D&D4 Saving Throws

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How do people feel about the flat 55% successful saving throw in D&D4? I think I see the logic behind it, but I still feel really odd about it being independent of any stats belonging to the attacker or the defender.
It's no more odd than 3e spell duration being independant of any stats.
It's no more odd than 3e spell duration being independant of any stats.

Ah, interesting!
Well in my two experiences w/ the saving throw system used during D&Dxp I found it very frustrating. The first time was round after round rolling to save versus fear, nope, nope, nope, nope and finally after 5 round was able to act. The second was set on fire save to quit burning, nope, nope, nope, save, set back on fire nope, nope unconscious and still burning finally save, I guess I was fanning the flames until I fell unconscious. Neither of those experiences were fun because I could do nothing about it except hope I roll high next round.

If I had saved I would probably feel better about it.

I felt like I was playing a board game and needed to roll a six to put a game piece into play or a card game where I kept getting a lose your next turn card played on me.

I will have to give it some time to see whether I like it or not, hopefully the law of averages works out for me as a player.
i still don't like it (fixed saves). i prefer to think of defenses having some random input (and it also lets some players be very happy about their save bonuses, and happy when they roll high).

i assume this will mean rolled spell and trap "DCs" then? sounds like the DM will be doing a lot more rolling than the players; he/she has plenty of that to do already (especially with more monsters going to be the norm), and why take away something to do from the players?

to me it just seems like it will make a number of encounters loads more boring (DM: a trap is sprung! no let me make a roll to see which of you die... VS. DM: a trap is sprung! everyone roll!).

(it also kind of eliminates the possibility of players with low saves still succeeding while others don't, and requires a new rule that stuff that targets a save automatically succeeds on a 20 and fails on a 1 (to make up for the automatic success/failure rule for saving throws going away))

overall, this was one of the things about SWSE that i did not like and would rather not see being implemented in 4th.

(at least it's not really revolutionary, and i'm sure you can house rule back to the saving throw system fairly easily (just change who rolls and make static average DCs))
If you can't convince them, confuse them. -Harry S Truman
There are modifiers, they just come from feats and racial abilities.

Saves all the hassle of scaling things for level.

It also allows the DM to make a particularly potent poison, for example, by simply saving the save is at -2.
So far I like it. I wish they hadn't called them saving throws, because it's really not what it is.
The attack vs. your defense is "really" your saving throw, however passive your throw is. Once an attack has beaten your defense the effect goes off, you *may* then have a saving throw to make. It tracks durations and time that things are happening, no different than "effect lasts for 1d4 rounds, etc" however I have seen there are some bonuses that have come out for some saving throws.
There is, in the Keep On Shadowfell, a roving +2 to all saving throws vs a particular set of effects... PG 80 of the adventure, at the bottom of the second column in the colored textbox last sentience.
So I think it'd be more appropriate to say that these aren't modified by your stats, but I think we'll find more things will give a buff to them than we're thinking now.
I think there is a little confusion in this thread about what we are discussing. Are we talking about:

A.) 3.5e Saving throws (Reflex Save, Fortitude Save, Will save) that are now 4e Defenses (Reflex Defense, Fortitude Defense, Will Defense)

or

B.) 3.5 Durations (which only require one save, such as enfeebling ray) and Ongoing effects (which allow a save in the middle of hte duration, such as being caught on fire or certain charm/dominance spells) which was replaced by the 4e "Saving Throw" mechanic (which you roll a d20 each turn and on a 10+ it goes away).
B.) 3.5 Durations (which only require one save, such as enfeebling ray) and Ongoing effects (which allow a save in the middle of hte duration, such as being caught on fire or certain charm/dominance spells) which was replaced by the 4e "Saving Throw" mechanic (which you roll a d20 each turn and on a 10+ it goes away).

The latter... thus the flat 55% comment in the original post.

At least, that's what I'm talking about. :P
The latter... thus the flat 55% comment in the original post.

At least, that's what I'm talking about. :P

Thats what I figured as well. I suspect this terminology change will be causing mix ups for years.
I too am talking about the "new" saving throws...
However I think that we have to talk about what savings throws use to be, to fully understand what they are now.
obviously i was commenting on the 'old' saving throws. sorry for the confusion.

