...The Save Is Made Against The Spell Check Result...

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...The Save Is Made Against The Spell Check Result...

Post by GnomeBoy » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:19 am

So, suppose I cast Choking Cloud and roll a 20 and I'm adding 3 to that. I drop 9 Luck on that to make a 32 total and get death from above, to rain down where I choose.

Those within the cloud need to make a Fort Save or frickin' DIE.

I'm starting to wonder if that Save should be made against the 23 -- which is plenty hard enough -- rather than the 32...

In other words, the spell check is *modified* by burning Luck or by spellburn. But the spell check *result* that is the source of the saving throw remains at the pre-burn value.

Thoughts?
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Re: ...The Save Is Made Against The Spell Check Result...

Post by beermotor » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:50 am

I very, very rarely see saves get made on anything 15+. It's almost like maybe dropping that part of the d20 system would be helpful. Magic should be powerful and deadly sure, but it's nigh-unstoppable as is. (Ditto poisons, disease, anything requiring a save.)

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Re: ...The Save Is Made Against The Spell Check Result...

Post by GnomeBoy » Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:55 pm

I guess my thought is, needing a save of 20 (nice round figure for the sake of the discussion), a first level character could make it. Not likely, but it could happen. But a save of 32 is just never going to happen, except in some rare situation where someone has magical aid in effect and a good roll to go with that (and maybe some Luck burn).

I'm pretty sure I want a natural 20 to always succeed on for a save. This is not in the rules that I can spot, but I think it should be there.

And I'm pretty sure I want saves vs. spells to be the roll plus the 'normal' bonus -- without any of what might be burned, nor magical add-ons, which are additions to the spellcheck, not part of the spellcheck itself.

But if someone can talk me out of it, I'd love to hear it.
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Re: ...The Save Is Made Against The Spell Check Result...

Post by beermotor » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:39 pm

I think making a natural 20 a success is a good idea. Maybe the save dc should only ever be first check roll plus caster level plus(or minus) stat mod? Even if caster crits the roll and doubles caster level for purposes of the result. The only downside is this is extra math and it's not elegant.

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Re: ...The Save Is Made Against The Spell Check Result...

Post by Rostranor » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:54 pm

I had a thread like this going a little while back, in my post it was Rope Trick at +7 for a first level Elf that was killing me.

I rule that the 20 always makes it. I wouldn't go through the natural die roll thing because the wizard needs to spellburn or do something to achieve that result, which comes with its own side effects. So I think the spell result is the DC. I thought about fiddling with it to make it so the critters can actual save but when taking in a broader light does that mean that the warrior crit table or mighty deed system should be changed as well?

The spell check DC save forced me to do a couple of things. The first of which was rethinking my whole approach to encounters. Having the single big bad at the end ala Final Fantasy wasn't going to work. Encounters needed to be more dynamic and complex to challenge the party. Also the ability to rest at will or be able to orchestrate a pause in the action or when the final encounter happened needed to be taken from the party and rest more firmly in my control. I also had to make Spellburn painful and really play up the chance and corrupting influences of magic. And finally, even though the rules bend to the Judge and not to the players I decided that the players should fear the same power coming from advisory spell casters that they encounter. The adventurers do not have a monopoly on the insane spell check save. Which is made even more evil when rolled in the open.

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Re: ...The Save Is Made Against The Spell Check Result...

Post by Johann » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:15 pm

I've capped the DCs of saves vs. spells at 20.

I was considering [20 + spell level] but as beermotor pointed out saves vs. 15+ are rare as is.

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Re: ...The Save Is Made Against The Spell Check Result...

Post by TheNobleDrake » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:01 pm

My fix for the problems caused by spell save DCs (especially those of criticals on spells) that I thought up after no one could even possibly manage the save against an enemy critical on a spell which resulted in the entire party and all their hirelings dying:

Half, round down.

That would have been all it took to make the above "everyone dies with no chance of save" situation into one where even the hirelings would have had a slim chance, but one better than the 5% that a "natural 20 always succeeds" would have given them.

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Re: ...The Save Is Made Against The Spell Check Result...

Post by GnomeBoy » Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:49 am

TheNobleDrake wrote:...Half, round down...
I considered the possibility of a "half the total" type of solution, but didn't like what it set up if you barely get the spell off... Okay, so you got a 12. Not only is it a minimal effect, but it's fairly easy to save against a 6... Seems like then your spells aren't worth what they "should be", unless you burn something to boost them much of the time.

Basing the save off of the die roll, plus 'normal' modifiers, but excluding any spellburn and Luck usage seems to bring things down to a d20 plus mod(s) vs. a d20 plus mod(s). Which seems fair, workable and have enough unpredictability and fun to it, so far as I can imagine, since it is untested by me so far...
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Re: ...The Save Is Made Against The Spell Check Result...

Post by cjoepar » Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:06 pm

My house rule is that a natural 20 grants another roll with a +20 modifier.

I think there should always be the possibility of making a saving throw. Even a 0 level cook can get extraordinarily lucky in the face of nearly certain death.

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Re: ...The Save Is Made Against The Spell Check Result...

