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 60 are listed in order of importance, beginning with paralyzation, poison, and death magic, and ending with spells.

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:

Save vs. Paralyzation, Poison, and 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 can also be used in situations in which exceptional force of will or physical fortitude are needed.

Save vs. 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.

Save vs. 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 can also be used when the character must withstand some massive physical alteration of his entire body.

Save vs. Breath Weapon: A character uses this save when facing monsters with breath weapons, particularly the powerful blast of a dragon. This save can also be used in situations where a combination of physical stamina and Dexterity are critical factors in survival.

Save vs. 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 can also be used to resist an attack that defies any other classification.

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