D&D (2024) Return to the 3 saves for 1D&D?

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
there used to be 'mighty composite' bows that let you add your Str to damage (not to hit) and had an increased cost per + of str allowed... I know they were in 2e I can't remember if 3e had them (I think they did). I know there was a third party 3e book that had a mechanical assist bow that just added to damage...
it was in 3.5 yes.
its size. A longbow is too unwieldy to use while you are mounted. If
you have a penalty for low Strength, apply it to damage rolls when
you use a longbow. If you have a bonus for high Strength, you can
apply it to damage rolls when you use a composite longbow (see
below) but not a regular longbow.
Longbow, Composite: You need at least two hands to use a bow,
regardless of its size. You can use a composite longbow while
mounted. Composite bows are made from laminated horn, wood, or
bone and built with a recurve, meaning that the bow remains bow-
shaped even when unstrung. All composite bows are made with a
particular strength rating (that is, each requires a minimum
Strength modifier to use with proficiency). If your Strength bonus is
less than the strength rating of the composite bow, you can’t
effectively use it, so you take a –2 penalty on attacks with it. The
default composite longbow requires a Strength modifier of +0 or
higher to use with proficiency. A composite longbow can be made
with a high strength rating (representing an especially heavy pull) to
take advantage of an above-average Strength score; this feature
allows you to add your Strength bonus to damage, up to the
maximum bonus indicated for the bow. Each point of Strength
bonus granted by the bow adds 100 gp to its cost. For instance, a
composite longbow (+1 Str bonus) costs 200 gp, while a composite
longbow (+4 Str bonus) costs 500 gp.

For example, Tordek has a +2 Strength bonus. With a regular
composite longbow, he gets no modifier on damage rolls. For 200
gp, he can buy a composite longbow (+1 Str bonus), which lets him
add +1 to his damage rolls. For 300 gp, he can buy one that lets him
add his entire +2 Strength bonus. Even if he paid 400 gp for a
composite longbow (+3 Str bonus), he would still get only a +2 bo-
nus on damage rolls and takes a –2 penalty on attacks with it because
his Strength is insufficient to use the weapon to best advantage. The
bow can’t grant him a higher bonus than he already has.
For purposes of weapon proficiency and similar feats, a composite
longbow is treated as if it were a longbow. Thus, if you have Weapon
Focus (longbow), that feat applies both to longbows and composite
longbows.
That bold bit would really add up when enchanting them iirc
 

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I'd kinda like to replace all save throws with a single one, called "Luck." I'm talking ALL saving throws, including death saves.
All character classes would be proficient, but no ability score would adjust it...a "Luck save" would always be (1d20+ProfBonus), every time, no matter how you optimized your stats.

It's probably a bit too monochromatic for most D&D players, but I'd like to take it for a test drive someday.
That's interesting. Not sure I love it, but worth a think...
 

I'd kinda like to replace all save throws with a single one, called "Luck." I'm talking ALL saving throws, including death saves.
All character classes would be proficient, but no ability score would adjust it...a "Luck save" would always be (1d20+ProfBonus), every time, no matter how you optimized your stats.

It's probably a bit too monochromatic for most D&D players, but I'd like to take it for a test drive someday.
okay so origin talk time...

in wargaming a throw of the die to save you from an effect is a saving throw. Way back when it was a d6 (cause they all were) and you needed to roll a 6, or some heroic characters a 5 or 6.

I have not been active in war games in 14 or so years but I know that last time I was watching one there were 'armor save on a 3+, and agility save on a 5+) in at least one game.

go way way back and that is what D&D is trying to emulate (partially) the ability of luck and skill to survive what should be not be survivable... I had played with something like your 'luck save' in a throw back to that idea...
 

leozg

DM
PCs with unusually high ACs and paladins with a big boost to all saves impact the game far more than characters investing in saves.

Magic shield bonuses bracers of defence and rings of protection should not stack with other magic bonuses. Paladins bonuses to saves should be halved.
What I really can't understand is that Wizards know how to avoid this kind of problem but it seems they chose not to do it in 5e. Just bring back bonus types and don't let them stack. Paladin Aura of Protection bonus should be considered as ability bonus, so instead of adding to the saves it would replace the original ability bonus if greater, still being a powerfull special ability. The same way, magic item bonus for AC should be classified as shield bonus, deflection bonus or so.
 
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What I really can't understand is that Wizards know how to avoid this kind of problem but semmed they choosed not to do it in 5e. Just bring back bonus types and don't let them stack.
system mastery and complexity...

in 3.5 a novice that didn't understand would be like "Wait, why doesn't my cloak and ring stack, but his ring and amulate do?"

and it lead to weird cheese (at least that I saw) where people would be like "I have an X bonus and a Y bonus, now to find a Z bonus"
 

Pauln6

Hero
What I really can't understand is that Wizards know how to avoid this kind of problem but semmed they choosed not to do it in 5e. Just bring back bonus types and don't let them stack. Paladin Aura of Protection bonus should be considered as ability bonus, so instead of adding to the saves it would replace the original ability bonus if greater, still being a powerfull special ability. The same way, magic item bonus for AC should be classified as shield bonus, deflection bonus or so.
Yes it was like they forgot bounded accuracy existed. Taking the highest bonus would be better.
 

rules.mechanic

Craft homebrewer
agree with most.

