Are 5e Saving Throws Boring?

Ashrym

Hero
"There's almost no way I am going to fail two saves in a row, so I won't even bother averting my gaze against the medusa and just fight her like everything else."
I've definitely proven I can fail two saves in a row. ;)

I'm usually not proficient in 4 of them and don't have the ability score bonuses to go around.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
One of the big reasons why I liked the more deadly saving throw failure risks (like in TSR D&D) is not so much because it made death or sucking a lot more common, but because it added an element to the game that is missing now. That being, robust adventure planning.

When you're playing AD&D, when you're heading out for your adventure, you make sure you have antidotes, you make sure the casters have neutralize poison handy. You made sure your equipment was set up to handle as many situations as possible. If you expected undead or magic immune monsters, you planned for that and made sure you had other options. Load up on holy water, sliver weapons, etc.

In recent editions, it seems this is for the most part lost.

"Poison is just a little bit of extra damage, so no need to prepare neutralize poison when I can just cast another blaster spell."

"Undead? Meh. Just more bags of hit points and we'll fight them like every other encounter. Gee, this game is boring.."

"There's almost no way I am going to fail two saves in a row, so I won't even bother averting my gaze against the medusa and just fight her like everything else."

If modern saving throws suck as a mechanic, it's because the effects of failing have been neutered so much that they become an annoyance rather than something that has a big impact to your PC.
Well, that doesnt match my experiences in 5e.

Some undead are simple - hit points, basic type necrotic DMG, etc, others have the persistent reductions in max hp, special features in death/zero hp, charms, paralysis, etc.

Some poisons are bland extra hp, some are bigger with save for half but others provide other effects snd conditions like poisoned status, paralysis, sleep etc. Not sure off top of my head but iirc some provide serious zero hp issues too and not sure if it was poisons or diseases that block recovery of hp.

I see character seeking mechanisms to counter these and/or to buff against them. The last fight my group was in a session or do ago a major tactical swerve came when a PC got yo another to provide freedom of movement on a paralyzed pc before the enemies could exploit it.

Obviously, a GM can choose to not use those in ways that reward preparation, so it will vary from table to table.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Some undead are simple - hit points, basic type necrotic DMG, etc, others have the persistent reductions in max hp, special features in death/zero hp, charms, paralysis, etc.

Some poisons are bland extra hp, some are bigger with save for half but others provide other effects snd conditions like poisoned status, paralysis, sleep etc. Not sure off top of my head but iirc some provide serious zero hp issues too and not sure if it was poisons or diseases that block recovery of hp.
Most undead and venomous creatures/traps in AD&D had a major impact if you failed. Most undead venomous creatures/traps in 5e don't do much if you fail except maybe take some extra damage. Nothing that couldn't be fixed with a short or long rest without the PC having to prepare anything extra for it. You planned differently against a medusa or basilik or undead in AD&D than you do in 5e because the risk was so much greater. You don't get multiple saves every turn in AD&D to end the conditions, or to prevent yourself from getting petrified. So your planning had to be much more robust. That's the part I miss. When each encounter may have totally different high risks, they felt differently. In 5e, I see over and over how most encounters, even with undead, or venomous creatures, or medusa/basilisk, are treated almost like every other encounter because the risk of something super bad happening just isn't there anymore. This isn't just my opinion, because the mechanics back this up.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
I've definitely proven I can fail two saves in a row. ;)

I'm usually not proficient in 4 of them and don't have the ability score bonuses to go around.
Absolutely.

A medusa stock out of book has a 14 dc Con save. If we assume a +2 from Con 14 and a +1 from an item or so you reach these odds for a non-proficient save...

First round full petrifying? Fail by 5 on a roll of 1-5 so 25%
First round restrained? Roll 6-10 so 25%
Second round petrified? Roll 1-10 so... net odds of two fails is 12.5%

So we have a 37.5% odds of petrified in 1-2 rounds.

Now, maybe the estimation is of "not gonna fail two in a row" is based off support like bless, bardic inspire, quick resistance cantrips etc etc etc... but that to me is spotlighting the "prepare for" as in a team making sure they build in ways to respond to the challenges they expect to face. It might be different from older play - it's more choosing certain character abilities and spells than hunting down specialized gear because 5e is more character-centric in the place where powers lie and less item dependent - but that is to me a positive thing.

