D&D (2024) D&D playtest feed back report, UA8

Sure. If good was +10, Medium +5, and bad was +0.
I don't think you can get exactly those numbers. As I already said: i wish stats were capped at 18. So we had highest down to 10. Then I'd give +1 to all saves. Lets make it only +1 to saves you are not proficient with.
But for the medium saves, they can be as low as +2 and as high as +7 then. Really depends on your actual primary stats.

Another idea would be having 1/3 proficiency bonus. That way saves with this bonus would increase at level 5 and level 17. Not very smooth but arriving where you want it. Probably better would be half proficiency bonus -1. For an increase at level 9 and 17. Which would be closer to where I wanted them. This would leave starting spreads alone and get to +1 to +11 as you want.

Or something like that.
As I said, I am not totally opposed to changing the bad saves math. I just don't want to call it bug but design choice.
Interesting idea.
Thanks.
 

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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Saves not scaling at all can get crazy with the kinds of abilities even extremely low CR creatures can have. For example, a pixie is CR 1/4, and it has Polymorph and Phantasmal Force, two spells that can end a fight for a character if they land. At level 1 they're an okay chunk of an encounter's XP budget, but by level 20 they're barely a rounding error, and they can still one-shot one of the party members if they get unlucky with their +0 or -1 saves, even against a DC 12. Also, you can summon 8 of them with a 4th level spell. 🙃

It's an extreme example, but monsters with saves can often threaten a high-level character in a way that the usual bricks really can't, which makes building encounters more difficult. A CR 2 Sea Hag can drop someone to 0 with a DC 11 Wis save, a CR 4 Banshee can do the same in an AoE as a DC 13 Con save, a CR 4 Ghost can possess anyone with a DC 13 Charisma save, or age them closer to death with a DC 8 Wis save. There's spells from level 1 that can stunlock you as well, I've seen a party ignore the high CR warrior enemies to go kill the low CR mage minions, since one good spell can mean your doom.

So, I'd say it's quite an issue with saves not scaling, and also the bonkers effects that failing one can do, even basic conditions like frightened can make certain characters useless. Makes the Resilient feat mandatory at high levels, and you can only take it once. And that's without even mentioning the DC 20+ monsters you'll actually be fighting by then.
Adding some weight to this I thought I'd compare the level 1 & 20 fortitude/reflex/will saves for each class in 3.5 & 5e
  • Barbarian started at +2/+0/+0
    • Ended at +12/+6/+6
    • Now prof str/con zero int/wis/cha/dex
  • Bard started at +0/+2/+2
    • Ended at +6/+12/+12
    • Now prof dex/cha zero int/wis/str/con
  • Cleric started at +2/+0/+2
    • Ended at +12/+6/+12
    • Now prof wis/cha zero int/wis/dex/str
  • Druid started at +2/+0/+2
    • Ended at +12/+6/+12
    • Now prof int/wis zero str/dex/con/cha
  • Fighter started at +2/+0/+0
    • Ended at +12/+6/+6
    • now prof str/con zero int/wis/cha/dex
  • Monk started at +2/+0/+0
    • Ended at +12/+6/+6
    • Now profstr/dex zero int/wis/cha/con
  • Paladin started at +2/+0/+0
    • Ended at +12/+6/+6
    • Now prof wis/cha zero int/str/con/dex
  • Ranger started at +2/+2/+0
    • Ended at +12/+12/+6
    • Now prof str/dex zero int/wis/cha/con
  • Rogue started at +0/+2/+0
    • Ended at +6/+12/+6
    • Now prof
  • Sorcerer started at +0/+0/+2
    • Ended at +6/+6/+12
    • Now prof dex/int zero str/con/wis/cha
  • Wizard started at +0/+0/+2
    • Ended at +6/+6/+12
    • Now prof int/wis zero str/con/dex/cha
  • Warlock started at +2/+0/+2
    • Ended at +6/+6/+12
    • Now prof wis/cha zero int/str/con/dex
PCs went from having solid odds on 1-2 types of regularly used saves as long as they didn't roll terrible & ok odds on the other 1-2 if they rolled ok and/or put some effort into bumping them with feats/gear in the past to solid odds if they roll well on one of 3 regularly used saves, almost no chance on the other 2 of 3 common saves unless they roll phenomenally well... And then the same on a bunch of almost never used saves
 

Pauln6

Hero
Sorry? Two precious slots? What edition are you talking about again?

