Monday, May 11, 2009

Saving Throws, part 1a

In part 1 of my series on saving throws oddysey commented:
I'll admit, though, that I'm considering adding a "radiation" save. Not so much with the purity.
Funny you should mention radiation. Allow me to list one more set of saves from a game I have handy.

Mutant Future
Energy Attacks
Poison or Death
Stun Attacks

The numbers on the MF saving throw chart line up closely with the Labyrinth Lord rules from which Mutant Future is derived, so much so that here are save categories as they appear on my custom World of Cinder GM screen insert:

Breath or Energy
Poison or Death
Petrify, Stun or Paralyze
Wands or Radiation
Spells or Devices

My charts are set up that way so I can drop in mutations and post-apoc tech at a moment's notice.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Excellent! I've read Mutant Future, but apparently not carefully enough. And combining the two systems is pretty spiffy.

  3. Anonymous11:20 PM

    A few years back I posted on dragonsfoot a list of 17 reasons why I like Gamma World (1st edition!) even more than I like A/D&D. Here is reason #15:

    There are no saving throws in Gamma World. If, for example, your character is trying to figure out what a neutron bomb is and accidentally sets it off, he and everyone within a 500 meter radius just took 100 points of damage. No saving throw. (That is an almost certain death, since no GW player character can even possibly have more than 108 hp, and that is astronomically unlikely.) The only things that don't automatically give you full damage are poison and radiation. The higher your constitution, the better you'll do when poisoned or exposed to radiation (which makes more sense to me than the sometimes-arbitrary saving throws).

  4. In my RETRO home brew, saving throw bonus per level is ½ for fighters, barbarians, clerics and sorcerers, while saving throw bonus is per level is 2/3 for thieves and magic-useers.


    An ability / saving throw is a simplified manner to determine game action without cumbersome rules or mechanics. Throughout the course of play, characters will attempt to avoid injury or perform mundane tasks. The GM decides which ability is best suited for the task and assigns a target number or difficulty class (DC) from 4 to 40. An ability throw is made by rolling d12 and adding the appropriate ability modifier (p.13-18) and GM determined situational modifiers (magic, encumbrance, ACP, etc with no bonus for character’s level).* A saving throw is made by rolling d20 and adding the appropriate ability modifier and adding the character’s LEVEL BASED modifier (p.13-18) and GM determined situational modifiers (magic, encumbrance, ACP, etc).*

    STRength throws are used for mundane tasks such as fighting your way out of wet paper bag (DC 4), kicking in doors (DC 7), opening a locked chest with a crowbar (DC 10), forcing arcane locked doors (DC 12) or bending iron (DC 14) bars. Strength saves are used against magic/ traps that immobilize or restrain such as web, hold and petrify.

    DEXterity throws are used for walking a balance beam (DC 8), routine acrobatics (DC 10), detecting secret doors (DC12) or Olympic caliber gymnastics (DC 15). Dexterity saves are used against traps and magic/ attacks that deploy fire or energy such as fireball, lightning bolt and breath weapons. ACP (p.65) will apply to almost all dexterity based throws or saves.

    CONstitution throws are used to cast/ concentrate after injury (DC = hp), climb a 50’ knotted rope (DC 8), or run /
    complete a marathon (26 miles, DC 13). Constitution saves are used against magic / attacks that attempt to drain, kill, polymorph or poison as well as to avoid critical hits (DC = 10+ hp inflicted).

    INTelligence throws are used to write name on ground with a stick (DC 5), read a note in native language (DC 8), decipher a treasure map (DC 10) and detect a magical wall or statue (DC 12). INT saves are used against magic/ traps that deploy illusion, phantasm or mazes.

    WISdom throws are used to tell S%*! from shinnola (DC 4), hear a normal conversation through a wooden door (DC 9), hear a pin drop on a tile floor (DC 12) and detect a successful disguise (DC is opposed roll). Wisdom saves are used against fear, sleep, non-specific or miscellaneous magic including wands, staves and rods.

    CHArisma is used to determine reaction or negotiation with NPCs  Charisma saves are used for attacks against the ego or personality such as charm or suggestion.

    * If this total is greater then difficulty class (DC or target number) assigned by GM, the character succeeds at the attempted task. If total is less than that the assigned difficulty score, the character fails at the attempted task. If the total is equal to the assigned difficulty level, the character succeeds at attempted task, but with minor reservations as determined by the GM (usually you drop an item/ piece of equipment) The level bonus to saving throws (not ability throws) represents the experienced character’s superior reflexes, timing, intuition, speed and luck.

    For ability/ saving throws a natural ‘20’ always succeeds, and a natural ‘1’ always fails. Also, a natural ‘2’ always fails d20 saving throw unless result is modified by the character’s primary ability .