High level players have too high save rolls


Advice


I am a DM running Shackled City and we are near the end of the story, players 18 level. I noticed my players have insanely high save rolls which make spells against them useless. For example my Paladin has Fort +25, Ref 16, and Will 19. Fort saves of the six players are 9, 12, 13,14,16,25. The Ref is 12,12,13,14,16,23. And Will is 13,15,18,18,19,20! Characters are cleric, druid, rogue, wizard, sorcerer, paladin. No dual classes. My question is how do I make spells effective against these amazing save bonuses?

Any advice is welcome. Thanks


Not quite fair to include the Paladin, their saves are going to pretty much rock. For most other classes, one or two saves will be higher than the other(s), so that class will be vulnerable to attacks which target their weak save.

Also, you can use spells that don't have saving throws, or use metamagic which makes the saves harder.


You want to be careful about making high level effects land regularly, they usually disable a character for the whole combat (boring for the player) or outright kill characters.

Intimidate to demoralize can be fun to RP and is easier to land than a save effect. The resulting shaken drops saves by 2. Some spells and many witch hexes have an effect on a successful save - e.g. look up the evil eye hex. Enemies with spell perfection and related feats can have very high save DCs.


Paladins have high save bonuses, that's kind of their shtick. That the character's Will save is so much lower than their Fort save is surprising.

Saves are quite a bit lower than I would expect to see from 18th level characters. A cleric with only a +9 Fort bonus at 18th level - what the heck happened to their Con score?!

Compare to theoretical monster save bonuses for CR 18: good saves about +20, bad saves about +16. "Typical" monster save DCs at CR 18 range from 18 to 25, putting them at "doable" to "oh crap" for your characters depending on which character.

Shackled City has everything largely scripted already as I understand it. I wouldn't worry overmuch about it since most of your PCs are well within the happy zone of failing some/making others.

It would seem that Will saves have cropped up a LOT during the campaign since it is the group's highest overall save bonus.

Reflex and Fort are both overall weak spots. Something lighting them up with DC 22-25 Reflex and/or Fort saves has at least a 50/50 chance of jacking up most of them each time. Much of what they fight should already be hitting about that mark.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

They'll more than likely have other weaknesses to exploit, cmd, ac, touch, flat fotted etc.

but really I don't think your players are necessary all that high up in the saves for you to be all that concerned.(granted somewhat high for mono class)

The only character i've had at that level range was a lvl 17 fighter/Slayer with 14 lvls lore warden and 3 lvls spirit slayer.
His saves were: Fort 22, Ref 24, Will 20.
Yet even with saves like this he'd typically fail 1/3 or 1/4 attempts. we were hit a lot with failed will saves in that campaign.

Our save champ character who i think made a mistake getting these high numbers somewhere but as they are listed at lvl 17: Fort 24, Ref 33 will 29 add to that evasion. ac 46, cmd 59

It sounds to me like you just need them to make more saves and they should fail sooner or later.

Then again I've never Gm'ed


I appreciate all of the great and thoughtful comments. My question is the save DC for a spell is 10 + spell level + relevant ability so most spells below 7 level are basically useless against them. Is that part of the point creep that occurs in high level games?


At that high of level, forcing saves should be just as in effective as dealing damage. Real threats will come from maneuvering around armies, facing wizards with Time Stop, cancelling apocalyptic prophesies, etc. Most everything is trivial, and the only real dangers are the ancient powers that aren't ready to welcome a new kid to the neighborhood.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

For spells with saves, it's kindof expected that the lower level spells are very likely (if not certain) to be saved against. Most spells with saves have a very brief 'sweet spot' where they can be cast but are not likely to be saved against. (This is less true where the save is for half damage; those are relevant, just less powerful.)


Those saves are low, so don't worry about it. The problem is probably using single target spells against a group of six- with that many players, you need to scale encounters to have more enemies or really focus on area or multi-target spells. Content generally assumes players. (As for the paladin, yeah. They basically get "disregard saves" as a feature.)

Edit: Yeah. Lower level spells should be used for buffing, area/ongoing effects to fish for that bad save roll, or effects with no save.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

If you really want high level effects to land:

Just make some (not all), some enemies mythic. I know what you are thinking: "It's not fair!"

Quite honestly the game is already rigged in favor of the players anyway and many modules/AP fall into the trap of trying to make solo boss fights. Mythic added on a boss does give them access to more actions, more powerful spells (mythic spells some even ignore immunities for non-mythic characters and the likes).

