Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28
  1. #1
    Senior Member Beruin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    228
    Downloads
    4
    Uploads
    0
    I`ve been thinking about a house rules about saving throws for a while, but I`m not yet sure if this is really workable. The argument goes like this:

    Often, saves represent quite a bit of movement and effort. For example, a warrior trying to avoid a fireball effect or a dragon`s breath weapon has to jump out of harm`s way or at least he has to duck. As a result, I`m considering a rule to declare saves as actions. Using this rule, the warrior would have to decide whether he wanted to take the heat, forfeiting a save to be able to still attack during the round or to duck out of harm`s way with the result that he uses his action for the round to escape damage.

    I guess this rule (I have not playtested it ) would make combat run slightly longer and would make magic and special abilities more lethal.

    Another question is whether all effects would require the subject to use an action to be eligible for a save or just same. Reflex saves would probably require an action nearly all the time, but what about resisiting poison or a charm spell? I guess one could argue in both directions in this case. Maybe a save against a charm spell would require so much of an effort on the subject`s part that he could take no other action besides moving during a round, but this does not have to be necessarily the case.


    Has anyone experimented with a rule like this? Is it worth the bother? What do you think?

    Christoph

    ************************************************** **************************
    The Birthright Homepage: http://www.birthright.net
    Birthright-l Archives: http://oracle.wizards.com/archives/birthright-l.html
    To unsubscribe, send email to LISTSERV@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM
    with UNSUB BIRTHRIGHT-L in the body of the message.
    "The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus it has ever been."
    - The Three Kingdoms, attributed to Luo Guanzhong, c.1330-c.1400

  2. #2
    Birthright Developer
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    USA.
    Posts
    626
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    On Mon, Jan 13, 2003 at 03:37:24PM +0100, Christoph Tiemann wrote:
    > I`ve been thinking about a house rules about saving throws for a
    > while, but I`m not yet sure if this is really workable. The argument
    > goes like this:
    >
    > Often, saves represent quite a bit of movement and effort. For
    > example, a warrior trying to avoid a fireball effect or a dragon`s
    > breath weapon has to jump out of harm`s way or at least he has to duck.
    > As a result, I`m considering a rule to declare saves as actions. Using
    > this rule, the warrior would have to decide whether he wanted to take
    > the heat, forfeiting a save to be able to still attack during the round
    > or to duck out of harm`s way with the result that he uses his action
    > for the round to escape damage.

    It is my opinion that such a rule would highly skew the balance of
    your campaign towards favoring the use of magic. Fighters would be
    left with the option to take full damage from spells OR forfeit
    their multiple attacks (which are the primary characteristic of
    the warrior-type character). I don`t really think that this is
    a desirable goal. Your point however is valid, and is certainly
    worth considering if you don`t mind making magic more powerful.

    I`ve always interpreted saving throws, like combat itself, to be very
    abstract. Perhaps the character making the saving throw drops to one
    knee and hides behind a shield to deflect a large portion of the
    blast - as soon as the blast clears, they immediately return to their
    previous ready position and continue fighting; no one can take
    advantage of the situation due to the temporary chaos in _everyone`s_
    ranks due to the spell effect.

    The only spell for which this actually seems to be a major issue
    in my experience is Wall of fire. When a wall of fire is cast ON
    a character the rules state that they may move to either side (their
    choice) on a successful save. I force characters who have made such
    a save to move (with a 5ft step if nothing else) off of the Wall of
    fire at the beginning of their next round. If they choose to stay
    (or are boxed in) then they take half-damage again (as if they had
    missed their save in the first place.

    - Doom

    ************************************************** **************************
    The Birthright Homepage: http://www.birthright.net
    Birthright-l Archives: http://oracle.wizards.com/archives/birthright-l.html
    To unsubscribe, send email to LISTSERV@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM
    with UNSUB BIRTHRIGHT-L in the body of the message.

  3. #3
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Posts
    3,946
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Unless otherwise stated in the spell, like the one Travis pointed out, a saving throw is a free action and is a reflexive response, similar to the AC bonus given against a dodge opponent (see the feat). If taken in any other context it will indeed make magic much more powerful and favor spellcasters. Check the spell description for certain spells like entangle for actions that may be taken if a saving throw is made (or failed).

