Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Roll To Hit the Dead Horse

This is the only time I will ever address the second-most popular dead horse to flog in gaming: Ascending vs. Descending Armor Class. It must be summer, because that topic has come around again.

It is my heartfelt belief that one person- and one person only- need concern themselves with armor class – the referee. Every player knows after their first five minutes of gaming that rolling high is a good thing, and that the higher they roll, the better chance they have of ultimately making the monster fall down dead. The referee will tell them if they rolled high enough on a case-by-case basis.

The referee should use whatever method works for them, whether it be Ascending, Descending, Letters, Astrological Symbols, kanji, ex-girlfriends’ phone numbers, etc. as long as they can give the result of an attack immediately after the die is rolled. No method is intrinsically superior to another so long as this sole stipulation is adhered to.

To quote Mr. Dave Arneson: "Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"

12 comments:

Matt said...

Great post!

The only thing I'd add is that the best method/rules to use is the one that the group has the most fun with.

Mike Mearls said...

I played D&D for years using the "that sounds high enough to hit" method of DMing.

The players never noticed, though I'm sure that one round a 12 hit and the next it missed.

Vanadorn said...

Preach it brother!

IT DOESN'T MATTER. Just roll the dice!!

Jones said...

Seems to be the topic of the day. In any case, I'd say your post here can (and should) be the final word on this. It really is just a matter of opinion on which to-hit system the ref wants to use.

Amityville Mike said...

I played D&D for years using the "that sounds high enough to hit" method of DMing.

I think every DM is "guilty" of this. I know I certainly am.

Amityville Mike said...

In any case, I'd say your post here can (and should) be the final word on this.

It will be from me, but I have no illusions that it will be from the gaming community at large. The topic seems to be a favorite hobgoblin for whatever reason.

Life's really too short to make this topic a ongoing battlefield. Roll some dice and have some fun, because you never know what's coming next.

Chgowiz said...

Can I have the phone number? ;)

Lord Kilgore said...

All this math is making my head hurt.

Next thing you know, you're going to be asking me to calculate a 5% XP bonus.

Andreas Davour said...

This subject makes my head hurt.

Dave, how I wish your insight had been canonized. RIP, away from this mess.

Chris said...

Astrological symbolism AC system you say? Hmmm...

*ponders this in the light of Noism's post on tarot cards as random event generators*

The Grand Wazoo said...

"you know, don't even bother rolling, it is dead"

Matthew James Stanham said...

Ever since I first memorised the "to hit table" from Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader when I was but a lad, I have loved discussing the probability element of the game. Fact is, though, that very few of my players are more than passingly interested in the subject. The internet, on the other hand, is full of people who never tire of the discussion; always entertaining!