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When not to allow a reflex save?

orion90000

First Post
I have gone round and round the rules trying to find exceptions regarding reflex saves. Am I completely overlooking them?

Here is the general question: My cleric casts sound burst on an enemy, which then failed its Fortitude save. The enemy is now stunned. The Sorcerer casts fireball. I couldn't find anything saying that the stunned enemy couldn't roll a reflex save for half damage.

I'm thinking that a stunned character (momentarily unconscious) wouldn't be able to react to the fireball. Then I got to wondering if at any point you become flat-footed or simply denied your dex modifier to armor if you should also lose your dex modifier to Reflex saves.

Help me out.
 

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StreamOfTheSky

Adventurer
If you're conscious and you can move, you get a reflex save.

Stunned doesn't stop you from getting one, and flatfooted certainly does not (the whole point of reflex saves is how fast you react to something, including unexpected things!).
 

Sekhmet

First Post
If you're conscious and you can move, you get a reflex save.

Stunned doesn't stop you from getting one, and flatfooted certainly does not (the whole point of reflex saves is how fast you react to something, including unexpected things!).

I would argue against this ruling.
If you've ever had a concussive grenade explode near you, you'd understand that temporary stunning effects throw you off so badly that your reflexes are shot until you recover at least partially (usually takes 4-6 seconds, almost a full round).

Sound Burst is basically a concussive blast without the blinding light attached, so I would rule that Sound Burst's stunning effect would also prevent a Reflex save.

SRD says: A stunned creature drops everything held, can’t take actions, takes a –2 penalty to AC, and loses his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any).
 
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Dandu

First Post
It helps if you think of it as luck combined with ability to dodge. You still get a bit of luck even when stunned.

(Interesting. As written, few (if any) conditions specifically rule out making reflex saves, though certain conditions that set your Dex to zero would definitely penalize it.

Doesn't make a lot of sense, but hey you can make a reflex save vs a Fireball in a 5x5 closet and a natural 20 always succeeds no matter what the situation...)
 
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Ahnehnois

First Post
It is an oddity of the rules that a character who loses his Dex bonus to AC still has his Dex applied to reflex saves. You could certainly argue that a stunned character should lose his Dex bonus to ref saves as well.

The rules though, allow you a save at your full bonuss unless explicitly stated otherwise (e.g. helpless).
 

StreamOfTheSky

Adventurer
No, it's not an oddity. Reflex save is not the same thing as armor class. Just because you're flatfooted doesn't mean you're less able to suddenly react to something. They represent completely different things.

And stunned in D&D is less severe overall than what we'd take it to mean in real life. It's a semi common status effect that can be inflicted and is already pretty viscious considering how much a D&D creature can do in the span of seconds, it really does not need any help adding to the explicit negative effects laid out in game terms, nor should it gain any "realism" buffs.
 

Dandu

First Post
"You're stunned! You can't make a reflex save against my Fireball, it's physically impossible!"

"What's a Fireball?"

"It's a magical spell conjured into existence with nonsense words, hand gestures, and bat poo."
 


irdeggman

First Post
It is an oddity of the rules that a character who loses his Dex bonus to AC still has his Dex applied to reflex saves. You could certainly argue that a stunned character should lose his Dex bonus to ref saves as well.

The rules though, allow you a save at your full bonuss unless explicitly stated otherwise (e.g. helpless).

No they don't.

They allow you to make the save with your Dex mod applied - if your Dex is modified you use your modified score to determine the modifier to apply (whether posistive or negative).

Reflex Saving Throw: 1d20 + base save bonus + Dexterity
modifier

Flat-footed does not remove the Dex mod it only prevents you from applying it to your AC. In fact it only prevents you from applying the "bonus" to AC - there is a whole argument about suddening increasing your AC by being flat-footed and losing the "penalty" to AC.

You can’t use your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) while flat-footed.
 

orion90000

First Post
Stunned
A stunned creature drops everything held, can’t take actions, takes a -2 penalty to AC, and loses his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any).

"can't take actions"

The rules don't state it, but what kind of actions are saving throws? free actions? immediate actions? Obviously you would have to move to make a reflex save so some kind of action is implied.
 

Dandu

First Post
Nauseated Experiencing stomach distress. Nauseated creatures are unable to attack, cast spells, concentrate on spells, or do anything else requiring attention. The only action such a character can take is a single move action per turn.
Can a nauseated character make saving throws?

