View Full Version : Whoa! Saving Throw Assistance?

2007-06-15, 02:29 PM
When casually reading over the Aid Another ability on the SRD, I caught this line for the first time. It's the very last sentence under the Aid Another section.

"You can also use this standard action to help a friend in other ways, such as when he is affected by a spell..." (http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/specialAttacks.html)

Is it just me, or is that implying that if you spend a Standard action saying something like "Be careful buddy, that wizard is about to Fireball us" that your ally would get a +2 to his save if the attack came before your next round?

If this is old news to everyone else in the world, I apologize - but I never noticed before! How would it work? Do you make a Save against DC 10 and that grants the +2 bonus to an adjacent ally?

2007-06-15, 02:33 PM
It doesn't explicitly say you can use Aid Another on saving throws - but then, it doesn't say you can't *evil grin*. I'd never considered that, but you could justify doing that - push someone out of the way for a reflex save, yell "Focus! Think!" for a will save, uh... fortitude save is harder, but there's probably something you could do. Good spotting, I'll have to figure out a good way to exploit this.

2007-06-15, 02:34 PM
With Fort saves it can be as simple as a 'sucking out the poison' sort of thing. (harder to figure out how to do that with a disintegrate, though... at least without losing a hand.)

sleeping fishy
2007-06-15, 02:35 PM
umm... "it doesnt say you cant", so what, it doesnt say you cant fart wish spells either...

i dont think you can use aid another like that, sry.

Fax Celestis
2007-06-15, 02:40 PM
I don't see that as abusive, particularly since Aid Another requires an action.

Also, aiding a fort save would be as simple as jumping in the way or deflecting part of the blow.

2007-06-15, 02:43 PM
Oh I agree that I don't think it's abusive - how many times are you going to burn a standard action on the off-chance that your pal MIGHT have a spell cast at him this round? It can happen occasionally, but not very often.

If that sentence hadn't been specifically phrased as "when he is affected by a spell", I never would have dreamed of trying it. I'm sure sooner or later someone who has read every piece of errata ever published by Wizards will float by and say something. There seems to be plenty of people like that who love this part of the forums. :smallcool:

2007-06-15, 02:47 PM
Well, this could come in handy for something like, say, Hold Person, which grants saves every round the target is subject to the spell. You could essentially slap your dumb fighter buddy on the face and remind him that yes, he in fact -can- move.

2007-06-15, 02:54 PM
Haha! If I had a dollar for every time I've done that to one of my roommates...

Not in D&D - in real life.

2007-06-15, 03:17 PM
Sleep (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/sleep.htm) says you can use an aid another action to wake up a character under the spell's effects. I believe that's what the "affected by a spell" part is about, certain spells can be affected by Aid Another as listed in their descriptions.

Strictly speaking, since the action doesn't say it gives a +2 to whatever roll is applicable, you wouldn't be able to say "Hey, here's a +2 to yer save buddy" whenever your friend could use a bonus on his/her saving throw. The listed numeric effects are +2 to attack rolls, +2 to AC, or +2 on a skill check. Also, you wouldn't normally be able to use aid another on saves, unless your character could normally make a saving throw for your friend.

2007-06-15, 03:22 PM
I thought it was more like helping an ally with an Escape Artist check to get out of an Entangle spell, or something like that.

2007-06-15, 03:24 PM
On reflex, it would simply be pulling the person out if harms way. That isnít so hard. Fortitude is harder indeed. will depends on the person doing it, some show of confidence I suppose.

2007-06-15, 03:33 PM
On reflex, it would simply be pulling the person out if harms way. That isnít so hard. Fortitude is harder indeed. will depends on the person doing it, some show of confidence I suppose.

Fortitude: Poisons: Sucking it out or 'bleeding' the individual.
Diseases: Making a bowl of chicken soup(assuming out of battle).
Disintegrate: Throw a rock in the way.

2007-06-15, 03:51 PM
I think some of you are reading into the wording of that a little too much.

First, it specifically says "when he is affected by a spell". That means the spell has already been in effect. "Is affected" is not the same as "becomes affected" or "targeted", folks. It would be nice, but grammer doesn't work that way.

Second, how the heck do you explain using a standard action to help someone when it isn't your turn? True, you could always hold you action. However, that implies that you know a paticular spell is coming. If you're expecting that fireball, you could wait to yell "Move!"...but what if that wizard casts "Hold Person"? Yelling "Move!" won't do crap (other then make the DM laugh at the irony).

Finally, what kind of action can give a 10% increase in someone's chances to survive in a two-three second period? Yes, you can tug on someone (for Reflex) or slap someone (Will). However, you can not honestly expect me to believe that you happened to have a rock to throw or had yourself ready to suck out venom (which really doesn't work and risks poisoning you...Boy Scout lore). Disintergrate is even more absurd. What the heck did you do to keep them from TURNING INTO DUST?! All these bonus (should you grant them) also assume you know what's coming. If a wizard casts "Rage" on someone, slapping them in the face shouldn't help them calm down. Likewise, who is to say that tugging someone actually helps them avoid an effect. Perhaps you just pulled them into it...

As a DM, I would consider allowing standard actions to be held to grant a bonus to a save (as a houserule and depending on the circumstance). However, this rule , when read as written, indicates that you can grant a bonus only after the spell has had an effect. Not before and not during...sorry.

2007-06-15, 04:16 PM
I think it makes the most sense when aiding a person trapped by a mind affecting spell. It could be as simple as saying "Snap out of it!" as they make their Will Save to break out of the spell's effects, but then it also makes sense that you might be able to aid in cases where another person is casting dispel magic.

For instance, the Rogue has been hit and failed his save against Dominate Person. The Druid is casting Dispel Magic, and if the Rogue's love interest is calling out "Come back to me! I DO believe in faeries! etc." it makes sense to me that it could assist the druid in overcoming the high DC of the spell. There's the druid pushing against the spell from the outside, and also the rogue's mind fighting back as he hears the call inside.

Just a thought.

2007-06-15, 04:32 PM
The DM is encouraged by the DMG to give a +/-2 for anything reasonable as a circumstance bonus. This is a big part of what makes PnP better than CRPG. I've always seen aid another as just a specific example of this. So I would allow this, whenever it made sense. If you try to make it any more specific than that you are losing flexability.

2007-06-15, 04:44 PM
Another option would be for self-sacrifice when dealing with AOE spells.

The rogue knows his wizard friend probably won't survive the fireball that is streaming towards them both. The rogue elects to make their saving throw against a DC 10 to provide a +2 bonus to the wizard, effectively pushing the wizard out of the way instead of dodging the effect themselves. If the rogue has improved evasion, they will only take Ĺ damage anyway by failing.

2007-06-16, 01:04 AM
It's really not unbalancing at all, for reasons previously stated. You have a spend an action on it, and you would have to declare which of the three saves you want it to go toward. That takes a lot of very clever guesswork ahead of time, unless you know the opponent does nothing but fireballs.

2007-06-16, 06:34 AM
I was reading cleric domain list recently and came across one with a domain power to lend the cleric's level to someone else's next save. Apparently, someone does have save assistance in mind, somewhere. Set against that high but infrequent boost, the aid another +2 boost seems more plausible.

2007-06-16, 01:27 PM
This could be useful for the Blue Mage (http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=137596&highlight=Blue%20Mage).