Saving throws, best, most practical, and how to improve...


Advice


I'm curious as to what everyone thinks the most important save is, the best class for saves, and how people go about raising or improving their saves.

Right now, I'm liking the balance of the Monk's saves, in concert with a sacred tattooed half orc, and the Fate's Favored and Lessons of Chaldira traits. Gives me a +2 luck bonus on all saves and a 1/day reroll of any failed save.

Grand Lodge

Base monk has some of the best saving throws, along with a paladin. Cloak of resistance is the clear cut best way to improve saves.

Most important save is probably the will save, Because failing a reflex save means you take some damage. Biffing a Will Save means you get possessed and murder your friends.


Generally, Will > Fort > Refl is how people rank saves. This will vary depending on what your GM throws at you -- if the whole campaign is nothing but fireball-slinging wizards, who cares about any save but Reflex? If it's all poisonous critters, Fort is a must -- but usually a failed Refl save damages you, a failed Fort save kills you, and a failed Will save kills two or more party members.

Paladin is the best class for saves -- that sweet, sweet CHA bonus to saves beats your base bonus all holoow. Some oracles can work the same trick.

Cleric has good Will + WIS and good Fort plus plenty of good save-boosting spells.

Halfling monk/paladins just look at the DM and say "I save". (They have some other problems, of course.)


The Inquisitor Spellbreaker archetype, with the Spellkiller Inquisition can choose a school of magic to gain +1 on saves from that school's magic, levels 3, 7, 11, 15, 19 you pick up another school and your previous bonuses go up by +1. You can also roll twice on WILL saves and take the better result.

Might not compare to the Paladin, but it's something to combat spellcasters.


Half elf can be more focused for will saves. They can use the dual minded trait to get a straight +2 to will saves, with another +2 vs 'mind affecting effects' (read: pretty much every will save that isn't necromancy/curse). They also have another racial feat to get a reroll against will saves.

So you can make yourself downright tanky for will saves, even if it is your poor save. Add on iron will, 12 wis, and a +1 will trait, and you can make your party cleric jealous for most of the campaign.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
VoodistMonk wrote:
the most important save

Will; on average, will save effects tend to be nastier and more debilitating.

VoodistMonk wrote:
the best class for saves

Paladin/Antipaladin; hard to beat having a single stat that adds to all your saving throws on top of having two strong ones to begin with.

VoodistMonk wrote:
and how people go about raising or improving their saves.

Cloak of Resistance; it's one of the most underpriced items in all of Pathfinder, and belongs on pretty much every character. For most classes your saves should be in a decent range after that. If that's not enough to take you to an acceptable level, buff spells or items that boost your Wis/Con/Dex are your next course of action. If that's not enough... well, suck it up and take a feat.


Dasrak wrote:
VoodistMonk wrote:
the most important save

Will; on average, will save effects tend to be nastier and more debilitating.

VoodistMonk wrote:
the best class for saves

Paladin/Antipaladin; hard to beat having a single stat that adds to all your saving throws on top of having two strong ones to begin with.

VoodistMonk wrote:
and how people go about raising or improving their saves.
Cloak of Resistance; it's one of the most underpriced items in all of Pathfinder, and belongs on pretty much every character. For most classes your saves should be in a decent range after that. If that's not enough to take you to an acceptable level, buff spells or items that boost your Wis/Con/Dex are your next course of action. If that's not enough... well, suck it up and take a feat.

There is an ioun stone that will add +1 competence to your saves and a lucky horseshoe that adds +1 luck to them.


That Lucky Horseshoe is something my sacred tattooed half orc needs to have. With the tattoos and Fate's Favored trait, the horseshoe would give me a +3 luck bonus to all saving throws. With a 1/day reroll from Lessons of Chaldira, combined with the 1/day +4 from the horseshoe. That is legit. Thanks for pointing that out.


VoodistMonk wrote:

That Lucky Horseshoe is something my sacred tattooed half orc needs to have. With the tattoos and Fate's Favored trait, the horseshoe would give me a +3 luck bonus to all saving throws. With a 1/day reroll from Lessons of Chaldira, combined with the 1/day +4 from the horseshoe. That is legit. Thanks for pointing that out.

luck bonuses don't stack. So if you have the tattoos the horseshoe is worthless. The horseshoe is good for all the characters that are non-tattooed half-orcs.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Do be mindful that the Pale Green Ioun Stone is very expensive, and cracked versions of ioun stones are not necessarily easy to come by. If your GM lets you pick it up at the magic-mart then by all means grab a full set for the entire party, but they're described as being relatively rare and use the same crafting price as the full-priced item does so there's no reliable way to get access to it at an affordable price.

