Savings throw mechanic too much work for the GM, and player left out of the action?

So, after another round of playtesting yesterday playing at 3rd level in a different area with lower level monsters and lots of them we found that the saving throw mechanic started to become a chore for the GM.

One encounter for example had 8 kobolds surprising the pc, so I had to make 16 d20 rolls because of advantage (strength in numbers). Then the wizard cast sleep so then I had to roll 8 saving throw rolls. Against a room of 18 rats, I had a lot of attack rolls then had a lot of saving throws rolls against burning hands and the Pelor cleric's Channel Radiance.

It just was like damn how many rolls do I need to make. Also, the players really didn't make a lot of rolls in the encounter, for a large part of these 2 encounters I felt like I was playing by myself. After this I just let the players make the saving throw rolls for the monsters so they had something to do.

Anyone else feel like this? 

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You could always rules that a % of the creature are affected!

Against the sleep, if they needed 15+ to save, put asleep ¾ of the creatures!
I'm playing: Abin Gadon, Halfling Bard Winston "Slurphnose", Gnome Sorcerer Pasiphaé, Minotaur Shaman Eglerion, Elf Ellyrian Reaver (Ranger) DMing: Le Trésor du Fluide (Treasure from the Fluid) Un Royaume d'une Grande Valeur (A Kingdom of Great Value) La Légende de Persitaa (Persitaa's Legend) Une Série de Petites Quêtes... (A serie of short quests) Playtesting: Caves of Chaos We're building the greatest adventure ever known to DnD players! Also playing Legend of the Five Rings and Warhammer Fantasy. Sébastien, Beloeil, Qc. I am Neutral Good and 32 years old.
Against a room of 18 rats, I had a lot of attack rolls then had a lot of saving throws rolls against burning hands and the Pelor cleric's Channel Radiance.



You do realise against both the rats and the kobolds, there is no need to make a saving throw against Burning Hands or Channel Radiance as half damage kills them anyway? They are worse than minions.

A one point our fighter jumped back across the pit and rapid fired his crossbow, never rolling anything as his minimum damage 1 point (from using Dex to attack) was enough to kill a rat. 

In fact in the fight against the kobolds and rats the Fighter rarely has to roll dice as his attack kills if he hits or misses, the wizard rarely rolls dice as magic missile auto hits and auto kills, and burning hands does the same.

In fact except for five creatures you never need to roll damage or saving throws (for damaging spells) at all in that area because the minimum damage kills everything else. Once we realised that it played even faster.
You do realise against both the rats and the kobolds, there is no need to make a saving throw against Burning Hands or Channel Radiance as half damage kills them anyway? They are worse than minions.


That is true. My point is more about at even higher levels the GM will be rolling a lot in general, when spells won't auto kill no matter what. Say 8+ orcs or anything really.

When you have the GM making attack rolls for the monsters and making a lot of saving thorws for the monster. That's a lot of extra work for the GM and also excludes the players from rolling.

It how it always was prior to 4th Ed, one of the design choices they made with spell casting with 4th Ed was to give more rolls to the player, hence the attack roll for spells rather than a saving throw. But from my reading of the rules and play testing they have thrown out most of the good ideas from 4th Ed in an effort to appeal to players of prior editions. Yet oddly kept in the one (full healing over night and hit dice surges) they seem to hate the most.
It how it always was prior to 4th Ed, one of the design choices they made with spell casting with 4th Ed was to give more rolls to the player, hence the attack roll for spells rather than a saving throw. But from my reading of the rules and play testing they have thrown out most of the good ideas from 4th Ed in an effort to appeal to players of prior editions. Yet oddly kept in the one (full healing over night and hit dice surges) they seem to hate the most.


I played 4e and wasn't the biggest fam of it, but I really did like putting the rolls in players hands mechanic.
Thats one thing that i houseruled during my playtest. Its quite easy, your attack bonus with spells is cd-10 and the target defense is 10+bonus stat+2. Just don't forget the +2 or they will hit much more than in the standard system. Also the attack bonus that the wizard gets applies only to attacks against AC (like proficency in 4E).
Thats one thing that i houseruled during my playtest. Its quite easy, your attack bonus with spells is cd-10 and the target defense is 10+bonus stat+2. Just don't forget the +2 or they will hit much more than in the standard system. Also the attack bonus that the wizard gets applies only to attacks against AC (like proficency in 4E).


