The Attack Roll

When an attack is made, the Armor Class of the opponent being attacked is subtracted from the THAC0 of the attacker. The resulting number is the what the attacker must "roll" in order to hit the opponent. This "roll of the die" is done with a d20, or twenty sided die, resulting in a number between 1 and 20. If the attacker rolls the number necessary or higher, then the attack is successful, and damage is done. If the attack is unsuccessful, then the attacker missed completely, or was unable to penetrate the opponent's armor. For example, a 3rd-level fighter fighter has a THAC0 of 18. He is attacking a hobgoblin with an AC of 5. The AC of the hobgoblin is subtracted from the THAC0, giving a "to hit" number of 13. If the fighter rolls a 13 or higher on the twenty-sided die, he hits successfully and does damage

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