Magic Saves

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GreyLord
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Magic Saves

Post by GreyLord »

One thing I've noticed different about C&C and old style D&D is magic saves. In AD&D it progressively gets easier to save against magic, while it really doesn't do that in C&C when you add character level into the mix.

I've been thinking that instead of character level added to the save difficulty of the spell, you add the spell level to it. This would mean, though perhaps not as drastic as AD&D in improving saves, as characters go up in level, they save better against magic spells.

It is a pretty strong nerf against offensive casters, but I think they still have chances for spells to effect characters or monsters, but they have to utilize magic in a slightly different way than blunt force.

On the otherhand, it could make for characters to survive magic a little easier at higher levels.

Thoughts?

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Re: Magic Saves

Post by Arduin »

Extreme example based on non prime and no stat bonuses & 9th level spell:

20th level wizard vs. 20th level fighter

Your system: Fighter makes saves 70% of time

C&C system: Fighter makes saves 15% of time

vs. 1st level spell:

Your system: Fighter makes saves 100% of time

C&C system: Fighter makes saves 15% of time
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Re: Magic Saves

Post by Treebore »

Yep. One of the BIG reasons I love C&C is it keeps "auto save" from occurring at high levels. Which is a good thing. It makes for a very boring game when you know your going to save. So I'm not going to change it, but if you want easy to survive, and there fore, boring high level games, go ahead and change it. Or, if you never run games above, say, 9th level, go ahead and change it. It should remain dangerous enough to remain exciting.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
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GreyLord
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Re: Magic Saves

Post by GreyLord »

Yep, that's what I'd be wanting, where the fighters have a better chance at saving (and monsters, it works both ways...which means the party wizard/illusionist/spellcaster may have to get more inventive in ways to have a spell be effective) against magic and you see progression in having it easier and easier to make saves in C&C.

I suppose another way would be to have spellcasters add half their level to the difficulty if one doesn't like really easy saves against low level spells at high level.

I'm looking to have it more like AD&D where saves get easier as one goes up in level.

Edit: I'm not certain this will make the games easier to survive necessarily, it simply changes the dynamic. Since monsters and enemies also benefit from this, it means a creature that may be an easy take down if it fails a save to a spell, suddenly could become much more threatening, with more work from the fighters, and such.

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Re: Magic Saves

Post by Treebore »

Going by spell level is far too easy. Take the 20th level example above, you go by Spell Level instead of Caster level, you make it 55% easier to make the save.

Plus, you want to make sure you take into account the effects of spells cast by the party casters, as well as the Magic Items they can accumulate, that will make them outright immune, or at least highly resistant, to magic spells of all kinds.

It sucks to play a Spell Caster, and then have everything save versus everything you throw at them 90+% of the time.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
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Re: Magic Saves

Post by Go0gleplex »

I really don't have a dog to hunt in this since I think the system is fine, but;

Correct my logic if it's wrong here. By having the saves get easier for one class against magic...isn't that like saying the spell caster gaining levels is meaningless or that the spell caster actually gets weaker as they gain levels? If anything, it would seem that if magic is so powerful it can create miracles and grant wishes, a mortal would be weaker against spells cast by a higher level mage instead. What special power is involved in merely gaining levels that should resist magic any better than at low levels, unless it's fueled by a magic item, spell, or some sort of special ability?
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Re: Magic Saves

Post by Treebore »

Go0gleplex wrote:I really don't have a dog to hunt in this since I think the system is fine, but;

Correct my logic if it's wrong here. By having the saves get easier for one class against magic...isn't that like saying the spell caster gaining levels is meaningless or that the spell caster actually gets weaker as they gain levels? If anything, it would seem that if magic is so powerful it can create miracles and grant wishes, a mortal would be weaker against spells cast by a higher level mage instead. What special power is involved in merely gaining levels that should resist magic any better than at low levels, unless it's fueled by a magic item, spell, or some sort of special ability?
The same power that increases duration, damage dice, and range. Experience level.