This even assumes the intelligent medusa does not have preparations or allies to inflict save penalties. An ally or trap that applies bane for instance can shift the odds. Of course, an encounter can be designed to not include these, to be more slugfest etc, to not ever threaten non-proficient saves, to not follow up or divide for even just a round or two. So, from table to table the dangers can vary greatly.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
Most undead and venomous creatures/traps in AD&D had a major impact if you failed. Most undead venomous creatures/traps in 5e don't do much if you fail except maybe take some extra damage. Nothing that couldn't be fixed with a short or long rest without the PC having to prepare anything extra for it. You planned differently against a medusa or basilik or undead in AD&D than you do in 5e because the risk was so much greater. You don't get multiple saves every turn in AD&D to end the conditions, or to prevent yourself from getting petrified. So your planning had to be much more robust. That's the part I miss. When each encounter may have totally different high risks, they felt differently. In 5e, I see over and over how most encounters, even with undead, or venomous creatures, or medusa/basilisk, are treated almost like every other encounter because the risk of something super bad happening just isn't there anymore. This isn't just my opinion, because the mechanics back this up.
I guess I might be out of touch... I never worry about what most listing provide. I dont tun my world or choose adventures based on how many times this or that is listed in a MM page vount or stat block.

Absolutely, I see the wide variety of options in 5e - for s light threat I can see chouces where poison is just a bit extra, for higher the saves for extra and half, for even higher added conditions etc. So, to me its having a wider out of the box set of tools than if the "norm" is all threatening.

Same for undead - wide variety of effects etc. Wide variety of risks and persistence. Out of the box, "most" doesnt matter because in the end to be honest "most" of the creatures wont be encountered in serious opposition anyway in any given campaign. I dont try, make any effort or see any value in trying to include "most" of the creatures - just provide a good setting and eorld and this variety of degrees of great is provided.

But that more, other tables other GMs may choose differently, but that's not a rules or mechanics issue.

"When each encounter may have totally different high risks, they felt differently."

If a GM wants to have his campaign feature varied types of high risks, there is nothing in 5e that I see that prevents this mechanically or systematically. The GM chooses much of that within thr nature of the campaign they run. A GM can certainly choose to not do this in 5e as well, and many degrees inbetween. Literally, "each encounter may have" these in 5e if the GM so chooses to structure their campaign to support it.
 
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Sacrosanct

Legend
I guess I might be out of touch... I never worry about what most listing provide. I dont tun my world or choose adventures based on how many times this or that is listed in a MM page vount or stat block.
Neither do I, and this is a completely irrelevant statement as it doesn't impact my point at all. How often a monster/trap appears in the MM isn't the point because that has zero impact on how often it appears in game play. However, how often these challenges are faced in gameplay does matter. And when in nearly every case, the 5e equivalent is extremely neutered compared to AD&D, that's relevant to how people play and plan in the game. Dismissing that based on how often it appears in the manual is disingenuous.

Absolutely, I see the wide variety of options in 5e - for s light threat I can see chouces where poison is just a bit extra, for higher the saves for extra and half, for even higher added conditions etc. So, to me its having a wider out of the box set of tools than if the "norm" is all threatening.

Same for undead - wide variety of effects etc. Wide variety of risks and persistence. Out of the box, "most" doesnt matter because in the end to be honest "most" of the creatures wont be encountered in serious opposition anyway in any given campaign. I dont try, make any effort or see any value in trying to include "most" of the creatures - just provide a good setting and eorld and this variety of degrees of great is provided.

But that more, other tables other GMs may choose differently, but that's not a rules or mechanics issue.
It absolutely is a mechanics issue, when the mechanics are vastly different for the same scenarios. When the effects of failing a save in 5e is exponentially less than the effects of failing a save in AD&D, that's 100% a mechanics issue. It's not just a one off save scenario, but in nearly every single like v like comparison. Things like level drain are removed completely. As are instant petrification/paralyzation effects from basiliks and medusa (and others). The effects of poison is extremely reduced. In 5e, you get to keep trying to make a save every turn to stop a condition that didn't exist in 1e.

So yeah, mechanics are very much the issue. And most is important, if most of the actual scenarios faced in the game are dramatically different because game play experience is literally based off of what is going in in the game.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
Neither do I, and this is a completely irrelevant statement as it doesn't impact my point at all. How often a monster/trap appears in the MM isn't the point because that has zero impact on how often it appears in game play. However, how often these challenges are faced in gameplay does matter. And when in nearly every case, the 5e equivalent is extremely neutered compared to AD&D, that's relevant to how people play and plan in the game. Dismissing that based on how often it appears in the manual is disingenuous.



