D&D General What types of Saving Throws do you like?

Which Saving Throws do you like best?

  • Old School

    Votes: 5 6.0%
  • Middle Grade

    Votes: 39 47.0%
  • Modern

    Votes: 26 31.3%
  • Other

    Votes: 13 15.7%

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
The problem is that saving throws have changed over the decades. In AD&D a Saving Throw was just what it sounds like: a quirk of fate that saved you. Having to roll a save was a very terrible situation, because failure was usually a punishing experience. Because of this, characters always got better at saving throws, indicating the character is better at surviving such experiences. The shift to modern games turned them into a mitigating factor, not an actual saving moment (kinda like Hit Dice stopped meaning "average number of hits you can take").
That spectrum is faulty. Back in the day APC's good saves had a high chance of success against what was often a huge negative impact while a PC with weak saves against something new to step back to point the spotlight at the proper PC because they were almost certain to fail against a terrible result. Now in 5e you have PCs with a huge chance of saving against a generally meaningless effect & nobody cares if it targets their weak saves because as noted it's a meaningless effect.
 

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kenada

Legend
Supporter
The problem is that saving throws have changed over the decades. In AD&D a Saving Throw was just what it sounds like: a quirk of fate that saved you. Having to roll a save was a very terrible situation, because failure was usually a punishing experience. Because of this, characters always got better at saving throws, indicating the character is better at surviving such experiences. The shift to modern games turned them into a mitigating factor, not an actual saving moment (kinda like Hit Dice stopped meaning "average number of hits you can take").
What’s the contention? That saving throws have changed in nature due to variable DCs? It’s the variable DC that I dislike. I don’t necessarily care about how nasty effects were in older games, but I don’t like having to design around a progression treadmill when creating traps and monsters. I just want to say, “save versus X,” and trust the system to handle the rest. That’s why my homebrew system follows the old-school approach with modifications (and other influences).

I use the term “Defense Check” instead of “saving throw”: one, to avoid using a term associated with D&D because of the recent OGL stuff; and, two, as an analogous roll to a Skill Check. There are only two categories (I did say I didn’t like the classic ones): Resilience (innate and for non-magical stuff) and Magic Resistance (based on gear and magical effects).

A Defense Check is made based on a category and the approach the PC uses to avoid the effect. The approach is at the player’s discretion (improper methods should be reconsidered if the table things they are not reasonable). The roll is made against fixed degrees of success (the static DC stuff I mentioned in my original post), which determines how severe the effect is. Something like a dragon’s breath can deal anywhere from maximum to no damage depending on the result.

If you don’t want to risk a bad result, you can call for a check against stress instead. In that case, you take stress based on the result of your Defense Check, and the original effect is treated as if you had a Complete Success against it. What this allows is hard-hitting effects (like a disintegrate that disintegrates on a Failure), which you can manage by trading off stress. Stress one of several parts of the attrition model. You gain it from both beneficial and harmful effects. What happens when you hit your limit depends, but in this case it just causes you to go unconscious until the end of the current 10-minute turn.
 
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Reynard

Legend
Compromise: Use Fort Ref Will but allow the player to choose (at chargen) which stat to use for each
Fort: Str or Con
Ref: Dex or Int
Will: Wis or Cha
 

Shiroiken

Legend
What’s the contention? That saving throws have changed in nature due to variable DCs? It’s the variable DC that I dislike. I don’t necessarily care about how nasty effects were in older games, but I don’t like having to design around a progression treadmill when creating traps and monsters. I just want to say, “save versus X,” and trust the system to handle the rest. That’s why my homebrew system follows the old-school approach with modifications (and other influences).
The treadmill is a product of the change in purpose. The treadmill allows characters to face greater threats with similar chances of success, while easier threats are bypassed more easily. In the old style, failing a save was usually catastrophic, so by having them increase slowly over time represented the character's experience. Using the old style with mitigating saves would mean that most players would stop caring about saving throws as they level.
 

cranberry

Adventurer
My favorite saving throws are the ones that are successful :) .

But really, middle grade is my preference, as it neatly covers every situation without being cumbersome.
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
I kind of like all of them, the old 5 saves, the 3 saves of 3e/4e, and the current saves of 5e. I also like the way some games OSR games have gone with a single save, but you might have bonuses against specific phenomena such as a wizard getting a bonus against spells.

Still, if I wanted to pick a specific type of saves, I'd mix 3e and 4e together. 3 saves with two ability scores that alter them.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
I voted modern.

I was always calling for Int-based Reflex saves or Charisma based Will Saves, depending on situations, so while I was against it at first, but just having six different ones just makes sense to me now.
 


kenada

Legend
Supporter
The treadmill is a product of the change in purpose. The treadmill allows characters to face greater threats with similar chances of success, while easier threats are bypassed more easily. In the old style, failing a save was usually catastrophic, so by having them increase slowly over time represented the character's experience. Using the old style with mitigating saves would mean that most players would stop caring about saving throws as they level.
Thanks for clarifying, though I think whether it’s a problem depends on one’s preference for modern or classic play.
 


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