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THAC0 is an acronym for To Hit Armor Class 0 (Zero). It is a number that represents the chances that a physical attack hit its target. Lower numbers are better.

How it works Edit

Every time a creature makes a physical attack the game simulates an attack roll, which is the roll of a 20-sided die. The attack is successful if the number rolled is equal or greater than the to-hit number, otherwise it misses. The to-hit number is obtained by subtracting the target's Armor Class from the attacker's THAC0.

To-hit number = THAC0 - AC

For example, a character with a THAC0 of 17 trying to hit a target with an AC of 1 needs a roll of at least 17-1=16 to succeed. This is a chance of 5/20, or 25%. A character with a much lower THAC0 of 5 trying to hit the same target needs a roll of at least 5-1=4. This is a chance of 17/20, or 85%.

The game has a option that adds attack rolls to the feedback screen. This option is located in the Options menu, Gameplay section, Feedback subsection. When this setting is enabled, the feedback screen displays the attack rolls in this format:

(Attacker's roll) + [(target's AC modifier) - (attacker's THAC0)] = result

With the result number plus target's effective AC, which is not shown, greater than or equal to zero will be a hit.

THAC0 ProgressionEdit

There're four different THAC0 progression rate by class level:

  • Warrior group (Fighter, Ranger, Paladin) and Monk have the best THAC0 progression, with a THAC0 that decreases at a rate of 1:1, to a max of base 0 at level 21.
  • Priest group (Cleric, Druid, Shaman) except Monk have the second best rate of 2:3, to a max of base 6 at level 22.
  • Rogue group (Thief, Bard) have a rate of 1:2, to a max of base 10 at level 21. In addition to the mathematical oddity of having a better THAC0 than a priest at level 3, rogues remain roughly on-par with priests (albeit slightly in the priest's favor) until level 9, and are thereafter surpassed by priest classes at an increasing pace.
  • Wizard group (Mage, Sorcerer) have the worst THAC0 progression, at a rate of 1:3, to a max of 13 at level 22.

Regardless of a creature's THAC0, in Second Edition Dungeons & Dragons, a roll of 20 is always a critical (guaranteed) hit while a 1 is always a critical miss, both are 5% chances.  See the Critical hit article for more details.

The previous progression rate gives the following table for THAC0 progression (note, that there are no further changes from level 22 on):

Level Warriors,
Monk
Priests Wizards Rogues
1 20 20 20 20
2 19 20 20 20
3 18 20 20 19
4 17 18 19 19
5 16 18 19 18
6 15 18 19 18
7 14 16 18 17
8 13 16 18 17
9 12 16 18 16
10 11 14 17 16
11 10 14 17 15
12 9 14 17 15
13 8 12 16 14
14 7 12 16 14
15 6 12 16 13
16 5 10 15 13
17 4 10 15 12
18 3 10 15 12
19 2 8 14 11
20 1 8 14 11
21 0 8 14 11
≥22 0 6 13 10

Improving THAC0 Edit

Beyond simply leveling, THAC0 can be improved in a number of ways:

  • numerous magical weapons offer a "to hit" bonus
  • increasing Weapon Proficiency
  • depending on the weapon, improving either strength or dexterity
  • improving luck
  • improving chances of landing a critical hit
  • the following potions improve THAC0:
    • Potion of Heroism will decrease base THAC0 to 90% of its normal value for 2 hours
    • Potion of Power will decrease base THAC0 to 80% of its normal value for 4 turns
  • various items offer THAC0 bonuses (see table below)
  • various spells, innate abilities and HLA's improve THAC0, either by boosting strength or effecting THAC0 directly
    • for spells related to strength, see that article.
    • for spells and abilities that directly boost THAC0, see the table later in this article
THAC0 Boosting Equipment
Item THAC0 Bonus Usability
Circlet of Lost Souls -2 Usable by Shaman
Gauntlets of Extraordinary Specialization -1 Usable by Warriors, except Kensai and Wizard Slayer
Glimmering Bands -2 Only usable by Rasaad yn Bashir
Helm of Balduran -1 Not usable by Mage, Bard, Thief, Sorcerer, Kensai or Monk
Legacy of the Masters -1 Not usable by Kensai or Wizard Slayer
Pale Green Ioun Stone -1

Original game: not usable by arcane magic users or thieves
EE: usable by all

The Visage -1 Not usable by good alignments, Bard, Mage, Mage / Thief, Thief, or Monk
Wondrous Gloves -1 Usable by Bards
Xarrnous's Second Sword Arm -1 Not usable by Kensai or Wizard Slayer

Not included in the table above is the upgraded version of the scimitar Spectral Brand has a charge ability that will increase THAC0 by 10 for 3 rounds.

THAC0 Boosting Spells
Spell/Ability Availability Effect on THAC0
Bless Priest Bonus of 1
Boon of Lathander Priest of Lathander Bonus of 1
Chant Priest Bonus of 1
Enrage Berserker Bonus of 2
Holy Power Priest THAC0 becomes that of a Fighter of the same level as the caster
Offensive Spin Blade HLA Bonus of 2
Tenser's Transformation Wizard (Alteration) Base THAC0 becomes that of a fighter of the same level, with an additional bonus of 2

BGWiki writing formats Edit

On Baldur's Gate Wiki, THAC0 value in Infobox creature, if not specified, is always the THAC0 after applying the class bonuses, but before ability scores and other factors, as shown in Near Infinity.

If a creature with a THAC0 of 6 wields a weapon with THAC0: +2 in its in-game description, the adjusted value will be 6-2=4, for this reason, weapons' THAC0: +n and all kinds of THAC0 or to-hit bonuses from any other sources will be written as -n bonus, where n is the positive integer, and vice versa.

Notes Edit

  • In Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition and later, the to-hit system has been reworked to always trend upward by using attack roll + attack bonus - enemy AC ≥ 0 to land hits, where better scores don't go into the negative numbers but rather continue growing in the positive integers.

See also Edit

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