Panicked A panicked creature must drop anything it holds and flee at top speed from the source of its fear, as well as any other dangers it encounters, along a random path. It can’t take any other actions.
Can a panicked creature make saving throws?
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Originally posted by Dandu:

Quote:
Nauseated Experiencing stomach distress. Nauseated creatures are unable to attack, cast spells, concentrate on spells, or do anything else requiring attention. The only action such a character can take is a single move action per turn.
>Can a nauseated character make saving throws?

Quote:
Panicked A panicked creature must drop anything it holds and flee at top speed from the source of its fear, as well as any other dangers it encounters, along a random path. It can’t take any other actions.
>Can a panicked creature make saving throws?
--------------------------------

No. On all counts. The creature has already failed their required save to end up in the Nauseated, Panicked..AND (since it's the relevant question to the thread) I'll include Stunned state. You failed that save so now you are in these conditions that prohibit other action.

Your mind is not concentrating on anything to form a Will save. Your body is not really enough under your control to make an attempt at a Reflex save...only thing you MIGHT be capable of doing would be a Fort save vs. a poison or some other biological agent that your body would handle internally. But I would say, in a Stunned, Nauseated or Panicked state, I would probably not allow Fort saves that require some outward attention or action (whatever those might be).

The entire purpose of having these sort of "incapacitated" states in the game is to use them and take advantage of your foe while they are incapacitated. It's not so you can say "Ok. You're stunned. You can do no action for the following round. But sure you can leap out of the way of the incoming fireball. G'head roll the dice."

Sorry. I'm ruling no. The character gets no Reflex save while stunned from the Sound Burst (even if you want to use the "includes luck" definition of saving throws). The character is stunned and just happens to trip and fall out of the way of the fireball, taking half damage...?...mm. Doesn't really fly for me.

Just my 2 coppers.
--Steel Dragons
 

Aran Thule

First Post
My two coppers would allow a saving throw.
I would not term a saving throw as an 'action' it is just something that happens in response to someone elses action.

Also it would completely unbalance the game if one of these 'no action' effects stopped you from making saving throws.

Makes colour spray very over powered and stinking cloud would cause tpk.
 

Dandu

First Post
Here's the thing: saving throws are not actions. You can still make them even when your actions are restricted.

I encourage you to think of it in 4e terms, where you have to attack vs someone's Dex defense. Or whatever the specific terminology that 4e uses is.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
I'm a total advocate for the goose/gander scenario.

If it can happen to you, it can happen to your foes.

How is that unbalancing?

Re: stinking cloud and color spray...if someone launches a "follow up" attack on you while you are incapacitated (from already failing the save vs. the spell)...I fail to see how that makes them "too powerful." Kinda the point of the spells as they exist: incapacitate your opponent.

And how "it'll make the spell too powerful" means/translates to "you should be able to make saving throws while incapacitated by these (or any) spell/effect", I simply don't follow.

But your coppers, your call. Everyone's entitled. :)
--SD
 

StreamOfTheSky

Adventurer
And how "it'll make the spell too powerful" means/translates to "you should be able to make saving throws while incapacitated by these (or any) spell/effect", I simply don't follow.

Ok, I'll spell it out for you: Incapacitating spells and effects are already the most powerful things in the game, even playing them the "unrealistic" (god it's funny to argue realism about magic) way strict RAW dicatates. If you make any incapacitating effect completely, truly, utterly icapacitating to the point where the person can't even make saving throws and is effectively helpless (hell, even HELPLESS people get fortitude saves and arguably will saves!), then you're turning every single one of those spells into a save or die. At much cheaper cost / more targets than actual save or dies. And there is no longer any reason to cast any other offensive spell. Ever.

But your coppers, your call. Everyone's entitled. :)

Let's start here. Disagreeing with someone does not give you the right to insult them. We expect you to discuss, not take cheap shots. Don't post if you can't do that. ~ Piratecat

Yup, every DM's entitled to horrible houserules and every player's entitled to avoid a game with terrible houserules like the plague. I just feel bad for newbie players that barely no the rules, let alone have the ability to identify extremely bad rules at first glance.
 
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steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Ok, I'll spell it out for you: Incapacitating spells and effects are already the most powerful things in the game, even playing them the "unrealistic" (god it's funny to argue realism about magic) way strict RAW dicatates.

It is odd to argue "realism" in any area of a fantasy game...but magic in particular.

That said, I (and pretty much everyone I have played with) have had enough common sense to know when to throw out the RAW in exchange for a RAI as makes..well..."common sense." Ergo, far as I can see, Stun=no action. NOT "Stun=No action except in the event you have to dodge a fireball."

