Saving Throws

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efletch
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Saving Throws

Post Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:24 pm

Greetings.

This is my first post.

I have enjoyed reading the BF RPG rules and number of the supplementary materials.

My first experience and good memory of role-playing was with D&D first edition long ago. I believe I played it once or twice. I then had the opportunity to play and enjoy AD&D first edition several times in my early teens. Last year several of my friends got together to play Pathfinder and quit after several sessions with the bad taste in our mouths that we found it to be too rule heavy to relax, role-play and enjoy.

A few weeks ago we began to talk about another attempt with the idea of finding something simpler. In this search I skimmed several RPGs including BasicFantasy and D&D 5e.

New to me and something that I very much like in both games is the elimination of "to hit" charts by using the Attack Bonus in BF and the Ability Bonus in D&D 5e.

With the addition of a few supplements; extra races and classes, and cleric, magic user, thief and combat options, I am feeling pretty good about having a go with BasicFantasy. One of the biggest reasons I like the cleric, thief, and magic-user options supplements is that they make ability scores relevant to non-fighter characters.

In this line of thinking I have made a draft of a supplement idea that attempts to eliminate saving throw charts and place further weight and equality on ability scores - particularly regarding spells.
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mTeasdale
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Re: Saving Throws

Post Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:46 am

I've checked your supplement and well the maths seems to works OK, but it seems a bit complicated.

Have you thought switching to a single saving throw value (you can check my saving throw supplement for that) and use an ability modifier on every roll ?

Example : a level 1 Fighter with 14 Strength. A NPC tries to push him back to close a door. You decide that he needs to roll a STR Saving Throw. He rolls 13, add his STR bonus (+1), so that makes 14. He succeds.
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Dimirag
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Re: Saving Throws

Post Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:17 am

Why attach the difficulty of a ST with an Attack Bonus? This makes Magic Users worst at magic than Clerics.

BF saves are straight simplistic, you roll against a number with increasing chances of success by level, with this system the chances decreases as the games moves to higher levels.

As mTeasdale said using the Single Save or the Ability Roll is a better way to go, using the FOR/REF/WIL saves is even better as it works by showing strengths in some Abilities and weaknesses in others.

Now, if the Idea is to have a system similar to how attack rolls works then work with the Single Save option to create the Save Bonus and give a generic ST value as a form of AC.
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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efletch
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Re: Saving Throws

Post Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:21 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys!

mTeasdale: I read your saving throw supplement and liked it. I was impressed with your three saving throw value system and found it to be much more logical and less arbitrary than the five value saving throw system. I also like that it incorporated ability modifiers in exactly the situation in which it seems they should be relevant. If a fighter with 13 wisdom does not use that +1 in a saving throw is the stat ever relevant or used? I feel that it should have a bearing on saving throws.

I actually also thought about your single saving throw system in regard to poison while I was at work today. When I came home I reviewed D&D 5e in regard to poison. I found examples of poisons with DC values of 9-15, but mostly 10. In my draft I labeled DC (difficulty class) as "potency" for clarity in regard to poison. A 30 point scale simply represents the upper limit of what might be achieved, with modifiers, by a level 20 character.

I did some brief number crunching with a few saving throw systems and felt like a common saving throw value was around a 45-60% chance for success.

For a human fighter to save vs. a spell without modifiers in the BF core rules the chance of success at level 1 is 15% and at level 20 50%. Each save category for each class gains between 5 and 7 points from level 1 to level 20. However, some categories such as Death Ray and Poison for fighters start with better numbers resulting in a 40% chance to save vs. Poison at level 1 and a 75% chance to save versus poison at level 20. Your three value charts have similar values.

My supplement idea has three goals:

1) To eliminate the idea of a saving throw chart.
2) To logically and appropriately increase the relevance of ability modifiers.
3) To change the concept of spell casting from a "save" into an "attack;" thereby not only increasing the value of intelligence and wisdom modifiers to spell casters but also realigning save vs. spell values in a logical way to create a difference between a level 1 spell caster and a level 20 spell caster, and a level 1 saving throw roller and a level 20 saving throw roller.

