Creatures' Saving Throws scores are used to determine how likely they evade the harmful status effects, as well as lessen the incoming magical damage. The lower the numbers the better.

How it works Edit

All creatures' natural ST scores are based on their classes, while dwarfs, halflings, gnomes enjoy additional "Shorty" ST bonus depending on their constitution. ST scores are further lowered by the advancement of creatures' exp levels. Some spells and items will also temperately alter the scores. The worse possible ST score is 20, the best is -20.

There’re five types of ST scores:

  • Paralysis / Poison / Death, which will usually be checked by sources that would inflect poison or inta-death and is commonly used
  • Rod / Staff / Wand score will be checked by wands as a result is more for enemies than to players
  • Petrification / Polymorph will be used when creatures are the targets of sources that will otherwise turn them to stone or change their physical form
  • Breath Weapon will be used to make saves when facing monsters with breath weapons, particularly the powerful blast of a dragon
  • Spell will be checked by a great number of spells and items thus is vital to any creature

When creatures are attempting to make a save, they throw a d20 die, the number they get is further modified by the save modifiers the source bears, eg, Chromatic Orb allows the target to make save vs. Spells with/at a +6 bonus, specialist mages’ chosen school spells carry a -2 save penalty. The combined number, will be then compared to the creatures’ current ST scores, if less, the creature fails the save, if equal or greater, they make the successful save.

By twisting the above equation, we can also get the minimum d20 roll number required for a successful save:

Min roll for target to make a successful save = (target’s ST) - (source’s save modifiers)

When a creature has a saving throw score of 20 (the worst possible, the engine doesn't allow higher values), they will auto-fail to save, similar to how attacks auto-hit a helpless or time stopped creature, both situations actually bypass the whole ST/THAC0 system. In this case, any save modifier less than 20 is ignored, but, a save modifier of 20 or more will override it and always succeed.

Normally, when a creature has made a successful save, the game will display the following feedback:

(creature name): save vs. Type: roll number after applying the save modifiers

There’s one exception however, if the source’s save modifier is a bonus (positive number) and the target wouldn’t have made the successful save without the bonus, then the message will not be displayed at all.


Target save vs. Spell: 12
Spell save modifier: 5
Though the save will be successful, no feedback will be displayed when they roll a 7, 8, 9,
10, or 11

There’re three ST outcomes:

  • Negates - save or else
  • 1/2 - To implement save for half damage for most spells and items, the game divides the total number of dice thrown into two portions, and makes one of them no-save, the other savable negation, eg, Potion of Explosions with the description of 6d6 total damage (save vs. Spell for half) will have one no-save 3d6 part and the other save negs 3d6 part. For odd dice numbers, the no-save portion will always have 1 extra dice over the other, eg, Oil of Fiery Burning whose total is 5d6 (save vs. Breath for half) in the description will actually be separated into one no save 3d6, and one save negs 2d6, not exactly the half
  • None - No save is allowed by the source

BGWiki writing formats Edit

As often seen in game, for example Ring of the Princes states the ST bonus in the description as Saving Throws: +1 (positive number), but is actually implemented as a -1 (negative number) in order to boost the ST, BGW will list all modifiers which directly modify creature's ST scores as -n bonus or +n penalty. While the save modifiers in game are described as, for example in Silence, 15' Radius, make a Saving Throw vs. Spell with/at a -5 penalty, where the stated number directly modifies the d20 roll number, BGW will list all save modifiers as +n bonus or -n penalty to better synchronize how game works and so that all of the numbers can be directly applied to the minimum roll formula above.

Sources & references Edit

  • Special thanks to kjeron, for the amazing knowledge and detailed explanation

See also Edit