Gold Community Okay -- Your Turn
    > Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
        > Save DCs - thoughts?
New Topic    Add Reply

<< Prev Topic | Next Topic >>
Author Comment
JeffQ UK
Here for a while
(4/21/03 11:51 am)
Save DCs - thoughts?
Cast Summon Hivemind

I have an issue with DCs for spells being calculated purely on spell level and stat bonus. I have made the following two suggestions..

1) DMG variant - d20 rather than straight 10 for base DC - I don't like this because it still means that a Wiz20 casting a 1st lvl spell is, to all intents and purposes, just a difficult to resist as a Wiz1(he MAY have +2 for spell focus and perhaps a further +3 for stat gains) but even a fighters saves are +6 minimum at that level

2) My variant - As per DMG above but with the minimum DC (excluding only applicable feats) equivalent to effective caster level

My groups resident rules lawyer is howling because either variant could leave his fighter unable to resist a spell. I don't have a problem with this as I feel it reflects "reality" however I am prepared to be convinced otherwise.

Your experiences / thoughts would be most welcome

Here for a while
(4/21/03 12:19 pm)
Re: Save DCs - thoughts?
This is probably better posed in the Rules forum, but it all boils down to whether you think the power of a spell lies in some basic element of the spell itself or arises from the caster.

Many low level spells have hard-coded limits to them based on their level (e.g., the missile limit of magic missile, the curing limits of the cure series, etc.). There are also many 'series' spells that not only add abilities or effect different types of things (charm) to the basic function of the spell, but also bump up the DC. With these bits of evidence, I feel that the DC is also intended to be part of the spell itself, since many spells have these 'progressions'.

By folding in a minimum DC based on caster level, you may be allowing powerful casters to cast similar spells at effectively lower levels (i.e. they don't have to 'waste' a high spell slot to get that high DC). I personally would have a hard time doing this in RTEE with all the high level clerics casting many Will-based saves, precisely for the reason your fighter player is complaining about. The clerics should have to burn high-level spell slots to minimize the risk of a high-level fighter from bashing their skulls in.

Just a few coppers for you to consider ;)

Group Editing & Authoring Support
flexible campaign management for the web
info :: demo

Cordo Crowfoot
Here to stay
(4/21/03 4:12 pm)
Re: Save DCs - thoughts?
Jeff I'd be very careful with that change. Higher level characters should be able to resist low level spells more easily, especially if it is one of their strong saves.

You could seriously upset the melee/caster balance.

I wouldn't be happy with this change if I was a player either.

"They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers. They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came... They were scum who died violent deaths, hanging on to a certain cachet among the impressionable through their undeniable bravery and their occasionally impressive exploits" China Mieville, Perdido Street Station

Here quite a while
(4/21/03 6:40 pm)
Re: Save DCs - thoughts?
I agree with the other responses so far. In addition I would point out that on average the DC for a 1st level spell cast by a 20th level wizard is going to be much higher then that of a 1st level caster ... why you ask? ... because the 20th level wizard is more likely to have a much higher intelligence due to level stat increases, enhancement bonuses (magic items), and inherent bonuses (wishes/magic tomes).

For example, a 1st level wizard with 18 intelligence has a DC 15 for the saves versus his 1st level spells. That same wizard at 20th level who has put all his stat increases into intelligence; who by adventuring has gained +5 inherent bonuses (via wishes and magical tomes); and who wears a headband of intellect +5 would have an 32 intelligence resulting in a DC 22 for a saving throw versus his 1st level spells.

IMO, the difference that you seek is already built into the game system with no need for variant rules.

Here for a while
(4/21/03 8:05 pm)
That shouldn't affect much...
Your average, say, 16th level caster probably has a relevant ability score of at least 20. That makes the save DC at least 16.

Only at around level 20 (when casters possibly don't have int/wis/cha of 28, unless they're Doomdreamers :evil ) could your house rule bump up save DC's.

The use of d20 instead of 10 as the starting point of saves basically narrows the gap between weak casters and strong casters. With a base of 10, there's a HUGE difference between resisting Hedrack's spells and a Wis-14 generic cleric's spells. Using d20, there's not as big of a difference because of the inherent randomness that the die roll adds.

Here for a while
(4/22/03 12:45 am)
Re: That shouldn't affect much...
I'm gonna post a 'me too' here. I agree that increasing save DCs based on caster level isn't necessary and could seriously mess with your game.

Higher level casters do have spells that are more potent - they're higher-level spells. Higher save DCs >and< greater effects.
If you want to boost DCs more, get stat enhancements as suggested and/or Spell Focus/Greater Spell Focus.

Wizard 10 (Int 20 - DC 15 + spell level)
+4 Int from Headband of Intellect (DC 17 + spell level)
+2 Spell Focus Enchantment (DC 19 + spell level)
has a Will DC 20 for a mere 1st-level Charm Person spell.
A 5th-level Enchantment (like Domination) from this caster would have a Will DC of 24 - which is pretty scary...
...and this is by no means an extreme example.

IMO DCs can already get silly-high without the need for a rule change.


Still here? Wow.
(4/22/03 11:53 am)
Re: That shouldn't affect much...
I also think this is a bad idea. Not only are you reducing the whole point of having lower-level spells to begin with, you're also eliminating the whole point of the Heighten Spell feat.

Yes, Heighten Spell. I'm not surprised you haven't seen it...few take it. Take a look.

The main purpose of Heighten Spell is to raise the actual spell level, from which is calculated the DC of the save for it.

Wiz 1, Int 16, casts Charm Person. DC 14.

Wiz 20, Int 20 casts Charm Person. DC 16.

Wiz 20, Int 20 casts Charm Person, heightened to 9th level. DC 24.

Drastic example? Yes. But it illustrates the point. Similar argument for the saves on magic items, and how to create one that has a higher save (with a commensurate highter cost to create). Heighten it.

Overall, it's a bad call. The Fighter has a very valid reason to complain. It's hard enough for him to make the Will-based or Reflex-based saves as it is. He is SUPPOSED to be able to shrug off the minor fortitude-based magics.

Wizards are dominant enough as-is. Leave it be.

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

JeffQ UK
Here for a while
(4/24/03 1:59 pm)
This whole thing has actually highlighted something I'm going to have to keep an eye on re the player dynamics.

Following on from this discussion and others with my group I decided to drop the minimum DC idea but keep the d20 replaces the base 10 (As per the DMG variant), unfortunately, even after I'd announced the decision two players on opposite sides of the fence (fighter and druid) kept right on throwing test cases and statistics at each other.

I've now dropped the idea completely, one day however the breach of Rule number 1 may come back and bite them both in the butt.

<< Prev Topic | Next Topic >>

Add Reply

Email This To a Friend Email This To a Friend
Topic Control Image Topic Commands
Click to receive email notification of replies Click to receive email notification of replies
Click to stop receiving email notification of replies Click to stop receiving email notification of replies
jump to:

- Okay -- Your Turn - Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil - Home -

Powered By ezboard® Ver. 7.246f
Copyright ©1999-2003 ezboard, Inc.