Topic: Alternate Saving Throw

Im looking to try to make saves function more closely to skills. Ive never been a fan of the arbitrary groupings of old school saves (breatn weapon/spell/wand) and think they make very little sense.

My idea for a d6 saving throw:

- Saving throw is listed under skills, with every one having a base chance of 1 and 6 to save.

- Every 3 levels (3,6, and 9 being the cap) this rank increases by 1. So a 6th level PC has a 3 in 6 chance of saving.

- Your rank is treated as 1 higher if you are higner level/hd than the creature you are resisting. So you are less likely to save against a powerful sorcerer, but more likely to overcome minor posions or magics from low tier enemies as you level up.

- +1 to your rank may also be added if you have a modifier (13+) in an attribute relating to that save. So Con for posion, Dex for breath weapon, Wis for charm, etc


Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

Last edited by DeathKnight4044 (2018-02-05 20:23:53)

Re: Alternate Saving Throw

The mechanic overall seems fine, but 1 in 6 for all saves at first level seems very low. In the rulebook, the best starting save is 10, and the worst is 18, which means first level characters have between a 15% and 50% chance, whereas with a 1 in 6, it's about 17% across the board.

Of course, as you say, ability scores can modify this, but that means you can end up with negative saves...does that mean that some characters will basically start with an auto fail vs death save?

Like I said, I think the mechanic itself can work, you may just want to think about how negative modifiers affect things, and what happens if a character with weak ability scores is affected by having a 17% save vs almost everything (which can be pretty much instant death in LotFP).

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Have you seen the system introduced in the LotFP Playtest document? PCs roll a number of D6s based on their ability score in Charisma (vs. magic threats) and Wisdom (vs non-magic threats).  Two sixes is a full save, one six is a half save, zero sixes means they failed.

If you're interested in this, I can post more later, but I don't have it in front of me right now.

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I'll also share what I'm currently doing, it takes one part of what was used in the playtest document and changes it up:

Charisma is used to save vs. magic threats.
Wisdom is used to save vs. all non-magic threats.

When saving, a PC rolls equal to or less than their score in that stat. If they roll an even number, it's a half save, if they roll an odd number, it's a full save.

One side effect of this is that saves will not normally increase when leveling up. So, every other level, PCs can bump one ability score so they have an option of increasing their save if they would like.

Re: Alternate Saving Throw

Well i was thinking of providing a bonus of 1 higher skill rank with a 13+ in the relevant stat. So penalties or bonuses beyond plus 1 wouldn't apply. However maybe starting at a base of 2 in 6 chance of saving, while raising to a 3 in 6 save at level 4, and 4 in 6 save at level 8 (capped), would be more fair?

Im interested in the idea from the playstest rules. My two main problems with it are:

1) It diminishes part of what makes LOTFP attractive to a lot of people- and thats that the mechanics are streamlined. Presenting a new task resolution mechanic, especially one that co contradicts the skill system (for skills low on d6= good, playtest saves have high on d6=good).

2) It only utilizes wisdom.and charisma. I would think spells like lightning bolts would use dex as the save attribute, while something like a web spell would be strength based. I.dont see why it should be restricted to wisdom or Charisma.


I like your customized system, and would definitley use it for a game like the black hack or something thats all d20 low rolls = good. But just like my first issue with the playtest saves, it introduces a task resolution mechanic thats at odds with some elements of the system (attack on d20 is high= good, attribute check on d20 is low=good).

Last edited by DeathKnight4044 (2018-02-06 02:52:15)

Re: Alternate Saving Throw

1) True, and this is an understandable characteristic that many would agree with.

2) I also experimented with a system that utilized the ability scores for saves because I generally agree with the idea that the ability scores and saves can have some correlation, but it required more character sheet checking, first to find the save, then to find the modifier. With my current system, nobody misses the correlation they used to have, and it's easier.

I'm okay with varying task resolution mechanics, as long as they're fairly streamlined, get the job done, and are enjoyable to resolve.

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The playtest rules actually had pretty different things tied to each stat, so there were more task resolution mechanics than just the saves. James wanted to amp up the importance of each stat in order to avoid dump stats.

Here is the full spread for the saves in the playtest document:

3-4: 2d6
5-8: 3d6
9-12: 4d6
13-16: 5d6
17-18: 6d6

Con determined the die for hit points.
Dex determined the die for initiative.
Int modified number of skill points.
Str determined # of items that make up an encumbrance point.

There were NO ability score modifiers tied to any stat!

