No more - FORT REF WILL - is nobody else bothered ?

I must admit, I had no chance to actually playtest D&Dn by now, but reading through the material I am mostly very optimistic.
Actually there is only one thing I am really bothered about, and I am wondering whether nobody else is actually complaining about that topic.


I miss the FORT REF and WILL defense.


I understand that partly it is implemented in the new Saves (or old school saves depending on your pespective) against spells.
I can live with that even if I don't like it, at least for player attacks.
I think it is much more fun to have the player do their attack rolls.
I think monsters should only save against ongoing effects.
But one can easily revert these mechanics as houserules.


The main reason I miss FORT REF and WILL is, that there are no longer any options
for martial attacks left. Every attack will be targeted against AC.


I think it could be a great part of the game to direct different attacks against different defenses,
with different effectiveness dependig on the opponent
In 4 e it was nearly almost an interesting part of the combat to single out the worst defense
of a monster and make use of this knowledge.
I like this especially for the reason that different options to target different defenses of an
opponent brings significant variety to the combat with little more complexity.


(Mechanics like that could make even the fighter more interesting
and leaving the fighter as the "easy to play" class.)


Compare such instantaneous options to the effort of tracking a bonus lasting for one minute
(10 rounds) -(I won't allow anything like that in any of my games.)


Actually variant defenses don't have to be FORT REF or WILL, any thing could be used


But I would like at least 3 different defenses, which also could be affected by armor in different ways
therefore giving more options to different kinds of armor.
One even could connect different defenses to different weapon damage types in some way.


Maybe somebody is wondering why I am especially complaining about his topic.
The reason is, I feel myself quite confident to overhouserule nearly everything I don't like about a game (doin this for 25years).
But one thing I don't like to modify is the MonsterManual. I like to use the Monsters as they are
(and with them any published modules), because it's hard enough to prepare a game without such modifications.


Rules you have to modify only once to your liking.
But to adding homebrew stats to monsters can be quite laborious.

I MUCH prefer the fort/ref/will attack mechanism and 50/50 saving throw (at least not counting any bonuses being handed out) to end ongoing effects rather than the 5e some attacks require attack rolls, some attacks require saving throws system.  I understand WHY they did it (to try to attract back those customers who are vociferously opposed to all things 4e) but just like the jump from 1e where you rolled different dice to determine different things sometimes low was good sometimes low was bad to more modern ideas of roll a d20, add modifiers, high is always good I think the more recent rules make more sense and provide a more elegant solution.

But seems like the designers are determined to charge forward to the past and embrace the clunkiness. 
I'm just as bothered as when we lost Death Ray or Poison, Magic Wands, Paralysis or Turn to Stone, Dragon Breath, and Rods/Staves/Spells.

Which is to say...
I'm not bothered in the slightest.

I was first introduced to the notion of ability score defenses/saves in Castles and Crusades and I enjoyed the simplicity and elegance of it. Less real estate on the character sheet and less to remember? Perfect.

Now, I DO dislike spells that target off of AC when they shouldn't. In that case, you have the saving throw. You determine which ability should be defending. You can do this as an active roll (per the playtest packet) d20 + ability mod vs the spell's DC to save against... Or you could make it a passive, just like 4e's defenses of 10 + ability mod  and call it a day.

Traditionally, the game had AC for normal stuff and then 'saving throws' for the rest. It was clunky, but we got through it ok. Then we got Fort/Ref/Will as saves which streamlined it better. And then they were made passive defenses which, in the 4e microcosm of rules, I loved.

Adjudicating this on the fly is easy. You have the stats for those monsters right there in the stat block. Add 10 and you have the defense score you need. There could be a further modifier based on the target's power level (character level, hit dice, whatever is scaling the monsters these days).

The point is (I hope I haven't rambled TOO much, here), you still have those defenses. They are just invisible. I need to read through the spells we have a bit more closely to see just what is a save vs and what targets AC. If I see too much AC targeting, I may cry.
Sure you can still attack against something, the ability scores themselves are in reasonable DC ranges.
"I don't want to fight dragons." - Hiccup If dragons are to be invovled, I much prefer to play as a dragon, dragon rider, dragonslayer-slayer, dragonfriend, or anything else *but* a dragonslayer.
Sure you can still attack against something, the ability scores themselves are in reasonable DC ranges.



Heck, that's even easier than my idea...
If you wanted to have your fighter rush an orc and push it back, you would contest Strength vs. Strength.  So right there we have an example of a martial attack that involves (effectively) a saving throw.