Yes, by having everyones saves get easier, it does "power down" the spells of Wizards, Illusionists, Druids and Clerics. A 20th level 20D6 Fireball isn't so scary when you know your 90% likely to save against it. Its effectively a 10th level Fireball at that point. Then there are all the other Spells that don't do damage. "Auto Saves" that enable characters to make their Saves 90% of the time, if not only fail on a "1", is mechanically no different than having a Magic Resistance of the same value. It has the exact same game effect, and that is what this change will result in. Guarantee it. Been there, seen it, don't want it to come back.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Magic Saves

Post by Aramis »

GreyLord wrote:One thing I've noticed different about C&C and old style D&D is magic saves. In AD&D it progressively gets easier to save against magic, while it really doesn't do that in C&C when you add character level into the mix.

I've been thinking that instead of character level added to the save difficulty of the spell, you add the spell level to it. This would mean, though perhaps not as drastic as AD&D in improving saves, as characters go up in level, they save better against magic spells.

It is a pretty strong nerf against offensive casters, but I think they still have chances for spells to effect characters or monsters, but they have to utilize magic in a slightly different way than blunt force.

On the otherhand, it could make for characters to survive magic a little easier at higher levels.

Thoughts?
The C&C saves system definitely produces a different feel from 1e. This can make the 1e modules play a little oddly.

There are a number of approaches to this. Change caster level to spell level. Change the Base save to 15 rather than 18. Remember, one of the virtues of C&C is it is compartmentalised. So, if you want, just adopt 1e saves wholesale. Or adopt the 3e Fort/Ref/Will system. Use SIEGE only for skills, attribute checks, feat attempts etc.

Lots of ways to go about it.

If you have PC casters in the game, they might be a bit peeved with the change you proposed. So, perhaps you could increase their # of spells to compensate. If saves are 50% more effective, give them 33% more spells, or whatever. That gives the wizards more things to do each combat, but with the proviso that half of those things won't work :lol:

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Re: Magic Saves

Post by Mark Hall »

I'd also add that the increase isn't strictly linear... if you compare a level 20 wizard to a level 20 fighter, yes, the fighter has only a 15% chance to save. But that higher level fighter is likely to have things that boost his saving throws, while there are relatively few items that boost the difficulty of a mage's spell.
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Re: Magic Saves

Post by Omote »

My suggestion is the keep the saving throws exactly as is, but simply add a +1 to magic saving throws for every X levels of experience that you are comfortable with.

In my games, I agree with you in part. Saving throws should get a bit easier the higher level you are. I add a +1 to all saving throws for every 4 levels of experience on top of the normal level bonus. This keeps the C&C rules exactly as is, with a simple bolt-on modification of the rules.

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Re: Magic Saves

Post by DMSamuel »

Late to the thread, but...

I'm not convinced that a high level fighter should have an easier time saving versus magic.

An increase in experience signifies stronger muscles, more training, better handling of weapons, learning and using combat tactics better, and building up the physical body so that it can withstand the rigors of combat. This is what allows the BtH to increase, the HP to increase, and advantages like Combat Dominance to come into play.

All of that makes sense to me - but how does improving any of that enable the fighter to better resist magical effects? THAT doesn't makes sense to me. Even if I posit that the increase in experience provides an increase in 'mental toughness' it still doesn't make spells easier to resist (though by that logic perhaps illusions should be less effective).

