The jump and tumble reflex save.


3.5/d20/OGL


In our gaming group when a character makes a reflex saving throw against area effect, the character moves to the edge of the area of effect. A player with evasion moves out of the area of effect. Movement is usually up to the player.

The way we play it, your character jumps are tumbles out of the way, that is what it means to make a reflex save.

Anyway just interested in how other gaming groups handle reflex saves. Do you move the character? Does he stay put in the middle of the area of effect and make the save any way? How do you folks handle reflex saves?


I play it RAW. In description, I often explain how a character managed to reduce the damage from the area effect by covering face, ducking or turning to avoid full force of the effect, or using a shield or something else to provide cover, or slamming the visor on their helmet down just in time. Characters with evasion sometimes get more dramatic descriptions, but they always end in the square the started. Assuming that breath weapons and such have somewhat uneven effects throughout the area affected, some of it could be just the rogue's uncanny luck or the monk's incredible intuition finding a small gap in the flames or the acid spray. Also, sometimes the dragon may breathe at an angle that leaves some space close to the ground, so that ducking might save you from all but the mildest burns. But there's nothing wrong with doing it your way. What do you do if the move would carry them through a threatened square, though? Just say everyone's too busy covering his tail to take a crack at the character?


I like your idea. It rings true.

My group doesn't move based on saves. We kind of assume the area of effect has "holes" and the charcter sidestepped or lucked into one of them. It's simple and helps keep things moving.


Sir Kaikillah wrote:

In our gaming group when a character makes a reflex saving throw against area effect, the character moves to the edge of the area of effect. A player with evasion moves out of the area of effect. Movement is usually up to the player.

The way we play it, your character jumps are tumbles out of the way, that is what it means to make a reflex save.

Anyway just interested in how other gaming groups handle reflex saves. Do you move the character? Does he stay put in the middle of the area of effect and make the save any way? How do you folks handle reflex saves?

I posted elsewhere (can't remember just where recently) about this. We don't move after making Reflex saves. As previously stated (if I can find it), why would you get to make a move action during someone else's turn (or more than one, for really big blasts)? Our DM tried to put something like that into effect and I talked him out of it, as the logic ultimately leads to people not getting to make Reflex saves.

1)A large area of effect with a PC caught in the middle of it who doesn't move fast can't then realistically move far enough to get out of the blast radius.

2)Therefore, they can't possibly avoid the blast, so how do you justify reducing the damage? Not everyone has a shield to throw up or cover, so squishy wizards and sorcerers end up toast.

I keep trying to tell him that laws of physics need not apply, but oh no, he keeps putting them in. All this brought on by a 3.0 monk with boots of striding and springing (had a movement rate way over 100' at higher levels, I miss the doubled move rate on those things), so he was trying to cope with the idea that I could probably outrun a tactical missile. Improved evasion seemed to offend him for some reason. I found it funny that I let the sorceress throw blasting spells at me in combat because she had to a) bypass my spell resistance, and then b) I had to blow the Reflex save to take any damage from her at all. Her fire spells had a high enough save DC due to magic items and feats that I asked her not to throw those at me, but there was one epic moment where she threw a lightning bolt into a crowd consisting of myself and multiple priests of Umberlee that resulted in me having a Matrix-style moment of leaning backward to parallel the floor as the blast fried the priests.

To each their own, I guess. My view of realism makes me ask how someone can determine in a split second where they want to go and then suddenly end up there (which is effectively what happens with your movement). But hey, it works for you!


Peruhain of Brithondy wrote:
I play it RAW. In description, I often explain how a character managed to reduce the damage from the area effect by covering face, ducking or turning to avoid full force of the effect, or using a shield or something else to provide cover, or slamming the visor on their helmet down just in time. Characters with evasion sometimes get more dramatic descriptions, but they always end in the square the started.

I used similar description, whenever their was no safe place for a pc to move. I have had monks leap over, burning hands. Ducking behind pillars, under rocks, into nearby water or even nearby pcs, within the area of effect have happened with successful reflex saves. If all else fails a character just got flat fast enough.

Peruhain of Brithondy wrote:


Assuming that breath weapons and such have somewhat uneven effects throughout the area affected, some of it could be just the rogue's uncanny luck or the monk's incredible intuition finding a small gap in the flames or the acid spray. Also, sometimes the dragon may breathe at an angle that leaves some space close to the ground, so that ducking might save you from all but the mildest burns..

Gaps between the flames and acid? I NEVER even thought of that.

thank you very much.
What about chlorine gas?

Peruhain of Brithondy wrote:


But there's nothing wrong with doing it your way. What do you do if the move would carry them through a threatened square, though? Just say everyone's too busy covering his tail to take a crack at the character?

I NEVER place a PC where a player does not like. A DM has to much control to capricously place a PC in harms way. My players usually decide where they're pc moves. The same is not true for NPCs, I usually move them into a safe unthreatened area. Usually. My players have convinced me to make Wil saves, for NPCs, leading to jumping off cliffs or into harms way, like in front of the 1/2 orc. This is where I have been capricous, somtimes I tell the PCs no annd place the NPC in a safe area (There has gotta be some perks to being the DM).

This has lead to fireballs (and currently grenades), as a good tactic in breaching doorways and such. Either NPCs move are they drop (hopefully).


Lathiira wrote:

Our DM tried to put something like that into effect and I talked him out of it, as the logic ultimately leads to people not getting to make Reflex saves.

...

I keep trying to tell him that laws of physics need not apply, but oh no, he keeps putting them in...

To each their own, I guess. My view of realism makes me ask how someone can determine in a split second where they want to go and then suddenly end up there (which is effectively what happens with your movement). But hey, it works for you!

On the fantasy v.realism scale, I rate my DM style a +3 fantasy. So logic and realism are not the most importnat things to me in running a D&D game. So for me it's easy to drop the laws of physics, that and I really don't understand them. As far as making that split second decision; I assume that PC is in the "zone man". So for that split second, time slows down and the PC can make a good decision as where to move and move quickly to survive; that is what reflex saves are about baby (at least in our game). Dumb luck also works for our group.


thereal thom wrote:

I like your idea. It rings true.

My group doesn't move based on saves. We kind of assume the area of effect has "holes" and the charcter sidestepped or lucked into one of them. It's simple and helps keep things moving.

Man why hasn't anyone told me about the holes. believe me my characters are going to find the holes, fom time to time. The first few times should be a fun surprise.

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