It doesn't mean that you have to make the players mythic, quite the contrary actually, just make the very important npc mythic.

If Mythic isn't your cup of tea, you could use Dazing spell metamagic, quite possibly one of the most frustrating metamagic effect. Other spell that is a worse offender: Terrible Remorse...this spell is brutal to say the least, save or not...you are basically screwed. But well, it is mind affecting effect, so it probably means your character have some immunity against mind affecting effects.

There is of course debuffing the party: Dispel magic greater is underestimated...but it can change the tides of battles to remove some bonuses or even suppressing magic items.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

A few comments:

1) A paladin is pretty much always going to have high save bonuses because of Divine Grace, so you should take that into consideration: Don't target a paladin with SoD/SoS spells (unless they have a partial effect even on a successful save).

2) The rogue, sorcerer, and wizard have poor Fort saves; all of the other classes have good Fort saves. Poisons, diseases, stinking cloud, etc. have the highest chance of a failed save against those three characters.

3) All of the classes listed (except the rogue) have poor Ref saves. You'll probably have the most failed saves against a spell targeting Ref; granted, the rogue has Evasion.

4) All of the classes listed (except the rogue) have good Will saves. If you target a Will save, the rogue probably has the least chance of success.

5) There is a decent selection of spells that don't allow saving throws. Unlike monsters, PCs usually lack high energy resistance/immunity, spell resistance, etc., so those are often more effective against PCs than they are against high CR monsters.

6) This bears stating, also: Don't always target the PCs' weaknesses; let them enjoy the benefits of their characters' strengths about as often as you have them deal with the consequences of any weaknesses.


Pay attention to spells that have an effect even on a successful save. Those can be disruptive even against good saves.


I agree wth Scythia. If you don't want to rebuild NPCs to take advantage of things like Spell Perfection (combined with Spell Focus, etc), or to go the nuclear route of adding Mythic tiers, your best bet is to leverage spells with no saves or which have a secondary effect even on a successful save. So things like Waves of Exhaustion, for example.

Of course, the advice from Dragonchess Player about targeting different class' weak saves is also excellent. One would think that smart enemies would recognie what sort of saves might work against what sort of PCs at this level. As a PC I typically know that sneaky guys will have good REF saves but weak WILL, arcane casters will have high WILL but low FORT, etc. So it's fair for the NPCs to expect the same.


That's really not that high. Base of +6 or +11, +5 cloak puts them at +11 or +16 to start. Throw in the stat bonuses, luckstone, pale green ioun stone (both regular and flawed), I'm sure there's a few more out there. Probably a sacred bonus somewhere. +20 for a good save seems perfectly normal. +14/15 for a bad save seems appropriate as well. Throw on an extra +4 if it's a primary stat.

I'm a little worried how someone reached level 18 with only a +9 Fort (Con of 6?), or why the Paladin's Will save is so low (their Fort and Will are 6 apart, meaning 22 Con and 10 Wis?).

Now, as for how to make spells effective, it depends on the source of spells. If they're a full spellcaster then Persistent Spell can help make low level spells stick (I think 2d20 take lowest is equivalent to a -4?). Otherwise you use spells without a save, that target a weak save, or that still have an effect on a successful save. Maybe a quickened debuff beforehand (Ill Omen is a favorite). There's really a lot of options with full access to spells.

If the source of spells is a bunch of racial SLAs, well, then you need to realize that some of those just won't work. Monsters have to be designed to face any possible party. That almost always means that some of what they have won't be useful to you or against your party. A Balor's "trump cards" (1/day abilities) are Blasphemy, Fire Storm, and Implosion. Blasphemy will destroy a summoner... and be utterly worthless against a level 20 party (well, maybe buy it a round it traded its standard action for, so... yeah). Fire Storm is okay damage but shapeable... and worthless against Evasion. Implosion is good against the Wizard or Rogue, useless against the Barbarian. Different tools for different things. Just because the monster has an allen wrench (spell) doesn't mean it needs it to build the bookshelf (murder the party). And if you're trying to jam an allen wrench in a phillips head screw, it's just never going to work.


Fortitude and will saves at this level are usually quite deadly and a failed save can literally kill a character or worse. Most high level characters should only rarely fail one of these saves. When they do fail a save they are usually screwed so this is normal. Reflex saves on the other hand usually only reduce the damage of the spell, so even a failed save still has some affect. Even a 5th level caster’s fire ball usually still does some damage to an 18th level character. This is the way the game is designed so your campaign is working like it should.

