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%

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
I like the "modern" approach, but I wish they had different names than the abilities. Having them be the same is one of those things that seemed beginner friendly to some WotC designer's gut sense of what makes things accessible, but actually just causes endless confusion at table and requires extra verbiage in manuals. I'm not sure I've ever been in a 5e session where someone didn't confuse ability check and saving throw.

I also think the lack of separate names for the saves derived from various abilities caused the conceptualization of what the respective saves really mean to be a bit weak.

But the basic "proficiency, based on starting class, in one common and one rare save, with advances based on proficiency bonus in 5e is a nice mechanic, it just needs less clunky terminology. I know some people advocate for just dropping the rare saves, but they really don't hurt anything and give characters whose primary stat is associated with a rare save occasional chances to shine.
That having been said, giving each class 2 common bad saves and 2 rare bad saves in a system that can, at the high end, make you unable to make certain saving throws, seems pretty shoddy. So much for "invincible" player characters!

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Nice. I take it that you don't bother with defensive adjustment from Dexterity or Wisdom affecting saves then?
Not anymore. I used to have old school four saves (R/S/W being just Magic +2), and each class would have +2 to a certain save. You picked whether you added your Wisdom modifier (trust in Fate to get you out of scrapes) or your Charisma modifier (trust in Luck). You then added your level hoping to reach a total of 20. That was too complicated; which it could be overly complex, I guess. Two modifiers never change and the third increases by one every so often. But it was too much.

I've toned down the consequences for a failed save as well.


I picked Middle. While I didn't like the idea of save defenses, I do wish we'd steal the part of 4E's on which Attribute bonus is used.
Fort (Strength or Constitution) | Ref (Dexterity or Intelligence) | Will (Wisdom or Charisma)


What types of Saving Throws do you like in your games?
Old School - Death; Para/Poison/Petrification; Breath; Wand/Stave/Rod, etc
Middle Grade - Fort; Reflex; Will
Modern - Ability Scores - Strength; Dexterity; Constitution; Intelligence; Wisdom; Charisma
Other - your own idea
I wish you had clarified this in the poll itself.

The only new save I like from 5e is the Str save. We've always had "Str checks" in the game since at least 3e where your Str or Athletics score is a de facto saving throw. It makes sense to need it. I just wish 5e used it more consistently than it currently does. That said, every time I've called for an Int or a Cha save I've felt like I was cheating. They're too rare, and it's never really clear why Wis doesn't apply.

I see a need for: Str, Dex, Con, and a mental save.

I wish you had clarified this in the poll itself.

Hey, you've been on this site long enough to know that you're lucky if the question in the thread subject and the question in the poll are remotely the same. The first post providing missing context is easy mode!


I actually really like having two categories of attack that use inverted but identical dice mechanisms. Having "roll to hit" and "roll to resist" even if the two are mathematically identical, creates two different kinds of at the table tension and is a pretty free way to establish a mechanical divide beween magical and non-magical effects, or could even work for something like ranged vs. melee if you baked it into the system that way.

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