Saving Throws vs. Saving Catches

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One thing I've noticed in perusing the Star Wars Saga Edition is that saving throws are no longer an active dice roll - in fact they're static numbers that seem to replace and overlap AC. In some ways, I like this idea of saving "catches", while in other respects, it raises questions.

One thing that this allows that I like is that one roll vs. multiple ACs can determine multiple effects. For instance, lets say I'm a fighter and I use a special attack that allows me to hit my opponent and move forward, forcing him back (a cross between an attack and a bull rush, without the opposed strength roll - lets call it Advancing Strikes). Instead of this ability taking multiple rolls to resolve, one roll could be compared to multiple static numbers to determine what effects it has. My Advancing Strikes attack roll is 13, for instance, and I use it against a goblin whose final reflex is 15, but whose fortitude is 10. As a result, the goblin is too fast to actually get wounded by my attack, but is forced backward because he's still too physically inferior to hold his ground. Likewise, later, I could get the same roll against an ogre whose reflex is 10 and whose fortitude is 15, and while he suffers some nicks and scratches from my attack, he's too formidable to be moved backwards. Anyways, that's a crude example, but it shows how multiple saving "catches" as opposed to active saving throws could save on dice rolling and make rules a bit simpler and easier to remember.

The questions I have are posed to people who already use Saga. I've only read the old previews for Saga edition online. I'm curious, does Saga edition use rules for flat-footed and touch AC (which I assume would be a reflex number)? Does the static saving throw system work well, or do any problems arise?

Implemented correctly, this system could be pretty cool.
I haven't played Saga yet, but there is one are of concern I have regarding the consequence of the change from an active rolled to static defence number.

Area effect abilities become more variable against a group. If the attacker rolls low, none of the defenders will fail their save. If the attacker rolls high, none of the defenders will succeed with their save.
I haven't played Saga yet, but there is one are of concern I have regarding the consequence of the change from an active rolled to static defence number.

Area effect abilities become more variable against a group. If the attacker rolls low, none of the defenders will fail their save. If the attacker rolls high, none of the defenders will succeed with their save.

Some effects could always require multiple "attack" rolls so that this isn't an issue.
Some effects could always require multiple "attack" rolls so that this isn't an issue.

At which point, the same number of dice need to be rolled as the original active defence. Worse yet, those dice have to be rolled sequentially by the attacker as opposed to in parallel by the defenders.
At which point, the same number of dice need to be rolled as the original active defence. Worse yet, those dice have to be rolled sequentially by the attacker as opposed to in parallel by the defenders.

It's not much different than fireballing monsters.

That said, there are several ways to add some variability beyond rolling separately for each monster. You could have groups that you roll for (suppose you roll once for each group of 3, that's pretty quick usually) or you could have a pool you can draw from to make some saves harder (or perhaps you can make some saves harder and others easier). The latter would probably be the best, much quicker in all situations, I think.

So AoE effects could have one roll, and you can modify the roll slightly from one monster to another. Perhaps give add +4 to the roll against two guys and a -4 to the roll against two other guys. Multiple target effects, like magic missile or scorching ray, would have separate rolls for each blast/hit. That should work well.
Or, for AoE rolls, you could have "blast radii" that determine the bonuses to your roll. For instance, fireball might have an inner 3-square radius that takes a +caster level +2 bonus to the roll, while the outer ring of the spell's area of effect just adds +caster level. This way, the variability of creatures saving would be based partially on their position within the area of effect. Just throwing possible ideas out there.
Playing a lot of Mutants & Masterminds, the idea of the "Boolean Hod" or, for this genre, "Boolean Orc" has come up a lot.

Several attacks in that game have a single attack roll compared to multiple static defense numbers. My group tried a few ideas before simply accepting the Boolean Hod as a staple of the genre. These two might work better for this game:

Stepped Boolean - On a roll that equals the target number, half of those targets count as failing the save, half succeed. Beat the roll by five or less and 3/4 of your targets fail their saves. Beating the roll by more than five means that all of your targets fail.Missing the roll by five or less means that only 1/4 of the targets fail their saves. All of the targets succeed if you miss by more than five.

Example: Wizbang casts a fireball on a group of 12 rapidly approaching orcs. The orcs all have a Reflex Target of (...retrieving number from nether regions...) 15. Wizbang makes a "Spell Effect" roll 16, meaning that nine orcs 'fail' their saves and take full damage. The remaining three orcs laugh off the reduced damage and proceed to pummel Wizbang mercilessly.

Margin of Effect - As above, matching the target number means that half of the targets 'fail.' For each point you beat the target number, an additional target 'fails.' Likewise, one more target makes the save for each point you miss the roll by.

Example: In an alternate reality, Wizbang fires upon an identical group of 12 orcs, and makes an identical roll. Since his roll of 16 is only one point better than the target of 15, seven orcs take full damage and die. The remaining five orcs take out our unfortunate wizard.
Playing a lot of Mutants & Masterminds, the idea of the "Boolean Hod" or, for this genre, "Boolean Orc" has come up a lot.

Several attacks in that game have a single attack roll compared to multiple static defense numbers. My group tried a few ideas before simply accepting the Boolean Hod as a staple of the genre. These two might work better for this game:

Stepped Boolean - On a roll that equals the target number, half of those targets count as failing the save, half succeed. Beat the roll by five or less and 3/4 of your targets fail their saves. Beating the roll by more than five means that all of your targets fail.Missing the roll by five or less means that only 1/4 of the targets fail their saves. All of the targets succeed if you miss by more than five.

Example: Wizbang casts a fireball on a group of 12 rapidly approaching orcs. The orcs all have a Reflex Target of (...retrieving number from nether regions...) 15. Wizbang makes a "Spell Effect" roll 16, meaning that nine orcs 'fail' their saves and take full damage. The remaining three orcs laugh off the reduced damage and proceed to pummel Wizbang mercilessly.

Margin of Effect - As above, matching the target number means that half of the targets 'fail.' For each point you beat the target number, an additional target 'fails.' Likewise, one more target makes the save for each point you miss the roll by.

Example: In an alternate reality, Wizbang fires upon an identical group of 12 orcs, and makes an identical roll. Since his roll of 16 is only one point better than the target of 15, seven orcs take full damage and die. The remaining five orcs take out our unfortunate wizard.

Hmm, that's a pretty cool way of handling it. Is that part of M&M rules or is that a common houserule? Also, how does the mechanic work against a group with different defense numbers among the targets?
These were houserules we never got around to using.

While they both can be used in mixed-group AoE resolution, I would only apply them to groups of the same monster/opponent, leaving BBEGs and unique minions to the standard resolution. After a few tests, we found that the Margin of Effect version worked easier than the other.

Example: Wizbang confronts a goblin warband and unleashes a Cone of Cold spell. His "Spell Power" roll is a 14. Looking at the cone, we find that nine goblins (Ref 11), four wolves(Ref 12), four 'sneaky-git' goblins (Ref 15), a goblin shaman (Ref 13), and the warlord (Ref 15) are in the cone's area. Taking this one at a time, we find:
4 (half the goblins) + 3 (margin of success) = 7 goblins failed.
2 (half the wolves) + 2 (margin of success) = all the wolves failed.
2 (half the sneaky-gits) -1 (margin of failure) = 1 'sneaky-git' failed.
Goblin shaman failed.
Goblin warlord succeeded.
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