    The other to ask is how would you handle abilities like evasion and improved evasion (see rogue and monk) if you chang the way you handle saving throws.
    Duane Eggert

  4. #4
    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Manassas, VA
    Posts
    761
    Downloads
    2
    Uploads
    0
    On Mon, 13 Jan 2003, Dr. Travis Doom wrote:

    > Perhaps the character making the saving throw drops to one knee and
    > hides behind a shield to deflect a large portion of the blast - as
    > soon as the blast clears, they immediately return to their previous
    > ready position and continue fighting;

    This was easier to believe in the days when a combat round was a whole
    minute long, rather than just six seconds. In 3e, taking a moment to
    dodge seems like it should fill up most of the standard time unit,
    instead of just a tiny part of it.


    Ryan Caveney

    ************************************************** **************************
    The Birthright Homepage: http://www.birthright.net
    Birthright-l Archives: http://oracle.wizards.com/archives/birthright-l.html
    To unsubscribe, send email to LISTSERV@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM
    with UNSUB BIRTHRIGHT-L in the body of the message.

  5. #5
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Springfield Mo
    Posts
    3,562
    Downloads
    2
    Uploads
    0
    On Mon, 13 Jan 2003, Dr. Travis Doom wrote:

    > > Perhaps the character making the saving throw drops to one knee and
    > > hides behind a shield to deflect a large portion of the blast - as
    > > soon as the blast clears, they immediately return to their previous
    > > ready position and continue fighting;

    On Mon, 13 Jan 2003, Ryan B. Caveney wrote in reply:

    > This was easier to believe in the days when a combat round was a whole
    > minute long, rather than just six seconds. In 3e, taking a moment to
    > dodge seems like it should fill up most of the standard time unit,
    > instead of just a tiny part of it.

    Reflex saves probably fall into one of two catagories: 1) its a genuine
    reflex action or instinct behavior that takes very little time. At most I
    could see bumping someone down the initiative order, mostly to reflect
    getting one`s bearings, not because of the move itself. Or 2) everyone is
    out of combat mode for the moment (taking cover) and combat resumes as it
    was moments later, unchanged.

    Keep in mind as well, the effect on wizard`s duels during which using a save
    as an action could allow one caster to get back to back, or worse, back to
    back to back ... and so on spells off, because they other guy is doing
    nothing more than making saving throws.

    Costing someone an action for taking a save might be used for rolling the
    save exactly, or some other measure of just barely making it.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

    ************************************************** **************************
    The Birthright Homepage: http://www.birthright.net
    Birthright-l Archives: http://oracle.wizards.com/archives/birthright-l.html
    To unsubscribe, send email to LISTSERV@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM
    with UNSUB BIRTHRIGHT-L in the body of the message.

  6. #6
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    California, USA
    Posts
    2,178
    Downloads
    4
    Uploads
    7
    At 03:37 PM 1/13/2003 +0100, Christoph Tiemann wrote:

    >Often, saves represent quite a bit of movement and effort. For example, a
    >warrior trying to avoid a fireball effect or a dragon`s breath weapon has
    >to jump out of harm`s way or at least he has to duck. As a result, I`m
    >considering a rule to declare saves as actions. Using this rule, the
    >warrior would have to decide whether he wanted to take the heat,
    >forfeiting a save to be able to still attack during the round or to duck
    >out of harm`s way with the result that he uses his action for the round to
    >escape damage.

    This is an interesting and, I think, very valid point. Saving throws are
    often described as having a physical aspect that would normally equate to
    at least a move equivalent action, but that`s not reflected in any way by
    the rules.

    >I guess this rule (I have not playtested it ) would make combat run
    >slightly longer and would make magic and special abilities more lethal.

    Yeah, as pointed out by several folks (and you, obviously) it would make
    magic more powerful in combat situations. That does rather beg the
    question, though... so what? In D&D the most unbalanced aspect of
    character classes has always been the magic system. Complaining about
    something that will make that imbalance more obvious strikes me as just
    illustrating certain faults of the present system rather than being a legit
    critique of the proposed house rule. So would it make magic unreasonably
    more powerful and what might be done to put it more into balance? I`d
    argue that by the time it would become an influence it probably makes
    little difference. That is, if you make saving throws (particularly reflex
    saves) an action you do force those characters with a high BAB to forgo
    their multiple attacks as a standard action, and probably limit some of
    their own special abilities. That`s really only a factor for characters
    that are 6th level and higher because one doesn`t start getting to the +6
    BAB necessary for multiple attacks until that point and by then characters
    tend to have a lot more hit points, so the various types of damage done
    will have less affect.