Re: Alternate Saving Throw

To keep with the 'saves as skills' idea, how about the following:

There are six saves, each tied to an Ability. Might (Strength), Agility (Dexterity), Endurance (Constitution), Deduction (Intelligence), Perception (Wisdom), and Willpower (Charisma). Each begins at two in six, a positive modifier in the linked Ability makes it a three in six, a negative modifier makes it a one in six.

There are thirty six possible points in this system, and your average PC will begin with twelve. If we assume we want PCs to have a maximum in all saves by level twenty one there's still more than twenty points to hand out, so increasing a single save by one point per level should be fine, or one skill point every other level if you want something closer or 'classic' LotFP scaling.

Oh, we should also decide important things that the six saves defend against. Might is our basic save versus restrained, so it's what you roll to break out of ropes or paralysis. Agility is essentially reflex from D&D3.5, so is our anti-area affect save (less useful given the lack of AoE spells in LotFP, but it's already important due to AC). Endurance is save versus poisions. Deduction is our save versus illusions. Perception is a catch-all save versus traps. Willpower is a catch-all save versus magic. Not perfect, but each one has their uses.

For the record I'm less important about the Intelligence save being important because I give everybody bonus skill points equal to 2+int modifier(+the number of additional skills I add).

Here starting save values begin at roughly the same ranges as in the original rules, and advance slightly faster (which makes a big difference by the teens).

The problem is that the Dwarf and Halfling begin needing extra bonuses if you're running with demihumans, elves actually get enough advantages already to stay at their current XP track (being MUs with combat options, less restrictive casting, and better skills). Okay, maybe we can give the elf spells as a MU (read magic+three at first level, one that costs no money each level), but otherwise there's no problem. I'd be tempted to just give halflings a skill point per level and then give dwarves a Fighter's to hit bonus and maybe raise their XP table to be identical to an elf's, but then I like the idea of there being a second 'complete warrior' option in the demihumans.

Re: Alternate Saving Throw

AnonymousWizard wrote:

To keep with the 'saves as skills' idea, how about the following:

There are six saves, each tied to an Ability. Might (Strength), Agility (Dexterity), Endurance (Constitution), Deduction (Intelligence), Perception (Wisdom), and Willpower (Charisma). Each begins at two in six, a positive modifier in the linked Ability makes it a three in six, a negative modifier makes it a one in six.

There are thirty six possible points in this system, and your average PC will begin with twelve. If we assume we want PCs to have a maximum in all saves by level twenty one there's still more than twenty points to hand out, so increasing a single save by one point per level should be fine, or one skill point every other level if you want something closer or 'classic' LotFP scaling.

Oh, we should also decide important things that the six saves defend against. Might is our basic save versus restrained, so it's what you roll to break out of ropes or paralysis. Agility is essentially reflex from D&D3.5, so is our anti-area affect save (less useful given the lack of AoE spells in LotFP, but it's already important due to AC). Endurance is save versus poisions. Deduction is our save versus illusions. Perception is a catch-all save versus traps. Willpower is a catch-all save versus magic. Not perfect, but each one has their uses.

For the record I'm less important about the Intelligence save being important because I give everybody bonus skill points equal to 2+int modifier(+the number of additional skills I add).

Here starting save values begin at roughly the same ranges as in the original rules, and advance slightly faster (which makes a big difference by the teens).

The problem is that the Dwarf and Halfling begin needing extra bonuses if you're running with demihumans, elves actually get enough advantages already to stay at their current XP track (being MUs with combat options, less restrictive casting, and better skills). Okay, maybe we can give the elf spells as a MU (read magic+three at first level, one that costs no money each level), but otherwise there's no problem. I'd be tempted to just give halflings a skill point per level and then give dwarves a Fighter's to hit bonus and maybe raise their XP table to be identical to an elf's, but then I like the idea of there being a second 'complete warrior' option in the demihumans.

Hmm, I kinda like this idea. I wouldn't rename the saves and would just apply whatever ability score made sense for the save. I like the idea of starting at 2 in 6, and only getting a single modifier of +1 or -1 based on ability score. I'd probably do +1 every other level.

Re: Alternate Saving Throw

Crunk Posby wrote:
AnonymousWizard wrote:

To keep with the 'saves as skills' idea, how about the following:

There are six saves, each tied to an Ability. Might (Strength), Agility (Dexterity), Endurance (Constitution), Deduction (Intelligence), Perception (Wisdom), and Willpower (Charisma). Each begins at two in six, a positive modifier in the linked Ability makes it a three in six, a negative modifier makes it a one in six.

