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quiet1mi
2009-11-09, 03:55 AM
Hey if my character is unaware that someone is going to cast Resilient Sphere at him, would it make that much [danger!] sense [danger!]that I do not get a reflex save... or at least one at a penalty...

Resilient Sphere:
Saving Throw: Reflex negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
A globe of shimmering force encloses a creature, provided the creature is small enough to fit within the diameter of the sphere. The sphere contains its subject for the spell’s duration. The sphere is not subject to damage of any sort except from a rod of cancellation, a rod of negation, a disintegrate spell, or a targeted dispel magic spell. These effects destroy the sphere without harm to the subject. Nothing can pass through the sphere, inside or out, though the subject can breathe normally.
The subject may struggle, but the sphere cannot be physically moved either by people outside it or by the struggles of those within.

Myrmex
2009-11-09, 04:18 AM
No.
Your ability to react to surprise explosions & the like is measured by your natural reflexes (dex) and your training (class bonus), as well as any other effects (divine grace, vest of resistance, etc). These all contribute to your reflex save. Penalizing what is essentially a "react to this surprise!" roll doesn't make much sense to me.

Grumman
2009-11-09, 04:29 AM
Penalizing what is essentially a "react to this surprise!" roll doesn't make much sense to me.
Depending on the circumstances, the thing you're reacting to may be more surprising. If there's an angry guy in a robe in front of you, you're not going to be very surprised when he throws a fireball in your face. If you were sitting in your room at the inn and that same wizard threw a fireball in your face while invisible, you're going to be more surprised.

Fishy
2009-11-09, 06:10 AM
If you really, really wanted to, it might make "sense" to lose Dex to reflex saves any time you'd lose Dex to AC.

I feel bad for the squishy rogues, but they get Uncanny Dodge at level 4, so they don't mind too much.

Tokiko Mima
2009-11-09, 06:22 AM
In general it's a bad idea to rob players of saving throws they are entitled to, even though it seem illogical that someone might react that fast. They are an important heroic simulation element, and having good or bad saves is one part of what distinguishes classes.

Not to mention that the logic that you can surprise someone with a Reflex saves spell also would seem to apply to other saves as well, if you surprised someone with them. Would it be a good idea to let a wizard run around invisible, casting all their spells without saves? Probably not, right? :smallcool:

PhoenixRivers
2009-11-09, 06:51 AM
Technically, even unconscious characters get Reflex saves. Their dex mod is -5 for it, but it's there to represent luck, as well. Hence, why a nat 20 always succeeds.

Grumman
2009-11-09, 07:00 AM
Not to mention that the logic that you can surprise someone with a Reflex saves spell also would seem to apply to other saves as well, if you surprised someone with them.
No, it wouldn't. Passing a Fort save does not require conscious input - your body fights off disease regardless of whether you know you're infected. You could rule that Will saves can be weakened by catching someone by surprise, but you could also rule that it is an inherent mental defense that must be consciously lowered.

Saph
2009-11-09, 07:02 AM
I suppose you could say that anyone caught flat-footed loses their Dex bonus to reflex, while anyone who knows he's about to be attacked and is specifically trying to avoid it (say, by taking the full defence action) gets a +4.

But that adds another layer of complexity to what's already a fairly complicated system. I really don't think it's worth it.

Curmudgeon
2009-11-09, 07:18 AM
No, it wouldn't. Passing a Fort save does not require conscious input - your body fights off disease regardless of whether you know you're infected.
If you want to be consistent, this isn't true. Your body could be "surprised" by being behind on sleep, low on some B vitamins or Zinc, or whatever. If you're not consciously keeping up with rest and nutrition, your body can be surprised.

This makes just as much sense as penalizing Reflex saves, which are supposed to work at all times when you're alive.

Epinephrine
2009-11-09, 07:27 AM
Reflex saves have always been an issue for me, too. If you are grappled you still get a reflex save to avoid something? If you're entangled, you still get a reflex save to avoid something? Seems odd.

Especially when it's a wall of stone - a reflex save allows you to avoid being entrapped by a wall of stone surrounding you - even if you are caught in an Entangle at the time, or grappled by something and are unable too physically leave the area. How one manages to get out of a 20' radius hemisphere of stone when rooted to the spot is beyond me.

