Single Save

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paladinn
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Single Save

Post by paladinn »

Looking at Swords & Wizardry's "single save" mechanic. It seems pretty straightforward. Each class has a single value that improves (lowers - it's a roll-high thing) with each level, and to save you just roll above. Different races and classes have different bonuses to the roll for different conditions (poison, spells, etc.) Interestingly, there doesn't seem to be provision to add ability modifiers to the roll, which I would think would be necessary, especially at lower levels.

Has anyone played with this or adapted it to other Classic/OSR games? If so, what mods have you made?

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Re: Single Save

Post by zontoxira »

Well that's interesting. A single save that is modified by your class, level and ability scores depending on the roll looks quite streamlined. I recall the introductory box for AD&D 2e had characters with a single save, too, though I don't think there were any sort of modifiers affecting the roll.
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paladinn
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Re: Single Save

Post by paladinn »

zontoxira wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 3:07 pm
Well that's interesting. A single save that is modified by your class, level and ability scores depending on the roll looks quite streamlined. I recall the introductory box for AD&D 2e had characters with a single save, too, though I don't think there were any sort of modifiers affecting the roll.
I agree. S&W has this (or a variant) as their "core" save mechanic; and Basic Fantasy has another variant as an option. I'm grabbing it for my new hybrid game.

What modifiers do you think should be used for class (the 4 core)? Paladins in S&S already have +2 to all saves.

Now I'm wondering if the same concept might work for a hit chart.. hmmm

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Re: Single Save

Post by Havard »

I believe some of the D&D Fast-Play Rulesets introduced between 1998-2000 used a system like this for saving throws.

I would hesitate to bring a rule like that into say B/X or BECMI since it could shift the balance between the classes.

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paladinn
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Re: Single Save

Post by paladinn »

Havard wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 8:54 pm
I believe some of the D&D Fast-Play Rulesets introduced between 1998-2000 used a system like this for saving throws.

I would hesitate to bring a rule like that into say B/X or BECMI since it could shift the balance between the classes.

-Havard
Are you referring to the save "chart" or the attack "chart"?

S&W uses a single save as their default save system, and I haven't heard much bad about it.

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Re: Single Save

Post by Havard »

paladinn wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 9:45 pm
Havard wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 8:54 pm
I believe some of the D&D Fast-Play Rulesets introduced between 1998-2000 used a system like this for saving throws.

I would hesitate to bring a rule like that into say B/X or BECMI since it could shift the balance between the classes.

-Havard
Are you referring to the save "chart" or the attack "chart"?

S&W uses a single save as their default save system, and I haven't heard much bad about it.
I'm talking about single saves.

I'm not saying single saves are a bad thing per se, but I'm guessing they work better if the rest of the system is built around them than if they are introduced into a ruleset that assumes different saves for each class.

I haven't looked too closely at S&W since I am not really that interested in clones, but I am sure it works well there :)

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Tim Baker
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Re: Single Save

Post by Tim Baker »

As someone who didn't play much classic D&D or AD&D, I've always found the old saving throws to be hard to understand. I know they're something that you get used to, but I generally need to find a guide and keep a browser tab open explaining the use cases for each of the saves when I run something like Lamentations of the Flame Princess.

When running Swords & Wizardry, I appreciate the single saving throw. The bonuses are pretty straightforward, and the players understand what they mean without needing any special directions. Personally, I'm a fan of this approach. But I understand that those who are already familiar with the classic saving throws might prefer to stick with what they know or with the math that the system was built around.

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Re: Single Save

Post by paladinn »

Considering adapting the "single save" to other purposes. I've read that the saving throw mechanic can be used for skill checks and such. I wonder if it could possibly work for attack roles too.

I want to lose as many of the charts and tables as possible. Simple and streamlined is good, especially for the core mechanics. You have a target #; just roll d20, add/subtract modifiers for ability, class, race, conditions, etc. If you hit the number, Bob's your uncle. Rolling natural 20 is an auto-hit/crit; rolling a one is auto-failure. Roll 2 d20 for dis/advantage.

If the core is simple, adding options won't add as much complexity.

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Tim Baker
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Re: Single Save

Post by Tim Baker »

paladinn wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 3:43 pm
Considering adapting the "single save" to other purposes. I've read that the saving throw mechanic can be used for skill checks and such. I wonder if it could possibly work for attack roles too.
If you can adapt a formula (such as THAC0 or attack bonus) to your attacks, then you can roll a save for defense against the attack, rather than rolling the attack. There are adaptations of the d20-based system that have players do all the rolling – they save against attacks of all kinds, but they still get to make attack rolls against their enemies, including casting spells. Once you know what the target numbers are, you can represent them as bonuses or penalties to the saving throw. To align this to a universal saving throw, then there's an additional step of the progression of the saves matching that of the single saving throw. So it's certain a possibility, but might not retain the same math in an already-created game. I'd be interested to hear what you come up with, if you create such a system.

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