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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Save, Recover, Acquire

There are lots of ways to handle saving throws, most of which are variations of two basic approaches, or a combo of both:
  • roll versus target number, based on class/level;
  • roll versus attribute.
Lately, I'm leaning towards the latter, although the simplicity of the Daniel R. "Delta" Collins Target 20 System is alluring. But I'm sure people have noticed my references to rolling 1d6, tripling the result, adding modifiers (if any) and comparing to an attribute. Why do it this way? Mainly because I can eliminate a roll, in many cases, by tying it to a damage roll. For example, a cobra's attack: roll 1d6 damage, then triple the result; if higher than CON, the victim is poisoned.

I also use this for recovery rolls, which is identical to a save except it's rolled to end or reduce a special effect instead of begin one. For example, rolling to recover from a disease, or rolling to restore a point of damage. And it's also good for what I call acquisition rolls: acquiring something new, like familiarity with an exotic weapon (INT test to erase unfamiliarity penalty,) picking up a few words of an unfamiliar language, studying an accent, learning a new spell. Most of these are INT tests, but a character could use Wisdom to make or break a habit, or Charisma to adapt to a new persuasive technique.

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