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Penny Arcade - Comic - Less Is More

DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin

Less Is More!

Penny Arcade - Comic - Less Is More

Videogaming-related online strip by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins. Includes news and commentary.

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H3KnucklesRhesus PositiveAndy JoeTofystedethHexmage-PAQuidSolventMoridin889

Posts

  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    Don't forget that a Fighter's strength can be 18/00, which is better than both 18 and 18/50

    (Although that's more about expressing 100 as 00)

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
    H3KnucklesKayne Red Robe
  • H3KnucklesH3Knuckles But we decide which is right and which is an illusion.Registered User regular
    This is THAC0 stuff, right?

    If you're curious about my icon; it's an update of the early Lego Castle theme's "Black Falcons" faction.
    camo_sig2-400.png
    zepherinQuidKayne Red RobeV1mPyrianMan in the Mists
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    H3Knuckles wrote: »
    This is THAC0 stuff, right?

    Yeah, but the thing is, THAC0 wasn't that bad. The idea was that you needed to only know one base number - the roll you needed to hit someone with an armor class of 0. Then, you would subtract the target's AC from that number tto get the target to hit. The problem is that it's horrible design to have high numbers be good in some places, and bad in others.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
    zepherinHahnsoo1GiantGeek2020
  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    Don't get me started about spell levels being different to class levels being different to character levels

    And that's still in the game

    At least they all follow bigger = better, but come on, people, pick up a thesaurus

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
    H3KnucklesRingozepherinQuidKayne Red RobeMan in the MistsGiantGeek2020
  • H3KnucklesH3Knuckles But we decide which is right and which is an illusion.Registered User regular
    edited April 8
    H3Knuckles wrote: »
    This is THAC0 stuff, right?

    Yeah, but the thing is, THAC0 wasn't that bad. The idea was that you needed to only know one base number - the roll you needed to hit someone with an armor class of 0. Then, you would subtract the target's AC from that number tto get the target to hit. The problem is that it's horrible design to have high numbers be good in some places, and bad in others.

    It's been a while since I've read about it, but if I recall correctly THAC0 came to D&D from naval warfare games by way of Chainmail. The argument I saw made against it (besides the high/low inconsistency) was that the system is very simple in those naval games, or even Chainmail, where the numbers are all fairly static, but in D&D you had buffs and debuffs which were more awkward to handle under THAC0 than they are in modern systems that were purpose-built for a fantasy game.

    H3Knuckles on
    If you're curious about my icon; it's an update of the early Lego Castle theme's "Black Falcons" faction.
    camo_sig2-400.png
    Kayne Red Robe
  • yurnamehereyurnamehere Registered User regular
    H3Knuckles wrote: »
    This is THAC0 stuff, right?

    Yeah, but the thing is, THAC0 wasn't that bad. The idea was that you needed to only know one base number - the roll you needed to hit someone with an armor class of 0. Then, you would subtract the target's AC from that number tto get the target to hit. The problem is that it's horrible design to have high numbers be good in some places, and bad in others.

    That doesn't seem any easier to me than just "You have to roll over their AC to hit them." In both cases, you need to know what you rolled (with modifiers) and the target's AC. THAC0 is one more number on top of that!

    Andy JoeH3KnucklesTofystedethRhesus PositiveMan in the Mists
  • dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    Detective Mario is on the case.

    H3KnucklesGolden YakMichaelLCKayne Red Robeani_game_bum
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    What game are they playing that uses THACO?

    Friend Code: 1590-5696-7916
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  • dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    What game are they playing that uses THACO?

    Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun



    H3KnucklesHexmage-PAzepherinKayne Red Robe
  • islingtonislington Registered User regular
    Ahhh 2nd edition, How I "miss" you....

    SmrtnikKayne Red RobeMan in the MistsGiantGeek2020
  • islingtonislington Registered User regular
    edited April 8
    Also, came here looking for a bunch of "THAC0" love/hate, y'all didn't disappoint, love this community.

    islington on
    zepherinGiantGeek2020
  • zepherinzepherin Russian warship, go fuck yourself Registered User regular
    Where you cut your Tabletop teeth matters, and it is the system you view “fondly.” Because the experience you had dictated the fun, having a group of friends play a campaign in a dark room (maybe a basement) having a good time is going to be fun even with a terrible system. 2nd edition was not great from a mechanics standpoint, but bringing together friends to play a game, well it did that.

    GiantGeek2020
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited April 8
    H3Knuckles wrote: »
    This is THAC0 stuff, right?

    Yeah, but the thing is, THAC0 wasn't that bad. The idea was that you needed to only know one base number - the roll you needed to hit someone with an armor class of 0. Then, you would subtract the target's AC from that number tto get the target to hit. The problem is that it's horrible design to have high numbers be good in some places, and bad in others.

    That doesn't seem any easier to me than just "You have to roll over their AC to hit them." In both cases, you need to know what you rolled (with modifiers) and the target's AC. THAC0 is one more number on top of that!
    Prior to Thac0, you had to look up everything on fucking tables, so Thac0 was a step up.

    ThAC0 is essentially no different than Base Attack Bonus. It's just not rolled into the modifiers like Base Attack Bonus is. I'm not saying that it's preferable (it's not), but it would occupy the same space on a character sheet as BAB.