Outside of Improvised Actions, it is quite possible that the fighter maneuvers (yet to be seen, but they constantly tell us that they are making them for a more complex fighter) will involve saves.  For example, if the fighter has an attack that knocks the target prone, it could very easily involve a saving throw to resist.  Or they fighter might have a feint that can be resisted with a save.
Damn. I have to agree that if there's one thing that should be kept from 4E, it's the passive defenses.  I would even go so far as to say reflex defense could easily replace armor class, and armor itself could just reduce damage (like what it would do in real life).
I also liked Fortitude, Reflex, and Will.  My players enjoyed the different defences as it made more sense to them in terms of how they target and attack.  They were really sad to see that mechanic not come back right away in the playtest. 
No, I actually don't miss it that much.

Especially not Will or Fort.  Those were replacements for saving throws under the old system and the game now has saving throws back.  And I don't see the point of interposing a separate mechanic like Will Save (dependant upon Wisdom) rather than simply using a wisdom modifier on the save.

That said - magical spells such as rays attacking AC do feel a bit wrong.  But that doesn't mean I'm anxious to bring back touch attacks either - I think that approach created enough issues I'm happy to see it go.  


So I'm not sure what the ideal approach would be.     Maybe eliminate attack rolls for ray attacks and go back to them getting saving throws instead.   Or require an attack against AC 10 modified by Dexterity, with a saving throw for Will or Fortitude type attacks. 

But as an abstraction, I must admit I'm generally OK with using AC for all attacks, physical or magical, and using Saving Throws to differentiate between attacks upon the characters Will or Fortitude.

Carl
i think a design objective in 5e is to emphasize the ability scores.

skills are now (essentially) types of modifiers to ability checks. the shift to ability-based saves helps reinforce that emphasis. sothe reversion to many saving throws does make a certain philosophical sense.
I'd prefer Fort/Ref/Will, but I think there's bigger issues right now.
I prefer Fort/Ref/Will and said so in my survey response. It's believable and makes more sense than AC alone.

However, someone earlier hinted at using saves vs attributes might be the same thing. It's just a question of who throws the dice.
-------------------- D&D Player/DM since 1975 - Veteran of Chainmail, AD&D, 2e, v3.5, DnD4e and now Next.
Also, you shouldn't just assume that every fighter attack has to target AC.  It is perfectly reasonable for a special fighter attack (purely for example, let's call it "Rib Tickler") to be described thusly:

Rib Tickler -> You attack an enemy.  Your enemy must make a Dexterity save against a DC equal to 10 + your Dexterity modifier.  If the enemy fails the save, you deal the damage from your held weapon.  This attack can only be made with a finesse weapon.

That is just one possible example.  But between saves of various types and contested checks, attacks vs. AC are far from the only choice for martial attacks.

-SYB
Have never used the standard saveing rolls system, excpet for 4e and no I will not miss it.

There really is no better DC than a characters Abilities. As they are the direct reflection of that character. 
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I don't miss FRW.

Most times, we didn't bother with it and just made all attacks on AC.  Saves were reserved for PCs and Key NPCs or Boss Fight Monsters and again: we rarely used them.  No one complained and all had a blast.
I miss it as well. They were 3 clearly different ways to attack someone. I'm not exactly sure what separates INT saves from WIS saves or CHA saves. That will surely lead to plenty of arguments between DMs and the players of Wizards, Clerics, and Bards.

 

There really is no better DC than a characters Abilities. As they are the direct reflection of that character. 



Of course, Fort/Ref/Will defenses were based on a person's abilities as well.  

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

I definitely miss 'attacker rolls everything vs a defense score' yes.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I liked it.
Save vs. attribute is also interesting. I think I need more time to tell which one I prefer.
All attacks against an un-modified AC was not popular with my group. We still prefer times when DEX or shield do not give benefit to AC. There are times when we felt that armor should count either (touch). Under these circumstances then spells, flanking attacks and some particularly creative martial attacks could still target AC and still get the feel of what is occuring.
I definitely miss 'attacker rolls everything vs a defense score' yes.



So if your attacker does something where a target would get a (for ex) Dex save?  Why not simply let the attacker roll vrs that #?
Sure, they'll need to know the final # after any mods.  But they'd need to know that in 4e wouldn't they?
Or they could just roll & you tell them the result....
Even though I have not have the chance to playtest either due to a lack of a group (though I may have a chance in a week), I love the idea of each Ability score being used for a different defense, as it adds more importance to each score and it removes redundancy like Wisdom for Willpower. Also, having 6 defenses allows for more attack types. And then, for any special increases due to classes or backgrounds, they could be applied to any conditional defenses. And then Armor could provide a Physical Damage Reduction, as it should realistically, but each type of Armor would have a minimum Strength and/or Constituion Rating to wear and then Reduces the effective Dexterity score in regards to dodging and acrobatic like actions. One could still wear armor that one does not meet the prerequisite for, but one would take Fatigue penalties to certain, or maybe all checks, due to exhaustion to wear the armor. I also like the idea someone else mentioned about using the whole Ability Score as a defense, it makes both the even and odd score have a use, rather than just the modifier given every two points.