Tokiko Mima
2009-11-09, 07:32 AM
No, it wouldn't. Passing a Fort save does not require conscious input - your body fights off disease regardless of whether you know you're infected. You could rule that Will saves can be weakened by catching someone by surprise, but you could also rule that it is an inherent mental defense that must be consciously lowered.

Not everything that requires a Fort save is something that you would be able to even resist. Consciously or subconsciously, it's tough to resist an Implosion (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/implosion.htm) or Disintegrate (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/disintegrate.htm). There's an element of heroic luck, fate and/or destiny involved in saves as well. If you can bypass that element for Reflex saves via surprise, by not Fort and Will saves?

If you catch someone unconscious, they are automatically considered willing for all Will saves, but that's about the limit for what a player should do to be able to bypass saving throws. It's already hugely abusable by nefarious players, so I usually houserule that aspect of Will saves away. Giving players the power to dictate when a foe is allowed a save at all (via setting up surprise) is asking for trouble.

Captain Six
2009-11-09, 07:50 AM
No.
Your ability to react to surprise explosions & the like is measured by your natural reflexes (dex) and your training (class bonus), as well as any other effects (divine grace, vest of resistance, etc). These all contribute to your reflex save. Penalizing what is essentially a "react to this surprise!" roll doesn't make much sense to me.

Well said right here.
Also with my own addition: Penalizing non-magic classes doesn't make sense. Magic spells aren't in need of a power boost. Even if it did make sense it isn't worth it. Common sense will always side with magic because, hey, a wizard did it.

jseah
2009-11-09, 08:27 AM
If I was allowed houserules, I would take the "no [stat] to reflex save when FFed" interpretation. Which includes stats other than dexterity as well.
- The other modification is that reflex saves that need you to move auto-fail if you can't move (or need you to move more than your move speed)

Cloak of Resistance is always active. Doesn't make sense to turn it off even if you're surprised.

Then again, I've always favoured surprise and planning. IMO, if you can catch someone unawares, you deserve a BIG advantage.

Levithix
2009-11-09, 08:46 AM
If I was allowed houserules, I would take the "no [stat] to reflex save when FFed" interpretation. Which includes stats other than dexterity as well.
- The other modification is that reflex saves that need you to move auto-fail if you can't move (or need you to move more than your move speed)

Cloak of Resistance is always active. Doesn't make sense to turn it off even if you're surprised.

Then again, I've always favoured surprise and planning. IMO, if you can catch someone unawares, you deserve a BIG advantage.

This sounds like a good way to do it.

Myou
2009-11-09, 08:58 AM
Not everything that requires a Fort save is something that you would be able to even resist. Consciously or subconsciously, it's tough to resist an Implosion (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/implosion.htm) or Disintegrate (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/disintegrate.htm). There's an element of heroic luck, fate and/or destiny involved in saves as well. If you can bypass that element for Reflex saves via surprise, by not Fort and Will saves?

If you catch someone unconscious, they are automatically considered willing for all Will saves, but that's about the limit for what a player should do to be able to bypass saving throws. It's already hugely abusable by nefarious players, so I usually houserule that aspect of Will saves away. Giving players the power to dictate when a foe is allowed a save at all (via setting up surprise) is asking for trouble.

Willing doesn't mean they fail saves, it just lets you target them with spells that specify 'Willing' targets.

Clementx
2009-11-09, 10:03 AM
Reflex saves have always been an issue for me, too. If you are grappled you still get a reflex save to avoid something? If you're entangled, you still get a reflex save to avoid something? Seems odd.

Especially when it's a wall of stone - a reflex save allows you to avoid being entrapped by a wall of stone surrounding you - even if you are caught in an Entangle at the time, or grappled by something and are unable too physically leave the area. How one manages to get out of a 20' radius hemisphere of stone when rooted to the spot is beyond me.
This is where you apply the special case given for Cave-Ins to all effects which create a lasting barrier and offer a Reflex to avoid capture. Specifically, if you don't leave the area of effect within one round, you are considered to have failed your save.

