... now with 35% more arrogance!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I've been mulling over the way saves are done. Traditionally, of course, they are d20 >= a target number determined by level and class, although there are also ability checks (d20 <= ability score.) I've previously supported 3 x d6 < ability score, because
  • I can use the d6 damage or effects roll;
  • more damaging hits are now also more likely to cause a failed save;
  • tripling a number isn't too hard;
  • "less than but NOT equal" means that ability 18 still leaves a 1 in 6 chance of failure, if unmodified.
However, doing math, even simple math, only once is far more tempting than doing it many times on the fly, so I'm considering recording a "save score" next to each ability, in parentheses. This does mean that a +1 bonus is worth far more, but it makes the save much easier and means I can merge surprise, initiative and find secret doors into saves without altering them too much. And for the truly math-terrified, I could provide a table that only needs to be referred to six times, and only during character creation:
Score SaveScoreSave

Also, something like "Strength 14 (4)" could be used as a limit in some cases: roll a d6, but count 5 or 6 as a maximum result of 4. Maybe strangulation or squeezing to crush an opponent is limited to this Strength rating.

The 3-18 scores still apply, however, when comparing two opponents. A contest between a Strength 13 and a Strength 14 wrestler would give the second wrestler a +1 advantage, even though both have the same saving throw rating.

I'll have to think about this more.

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