It absolutely is a mechanics issue, when the mechanics are vastly different for the same scenarios. When the effects of failing a save in 5e is exponentially less than the effects of failing a save in AD&D, that's 100% a mechanics issue. It's not just a one off save scenario, but in nearly every single like v like comparison. Things like level drain are removed completely. As are instant petrification/paralyzation effects from basiliks and medusa (and others). The effects of poison is extremely reduced. In 5e, you get to keep trying to make a save every turn to stop a condition that didn't exist in 1e.

So yeah, mechanics are very much the issue. And most is important, if most of the actual scenarios faced in the game are dramatically different because game play experience is literally based off of what is going in in the game.
Here is the thing, you lead off with difference in play... but since monsters encounter in play are up to the GM, those are GM choice issue not systems.

Whrn you say this "Most undead and venomous creatures/traps in AD&D had a major impact if you failed. Most undead venomous creatures/traps in 5e don't do much if you fail except maybe take some extra damage. " you seem to be referring to system, not some "gm choice" curated occurance.

As I said in response overall, what you encounter "in a campaign" is up to the GM choices and to some degree players choices. The system does not decide to " most " of the threats you actual face are of this type or that. Its not "mechsnics" that decides how many times you meet sacks of hit points or threats you need to prepare for.

"How often these challenges are fcced in gamrplay... " absolutely matters but that is a GM choice, not a systematic one, not mechanics, etc. 5e provides a variety of these the GM can choose from even for GM sticking to the generic statblocks.

"It absolutely is a mechanics issue, when the mechanics are vastly different for the same scenarios."

Now we get to what may be the difference. There is not to me any expectation that I build my 5e expectations on how 1e did things. I dont look for "the same encounter" to produce the same results where "ssme" means using the different statblocks of the same name in the same local conditions.

If I want my 5e encounter to be " blag blag blah" then I will choose creatures within my campaign that produce that, without giving one ehit for how that eoulda might maybe kinda worked in 1e 30 years ago.

So, ser, again, it's about me as GM choosing 5e crestures and encounters that produce the threats, tone, whatever I want. That is not dictated by system or mechanics. I dont have to throw "sacks of hit point" creatures if I want a more "critical threat need counter" type scene.

What the campaign gameplay shows in play due to the threats and creatures chosen and those are not dictated to you as the GM.
 
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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Neither do I, and this is a completely irrelevant statement as it doesn't impact my point at all. How often a monster/trap appears in the MM isn't the point because that has zero impact on how often it appears in game play. However, how often these challenges are faced in gameplay does matter. And when in nearly every case, the 5e equivalent is extremely neutered compared to AD&D, that's relevant to how people play and plan in the game. Dismissing that based on how often it appears in the manual is disingenuous.



It absolutely is a mechanics issue, when the mechanics are vastly different for the same scenarios. When the effects of failing a save in 5e is exponentially less than the effects of failing a save in AD&D, that's 100% a mechanics issue. It's not just a one off save scenario, but in nearly every single like v like comparison. Things like level drain are removed completely. As are instant petrification/paralyzation effects from basiliks and medusa (and others). The effects of poison is extremely reduced. In 5e, you get to keep trying to make a save every turn to stop a condition that didn't exist in 1e.

So yeah, mechanics are very much the issue. And most is important, if most of the actual scenarios faced in the game are dramatically different because game play experience is literally based off of what is going in in the game.
All of those changes were done for good reasons. Most people dislike save or die. That doesn't make the game any less dangerous or saving throws any less meaningful. Threat level is always up to the DM.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Going from being unscratched to taken out of an encounter (or the game) because of one poor roll is not something I found fun in previous editions. I also found that the DM making all the rolls made the game less engaging for characters. We already have some spells that use attack rolls, we don't need all of them to do so.

So I try to spice things up now and then by throwing different types of saves for different reasons. My world is full of magic and danger, I try to come up with things that challenge PCs in a variety of ways using a variety of saving throws. Not all magical effects need to come from the book, I use whatever makes sense at the moment. Whether that's an intelligence save to realize the writing of a cursed book is not quite what it seems, or a wisdom save to resist the tempting words of a demon mirror, there are many ways to use saves. I just don't want to have save or suck be one of them.
Hell my rogue makes player-driven Wisdom saves sometimes to determine if his anger and hurt and need to do something will drive him to do something foolish, and I let the DM know it’s one of those moments (or sometimes ask him if it feels like such a moment to him, or even ask my wife who plays his oldest present friend the same) and then the DM tells me if the roll passes or fails based on whatever criteria makes sense to him. Obviously with 5e’s math it’s often obvious from the die result, though.

