said was that it wasn't whether or not you can, but how easy it is.
    I have some older friends that had played 2E for a lot of years before 3E came out and they all swore that they would never change to 3E but they have all agreed that 3E is more simple to understand. The arguements they use are: We have so many books for 2E or we think the flavour is better.

    Personally I play whatever system the group wants to play (with a very few exceptions) but I do have a favourite (pathfinder).

  • PlasticGolemPlasticGolem Member Posts: 98
    TJ_Hooker said:

    And I would say it is needlessly complicated, seeing as how 3E managed to acomplish the same things (i.e. hit rolls, AC, saving throws) with a more straight forward and intuitive system.

    The difference between 2E and 3E is the difference between renovating a hundred year old house and building a new, modern house with a nod to a classic architectural theme. 3E is different because it is a complete rewrite, while 2E is an evolution of a pre-existing system that more or less maintains compatibility with an 1E, which is itself the evolution of OD&D, which is in turn an evolution of Chainmail and a wargaming tradition. Armor class was a perfectly reasonable mechanic when it was first conceived, and the way it evolved as D&D evolved is entirely reasonable.

    3E made a clean break with earlier versions of D&D, maintaining some of the stylistic cues and, maybe, some of the overall character, but it is a different game. As a completely new game, it was able to implement a number of mechanics in a more consistent and arguably intuitive manner, though the difference between 2E and 3E hit roll systems is often greatly exaggerated.

    Point being: 3E was only able to accomplish the same thing because it was working with a simpler problem: build a new self-contained system rather than evolve an existing system in a way that is both familiar to players or and compatible with materials from the existing game.

    TJ_Hooker
  • davendaven Member Posts: 112
    3rd is just easier to understand. 2nd is a hassle.

  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    daven said:

    3rd is just easier to understand. 2nd is a hassle.

    Oh brother. Yeah just like chocolate is clearly superior to vanilla or blue is obviously better than green.

  • UnknownQuantityUnknownQuantity Member Posts: 242
    I actually enjoyed a lot of the computer games that were based on 1st and 2nd edition D&D. Not all of them used the same thac0, ac system, or multi class system, but the core classes and how they worked were always similar. Most of the early RPGs I played only had single classes and some had hybrids. Usually the core classes like fighter/mage/thief/cleric and they all had a role in the group and were useful in some way. I can't say I enjoy the whole feats type system that is in the new edition even though the new editions do some things better. I sometimes think things would have been better if they just stuck to single classes and maybe some hybrids.

    atcDave
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