Monday, May 2, 2011

AD&D saves and ability checks

One of my commentators on yesterday's post mentioned something I find interesting, and suggests something about the relationship between abilities and saves that I had also been thinking on.

The first time I was DM for B/X, I instinctively asked for a d20 against a stat when a situation came up which I had no other mechanic for. The game I had been running before that had been D&D 3rd ed. and as far as I know, that mechanic is not specified there. Rolling against a stat seem to be a long standing way to resolve things like that, though.

In 3rd ed. the relationship between saves and stats are quite clear. You get a bonus on all saves from higher than usual stats and they have tidied up the zoo of saves into three general cases. If you compare this to how Call of Cthulhu, or other BRP games, handle it you can see that the Idea and Luck rolls etc. are all mapped to one stat each. In the new big Yellow Tome of BRP, I think they have expanded it to one such roll for each stat. Is this a way worth taking with D&D?

I like the idea of saves, but if you should have more than one, or not just a LUCK score, maybe it could be interesting to tie them to the stats. Inspired by the neat Target20 system, maybe you could roll a d20 trying to beat 20, and getting a bonus from the stat the DM decide or you talk him to accepting, getting a bonus according to whatever bonus scheme you like. Say, +1 per 2 above 13 or just +2 if above 15. You choose.

Looking at the different saves in AD&D I do find it slightly odd to Save versus Petrification when avoiding a rockslide, and I'd argue a bonus for high DEX any time. The system above sounds flexible enough to me.

Then I guess you could just say the DM asks for a Save vs. Rocks and invent some shit on the spot...
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