We just house ruled the player makes the moster saving throw. That way it worked as they intended it to for the playtest. The problem with a lot of house rules, is my gaming group and a lot of gamers we play living campaigns at conventions. So house ruling doesn't really work for us. We need solid working rules that we will find and use at any convention or living campaign game
I also didn't appreciate 4e all that much, but there were a few likable ideas.  Players rolling an attack against the monster's save was wonderful.  Just as the game evolved from the 1e attack tables to 2e and THAC0 to 3e where higher AC was better, I think Next can evolve where players and creatures can attack against a saving throw.  In all reality, it's the same thing except the attacker gets to roll the die.  Its a better system!
I also didn't appreciate 4e all that much, but there were a few likable ideas.  Players rolling an attack against the monster's save was wonderful.  Just as the game evolved from the 1e attack tables to 2e and THAC0 to 3e where higher AC was better, I think Next can evolve where players and creatures can attack against a saving throw.  In all reality, it's the same thing except the attacker gets to roll the die.  Its a better system!


100% agree 
Point the first: Yeah, my players feel strange when they cast a spell and don't get to roll anything.  It's OK if they get to roll damage, but for "status" attacks they seem dissatisfied.  On the other hand, they get pretty irritated when monsters cast status attacks on them, and they're affected just because of the monster's roll.  I'm strongly tempted to use the "players always roll" option from 3e Unearthed Arcana: They roll against their AC mod when attacked and against their attack mod when attacking, and similarly against save or save DC when spells are used against or by them.

Point the second: Yes, I definitely miss the fact in 4e that I only had to track HP for perhaps 6 creatures, no more than 4 of the same type.   Six to ten identical monsters is annoying--not only do I run out of identical minis, but even if I had that many minis I wouldn't be able to tell them apart.  I ended up drawing mini-sketches of the minis--an asterisk for an orc with a mace, a ")" for one with a falchion, etc.  Some people make little marks on their minis, which I guess I could do if I had a whole bunch of the same kind.  I may end up doing the paper mini thing in the long run.

"Edison didn't succeed the first time he invented Benjamin Franklin, either." Albert the Alligator, Walt Kelly's Pogo Sunday Book  
The Core Coliseum: test out your 4e builds and fight to the death.

A "player always rolls" style mechanic if the game used a hybrid of 3.5e and 4e where players made attack rolls against a monster's defense value AND that player also made a saving throw against a monster's attack against them.

A DM has a ton of stuff to do at the table and he has 1+ players sitting across from him waiting for him to do whatever needs doing. Anything you can get them to do is better. You don't really need the exact same save mechanics for monsters and players.
I agree simply put as a DM I have a lot of stuff to keep track of much more than the players, not having to roll is 18 saving throws is a start to reducing my work load.
I admit, I use a digital battlemap with digital tokens, etc, etc, a projector to put these pretty maps on a flat surface; so I don't really have the same work load, defensively.

However, we did make passive saves as simply 11 + the defender's relevant ability score modifier for quick math, and let the casters roll.  The reason for 11 is because saves are a lot more powerful than defenses, and will always have more of a chance to screw over players.  By using base 11 instead of 10, it becomes a true '50% threshold' instead of 55%, to represent saves having the ability to be more powerful.

Just my 2cp.
I also didn't appreciate 4e all that much, but there were a few likable ideas.  Players rolling an attack against the monster's save was wonderful.  Just as the game evolved from the 1e attack tables to 2e and THAC0 to 3e where higher AC was better, I think Next can evolve where players and creatures can attack against a saving throw.  In all reality, it's the same thing except the attacker gets to roll the die.  Its a better system!


100% agree 


I also agree, and I'm thinking of house rulling this already for our next game:  burning hands (and the like) involve player rolls against a monster defense.
I also didn't appreciate 4e all that much, but there were a few likable ideas.  Players rolling an attack against the monster's save was wonderful.  Just as the game evolved from the 1e attack tables to 2e and THAC0 to 3e where higher AC was better, I think Next can evolve where players and creatures can attack against a saving throw.  In all reality, it's the same thing except the attacker gets to roll the die.  Its a better system!


100% agree 


I also agree, and I'm thinking of house rulling this already for our next game:  burning hands (and the like) involve player rolls against a monster defense.


This is kind of my point. If a lot of players are turning to house ruling a core rule then the core rule is broken, imho
Its not broken at all.  It is being house ruled out of laziness, myself included, not out of balance.  This isn't insulting anyone without insulting myself; its true.  When my players are attacked with a spell, they can't stand using a passive defense and always want to roll, so I let them use their reaction to roll a save instead of passive, but the attacker still gets to roll as well.

