Question about saving throws.

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tried's picture
Question about saving throws.

If someone was writing the rules for saving throws for a theoretical advanced rules and options pack for a not-yet-in existence third version of DDM, and say this person wanted a system in between the original system and the new system, how would you do it?

It has to fit on the original game skin, which uses a '10' as a saving throw, and has to be super easy to use - intuitive for as many people as possible.

Is it easy to understand if the system went like this:

20 always passes, 1 always fails:

Creatures of level 1- use the regular save.
Creatures of level 6-10 have +2.
Creatures of level 11-15 have +4.
Creatures of level 16+ have +6.

Thoughts? Other approaches?


Guildmaster Head of Organized Play

skyscraper's picture

Feedback: Your alternate system is easy to understand when considered alone, but in practice I find it a tad complex because it requires you to know the table of bonuses by heart. Nothing dramatic, but still something that some players will trip over when considered in an entire ruleset.

DDM OE had the advantage of having a simplified step of determining the save bonus, in that the creature's save is equal to its level and is printed on the card. So you still had to determine the creature's bonus and add it to the roll, but its determination was straightforward.

Since no numeric value from the creature card can be directly applied in RE as a bonus to the saves, at least none than I can see, an alternate system could be considered where you have a simple formula to generate a correspondance table.

With this in mind, here are a couple of ideas that seem somewhat equivalent:

1) level divided by 3, round down, max +6

The formula offers smoother increments also, +1 instead of +2. The table is a bit more complex than yours however.

Level 1-2 --
Level 3-5 +1
Level 6-8 +2
Level 9-11 +3
Level 12-14 +4
Level 15-17 +5
Level 18+ +6

2) point cost divided by 20, round up, max +6

This is an attempt at a simpler table of increments, but you don't have creatures with no bonus to their saves (which seems weird?):

Cost 1-20 +1
Cost 21-40 +2
Cost 41-60 +3
Cost 61-80 +4
Cost 81-100 +5
Cost 101+ +6

Not sure if any of those two ideas is an improvement.



You are presumably aware why the 4E (or DDM RE) saves work differently than the 3E (or DDM OE) saves - at least as much as I understand the saving throw rules and the D&D editions that used them. Please correct me if your understanding differs from mine. In 4E, the higher level creatures have a bonus built into their defenses, in that the condition that requires a saving throw is less likely to be applied to the higher level creature due to its theoretical higher defenses that need to be hit for the condition to be applied at all (I say theoretical because some higher level creatures have relatively low defenses). Whereas in 3E, you had spells that did not need to hit a defense, the save was the only defense against it, so having saves scale made sense.

I find the 4E/RE saving throw system to be very simple and fair, so out of curiosity why toy with it?

That said, I assume you have your reasons so I simply answered your questions above Smile, this part is just my gaming geekness kicking in.

FriendlyAlienist's picture



Far Realm is not as far as one would think

tried's picture

Two reasons this optional rule might be used.

[1] The relative ease with which a high cost creature can be hobbled by a condition.

[2] You are also using additional optional rules, such as morale, in which you want the probability of an elite unit routing to be much lower.

The mathematical formula was ROUNDUP ((level/5)-1)*2=N
(N=0, 2,4,6)

I capped at 6, because 8 means you fail only on a 1.


Guildmaster Head of Organized Play

skyscraper's picture

Ok, I hear you on the purpose, nice idea.

IMO the formula is too complex to remember, so players can't really rely on that to recreate the table if they forget it. Either solution is not very intuitive. Even my proposed alternates, although the formulae are easier, still aren't very intuitive.

I guess for optional rules, it's not so bad to have something like that. Up to you to decide if you prefer a simpler table (e.g. your solution) or a simpler formula (e.g. level /6, round down). The last one, cost / 20, is the simplest of both worlds, but I prefer the ideas that rely on level for flavor.

tried's picture

cot/20 involves rounding too.

My formula, in the same terms, is +2 for every 5 levels, first 5 don't count.


Guildmaster Head of Organized Play

skyscraper's picture

Good point, seen that way it's not so bad.

skyscraper's picture

Another thought idea, would be to offer additional bonuses for champions.

You could have a level progression, say:

Level 1-3 --
Level 4-6 +1
Level 7-9 +2
Level 10-12 +3
Level 13-15 +4
Level 16+ +5

And +1 per CR. Bonuses stack. A roll of natural 1 is automatic failure.