D&D 5E Saving throws in 5e

OB1

Jedi Master
i have 0 doubt the monsters are better. My back and forth is until I hear for sure what the 2024 release is (is it 5.5e or 6e or some amalgam to keep backward compatible) I was going to not buy anything new... then spelljammer broke that (since I would buy a new 2e book on that setting)
Here's hoping that we get some clarity on 50AE next week. I strongly suspect that MotM is a preview of the way they will change things in 2024. Same underlying rule chassis and math, with different final output. It will feel very different while still being 100% compatible with what's come before.

And I can't wait for Spelljammer next week too! We're pausing my homebrew game for 3 months to play it.
 

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so after going nuts for hours inbetween doing work (my boss thinks just because she pays me I am supposed to do things) that the basic rules on monster uses acolyte CR 1/4 and Archmage CR 12 as examples:

so CR 1/4 is perfect for your 1st level character to face with save DC 12
a CR 12 is perfect for your 11th level character to face with a save DC 17

so we have MONSTERS.... grrr

a character has 6 saves useing the defualt array +2/+1 that gives them lets say 16, 16, 13, 12, 10, and 8 again not perfect but not bad... that next lets put a 16 in a prof save stat and 1 16 in a non prof save stat... but put the 13 in the other prop save stat.. that makes our saves +5 +3 +3 +1 +0 -1
11th level... and say the one making the saves is a rogue or fighter so 3 stat ups... making it 20 16 14 13 10 8 with prof of +4 and I will give +1 magic to all saves... so +10, +7, +4, +2 +1 +0

the monster DC went up 5, and how did the players fair? best save went up by 5 so you did not get better but you didn't get worse, your second 1 goes up by 4 so you need 1 higher on the D20, after that it does not look good at all, 3rd best save went for +3 to +4 so only up by one for a net -4... at 1st level you would save onn a 9 or better and now you need a 13 or better... and that is your 3rd best save... lets jump to the end and look at your worst... it went up by 1 you need a 13 before you need a 17 now...

now back to the no stat bumps but 3 picks in reseliance redone without forgetting... so stats of 16 16 13 12 10 8 the 16 and 13 prof I can make some more prof and add +1 lets make the 8 10 and other 16 prof... so new stats 16 17 13 12 11 9 giving saves of +8 +8 +6 +2 +5 +4 for best saves in the possible but remember the DC went up by 5 so we now net -2 to the prime stat save +5 to your other highest then back to got worse (but less so on all of them...

if prof was given to all saves as hamerman said we get a bit better but still not really keeping up (prof is 2pts higher magic is 1 so over all if you are not upping the stat it just doesn't keep up)
 

Here's hoping that we get some clarity on 50AE next week. I strongly suspect that MotM is a preview of the way they will change things in 2024. Same underlying rule chassis and math, with different final output. It will feel very different while still being 100% compatible with what's come before.
I would prefer more system updating then that, but I believe you are right (I would call it 5.5)
And I can't wait for Spelljammer next week too! We're pausing my homebrew game for 3 months to play it.
we have not paused BUT since we all pitch then vote on next campaign I know in the next month we have 3 or 4 of us ready to pitch a spell jammer game
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter

so after going nuts for hours inbetween doing work (my boss thinks just because she pays me I am supposed to do things) that the basic rules on monster uses acolyte CR 1/4 and Archmage CR 12 as examples:

so CR 1/4 is perfect for your 1st level character to face with save DC 12
a CR 12 is perfect for your 11th level character to face with a save DC 17

so we have MONSTERS.... grrr

a character has 6 saves useing the defualt array +2/+1 that gives them lets say 16, 16, 13, 12, 10, and 8 again not perfect but not bad... that next lets put a 16 in a prof save stat and 1 16 in a non prof save stat... but put the 13 in the other prop save stat.. that makes our saves +5 +3 +3 +1 +0 -1
11th level... and say the one making the saves is a rogue or fighter so 3 stat ups... making it 20 16 14 13 10 8 with prof of +4 and I will give +1 magic to all saves... so +10, +7, +4, +2 +1 +0

the monster DC went up 5, and how did the players fair? best save went up by 5 so you did not get better but you didn't get worse, your second 1 goes up by 4 so you need 1 higher on the D20, after that it does not look good at all, 3rd best save went for +3 to +4 so only up by one for a net -4... at 1st level you would save onn a 9 or better and now you need a 13 or better... and that is your 3rd best save... lets jump to the end and look at your worst... it went up by 1 you need a 13 before you need a 17 now...

now back to the no stat bumps but 3 picks in reseliance redone without forgetting... so stats of 16 16 13 12 10 8 the 16 and 13 prof I can make some more prof and add +1 lets make the 8 10 and other 16 prof... so new stats 16 17 13 12 11 9 giving saves of +8 +8 +6 +2 +5 +4 for best saves in the possible but remember the DC went up by 5 so we now net -2 to the prime stat save +5 to your other highest then back to got worse (but less so on all of them...

if prof was given to all saves as hamerman said we get a bit better but still not really keeping up (prof is 2pts higher magic is 1 so over all if you are not upping the stat it just doesn't keep up)
That's the downside of going from good/bad save progression to proficient?:yes/no save progression. Simplicity at all costs comes with costs.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Why do we get worse and worse at resisting effects as we level?
Yep, having grown up with AD&D and the saving throw tables, a lot about saves in 5E has bothered me.