Let me elaborate on point three:

In the BF core rules a fighter has a 15% chance to save vs. Spells at level 1 and a 50% chance to save vs. Spells at level 20. This means that a level 1 fighter saves at the same success rate against level 1 spell casters and level 20 spell casters! The level of the spell caster is irrelevant, only the level of the fighter matters. Number crunching with the formula I borrow and suggest in my supplement draft, a fighter's saving throws vs. spells are as follows:

level 1 fighter vs. level 1 magic-user 60% chance to save
level 1 fighter vs. level 20 magic-user 30% chance to save
level 20 fighter vs. level 1 magic-user 105% chance to save #
level 20 fighter vs. level 20 magic-user 75% chance to save

[level 20 magic-user vs. level 20 magic-user 60% chance to save]
[level 20 thief or cleric vs. level 20 magic-user 65% chance to save]

*These values use Attack Bonuses without ability modifiers for the sake of clarity and illustration of "all thing being equal."

# Note; if the magic-user had an intelligence modifier of +3 and the fighter had no modifier the chance to save would be 90%. Also, remember 1's always miss and 20's always hit.

You can see by these numbers that when both parties are at equal levels the saving throw success chance is close to 60%. And, that when the parties are of differing levels the saving throw success chance favors the higher leveled party. I believe this creates a better illusion of reality.

Dimirag: I apologize that a level 20 magic user ends up with one less attack bonus point than does a level 20 cleric. In D&D 5e all classes start at +2 AB and rise together to +6 AB at level 20. My aim in utilizing the existing BF Attack Bonus numbers was to keep things as simple and unchanged as possible. Still, at higher levels this system slightly favors fighters.

Also, in regard to your concern of decreasing saving throw success chances at higher levels you are correct when compared to the BF core rules. But low level players using the formula I suggest actually start with a higher success chances and never dip below about 60% against equally leveled adversaries. That being said, as I write this I realize that a level 20 fighter being attacked by a 32HD monster would have a lowered save percentage than with BF core:

BF core would give this fighter a 50% chance to save versus spell, while my suggested formula would give the fighter a 30% chance to save versus spells.

Even with a +3 ability modifier a level 1 fighter would have only a 5% chance to make the same save needing a roll of 20.

Thanks again for the input guys. This idea is definitely in the critique stage so all thoughts are appreciated!

Also, I have included a second revision of my draft correcting some typos and trying a new name.
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Dimirag
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Re: Saving Throws

Post Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:22 pm

I see, you are basing on the bounded accuracy from 5ed. If you want something more in line with that then use the fighter progression for every class, but, as the classes don't level up at the same time it could lead to some classes saving better than the rest.

High level creatures and MU are more powerful than low level ones, having them not modifying the ST values gives a little of balance.

Another way to do the ST is to simply take a base and add a +1 bonus at each even level + Ability Modifier for one side and a d20 plus same bonuses on the other side, this lets the GM to make Saving Attacks like in 4Ed or Saving Throws as in the other editions.
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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efletch
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Re: Saving Throws

Post Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:35 pm

I think the numbers would work a little better if all classes used the same attack bonus progression. My assumption is that the current bonuses are calculated to balance well with the rest of the game. If I were to try the same progression for all classes I am not sure if 1-10, 1-8, 1-7 or another range would be most appropriate, or if a universal progression would create other imbalances. Monsters might then have to operate on an adjusted scale as well.

I do feel that a level 20 magic-user should have a stronger cast than a level 1 magic-user. The current system accomplishes this with the defender, just not with the attacker.

Also, I realize in my last post all of the save percentages I gave are 5% lower than they should be. I had "roll over" the target number in my head rather than "the number or over."

