Saving Throws


All characters and monsters can make saving throws to avoid the full effects of certain magical or special attacks.


There are five saving throw categories, used in the following situations:

  • Death or Poison (D): When targeted by a death ray or exposed to poison.
  • Wands (W): When targeted by an effect from a magical wand.
  • Paralysis or Petrification (P): When targeted by an effect that paralyses or turns to stone.
  • Breath Attacks (B): When targeted by the breath of a dragon (or other monster with a breath attack).
  • Spells, Rods, or Staves (S): When targeted by a baneful spell or an effect from a magical rod or staff.

When to Roll a Saving Throw

The appropriate saving throw to make and the effects of a success or failure are indicated in the description of the spell, monster attack, or adventure scenario.

Saving Throw Tables

Characters: Each character class has its own table denoting the saving throw values of characters of each experience level.

Monsters: Most monsters use the saving throw table under Combat Tables. Some monsters’ descriptions may note that they use the table for a specific character class.

Rolling a Saving Throw

When affected by a spell or attack form which requires a saving throw, the player or referee must roll 1d20 and compare the result to the appropriate saving throw value:

  • Greater or equal: A result that is greater than or equal to the saving throw value is a success.
  • Lower: A result of less than the saving throw value is a failure.

Successful Saves

Damaging effects: A successful save against an effect that causes damage means that the damage is halved.

Other effects: A successful saving throw against an effect that does not cause damage means the effect has been entirely avoided or negated.

Saving Throws Versus Poison

Failure: A failed save against poison is usually fatal.

Damage: If a poisonous attack also inflicts damage, the damage is not affected by the success or failure of the saving throw.