    In order to reflect the relative difficulty of such activities, however,
    you might consider likewise increasing the amount of time necessary to
    perform spellcasting and related tasks--which are presently skewed in favor
    of the magic system. For instance, drawing a weapon or shield is a move
    equivalent action (or done was part of a move equivalent action) without a
    special feat while preparing spell components is free. Spellcasting itself
    is more often than not a standard action. You might consider making most
    spellcasting a full round action rather than a standard action (which kind
    of makes sense anyway in many cases) or requiring some sort of
    concentration check if performed as a standard action with movement (which
    also makes sense) as part of an overall set of house rules.

    You might also consider only making those saving throws that accompany a
    special ability an action. Evasion, for instance, allows for more than the
    standard fraction of damage without any greater effort. It would follow
    that some sort of additional activity would be required for that to happen
    (and would somewhat decrease the effectiveness of this rather too broad
    special ability.)

    >Another question is whether all effects would require the subject to use
    >an action to be eligible for a save or just same. Reflex saves would
    >probably require an action nearly all the time, but what about resisiting
    >poison or a charm spell?

    If you`re going to go with a rule like this it would probably make more
    sense to make all saves an action rather than to differentiate between one
    or another. Unless you can come up with a very simple system to decide
    which kind of saves would be free and which would be an action it may be a
    pain to have to rule on (or look up on some list) every possible saving
    throw. I don`t think it would really slow down play to do so, however. A
    couple of standardized house rules does not in my experience slow down the
    play time of combat. When I included a system of fumbles and extended
    critical hit results the hew and cry was that combat would require all
    kinds of references to tables and that kind of thing is so boring, but
    quite the opposite happened. As long as your tweaks have some consistency
    then you should be fine.

    Gary

    ************************************************** **************************
    The Birthright Homepage: http://www.birthright.net
    Birthright-l Archives: http://oracle.wizards.com/archives/birthright-l.html
    To unsubscribe, send email to LISTSERV@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM
    with UNSUB BIRTHRIGHT-L in the body of the message.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    BR mailing list
    Posts
    1,562
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Avoiding a blow is also really an action - you block and parry to the best
    of your ability. Playing things this way, you ought to give each character
    an offensive and a defensive action each round - attacks (including saves)
    on which you don`t spend your defensive action have a much better chance of
    success. The main effects are:

    To slow down combat.

    To make one-on-many situations more lethal

    You would have to rewrite the combat rules more or less from the top to do
    this. Try a "parrying" game like Rune Quest if this is the appoach you want.


    __________________________________________________ ___
    Gratis e-mail resten av livet på www.yahoo.se/mail
    Busenkelt!

    ************************************************** **************************
    The Birthright Homepage: http://www.birthright.net
    Birthright-l Archives: http://oracle.wizards.com/archives/birthright-l.html
    To unsubscribe, send email to LISTSERV@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM
    with UNSUB BIRTHRIGHT-L in the body of the message.
    NOTE: Messages posted by Birthright-L are automatically inserted posts originating from the mailing list linked to the forum.

  8. #8
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    California, USA
    Posts
    2,178
    Downloads
    4
    Uploads
    7
    At 09:04 PM 1/13/2003 +0100, Stephen Starfox wrote:

    >Avoiding a blow is also really an action - you block and parry to the best
    >of your ability. Playing things this way, you ought to give each character
    >an offensive and a defensive action each round - attacks (including saves)
    >on which you don`t spend your defensive action have a much better chance of
    >success.

    Offensive and defensive actions are pretty much all considered the same
    sort of activity, at least as far as the amount of effort and time they
    require in the combat system. The proposed tweak doesn`t really factor
    into the differences between specific types of actions, just whether or not
    saving throws should be on part with them in terms of how much effort is
    required.

    >The main effects are:
    >
    >To slow down combat.

    There are really two considerations here, and I`m not sure which you`re
    addressing. Will it slow down combat as in the actual game time in combat
    rounds will be increased, or will it bog down play by making combat more
    complex? The first, I don`t think, is really much of a concern. Combat in
    D&D has been and still is quite abstracted, so if it takes six rounds to
    resolve a fight as opposed to four then it makes little difference.

