Save Points

( ⇪ Adventuring Variants )

In a nutshell: This makes saving throws at least partially a gradual defense , sitting behind your saving throws as your last line of defense against detrimental effects.

The medusa turns its gaze on your character and you know their life is on the line, and you and your friends around the table know it. Your friends see your bad roll and use their awesome-marks to give you small boosts to your Fortitude saving throw, but it’s just barely not enough. Your character can feel their skin start to tense and harden. Only your character’s immune system can save you now, although it’s weakened by the attack. A simple percentage roll, if you can just roll a 26 or lower! You roll the dice perhaps for your last time and…

Your Save Points are Fortitude Points (FP a.k.a. “your immune system”), Reflex Points (RP a.k.a. “your reflexes”), and Will Points (WP a.k.a. “your willpower”), and have a minimum of 0 and a maximum of “50+5×[that save’s base bonus]”. Magic/Psionic items always have 0 save points of every type.

Recovering Save Points

  • 24 hours of non-restful non-strenuous activity (such as hiking) causes you to recover “10+[half that save’s base bonus (rounded down)]” to each Save Point value.
  • A “full night’s rest” (usually 8 hours) that doesn’t result in fatigue/exhaustion causes you to recover “20+[that save’s base bonus]” to each Save Point value.
  • “Complete bed rest” (24 hours) that doesn’t result in fatigue/exhaustion causes you to recover “40+2×[that save’s base bonus]” to each Save Point value.

Anatomy of a Save Attempt

We must distinguish the term “saving throw” from the save attempt as a whole. For these purposes, the “throw” is just the 3d6-relevant roll, while the “save attempt” also involves deducting some number of save points and maybe rolling a d% against them to see whether you busted.

Every time you succeed on a saving throw, deduct half of the save DC (rounded down) from the appropriate Save Point value. The effects of a successful save attempt then resolve.

Every time you fail a saving throw, first deduct the entire save DC from the appropriate Save Point value. Then roll a d% vs that save point value to see whether you busted.

d% result > that save point value: You Busted
(The effects of a failed save attempt then resolve. You also take Strife equal to half of that effect’s save DC rounded down.)

d% result that save point value: You Saved
(The effects of a successful save attempt then resolve. Treat the saving throw total as equal to the DC for effects that depend on the exact value of your saving throw.)

Meta Analysis: Evasion and Mettle become much more powerful because creatures succeed on saves more often, and Improved Evasion becomes slightly weaker because they fail less often. While HP damage can be healed by unnatural means, nothing apart from rest recovers save points. A Heward’s Fortifying Bedroll becomes very powerful as it grants the benefits of a full night’s rest in one hour. This is fine because you’re only able to use it once per day and you’re paying money for something that’s normally only useful for non-mundanes anyway.

Boosting the effect’s DC still helps you, as an increased DC means that a failed saving throw deducts more points. Further, unlike NPCs, PCs can choose to “press their luck” on their effectiveness checks. You can also “soften up” a target with weaker effects before making a high-DC “killing blow”: A successful saving throw against a cantrip will make a creature lose ~5 save points, but a successful saving throw against a 9th-level effect will only make it lose ~11 save points.

Bosses tend to have a higher CR while minions have a much lower CR than even an average NPC or monster, which affects their respective save points even more than is obvious.

Save Points

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