Take the spell dominate person with a DC of 19. The character with the +13 will save has a 25% chance to miss the save, the character with the +15 will save has a 15% chance of failing, and the rest have a 5% chance of failing. So a 9th level wizard with an 18 stat has a 25% chance of taking an 18th level character out of the fight with a single spell. Likewise the character with the +9 Fortitude save has a 25% chance to be permanently blinded by a 5th level caster with a 14 in their casting. These are characters that are half the level or less than the players being able to completely disable a character with much better equipment and protections.

The players are actually at mathematical disadvantage vs your NPC’s even though they have better saves. The fact that the players will have to make a lot more saves in the game than NPC’s means that eventually they will fail their saves. Most NPC’s including monsters have to make a lot less saves simply because they are constantly being replaced.

As _Ozy said don’t use the paladin’s saves as any kind of measure. The paladin is the absolute best class when it comes to defense. Not only do they have the best saves in the game they are flat out immune to a lot of effects. They also have the only in combat healing that is worth bothering with in the game. About their only weakness is usually a low touch AC. Using a paladin’s defense as a measure of anything is like using a raging barbarian’s HP as a measure of how many HP a character should have.


those saves are actually terrible for level 18


Lady-J wrote:
those saves are actually terrible for level 18

+6 base on their weakest saves, +5 resistance bonus from cloak of resistance, +1 luck bonus from a Luck Blade. What more can you get? Pathfinder doesn't give you much options for boosting saves, you know?


Attribute bonuses? Feat bonuses?


One of these guys has a Fortitude save of +9 at level 18?

A CR 14 Demilich has a DC 24 save-or-have-your-soul-devoured ability. If you have a less than 50% chance of surviving that - which half of this group do - I don't think you can say your saves are too high.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
DoubleBubble wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
those saves are actually terrible for level 18
+6 base on their weakest saves, +5 resistance bonus from cloak of resistance, +1 luck bonus from a Luck Blade. What more can you get? Pathfinder doesn't give you much options for boosting saves, you know?

By 18th level, it is a fair and reasonable expectation that characters are sporting at least +2 (and usually higher) save bonuses from their Dex/Con/Wis scores via at a minimum belts and headbands. It is more than likely that most of the characters, except what appears to be an Old-aged Cleric, are sporting Dex/Con/Wis in the range of at least a 16 or 17 for a +3 ability score modifier on their saves.

So far, just from ability scores and base saves the reasonable expectation is that PCs will have good saves of +14, bad saves of +9 at this level. +5 resistance bonuses make good saves +19, bad saves +14.

Then there is the plethora of spells especially from a group of this size. prayer from the Cleric gives +1 luck on all saves for everyone among other things and lasts at least one fight if not two or maybe three at 18th level; heroism lasts 3 hours per casting tacks on another +2 morale bonus on all saves. haste is probably joining prayer in 'happening every fight'-land, tacking on another +1 untyped bonus on all of their Reflex saves.

So at a minimum at this level the reasonably anticipated save bonuses on average for an 18th level group is +22 for their good saves, +17 for their bad saves plus the +1 bonus on Reflex from haste.

This is just from the CRB alone. None of this accounts for the druid's bonses from wild shape, any investment whatsoever in traits or save-boosting feats or specific magic items that add unconventional bonuses such as luck stones, luck blades, the aforementioned ioun stones and so on. Again, just looking at the CRB.

If the sorcerer and wizard pool their resources, they can slather mind blank on the entire party, adding another net +3 bonus on saves against mind-affecting effects.

If the group is expecting a nasty fight, expect greater heroism to replace heroism, tacking on another +2 bonus on all their saves. Bigger fights they should be sporting +24 on their good saves, +19 on their bad saves, another +1 against Reflex saves and another +3 against mind-affecting effects ... and they generally don't care at all about fear, such as the frightful presence of dragons, Dazzling Display and so on.

For these big nasty fights the cleric should be generously slathering on death ward for everyone. They get to save against power word kill no matter what, for starters. And they're impervious to enervation, energy drain and all manner of negative energy attacks such as harm and regular channeled negative energy.

Now that they have access to 1 or 2 mass heals a day it is going to take a LOT of raw hp damage to drop them. The old man cleric is a particularly soft and squishy target. That character should be expecting to die horribly regularly and often with such an awful bonus on Fort saves.

