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5E Saving Throws and non-proficiency

cbwjm

Explorer
I'm thinking of granting all players half-proficiency to their non-proficient saving throws so that there is still at least some scaling of all saves for all classes as they level beyond the occasional ASI put into a stat (The cool thing is that you can adjust this in DnDBeyond and have it automated). Has anyone tried this? I'm not sure if this would be "Yay, I save more often, I AM UNSTOPPABLE!" fun or "Looks like I saved again, not much challenge in this game." non-fun. Just wanting to get some feedback for anyone who has done this.
 

Shiroiken

Explorer
I have considered this, but IDK. Half seems to greatly reduce the overall benefit of proficiency at levels 1-4, since it's really only a +1 bonus. I considered 1/3, but that's only +2 once you get to levels 17-20, which is pretty pathetic. I would probably split the difference, and grant half proficiency starting at level 5 (so it's a flat +2 bonus against non-proficient until level 13).
 

5ekyu

Explorer
See, to me, things like this fail on multiple levels.

First, it isnt very significsnt. Tier 1 and 2 it pays off 1 off-save in 20 mostly

Second, since it's just baked in automatically, its invisible. It's just another pre- figured bonys among bonuses.

Three, it reduces character differences. Its literally everyone gets it **and** it drops the gap between the individual choices a tad more. Blah. I want more fidtinctiveness, not less.

Do, I would choose to allow this not as a matter of auto- math but instead add in some form of choice driven mechanic.

Go look at Success at cost in the DMG. Whrn you fail a save by 1-2 (pretty close to the range where half-prof would matter) you can **choose** to succeed but with some on the fly specific personal situational setback.

Which is more **fun ** or awesome to you. ?

Looking down at a +5 save snd making your DC 14 cuz you rolled a 10...

Or

Looking down at your +3 save, rolling a 10, getting 13 vs 14 and saying "wait, though, my guy "does" power thru the webs anyway but it wrenches his pack and dome other gear off - they remain stuck in the webs or stuck together by web strands that tore loose eith us"

Really, at half-prof, the "it matters" cases until you get to +6 at highest tiers falls within the success at cost and turns the "squeak by" into an active and interactive thing eith vonsewurnces rather than just the same toll add compare you do time and again.

Obviously, many other ways to make the "awesome" more than just same- math-different-day.
 

mortwatcher

Explorer
from my experience, I have not seen a player go "Looks like I saved again" and be bummed about it. Oh bummer, my character didn't get dominated/feared/whatever nasty effect save spells often have.
 

DM Dave1

Present
IMO, adding bonuses to all PC Saving Throws results in:

- Reducing the differentiation between PC classes
- Nerfing monster effects that require saves (i.e. the OP's "not much challenge in the game" comment)
- Diminishing the awesomeness of the 14th level Diamond Soul feature of Monks
- "Mehing" these features: the Rogue's Slippery Mind, the Gloom Stalker's Iron Mind, the Samurai's Elegant Courtier
- Lessening the Concentration advantage Sorcerers and Eldritch Knights have over their spell casting brethren
- Reducing/eliminating the usefulness of the Resilient feat

And probably more.

Too many tendrils affecting too many things... which might lead to the need to adjust other numbers elsewhere.
 

Xeviat

Explorer
I'm going to apply proficiency bonus to all saves, change class proficiency save bonuses into flat +2 bonuses, and raise the Save DC math to 10+modifiers. Everyone will thus be the same at first level, but bad saves will scale far better. The differences in ability scores will still provide differences in saves.

This also makes monsters not have abismal saves at higher CRs.
 

cbwjm

Explorer
Would you do the same for monsters, or is it more of a “the pcs are special” kind of thing?
More of a PCs are special kind of thing as the heroes of the story. Monsters will retain their current saving throws.
 

cbwjm

Explorer
from my experience, I have not seen a player go "Looks like I saved again" and be bummed about it. Oh bummer, my character didn't get dominated/feared/whatever nasty effect save spells often have.
I'd be worried that people might find it a bit too easy if they save more often than not. It's like playing in God mode in a video game, fun rom start but gets old quick. Admittedly this change might not make too huge a difference at later levels since they might go from needing a roll 19 to save to a 16 to save. A greater chance but still not stacked in their favour.
 