I will try to take a look at the 4e system.
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Dimirag
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Re: Saving Throws

Post Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:03 pm

The different Attack Bonuses are that way from the first D&D up to the 3rd edition, 4ed change it and 5ed took the bounded accuracy from 4th. I don't like bounded accuracy at all, at least on attack bonus (and on skills bonus a little) but for saving throws I have no problems, in fact, is more in line with the method I prefer to use, the only issue with using the bounded acc comes from the different exp cost which gives thieves a faster advancement than other classes and puts magic user at the end.

The BF saves are very simple, you only need to take care of one value at the rolling time, 3ed and up makes the GM to come up with numbers and codifications....

The 4ed system is very simple, you add half your level + ability modifier + class bonus + extras to the defense class (fortitude, reflex, will and armor class) the attacker roll d20 + half level + ability modifier + bonus.
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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efletch
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Re: Saving Throws

Post Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:14 pm

I read a little more on bounded accuracy. It seems like an appealing system to me. I just don't like the class complexity levels of D&D versions beyond the AD&D first version.

One of my concerns with BF clerics and magic-users is, "why bother to have a high intelligence or wisdom?" Only in supplements are there even mild benefits with the gain of a couple of low level spells.

Which saving throw method do you use?
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Solomoriah
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Re: Saving Throws

Post Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:26 am

The one in the book. Not surprising, since I wrote it.

I've avoided this thread up until now because, as author of the game, I tend to come across as the "defender of the faith." So I hold back and let the discussion develop on its own for a while.

I have two problems with your method. First, I'd never use it, ever, because it involves too much math. I am desperately slow at doing math in my head... anything more than adding a single-digit bonus to a (potentially) double-digit die roll really bogs the game down if I'm running it.

Second, and more important, your method isn't just a different way to roll saving throws, it's a fundamental change in the game mechanics, because you take into account not only the character's own features but also the attacker's. It's a very rare thing in BFRPG to do anything like that... saving throws, attack rolls, you name it, they all depend on just the acting character's nature. Your method would substantially change the way the game "feels."

Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. But it is different, enough so that I would say you're not really playing the same game anymore.

I'll tell you the same thing I tell everyone... play the game as written first. Don't even use supplements (you can always add them later). Until you know how the game is supposed to work, how do you know if you're making it better or not?
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Dimirag
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Re: Saving Throws

Post Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:16 am

I read a little more on bounded accuracy. It seems like an appealing system to me. I just don't like the class complexity levels of D&D versions beyond the AD&D first version.
The problem with bounded accuracy is that it makes all classes the same in every aspect unless some extra cations are taken or some extra features are used, 5ed has that problem with the attack bonus, two classes with same level and same ability mod has the same attack bonus with trained weapon, and saving bonus if they share training in that save, and same bonus for non trained saves.
One of my concerns with BF clerics and magic-users is, "why bother to have a high intelligence or wisdom?" Only in supplements are there even mild benefits with the gain of a couple of low level spells.
You don't bother, at all, because you don't choose your Ability Scores, they are absolutely random generated. Abilities are not the central piece of the game like in 5ed nor have a big impact like in 3ed, they are a secondary value to help in some occasions, they serve more as a stereotypical guide than as a mechanical force.
In some game editions the modifiers ranges from -1 to +1, and only fighters get the STR bonus to attack and damage (other games go as far as letting only fighters to use the DEX bonus on range attacks).
Which saving throw method do you use?
I use a two-value system, the same two values for every class and subclass (at first I made 2 values per class so the different XP values did not give any mayor unbalance but when using subclasses it seemed pointless). One value is used for most saves, while the other being of better value is used for things in which the class should save better, to the value the most appropriate ability modifier is added.

One final word: Don't take the abilities as class oriented values, take them as general benefits:
-Str: Opening door, attack, damage, weight capacity. -> affects everyone.
-Int: Languages, discovering secret doors. -> affects everyone.
-Wis: Becoming lost. -> affects everyone.
-Dex: AC and range attack -> affects everyone.
-Con: HP, poison resistance, sleep requirement -> affects everyone.
-Cha: Reaction rolls, followers. -> affects everyone.
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
Drawing portfolio: https://www.instagram.com/m.serena_dimirag/
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