View Full Version : Opinion on Saves 3.5

2009-06-18, 12:46 AM
This is going to sound odd, but I'm wondering how badly the saves of my level 12 character compare to others.
This game, we're urged not to optimize or powergame too heavily, DM has stated he wants to keep this a normal game because we have some less experienced players.

I've got a fighter/witchslayer/hell reaver Fort 10, Ref 6, Will 9, before I get any magic items.
Currently I'm planning to get Imp. Agility put on my armor for a +3. But if all my saves seem weak, I'll just spend the extra cash and get a regular cloak of resistance.

Other party members include:
Druid/master of many forms, potentially Vow of Poverty
Beloved of Valerian (No idea what her base class is)
Paladin/Anointed knight

2009-06-18, 12:55 AM
Cloak of Resistance is always worth it, unless you have something to allow you to ignore one save completely.

2009-06-18, 12:57 AM
Mettle as a class feature. And an item which grants improved mettle when HP are below half. Which might be very common.

Keld Denar
2009-06-18, 01:03 AM
Your saves are decent. You have your strong Fort save, which is good for avoiding certain death. You have a decent will save, which could potentially be buffed a bit by getting Steadfast Determination and boosting your Con as high as possible (also adds HP). Your reflex is low, but failed reflex saves seldom result in immediate death/disablement. Its usually just HP damage, which, as a Hellreaver, you can heal at rather alarming speeds.

And yea...no matter how high your strong saves are, stronger saves are always better. Go for the cloak. Autosaving the badguy's spells on a 2+ is ALWAYS good.

2009-06-18, 01:25 AM
By level 12 you would be expected to have a minimum +2 weapon/armor/save bonus, with +3 being pretty normal and +4 if it's an aspect you really want to focus on (for weapons/armor, this value is extracted from the Magic Vestment/Greater Magic Weapon spells: if a full caster with no extra caster level buffs used these spells on you, you would have a +3 bonus. Resistance is just assumed to be advanced at basically the same rate, at least by me, as there isn't a scaling save-buff that directly matches the weapon/armor enhancing spells.) If you don't have that, then I would go ahead and get the cloak; you'll need it to keep your numbers straight (or, if you decide against it, at least you'll have some idea of just what you've chosen to trade.) For reference, you're probably looking at save DCs of.. hmm.. looks like about the 20-25 range from things that are supposed to be significant threats and 15-18 from lower CRs.

2009-06-18, 01:28 AM
Well, let's compare them to a Core-only cleric of the same level. Clerics generally have good saves, so it's a decent baseline.

We'll say our cleric has starting stats of Dex 10, Con 14, Wis 16. By level 12 he'll have boosted his Wisdom by three points, to 19. He'll also have some stat-boosting items: we'll say Dex +2, Con +2, and a Wis +4. That gives him save modifiers of +3/+1/+6.

A level 12 Cleric has base saves of +8/+4/+8. Adding that on gives our Cleric saves of +11/+5/+14, not counting his Cloak of Resistance, which he'll almost certainly have.

Your saves are +10/+6/+9. That'd be on the low side for a higher-powered campaign, but should be just about okay for a low-power one. I'd recommend a Cloak of Resistance, though, the more powerful the better. Having high saving throws is a very good way to increase a character's life expectancy.

- Saph

2009-06-18, 01:29 AM
Part of why I ask, I may ditch the item that grants Improved Mettle (half effects on a fail), so that I can get a shirt which grants me a Heal 1/day. By the DM's math, it'll cost about 26k for the shirt/tabard slot.
6*11* (1/5) *2000

As far as hellreaver healing, I only have 1 level of hellreaver currently, so I get the smite thing, but not the healing.

Keld Denar
2009-06-18, 01:45 AM
Question about Improved Mettle....what the hell does it really do? I could see against something like Disintegrate (1d6/CL instead of 2d6), but where does that leave you with Finger of Death or Destruction? Would it half your current HP? Half your max HP? Nothing? Seems odd. What would happen if you failed your save vs Glitterdust? Would you still only be shiny and unhidable? Or would you be blind in 1 eye? I'd assume Ray of Exhaustion would only leave you Fatigued on a failed save. The nice thing about Evasion is most reflex saves do damage. There really aren't any "partial" effects. The few reflex saves that don't do damage like Grease, Web, and Bands of Steel don't do any damage at all, so aren't subject to Evasion because it specifically mentions saving for half damage. But Mettle is saving for partial effects, which creates some interesting and unforseen situations...

2009-06-18, 03:27 PM
Improved mettle is only while my hitpoints are half of my max, which is pretty high due to a house rule of this DM. (Totally screws over healing spells AND people who fight by dealing HP damage instead of save vs lose effects).

Anyway, when improved mettle is active, I take only half or partial effects on a failed save.
And whether I've got improved mettle or not, I take no damage or effects when I succeed on a save. Some of the spells you mentioned, will probably end up going to a DM's call.

But yeah, I looked back through the PHB spells, and realized jsut how few core spells there are which are affected by Mettle. Which is weird, last time I played a game with this DM, my character (who also had Mettle) kept surviving when he shouldn't have done so, solely due to Mettle and his own ridiculous Fort and Will saves. However, I still had to make so many saves, I ended up getting Nat 1's several times. Like against mummy rot, or some damage+sickening effect when surrounded by 4 bloodfiends.

2009-06-18, 03:34 PM
Rule of thumb: your saves should be between half your level as a minimum, and your level as a maximum. Below that range and you'll be vulnerable, above that range is usually a waste. Somewhere about 75% of your level is a nice benchmark.

With 10/6/9 at level 12, that means that you've got two "medium" saves and one "low" save. That's not particularly impressive. Mettle compensates a bit, but remember that it only kicks in on passed saves. A Cloak of Resistance +2 will bump you up to two "good" saves and one "average" save, which is entirely respectable. I'd do it in a heartbeat.