Xeviat

Explorer
I'd be worried that people might find it a bit too easy if they save more often than not. It's like playing in God mode in a video game, fun rom start but gets old quick. Admittedly this change might not make too huge a difference at later levels since they might go from needing a roll 19 to save to a 16 to save. A greater chance but still not stacked in their favour.

I don't think players will notice that. They will notice of they roll a 15 on their d20 for a wisdom save and still fail, though.
 

cbwjm

Explorer
After seeing how it works in DnD Beyond (I'm forever getting mixed up as to whether DnD has round up or round down as the general rule), I think adding in half proficiency wouldn't be a bad idea. It gives some (slow) progression on non-proficient saving throws without granting too much power. The players would only gain a bonus to their non-proficient saves at 1st (+1), 9th (+2), and 17th level (+3) granting some scaling of all of their saving throws over their career. Their proficient saves will be only +1 better at 1st to 4th level but start pulling ahead a bit more from level 5.

I think I like this scaling more than no scaling of their non-proficient saves so I might run with it and see how it goes.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
I wouldn't grant the half-prof bonus to other saves because I agree with others it detracts from which classes are better at which saves.

However, we did add Tier Advancement. There are different options, like a +1 ASI and a skill, martial weapon proficiency, etc. and one of those options is proficiency in a save. So, if the player wants, they could gain save proficiency at 5th, 11th, and 17th levels. While this might seem awesome, so far only one player has taken proficiency in a save, others have always opted for a +1 ASI and a skill or a different option.

If you did offer the half-prof bonus, I would make it a Feat:

Enduring Soul
When you take this feat you may add half your proficiency bonus (rounded down) to any saving throw you do not have proficiency in.

This way it isn't free and character can gain it if they want. While similar to Resilient, it doesn't offer full proficiency or an +1 ASI. Getting half bonus on four saves seems about equal IMO.

In fact, I think I will add this to our house-rules. :)
 

Flamestrike

Registered User
I'm thinking of granting all players half-proficiency to their non-proficient saving throws so that there is still at least some scaling of all saves for all classes as they level beyond the occasional ASI put into a stat (The cool thing is that you can adjust this in DnDBeyond and have it automated). Has anyone tried this? I'm not sure if this would be "Yay, I save more often, I AM UNSTOPPABLE!" fun or "Looks like I saved again, not much challenge in this game." non-fun. Just wanting to get some feedback for anyone who has done this.
I tried this myself and there is no need. Mid to high level parties have a lot of save buff effects going on.

Firstly it further devalues dump stats (this is bad). Dump stats only ever really come into play when you're making a save based on that Stat. Watch your party Barbarian with the Int 8 cry when the Illithids and Intellect devourers come out to play.

Secondly, at mid to high level, there are a ton of buffs on Saves as it is.

Most common save Buffs are:

Bless
Bardic inspiration
Inspiration
Resilient
Nearby Paladins

Plus there are a lot of other niche class features that buff Saves (Divine Soul sorcerer from 1st level, War Wizard at will +4 to saves as a reaction, Monk proficiency in all saves + re-roll, Paladin aura, Bardic inspiration, Barbarian advantage on Str and Dex saves, Fighter Indomitable, Rogue Slippery mind etc etc).

You devalue those features a lot.

Also, in 5E failing a save isnt 'sit out the rest of this combat twiddling your thumbs'. Generally most effects allow a save every round, meaning it's at worst a round or two of suckage before the effect ends, so failing a save isnt a huge deal in most cases.