Some people may find this option complicated, but Dunegons and Dragons has never been simple. And if the actual game system ever seems simple, the DM instead then has to add the complications with their own house-rules. But I believe people would rather use a more defined system rather than an ever changing system by different DMs.
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The players in my group were confused by this. I liked the Fort/Reflex/Will Defenses. It was easy to keep track of. But it's a new way of doing things, I suppose.
It's been suggested that the DC be set to the ability score. It will bother some people, but not others, that the maths for this doesn't work.

A Con 10 monster has a Fort 10 defence, whether you go with ability score or 10 + modifier. But a Con  15 monster has a Fort 15 defence with ability score and only a Fort 12 defence with 10 + modifier. Ability scores scale at exactly twice the rate that modifiers do.

This will completely skew the results you get, particularly at high levels.

The same thing bothers me about the rule for Ability Thresholds on p3 of the DM Guidelines. It might look tempting to say that if you have a Str above the DC for opening a door, you get an automatic success, but, again, the maths doesn't work.

Like I said, I know this doesn't bother a lot of people, but it bothers me, and I believe it should bother any game designer worth his salt.
Even though I have not have the chance to playtest either due to a lack of a group (though I may have a chance in a week), I love the idea of each Ability score being used for a different defense, as it adds more importance to each score and it removes redundancy like Wisdom for Willpower. Also, having 6 defenses allows for more attack types. And then, for any special increases due to classes or backgrounds, they could be applied to any conditional defenses. And then Armor could provide a Physical Damage Reduction, as it should realistically, but each type of Armor would have a minimum Strength and/or Constituion Rating to wear and then Reduces the effective Dexterity score in regards to dodging and acrobatic like actions. One could still wear armor that one does not meet the prerequisite for, but one would take Fatigue penalties to certain, or maybe all checks, due to exhaustion to wear the armor. I also like the idea someone else mentioned about using the whole Ability Score as a defense, it makes both the even and odd score have a use, rather than just the modifier given every two points.

Some people may find this option complicated, but Dunegons and Dragons has never been simple. And if the actual game system ever seems simple, the DM instead then has to add the complications with their own house-rules. But I believe people would rather use a more defined system rather than an ever changing system by different DMs.




These all sound like great ideas and would definitely have a place in tournament or league play as well as a miniatures battle system of Dungeons and Dragons. 

D&D should be simple, though, and diverse. Having a standard in character creation is fine, but standardizing how a game is DMed is far too restrictive in my view of the intent of D&D which is more a social setting than a competitive one where tables and stats take precedence over story and characters.  I've played games which were complex and elegant and games who's elegance was in their simplicity. I've also been subjected to ten minute rounds of combat with tables and calculations and cumbersome die rolls.  I feel this edition of D&D is trying to drop the designed complexity and provide a method, not a system, of expanding the mechanics without overreaching the character of the game.
If you wanted to have your fighter rush an orc and push it back, you would contest Strength vs. Strength.  So right there we have an example of a martial attack that involves (effectively) a saving throw.


Funnily enough, I did this with an ogre and a fighter in my playtest. And I like the idea of ability score defenses. They're a bit more diverse and simplify the game.

And I think they'd work fine for MArtial attacks/fighter manuvers when they add those in. Like say, setting a con check Vs. the fighter's attack when the fighter's trying to kick the orc in the nuts to stunn him for a few rounds. It doesn't seem all that hard

If you wanted to have your fighter rush an orc and push it back, you would contest Strength vs. Strength.  So right there we have an example of a martial attack that involves (effectively) a saving throw.


Funnily enough, I did this with an ogre and a fighter in my playtest. And I like the idea of ability score defenses. They're a bit more diverse and simplify the game.

And I think they'd work fine for MArtial attacks/fighter manuvers when they add those in. Like say, setting a con check Vs. the fighter's attack when the fighter's trying to kick the orc in the nuts to stunn him for a few rounds. It doesn't seem all that hard


I'll finally be running the playtest for my normal group this coming Tuesday, and this is more-or-less how I intended to handle any outside-the-box ingenuity by my players.


