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boxofgeese

A non D&D-er confused about the most basic rolls

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I've never played D&D before, and my first exposure to how it actually works has been through this amazing podcast and Harmontown (although that one seems like a much looser game style).

 

Since the beginning I've gleaned a basic understanding of the different types of rolls (dex checks, initiative, attack rolls, etc), but sometimes I'll hear something on the show that sounds like the complete opposite of what I assumed happens. I've also done some research online and that clarified things a little bit, but I know the game can vary infinitely depending on who's playing it.

 

Between my newb-ness, the confusing explanations I've seen online, and the Nerd Poker homies switching between different editions, I'm a little perplexed. (For example, in many episodes it sounds like it's better to roll higher numbers, but then all of a sudden they were trying to roll UNDER certain numbers.) Would anyone be willing to give a brief explanation of the kinds of rolls Nerd Poker uses?

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In new editions you roll a check against a DC# and you want to roll a match or higher, typically easy=10, average=15, hard=20. This is done by rolling a D20 and adding or subtracting various modifiers.

*ex: Fighter with strength score of 16 wants to lift a boulder, DM determines tis is average difficulty so fighter rolls D20 adds strength modifier and needs to get 15 or higher.

 

In AD&D 2e, which they are playing now, to make an ability check you want to roll under your ability score.

*ex: same set-up in this case fighter just needs to roll under a 16 onD20

 

 

In newer additions the better your armor - the higher your AC (Armor Class) gets. So to hit someone/thing you roll a D20 and try to match or beat the AC. Again adding or subtracting modifiers.

 

In AD&D 2e, the better your armor - the lower your AC gets. So they use a system called THAC0 = To Hit Armor Class 0(Zero).

Your THAC0# is determined by your class & level. You subtract the target's AC from your THAC0# and roll against that on a D20.

*ex: fighting a goblin with an AC of 8, a 1st level fighter has a THAC0 of 20, so 20-8=12, fighter needs to roll a 12 on a D20 to hit the goblin (add strength bonus to roll also)

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For initiative, Sark has them rolling a d20, and they get +1 if their prime requisite stat for their class (Str for Fighters, Int for Magic Users, etc) is higher than 15. Pretty simple, and it works just fine. I think he's still fine-tuning his approach to casting times and spell-casting in general.

 

The standard initiative rule from the 2E book is that each side rolls a d10, and the side that rolls lower goes first. There are a list of modifiers that can apply to the roll. It's fast. A common optional initiative method is to have each combatant roll separately and add their weapon's speed factor or their spell's casting time or their magic item's speed factor, etc. Takes longer, but it can be fun.

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*ex: Fighter with strength score of 16 wants to lift a boulder, DM determines tis is average difficulty so fighter rolls D20 adds strength modifier and needs to get 15 or higher.

 

Actually, upon re-reading, there's one thing I still don't get.... In this example, the character's strength score is a 16 -- how does that translate into a strength modifier? I take it they wouldn't add +16 to a D20 roll...that would make everything way too easy.

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negatory

 

ever 2 points over 10 in an ability score gives a +1 modifier

Ex 12 +1 14 +2 16+3 ect....

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