There’s an old D&D system that you’ve probably heard of.
It’s called THAC0, which stands for “To Hit Armor Class Zero.”
Whether you pronounce it thay-co or thack-oh, if you weren’t contemporaries, you probably heard about it in a less than favorable light.
The reason it became the butt of jokes was a combination of factors:
- It was a relatively simple concept explained in a convoluted manner. When THAC0 was moved into the AD&D Player’s Handbook and officially termed, the explanation was confusing enough that you could fairly read it backwards.
- On a more mechanical level, the “roll low” system was counterintuitive. Western society generally conditions us to believe that “more is better” and it’s mentally jarring to break from that trend.
- Finally, addition is also the most basic form of arithmetic, and works a little bit faster…
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