I'm going to recap some things:

1. Save DCs generally begin around 12 and end around 20 (+/- 2 in most cases). So, I agree an average increase of roughly +8.
2. Save proficiency begins (at best) around +5 typically and ends around +11 (at best), so only +6. Of course, if you aren't proficient, it is much worse.

BUT here's the thing. In earlier editions your chances of saving began at about 30% (average) and ended at 75%, even without counting magical items (which were generally plentiful IME). (See the table below). By contrast, in 5E, even without ability modifiers, your chances begin better, around 45%, but end worse at around 35% (over all).

1660336341257.png
1660336191240.png


5E effects are generally not as harsh, and many features allow repeated saves.

However, in short, I agree that it is odd that you get worse at saves as you get more experienced.

The easiest solution is to give all creatures proficiency in all saves. Creatures who "had proficiency" gain advantage instead.

For example, a Young Red Dragon normally has the following saves: Dex +4, Con +9, Wis +4, Cha +8. Using this rule, those saves would have advantage. and STR and INT would add proficiency bonus, becoming +10 and +6, respectively.

Now, you have to be prepared for the fall out of these changes. Magic loses a lot of power, but from what many people write on these forums, that isn't a bad thing to them...
 


BUT here's the thing. In earlier editions your chances of saving began at about 30% (average) and ended at 75%, even without counting magical items (which were generally plentiful IME). (See the table below). By contrast, in 5E, even without ability modifiers, your chances begin better, around 45%, but end worse at around 35% (over all).
this is my experience too.
that is a great chart... and I am keeping it for my own homebrew purposes
5E effects are generally not as harsh, and many features allow repeated saves.
yes 100% less but not unharsh entirely (I mean some are)
The easiest solution is to give all creatures proficiency in all saves. Creatures who "had proficiency" gain advantage instead.
I have started homebrewing my own monsters
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
that is a great chart... and I am keeping it for my own homebrew purposes
LOL, enjoy it! I hope it helps.

I have started homebrewing my own monsters
I'd rather not go to that length. Our 5E mod is about 150 pages even without monster updates (although a couple pages is on what gets updated, such as saves...).

The MOD uses the rule I posted above. In general, we made it close to the AD&D experience:

Hitting is harder, but HP are less--so the hits "count" for more.
Saves are easier, but your "opportunities" are less (no repeats in general).
Concentration rules have changed or for many spells been mitigated or removed.
And more...
 

LOL, enjoy it! I hope it helps.
thank you
I'd rather not go to that length. Our 5E mod is about 150 pages even without monster updates (although a couple pages is on what gets updated, such as saves...).
oh I'm not THAT crazy I don't mean all of them... I just make some... NPCs and BIG threats... and even then I take a base form a monster (sometime in funny ways)

like I took the titan (empyron) and made a medium size 'juggernaut' monster
The MOD uses the rule I posted above. In general, we made it close to the AD&D experience:

Hitting is harder, but HP are less--so the hits "count" for more.
Saves are easier, but your "opportunities" are less (no repeats in general).
Concentration rules have changed or for many spells been mitigated or removed.
And more...
 

Saving throws in 5e combine saving throws of 3.5 and 4e.
So they serve a different role than saving throws in 2e.

2e had often save or die effects (even a fireball could be counted for that, as damage vs hp ration was about 2x what it is now).
The main way to deal with spells was hindering the spellcaster to cast at all:
going in melee combat or being faster in initiative.
In 3.5 saving throws became mainly a way to reduce an effect that was not too harsh. Yoi could not realistically stop a spellcaster from casting. Sadly, 3.5 save or suck was way too powerful, as spell saves were too low.
4e used saving throws as timing mechanic. It was always d20 vs DC10.
Effect was determined by attack vs defense rolls.
5e combined both approaches by having slightly improving saves as a timing mechanic. Most spells are designed that they are always partially effective. Here the only problem is that a few spells slipped through that are a bit too powerful for a single save. They need to be toned down a bit. maybe with a 2 or 3 saves nechanic, starting at reduced effectiveness and diverging into the save or suck.
The Gate spell comes to mind. Maybe have the victim partially sucked in and is only drained away after three fails. Same for suggestion.
 

