Thursday, April 7, 2011

Save vs. Saving Throws

I just can't leave this saving thrown idea alone.  Even though it's perfectly normal to have a standard couple of saving throws and to have them increase as a class or level advantage I just don't like having to bolt this onto the otherwise pretty decent skill system.  There should be no need to have a separate mechanic for reactive skill checks (saves) as opposed to active skill checks (your regular skill rolls) It should be possible for a player to buff certain skills and have that translate to a higher chance of dodging a falling rock or greater mental fortitude to resist a charm.  It should also be possible to have the GM make a up a reactive skill check based on the situation   instead of having a predetermined saving throw to determine if someone avoids getting splashed with orge urine. I also am totally into the idea of players being able to customize character development through skill selection and I want to encourage the rogues who are practicing their acrobatic skills (points into Physical) or the fighters who are hitting the books (spending points on Knowledge) in order to better deal with magical attacks.

So I'm going to pull a 180 and I'm not going to create special "saving throws" based on level.  What I will do is try to figure out some notable combinations within the skill system to base reactive checks for special creature or situational effects like drain and petrification.  I think that physical will likely still be the most common skill used for these things but I think that that is OK - it does pay to exercise when you are in the adventuring business.

Some initial thoughts:

  • Fortitude and reflex type saves will stay the same - physical + STR or DEX respectively;
  • Resisting undead draining effects or other attacks on the "spirit" perhaps Survival + CHA;
  • Knowledge is a good stand in for study, focus and mental discipline - thus resisting magic in general would use  Knowledge + MIND;
  • Resisting illusions, glamors and other charming or persuading effects might rely on your 'more creative side' so could be Subterfuge + MIND;
  • The Communication skill would impart composure and an eye for detail which would be a good basis for reactive 'notice' and surprise checks (Communication + MIND) - not exactly a "save" but useful enough to be desirable.

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