Note magic armor, magic shields, cloaks of protection all boosted saving throws. I’m very sure there are more.
Just checked my 1e DMG. Magic armour did not boost saves. Cloaks of Protection did but only worked with no armour, mundane leather armour, or bracers of defence - the AC bonus didn't even stack with a shield (basically it was for rogues and wizards). You had two ring slots because if you wore two magic rings on the same hand, neither functioned. The most powerful Ring of Protection added +3 to saves, so your 17th level fighter could have got his save vs magic down to 5 but only had a 7% chance of finding a +3 ring. There may well have been other magic items but I think you have a fair bit of Mandela effect going on.

Our 5e 16th level Fighter/Barbarian has +9 vs Strength saves, +8 vs Dex and Con (so the equivalent of 11 & 12 under the 1e rules) but the difference is the 5e fighter isn't always saving against the same DC. Against DC10, his save is 2, against DC15, his save is 6 or 7. His Lucky feat and Shield Master feats also help him save. They aren't directly comparable but I think you are over-egging the 1e saves.
 

Clint_L

Hero
Saves not scaling at all can get crazy with the kinds of abilities even extremely low CR creatures can have. For example, a pixie is CR 1/4, and it has Polymorph and Phantasmal Force, two spells that can end a fight for a character if they land. At level 1 they're an okay chunk of an encounter's XP budget, but by level 20 they're barely a rounding error, and they can still one-shot one of the party members if they get unlucky with their +0 or -1 saves, even against a DC 12. Also, you can summon 8 of them with a 4th level spell. 🙃

It's an extreme example, but monsters with saves can often threaten a high-level character in a way that the usual bricks really can't, which makes building encounters more difficult. A CR 2 Sea Hag can drop someone to 0 with a DC 11 Wis save, a CR 4 Banshee can do the same in an AoE as a DC 13 Con save, a CR 4 Ghost can possess anyone with a DC 13 Charisma save, or age them closer to death with a DC 8 Wis save. There's spells from level 1 that can stunlock you as well, I've seen a party ignore the high CR warrior enemies to go kill the low CR mage minions, since one good spell can mean your doom.

So, I'd say it's quite an issue with saves not scaling, and also the bonkers effects that failing one can do, even basic conditions like frightened can make certain characters useless. Makes the Resilient feat mandatory at high levels, and you can only take it once. And that's without even mentioning the DC 20+ monsters you'll actually be fighting by then.
How is it bonkers? Is it breaking games? Is resilient actually mandatory at higher levels (it's not; few characters take it, even optimized ones). Are pixies and Sea Hags running amok?

This feels like another issue that optimizers are passionate about. Because most of the stuff you are describing: those are features of 5e, not flaws. I love that lower level creatures can still be a problem if you get unlucky and/or make bad choices. It doesn't happen a lot, though.

We get endless complaints that 5e isn't dangerous enough, but then we also get complaints like this. To me, this suggests that 5e is just about right.
 

Zubatcarteira

Now you're infected by the Musical Doodle
How is it bonkers? Is it breaking games? Is resilient actually mandatory at higher levels (it's not; few characters take it, even optimized ones). Are pixies and Sea Hags running amok?

This feels like another issue that optimizers are passionate about. Because most of the stuff you are describing: those are features of 5e, not flaws. I love that lower level creatures can still be a problem if you get unlucky and/or make bad choices. It doesn't happen a lot, though.

We get endless complaints that 5e isn't dangerous enough, but then we also get complaints like this. To me, this suggests that 5e is just about right.
The effects are bonkers, frightened makes most melee characters useless since they can't approach the enemy, and it's a basic condition that gets thrown around a lot. Getting paralyzed, losing actions, being slowed or charmed in an AoE, completely possessed, straight up one-shot to 0, turned into a worm, those are all bonkers by themselves, and then you add that defending yourself from them is pretty much impossible for most classes. Not good design for me, it's not about luck or making choices when the chance of failure is so high, and you don't actually get any tools to help yourself.
 

Clint_L

Hero
The effects are bonkers, frightened makes most melee characters useless since they can't approach the enemy, and it's a basic condition that gets thrown around a lot. Getting paralyzed, losing actions, being slowed or charmed in an AoE, completely possessed, straight up one-shot to 0, turned into a worm, those are all bonkers by themselves, and then you add that defending yourself from them is pretty much impossible for most classes. Not good design for me, it's not about luck or making choices when the chance of failure is so high, and you don't actually get any tools to help yourself.
This seems like hyperbole. I've played a ton of 5e. I've watched a ton more. I don't see what makes any of those conditions "bonkers." Basically, you are talking about "save or suck" effects. What almost always happens is that one or two characters fail a save, and the party deals with it. It makes the game more interesting. And those effects go the other way, too, so that the baddies are also dealing with them. Sure, your barbarian is vulnerable to feeblemind (an 8th level spell; it should be nasty!), but then their wizard gets stun-locked by your monk while your cleric heals the barbarian.

If it's pixies, with their spell DC of 12, trying to polymorph high level characters? They might get one or two. For, like, a round. And then I step on my barbarian buddy who got turned into a worm to do the 1 point of damage necessary to break the spell, and they go annihilate all the pixies.

Are these effects breaking games? Not that I'm seeing.

Is 5e too hard? Or is it easy-mode D&D? I'm getting a lot of mixed messages.
 

Hussar

Legend
Just checked my 1e DMG. Magic armour did not boost saves. Cloaks of Protection did but only worked with no armour, mundane leather armour, or bracers of defence - the AC bonus didn't even stack with a shield (basically it was for rogues and wizards). You had two ring slots because if you wore two magic rings on the same hand, neither functioned. The most powerful Ring of Protection added +3 to saves, so your 17th level fighter could have got his save vs magic down to 5 but only had a 7% chance of finding a +3 ring. There may well have been other magic items but I think you have a fair bit of Mandela effect going on.

Our 5e 16th level Fighter/Barbarian has +9 vs Strength saves, +8 vs Dex and Con (so the equivalent of 11 & 12 under the 1e rules) but the difference is the 5e fighter isn't always saving against the same DC. Against DC10, his save is 2, against DC15, his save is 6 or 7. His Lucky feat and Shield Master feats also help him save. They aren't directly comparable but I think you are over-egging the 1e saves.
You should check again. Page 81 of the 1e DMG states that:

Magical Devices and Protection*: Various magic items (rings, armor, shields, etc.) allow saving throw dice modifications. In general, these modifiers are cumulative, unless otherwise stated. Same spells will also cause such modifications. It is necessary to familiarize yourself with all such information by having a working knowledge of both MONSTER MANUAL and PLAYERS HANDBOOK, as well as this volume.

as well as:

The magical properties of (he various sorts of magic armor will sometimes, but not always, add bonuses to saving throw dice rolls mode by wearers. All cases cannot be dealt with, for there will undoubtedly be many special circumstances which occur. There are guidelines, however, which will generally serve. Saving throws will NOT be aided by magic armor against:

GAS

POISON

SPELLS WHICH DO NOT CAUSE PHYSICAL DAMAGE*

• petrification, polymorph, magic far, charm.

Saving throw rolls WILL receive an armor bonus against:

ACID, EXCEPT WHEN IMMERSION OCCURS

DISINTEGRATION

FALLING DAMAGE

FIRE, MAGICAL AND OTHERWISE

SPELLS WHICH CAUSE PHYSICAL DAMAGE*

• Exception: Metallic armor will NOT odd to saving throws versus electrical attacks, although nonmeiallic armor will do so.

Of course, where no sowing throw is permitted, magic armor does not then give such an option unless otherwise stated

So, for pretty much any damaging spell your armor and shield both stack. Granted, it does not help against charm. That's true. Although a decent Wis score might.
 

Saves not scaling at all can get crazy with the kinds of abilities even extremely low CR creatures can have. For example, a pixie is CR 1/4, and it has Polymorph and Phantasmal Force, two spells that can end a fight for a character if they land. At level 1 they're an okay chunk of an encounter's XP budget, but by level 20 they're barely a rounding error, and they can still one-shot one of the party members if they get unlucky with their +0 or -1 saves, even against a DC 12. Also, you can summon 8 of them with a 4th level spell.
Pixies are very powerful for their CR and a real rare exception. Polymorph spell is broken by itself.

The interaction between the old conjure fey and pixies had 3 extraordinarily imbalanced game elements chained together. Guess what. It looks quite broken.
But you are trying to put a patch over it instead of fixing the problems:

1. Conjure animal gets fixed as the spell was a pain.

2. Polymorph* needs to work differently. It autoscales and has no save each round or a 3 save mechanic at least. Single save or suck does not play well with how saves should work in 5e which you identified it correctly.

3. Pixies are no classical monster to fight against. They like to have fun with you, not kill you. Using them as real monsters is problematic.

*phantasmal force and suggestion are also in need of an overhaul. Spells so debilating with no chance of saving need to be patched not the save bonuses. Especially when that does not help against those low level spells anyway. A 5% better chance to save is nit really helpful.
 
Last edited:

Pauln6

Hero
You should check again. Page 81 of the 1e DMG states that:



as well as:



So, for pretty much any damaging spell your armor and shield both stack. Granted, it does not help against charm. That's true. Although a decent Wis score might.
Yeah if it didn't state it under the description of the actual item, we never awarded a general save bonus from armour and shields (fireballs and dragon breath maybe - it has been many years). The description of armour doesn't mention a general save bonus. The example we were talking about was the Maze spell. If you gave your fighter in plate male +5 a +5 bonus to all their saves except gas then more power to you but we certainly never gave a higher general bonus from armour than the highest save boosting item.

But again, the saves in 1e were not equivalent. You had lower hp, save or die effects, and effects that took you out of the whole fight. The effects in 5e are very diluted, with saves every round. Optimisers have to understand there is no way (or need) to plug every vulnerability. Being great at one thing means that you will be bad at something else. That's D&D. Always has been.
 

Zubatcarteira

Now you're infected by the Musical Doodle
Pixies are very powerful for their CR and a real rare exception. Polymorph spell is broken by itself.

The interaction between the old conjure fey and pixies had 3 extraordinarily imbalanced game elements chained together. Guess what. It looks quite broken.
But you are trying to put a patch over it instead of fixing the problems:

1. Conjure animal gets fixed as the spell was a pain.

2. Polymorph* needs to work differently. It autoscales and has no save each round or a 3 save mechanic at least. Single save or suck does not play well with how saves should work in 5e which you identified it correctly.

3. Pixies are no classical monster to fight against. They like to have fun with you, not kill you. Using them as real monsters is problematic.

*phantasmal force and suggestion are also in need of an overhaul. Spells so debilating with no chance of saving need to be patched not the save bonuses. Especially when that does not help against those low level spells anyway. A 5% better chance to save is nit really helpful.
Yep, the issue is both a lack of scaling and the effects on save failures often being too punishing.
 

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