Also take into account the "RAW" are not, nor have ever been meant to be, set in stone...especially when they contradict the "realism of the game world" (the "verisimilitude" I see used here all of the time) or "common sense."

If you make any incapacitating effect completely, truly, utterly icapacitating to the point where the person can't even make saving throws and is effectively helpless (hell, even HELPLESS people get fortitude saves and arguably will saves!), then you're turning every single one of those spells into a save or die.

Pff! That sounds a bit exaggerated/melodramatic. It's not like they're being turned to stone! They're stunned...for a limited period of time. Again, the leap to "save or die" seems...extreme.

Besides the fact I don't agree with "save vs. die" rulings either...even in the RAW...with, perhaps the exception of Power Word, Kill.

But hey, to your point, if you are helpless and someone hits you the following round...maybe you will die...whether I allow you a reflex save or not.

Different scenario (more like the OPs situation). Color spray. ZAP! You fail your save, you're up but dazed...Dazed="loses next action." Here comes the fireball...You get a reflex save...how?

"Unrealistic" RAW are meant to be amended in play.

OTOH, someone who is Prone is thought of to be helpless, yes? I would see no reason that they should lose any type of save (well, as long as they're conscious, I suppose).

At much cheaper cost / more targets than actual save or dies. And there is no longer any reason to cast any other offensive spell. Ever.

Hm. Well, that would be one way to play it, I suppose. Be boring as all get out. But I suppose if all you care about is how numbers and crunch and I made this ruling, then sure. Cast Stinking Cloud everywhere you...especially since the lack of a reflex save the following round doesn't necessarily mean the opponent is going down.

Yup, every DM's entitled to horrible houserules and every player's entitled to avoid a game with terrible houserules like the plague. I just feel bad for newbie players that barely no the rules, let alone have the ability to identify extremely bad rules at first glance.

Wow. That doesn't sound too accusatory, now does it.

I'm sure I must be misinterpreting what you mean by this. I'm sure someone wouldn't be bothering to pick a fight on this board with someone they don't know nor have ever played with over a hypothetical DM ruling.

Well, no one over the age of 12 anyway.

And we'll continue here. If someone insults you, report the post; you do this with the little "!" at the bottom left of every post. You don't insult them back. - PCat

Have fun and happy gaming.
--Steel Dragons
 
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Dandu

First Post
3.5 FAQ said:
Exactly when can a character make a Reflex saving
throw? The saving throw section on the PH says Reflex
saves depend on a character’s ability to dodge out of the
way. Does that mean you can’t make Reflex saves if you
can’t move?

A character can attempt a Reflex save anytime she is
subjected to an effect that allows a Reflex save. A Reflex save
usually involves some dodging, but a Reflex save does not
depend completely on a character’s ability to move around. It
also can depend on luck, variations in the effect that makes the
save necessary in the first place, and a host of other miraculous
factors that keep heroic characters in the D&D game from
meeting an untimely fate.
In most cases, you make Reflex saves normally, no matter
how bad your circumstances are, but a few conditions interfere
with Reflex saves:
• If you’ve suffered Dexterity damage or Dexterity
drain, you must use your current, lower Dexterity
modifier for your Reflex saves.
• If you’re cowering, you lose your Dexterity bonus (if
any). The maximum Dexterity bonus you can have
while cowering is +0, and that affects your Reflex
saves accordingly.
• If you’re dead, you become an object. Unattended
objects can’t make saving throws.
• If you’re entangled, your effective Dexterity score
drops by –4, and you must use your lower Dexterity
modifier for Reflex saves.
• If you’re exhausted, your effective Strength and
Dexterity scores drop by –6, and you must use your
lower Dexterity modifier for Reflex saves.
If you’re fatigued, your effective Strength and
Dexterity scores drop by –2, and you must use your
lower Dexterity modifier for Reflex saves.
• If you’re frightened or panicked, you have a –2
penalty on all saving throws, including Reflex saving
throws.
• If you’re helpless, your Dexterity score is effectively
0. You still can make Reflex saves, but your
Dexterity modifier is –5. You’re helpless whenever
you are paralyzed, unconscious, or asleep.

You're welcome.
 
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BinkyBo

First Post
Ergo, far as I can see, Stun=no action. NOT "Stun=No action except in the event you have to dodge a fireball."....

Different scenario (more like the OPs situation). Color spray. ZAP! You fail your save, you're up but dazed...Dazed="loses next action." Here comes the fireball...You get a reflex save...how?



I think you are lumping together the game term action and the broader definition of action...not the same thing
 
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