+32 to saving throws at 20th level? - Myth-Weavers

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+32 to saving throws at 20th level?

+32 to saving throws at 20th level?

Yup, this is in the same vein as my other question. And I suppose that time I asked about the various passive defences available.

So, behold the Wyrm Black Dragon. Black Wyrm? Black Dragon Wyrm? Whichever. It's a dragon of CR 20, and it fires acidic lasers from its mouth. Pew pew.
The question is, with a DC of 34 to evade said acid breath (does it curve like the Plasma Laser from Raiden or something?), how does one get their saving throws (well, maybe just Reflex but other saving throws would be nice too) to avoid failing on anything but a natural 1? Assuming a Ring of Evasion or equivalent class feature to dodge out of the way entirely?

Well, where to start? Saves increase with level, so at 20th level you'll have +12 to a good save and +6 to a poor save.
But the only base classes (I didn't check prestige classes) that have all three good saves (that I know of) are the monk (SRD) and favoured soul (Complete Divine). And also dragon and outsider hit dice, but I'm not sure those are available to PCs
I do note that the pseudodragon is a Dragon, has 'only' +3 level adjustment, and bonuses to Dex, Con and Wis. Would advancing as a dragon with d12 hit dice, full BAB, three good saving throws and 6+Int skill points be worth giving up conventional class features? Maybe in gestalt...

So, a +12 if we have a good class, +6 if we don't. And...I dunno, say 16 in each of Con/Dex/Wis, if you have a nice high-powered game?
There's obviously the Cloak of Resistance
Though I tend to prefer the Vest of Resistance from Complete Arcane, it does the same thing but doesn't take up the same item slot as a Cloak of Charisma.
**, which gives a +5 resistance bonus for 25,000 GP. A stone of good luck costs 20,000 GP and gives you a +1 to saving throws (amongst other things), while a pale green prism ioun stone gives a +1 competence bonus (to everything) for 30,000 GP.
The Periapt of Wisdom, Gloves of Dexterity and Amulet of Health
Wait, that takes up the same slot as the Periapt of Wisdom. For that matter, it takes up the same spot as the Amulet of Natural Armor too. Swap them for the Headband of Inspired Wisdom and Belt of Mighty Constitution from Pathfinder 1e, maybe?
** each give +6 to Wisdom, Dexterity and Constitution, so you can get +3 to each of your saving throws from those. 36,000 GP each, but if you're going for AC too then you might already have two of those.
Then there's feats, Great Fortitude, Lightning Reflexes and Iron Will each give you +2 to a save, and the spell Greater Heroism can give you a +4 morale bonus to your saves for a moderate amount of time.

So, that's +12 or +6 from class, +3 from ability scores, +5 resistance, +1 luck, +1 competence, +3 from ability score enhancements, +2 from feats, +4 from morale...how much is that total, +31 for good saves, +25 for poor saves?

Hmm...if we throw in Haste for the dragon-breath scenario (gives a +1 untyped bonus to Reflex), that's enough!
If you're using a good save and your ability scores started off high. What about poor saves?

Halfling is one option, they get a +1 racial bonus to saving throws. Lots of small races have bonuses to Dexterity, and a few other races have bonuses to Constitution, Wisdom bonuses seem rare though.
Paladins have Divine Grace, which with a Cloak of Charisma might give +5 or +6 to all their saves. I know that Warlocks can get an invocation that lets them add their Charisma bonus to one save (and it can be swapped with a standard action). Loremasters can discover Secrets that give them bonuses, but the entry requirements to the class are kind of prohibitive for a defense-oriented character. Wizard/sorcerer familiars can give a +2 to one save, if they're rats or weasels.

And, I suppose, in the specific scenario of a Reflex save vs dragon breath, you could use cover to get a bonus on your save. Hide behind a tree, in a deep bog, cast Wall of Stone or make some other barrier...

What other possibilities are there for raising your saving throws?

Multi class 20 times in high save classes +40 to whichever save you feel is most important.

Don't bother with the Cloak of Resistance; get someone to cast Superior Resistance on you at the start of the day for +6 for 24 hours.

You 100% want 2 levels of Rogue in there so you get Evasion. The +3 Reflex base doesn't hurt either.

Let's assume that you are going to have poor Reflex saves thereafter, since being a caster of some kind is going to be important.

18 = 9 (Base) + 3 (Dex) + 6 (Resistance)

We're halfway there and we haven't even really done anything yet.

Sure, grab 2 levels of Paladin (probably Paladin of Freedom) for Divine Grace.

21 = 9 (Base) + 3 (Dex) + 3 (Cha) + 6 (Resistance)

As of the publication of Magic Item Compendium, you don't have to worry about slot stacking with ability enhancers; you can slap them on anything else that shares their slot for no uptick in cost. That said, at level 20 the 200,000gp Belt of Magnificence +6 is a bargain compared to everything else, so let's throw that on.

27 = 9 (Base) + 6 (Dex) + 6 (Cha) + 6 (Resistance)

Greater Heroism is good for +4, and it's on the same list as Superior Resistance (Sor/Wiz) so that helps define those last 16 levels a bit, too..

