I think the biggest issue is that this is only considering the question from the PC side of things.
Monster ability scores run the full gamut from 1 to 30. Essentially, this would either trivialize "saving throws", such that a 1 Int giant centipede always fails when targeted with the synaptic static spell, or a 29 Con ancient red dragon almost can't fail when targeted with stunning strike (sure they would otherwise use legendary resistance, but at least that's one less use of that ability). It somewhat subverts bounded accuracy in the game, by shifting the target numbers higher/lower than the game would normally allow.
Yeah, there's a rock paper scissors element to this house rule. If you have the right spell or feature for the right enemy, then the effect goes through easily--but if not, too bad. It has a kinda witcher-y element to it, where identifying enemy weaknesses is important. That probably necessitates thinking about the way encounters happen, so that PCs have the opportunity to figure out what they should be doing. It also creates meta-game knowledge issues, advantaging players who know the MM.[...] Saying that a monk should focus on using their Ki in other ways for a given combat is arguably fine. However, if it's actually that the monk may as well forget they have Stunning Strike after a certain tier, that's not okay in my book. My gut says we're more looking at the latter case with this house rule, though I admit that I haven't tried graphing the correlation and could be mistaken.
For those PCs that don't have a lot of flexibility in what they target--it might be fine. If the balance of easy to hit targets and hard to hit targets is reasonable, it might just mean that gameplay is very feast or famine. I don't have a sense of how much fun it would actually be to play with this kind of setup--it might make being a monk just... miserable. Features that target constitution and strength suffer a lot more than others--since monsters usually have good scores--maybe the simple solution would be to have monks' stunning strike and other similarly restricted classes' features target something else.
ha! I'd be interested in a system like that too but, man, the amount of work that'd have to go into changing all the affected spells would be immense.Reading the title I got bait again, seriously making magic taking effect all the time,
sadly, it’s only a mechanic twist.
Yeah, good observation. I'm not sure I'm bothered by inspiration being exclusively proactive/offensive. I always liked the players claim inspiration house rule better than standard 5e rule, and I don't think changing saves would affect it much.I’d add the pitfall that inspiration could no longer be used for defense if saves become a static defense.
That'd be totally functional, but both fixes feel a bit counterintuitive--apply a penalty to the caster's roll, but only apply the penalty when targets are within a radius unrelated to the position of the caster. Not that I have a better idea, but I feel like it's accounting for these kind of features that would most undermine the parsimony of the no saving throws change.So, let’s assume for the sake of argument that you’re ok with the effects this rule has on accuracy math. What about the other potential issues?
I would say anything that would normally add a bonus to your saves with a certain ability instead applies a penalty to attacks that target that ability. So, for example, a paladin’s Protective Aura would change to “attacks targeting the abilities of allies within 10 feet of you have a penalty equal to your Charisma modifier.
I suppose you could apply the same approach to save proficiencies. “Attacks targeting your (proficient score) have a penalty equal to your proficiency bonus. But I dunno, for some reason that doesn’t feel as good to me.