There are thirty six possible points in this system, and your average PC will begin with twelve. If we assume we want PCs to have a maximum in all saves by level twenty one there's still more than twenty points to hand out, so increasing a single save by one point per level should be fine, or one skill point every other level if you want something closer or 'classic' LotFP scaling.

Oh, we should also decide important things that the six saves defend against. Might is our basic save versus restrained, so it's what you roll to break out of ropes or paralysis. Agility is essentially reflex from D&D3.5, so is our anti-area affect save (less useful given the lack of AoE spells in LotFP, but it's already important due to AC). Endurance is save versus poisions. Deduction is our save versus illusions. Perception is a catch-all save versus traps. Willpower is a catch-all save versus magic. Not perfect, but each one has their uses.

For the record I'm less important about the Intelligence save being important because I give everybody bonus skill points equal to 2+int modifier(+the number of additional skills I add).

Here starting save values begin at roughly the same ranges as in the original rules, and advance slightly faster (which makes a big difference by the teens).

The problem is that the Dwarf and Halfling begin needing extra bonuses if you're running with demihumans, elves actually get enough advantages already to stay at their current XP track (being MUs with combat options, less restrictive casting, and better skills). Okay, maybe we can give the elf spells as a MU (read magic+three at first level, one that costs no money each level), but otherwise there's no problem. I'd be tempted to just give halflings a skill point per level and then give dwarves a Fighter's to hit bonus and maybe raise their XP table to be identical to an elf's, but then I like the idea of there being a second 'complete warrior' option in the demihumans.

Hmm, I kinda like this idea. I wouldn't rename the saves and would just apply whatever ability score made sense for the save. I like the idea of starting at 2 in 6, and only getting a single modifier of +1 or -1 based on ability score. I'd probably do +1 every other level.


Thanks for all the replies everyone. This is mostly what im leaning towards at the moment:

- Saving throw is recorded along with all other skills at a base of 2 in 6 chance of success.
- A 13+ in a relevant attribute will increase this rank by 1
- At levels 3 and 6 the saving throws skill rank increases by 1. (so a 6th level character has a 4 in 6 saving throw)
- Saving vs an enemy or spell casters magic that is higher level/HD than you lowers your skill rank by 1. Saving vs an enemy or spell casters magic whos lower level/HD than you grants a +1 to your saving throw skill rank. 
- A 6 is always a fail

I think that keeps it simple and streamlined in the spirit of the game (seriously the encumbrance and lite skill system are some of the best parts of LOTFP and getting saves to work in a similar manner is really appealing). What do you guys think about the above system and how it works? Im thinking of typing up a small document for my games including this save system and some of the custom/variant classes posted in other threads.

Upon further reflection I think the multiple d6 for saves isnt the best idea. I think it'll only serve as a fiddly distraction by adding another task resolution system. Youll fall into that trap of players arching their eyebrows when you tell them "d20 high for hit and damage, a single d6 desiring a low roll for skills, and then a variable amount of d6s aiming high for resisting magic and SOME non magic threats". Then it becomes "If i want to roll perception or to dodge a boulder do I roll multiple d6s for my charisma aiming high? Or do I roll 1 d6 like skills? Or is it a roll under mechanic like in other editions?"

It could just be my own weirdness, but the uniformity of LOTFP is what really makes it appealing to me and the introduction of the new multi d6 save system would really take away from that aspect.

Reminds me of the retro clone Crypts and Things. I love the game, but half way through the kickstarter for its second edition the author adopted a rule called "testing your luck" where you roll 2d6s and have to hit your luck score or lower (a luck score is usually 7-12), and on a success your luck temporarily lowers by one but you pull off the stunt. It was a cool mechanic for mitigating failed skill checks, attempting to stop a casted spell from being wiped from memory, inflicting max damage or cleaving into a nearby target. Some really cool ideas. But the author just took his fresh new idea and applied it to everything. Now resisting posion became a luck roll, all saves became a luck roll, staying conscious and maintaining ones sanity became luck rolls... basically the mechanic over saturated the game and lost a part of what made the game so good in the first place.

Anyways thats just my gut reaction to this. If anyone has any comments or ideas for tweaks in the system I typed out above let me know!

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Also.. regarding removing attribute mods ill have to think about how I feel about that. My gut reaction is that its a bad idea, and that someone with 18 strength ought to hit harder than someone with 10. Then again, with all skills being a 6 sided and with saves no longer being d20 based (meaning you probably wouldnt be applying mods for future save systems) I could see attribute mods being stripped out. Then again my 18 strength character should probably get a bonus for attempting to grapple a guy with 8 strength, and my archer with 18 dex should probably shoot more accurately than someone with 9 dex. It also means everyone but a fighter will lack any combat modifiers and really just amount to a feeling of lack of distinction between non fighters. Every character will be just as unremarkable and vanilla as the other regardless of attributes.