If I could pass on a 5, it isn’t a save lol.

We also sometimes have saves to determine how much of something we can “take”, like how long we can pretend to be okay with something without just decking someone when we are fishing for info, or how much threat of torture we can stomach, or how long we can remain totally vigilant in total monotony, etc.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Here is the thing, you lead off with difference in play... but since monsters encounter in play are up to the GM, those are GM choice issue not systems.

Whrn you say this "Most undead and venomous creatures/traps in AD&D had a major impact if you failed. Most undead venomous creatures/traps in 5e don't do much if you fail except maybe take some extra damage. " you seem to be referring to system, not some "gm choice" curated occurance.

As I said in response overall, what you encounter "in a campaign" is up to the GM choices and to some degree players choices. The system does not decide to " most " of the threats you actual face are of this type or that. Its not "mechsnics" that decides how many times you meet sacks of hit points or threats you need to prepare for.

"How often these challenges are fcced in gamrplay... " absolutely matters but that is a GM choice, not a systematic one, not mechanics, etc. 5e provides a variety of these the GM can choose from even for GM sticking to the generic statblocks.

When the monster list includes but not limited to:
ghouls
ghasts
ghosts
specters
wraiths
whites
vampires
basilisks
beholders
medusa
cockatrice
green slimes
black puddings
rot grubs
rust monsters
poisonous (sic) snakes
spiders
psuedodragons
carrion crawlers
catoblepas
Any poison trap
etc
etc

are all significantly more dangerous in AD&D than 5e, it's disingenuous to argue that the difference in deadliness between editions isn't mechanics, but GM preference. I know you know better. It absolutely is mechanics, not just with the monsters like v like themselves, with with 5e mechanics that allow you overcome conditions with a save attempt every turn.

The only way your argument remotely holds water is if the typical D&D game never encounters any creature or trap that is poisoned, never encounters any undead, and never encounters any other creature in that above list or creature that has magic resistance or weapon immunity that their 5e counterpart does not.

My point being, is that any adventurer worth their salt will plan ahead with the knowledge available to them, and put focus on the higher risk areas. In AD&D, that meant you planned for all of the above or you didn't last long. In 5e, since those risks are all extremely less than they were in AD&D, players don't spend nearly the effort planning for them. And IME, is a reason why every battle begins to feel the same for a lot of people, because they approach every battle very similar---bags of HP and and how much DPR you can do regardless of any special ability because the risk of suffering a bad save is much less than it was in AD&D.

If you're arguing that 5e mechanically is not less deadly than AD&D because it's all up to DM preference, then I'm sure most would laugh at such a statement. Everything being equal, the mechanics of AD&D were more lethal than 5e. It would be like me arguing that 4e was the most deadly edition because one DM made every player only have 1 HP and put them in a meat grinder, while the AD&D DM gave all the players max HP and monty haul magic items, and never had them face anything dangerous. Needless to say, that would be a very flawed analysis to make.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
All of those changes were done for good reasons. Most people dislike save or die. That doesn't make the game any less dangerous or saving throws any less meaningful. Threat level is always up to the DM.
I'm not making a judgement on whether or not people like it, or if those removals were a good or bad thing, or if people had more or less fun (that's all subjective). I was giving my opinion on why I think they were a good thing (because it made players plan better).

However, dying on a failed save vs. a minor inconvenience is literally making the game more dangerous to the PC. If your PC has a greater chance of worse damage in one edition compared to another edition for the same event, that's the definition of being more dangerous.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
If I want to kill PCs, as a DM in 5E I can always do that. I don't care if it takes not giving them an option to rest for 20 encounters or throwing a mob of Tarrasques, the DM controls the threat level.

What's changed is that in old editions, I had much less control over that threat level. One bad save and what I thought was a moderate encounter turns into a dead PC.

I prefer the 5E alternative, it gives me as a DM more control.
 

Ashrym

Hero
When the monster list includes but not limited to:
ghouls
ghasts
ghosts
specters
wraiths
whites
vampires
basilisks
beholders
medusa
cockatrice
green slimes
black puddings
rot grubs
rust monsters
poisonous (sic) snakes
spiders
psuedodragons
carrion crawlers
catoblepas
Any poison trap
etc
etc

are all significantly more dangerous in AD&D than 5e, it's disingenuous to argue that the difference in deadliness between editions isn't mechanics, but GM preference. I know you know better. It absolutely is mechanics, not just with the monsters like v like themselves, with with 5e mechanics that allow you overcome conditions with a save attempt every turn.