Tangental Musings:
:

A wizard's best friend once they have access to communal resist energy, communal protection from energy and communal stoneskin is the lovely arcane discovery of defensive feedback.

In a nutshell, those trio of defensive spells deliver unto thine enemies that dish out damage that the Wizard's spell protect against to the ratio of 1d6 untyped damage per 10 points of damage prevented by the spell, presuming the source of said damage is within 30' of a protected character. The gods help you if your Wizard figures out how to access death ward 'cause then the pain is really on. Presuming they get within 30' of a big nasty AoE attacker such as most dragons when the beast unleashes its big bad breath weapon, the first 150 points of damage per character affected rips right back into the dragon to the tune of 15d6 untyped damage, each. Catch enough characters with this kind of protection in play, the dragon literally kills itself. The characters may well voluntarily fail their Reflex saves to take advantage of this and bunch up in prime breath weapon formation. Say the dragon hits 4 characters for 150 damage apiece, they ignore the damage and it gets blasted with 60d6 feedback damage. Pretty sweet.

Melee works very well for the characters that the communal stoneskin was protecting. Presuming they're not getting stomped on by adamantine golems or the like, they take 10 less damage per melee hit and the attacker eats 1d6 damage per melee hit the land on a target. If they are enemy archers lacking adamantine or +4 arrows firing within Point-Blank range, they eat a d6 of untyped damage with every arrow they shoot into a protected PC.

At this level, the Wizard just might be willing to burn a limited wish on one or more characters to bestow the death ward himself to take advantage of defensive feedback. Facing bad guys with harm spells and channeled negative energy? You'll be glad the Wizard was so generous. Imagine the bad guy's face when his harm not only does zero damage to the target, but he eats 15d6 damage for his temerity. Then the good guy hits him in the face with a whiffle bat and drops him.


DoubleBubble wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
those saves are actually terrible for level 18
+6 base on their weakest saves, +5 resistance bonus from cloak of resistance, +1 luck bonus from a Luck Blade. What more can you get? Pathfinder doesn't give you much options for boosting saves, you know?

my level 6 anti paladin monk multi class character had each save into the low 20s so yes low saves especially for the paladin by level 9 most of my non paladin/anti paladin characters are sporting what the paladin in their group has for saves except a few points higher

Scarab Sages

Lady-J wrote:
DoubleBubble wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
those saves are actually terrible for level 18
+6 base on their weakest saves, +5 resistance bonus from cloak of resistance, +1 luck bonus from a Luck Blade. What more can you get? Pathfinder doesn't give you much options for boosting saves, you know?
my level 6 anti paladin monk multi class character had each save into the low 20s so yes low saves especially for the paladin by level 9 most of my non paladin/anti paladin characters are sporting what the paladin in their group has for saves except a few points higher

You should expect that from multiclassing you typically get better saves, add to that you got Cha to saves your sample is a character very focused on saves.

Saves are important and I admit in pfs I generally prioritize a cloak of resistance+1 above a +1 weapon or armor.

If just going for good saves at lvl 1 Dwarf monk with glory of old hardy and steel soul could have the following saves:

fort +6, ref +5, will +6
vs spell like abilities and spells: fort +11, ref +10, will +11
Not really fair to make those saves the standard.

I think it's interesting that the entire group have managed to get that far staying mono classed.


At level 18 I'd expect PCs to have +20 for a good save and +16 for a bad. Save DCs should be around 25 +/-
All Averages.

TBH I don't see a problem.


Lady-J wrote:
DoubleBubble wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
those saves are actually terrible for level 18
+6 base on their weakest saves, +5 resistance bonus from cloak of resistance, +1 luck bonus from a Luck Blade. What more can you get? Pathfinder doesn't give you much options for boosting saves, you know?
my level 6 anti paladin monk multi class character had each save into the low 20s so yes low saves especially for the paladin by level 9 most of my non paladin/anti paladin characters are sporting what the paladin in their group has for saves except a few points higher

Lady-J, you have to be aware at this point that your group's ability score arrays are way outside what most groups would consider to be normal (please don't take that as disrespectful, to each group their own), so it's not really fair to compare your personal experiences when it comes to expected numbers.

That said, even with a 15 or 20 point buy, those saves are something awful.

Bench Pressing by the Numbers advises that at level 18, most saves should be in the 18-23 area, with a save of only +14 considered a glaring weakness.


