Can someone explain saving throws?

Where I live there is a sad lack of table top games, and I plan on changing that as soon as I can get a grasp on it.

I'm looking Pathfinder rules online, and I just can't get my head around saving throws. I understand if you get a 20 against flaming death cone of firey death you are golden, but how do you calculate damage if you got a 19?

Thanks in advance.

It will depend on the effect or spell, as they will state "save for half/no damage" and such.

Most spells, attacks etc have a DC, this is the number your saving throw has to beat, usually by adding a modifier to the dice roll.

For instance, in the description of a Fiery Death Cone of Fiery Death, it will say something like 'Target makes a DC 18 Reflex Save to take half damage.' This means you roll a D20 and add you Reflex Save modifier (details for working that out will be on the character sheet).

If you get a 15 and your Reflex Modifier is +3, you take half damage, if either value is less, you take full damage. Of course, different saves have different effects, passing an Armour Class check against an attack generally prevents damage entirely, not just half of it.

You will often see tests with a DC higher than 20, these are still achievable if your modifiers are high enough, or if you roll a natural 20. 20 passes every time, even if your level 1 and the Shoggoth is trying to eat you.

Think I got it, but say this spell

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/spells/flameStrike.html#_flame-strike

What would you have to get to dodge it?

ManupBatman:
Think I got it, but say this spell

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/spells/flameStrike.html#_flame-strike

What would you have to get to dodge it?

For that particular spell, it would depend on the caster level of the caster. Determining the Save DC of the spell is a bit confusing but the equation is:

10 + Spell Level + Attribute Modifier = DC

It's a level 5 spell for clerics, and a level 4 spell for Druids, also they must have a key attribute (wisdom for divine spells) equal to or greater 10 + the spell's level, (15/14) so there's a minimum of +2 onto the DC

Making the minimum DC for Flame Strike 17 for Clerics and 16 for Druids.

Now to the meat of your question, when Rolling that saving throw, the player must match or beat the DC to 'save.' if they are successful, they only take half of the damage roll, if not, as the saying goes:

"Jesus saves, everyone else takes full damage"

As a disclaimer, my knowledge is straight 3.5 edition rules, if anything has changed with Pathfinder, I can't say.

Valanthe:

ManupBatman:
Think I got it, but say this spell

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/spells/flameStrike.html#_flame-strike

What would you have to get to dodge it?

For that particular spell, it would depend on the caster level of the caster. Determining the Save DC of the spell is a bit confusing but the equation is:

10 + Spell Level + Attribute Modifier = DC

It's a level 5 spell for clerics, and a level 4 spell for Druids, also they must have a key attribute (wisdom for divine spells) equal to or greater 10 + the spell's level, (15/14) so there's a minimum of +2 onto the DC

Making the minimum DC for Flame Strike 17 for Clerics and 16 for Druids.

Now to the meat of your question, when Rolling that saving throw, the player must match or beat the DC to 'save.' if they are successful, they only take half of the damage roll, if not, as the saying goes:

"Jesus saves, everyone else takes full damage"

As a disclaimer, my knowledge is straight 3.5 edition rules, if anything has changed with Pathfinder, I can't say.

I would imagine it's pretty close to 3.5. Thank you, may just have to read the rule book a bit closer.

 

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