The only way your argument remotely holds water is if the typical D&D game never encounters any creature or trap that is poisoned, never encounters any undead, and never encounters any other creature in that above list or creature that has magic resistance or weapon immunity that their 5e counterpart does not.

My point being, is that any adventurer worth their salt will plan ahead with the knowledge available to them, and put focus on the higher risk areas. In AD&D, that meant you planned for all of the above or you didn't last long. In 5e, since those risks are all extremely less than they were in AD&D, players don't spend nearly the effort planning for them. And IME, is a reason why every battle begins to feel the same for a lot of people, because they approach every battle very similar---bags of HP and and how much DPR you can do regardless of any special ability because the risk of suffering a bad save is much less than it was in AD&D.

If you're arguing that 5e mechanically is not less deadly than AD&D because it's all up to DM preference, then I'm sure most would laugh at such a statement. Everything being equal, the mechanics of AD&D were more lethal than 5e. It would be like me arguing that 4e was the most deadly edition because one DM made every player only have 1 HP and put them in a meat grinder, while the AD&D DM gave all the players max HP and monty haul magic items, and never had them face anything dangerous. Needless to say, that would be a very flawed analysis to make.
In 1e all character saving throws improved as they level. In 5e most players are lucky if half their saving throws improve as they level.
 

Saelorn

Adventurer
Well, maybe that is what the OP is looking for. That makes the game more tense! ;)
There's a fine balancing act between "this is so lethal that I'm on the edge of my seat," and "this is so lethal that I don't even care anymore." If we're aiming for a similar balance to certain older editions, then we'd want to counter the increased potency of the save effect against a lower chance of failing that save.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
If I want to kill PCs, as a DM in 5E I can always do that. I don't care if it takes not giving them an option to rest for 20 encounters or throwing a mob of Tarrasques, the DM controls the threat level.

What's changed is that in old editions, I had much less control over that threat level. One bad save and what I thought was a moderate encounter turns into a dead PC.

I prefer the 5E alternative, it gives me as a DM more control.
That's not how a typical game is played though. Of course the DM has total control. In every edition it's been that way. But doing certain things will probably result in your players not playing with you any longer...

Players have an expectation that the game will be played as it was designed. Encounter guidelines (if applicable), how published adventures are set up, etc. The only way to accurately compare is to look at how the game is actually designed like vs like. It's disingenuous to say "Well, I can make 5e just as deadly by doing X Y or Z" because that's not how it's designed and wouldn't be a fair comparison, and not how people play the game.

In 5e, I have the expectation that failing a save for all of those monsters and traps I listed above (not even considering spells) is going to not be nearly as bad for my PC as if I failed the same save in AD&D. That's objectively true because we can look at what the effects were for failing in AD&D and directly compare them to the same failed save in 5e. In 5e, I also know that I can keep attempting saving throws until I pass for many conditions that were 1 try and dead in AD&D.

So it's objectively true that the risk for failing a save in 5e is less than 1e. And because of that, players planned differently. Again, this has nothing to do with which was better, or more liked, or any other subjective metric. It's about how since the risk is much less, players approach the scenarios with less planning, relying on default strategies that work for almost all encounters. If you know you have 2 tries to avoid a basilisk attack, and even if you fail the options to go back to normal are easier to obtain than in 1e where you have one try, and if you fail it takes rarer magic to go back to normal, you're gonna approach the planning differently in that encounter.

And in my experience (I know this part is also subjective) one of the benefits of that is that it made encounters feel more unique and different if you planned differently for each one rather than just focus on DPR
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
In 1e all character saving throws improved as they level. In 5e most players are lucky if half their saving throws improve as they level.
There are a lot of options to increase saving throws in 5e that don't exist in 1e (like a paladin's aura). Also, in 5e, your saves start out much higher with better chances. Lower level 1e PCs might need a 15-17 roll on the die to pass a saving throw. A 5e PC only needs to roll a 12 or so (by typical DCs lower level PCs face) even if they don't have proficiency in that area, and if they do, the roll is even much less.

But that's beside the point. The point is that the penalties for failing a save is much worse in AD&D than in 5e.
 

Ashrym

Hero
There are a lot of options to increase saving throws in 5e that don't exist in 1e (like a paladin's aura). Also, in 5e, your saves start out much higher with better chances. Lower level 1e PCs might need a 15-17 roll on the die to pass a saving throw. A 5e PC only needs to roll a 12 or so even if they don't have proficiency in that area, and if they do, the roll is even much less.