The bottom line is, the rule isn't broken.  Some will defend its more 'classic' to roll saves; couldn't care less.  Others will defend its more 'balanced' to the aggressor to have defenses; couldn't care less.  The truth of it all is, every situation will have people wanting something it isn't; this is one of those.  By making the saves rolls for the core mechanic, its very easy to tack on 10 for when the DM wants, and roll it when they don't.

One could arguably say its just as easy to subtract 10, but not to new players.  I can't even count how many times in 4e I wanted a defense to be rolled as a particular mechanic at one point or another, only to have a new player try to add the whole thing after clearly being told to subtract 10 first.  Reason?  I absolutely hate, as a DM, rolling 'attack rolls' for objects, hazards, and traps.  Loathe it to the core.

Anywho, just thought I'd note that while I love passive and active saves, the core being 'save' with passive defenses being optional just seems the most logical, all things considered =)     
Its not broken at all.  It is being house ruled out of laziness, myself included, not out of balance.  This isn't insulting anyone without insulting myself; its true.  When my players are attacked with a spell, they can't stand using a passive defense and always want to roll, so I let them use their reaction to roll a save instead of passive, but the attacker still gets to roll as well.



I understand this. The passive save system felt like it robbed players of any agency in their own defenses. The DM rolls a d20 and that determines if the player is affected. It often made me feel like a bit of a bully compared to a "normal" save where the player's fate is in their own hands.

I'm glad to see DDN bring back active rolls for the players. It adds tension and returns ownership of defenses.

More to the point, on the very idea of controlling their own fates, I let them use the same 'reaction' rule to roll their own AC.  d20 + AC-10; works like a charm.  I even make them take a bit of extra damage when they roll lower than passive ;)
This is kind of my point. If a lot of players are turning to house ruling a core rule then the core rule is broken, imho



Well that is why it is a playtest.  These aren't core rules yet.  The asked you to let them know what did adn didn't work and what you changed in your playtest.  So house rule all you can and let them know about - it is the intent of the play test.
I only had to make around 4 saving throws for monsters, but even then It seemed that rolls didn't take much time for me. I prefer this way to keeping track of AC, Fort, Ref, and Will. I thin players rolling for attacks would work wonders in a non-vancian game, but I was aways more worried about missing with dailies than anything else when I played a caster.
This is kind of my point. If a lot of players are turning to house ruling a core rule then the core rule is broken, imho



Well that is why it is a playtest.  These aren't core rules yet.  The asked you to let them know what did adn didn't work and what you changed in your playtest.  So house rule all you can and let them know about - it is the intent of the play test.


True. But, that is why I am posting to hopefully stop the current play test rules of rolling from becoming the real core rules.
So, after another round of playtesting yesterday playing at 3rd level in a different area with lower level monsters and lots of them we found that the saving throw mechanic started to become a chore for the GM.

It just was like damn how many rolls do I need to make. Also, the players really didn't make a lot of rolls in the encounter, for a large part of these 2 encounters I felt like I was playing by myself. After this I just let the players make the saving throw rolls for the monsters so they had something to do.

Anyone else feel like this? 

A bit.  The contested stealth checks were a big offender for me.  Once I realized there was no passive perception, I'd cringe each time the rogue hid.  I'm just thankful I didn't realize it right away.  Actually, I was only having him roll once, I suppose I should have had him roll vs each enemy he was hiding from?  Saves were an issue, too, not just because I had to make a lot of them, but because I had to look them up in the bestiary.  I hadn't printed out the bestiary, because I'm used to having full stat blocks in modules, I figured it just had all the cool descriptions and ecology and whatnot.  Ink is expensive.  Fortunately one of my lovely players had an ipad with all the files on it, so I could look them up.  
So, after another round of playtesting yesterday playing at 3rd level in a different area with lower level monsters and lots of them we found that the saving throw mechanic started to become a chore for the GM.

It just was like damn how many rolls do I need to make. Also, the players really didn't make a lot of rolls in the encounter, for a large part of these 2 encounters I felt like I was playing by myself. After this I just let the players make the saving throw rolls for the monsters so they had something to do.

Anyone else feel like this? 

