View Full Version : Possible House Rule: No-Save Spells

2007-01-03, 07:11 AM
I really don't like the idea of no-save spells, to me they just kind of destroy the whole point of good saves & SR. So I'm contemplating a few things.


1.) New Houserule: Any spell that allows no save can be saved at but the DC is increased by 5 points.


2.) New Feat: Magic Resilence. Any time a spell is cast upon you that allows no save you may instead make a save at at DC of 5 points higher than it normally would be.

Which is better or do you have a different solution that tackles no-save spells?

2007-01-03, 08:26 AM
No save spells are there so that spell casters can have access to something that will effect almost ANYTHING - without them, the things with high saves will just ignore whatever you cast.

No save spells are generally high level spells, so you don't get them until you're facing things with +10 or more to save.

The highest spell save DC (without Ability adjustment) is 19 - 12th level and higher characters will make those saves routinely (on their better saves).

But - to assess your ideas, I think the Feat is the better of the two. Then a monster or NPC has to take the Feat - it's not automatic.
I'd add a requirement to it though: maybe "All base saves must be +5" or "At least one base save must be +10". To take this feat I think you ought to be pretty resiliant already.
Also, you need to state what the save does. Does it always negate the effect? Does it reduce the effect? By how much?

2007-01-03, 09:25 AM
I also dislike no-save spells. How about adding the feat you mentioned, perhaps with one of Altair's pre-req ideas, while slightly countering it by increasing the Greater Spell Focus feat to add +2? I've always thought SF + GSF was a bit underpowered...two feats to add a mere +2 to DC...3's somewhat better. As Altair points out, even classes with crap saves will still have good saves by the time you reach the level of no-save spells, except for some of the wimpy ones you get earlier on.

2007-01-03, 11:17 PM
Yeah, I have issues with no-save spells. Even more so with spells (I'm lookin' at you Disintegrate) that are die/lose situations, which of course is almost a necessity at higher levels, but tend to leave the poor fighter wading through gallons of dragon dust at the first crit fail of the day without a single attack roll to speak of. Nevertheless, I like the idea of the feat, and does something to take the edge off of the overpoweredness of semi-epic arcane casters.

2007-01-04, 04:28 AM
I don't get it.

Is there ANY spell which does not require the caster to roll to overcome the target? Every spell I am aware of requires either a to-hit roll, or a save, or both, and many require an SR check, as well.

The very few no-save, no-SR spells (the hideous Orb line springs to mind) still require a to-hit roll, and last time I looked, BAB wasn't high on most casters lists.

What am I missing? Is there some horrible auto-hit no-save spell out there?

I mean, Disintegrate is a to-hit roll AND a save. :) Seems reasonably balanced to me!

2007-01-04, 07:34 AM
I don't get it.

The best analogy I can think of is Armor Class. Armor Class is meant to protect you from physical attacks. If there was a set of 'special moves' that a class got that allowed you to ignore a target's Armor Class but gave the target a Will Save to avoid the attack, I wouldn't like that either.

Fluffy wise, I have always envisioned Spell Resistance as being a creature/persons magical defense. To have a set of spells that say "Magical defense doesn't apply to this magical attack" seems odd to me.

As you may have imagined, I also hate the spell Wraithstrike and if I ever used supplements it would be a spell I'd immediately ban.

2007-01-04, 12:34 PM
The problem with this is that most no-save spells have some logic behind them. Adding a save messes with that logic. For instance: acid arrow conjures a ball of acid, which you then have to hit the target with. But the magic itself never affects the target, hence, no save... and no SR.

In cases where a spell allows SR but not a save, I can see the possibility of adding a save. Polar ray, for instance. So perhaps if you specify that the spell must allow spell resistance? I know, this fails to address the motivation of 'all magic attacks should be resisted by magic defences'. (But, to look at it in terms of Tormsskull's analogy, does everything a fighter does with his attack roll have to be opposed by AC rather than a save? I'm sure I could think up a few attack-roll no-AC make-a-save ideas, if I tried. ...grenade weapons just came to mind. Why don't they allow a Reflex save? Yes, I know, that would weaken fighters. But... eh, I'm heading off topic.)

I don't think there are many hostile no-save no-SR target spells (there are several hostile no-save effect spells, primarily conjurations). So the SR idea seems to hold: if a spell is hostile and has a target (rather than creating an effect that then attacks the target), I agree that it's a magic attack that should allow magic defence.