No Saving Throws (5e Variant Rule)

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No Saving Throws[edit]

The following variant rule is based on this criticism of 5e. To summarize, many find 5e's saving throws unfun because, rather than prioritizing player choice, they prioritize chance.

Changes to AoEs[edit]

When a creature uses a feature that targets an area that forces creatures within it to attempt a saving throw, it instead paints the area it will affect in visual effect. At the beginning of the caster's turn after the effect would have occured (typically their next turn), the effect automatically affects all creatures within the area as if they had failed the saving throw.

Changes to Single Target Effects[edit]

When a creature uses a feature that targets a single creature, the effect's DC is compared to the target's ability score rather than making a saving throw. Success and failure still act as a normal.

Changes to Retrying Saving Throws[edit]

If an effect allows a creature to retry a saving throw to end an effect early, a creature within 5 ft. may use their bonus action, or their reaction when the creature would make the saving throw, to incur a penalty to the effect's DC equal to their ability modifier of the same ability score as the save for that creature until the end of their next turn.

Changes to Advantage[edit]

If a creature has advantage to a single target saving throw, the DC targeting them gains a penalty equal to their proficiency bonus. If a creature has advantage on an AoE saving throw, they may halve the damage of the saving throw or move up to half their movement speed as a reaction immediately before the effect would affect them.

Changes to Proficiencies[edit]

The following effects are granted in place of gaining proficiency in a saving throw.

  • Strength - You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls with melee weapons.
  • Dexterity - All of your movement speeds increases by 10 feet. When your movement speed drops to 0, except by being grappled or restrained, it instead drops to 5 ft.
  • Constitution - You gain an additional hit die at 1st level, and again each time you gain an Ability Score Increase.
  • Intelligence - You gain 3 additional skill proficiencies.
  • Wisdom - You gain the Alert feat. If you are using the Feats variant rule, this is the only way to get this feat.
  • Charisma - You may decrease a retried saving throw's DC by your Charisma modifier regardless of the ability score of the saving throw.

Changes to Half/None Features[edit]

While Evasion is the only official feature that reduces saving throws from "full damage on a success and half damage on a failure" to "half as much damage on a success and no damage on a failure", the possibility exists within homebrew for other such features for other ability scores. The following effects are granted instead:

  • Brawn (Strength) - Your next attack against a creature that targets you with an effect that would be a saving throw has advantage.
  • Evasion (Dexterity) - The range of AoEs count as half as much.
  • Endurance (Constitution) - When you drop to 0 hit points, you instead drop to 1 hit point. You may do this once, regaining use at the end of a long rest.
  • Study (Intelligence) - You may double your proficiency bonus in up to 3 skills you are proficient in.
  • Discernment (Wisdom) - When your Wisdom ability score is compared to a DC, the DC has a penalty equal to your proficiency bonus.
  • Courage (Charisma) - While you are frightened or charmed, you may make a single attack against the creature that did so at the end of each of your turns without disadvantage, regardless of if you would otherwise not be able to attack them.

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