Saving throws are automatic dice rolls made to save against certain harmful effects, such as spells, actions or surfaces. Saves are always associated with a specific ability and are always rolled against a target Difficulty Class (DC). When successful, they reduce or prevent harmful effects.
Overview[edit | edit source]
All harmful effects that can be saved against have an associated target number – a Difficulty Class (DC) – and an ability associated with its allowed save – referred to using terms such as Strength save or Dexterity save.
When attempting a saving throw, a creature rolls a d20 and adds the save's associated ability score modifier to the result. If they are proficient in saves using that ability, they add their proficiency bonus as well.
The result is then compared against the effect's DC, and is considered a success if it equals or exceeds that number.
While the outcome of an attempted saving throw is always binary – it is either a success or a failure – the exact outcome of a successful save depends on the effect in question. Often, the damage or conditions inflicted by the associated effect will be reduced in severity, or sometimes ignored entirely.
Death saving throws[edit | edit source]
Death saving throws are a special type of saving throw made by playable characters and companions after they have been Downed. Three successful saves will let a creature stabilise, no longer needing to make saves, and three failures will lead to the creature becoming Dead.
Difficulty Class[edit | edit source]
An effect's Difficulty Class depends on where it originates from, and is typically intended to be reflective of how difficult the effect is to resist.
Spells[edit | edit source]
Spell save DCs are calculated via the following formula:
The same class ability modifiers apply when casting a spell from a scroll, even when the spell being cast is not normally available to the caster's class. For instance, a cleric casting Shatter from a scroll (a spell not normally available to clerics) adds its Wisdom modifier to the saving throw DC.
Weapon actions[edit | edit source]
When a creature uses a weapon action that forces another to make a save, the DC is determined using the following formula:
Other effects[edit | edit source]
In the case of threats that don't originate from a spell caster, such as a trap or a poisonous apple, the game sets the DC based on how serious the threat is intended to be. For example, a rather ineffective trap could have a DC of just 5, whereas an effective trap could have a DC of 15. A slightly spoiled tart could impose a Constitution save of DC 5, whereas a potent venom from a snake could impose a DC 15 Constitution save on the victim.
Features that affect saves[edit | edit source]
Some class features, racial features, spells, and conditions affect saving throws. For example:
- Aura of Protection grants nearby allies a bonus to saves equal to caster's Charisma modifier
- Elves have advantage on saving throws against being Charmed
- Bless spell adds a 1d4 bonus to saves on the target
- Bane spell incurs a 1d4 penalty to saves on the target
- Bleeding condition incurs disadvantage on Constitution saves
|Resources||Action • Bonus action • Reaction • Movement speed • Concentration|
|Dice rolls||Ability check • Ability score modifier • Advantage • Attack roll • Damage roll (Mechanics) • Initiative • Inspiration • Proficiency (Bonus) • Saving throw|
|Other mechanics||Alchemy • Approval • Damage types • Difficult Terrain • Enchantment • Healing • Reactions • Resting • Stealth • Barter ( Attitude • Traders • Trading and item pricing)|
|Items|| Equipment (Weapons • Clothing • Armour • Shields • Headwear • Handwear • Footwear • Amulets • Rings • Cloaks)
Consumables (Arrows • Coatings • Dyes • Elixirs • Grenades • Potions • Scrolls) • Containers • Miscellaneous
|Ability scores||Strength • Dexterity • Constitution • Intelligence • Wisdom • Charisma|
|Races||Dragonborn • Drow • Dwarf • Elf • Githyanki • Gnome • Half-Elf • Half-Orc • Halfling • Human • Tiefling|
|Classes||Barbarian • Bard • Cleric • Druid • Fighter • Monk • Paladin • Ranger • Rogue • Sorcerer • Warlock • Wizard|
|Character features||Armour Class • Backgrounds • Creature size • Feats • Hit points • Illithid powers • Point Buy • Skills • Spells (List • Mechanics)|