Thats what I figured as well. I suspect this terminology change will be causing mix ups for years.

+1 (living example )
If you can't convince them, confuse them. -Harry S Truman
Well in my two experiences w/ the saving throw system used during D&Dxp I found it very frustrating. The first time was round after round rolling to save versus fear, nope, nope, nope, nope and finally after 5 round was able to act. The second was set on fire save to quit burning, nope, nope, nope, save, set back on fire nope, nope unconscious and still burning finally save, I guess I was fanning the flames until I fell unconscious. Neither of those experiences were fun because I could do nothing about it except hope I roll high next round.

Yeah, that sucks. But no worse than being hit with a spell, failing your single save, and being struck with fear for 2d4 rounds.
And there are numerous fun class abilities (cleric's mostly) that offer second saves, bonuses or grant an auto-success.

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Well in my two experiences w/ the saving throw system used during D&Dxp I found it very frustrating. The first time was round after round rolling to save versus fear, nope, nope, nope, nope and finally after 5 round was able to act. The second was set on fire save to quit burning, nope, nope, nope, save, set back on fire nope, nope unconscious and still burning finally save, I guess I was fanning the flames until I fell unconscious. Neither of those experiences were fun because I could do nothing about it except hope I roll high next round.

If I had saved I would probably feel better about it.

I felt like I was playing a board game and needed to roll a six to put a game piece into play or a card game where I kept getting a lose your next turn card played on me.

I will have to give it some time to see whether I like it or not, hopefully the law of averages works out for me as a player.

Heck, at least you get to roll. In 3.5, you would have just kept asking the DM "Am I still fleeing? Am I still on fire?"
It was mentioned by a reply here, and a clever chap on ENWorld pointed it out, too. I'm just seconding it:

The new "Saving Throws" are just a duration mechanic. In that sense, this actually allows characters with specific resistances a way of diminishing the effects of spells that succeed against their "general" resistance (their Fortitude defense).

Example: Let's say in 3.5e a tough old Dwarf is hit by poison. If he fails his Fort save, he's afflicted for a set number of rounds determined by a random DM roll duration roll, based on the poison's stats.

Example 2: Let's move on to 4e where once again a tough old Dwarf is hit by poison. The enemy still has to hit the Dwarf's Fortitude defense. Aside from who rolls, that part of the mechanic is no different. Let's assume the attacker succeeds, and the Dwarf is poisoned. The duration is now dependent on the Dwarf's saving throw, which is at a +5 due to the Dwarf having a racial resistance against poison. That duration is now a LOT shorter, thus representing the Dwarf's ability to shrug off poisons.

On first glance, I too assumed that it being a static number was a smack in the face for tough characters and their ability to shrug off effects. But, looking at it again, it actually represents a second tier of toughness. One more specific than the already present Fortitude defense.

~DD
Maybe I don't understand something. Score a 10 or better and boom, you save. Roll under 10 and you fail, and the effect continues. I get that. Simple. Straightforward.

Now, are there negative modifiers to my die roll? I mean, in the example above, the dwarf will be at +5. So, he only needs to roll a 5 or higher. Can the attacker or source of the poison (in this example) have some modifier that makes it harder (say, a -3 to the saving throw)?

I haven't seen anything around that addresses it, but I have to believe there is some kind of mechanic for making the saving throw more difficult.

Mark
Maybe I don't understand something. Score a 10 or better and boom, you save. Roll under 10 and you fail, and the effect continues. I get that. Simple. Straightforward.

Now, are there negative modifiers to my die roll? I mean, in the example above, the dwarf will be at +5. So, he only needs to roll a 5 or higher. Can the attacker or source of the poison (in this example) have some modifier that makes it harder (say, a -3 to the saving throw)?

I haven't seen anything around that addresses it, but I have to believe there is some kind of mechanic for making the saving throw more difficult.

Mark

We don't know one way or the other at the moment. Or at least, I haven't seen anything. I imagine that if there is a negative modifier to saving throws, it may be a large "group". That is, I think they'll keep it simple. Maybe have "epic" effects that as a group are at a -5 penalty, rather than a lot of random penalties.

