Friday, February 8, 2013

Old School Sensibilities: Saves

I never liked saving throws in Dungeons and Dragons. I just didn’t like the concept, and it seemed like extra bookwork for no huge benefit. Even worse, there were some saves I just never used. Save vs. death ray? It just never came up.

However, I started to read about a handful of games (I wanted to say Microlite 20 was the first?) that used a single save to rule them all. I had never considered that, but it was a great solution. Keep the save, get rid of the extra bookwork. If you need to modify the save, then give a specific modifier for the situation. Member of a race that is particularly resistant to poison? Take +2 to saves vs. poison (modifying your base save). Simple, elegant and direct.

I’m completely gronking this idea for the MTDAA RPG: Legacy Edition. Your character will have a single save modifier that applies to all resist rolls: you save to avoid a hit; you save to withstand a poison; you save to soak damage; you save to avoid mind control; you save to notice someone using stealth. You have a base save modifier (determined by your level), and you roll the appropriate attribute die. If you have body D8 and are level 5 (a +3 save modifier), you roll D8+3 to make a body save. If for some reason you get a +1 bonus to saves vs. poison, you roll D8+4 to save vs. poison.

Nice and easy.