I find it helps with realism without particularly overpowering those effects, since it usually requires layering multiple effects or taking advantage of unique conditions. I also give forcecage a Reflex save (instead of a costly material component), which makes it less of a universal-screw-for-some-creatures.

Epinephrine
2009-11-09, 11:15 AM
This is where you apply the special case given for Cave-Ins to all effects which create a lasting barrier and offer a Reflex to avoid capture. Specifically, if you don't leave the area of effect within one round, you are considered to have failed your save.

Well, my players were going to trap an enemy in a wall of stone, and I explained that he may well avoid capture, since he can make a reflex save. So instead, they made a long "U" of stone, covered.

___________
|X_________

Forces the enemy to walk all the way out, doesn't allow a reflex save since it doesn't enclose them fully. Since the enemy was in full plate, he had a 20' move and couldn't run, so it would have taken ~3 rounds to leave and circle all the way back. Odd that if they had chosen to seal the open end he could have made a save to get out (presumably by stepping across it near himself), but since they left the end open he finds himself in a hall of stone - which could easily be sealed on him the next round with a second wall of stone.

jiriku
2009-11-09, 11:22 AM
You're always entitled to a saving when one is prompted. Always. Even if you are paralyzed, held, bound, blind, deaf, and unconscious all at once, you are still entitled to a save.

To rule that you don't get a save if you're unaware of an attack would mean that any invisible character with silent spell could deny you a save for every spell he casts.

Ravens_cry
2009-11-09, 12:21 PM
A reflex is something your body does automatically. Touch a hot object, and your hand will jerk away before you feel it. Ducking when a fire ball is coming at you automatically can also be a reflex, a learned one though, one that gets better with experience. The rules support that with the increases with levels. The idea that one would suffer a penalty for a reflex save when one is surprised goes against the 'reflex' in 'reflex save'.

Glimbur
2009-11-09, 12:36 PM
If I was allowed houserules, I would take the "no [stat] to reflex save when FFed" interpretation. Which includes stats other than dexterity as well.

So, for example, the Divine Grace of a Paladin shouldn't help against a fireball if you can surprise the Paladin? A Gloura (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20031003e), which also gets Cha to AC as a Deflection bonus, doesn't benefit from its Cha if you sneak up behind it and try to Web it? This seems like a weird rule.

ericgrau
2009-11-09, 12:42 PM
It's always a surprise to be suddenly surrounded by a forcefield, even in the middle of combat. You see it as it forms and react before it finishes forming. It's not the same as dodging an arrow because when you're flat-footed against an arrow it hits you before you notice anything.

Flickerdart
2009-11-09, 12:45 PM
Beguilers specifically have the Cloaked Casting class feature which makes their spells harder to resist when they catch the enemy off-guard. This, I think, is enough to set a precedent that your run-of-the-mill Wizard doesn't know how to take advantage of this, and the target gets the full save bonus.

Volos
2009-11-09, 04:14 PM
You should get a reflex save regardless of your awareness of what is going on. Just as if you had stepped on a trapdoor that gave out from underneath you. You are generally unaware of what is going on, but you still get a reflex save to see if you jump back in time to avoid getting dropped in the hole.

Nero24200
2009-11-09, 04:59 PM
If you disallow reflex saves against something you aren't aware of traps suddenly become far more deadly.

Have you ever say...had a ball thrown at you that you didn't know was there, but still managed to dodge it? People are built with natural defensive instincts. Even if you don't know somthings there, it's still possible to "sense" danger and react.

Theoretically, you could add a bunch of modifiers to similate a delayed reaction, but then you have to decide where the line is drawn, since some abilities/traps etc might allow the modifiers, others might not, and it becomes too much of a hassle to add another level of complexity.

Plus it also opens a can of worms regarding other saves, like do you get a will save against an enchantment you don't know about? If not, suddenly enchantment spells become dangerous powerful as long as you find a way to disguise the casting.

Fax Celestis
2009-11-09, 05:18 PM
Reflex saves have always been an issue for me, too. If you are grappled you still get a reflex save to avoid something? If you're entangled, you still get a reflex save to avoid something? Seems odd.