  • Want to stab somebody? Target AC

  • Want to shove somebody? Target Strength

  • Want to trip somebody? Target Dexterity

  • Want to stun somebody (knee to the goonies)? Target Constitution

  • Want to confuse somebody (look, an owlbear!)? Target Intelligence

  • Want to fast-talk somebody? Target Wisdom

  • Want to ingratiate/flatter/intimidate somebody? Target Charisma


I suspect this wouldn't scale very well, particularly when dealing with animal-intelligent opponents, but I don't intend to let people do HP damage with such improvise maneuvers, and it may just plain not come up during play; that's up to my players.
 
FRW, when 4E introduced it, was cool and new. No longer do we have to distinguish between saving throws and touch, flat-footed armor class or whatnot, or with fortitude saves against poison. It was fun.

But as 4E dragged on,  the biggest bug, in my mind, was that too many monsters showed up with high fort and low will. From a certain PoV it made sense - many monsters are musclemen grunts controlled by a high-will BBEG. It can also be argued that it's the devs' fault - for example, I believe that all foulspawn should have been designed with high will because of their alien minds, even if the creature was a foulspawn hulk - but yeah. 

Among other things, the slew of "anti-will" builds that came up in the span of 4E is just weird. It makes me want to throw a bunch of mind flayers at the party for 3 whole levels or something.

On the player side of things, I felt that a significant number of feats and resources were spent in trying to make ALL defenses high. Gone was the stereotypical sickly wizard. Now most players boosted their fort defense with feats (regardless of actual con), and wouldn't you know it? They are apparently agile, too, because int boosted reflex.

Not that I'm against wizards that work out everyday; I know a number of people in the academe that like to work out. I also know one who likes to go fencing, which leads me to believe that he has a decent ref defense. I just feel like if you build a wizard with low/average con, then they should not be in a position to easily resist poison attacks. 

 
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I love the fact that each ability essentially has its own type of save associated with it. The one thing I hated about the 3 saves system was that it caused certain abilities to step on the toes of others'. When the PHB defines Charisma as your force of personality, why do I have to take a special feat in order to use it to resist compulsions? With the new way of doing it, I as the DM can look at a situation, decide which ability score is most applicable, and have the player make that save. Slightly off topic but related to that point, the new skill system lets me do the same thing. Skills are no longer inherently tied to abilities. If I decide that a perception check ought to be Constitution-based (maybe it involves staring at the sun, who knows) I can do that now, because skills aren't static numbers, they're bonuses to ability checks.

As far as saves being throws rather than static defenses, the mathematical difference there is minimal. The difference between Reflex = 1d20+Dex mod and Reflex = 10 + Dex mod is literally 0.5. On the other hand, from an in-game perspective it makes more sense to roll a save vs an AOE spell than to roll an attack for an AOE spell. After all, if I cast Burning Hands, I'm targeting an area, I'm not targeting a creature, so it really is up to the defender to get out of the way. I suppose it gets a little trickier for mind-affecting spells, where I really am targeting one creature, but the game is calling for a save because we don't have a "mind defense". My opinion there is it's just simpler to say "Roll a [int/wis/cha] save" than to have seperate static defenses for everything, and I definitely don't want to go back to lumping it all under "will".
I don't miss it at all, having everything ability score centric is much better then overcomplicating the game by adding a bunch of statistics that create number fluff but reaches the same goal.
I miss having a unified mechanic that consoldiated all rolling to the attacker's part and worked the same way whether you were shooting an arrow or a great axe or a fireball at the other guy.

I miss being able to choose the better of two options for my defenses (including and especially AC. I did NOT miss the AC 11 Wizard.).

Am I bothered by the removal of defenses as a discreet element? No, not particularly. Am I bothered by the ramifications of the system they've chosen? Holy frak, yes.

 

The main reason I miss FORT REF and WILL is, that there are no longer any options
for martial attacks left. Every attack will be targeted against AC.




That's not true. Attempting to shove an opponent would be an opposed Strength check, for instance, not an attack against AC. Poisonous attacks would typically be Constitution saves. Attacks that can trip an opponent could easily be Dexterity saves as could something like attempting to hurl boiling oil on an opponent (ie things that used to be called "touch attacks" in 3e where heavy armor doesn't protect you).

In fact, for the most part, my guess is that things which were previously Fort, Ref and Will saves in 3e will now usually be Con or Str, Dex and Wis/Cha/Int saves in DDNext. That applies to both martial and magical attacks.
the new saves are much better, it allows for more use if all six stats> NO DUMP STATS!

And why add an additional layer of stats for the same effect....lets face it, Will is just a average wisdom check.