A bit.  The contested stealth checks were a big offender for me.  Once I realized there was no passive perception, I'd cringe each time the rogue hid.  I'm just thankful I didn't realize it right away.  Actually, I was only having him roll once, I suppose I should have had him roll vs each enemy he was hiding from?  Saves were an issue, too, not just because I had to make a lot of them, but because I had to look them up in the bestiary.  I hadn't printed out the bestiary, because I'm used to having full stat blocks in modules, I figured it just had all the cool descriptions and ecology and whatnot.  Ink is expensive.  Fortunately one of my lovely players had an ipad with all the files on it, so I could look them up.  


My understanding is you ONLY make a roll when someone is LOOKING for them which takes an action. The rogue is free to hide as long as he breaks sight (needs cover), then makes his sneak roll that becomes the DC for anyone activly looking for him (which takes an action - see page 11 actions in combat).
My understanding is you ONLY make a roll when someone is LOOKING for them which takes an action. The rogue is free to hide as long as he breaks sight (needs cover), then makes his sneak roll that becomes the DC for anyone activly looking for him (which takes an action - see page 11 actions in combat).



The playtest rules say that you do an opposed roll against anyone who "might take notice of you". This would include anyone just casually walking by or simply standing near you. Spending an action isn't mentioned as needed for this kind of detection.
The playtest rules say that you do an opposed roll against anyone who "might take notice of you". This would include anyone just casually walking by or simply standing near you. Spending an action isn't mentioned as needed for this kind of detection.



However in Perception is also says under Spotting a Hidden Creature, "when your character searches for a hidden creature"

and in Actions In Combat  - Search "When your are searching for a creature or object.... just enough to use your action in the middle of a fight"

The bit you quote about an opposed check for a "any creature that might notice you." Is only when you attempt to hide in the first place and they might notice you trying to hide. If you are already hidden and haven't lost the conditions for being hidden they need to make an active search check to find you.


My understanding is you ONLY make a roll when someone is LOOKING for them which takes an action. The rogue is free to hide as long as he breaks sight (needs cover), then makes his sneak roll that becomes the DC for anyone activly looking for him (which takes an action - see page 11 actions in combat).



The playtest rules say that you do an opposed roll against anyone who "might take notice of you". This would include anyone just casually walking by or simply standing near you. Spending an action isn't mentioned as needed for this kind of detection.


One of the main issues with the playtest package is it's all poorly written. I beleive what you are reffering to is for out of combat tests. The combat section states searching in combat is an action. The stealth rules state if you lose your condition of stealth then you are automaticlly detected, except the rogue who has a special ability that prevents that so he can move out of stealth on his turn and attack before being revealed.

But, if he went around a corner and stealthed and a creature went around the same corner leaving him in the open he would be automaticly revealed, imho. We had this issue with the rogue hiding behind characters and before it was his turn the character he hide behind was knocked out. The GM let him make a Dex check to dive to the ground to keep cover and stay hidden.    
 
Having the DM roll for saving throws is mandatory! That way, they can cheat behind their DM screen ;).
I have enough D20s from 4e that I can handle sets of 5 saves at a time really quickly. But, I'd prefer to have the PCs attack, but have saves be against traps or ongoing effects. That said, it hasn't really slowed our games down (even against orcs in burning hands).
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
I have enough D20s from 4e that I can handle sets of 5 saves at a time really quickly. But, I'd prefer to have the PCs attack, but have saves be against traps or ongoing effects. That said, it hasn't really slowed our games down (even against orcs in burning hands).
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
+1 with having the player's roll attack and defense. 

guides
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Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
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List of bonuses to saving throws
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my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Just remember when turning rolls from passive to active to add +2 to the passive, or you will change the results.


+1 come from the difference in average results. You have changed the saving throw from average 10,5 to 10 and the attack from 10 to 10,5.


The other +1 is due to the fact that when roling a save and equal DC you save, if you roll an attack against a defense and equal the DC you hit. So you have to add another +1 to the passive stat or rule it so that when you attack and reach exactly it's defense then it's a miss. I prefer the +1.


Just remember when turning rolls from passive to active to add +2 to the passive, or you will change the results.


+1 come from the difference in average results. You have changed the saving throw from average 10,5 to 10 and the attack from 10 to 10,5.


The other +1 is due to the fact that when roling a save and equal DC you save, if you roll an attack against a defense and equal the DC you hit. So you have to add another +1 to the passive stat or rule it so that when you attack and reach exactly it's defense then it's a miss. I prefer the +1.