I still use +1/2 proficiency on Saves, but only for Champion Fighters as part of the Survivor feature (im a grognard and recall when Fighters used to have the best saves in the game; now they do again, and Champions can use the boost, plus it fits well with their 'static bonuses' thing).
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
Dump stats only ever really come into play when you're making a save based on that Stat. Watch your party Barbarian with the Int 8 cry when the Illithids and Intellect devourers come out to play.
Dump stats aren't a sin, they're inevitable, you only have so many points to go around.

Being bad at a save, and staying bad at a save is one thing. Getting worse at high level is quite another.

Secondly, at mid to high level, there are a ton of buffs on Saves as it is.
Inspiration, Resilient, Plus there are a lot of other niche class features that buff Saves (Divine Soul sorcerer from 1st level, War Wizard at will +4 to saves as a reaction, Monk proficiency in all saves + re-roll, Paladin aura, Bardic inspiration, Barbarian advantage on Str and Dex saves, Fighter Indomitable, Rogue Slippery mind etc etc).
You devalue those features a lot.
Actually, advantage and re-rolls are /more/ valuable if you're not falling behind on your saves, like you do, now, with bad saves on low-priority stats.

Also, in 5E failing a save isnt 'sit out the rest of this combat twiddling your thumbs'. Generally most effects allow a save every round,
Which is one thing if you save on an 8 or 12 or something - when you need a natural 19, it's sit out the rest of the scene.
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
Dump stats aren't a sin, they're inevitable, you only have so many points to go around.

Being bad at a save, and staying bad at a save is one thing. Getting worse at high level is quite another.

Actually, advantage and re-rolls are /more/ valuable if you're not falling behind on your saves, like you do, now, with bad saves on low-priority stats.

Which is one thing if you save on an 8 or 12 or something - when you need a natural 19, it's sit out the rest of the scene.
A fighter with 8 wisdom vs a max level wizard needs a 20 to pass. A fighter with 8 wisdom vs a level 11 wizard needs 18 to pass. A fighter with 8 wisdom vs a level 5 wizard needs a 16 to pass.

I fighter with 8 wisdom vs a level 1 wizard needs a 14 to pass. That seems reasonable to me for someone with no proficiency and a bad save. It's ridiculous that that 14 to pass becomes a 20 to pass by end game.
 

Shiroiken

Explorer
Someone on another thread (for everything, not just saves) put forth a rather interesting idea. It looked something like it was adding half the modifier... but at your proficiency for level -2. this made it so that you got your first +1 at level 3, then you get your +2 at level 10, and your final +3 wouldn't be until level 19. Made proficiency still relevant, while keeping non-proficient saves somewhat survivable at higher levels.
 

Xeviat

Explorer
Someone on another thread (for everything, not just saves) put forth a rather interesting idea. It looked something like it was adding half the modifier... but at your proficiency for level -2. this made it so that you got your first +1 at level 3, then you get your +2 at level 10, and your final +3 wouldn't be until level 19. Made proficiency still relevant, while keeping non-proficient saves somewhat survivable at higher levels.

The same thing could be done by making the save DCs start at 10 instead of 8, giving proficiency bonus to all saves, and giving +2 to the saves a class is currently proficient in like I do. But I guess it takes less modification of all the monsters and save DCs.

Woops, read that wrong. I still stand by giving proficiency to all saves. A prime stat is still going to grow from where they are at first compared to someone's dump stat. +5 to your dump stat Save will still suck at 17th level, it's just not laughably suck like having -1.
 
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FrogReaver

Explorer
On a side note, Paladin's are even more OP than I previously realized. They are the only melee class that doesn't have to naturally roll near a 20 to succeed against a hold person cast by a high level caster.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
I fighter with 8 wisdom vs a level 1 wizard needs a 14 to pass. That seems reasonable to me for someone with no proficiency and a bad save. It's ridiculous that that 14 to pass becomes a 20 to pass by end game.
It's worth noting that it could be vs the same 1st-level spell, cast with a 1st-level slot, by the same wizard, now that they're both 20th.
 

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