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Reading Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Part 22

A QUICK NOTE ABOUT DESIGN PHILOSOPHY I have said before, while AD&D may not look unified in practice, the design philosophy behind it is quite unified, in that the entire game is built around specific probabilities. One can argue that all games are designed around probabilities--after all, that's what dice do; they simulate probability. However, the difference here is that probability was considered first and foremost in all situations, and the means for resolving said probability came later. In modern games, the unified system is the core design goal, and probabilities are then fit within the framework of said system. It’s a difference in overall philosophy.

Gygax, when working out the rules for AD&D, used whatever means seemed most accurate for resolving the probability of a given situation. In other words, instead of saying, "An average roll on a d20 is 11.5," then working probabilities with bonuses and penalties from that average, Gygax said, "There'…

Reading Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Part 21