Do you remember how I said in a couple other posts that I had no plans or intentions of using THAC0 in my gaming?
Yeah, I lied. Well, more like, was I ever wrong.
Because I can't help but immerse myself in something when I want to understand it, I decided I wanted to see exactly how this THAC0 played out in the world of AD&D 1E.
So, I went to my favorite forum (DragonsFoot) and pestered a lot of nice people who have been going at this game more than I have. (Thanks again Matt and everyone else)
After getting the information I needed there, I went ahead and messed with my players heads and started using THAC0.
To be perfectly honest, I found THAC0 helped me as the DM to keep the game going when it came to melee combat. It didn't do much for the players at all in terms of changing the game for them really.
I told the players their THAC0 but didn't tell them the Armor Class of the opponent they faced. At this point, they would roll the d20, add their modifiers and say either "I rolled a 13 (or whatever)" and I would tell them if they hit or not or they would roll the d20, add their modifiers then say "I hit Armor Class 5 (or whatever) and I would tell them if they hit or not.
See what I mean? They didn't really gain or lose anything in the play of the game here.
On my side of the dice though, holy moly. I didn't need to keep the DMG open to the attack tables, taking up very valuable table space. No need to keep the DM screens spread out for access to said attack tables, again conserving space.
Just roll and know, ya know?
I know the monster's Armor Class, I know the PC"s level and armor class. For me, I had everything i needed in my head and just rolled the dice.
It's like, ok, the PC being attacked by this troglodyte is AC 6 so all I need to know is if the roll on the d20 is a 14 or better (20-6=14), the trog hits. Simple and fast. NEXT!!!
I see THAC0 as being helpful to DM's in a situation where maybe they are in a sudden game that just kind of "happened" while waiting for a plane or at a cafeteria table, etc.. Table top surface is not abundant and character sheets take up most of that. Books can stay closed and stacked next to you unless necessary to look something specific up, then just close it and put it on the stack again.
Nice and tidy.