Posted by : David Guyll January 14, 2017

Oh hey look yet another thing I'm mulling over, this time whether to keep static defenses for Fortitude, Reflex, and Will (a la 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons) or go back to saving throws (a la 3rd Edition, though I could also see making every stat its own save).

Personally I can see a case for both.

On one hand, rolling against a static defense value has a consistency that I really like: whether you're swinging a sword, loosing an arrow, channeling the might of your god, or unleashing bolts of lightning (or charming someone or trying to transform them into a frog), you're attacking/actively trying to do something, so you make the attack roll.

On the other hand, I've heard that players simply enjoy making saving throws; it's fun to roll dice, and/or it gives you the impression that you the player are attempting something to avoid your fate (even though in a static defense system your character is still trying to avoid harm, it's just that who does the rolling gets flipped).

That said, I can see cases where saving throws would make just as much if not more sense. For example, in 4th Edition if you, say, got bit by a giant spider with a venomous bite, it would first make an attack roll to hit (against your AC), and if it hits it would then make a secondary attack against your Fortitude: I think it'd make more sense for you to make a Fortitude/Constitution save to resist the poison's effects.

At this point it'd be a simple matter to go through the rules and just flip everything over to saving throws (and even include variant/optional rules so that groups could go with whatever), so what would you prefer: static defenses or saving throws? As with the poll on armor-as-AC-or-damage-resistance, this is another one of those things where I really only need to know what you'd prefer to see (but if you want to tell me why, go for it).

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