A +14 is typically going to be a coin-flip chance of success at 18th level. That is Not A Good Thing for the player characters unless the goal is to maximize the pile of paper corpses.


10 + 7 + 4 int is save dc 21. That has a decent chance of working against a lot of those numbers listed, and level 7 spells and higher are save or die, so having a 50%chance to just remove a charcter seems fine to me


Argiope wrote:

I am a DM running Shackled City and we are near the end of the story, players 18 level. I noticed my players have insanely high save rolls which make spells against them useless. For example my Paladin has Fort +25, Ref 16, and Will 19. Fort saves of the six players are 9, 12, 13,14,16,25. The Ref is 12,12,13,14,16,23. And Will is 13,15,18,18,19,20! Characters are cleric, druid, rogue, wizard, sorcerer, paladin. No dual classes. My question is how do I make spells effective against these amazing save bonuses?

Any advice is welcome. Thanks

The solution is to use spells that don't have saves.

It's something that high level wizards learn to deal with the hard way.

Remember, enervation doesn't allow a save.

There are plenty of things you can do outside of this too, a character built around intimidating an opponent can really cause a big penalty to saves.

I have an antipaladin character that causes sickened (-2) + shaken (-2) + aura (-2) + touch of corruption (curse) (-4) = -10 penalty on saves.


Argiope wrote:
I appreciate all of the great and thoughtful comments. My question is the save DC for a spell is 10 + spell level + relevant ability so most spells below 7 level are basically useless against them. Is that part of the point creep that occurs in high level games?

Yes. Never used spells more than 1 level behind the highest you can cast offensively if it has a save. At least don't do so and expect it to work.

Also, remember your NPCs don't need to last more than one combat so they should be pulling out their highest level spells to destroy the PCs and hopefully be prebuffed using all their low level spell slots.


I think "my players keep making saves" is probably an okay situation to be in, because smart players realize that "saving throws" are the sort of thing that can potentially lead to character death with a single bad roll (which is not generally true of other defenses.) Particularly by 18th level, you should be able to take a hit or two, but there's a lot of "instant death" spells that have saving throws. The whole "Roll well or die" interaction isn't comparatively fun, anyway.

So the best course is probably to use spells without saves, or spells with effects on a successful save, or to simply target other defenses.


Argiope wrote:
I appreciate all of the great and thoughtful comments. My question is the save DC for a spell is 10 + spell level + relevant ability so most spells below 7 level are basically useless against them. Is that part of the point creep that occurs in high level games?

When the party was 7th level and could start using 4th level spells, did you find 1st level spells like Cause Fear, Color Spray, Hideous Laughter and Sleep to be very effective aganist them? Two of those spells are flat out impossible to affect 7th level characters with and I'd be surprised if you had good results with the other two.

1st level spells against PCs with the ability to cast and deal with 4th level spells is very similar to using 6th level spells against PCs who can cast 9th level spells. The difference in spell level is 3 in both cases.


*Checks* Let's see...

At Level 18, +18 is basically viable for a character (that is, most want to be at least that good), and +23 is "great", the point at which you're more-or-less hitting diminishing returns.

From what I saw up above, I don't think the party's saves are high enough to be a true problem.


Claxon wrote:
Argiope wrote:
I appreciate all of the great and thoughtful comments. My question is the save DC for a spell is 10 + spell level + relevant ability so most spells below 7 level are basically useless against them. Is that part of the point creep that occurs in high level games?

Yes. Never used spells more than 1 level behind the highest you can cast offensively if it has a save. At least don't do so and expect it to work.

Also, remember your NPCs don't need to last more than one combat so they should be pulling out their highest level spells to destroy the PCs and hopefully be prebuffed using all their low level spell slots.

But if you look at his listed saves a DC of 21, via 18 int and casting a lv7 spell, is

Fort 9 = 55% fail, 12 = 40% fail, 13 = 35% fail, 14, 16, 25. The Ref is 12 = 40% fail, 12 = 40% fail, 13 = 35% fail, 14, 16, 23. And Will is 13 = 35% fail, 15, 18, 18, 19, 20

So a fort or reflex save has a decent chance of working against some of them. And beside the paladin the best fort save still has a 20% fail chance against this very modest 7th level spell DC.
All the enemy needs is spell focus and greater and a better int of 22 and now it's a 40% fail on fort save or worse for all but the paladin.


