Saving Throw Priority
Sometimes the type of saving throw required by a situation or item isn't
clear, or more than one category of saving throw may seem appropriate. For this
reason, the saving throw categories in Table 46 are listed in order of importance, beginning with paralyzation, poison, and
death magic, and ending with spell.
Imagine that Rath is struck by the ray from a wand of polymorphing. Both a saving throw vs. wands and a saving throw vs. polymorph would be
appropriate. But Rath must roll a saving throw vs. wands because that category has
a higher priority than polymorph.
The categories of saving throws are as follows (in order of priority):
Paralyzation, Poison, or Death Magic: this is used whenever a character is affected by a paralyzing attack
(regardless of source), poison (of any strength), or certain spells and magical items
that otherwise kill the character outright (as listed in their descriptions).
This saving throw also can be used in situations in which exceptional force of
will or physical fortitude is needed.
Rod, Staff, or Wand: As its name implies, this 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. This saving throw is sometimes specified for situations in which a
character faces a magical attack from an unusual source.
Petrification or Polymorph: This is used any time a character is turned to stone (petrified) or
polymorphed by a monster, spell, or magical item (other than a wand). It also can be used
when the character must withstand some massive physical alteration of his
Breath Weapon: A character uses this save when facing monsters with breath weapons,
particularly the powerful blast of a dragon. This save also could be used in situations
where a combination of physical stamina and Dexterity are critical factors in
Spell: This 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. This save also can be used to resist an attack
that defies any other classification.
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