    Hahnsoo1 on
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    PSN: Hahnsoo | MH Rise: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
    Kayne Red RobeMoridin889
  • islingtonislington Registered User regular
    zepherin wrote: »
    Where you cut your Tabletop teeth matters, and it is the system you view “fondly.” Because the experience you had dictated the fun, having a group of friends play a campaign in a dark room (maybe a basement) having a good time is going to be fun even with a terrible system. 2nd edition was not great from a mechanics standpoint, but bringing together friends to play a game, well it did that.

    Oh yeah, totally! I was absolutely one of those assholes that looked down on 3rd and 4th edition players because it was impure or something? I don't know... i can't even relate to that person anymore, but in hindsight, I know the reason we played that was because we all had all the books and we were too broke to buy the new ones, and most importantly it was our groups game and we had modified the crap out of and we didn't want to change.
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    H3Knuckles wrote: »
    This is THAC0 stuff, right?

    Yeah, but the thing is, THAC0 wasn't that bad. The idea was that you needed to only know one base number - the roll you needed to hit someone with an armor class of 0. Then, you would subtract the target's AC from that number tto get the target to hit. The problem is that it's horrible design to have high numbers be good in some places, and bad in others.

    That doesn't seem any easier to me than just "You have to roll over their AC to hit them." In both cases, you need to know what you rolled (with modifiers) and the target's AC. THAC0 is one more number on top of that!
    Prior to Thac0, you had to look up everything on fucking tables, so Thac0 was a step up.

    ThAC0 is essentially no different than Base Attack Bonus. It's just not rolled into the modifiers like Base Attack Bonus is. I'm not saying that it's preferable (it's not), but it would occupy the same space on a character sheet as BAB.

    Its important to remember, you have to start by evaluating a system by what came before it, not after it, if you want to understand why it exists. THAC0 makes sense if you look at the old Old, its big pile of WTF if you look at it from today.

    Kayne Red Robezepherin
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Third panel was how I felt the first time I tried Baldur's Gate.

  • GrendusGrendus Registered User regular
    islington wrote: »
    zepherin wrote: »
    Where you cut your Tabletop teeth matters, and it is the system you view “fondly.” Because the experience you had dictated the fun, having a group of friends play a campaign in a dark room (maybe a basement) having a good time is going to be fun even with a terrible system. 2nd edition was not great from a mechanics standpoint, but bringing together friends to play a game, well it did that.

    Oh yeah, totally! I was absolutely one of those assholes that looked down on 3rd and 4th edition players because it was impure or something? I don't know... i can't even relate to that person anymore, but in hindsight, I know the reason we played that was because we all had all the books and we were too broke to buy the new ones, and most importantly it was our groups game and we had modified the crap out of and we didn't want to change.

    Cut my teeth on 3.5e. A terribly balanced system to be sure, but one that allowed a huge amount of player expression. Unfortunately it was a system that gave us both the Monk and the Druid in the core rulebook, so afterwards the splatbook designers didn't really know which power level they were supposed to target. But you could get insanely creative with the way you stacked regular classes and prestige classes to wind up with some truly abominable (but often quite fun) builds.

  • Golden YakGolden Yak Burnished Bovine The PIT, level 26Registered User regular
    dennis wrote: »
    Detective Mario is on the case.

    4th panel: "Mamma mia! Dat's a spicy murder-ball! Ya-hooo~!"

    H9f4bVe.png
  • jberryjberry longtime reader firsttime poster Fort Smith Ark USARegistered User regular
    the highest armor class is -10

  • LtPowersLtPowers Registered User regular
    zepherin wrote: »
    Where you cut your Tabletop teeth matters, and it is the system you view “fondly.” Because the experience you had dictated the fun, having a group of friends play a campaign in a dark room (maybe a basement) having a good time is going to be fun even with a terrible system. 2nd edition was not great from a mechanics standpoint, but bringing together friends to play a game, well it did that.

    I see what you're going for, but it doesn't hold in my case. I started D&D in 2nd Edition and hold no love for it. As a system it lacks elegance and as a platform it lacks options. Each successive edition has been superior in my eyes, though 4e and 5e may be close to tied.

    Heck, I had no trouble with THAC0 25 years ago, but when I tried to explain it to my current 5e group, I couldn't. It's been too long, and it's not intuitive.


    Powers &8^]

    Man in the Mists
  • ShowsniShowsni Registered User regular
    I actually read Azure Bonds (the book) long ago, and it wasn't until many years later when I experienced the video game vicariously through the CRPGAddict. Was a pretty good book as I recall! But I'm easy to please. I've never actually played one of the Gold Box games myself, but I imagine they were a lot of people's introduction to DnD.

  • Anon von ZilchAnon von Zilch Registered User regular
    THAC0 is the best! As someone who started with 3rd Edition, I was initially dismissive of it, but then I thought about the scene in The Gamers where the elf can only hit his target with a natural 20, and I fell in love with the idea of doing all the math before rolling. Could that be done with ascending AC? Maybe, but you'd have to set unarmored AC at -10 for the math to be as elegant.

  • SonneillonSonneillon Registered User regular
    I'm a little sad the watch didn't make an appearance

    H3Knuckles
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    thac0 was always dumb; it basically just adds another operation to the hit calculation, and in practice requires players to go back and forth between sheets to get a result. It also requires using a bunch of negative integers which, while not exactly higher mathematics, are needlessly cumbersome.

    much easier to express it as a character having (say) +5 to hit; then you roll, add 5, and see whether that's higher than the enemy AC

    NREqxl5.jpg
    hold your head high soldier, it ain't over yet
    that's why we call it the struggle, you're supposed to sweat
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