~DD
In a way, it's unfortunate they felt the need to keep the name "Saving Throw", because it doesn't really have anything to do with saving throws. Saving throws are now Defenses. What they're calling a Saving Throw is only a Random Duration Roll. As long as you think of it as a random duration roll, I don't think too many people would have a problem with it. It's when they maintain old terminology that doesn't really apply that people start having problems.

But then, I tend to think that they should have moved on from a lot of naming conventions now that they are "in name only" things. It's like they killed some sacred cows but then they built a shrine to them by keeping the names.
"What they're calling a Saving Throw is only a Random Duration Roll. As long as you think of it as a random duration roll, I don't think too many people would have a problem with it. "

I don't think you can really say this. I mean, look at the Wizard Attack 1 "Sleep". If you fail your first save, you fall asleep, otherwise you are only slowed for one round. That sounds like a "SAVE" to me, not a "Random Duration Roll".
Well, I'm definately going to try the system as is before I go around modifying it.

But if terrible streaks of bad luck become an issue for you, you could go with a mechanic of giving a increasing bonus each round. (+1 per round for instance)

Mutants and masterminds using such a mechanic to determine the duration for alot of effects.
Maybe I don't understand something. Score a 10 or better and boom, you save. Roll under 10 and you fail, and the effect continues. I get that. Simple. Straightforward.

Now, are there negative modifiers to my die roll? I mean, in the example above, the dwarf will be at +5. So, he only needs to roll a 5 or higher. Can the attacker or source of the poison (in this example) have some modifier that makes it harder (say, a -3 to the saving throw)?

I haven't seen anything around that addresses it, but I have to believe there is some kind of mechanic for making the saving throw more difficult.

Mark

In the KotS adventure they have a nice sidebar about this very thing
pg7
Three Basic Rules:
Simple Rules, Many Exceptions: Every class, race, feat, power, and monster in D&D game breaks the rules in some way........
Specific Beats General: if a specific rule contradicts a general rule, the specific wins....
Always Round Down

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Maybe I don't understand something. Score a 10 or better and boom, you save. Roll under 10 and you fail, and the effect continues. I get that. Simple. Straightforward.
Now, are there negative modifiers to my die roll? I mean, in the example above, the dwarf will be at +5. So, he only needs to roll a 5 or higher. Can the attacker or source of the poison (in this example) have some modifier that makes it harder (say, a -3 to the saving throw)?
I haven't seen anything around that addresses it, but I have to believe there is some kind of mechanic for making the saving throw more difficult.

Obviously this is little more than guesswork, but I'm going to go with "no, it's 10+ or nothing." I don't really understand the relevance of the sidebar Alyri has quoted (maybe s/he can shed some more light on that), but it seems to me that modifiers will probably be applied to the initial roll to "hit." If the saving throw could be modified at all, it stands to reason that it would first be modified by the relevant ability score modifier.

If the saving throw could be modified at all, it stands to reason that it would first be modified by the relevant ability score modifier.

Nup. That already got taken into account in your defense score that the attacker beat.

3.5 had a very few spells that allowed periodic saving throws (eg hold person). They had an interesting effect that if the attacker got "lucky" and beat someone with a good save, then the spell would most likely end the next save anyway. In contrast, the spell would likely last a while against someone with a poor save since they'd be likely to keep failing.

In 4E, they are a duration mechanic, and assume that (in general) you already failed to defend. So, for most characters, saves are unmodified. However, some characters throw off certain effects easily (dwarves and poison, for example), and certain effects may be hard to throw off. It is only those saves that are modified.

The big advantage of 4E saves is that the character at least does something every round, and can in addition be granted additional saves by other PCs. Unlike the aforementioned 3E cause fear; unless someone had exactly the right counter prepped you might as well go read a book for the rest of the encounter.
Obviously this is little more than guesswork, but I'm going to go with "no, it's 10+ or nothing." I don't really understand the relevance of the sidebar Alyri has quoted (maybe s/he can shed some more light on that), but it seems to me that modifiers will probably be applied to the initial roll to "hit." If the saving throw could be modified at all, it stands to reason that it would first be modified by the relevant ability score modifier.