    Whether it will bog down play or not is, however, a more serious
    consideration. The proposed tweak, however, need not do that depending on
    how it`s implemented. If one simply says "making a saving throw is an
    action" then that won`t slow down play any more than any more than any
    other activity that is handled similarly. Since the "action" mechanic is
    already in place it will just take advantage of that. Another level of
    complexity could slow down play more (if one had to rule or decide on a
    case by case basis whether or not a particular type of saving throw would
    constitute an action ) but in this case I don`t think it would represent
    all that much of a slow in play. There are certainly those people who have
    large portions of the texts memorized and can tell you whether spell X is a
    standard or full round action off the tops of their heads, but other people
    (myself included) have to look that sort of thing up. The more commonly
    cast spells, of course, don`t need to be looked up, but in the same way I
    remember the effects of those spells I (and other folks) would be able to
    remember whether or not the saving throw for a particular (and common)
    situation would require an action or not.

    I hear the "it will bog down play" from time to time. It seems to get
    bandied about without much real consideration. Without playtesting someone
    making that argument can carry very little weight, and rarely in my
    experience has the person making the argument actually tried it before
    making the case. In all honesty, when I`ve heard that argument in the past
    I`ve found the opposite to be true more often than not. That`s mostly I
    think because people seem to think a more intelligent and deliberate system
    that may take say 15% more play time to resolve using an alternate set of
    rules must be 15% more dull, but that`s simply not the case. Unless
    there`s a level of complexity involved that requires people to start
    working things out on calculators and reading/discussing game mechanics
    then the session isn`t diminished. In fact, simplistic combat rules can be
    quite boring for all that they are resolved quickly. On other occasions
    seemingly simple tweaks that no one predicted would slow down play did
    exactly that. The point being that one really has to give this kind of
    thing a try before one can say it will bog down play or not.

    >To make one-on-many situations more lethal

    How do you mean it will make one-on-many situations more lethal? More
    lethal for who? Is it things like the area effects of certain spells? If
    that`s the case then you`re certainly correct. Making saving throws an
    action for all those in the radius of a Fireball spell (probably the most
    obvious example) would make that spell more lethal. I don`t know if that`s
    really such a big problem, though. Being in the midst of a massive
    explosion seems like the kind of thing that might require a little
    attention if one wanted to duck and cover in order to avoid facing the full
    force.

    One way of addressing this kind of thing, however, might be to say that
    making a saving throw requires an action, but making a saving throw itself
    is optional. That is, if one doesn`t mind taking all 6d6 damage and would
    rather not dedicate the time to ducking and covering in order to make a
    bee-line for the spellcaster to take off his head, then that`s OK. You
    just don`t get to roll for half damage.

    >You would have to rewrite the combat rules more or less from the top to do
    >this. Try a "parrying" game like Rune Quest if this is the appoach you want.

    It`s hardly a total rewrite. It`s a simple tweak, and one that fits into
    existing game mechanics at that.

    Gary

    ************************************************** **************************
    The Birthright Homepage: http://www.birthright.net
    Birthright-l Archives: http://oracle.wizards.com/archives/birthright-l.html
    To unsubscribe, send email to LISTSERV@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM
    with UNSUB BIRTHRIGHT-L in the body of the message.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Beruin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    228
    Downloads
    4
    Uploads
    0
    Thanks for all the insight on this topic. After reading your posts I have decided to give this system a try. I`ll be starting a new campaign on Saturday with one experienced player and a bunch of total newbies who can`t tell apart a d20 from a d4, so I guess I won`t run into too much trouble because I dared to change a line in the rule books.

    For now, the rule will run as follows:

    Making a saving throw is optional and requires a partial (or move-eqivalent - that`s essentially the same I guess) action.

    I will make clear to my players that this rule will have to be tested and could be changed if it doesn`t work out. For now, I guess that this is a reasonable compromise.

    Victims of a spell who take a save will still be able to accomplish something during a round, just not so much.
    I believe the rule can be easily rationalized in all cases I could think of: Fireball - the victim jumps aside or ducks to cover; Charm - the victim has to exert a conscious effort to fight off the foreign influence in his mind trying to take over; Poison - the victim has to overcome severe pain, stomach cramps etc. before his body system is again under control.

