Home Forums General Game Design Saving throws Reply To: Saving throws

Howard Whitehouse

I generally dislike game mechanisms which take more time to resolve on the gaming table than the real thing in the real world. That’s why I don’t like saving throws. An arrow flies towards you, you are hit or you aren’t; it should happen in one second in the game, as in reality. IMHO saving throws tend to slow the game (two separate dice rolls for only one event) and also it breaks my belief in the game narrative when heroes/characters appear to think: “Oh, damn! An arrow has just hit my chainmail! Am I wounded? Perhaps not? I hope it has bounced. Let’s see…”

Except that only in the very simplest rules is shooting resolved that quickly. Let’s say I’m using a D6: I can remember that  5-6 kills a man at short range, and  a 6 at long range. But that’s it. So then you say to me, “But my man in in cover,” and I reply, “fine, so he counts as being at long range.”

“Well, what if he’s in cover at long range and in cover?”

“I can never hit him.”

“Well, what if he’s at short range, and has a helmet on?”

“is it a good helmet?”

“It’s a fantastic helmet! And greaves!”

“Okay, a ‘6’ then. But only if it’s a really great helmet.”

“Now he’s hiding behind a hedge.”

“What sort of hedge. Like a garden hedge?”

“More like one of those Normandy hedges.”

“I can never hit him then.”

I do all my own stunts.