As for spells targetting AC... i like it.... why armour and shields WOULDNT protect you from magic... especially a burst of flames, a ball of force etc. is beyond me

anything thats give more edge to armour and shields is a plus for me   

Damn. I have to agree that if there's one thing that should be kept from 4E, it's the passive defenses.  I would even go so far as to say reflex defense could easily replace armor class, and armor itself could just reduce damage (like what it would do in real life).

I also thought that would be a great idea... but then I play tested it, and it was not elegant or fun.

I think the only alternation to the current rules that makes sense, at this moment, with the current monsters and playable charchters, is to have the "saving throw", actually be a DC target for the Wizard's attack.  (But even then, the dc might be too low) 
I didn't really care for the ability score saves, myself. I find some of the distinctions between what some of them defend against to be strange. Fort/Ref/Will was clearcut and easy. I also think the system where some things are attacks and others are saves is very clunky and unintuitive.
I actually like both concepts of "saving throws" and static "defenses". I enjoyed playing earlier editions of DnD as well as 4e.

I might suggest doing it this way:

1. Armor Class = 5 + INT & DEX modifiers + armor/shields worn/carried.  < only used for phyical attacks (i.e. melee / ranged weapon attacks). There could be a damage reduction factor based on the armor or shield types used. EX:  AC 14 [5 + INT 12 DEX 14 (3 in modifiers) + scale armor (6)]. Let us say that scale armor also has a damage reduction factor of 3. The character sheet would show AC 14/3, meaning phyical attacks must hit AC 14 and all damage from them is reduced by 3.

* ^ this might be a way to add an additional layer of usefulness / options for armor and shields.

2. Saving throws made as normal:  ability modifier + 1d20 versus the type of magical, poison, disease, non-physical attacks or non-physical factors OF A physical attack (ie. knockdown).
I don't miss FRW defenses so far.

I am impressed by the notions above of certain special situations that target an ability score as the DC of the check or attack made. Bull rush against a DC of the strength of the creature you are pushing is a terrific and obvious one.
I won't miss F/R/W. At all. It was a pretty decent idea when they did it in 4e. Speaking from experience though (having DMed both 4e and Castles and Crusades for several years now), ability saves both do the same job better, and take up less real estate in character sheets and rulebooks. In practice, 95% of the time Fort defense => Con save, Ref defense => Dex save, and Will defense => Wisdom save. Intelligence might end up getting dump statted a lot, unless they use it in the skill system again.

I do think that they should use Charisma for the clericy/willpower stuff instead of Wisdom, and just rename Wisdom to Perception, but the momentum of forty years tradition isn't really in my favor there.
I don't miss Fort, Ref, Will simply because they're still a part of the game.

Fort Save = Con Save or Str Save
Ref Save = Dex Save or Int Save
Will Save = Wis Save or Cha Save

The nomenclature has changed, but the basic principle is still the same. I understand how it might not feel the same, though.
It's been suggested that the DC be set to the ability score. It will bother some people, but not others, that the maths for this doesn't work.

A Con 10 monster has a Fort 10 defence, whether you go with ability score or 10 + modifier. But a Con  15 monster has a Fort 15 defence with ability score and only a Fort 12 defence with 10 + modifier. Ability scores scale at exactly twice the rate that modifiers do.

This will completely skew the results you get, particularly at high levels.

The same thing bothers me about the rule for Ability Thresholds on p3 of the DM Guidelines. It might look tempting to say that if you have a Str above the DC for opening a door, you get an automatic success, but, again, the maths doesn't work.

Like I said, I know this doesn't bother a lot of people, but it bothers me, and I believe it should bother any game designer worth his salt.


I think that is a problem with ability score bonuses, rather than the idea of using the ability score as the dc.
Im pretty sure the whole game can be pared down to involving just ability scores...

Having ability scores replace FRW actually makes a lot of sense for the sake of simplicity. I liked the passive defenses, but I can see the appeal of the "save-or-die" system. It still doesn't make sense for spells to target AC though, but then AC doesn't totally make sense to begin with. Dexterity, intelligence, and wisdom could all conceivably aid you in getting out of the way of something, but why would armor do that? Yeah, I know it's supposed to be an abstraction for the sake of simplicity, but I still like the idea of damage reduction, if properly implemented.
I don't miss FRW defenses so far.

I am impressed by the notions above of certain special situations that target an ability score as the DC of the check or attack made. Bull rush against a DC of the strength of the creature you are pushing is a terrific and obvious one.

Yeah, I think it works great for "spell like" actions.

It doesn't work great as a replacement for AC.

 As  katestwinsister, the math matters and doesn't always work.  This means, that it can't just be modularlized in and out of the game.

However, the save system as a whole can be well adapted to any (re)action in the game.