So are you saying if the have a Dexterity of 16 (+3) the passive defense on a Dexterity save should be 10+3+2 = 15, not 10+3 = 13?
If you have an save DC of 14, you'll save half the time with a +3 bonus.  If you flip that, you need either a spell "attack roll" of +4 (10-4) vs. a defence of 15 (3+10+2), or an attack roll of +2 (10-4-2) vs. a defence of 13 (3+10).  That's why, either way, you need to adjust something by 2, as Spoletta says.

"Edison didn't succeed the first time he invented Benjamin Franklin, either." Albert the Alligator, Walt Kelly's Pogo Sunday Book  
The Core Coliseum: test out your 4e builds and fight to the death.

If you have an save DC of 14, you'll save half the time with a +3 bonus.  If you flip that, you need either a spell "attack roll" of +4 (10-4) vs. a defence of 15 (3+10+2), or an attack roll of +2 (10-4-2) vs. a defence of 13 (3+10).  That's why, either way, you need to adjust something by 2, as Spoletta says.


That makes sense
I also didn't appreciate 4e all that much, but there were a few likable ideas.  Players rolling an attack against the monster's save was wonderful.  Just as the game evolved from the 1e attack tables to 2e and THAC0 to 3e where higher AC was better, I think Next can evolve where players and creatures can attack against a saving throw.  In all reality, it's the same thing except the attacker gets to roll the die.  Its a better system!


As someone who gre up on 2e & 3e and never really had a chance to get into 4e, I agree. Just let players attack the monsters with magic. I wouldn't mind a second generic stat even, like a "magic defense" if we're trying to keep things really fast and simple.
A few guidelines for using the internet: 1. Mentally add "In my opinion" to the end of basically anything someone else says. Of course it's their opinion, they don't need to let you know. You're pretty smart. 2. Assume everyone means everything in the best manner they could mean it. Save yourself some stress and give people the benefit of the doubt. We'll all be happier if we type less emoticons. 3. Don't try to read people's minds. Sometimes people mean exactly what they say. You probably don't know them any better than they know themselves. 4. Let grammar slide. If you understood what they meant, you're good. It's better for your health. 5. Breath. It's just a dumb game.
A few guidelines for using the internet:

1. Mentally add "In my opinion" to the end of basically anything someone else says. Of course it's their opinion, they don't need to let you know. You're pretty smart.
2. Assume everyone means everything in the best manner they could mean it. Save yourself some stress and give people the benefit of the doubt. We'll all be happier if we type less emoticons.
3. Don't try to read people's minds. Sometimes people mean exactly what they say. You probably don't know them any better than they know themselves.
4. Let grammar slide. If you understood what they meant, you're good. It's better for your health.
5. Breath. It's just a dumb game.

I love this!
A few guidelines for using the internet:

1. Mentally add "In my opinion" to the end of basically anything someone else says. Of course it's their opinion, they don't need to let you know. You're pretty smart.
2. Assume everyone means everything in the best manner they could mean it. Save yourself some stress and give people the benefit of the doubt. We'll all be happier if we type less emoticons.
3. Don't try to read people's minds. Sometimes people mean exactly what they say. You probably don't know them any better than they know themselves.
4. Let grammar slide. If you understood what they meant, you're good. It's better for your health.
5. Breath. It's just a dumb game.


I love this!

Thanks! I use some variation for it for all my sigs. Its as much to remind me as anyone else
A few guidelines for using the internet: 1. Mentally add "In my opinion" to the end of basically anything someone else says. Of course it's their opinion, they don't need to let you know. You're pretty smart. 2. Assume everyone means everything in the best manner they could mean it. Save yourself some stress and give people the benefit of the doubt. We'll all be happier if we type less emoticons. 3. Don't try to read people's minds. Sometimes people mean exactly what they say. You probably don't know them any better than they know themselves. 4. Let grammar slide. If you understood what they meant, you're good. It's better for your health. 5. Breath. It's just a dumb game.

I know several folks have chimed in with “just house rule it,” but isn’t the point of the playtest to…y’know…test the game as-is?

That being said, I’ll agree that having players make attack rolls is preferable to the DM making multiple saves.  Although, I do like the “Next” idea of stat-based saves (save vs. Dex, save vs. Int, etc.), as well as the 4E thing of having certain attacks (even weapon-based attacks) be against defenses besides AC.  


 Perhaps we could have attack vs. Con, attack vs. Chr, that sort of thing?


 

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