I am not sure whether character adjustment in the first Eye of the Beholder game works accurately. I see that AC depends only on DEX:

DEX AC (Human Male)
3 14
4 13
5 12
6 11
7–14 10
15 9
16 8
17 7
18 6

Screenshot (playing with values): [Eye of the Beholder 1 - Character modification]

The Eye of the Beholder game manual says:

Armor Class (AC) measures how difficult a larget is to hit and damage — the lower the AC value, the harder the target is to hit. Good AC can indicate different things. [...]

My characters currently have AC about -6, and they are doing just fine, resistant to most hits.

But random resources (e.g. Roll20) I've found appear to indicate the higher AC, the better.

What am I missing?

  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ Nowhere in your post do you mention that you're asking about AD&D 2e rules. The first link you provide and the screenshot are from a video game which, as the close banner states, is off-topic here and the "random resource" you link is from D&D 5e so yeah, it's unclear exactly what you're asking about and what you seem to be asking about (the video game) is off-topic. It's amazing that someone was able to provide an answer anyway. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 18, 2022 at 5:24
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ It's pretty clear that the question is about the concept of Armor Class rather than the content of the video game. Although the OP could have done more research into the differences between game editions, and which edition their game was from, the question itself is on-topic. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jan 18, 2022 at 7:19
  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ @PurpleMonkey While the querent did not mention [adnd-2e], there are many folks who recognize that particular RPG. Plus, while not all video games are inherently on topic, the TSR/SSL RPGs from the 80's and 90's, even the early 2000's mostly use the same game rules as the tabletop games, and are strongly tied to tabletop RPGs. So too, had miroxlav been able to recognize that that this was 2e, he'd have had a good chance of not having to ask in the first place. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chemus
    Jan 18, 2022 at 8:20
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Chemus: The quote from the game manual (or rather, an image of that quote) has been there since the question was originally asked. Nobody else edited it in. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jan 18, 2022 at 16:51
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @PurpleMonkey – By editing I made the screenshot less dominant. Since I am entering the world of D&D via manuals to these games and they explain how the rules (and engine which simulates them) actually work, I am learning from there. I saw "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons v2" on the title screen but I had no idea how relevant this could be. Also, honestly, I did not expect that there could be such a difference between rules versions, that some important value like AC can be completely reverted from version to version. So the answer actually surprised me a bit. \$\endgroup\$
    – miroxlav
    Jan 18, 2022 at 17:53

1 Answer 1


Lower AC is better for that game's D&D version

That video game (in your screenshot) and table derived from it are based on Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 2nd edition – which uses the THAC0 ("To Hit Armor Class 0") system, in which lower armor class values are better (and negative AC values are both possible and even better than low positive values).

In the current (5th) edition of D&D, and in each of the WotC-published editions, a higher value is better since they are based on the d20 System. Your link to Roll20.net is to the 5th-edition D&D rules, and that uses a "higher is better" system. That change, from TSR to WoTC, happened starting with the 3rd edition of Dungeons & Dragons, published in 2000. (WoTC bought out TSR in 1997.)

Not all D&D versions are the same. You have to read the label. 😊

Having a high Dexterity, in 2nd-edition AD&D, makes increasingly useful Armor Class adjustments (-2, -3, -4) as the Dexterity score gets higher.

  • 16
    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, it changed when WOTC took over, with 3rd edition. All AD&D games had "lower is better" as their AC system. (So did the Original and Basic games...) \$\endgroup\$ Jan 18, 2022 at 0:21
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @miroxlav To be pedantic, AD&D is a specific edition of Dungeons and Dragons, though that's understandably opaque to folks who are new to the hobby (particularly because that edition was published from 1989 to 2000). \$\endgroup\$ Jan 18, 2022 at 12:42
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @JoelHarmon To be even more pedantic, AD&D was two editions, one from 1977 to 1989 and one from 1989-2000. (I date it to when the Monster manual coming out, you can argue that it didn't go official until the DMG came out). \$\endgroup\$ Jan 18, 2022 at 13:25
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @Kevin, the THAC0 system used d20, but the editions published under Wizards of the Coast is literally called the "d20 System" and is trademarked as such. \$\endgroup\$
    – Seth R
    Jan 18, 2022 at 19:46
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @SethR: The capitalization of "System" does help distinguish it from a generic descriptor for d20-based RPG systems, so I've edited the answer to clarify that (and add a link to the Wikipedia page for the d20 System). \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jan 18, 2022 at 20:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .