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Opinions Needed - Variant Spell DC Rule


First Post
Hey all, I have been using a rule for a bit that I wanted to get some opinions on. I've DM'ed mostly at lower levels, but now we're moving up a bit.

The basic problem is this: I believe a Sleep spell that's cast by a 20th level wizard should be more effective than one cast by a 1st level wizard. To that end, I have been allowing people to add 1/2 caster level to the DC needed to resist said spell. Do you think this is too high? Do you have any alternative suggestions? Any help or constructive criticism would be okay.

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First Post
Not really necessary. Afterall a 20th level Wiz does cast sleep more effectively than a 1st level Wiz.

Wiz 1
Int 18 (+4)
Sleep DC 15

Wiz 20
Int 30 (+10)
Sleep DC 21

You see at the higher levels a Wizard has had several boosts to their Int attribute (+1 at every 4th level for a total of +5), they will be using an Int boosting magic item (+6) and have likely used at least one single-use permanent magic boosting to Int (permanent +1 Int). So not only is such a rule unecessary but quite unbalancing at the higher levels (spell DCs being too high).


First Post
On the other hand...

I'm new here but I agree with you that caster level should have a direct effect on saves in theory. Liquid Sabre makes a good point unless you take two things into account. opponent saves will also be effectively higher thereby counterbalancing the save dc increase which is good, balance is good. But when you take intop account the multiple methods of increasing your saves, i.e. resistance bonuses AND stat adjustments then you effectively have opponents gaining two adjustments to overcome the dc while the wizard is only gaining one method of increasing the DC. In addition, base saves increase by level, while base dc's do not.

For example, at first level a wizard casts a spell with a reflex save at a rogue, both have 18's in thier primary stat.
Save dc equals 10+1 (Spell level) +4(Ability score) = 15
The rogue's save equals 2 (base) +4(Ability score) = +6
Meaning he passes on a roll of 9 or higher or 55% of the time.

At 20th level
Save dc equals 10 +9 (Spell Level) +10 (Ability score)= 29
The rogue's svae now equals
12 (base) + 10 (ability score) +5 (resistance)= 27
Meaning he only fails on a roll of one or 5% of the time.

I left feats out for simplicity as both could have feats to increase thier prospective numbers and would effectively balance out.

Just to point out another trend if the speel had a fort or will save instead the spell dc's would be the same...
but the rogue with a 14 con at 1st needs a 13+ to pass his save, a 40% chance.
The rogue at twentieth level wearing a amulet of health +4 (not unreasonable given the level) needs a 14+ to pass his save, a 35% chance.

Owing to this I feel only a slight adjustment to spell dc's need be implemented. Say a plus one to save dc's per 3 caster levels (rounded up) while only giving half credit (rounded up) for spell level. In the above examples that would generate an even 50% for the rogue's ref save at 1st level and a 70% chance of passing his save at 20th level, leaving some doubt in a rogue's play. Meanwhile against fortitude saves at first level he have a 35% chance of passing his save, while at level 20 he would only have a 20% chance of passing (further penalizing him for his specialization on reflexes).

It's just a thought...

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