Simple.
The general rule is a straight die roll of 10+ saves against ongoing effects
Simple Rules, Many Exceptions: Dwarf racial breaks this rule(with poisons at least)

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Simple.
The general rule is a straight die roll of 10+ saves against ongoing effects
Simple Rules, Many Exceptions: Dwarf racial breaks this rule(with poisons at least)

The eladrin racial breaks it, as well, with a +5 vs. charm, and they also receive a separate bonus to their Will Defense. Thank you for the clarification and correction!
Yep, the new saving throws are a duration mechanic. As it was with 3.5, it is independent from:
  • the victim's level;
  • the victim's ability scores.


In 3.5 though, effect durations were very often dependent on the character level of the source of the effect (i.e. 1d8+1/level rounds, etc.). As far as offensive effects are concerned, I'm not sure it was a good idea.

In 4e, effect durations, instead of being uniformly distributed, follow a geometric distribution. The average duration of an effect is thus:

(1-p)/p = (1-0.55)/0.55 = 0.818181... rounds.

Modifiers to the saving throw affect this average duration as follows:

[b]Modif Prob Average (rounds)[/b]<br /> [color=Red]-10 0.05 19.00<br /> -9 0.10 9.00<br /> -8 0.15 5.67<br /> -7 0.20 4.00<br /> -6 0.25 3.00<br /> -5 0.30 2.33<br /> -4 0.35 1.86<br /> -3 0.40 1.50<br /> -2 0.45 1.22<br /> -1 0.50 1.00[/color]<br /> [b]0 0.55 0.82[/b]<br /> [color=Green]+1 0.60 0.67<br /> +2 0.65 0.54<br /> +3 0.70 0.43<br /> +4 0.75 0.33<br /> +5 0.80 0.25<br /> +6 0.85 0.18<br /> +7 0.90 0.11<br /> +8 0.95 0.05<br /> +9 1.00 0.00[/color]

As you can see:
  • Modifiers do not affect the durations proportionally;
  • Penalties have more influence than bonuses.


I would not mess around too much with modifiers for the saving throw. Too high and it becomes irrelevant. Too low, and the effect become virtually permanent, as far as encounters are concerned. I hope there is a stacking rule (worst penalty only + best bonus only).

A few things to note about this kind of random distribution:
  • Theoretically, an effect might never end, though the probability of this is negligible. An effect might last the whole encounter, however;
  • Your chance of making the save this round is not better if you have been failing it for many rounds before. You are never "due" to make it (see: Gambler's Fallacy). This can frustrate some players;
  • For this reason, if the average duration of an effect is indicated as 0.82 rounds and you have already been affected for 5 rounds, on average, you will be affected for... 0.82 more rounds.


I like this system as it is less bookeeping for the DM. And the people affected don't forget to make their roll because they have a motivation to do it, whereas they might "forget" to keep track of determined durations.
Sebby
"I'm a bonster. Rawr!"
Thanks for the math Sebby. After some crude calculation on Excel, it seems that spell durations would be rather short. Using the standard 55% chance of save success, the probability of a duration ending on or before X round is:

X Prob
1 .55
2 .7975
3 .9089
4 .959
5 .9815
6 .9917

4/5 of the time, a spells ends on or before the second round and 9/10 of the time, on or before the third round. Most spells would not go beyond 5 or 6 rounds. Compared to 3.5, spells durations seem really short.

I wonder if saving throw penalties would be common or rare in 4.0. While 4.0 is moving away from spells that take out a participant for the entire fight, it seems that spells that requires saving throws might not be a very option if the enemy can shrug off most spells in 3 or less rounds.
A bit more math:

Using Sebby's probability table, I did some futher calculations using -5 penalty and +5 bonus:

For a save with a -5 penalty, the probability of the spell ending on or before X saving throw roll is:

X Prob
1 .3
2 .51
3 .657
4 .7599
5 .8319
6 .8824
7 .9176


For one with +5 bonus:

X Prob
1 .8
2 .96
3 .992
4 .998


So for something with a +5 bonus like an eladrin vs charm, 99% of the time the spell ends on or before the 3 round. Even for a severe penalty of -5, 3/4 of the time a spell would end on or before th 4th round.

What we do know is that combat in 4.0 is geared towards longer battles with most participants having higher hp and lower damage. So it seems that if most debuffs work off saving throws, then debuffs would most likely not last the entire battle.
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