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Thread: Foregoing Saves

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Foregoing Saves

    So the question is, how does a character know when to forego his save?

    To clarify, I was reading an example tactic in dragon 316 of using dominate person in combination with scrying. Capture an enemy with dominate person and command him to forego any scrying attempts made against him. Then send him off back to where he came from and scry on the enemy. My question is how exactly is a random person or creature supposed to know when he's making a save?

    In a section right before the one I mentioned it suggested to handle will saves versus the pc's in regards to scrying with care so they don't become suspicious. To have players roll several will saves in advance and then use them when appropriate. This makes me question the nature of if pc's or npc's should know that they are making saves.

    If they do know then whats the point of having them roll in advance

    If they don't know then how do they know they how are they to forego any saves at all.

    In the above example how does random cultist know that the saving throw he's foregoing is for a scrying attempt and not something else?

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    Diarmuid's Avatar

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    Default Re: Foregoing Saves

    I've seen it often touted that a character is always aware that he has to make a save. Without that distinction a character would never know whether he wanted to resist the effect (roll a save) or automatically fail. I cant find the rules text atm, but if someone else knows where it is, it might help the current discussion.

    I dont think a character would be able to only not resist scrying unless they were given more specific instructions like " dont resist any effects you cant identify the source for".

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Foregoing Saves

    The character never knows what's up when they fail a saving throw. They're only aware when they succeed.
    Succeeding on a Saving Throw

    A creature that successfully saves against a spell that has no obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack.

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    Clistenes's Avatar

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    Default Re: Foregoing Saves

    A related question: Can a caster purposely let the target win the save? Like somebody who wants to Baleful Polymorph somebody, but keeping his/her human mind to taunt him/her?

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Foregoing Saves

    Quote Originally Posted by Clistenes View Post
    A related question: Can a caster purposely let the target win the save?
    No. Saving throws for spells are always dictated by this formula:
    Spell DC = 10 + spell level + ability bonus
    I suppose a spellcaster could purposely cast something (like Touch of Idiocy) which gives them an ability penalty and get their spellcasting ability down to the minimum stat required (10 + spell level), but that's really the only flexibility available here.

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    Default Re: Foregoing Saves

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    The character never knows what's up when they fail a saving throw. They're only aware when they succeed.
    If a character always has the option of forgoing their saving throw, they must be aware that a save is required. If you didnt know you needed to make a save, you would never be able to make that decision.

    I'm not saying you can identify what you're saving against (in the absence of evidence) but you have to know you need to save to make the choice to forgo that save.

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    Default Re: Foregoing Saves

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    No. Saving throws for spells are always dictated by this formula:
    Spell DC = 10 + spell level + ability bonus
    I suppose a spellcaster could purposely cast something (like Touch of Idiocy) which gives them an ability penalty and get their spellcasting ability down to the minimum stat required (10 + spell level), but that's really the only flexibility available here.
    I know the formula. I just wondered if you could purposely reduce your DC.

    But even if you can't just choose to reduce the DC, you still don't need to wreck your own brain with Touch of Idiocy, you can just use a scroll: Those always have the minimum possible DC for somebody able to cast the spell.
    Last edited by Clistenes; 2012-11-16 at 09:58 PM.

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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Foregoing Saves

    The impression I'm getting is that the target knows when they are making a save, but that Dragon is mistaken in that someone can order the target to fail a specific save unless the target has some way of distinguishing what spell he's to fail.

    I guess at that point the DM needs to make a judgement call "This tingling feeling in my brain, should I let it in?"

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    Default Re: Foregoing Saves

    Quote Originally Posted by Diarmuid View Post
    If a character always has the option of forgoing their saving throw, they must be aware that a save is required. If you didnt know you needed to make a save, you would never be able to make that decision.

    I'm not saying you can identify what you're saving against (in the absence of evidence) but you have to know you need to save to make the choice to forgo that save.
    The way I have reconciled this is by assuming that if you fail a save (deliberately or otherwise) you assume the tingling was nothing, or you forget about it, or something similar. Because obviously the ability to fail saves voluntarily should not automatically make charm person useless (by negating their trust immediately).
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    Default Re: Foregoing Saves

    I think you are giving metagame knowledge to characters.

    You can't geas someone to "fail their saves against xyz". Characters have no idea what a save is, let alone when they might be expected to attempt one. This is pure player knowledge.

    You could geas someone to let a breath weapon wash over them. That is something the characters can perceive, and they will then fail their saving throws against the breath weapon (and also not use uncanny dodge if they have it).

    You could also geas them to not resist any spells cast on them. And they will then fail their saves against any spells cast on them where they are aware that the spell is being cast (perhaps the wizard them makes a show of casting the next spell at the geased character). They can't choose to fail their save against a spell they aren't aware of, because that would be giving player knowledge to the characters.
    Last edited by Ashtagon; 2012-11-17 at 05:52 AM.
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