Ill have to think about it a bit and post my thoughts later..

Last edited by DeathKnight4044 (2018-02-08 17:20:36)

Re: Alternate Saving Throw

Quick thought:

What is saves just had a single task resolution number on a d20? Base 15. Lowers by 1 per level after first. Add your appropriate attribute modifier. Fighters get an extra +2 against strength and constitution based saves, specialists get +2 against dexterity and charisma based saves, and magicians get +2 against intelligence and wisdom based saves. You could also use this system for raw attribute checks and not just saving throws when its something more general and not in the realm of a specific skill, instead of the commonly used "roll under or equal to attribute" mechanic.

Thoughts?

Re: Alternate Saving Throw

I use a pretty radically different system than traditional D&D. I liked the idea in the playtest document of having each stat do something unique, b/c I personally find the range of ability scores a bit boring and meaningless. I actually want a difference from 11 to 12 in a stat to mean something mechanically. I also like the use of the dice like those in DCC.

I already described what CHA and WIS are used for (roll under magic/non-magic saving throws).

STR and DEX determine your damage die for melee and ranged attacks respectively. Yes, if you have a 14 in STR, you roll a d14 for melee damage.

CON determines your hit die. If you have a 12, you roll a d12 for each level (so a 3rd level character will roll 3d12 for hit points).

INT = number of skill points. (Skills range from 0-6 points, you roll 2d6 and add your skill points, you need to get into double digits to succeed. Classes are limited by how many skill points they can put into certain skills, Combat, Arcana, and Religion are skills that require skill points.)

Averages of certain stat combinations provide: Base AC, Movement rate, Encumbrance, and Perception.

While it does add a bit of math when creating a 1st level character, I mitigate this by having players start out with four 0-level characters that have simplified rules. These four characters can be done in about 10 mins or less.

I have been tinkering with LotFP for years now, and I'm pretty happy with my current rules iteration!

(NOTE: I do have more rules than described above that are in place to make this rule set compatible with LotFP, and published modules, like how to handle low vs. high weapon dmg, ability score modifiers, healing, etc.)

Re: Alternate Saving Throw

DeathKnight4044 wrote:

Quick thought:

What is saves just had a single task resolution number on a d20? Base 15. Lowers by 1 per level after first. Add your appropriate attribute modifier. Fighters get an extra +2 against strength and constitution based saves, specialists get +2 against dexterity and charisma based saves, and magicians get +2 against intelligence and wisdom based saves. You could also use this system for raw attribute checks and not just saving throws when its something more general and not in the realm of a specific skill, instead of the commonly used "roll under or equal to attribute" mechanic.

Thoughts?

To make sure I understand...so if poison gas is sprayed at a first level fighter, she will roll a d20 and has to get higher than 15. She will add +2 (I assume poison is a CON thing, although the spray could also be avoided with DEX). If she had a 14 STR, she would add another +1 to the roll. She would need to meet or beat 15 to save vs. the gas. If she was second level, she would need to meet or beat a 14.

I think this would work fine. There are some systems (Numenera, Pathfinder...Savage Worlds, I think?) that use this for skill checks but the Referee assigns a difficulty to the task.

If you want "all high rolls = good" in your game, the publisher was considering at one point changing skills to requiring a 7 to succeed. You would roll a d6 and add your skill points to the roll. This would maintain the exact same chance of success vs failure, but flips it so that high rolls are desired.

Re: Alternate Saving Throw

DeathKnight4044 wrote:

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Also.. regarding removing attribute mods ill have to think about how I feel about that. My gut reaction is that its a bad idea, and that someone with 18 strength ought to hit harder than someone with 10. Then again, with all skills being a 6 sided and with saves no longer being d20 based (meaning you probably wouldnt be applying mods for future save systems) I could see attribute mods being stripped out. Then again my 18 strength character should probably get a bonus for attempting to grapple a guy with 8 strength, and my archer with 18 dex should probably shoot more accurately than someone with 9 dex. It also means everyone but a fighter will lack any combat modifiers and really just amount to a feeling of lack of distinction between non fighters. Every character will be just as unremarkable and vanilla as the other regardless of attributes.

Ill have to think about it a bit and post my thoughts later..

I believe they will still be provided in the rulebook and/or rules/suggestions for how to deal with them when they appear in modules. I still include them on my character sheet b/c they show up a lot in D&D modules, but I don't have their use built into my current rule set.