That's because you're making the mistake of equating a Reflex save to "dodging". Making your Reflex save isn't dodging the blow: it's mitigating the blow you already took. This is why elemental damage spells like fireball are "Reflex half" instead of "Reflex negates". It just so happens that monks and rogues in particular are very very good at mitigating that damage entirely--and later, become so adept at mitigating the damage that it happens without conscious effort (Improved Evasion).

Emmerask
2009-11-09, 05:21 PM
If you disallow reflex saves against something you aren't aware of traps suddenly become far more deadly.

Have you ever say...had a ball thrown at you that you didn't know was there, but still managed to dodge it? People are built with natural defensive instincts. Even if you don't know somthings there, it's still possible to "sense" danger and react.

Theoretically, you could add a bunch of modifiers to similate a delayed reaction, but then you have to decide where the line is drawn, since some abilities/traps etc might allow the modifiers, others might not, and it becomes too much of a hassle to add another level of complexity.

Plus it also opens a can of worms regarding other saves, like do you get a will save against an enchantment you don't know about? If not, suddenly enchantment spells become dangerous powerful as long as you find a way to disguise the casting.

If a person is grappled they can have a reflex save without dex mod (it makes perfect sense that you canīt dodge for example a fireball that good while wrestling with someone)

if you are pinned I donīt allow a reflex save (same while stunned or anything that wonīt allow you to move/jump ie to dodge out of harms way)

If they are suprised they have their full reflex save (this may not make sense logically but there is a lot less arguing then ^^ and one could argue that you indeed have some kind of sixth sense that something comes flying towards you especially as a hero)

but these are just my personal house rules ;)

*edit*


That's because you're making the mistake of equating a Reflex save to "dodging". Making your Reflex save isn't dodging the blow: it's mitigating the blow you already took. This is why elemental damage spells like fireball are "Reflex half" instead of "Reflex negates". It just so happens that monks and rogues in particular are very very good at mitigating that damage entirely--and later, become so adept at mitigating the damage that it happens without conscious effort (Improved Evasion).

for me reflex is not mitgation it is dodging it is reflex half because you dodge most of the blast (fireball example) but not all of it
a rogue or monk is so adept at dodging that they do this even if failing their save if they succeed they just dodge so perfectly that no harm is done ;)

to me this makes much more sense.. why would a rogue be adapt at mitgating fire or ice damage? (And shouldnīt that work on fire and/or ice weapons too?) it seems illogical. Expert at dodging attacks seems much appropriate for a monk and rogue character.


oh and from the srd:
Reflex
These saves test your ability to dodge area attacks. Apply your Dexterity modifier to your Reflex saving throws.

taltamir
2009-11-09, 06:40 PM
I thought a reflex save was when dodging something you DID NOT expect. hence the reflex part.

Curmudgeon
2009-11-09, 07:09 PM
Hey, you can flinch away from something even when you're paralyzed. D&D paralysis doesn't stop breathing or swallowing; you've got a little muscle control. Just a little flinch can be enough to make a difference.

Emmerask
2009-11-09, 07:54 PM
yep and thats complete rubbish in my oppinion :smallbiggrin:

(the flinching away from an explosion part not the breathing one ;))

Fax Celestis
2009-11-09, 07:59 PM
yep and thats complete rubbish in my oppinion :smallbiggrin:

While that may be your opinion, the rules allot for no penalty to saving throws based on surprise or physical status.

Epinephrine
2009-11-09, 08:01 PM
That's because you're making the mistake of equating a Reflex save to "dodging".

Wonder where I got that idea...


Reflex: These saves test your ability to dodge area attacks. Apply your Dexterity modifier to your Reflex saving throws. Reflex saves can be made against attacks or effects such as pit traps, catching on
fire, fireball, lighting bolt, and red dragon breath.

Sarcasm aside, I think it could be fair to say that it really is dodging - perhaps non specialists can't avoid all of a blast of fire when within the radius, but it's still an active avoidance, not a passive one.

Emmerask
2009-11-09, 08:03 PM
While that may be your opinion, the rules allot for no penalty to saving throws based on surprise or physical status.

as I said these are just my personal houserules for reflex saves.
Though the important part for the questioner would be the
"do I lose dex bonus on saving throws if suprised" to which the answer is no you donīt
(which I didnīt change in my houserules ;) )