Paladin aura should give +1 bonus when you get it, +2 at 11th level, +3 at 17th level.
aura range should be increased, 30ft at start, 60ft when improved.

armors and shields should not have +X bonus to AC, only unique cool features.
+X might add damage reduction instead.
instead of +1 AC, you get 2 damage reduction from every attack.

weapons should not have +X attack and +X damage bonus.
instead add +Xd6 damage only.
Agree, magic bonuses don't seem priced into monster scaling in 5e and this change would help bounded accuracy. Besides magic weapons feel more special with unique features like cantrips or limited-use spell-like effects, instead of static bonuses
 

ECMO3

Hero
I understand your position and disagree. The extra HP are worth a lot. You also heal more during a short rest and so a +2 modifier of constitution as you correctly wrote means 20 more hp at level 5.
This is more than the difference between the full damage of a fireball and the reduced damage when you make the save. The +2 save bonus you would get from a +2 higher dex bonus is just a 10% chance to actually make the save.
So HP are actually worth more than you give it credit.
Also, dex saves, although very common often just reduce damage. Thus I, as you too, value the +2 bonus to con saves higher than +2 dex saves, as for casters, the most common save is Con vs DC 10, a concentration save. Here I value 10% higher chance of keeping my concentration up very highly, because it increases my reliability.
But my point stands: HP in 5e are very valuable. And before I raise my dexterity from 14 to 16 I bring my con from 10 to 14. Dexterity is way overrated. It is not the god stat people say.
I don't think the math really supports this and I don't think Con is behind dex, I think it is also behind Wisdom and if it wasn't for being a common save it would be dead last IMO.

hit points are easy to come by in 5E and healing is plentiful. The biggest weakness of Constitution is that is not used for any skills.

Most of my characters who do point buy or standard array play with a 10 or 12 Constitution. The only point buy character I;ve played that started with higher than a 12 is a Rune Knight and only because he needed it for DC against his rune knight powers. I would use a higher constitution on a Barbarian too, but I have never played one myself. Everything else I can always find a better stat to put points towards. If you are rolling abilities, like I do for a lot of my games, then it is a different story.
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
Unless I have a very specific build in mind (the high hit point bruiser) I normally don't care too much about Constitution. I'll have a minimum of 10 because I don't want the penalty but don't often feel the need to have it higher than 10 or 12.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
I think you're getting yourself hanged on very specific examples (especially the Psychic Scream one for some reason? I think the example involving multitudes of low CR enemies using low level control spell was way more interesting, I've dismantled optimized and cocky parties with easy encounters using that strategy), and you're losing sight of the bigger picture.

As other posters have already pointed out, the Attack vs AC - damage vs HP game works well enough in 5e. AC scales less than attack rolls at higher levels, but regardless, even if attack rolls completely eclipsed AC, it still wouldn't be a huge problem: weapon attacks generally do damage, and very little else. HPs usually scale enough to keep up with damage, so that part of the game tends to be balanced enough.

Saving throws...nope. DCs growth will completely eclipse saving throw growth, and, even worse, saving throw are often of the "Save or Suck" variety, with no secondary mechanic to balance things out (like damage/HP does to Attack roll/AC). For monsters and PCs alike the situation can often be that you get to roll one save, with a 5-10% chance of success, and you'll be removed from a fight if you fail. That. Is. Not. Good. Balance.

Tbh, and I mean no offense, it looks like you either never DMed high level 5e, or you're so used to fixing the bad mechanics by yourself (as a good DM should) that you no longer see them as issues.
And I think you are wrong. Yes players have low saves, but they also have overwhelming powers and spells to compensate for those low saves.

As I said, players are weakest and die most often at low level when DCs are makeable even with low unproficienct saves.

I concentrated on psychic scream because that is the example YOU used and I provided numerous examples of very effective ways to counter it, including some widely available at 5th level.

Psychic Scream is one example, but whatever example you throw out there will be LOTs of counters to it and those counters will be common in most parities at that level.

We played Rise of the Drow recently and our party was hit us with the highest damage spell I have seen in a game. A Drow Matron/demon boss hit us with a spell published in the adventure that did 20d20 damage (it was 10d20 of necrotic and 10d20 of acid I think) on a dexsave. One PC (Paladin Warlock) made his save I think and still went down, 1 PC (Range-Fighter) made his save and had like 10 hit points after he used absorb elements for the acid part of the damage. My character saved and took no damage because she had evasion (Arcane Trickster 9/Arcane Archer 6/Shadow Sorcerer 1), she would have died outright without evasion. Our cleric was not in the AOE. Next Round the boss put hold person on me (which I failed) and the Ranger (who had proficiency from a subclass and passed), and our Cleric (who failed despite proficiency), but by that time the Paladin was back in the fight having benefited from mass healing word by the cleric who also turned most of the undead henchmen in the same turn and I had used a wand of conjure animals to surround the boss, her two drow gaurds and the few undead that did not fail with a bunch of giant bats. I followed up the conjure animals with a bonus action quick toss sneak attack against one of the guards using a dart and then readied an action (action surge) and hit the other guard off my turn (on one of the bat's turns who went next and used help), with a shot from my long bow which included sharpshooter+grasping arrow+sneak attack+menacing attack using an arrow+2. In one turn I had brought multiple allies (and actions) on to the battefield, significantly damaged one guard and severely damaged the other while also reducing his movement, frightening him and causing him further damage when he tried to move. After the boss's turn I was held for several rounds, eventually I made the save, or maybe she died first I can't remember, but the point is we survived that battle fairly easily despite the enemy having high power spells and starting far away and being able to do massive damage and having a 19DC. Once the Paladin got in close and could use counterspell, it was over for her.

Our party was not abnormal, it was built on point buy using published rules and we did not have any uber-powerful magic items and we survived relatively easily. That is not a specific example, it is an actual example from play at 16th level.
 
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