Post by Rostranor » Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:41 am

Just brain storming here, but what would be the impact of allowing a luck burn modified roll of 20 to succeed? So instead of adding in your save bonus if the DC was super High you could burn luck to essential make the roll a natural 20 for save purposes and thereby succeed. It has lasting effect, characters would be hesitant to do it, and it incorporates a mechanic that is already in existence.

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Re: ...The Save Is Made Against The Spell Check Result...

Post by smathis » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:30 am

I acknowledge that this helps not at all. But this is an issue I encountered a long while back when my group was just getting going with DCCRPG.

In TATG, the spells have set DCs for the saves. With a crit on the spellcheck adding +5 to that number. The spells aren't out until the third book. But when it's available, you'll have some alternatives to work with.

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Re: ...The Save Is Made Against The Spell Check Result...

Post by GnomeBoy » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:04 am

Rostranor wrote:Just brain storming here, but what would be the impact of allowing a luck burn modified roll of 20 to succeed? So instead of adding in your save bonus if the DC was super High you could burn luck to essential make the roll a natural 20 for save purposes and thereby succeed. It has lasting effect, characters would be hesitant to do it, and it incorporates a mechanic that is already in existence.
So, if I burn Luck to bump the total of whatever I've rolled up to a 20, that's a successful save, no matter what -- but it's got to be enough Luck to also cover my regular bonus to that save, to be an auto-save... hmm....

e.g., I have a +3 to my save and need to save vs. a 27 -- no possible way to roll that normally. So I roll, and get a 16 on the die, which takes me to 19 total. I could burn 8 Luck as things are to make the save. But your proposal is that I could burn 4 and it'd be a success...

I guess the issue I see in this is that, if the Wizard got to the 27 by his natural numbers (caster level and ability), if I can burn only 4 Luck to make it, it feels like I've nerfed his natural ability. If his roll was a 21, and he spellburned to get up to that 27, making the save the 21 (my suggestion) seems more appropriate -- it acknowledges his natural ability, allows him the benefit of the spellburn to get more oomph, but still makes the save something doable (perhaps with a cost to the target anyway, even if it's not the 'cost' of suffering the spell itself, it's still a cost in Luck burned).

Basically, burning-Luck-to-make-a-20 makes it so a Wizard could have a *very* successful casting, but maybe I only burn 1 Luck and -- Ha-Ha! (Nelson voice) -- I just avoided the smackdown.
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Re: ...The Save Is Made Against The Spell Check Result...

Post by GnomeBoy » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:40 am

smathis wrote:In TATG, the spells have set DCs for the saves. With a crit on the spellcheck adding +5 to that number. The spells aren't out until the third book. But when it's available, you'll have some alternatives to work with.
Hmmm. Makes me wonder about fixed number + caster level for a save...
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Re: ...The Save Is Made Against The Spell Check Result...

Post by Rostranor » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:22 pm

Gnomeboy, true thats a good point. i guess the only counter is that most characters have a very finite amount of luck in order to avoid the spell.

On the other hand it depends i think on how balanced you want things to be.

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Re: ...The Save Is Made Against The Spell Check Result...

Post by smathis » Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:28 pm

GnomeBoy wrote:
smathis wrote:In TATG, the spells have set DCs for the saves. With a crit on the spellcheck adding +5 to that number. The spells aren't out until the third book. But when it's available, you'll have some alternatives to work with.
Hmmm. Makes me wonder about fixed number + caster level for a save...
Depends on if you want a 7th level caster hurling a 1st level spell at you to be harder to dodge than a 1st level caster hurling a 1st level spell at you.

In TATG magic, the level of the spell is more important than the level of the caster. That turns a couple of things on its ear but high-level magic is darn near tragically difficult to find in TATG. Most likely its earned through an adventure or a deal with a patron.

And some characters can't even use high level spells due to poor Intelligence scores. That's why I gave primacy to spell level, as opposed to caster level.

Also because I wanted to mitigate a 7th level Wizard's 1st level spell being more effective than a 5th level Wizard's 3rd level spell.

Mileage varies.

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Re: ...The Save Is Made Against The Spell Check Result...

Post by GnomeBoy » Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:09 am

smathis wrote:Depends...
Well, I think you've made the right call for TATG. If it's a game *about* magic and wizards, then there could very logically be 'ranks' among wizards. If it's a game that thematically 'includes' magic and the supernatural, but where a 'wizard' is set differently in the landscape, the specifics of the magic itself steer things more. Similar to what I can recall from playing Call of Cthulhu back once upon a time -- some folks figured out how to use magic, but it all came down to which spells you knew, not how long you'd been casting them...
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Re: ...The Save Is Made Against The Spell Check Result...

Post by smathis » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:37 am

GnomeBoy wrote:Well, I think you've made the right call for TATG. If it's a game *about* magic and wizards, then there could very logically be 'ranks' among wizards. If it's a game that thematically 'includes' magic and the supernatural, but where a 'wizard' is set differently in the landscape, the specifics of the magic itself steer things more. Similar to what I can recall from playing Call of Cthulhu back once upon a time -- some folks figured out how to use magic, but it all came down to which spells you knew, not how long you'd been casting them...
I think that's an accurate assessment. Maybe I'll include a sidebar in the third book on flipping the save DCs such that they reflect caster level not spell level.

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