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New Saving Throw Rules for Microlite75

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I mentioned a couple of weeks ago (in this post Microlite75 Saving Throws: Change Them Or Keep Them?) that I was thinking of changing the saving throws in Microlite75 to be more like those in 0e/1e as the older saving throws do not scale with the level of the opposition, only the level of the character making the saving throw. This makes it harder for magic-users to take over the game at higher levels.

We have now played two sessions with the following Saving Throw rules in place. They seem to be working well.

Saving Throws

When subject to an unusual or magical attack, characters generally get a saving throw to avoid or reduce the effect. There are three types of saving rolls: Fortitude (FORT), Reflex (REF), and Will (WILL). To make a saving throw, roll 1d20. A natural roll of 1 automatically fails. A natural roll of 20 automatically succeeds. Otherwise, add the appropriate attribute and class modifiers and any GM assigned situational modifiers and compare the result to your Save DC. If the result is greater than or equal to your Save DC, the saving roll is successful.

Save DC: A character’s Save DC is equal to 18 – (level/2, round up).

Kinds of Saving Throws: There are four types of saving rolls: Fortitude (FORT), Reflex (REF), Will (WIL), and Presence (PRE). Fortitude: These saves measure ability to stand up to physical punishment or attacks against vitality and health. Add STR bonus to Fortitude saving throws. Reflex: These saves test ability to dodge area attacks. Add DEX bonus to Reflex saving throws. Will: These saves reflect resistance to mental influence and many magical effects. Add MIND bonus to Will saving throws. Presence: These saves reflect resistance to fear, awe, and some “social” effects. ADD CHA bonus to Presence saving throws.

Optional Saving Throw Method: As class and attribute modifiers to saves seldom change, GMs may want players to adjust their Save DCs for each type of save (by subtracting the modifiers from the standard Save DC given by the Save DC formula) and record the adjusted number for each kind of saving throw on their character sheet. Saving throws are then made by rolling 1d20, adding any GM assigned situational modifiers and comparing the result to the appropriate adjusted saving roll on the character sheet. Rolls of 1 and 20 still have their normal automatic effects.

These rules try to combine the best features of TSR and WOTC saving throws. The do not scale with the opposition like TSR saving throws, but they use the somewhat clearer types of saving throws from WOTC editions. One additional kind of save was added (for emotional effects like fear), Presence. This also gives each attribute a corresponding saving throw which means there are no great "dump" attributes.

Each character class gets a bonus to different saving throws. In the rules this is listed in the character class description, however, I'll just list them here:

Fighters add +2 to FORT saves.
Rangers add + 1 to FORT and REF saves.
Paladins add + 1 to FORT and PRE saves.
Monks add +2 to REF saves.
Magic-Users add +2 to WIL saves.
Illusionists add +1 to WIL and PRE saves.
Clerics add +1 to FORT and WIL saves.
Druids add +1 to WIL and PRE saves.
Thieves add +2 to REF saves.
Bards add +2 to PRE saves.

Are these the perfect set of saving throw rules? Probably not, but they seem to work well in play and they keep make high level spellcasters powerful without allowing them to become demi-gods -- just as things were in 0e and 1e.

David said...
July 28, 2010 at 8:04 AM  

Doesn't willpower cover fear effects? Adding a 4th roll doesn't seem to add too much.

Snowgen said...
July 28, 2010 at 5:40 PM  

Slight omission:

There are three types of saving rolls: Fortitude (FORT), Reflex (REF), and Will (WILL)...


Kinds of Saving Throws: There are four types of saving rolls: Fortitude (FORT), Reflex (REF), Will (WIL), and Presence (PRE)...

Subtracting 1/2 level from the DC seem counter-intuitive... I'd rather see it as characters get a 1/2-level bonus to their roll. But that's just personal preference.

Randall said...
July 28, 2010 at 5:58 PM  

Snowgen: Thanks for catching the typo. I'll fix it.

I use subtraction because I assume people will only do it once as they level up to get the new number. Adding it to the roll would have to be done each time you made a saving throw. I don't think it's worth that just to avoid ever using subtraction.

If I had my way, I'd just create a saving throw table like early versions of the game used. Then I'd just have people copy the numbers to their character sheets. But people want formulas, so they get them :)

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