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying anyone is playing incorrectly or anything like that, but for my game, I am just not convinced that I could justify an easier save vs magic for high level fighters.
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Re: Magic Saves

Post by Arduin »

DMSamuel wrote: An increase in experience signifies stronger muscles, more training, better handling of weapons, learning and using combat tactics better, and building up the physical body so that it can withstand the rigors of combat. This is what allows the BtH to increase, the HP to increase, and advantages like Combat Dominance to come into play.
Not really. Since AD&D the HP increase (as just one example) is NOT really physical toughness once you get past 2nd level. It is luck, favor from Gods and what not.
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Re: Magic Saves

Post by slimykuotoan »

I use primary, secondary, and tertiary abilities as per the CKG. That cleans things up nicely imo.
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Re: Magic Saves

Post by DMSamuel »

Arduin wrote:
DMSamuel wrote: An increase in experience signifies stronger muscles, more training, better handling of weapons, learning and using combat tactics better, and building up the physical body so that it can withstand the rigors of combat. This is what allows the BtH to increase, the HP to increase, and advantages like Combat Dominance to come into play.
Not really. Since AD&D the HP increase (as just one example) is NOT really physical toughness once you get past 2nd level. It is luck, favor from Gods and what not.
Point taken.

However, I don't extend 'favor of the gods' out to innate magic spell resistance so it still doesn't give me a good reason to justify a saving throw rule change for every fighter in every game.
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Re: Magic Saves

Post by Arduin »

DMSamuel wrote:
Point taken.

However, I don't extend 'favor of the gods' out to innate magic spell resistance so it still doesn't give me a good reason to justify a saving throw rule change.
House rules are fine too. I can only speak to the RAW as I don't have yours in front of me...
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Re: Magic Saves

Post by DMSamuel »

Arduin wrote:
DMSamuel wrote:
Point taken.

However, I don't extend 'favor of the gods' out to innate magic spell resistance so it still doesn't give me a good reason to justify a saving throw rule change.
House rules are fine too. I can only speak to the RAW as I don't have yours in front of me...
I wasn't speaking about any of my house rules, I was simply responding to the thread and stating my opinion that the C&C save mechanic works fine and matches my style of play. One of the reasons for that is the fact that it doesn't make sense to increase a fighter's save chance just because they earned experience because that experience already accounts for the other increases and advantages provided as the fighter levels up. That was the entirety of my point - I was simply asking for the reason why someone might want to increase the saves for a fighter - other than the simple answer that it helps them live longer :D
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Re: Magic Saves

Post by slimykuotoan »

Arduin wrote:
DMSamuel wrote:...the HP increase (as just one example) is NOT really physical toughness once you get past 2nd level. It is luck, favor from Gods and what not.
That's how I picture it.
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Re: Magic Saves

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DMSamuel wrote: I wasn't speaking about any of my house rules,
"However, I don't extend 'favor of the gods' out to innate magic spell resistance so it still doesn't give me a good reason to justify a saving throw rule change."
That's, in itself, is a House Rule.
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Re: Magic Saves

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slimykuotoan wrote:
Arduin wrote:
DMSamuel wrote:...the HP increase (as just one example) is NOT really physical toughness once you get past 2nd level. It is luck, favor from Gods and what not.
That's how I picture it.
That's how EGG explained it and how it has been carried forward in every version of "D&D" since. We're in good company. :D
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Re: Magic Saves

Post by DMSamuel »

Arduin wrote:
slimykuotoan wrote:
Arduin wrote:
DMSamuel wrote:...the HP increase (as just one example) is NOT really physical toughness once you get past 2nd level. It is luck, favor from Gods and what not.
That's how I picture it.
That's how EGG explained it and how it has been carried forward in every version of "D&D" since. We're in good company. :D
Yeah - I see HP as much more than physical toughness too, just like you do - but that isn't what this post was really about, so I shortcut what I was saying....

Either way, it really has nothing to do with the original topic, which is increasing the ability of fighters to save vs magic at higher levels.
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Re: Magic Saves

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DMSamuel wrote: Either way, it really has nothing to do with the original topic, which is increasing the ability of fighters to save vs magic at higher levels.

Increasing the ability of fighters to save vs. spells has nothing to do with saving throws increasing as level increases?

