Tag Archives: ironclads

The Tangled Origins of D&D’s Armor Class, Hit Points, and Twenty-Sided Die Rolls To-Hit

In 1977, when I first read the Dungeon & Dragons basic rules, the way armor class improved as it shrunk from 9 to 2 puzzled me. Shouldn’t higher numbers be better? Players just used AC to find a row on … Continue reading

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The brilliance of unrealistic hit points

(This post continues a discussion I started in “What does D&D have to do with ironclad ships?”) After the role-playing game hobby’s first 10 years, designers turned from strict realism and began to design rules that both supported a game’s … Continue reading

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What does D&D have to do with ironclad ships?

When Dave Arneson set out to create the combat system that would become a pillar of Dungeons & Dragons, he did not aim to create a realistic simulation.  In a 2004 interview, he describes the system’s genesis from Gary Gygax’s … Continue reading

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