Saving Throws are a character’s resistance to special types of attacks—poisons, magic, and attacks affecting the whole body or mind of the character.
A character’s Saving Throw value behaves in much the same way as THAC0, however, it's the recipient who when makes the Saving Throw, and if the roll exceeds their Saving Throw score, the effect is resisted, so there's no "critical hit" version of saving throw for a guaranteed hit.
Successful Saving Throws can reduce damage or prevent the effects of a spell or attack entirely. Some spells greatly improve Saving Throws against different types of attacks. The following Saving Throws are listed in order of priority, from highest to lowest; a spell that causes paralyzation, for example, will use the save vs. paralyzation, while a wand that causes petrification will use the save vs. wands.
Saving Throws improve as a character gains levels.
Paralyzation, Poison, Death Edit
This save is used whenever a character is affected by a paralyzing attack, poison, or certain spells and magical items that otherwise kill the character outright, as listed in their descriptions.
Rod, Staff, or Wand Edit
As its name implies, this save is used whenever a character is affected by the powers of a rod, staff, or wand, provided another save of higher priority isn’t called for.
Petrification or Polymorph Edit
This save is used any time a character is the target of a spell or effect that will turn him or her to stone (petrified) or change his or her physical form.
Breath Weapon Edit
A character uses this save when facing monsters with breath weapons, particularly the powerful blast of a dragon.
This save is used whenever a character attempts to resist the effects of a magical attack, either by a spellcaster or from a magical item, provided no other type of Saving Throw is specified.