Um, okey-dokey then :roll:
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Re: Magic Saves

Post by slimykuotoan »

DMSamuel wrote:I'm not convinced that a high level fighter should have an easier time saving versus magic.

Yeah, it doesn't make much 'reality' sense, but I think o' saves as the extension o' hp/luck, and a combination o' less tangible nuances that result from experience, etc.
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Re: Magic Saves

Post by Arduin »

slimykuotoan wrote:
DMSamuel wrote:I'm not convinced that a high level fighter should have an easier time saving versus magic.

Yeah, it doesn't make much 'reality' sense, but I think o' saves as the extension o' hp/luck, and a combination o' less tangible nuances that result from experience, etc.

Exactly. It makes no sense that a 20th level fighter can have a 100lbs of TNT explode on head and walk away either. If you lose one under the umbrella of "logic", you must lose them all or forfeit the claim of logic for removing one only.
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Re: Magic Saves

Post by GreyLord »

Part of it also lies in the ideas of the Warrior who defeats the Evil Wizard or spellcaster found in fairytales, sword and sorcery, and other movies and books.

For example, with Conan...With all the things he faced he must surely have a better save than 13 or something...in fact, he must have a save something like 4+ and he saves...or even better! In all the stories he seems to avoid the harm of sorcery.

The same goes for many a heroic warrior in the old sword and sorcery movies, they have remarkable saves. Of course, the low level guys all die, but the hero always saves.

In that regard, for that type of playstyle where the high level warriors have a great chance at beating a spellcaster, sort of like what AD&D did, is the type of gameplay I'd be after.

Spellcasters are STILL very mighty (being able to save vs. a direct spell, doesn't save one from spells that affect the environment for example).

But it gives that idea of spells being more mental and supernatural...and the warrior being more physical building up a greater resistance to the mental and supernatural effects a spellcaster utilizes as that warrior gains experience and ability with physical things.

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Re: Magic Saves

Post by DMSamuel »

Arduin wrote:
DMSamuel wrote: Either way, it really has nothing to do with the original topic, which is increasing the ability of fighters to save vs magic at higher levels.

Increasing the ability of fighters to save vs. spells has nothing to do with saving throws increasing as level increases?

Um, okey-dokey then :roll:
No - what our personal definitions of what HP are, and whether or not HP increases include divine luck, have nothing to do with the ability of fighters to save vs spells as level increases. It seemed like you were picking apart my partial definition of HP increases and that wasn't the point of this thread. I only brought up Hp as an example of how I think about a fighter's abilities increasing as they level up, including an increased (or not) chance to save versus certain effects. I didn't bring up HP to argue about what HP are and whether or not they include divine provenance, luck, stamina, and attitude (which they do, by the way, in my game, it just wasn't the topic of my post in this thread).
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Re: Magic Saves

Post by Treebore »

DMSamuel wrote:Late to the thread, but...

I'm not convinced that a high level fighter should have an easier time saving versus magic.

An increase in experience signifies stronger muscles, more training, better handling of weapons, learning and using combat tactics better, and building up the physical body so that it can withstand the rigors of combat. This is what allows the BtH to increase, the HP to increase, and advantages like Combat Dominance to come into play.

All of that makes sense to me - but how does improving any of that enable the fighter to better resist magical effects? THAT doesn't makes sense to me. Even if I posit that the increase in experience provides an increase in 'mental toughness' it still doesn't make spells easier to resist (though by that logic perhaps illusions should be less effective).

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying anyone is playing incorrectly or anything like that, but for my game, I am just not convinced that I could justify an easier save vs magic for high level fighters.
2 things to add on to this line of thought...

1. Spellcasters are also getting better, so a spell from a 20th level spell caster should be as much of a challenge to a 20th level fighter as it was back when they were both 1st Level.

2. Everyone DOES get better at saving versus magic. After all, if that 20th level character is making a save versus a spell from a 10th level character, they will have a pretty easy time doing it. In C&C it IS all relative. Relative to level.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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