I keep forgetting the Horseshoe exists, though. Crazy-good item, and worth picking up around when you're getting a +3 or +4 cloak.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Like others have said, it's generally Will > Fort > Reflex. Another reason for this is that the nasty Fortitude save spells generally don't start showing up until mid-level, while there are nasty Will save spells right out of the gate with things like daze, color spray, hold person, hideous laughter, etc.


VoodistMonk wrote:
I'm curious as to... how people go about raising or improving their saves.

Multiclass.


A four-leaf clover is pretty good for saves too, and it's even cheaper than the horseshoe.

A word of warning - it's very easy to make a monk who is hard to kill but ineffective. Building a decent monk can be tricky.


avr wrote:

A four-leaf clover is pretty good for saves too, and it's even cheaper than the horseshoe.

A word of warning - it's very easy to make a monk who is hard to kill but ineffective. Building a decent monk can be tricky.

It is easier if you go sohei. They can use light armor with flurry, which allows you to survive early levels without being a dex/wis turtle.


lemeres wrote:
avr wrote:

A four-leaf clover is pretty good for saves too, and it's even cheaper than the horseshoe.

A word of warning - it's very easy to make a monk who is hard to kill but ineffective. Building a decent monk can be tricky.

It is easier if you go sohei. They can use light armor with flurry, which allows you to survive early levels without being a dex/wis turtle.

Or just dress up in splint anyway and don't flurry.

At 2nd level, you can probably do without a -2 on your attacks anyway. Not getting hit is way more important than hitting.


I rank saves: Will > Fort > Ref regardless of the campaign. Reflex is dead last because there are many ways to boost that save without magic aid (certain kinds of cover/concealment and other abilities boost it) and it is one of the easier save to optimize anyway. Early levels you want to have a decent Reflex save because that is when they tend to be more "dangerous" to your character.

My favorite way to maximize your ability to resist harmful things due to saving throws? The inquisitor class (insert archetype of choice, just don't lose Stalwart), with a two level dip in Paladin, and VMC Barbarian so you can pick up the Superstition rage power. Make it halfling (+1 racial), fate's favored, the four-leaf clover (or similar item), and you've got a pretty good grasp on things. A ring of evasion and the Stalwart ability inquisitors get makes you a very difficult character to influence in any way.


Steel Soul Dwarf Inquisitors were my go-to when I wanted to optimize saves from an early level.


After 6 levels of Quinggong Zen Archer Monk, I'm going to multiclassing into Spellbreaker Inquisitor with the Spellkiller Inquisition.

Going to mess things up with Disruptive/Foil Casting, Improved Snapshot and a Phase Locking Orc Horn Bow.


Kaouse wrote:
Steel Soul Dwarf Inquisitors were my go-to when I wanted to optimize saves from an early level.

Yeah, but the dwarf stuff only protects against spells/SLAs. While that is a large portion of most saves, it still means that you have to worry about supernatural abilities- such as a vampire with their dominate person ability.

Admittedly, you also go with some divine spell caster stuff (good will+wis). So you do address that part of the problem fairly well.

Still, I tend to prefer half elves if I have to deal with a will save problem- their elven immunity covers mind affecting "effects".


That character, I remember that thread now. Yeah, just remember to have some strength (~14 IMO) so that your damage matters before you get inquisitor levels.


Will > fort > ref

I will say that at low levels the gap is smaller when HP Damage is more dangerous and the scary will save effects aren’t yet around.

Generically best saves I’m aware of are Superstitious Barbs
Dwarf Spiritualists have some of the best will saves around
Kineticts have very good Ref and Fort
Paladins have good saves all round as do chained monks and I believe Inquisitors too, especially archer Inquisitors.

I’d say an underrated feat is Steadfast Personality for Bards, Sorcs, Oracles, Bloodragers, Swashbucklers, Mesmerists are all likely to benefit a lot from it.

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