Argiope wrote:
My question is the save DC for a spell is 10 + spell level + relevant ability so most spells below 7 level are basically useless against them.

Maybe the relevant ability score of the NPCs is too low? I'd expect them to have casting stats of 26+ at this point, which means a level 6 spell would have a DC of 24 (more with Spell Focus). That has a reasonable chance of affecting someone in your group, especially if it's a spell that hits multiple targets.


Even DCs of 22 will generally jack this group up PDQ. The gods help them if they face off with a prepared Necromancer packing horrid wilting or mass suffocate. So long as said Necromancer can keep away from the Paladin, most of them will die.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

BARBARIAN CORDIALLY POINT OUT DECENTLY WELL BUILT BARBARIAN AM HAVING 18TH LEVEL SAVES OF 12/6/6+5 ALL=17/11/11 +3 FROM BELT MAKING 20/14/11, WITH ABILITY SCORES WITHOUT BELT OF +3/+1/+1=23/15/12, WITH HEADBAND FOR INSTANT RAGE FOR SUPERSTITION ON DIME. WHEN RAGING, VITALITY MAKES BASE SCORE FOR FORT JUMP UP BY +8 AND BASE WILL MORALE OF +3, NEW SAVES AM 27/15/15. THEN SUPERSTITION, WHICH AM ABILITY HEADBAND AM TARGETING. AM STARTING AT +2, THEN GAIN +1 AT LEVELS 4, 8, 12, 16, AND 20 BECAUSE HEADBAND. THAT AM TOTAL +7. THEN HUMAN FCB FOR MORE SAVES, TOTALLING +6 MORE FOR TOTAL +13. AS RESULT, BARBARIAN SAVES VS SPELLS AND SUPERNATURALS AND SPELL LIKE AM SUDDENLY 40/28/25, WITH SAVE VS ENCHANTMENT EFFECT GIVING BARBARIAN BONUS +4 TO WILL SAVE FOR TOTAL 29.

WITH REROLL, BECAUSE EATER OF MAGIC.

THIS AM BARBARIAN WHO AM NOT EVEN TRYING THAT HARD. BARBARIAN THINK CURRENT PARTY SAVES AM IN NEED OF SERIOUS BUFF.


AM BARBARIAN wrote:

BARBARIAN CORDIALLY POINT OUT DECENTLY WELL BUILT BARBARIAN AM HAVING 18TH LEVEL SAVES OF 12/6/6+5 ALL=17/11/11 +3 FROM BELT MAKING 20/14/11, WITH ABILITY SCORES WITHOUT BELT OF +3/+1/+1=23/15/12, WITH HEADBAND FOR INSTANT RAGE FOR SUPERSTITION ON DIME. WHEN RAGING, VITALITY MAKES BASE SCORE FOR FORT JUMP UP BY +8 AND BASE WILL MORALE OF +3, NEW SAVES AM 27/15/15. THEN SUPERSTITION, WHICH AM ABILITY HEADBAND AM TARGETING. AM STARTING AT +2, THEN GAIN +1 AT LEVELS 4, 8, 12, 16, AND 20 BECAUSE HEADBAND. THAT AM TOTAL +7. THEN HUMAN FCB FOR MORE SAVES, TOTALLING +6 MORE FOR TOTAL +13. AS RESULT, BARBARIAN SAVES VS SPELLS AND SUPERNATURALS AND SPELL LIKE AM SUDDENLY 40/28/25, WITH SAVE VS ENCHANTMENT EFFECT GIVING BARBARIAN BONUS +4 TO WILL SAVE FOR TOTAL 29.

WITH REROLL, BECAUSE EATER OF MAGIC.

THIS AM BARBARIAN WHO AM NOT EVEN TRYING THAT HARD. BARBARIAN THINK CURRENT PARTY SAVES AM IN NEED OF SERIOUS BUFF.

Thank you AM. I wanted to point this out, but I just can't do it as wonderfully as you can.


Remember, no matter how good your saves are, the party will fail 5% of the time.

At high level play, failing a save is often say good bye to your character, so they can't make it too likely to succeed.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

THIS AM WHY REROLL AM BEING SUPER IMPORTANT, AM TURING OVERALL 5% CHANCE INTO OVERALL 0.25% CHANCE. IF AM WINNING 99.75% OF TIME, AM REASONABLE TO ASSUME AM OKAY.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
AM BARBARIAN wrote:
THIS AM WHY REROLL AM BEING SUPER IMPORTANT, AM TURING OVERALL 5% CHANCE INTO OVERALL 0.25% CHANCE. IF AM WINNING 99.75% OF TIME, AM REASONABLE TO ASSUME AM OKAY.

