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

leozg

DM
this still leaves the problem that you can now dump str and int or cha and still have great saves.
To avoid this problem you should have lowest of 'n' abilities or str, cha and int having their own save and these saves being meaningful (not 5e way). Even the sum of 'n' is not enough since you can boost the others and dump str, cha, int. Any other option?
 

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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
this still leaves the problem that you can now dump str and int or cha and still have great saves.
Two of those problems are caused by "streamlining" & "simplifications" made elsewhere. With int no longer impacting how many skills/skill points you get & skills condensed from 37 down to only 18 it's no longer needed to bone up on skills & it became almost impossible for anyone to have serious gaps in the skills anyways. By shifting from medium & heavy loads that a player might reasonably hit with penalties they might still adventure under to a value so high it almost takes fiat to achieve even before considering the player facing option to simply veto it at the chargen level. As to the third, charisma is already a pretty awesome stat if you can use uit for both social stuff and your primary stat
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Two saves: Physical and Mental.

Physical: Str/Dex/Con. Use your highest modifier from any one of these stats and add your proficiency bonus if your class is proficient in physical saves.

Mental: Int/Wis/Cha. Use your highest modifier from any one of these stats and add your proficiency bonus if your class is proficient in mental saves.

Warriors and Experts proficient in Physical Saves.

Priests and Mages proficient in Mental Saves.
This is quite close to 13th Age (a d20 that came out a bit before 5e). But the saves use the modifier from the middle of the three ability scores, so you can't just easily min/max them.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Why are we adding proficiency 1/2 mods to nonproficient saves? Seems like bounded accuracy was set up to stop having to do things like this?
yeah, I can see doing so while keeping 6 saves, but doing both changes in the OP seems unnecessary.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
So, what are the design points of 5e saves?

1. PCs are strong is about 1/3 of their saves. Foes with varied attack types will sometimes match and sometimes bypass their strengths.

2. Foes are usually good on 1-4 saves, sort of based on epicness. So PCs who are focused around the same sort of saves (like bards) will find themselves good against some types of foes and poor against others. Classes with wide spell list have the meaningful choice of going for "the best" spells, or going for spells with a wide variety of saving throws even if they have overlap in effect (like AoE damage) to hunt for poor saves.

3. The three "strong" saves are the most commonly saved against, and include: The already most powerful ability score, the useful-for-everyone ability score, and another ability score that does happen to have the most common skill associated with it.

The first two points I find as valuable, the last one I find as counterproductive.

Moving to the 4e save (not "classic" saves) weakens #2, and strengthens #3. These are both moves in the wrong direction, so are arguably worse than the current system.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
The issue with the way too many saves that aren't equally distributed is the problem with fire as a damage type. When the correct answer is 'Wisdom save' and the incorrect answer is 'Charisma save', you're just adding trap choices.

Only they're not choices. They're baked into the class and not something you pick.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
So, what are the design points of 5e saves?

1. PCs are strong is about 1/3 of their saves. Foes with varied attack types will sometimes match and sometimes bypass their strengths.

2. Foes are usually good on 1-4 saves, sort of based on epicness. So PCs who are focused around the same sort of saves (like bards) will find themselves good against some types of foes and poor against others. Classes with wide spell list have the meaningful choice of going for "the best" spells, or going for spells with a wide variety of saving throws even if they have overlap in effect (like AoE damage) to hunt for poor saves.

3. The three "strong" saves are the most commonly saved against, and include: The already most powerful ability score, the useful-for-everyone ability score, and another ability score that does happen to have the most common skill associated with it.

The first two points I find as valuable, the last one I find as counterproductive.

Moving to the 4e save (not "classic" saves) weakens #2, and strengthens #3. These are both moves in the wrong direction, so are arguably worse than the current system.
point 2 should probably be broken into 2a & 2b:
  • 2A." Foes are usually good on 1-4 saves, sort of based on epicness. So PCs who are focused around the same sort of saves (like bards) will find themselves good against some types of foes and poor against others."
  • 2B "Classes with wide spell list have the meaningful choice of going for "the best" spells, or going for spells with a wide variety of saving throws even if they have overlap in effect (like AoE damage) to hunt for poor saves."
On 2a, 31 is > than 0+4+6+6=22 by far but that distribution is not significantly out of the ordinary for other casters simply because bards have most of the int save spells & the rest comes down to the general save distributions across spells. I don't think 5e even approached a point where 2a is the case & the split is too fine grained to meaningfully target.

On 2b wotc deliberately murdered that out of the gate with "iconic" spells & overuse of concentration even if the save distribution had been diverse & clear enough to really accomplish in a way that didn't feel like guesswork with minimal returns that are rarely much more than a point or two of difference thanks to so many monsters not actually being proficient in any saves.
 

Olrox17

Hero
So, what are the design points of 5e saves?

1. PCs are strong is about 1/3 of their saves. Foes with varied attack types will sometimes match and sometimes bypass their strengths.

2. Foes are usually good on 1-4 saves, sort of based on epicness. So PCs who are focused around the same sort of saves (like bards) will find themselves good against some types of foes and poor against others. Classes with wide spell list have the meaningful choice of going for "the best" spells, or going for spells with a wide variety of saving throws even if they have overlap in effect (like AoE damage) to hunt for poor saves.

3. The three "strong" saves are the most commonly saved against, and include: The already most powerful ability score, the useful-for-everyone ability score, and another ability score that does happen to have the most common skill associated with it.

The first two points I find as valuable, the last one I find as counterproductive.

Moving to the 4e save (not "classic" saves) weakens #2, and strengthens #3. These are both moves in the wrong direction, so are arguably worse than the current system.
I have to disagree.

1. The 5e balance only holds true at low levels. Saving throw scaling is very bad, so saves cannot keep up with DCs.
At first level a typical PC will have 2 good saves it can pass with an 8 or so, another couple of decent saves where it gets a 50/50 shot, and one or two bad saves where a 13 or 14 is needed.
At level 20, the PC will usually still have two good saves (if they invested a lot in straight +2 ASIs, that is), and maybe another decent 50/50 save if they also took the Resilient Focus feat, but all other saves will be terrible, needing a roll of 18, 19 or 20 to succeed.

2. 5e monsters are usually written to be complete trash at saves. Even most (supposedly) legendary monsters would be easily bypassed, if it weren't for their (IMO) inelegant but absolutely necessary Legendary Resistance feature. So, I disagree that 5e handles monster saves well: in fact, I believe it does very poorly.

3. Are you aware that the 4e save system allows for other scores beside Dex, Con and Wis to contribute to Reflex, Fort and Will? A 10 Dex, 20 Int character would sport a +5 to Reflex. If anything, this is exactly what's needed to move away from the sheer power of Dex, Con and Wis.
 

Lidgar

Gongfarmer
This is quite close to 13th Age (a d20 that came out a bit before 5e). But the saves use the modifier from the middle of the three ability scores, so you can't just easily min/max them.
Thanks, was not aware of that. I suppose I don't mind a PC being really good in one category of saves and less so in another. I tend to gravitate towards simple, intuitive systems. So an 8th level fighter with a 20 in one of the physical ability scores would have a +8 to physical saves, and maybe a +0 or +1 to mental saves.

Granted, I seriously doubt One D&D is going to tinker with the saving throw system at this scale however. At most, they might reassign the relevant ability score needed for saving against some spells so that the more neglected ones become more relevant. They might also tinker with starting save proficiencies for some classes as well I suppose. Anything else might be too radical for "backwards compatibility."
 

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