    This will of course, as pointed out, make magic more powerful. However, I already fiddled around with the magic system a lot, using 2e Player`s Option: Spells & Magic. I use a spellpoint system instead of the spell slots, as I believe this is easier to keep track of and offers more freedom of choice. Arcane Spellcasters channel a small amount of Mebhaighl through their bodies, an exhausting process. They have to make an exhaustion check every time they cast a spell or they become tired or even unconscious (Depending on the amount they fail their check by and/or pre-existing conditions). They check is basically identical to a KON save, but using the ability modifier for Intelligence or Charisma against a DC of 15+Spell level.

    Divine Spellcaster use a set of Conditional magic. They don`t face exhaustion, but every caster has a number of positive or negative conditions determined by his belief which influence his spellcasting. A divine spellcaster who tries to get off a spell under unfavourable conditions faces the possibility that his spells are diminished in effect, fail entirely and he might even suffer from a magical backlash. Once again, this is a check against a DC of 15+Spell level.

    All in all, I believe that these hindrances balance out enough against the increased power of magic by making saving throws partial actions.

    To those of you, who think that this also requires to introduce a defence action into combat, I`d like to point out p. 64 of the DMG. It introduces a variant rule regarding AC. Using this rule use a d20 and add all your AC modifiers to determine your Defence against an opponent`s attack roll. The rule also states that the normal use of AC can be regarded as "taking 10" on your defence roll. So, in a sense, we already have a defence action.

    Christoph Tiemann





    ************************************************** **************************
    The Birthright Homepage: http://www.birthright.net
    Birthright-l Archives: http://oracle.wizards.com/archives/birthright-l.html
    To unsubscribe, send email to LISTSERV@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM
    with UNSUB BIRTHRIGHT-L in the body of the message.
    "The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus it has ever been."
    - The Three Kingdoms, attributed to Luo Guanzhong, c.1330-c.1400

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    BR mailing list
    Posts
    1,562
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    On Tue, 14 Jan 2003, Christoph Tiemann wrote:
    > For now, the rule will run as follows:
    >
    > Making a saving throw is optional and requires a partial (or
    > move-eqivalent - that`s essentially the same I guess) action.

    It`s not quite. For one thing, there`s no such thing as a partial action
    in a regular round, they only happen in hasted rounds or rounds of
    suprise (essentially). Characters get a move and an action in a round.
    If you make the saving throw equivalent to a move, then they can make two
    in one round, but nothing else (you can move for your action too). If you
    make it an action, they can only make 1 in a round. Making it a move is
    better, I think. So you could make a saving throw and move, or make a
    saving throw and attack (not full attack, regular), or make two saving
    throws.

    > I will make clear to my players that this rule will have to be tested
    > and could be changed if it doesn`t work out. For now, I guess that
    > this is a reasonable compromise.

    It`s not. Wizards don`t have to spend their action for the round avoiding
    the sword- if they get hit, they need a Concentration check, but that`s
    free, and they can still take their own move-and-action combo.

    This is essentially going to drag fighting wizards down to `who wins
    initiative`, because if you beat the wizard and can get there and disrupt
    his first spell, you win. If you can`t, all you can do is hunker down
    until he empties his clip.

    > To those of you, who think that this also requires to introduce a
    > defence action into combat, I`d like to point out p. 64 of the DMG. It
    > introduces a variant rule regarding AC. Using this rule use a d20 and
    > add all your AC modifiers to determine your Defence against an
    > opponent`s attack roll. The rule also states that the normal use of AC
    > can be regarded as "taking 10" on your defence roll. So, in a sense,
    > we already have a defence action.

    Yes, but it`s automatic, and still gives the target a chance to act on his
    own.
    --
    Communication is possible only between equals.
    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

    ************************************************** **************************
    The Birthright Homepage: http://www.birthright.net
    Birthright-l Archives: http://oracle.wizards.com/archives/birthright-l.html
    To unsubscribe, send email to LISTSERV@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM
    with UNSUB BIRTHRIGHT-L in the body of the message.
    NOTE: Messages posted by Birthright-L are automatically inserted posts originating from the mailing list linked to the forum.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
BIRTHRIGHT, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, D&D, the BIRTHRIGHT logo, and the D&D logo are trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and are used by permission. ©2002-2010 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.