Which as we all know is extremely important, because if AM BARBARIAN fails a Will save, AM BARBARIAN will wipe the party.

AM BARBARIAN is a good, responsible team player.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gulthor wrote:
AM BARBARIAN wrote:
THIS AM WHY REROLL AM BEING SUPER IMPORTANT, AM TURING OVERALL 5% CHANCE INTO OVERALL 0.25% CHANCE. IF AM WINNING 99.75% OF TIME, AM REASONABLE TO ASSUME AM OKAY.

Which as we all know is extremely important, because if AM BARBARIAN fails a Will save, AM BARBARIAN will wipe the party.

AM BARBARIAN is a good, responsible team player.

Yeah, the other end is the -3 will save barb that says "when (not if) I get mind controlled here's a scroll to mind control me back!"


1 person marked this as a favorite.

WHILE THAT AM ALSO OPTION, BARBARIAN FIND ACTION ECONOMY AM BETTER OVERALL IF BARBARIAN JUST MAKE CODSARN SAVE IN FIRST PLACE.


You are right, just not necessary with the examples of players you gave there. When players get their saves to the point when they only fail 5-10% of the time then the game becomes extremely tedious to DM. Invulnerability is not particularly heroic.


Thank you all for taking the time to share with me your wise counsel and putting the issue of high level saves in perspective. This is why this community is so awesome, generous people like you all who are willing to take the time to give excellent information.

The take away I am getting from you all is that I need to be more selective in the spells I choose, be accepting that most spells will not work except that 5-25% chance they do, and remember to pump the spell caster NPC up with metamagic feats and spell penetration and spell focus with good attribute points. Many of you also noted that the enemy may only last a few rounds so blast fast and hard.

I also wanted to make a correction. I realize the way I initially reported the save scores it implied they were in order for each character, which is incorrect. I actually listed for each save type the lowest to highest scores. The Paladin actually is Fort 25, Ref 16, Will 19. The wizard is Fort 9, Ref 12, and Will 15. The rest are in between.

Thanks again and may your critical hits outnumber your critical fails....wait, I guess if they do then you are using a bad dice....never mind.


How is that wizard still alive?

Liberty's Edge

Mudfoot wrote:
How is that wizard still alive?

My initial though as well. Followed by "... how is the *party* still alive" shortly thereafter.

As other posters have pointed out, your characters have unusually low saves, not high. I'm assuming there's not a whole lot of system mastery going on. Not a bad thing, but you probably don't need to up the challenge any.

Scarab Sages

I suppose the party might be very well prepared and never taken off guard could be one of the main ways they could survive.
Having a sub par save on a character can go alright if your not the usual target.
My previously mentioned fighter had the second lowest ac in our group at around AC 26 but it didn't really become much of an Issue, due to it being rather rare for him to get targeted.
Flight, Ranged combat, and blinking if necessary, a decent chunk of hp and the ability to Almost be certain to turn a critical hit a turn into an ordinary hit helped.(might also have deflect arrow)
While we had 3 meat shields at ac 36+ handling the frontline


Argiope wrote:
Thanks again and may your critical hits outnumber your critical fails....wait, I guess if they do then you are using a bad dice....never mind.

My Keen Katana disagrees with your assessment of the odds.


Azullius Koujou wrote:
I suppose the party might be very well prepared and never taken off guard could be one of the main ways they could survive.

Given that we're talking about six level 18 PCs, I would imagine that most opposition doesn't last long enough to cast many spells.


Argiope wrote:

I am a DM running Shackled City and we are near the end of the story, players 18 level. I noticed my players have insanely high save rolls which make spells against them useless. For example my Paladin has Fort +25, Ref 16, and Will 19. Fort saves of the six players are 9, 12, 13,14,16,25. The Ref is 12,12,13,14,16,23. And Will is 13,15,18,18,19,20! Characters are cleric, druid, rogue, wizard, sorcerer, paladin. No dual classes. My question is how do I make spells effective against these amazing save bonuses?

Any advice is welcome. Thanks

Separate to the saves issue you have 6 characters when AP's are written for four and you have four full caster characters. If you don't heavily modify the opposition then they are going to roflstomp everything if they have even a little bit of system mastery.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / High level players have too high save rolls All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.