Well, all monsters were scary in 1E and 2E because PCs all had lower ACs and HP. So getting your ass kicked was easier in those editions by even just hit point damage.

Starting in 3E they did start to make PCs heartier-- more character options to built up defenses and such-- so the fact that they used magic as a way to not make those players too cocky was their answer to the situation. Seemed like a valid reason to me.

Personally, I really don't get so many people's aversion to magic in D&D? Why getting your ass kicked by weapon-users and those that just target HP is somehow more acceptable than getting your ass kicked by powerful magic? I'm sure you all have your reasons... but I personally don't get it. To me, losing a fight is losing a fight, whether it's by magic or by steel. It sucks either way.
Unless your DM just flat-out throws an effect that one-shots you (which as you note is rarer in 5e than in early editions), losing HP in much more incremental and has options that give you at least the illusion of a fighting chance over the rounds in which you take it until you go down. You are able to interact and participate in the game, and there may be things you can do to reduce that damage. I personally would include magic that just deals HP damage in the same "less frustrating" category as weapon users.

Compare that with getting stomped by non-HP magic: you're out. You might get just a single roll, and bad odds of making it. It is entirely possible at higher levels that there was no chance of resisting it.
You're out of the fight. Maybe you get to roll a die to try to break out on your turns, maybe your party can break you out. Maybe the DC is too high and/or they cannot. Either way you don't get to still interact or try different strategies: You're just on hold until you're allowed back into the D&D game.

The outcome might have been just as inevitable. But the fight that you lost through HP damage will probably have been much more fun, and much less frustrating than the one you lost by just rolling average on a single D20 roll.

The more difficult save is mitigated by the increase in HP for the PCs, which provides a different layer of protection against the breath weapon and favors fighters, barbarians and the like.
Not all effects that require saving throws deal HP damage.
 


That's a completely bonked conclusion.

All characters are getting better at everything, and specifically they all get better in saving throws against the whole world around them.
They do not.

Only saving throws which are either (a) based on statistics the character improves via opt-in ASIs, or (b) Proficient get better.

Non-proficient saves do not change. At all. They do not get better, nor do they get worse.

The fact that they choose to go against better and better enemies, who are getting better faster than them specifically at beating their saving throws is perfectly as intended. You are gaining levels so you are supposed to go against bigger challenges. What kind of lousy game should become easier as you advance?
That's not what's being asked for. If non-proficient, non-primary saves do not advance, then when the party takes on bigger, badder threats, those areas become greater and greater weaknesses over time. This is a fact.

Whether you wish to phrase it as "non-proficient secondary/tertiary saves fall behind as players face greater threats" or "threats increase in power but non-proficient secondary/tertiary saves don't," you get the same result: an enemy that inflicts an Intelligence save at level 20 is going to be much more effective (and dangerous) against most PCs than an enemy that inflicts an intelligence save at level 1, even though the same kind of save is being called for.
 



Compare that with getting stomped by non-HP magic: you're out. You might get just a single roll, and bad odds of making it. It is entirely possible at higher levels that there was no chance of resisting it.
yeah again even at 1st level we have a save or miss at least a turn but maybe the rest of the fight
You're out of the fight. Maybe you get to roll a die to try to break out on your turns, maybe your party can break you out. Maybe the DC is too high and/or they cannot. Either way you don't get to still interact or try different strategies: You're just on hold until you're allowed back into the D&D game.
once the DC hits 15+ if it targets a weak save you could be out of a 5+ round fight
The outcome might have been just as inevitable. But the fight that you lost through HP damage will probably have been much more fun, and much less frustrating than the one you lost by just rolling average on a single D20 roll.
as long as it wasn't one hit... a 6th level wizard or sorcerer with 6+5d6+12 hp could be 38hp a 3d6 sneak attack with a 1d4 knife with a +2 dex that crits (nat 20 or assassinate) deals 2d4+6d6+2 and that averages to 27 damage... but CAN be as high as 46 (highly unlikely) if that crit comes from a nat 20 on round 2 or 3 that can easly auto kill (-19 will kill) the target.

but you know what ALSO makes an auto crit... the 1st level tasha and 2nd level hold
Not all effects that require saving throws deal HP damage.
the worst don't

the worst effect in the game is an Int save... that a non prof target (so most) will be lucky to at level 20 be 50/50...and it comes from a CR3

  • Consume Mind. The intellect devourer chooses one creature it can see within 30 feet of it that has an Intelligence of 3 or higher. The target must succeed on a DC 13 Intelligence saving throw or take 16 (3d10) psychic damage. If the target fails the saving throw by 5 or more, its Intelligence score is reduced to 0. The target is incapacitated until it regains at least 1 point of Intelligence (either from completing a long rest or from a lesser restoration spell).
 





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