D&D 5E Should 5e have save or die?

keterys

First Post
I'd also like the time to be compressed -- I don't want it to take 2+ rounds for the medusa to petrify the PC. Give the PC a few chances to escape it, but all on his turn or within the span of a round or so.
Hmm, so...

Instant:
A) Roll 3 saves - 1 failed slowed, 2 failed immobilized, 3 failed petrified.
B) Hit: Slowed and immediately save. If fail, immob or petrify
etc

1 Round:
A) Hit: slowed, Failed Save: Now immobilized and roll another save or be petrified.
B) Hit: slowed and vulnerable petrify (save ends both). If target vulnerable, instead petrified.
C) Hit: slowed. Sustain Free: Target is instead petrified.
Etc.

So there's plenty of room and variations to work with that.
 

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foolish_mortals

First Post
the game isn't worth playing if there isn't the chance of death in the game. Makes for a more exciting game knowing that your favorite PC could die in this session. Something to look forward to and think about. Instead of everyone getting round the table with happy silly smiles on their faces it needs to be a deadly grim and serious business at hand. Damn it, our characters lives are at stake.

In the past if we lost a PC we brought in a new one. That was fun to.

foolish_mortals
 

keterys

First Post
Variant: What chance of failing a save should people have?

Frex, in 2e by the time you're running into lots of save or dies, you often had a 5-25% chance of failure.

In 3e, that ran from 5-95% dependent on a variety of things, mostly DM whim. (He could also throw blasphemy-ing half-fiend T-rexes and remove the ability to save entirely) Enough so that it changed from "Eh, sometime you fail a save" to "Right, let's make ourselves immune".

So... people who live save or dies, what's an acceptable chance of dying?
 

BryonD

Hero
And if that iconic monster only has save or die rules, it should not be allowed in games that don't like save or die?

Look, we don't agree, but can we do so w/o being passive aggressively insulting in our posts?
If you fall into lava. You Die.

If you look at Medusa. You turn to stone.

You don't have to find those fun. I'm not arguing fun. Do what is fun for you.
But if you can't have "look at her == turn to stone" then truly, you are "not allowed" to have Medusa in your game. But only because you are not allowing it.

You may have a snake haired woman with all kinds of crazy effects and if you look at her enough you eventually turn to stone. And she may call herself Medusa. But she isn't a model of "Medusa".

You may even have a complicated system in which you get 10 saves to determine if you REALLY looked at her or not. I'd don't like that for myself, but you could do a Medusa that way. So long as in the end you either turn to stone or you did not look at her. Because there is no such thing as getting stunned for a moment by looking at Medusa and now having a potential for turning to stone. It is either didn't look at her: OK or did look: Stone.

Go ask people on the street. You won't be able to find anyone who isn't going out of their way to defend avoid SoD in RPGs who says differently. It is a fundamental iconic thing.

Also, getting a bit afield, a couple years ago I heard a comment on a History channel thing I thought was really cool. (One source from TV, take it or leave it...) It said that way back when the story was first being told, everyone understood it differently than we do now. Because anyone who looked at Medusa turned to stone, there was no one who had EVER seen her and live to tell about it. So no one knew that she was a snake haired woman. They just new that there was SOMETHING that was so bad just looking at it would kill you. Even more scary.

As far as the fun of SoD, I'll just say that, for me, getting turned to stone is vastly more fun than surviving looking at Medusa. Because if you survive then you know that there never really was a threat. It is a total anti-fun buzzkill. But what REALLY kicks ass if knowing that it was REALLY dangerous and you still won!!!
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Several things here:

1. Someone upthread already mentioned this but it bears repeating: if revival spells or effects are made available by the game and-or character generation is reasonably simple, instant-death effects are just fine.

2. I'm firmly in the camp (a minority position, I know) that says it's fine, in fact encouraged, to play more than one character at a time. That way, if something bad happens to one you still have the other.

3. If blowing a save and thus missing a combat puts you out for the entire session then the combat is taking wa-a-ay too long to resolve; and that's a different problem entirely.

4. If a 3e-like model is used where the saves are generally tougher to make than in 1e, maybe just put a straight bonus on the save. Meet the gaze of a Medusa? Save at +6 or turn to stone.

5. Keep in mind that PCs have instant-death tricks and spells as well: assassination, slay living, poison (in a party of alignment south of good), etc. If the opposition lose their save-or-die effects then so should the PCs...and who would ever vote for that?

Lan-"this is a save or die situation, only this time we're going to skip the save part"-efan
 

Ahnehnois

First Post
Variant: What chance of failing a save should people have?

Frex, in 2e by the time you're running into lots of save or dies, you often had a 5-25% chance of failure.

In 3e, that ran from 5-95% dependent on a variety of things, mostly DM whim. (He could also throw blasphemy-ing half-fiend T-rexes and remove the ability to save entirely) Enough so that it changed from "Eh, sometime you fail a save" to "Right, let's make ourselves immune".

So... people who live save or dies, what's an acceptable chance of dying?
Interesting typo there.;)

A DC is what is says it is; difficulty class. If the party is facing something on-level, it should be makeable. If the party is high-level and runs into a cockatrice or something, and interesting dynamic emerges where they'll rarely fail the save, but there's an extra bit of tension because if they do it would matter. If you're fighting a truly overwhelming opponent, you should be dead, regardless of the mechanic that's used to make this happen. I'm also in favor of some things not allowing a save and just killing or disabling outright (perhaps an iconic medusa that always turns you to stone, or an archdemon or something).

There are two underlying reasons for this. One:
You can't overcome a threat you never face.
If there's no sense of danger in a combat, there is no reason to fight it. Just stop rolling, say you mopped the enemies up, and move on. And frankly, it's important that when you gain a level, it feels earned.

Two:
Death is a perfectly valid outcome. A character dying does not inherently indicate that anything is wrong with the system, the DM, or the player. It certainly could be one of those things, and certainly everybody will have a different preferred level of danger in their game, but fundamentally a system should allow characters to die. Instantaneous character death is not inherently unfair compared to an extended combat; there is no difference between one roll with a 50% chance of success and a series of rolls which carry an aggregate 50% chance of success. If the DM has decided there's a 50% chance a character will die (or whatever number), then that's that.
 


Spinachcat

First Post
Save or Die completely rocks!

Of course, I play 0e where you have fast chargen. I love RPGs with high PC mortality, but those games only work when the player can get back into the game after 10 minutes of making a new character.
 

BryonD

Hero
Hooray for absolutism. Just what we need for creating a healthy gaming environment that's open to other play styles.
How's that "other play styles" thing working for the current edition?

And, truly, if there are options for no SoD then fine. There is nothing wrong with that. But if the system presume they don't exist then that is also an absolute that closes out play styles. (as the past few years have shown so well)


And even with that, if you fall into lava, you die. If you look at Medusa you turn to stone. Those absolutes have nothing to do with gaming. The only question is, does your game pay head to those absolutes or not.
 

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