But that's beside the point. The point is that the penalties for failing a save is much worse in AD&D than in 5e.
That creates required class syndrome.

1e also didn't use a system for scaling up DC's. DC's use proficiency to increase DC's. The over-all effect is low level was much more susceptible to effects in 1e but the save or die didn't exist until after saves improved. 5e the lower level characters can make saves more effectively but at higher level when those nastier effects appear the lack of save proficiency can be brutal.

Right now I can get paralyzed relatively easy by a ghoul on a high level rogue with my +2 bonus against DC 10; the repeat saves help but repeat attacks also easily overwhelm that. That's nothing to a fighter but it's still meaningfully dangerous.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
That creates required class syndrome.
not really. That was just one example. Several spells also increase saving throws. Many of them low level spells most classes can get

1e also didn't use a system for scaling up DC's. DC's use proficiency to increase DC's. The over-all effect is low level was much more susceptible to effects in 1e but the save or die didn't exist until after saves improved.
This is not true at all. Low level PCs (even level 1) routinely encountered poisonous traps and venomous creatures like centipedes and spiders that all resulted in your PC death if you failed the save. Also green slimes, rot grubs, and carrion crawlers were also a common threat, and they wrecked you with haste. Rust monsters churned through you armor and weapons way faster than 5e. Ghouls took you out (unless you were an elf) and were faced at low levels.

And 1e did have a scaling system of sorts in the form of saving throw bonuses or penalties. Many creatures gave one or the other depending on it's hit dice. However, in almost all cases, failure was death (or some form of it). PCs faces such perils from level 1 all the way up to name level and higher. Saying it didn't exist until the saves improved is just flat out wrong.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Let me give an example.

In AD&D, if you faced a creature that "their touch will turn flesh to stone (save vs stone or be petrified.)", you would do what you could to avoid that at all costs.

In 5e, that same creature is:
"dc 11 constitution saving throw against being magically petrified On a failed save, the creature begins to turn to stone and is restrained. It must repeat the saving throw at the end of its next turn. On a success, the effect ends. On a failure, the creature is petrified for 24 hours"

Your planning on the encounter will be much different. Worst case scenario, you're only petrified for 24 hours, and that's after 2 failed saves at an easy DC. Worst case with AD&D, if you fail once you're toast. Permanently.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
That's not how a typical game is played though. Of course the DM has total control. In every edition it's been that way. But doing certain things will probably result in your players not playing with you any longer...

Players have an expectation that the game will be played as it was designed. Encounter guidelines (if applicable), how published adventures are set up, etc. The only way to accurately compare is to look at how the game is actually designed like vs like. It's disingenuous to say "Well, I can make 5e just as deadly by doing X Y or Z" because that's not how it's designed and wouldn't be a fair comparison, and not how people play the game.

In 5e, I have the expectation that failing a save for all of those monsters and traps I listed above (not even considering spells) is going to not be nearly as bad for my PC as if I failed the same save in AD&D. That's objectively true because we can look at what the effects were for failing in AD&D and directly compare them to the same failed save in 5e. In 5e, I also know that I can keep attempting saving throws until I pass for many conditions that were 1 try and dead in AD&D.

So it's objectively true that the risk for failing a save in 5e is less than 1e. And because of that, players planned differently. Again, this has nothing to do with which was better, or more liked, or any other subjective metric. It's about how since the risk is much less, players approach the scenarios with less planning, relying on default strategies that work for almost all encounters. If you know you have 2 tries to avoid a basilisk attack, and even if you fail the options to go back to normal are easier to obtain than in 1e where you have one try, and if you fail it takes rarer magic to go back to normal, you're gonna approach the planning differently in that encounter.

And in my experience (I know this part is also subjective) one of the benefits of that is that it made encounters feel more unique and different if you planned differently for each one rather than just focus on DPR
About the only thing I agree with here is that 1E saving throws were more deadly. A game in 5E is as deadly as the DM wants it to be. Blaming the encounter guidelines which are used to give a general idea of difficulty is meaningless; there is no way possible for them to be accurate for every group given the nature of the game. As far as how "most games" are run, you are no more of an authority on that topic than anyone else.

What I can say is that if a group that I'm DMing for is reckless and goes into a dangerous area unprepared it will not go well for them.

You like save or die. Most people, based on feedback and play testing, do not.
 

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