31 = 9 (Base) + 6 (Dex) + 6 (Cha) + 6 (Resistance) + 4 (Morale)

Total cost so far: 200,000gp, 2 6th-level slots. (You still have over 500,000gp remaining.)
If you're willing to pop a 4th-level slot right at the time, you can grab ruin delver's fortune to add Luck = CHA for 1d4 rounds as an immediate action, which gets you up to 37, but at this point anything that stacks will put you over.

Actually, wait, you still have 16 levels undefined. If at least 11 of those are casting levels, you have access to planar binding, which means you have access to Efreeti and therefore wishes that don't set your own XP on fire to cast. That's good for another +5 Inherent to all of your stats right there...

35 = 9 (Base) + 8 (Dex) + 8 (Cha) + 6 (Resistance) + 4 (Morale)

And there you have it. You're over your target number, you have 2/3s of your WBL remaining, practically all of your equipment slots still open, +6 Enhancement and +5 Inherent to 4 other stats incidentally on the side, Sor/Wiz 16 Casting (only down 2 slots) and no feats spent. Even your race is still completely at your option.

Of course, this is ignoring paths like energy immunity or wings of cover that would straight up make you immune to such attacks at far lower cost, but those are outside the constraints of the original question.

Other classes have abilities similar to the Paladin Divine Grace depending on your character build.
Facotum: to get the Intelligence bonus on any save, but you have to spend an inspiration point.
Crusader to get the Charisma bonus to Will Saves
Warlock: Dark Ones Own Luck gets Charisma to a single save (it can be changed depending on the situation)
There's plenty of others similar to these so you can have flexibility in your build.

Then there is Tome of Battle with some counters based on your concentration score (which you can get higher than a base save and don't fail on a 1)

And the Pride Domain granted ability allows you to re-roll a natural 1 on a save, because only @Delia2531 is so unlucky as to roll multiple 1's over and over and over.

Honestly, you can pretty much do this just with a two-level dip into Paladin (or similar). It's hardly unreasonably to have a +5 in the key stat for your chosen save and a +5 in Cha, and with a +11 from taking all your other levels as a high-save class (Monk works for all of them) you already have 11 base + 5 stat + 5 Cha + 5 resistance + 1 luck (Luck of Heroes or Luckstone) + 1 competence (Ioun Stone) = +28 with very little investment. Be a halfling for another +1, or actually invest in your stats (+5 is a 14 base + 6 enhancement item - add tomes/manuals for another +2, etc) and I'm sure you can hit +32 no sweat.

If you want to go higher, that's possible. Buffing is probably your best bet. (Greater) Heroism is good, but Conviction is better (especially with Reserves of Strength). (Draconic) Polymorph can boost your physical stats, there are enhancement bonuses higher than +6 available through spells (e.g. Nixie's Grace, Bite of the Werebear) or non-enhancement bonuses (Owl's Insight for Wis, Righteous Aura for Cha, Elation for Dex), Ruin Delver's Fortune grants Cha to a save (short-lived, but good enough for a single save and there are ways to make it Persistent). You can also double-down on Cha-to-saves by doing e.g. Paladin of Tyranny/Blackguard, though in an actual game a DM might slap you for trying that, dip Warlock, etc. Rage also comes with a big boost to Con and a bonus to Will, and there are ways to get those numbers quite big too. There are feats to add Con to Will instead of Wis and Int to Reflex instead of Dex, which might give you some options (I suspect Int to Reflex will be harder to optimise, but Con to Will means you can get two-saves-for-one on pumping Con, which is also easier thanks to Polymorph). You could be a Nymph or a Gloura. There are many X-stat-to-Y PrCs, too, such as the Nightcloak (Int to all at L7) or the Exemplar (Cha to Fort at L4, Int to Reflex at L8).

You won't be able to get all of those on one character, but you could probably stack enough to get some pretty crazy-high stats if you felt you really needed them.

Also consider the Pride domain, which makes a nat 1 not be an automatic failure.

If you're going Sorceror for those last 16 levels, you can get those immunity spells on top of the already crazy-high saves.

Also consider Steadfast Determination from the PHB2 if you really don't like failing saves. I think there are equivalents for Reflex and Will, but I can't remember where they are off the top of my head.

Edit: Ninja'd while looking through books. It's been long enough since I last played that I don't have things memorized anymore.

The problem with dipping in other classes to get Divine Grace and its equivalents is, if you're really particular about the rules, that would incur a considerable EXP penalty for unbalanced multiclassing. And also if you're focused on being a primary caster, a couple of levels dip can deprive you of your most powerful spell slots.
I did briefly mention above that there's a Ring of Evasion which reproduces the Evasion special ability, so that saves you a couple of levels in Rogue if that's what you were after.

Superior Resistance could do away with the need for a cloak of resistance, but that costs you a 6th level spell slot, and is more vulnerable to dispelling (which lots of high level dragons, pit fiends, balors, angels, etc have access to).
As a side note, does anyone know a way to get a +4 morale bonus that doesn't take up a 6th level spell slot?

Yeah, Conviction, if cast with a CL of 12-17. That's only a L1 slot, though I'd suggest Mass Conviction for all your buddies too, and I'd suggest casting it with a CL of 18+ to get the full +5 bonus.

I don't know another good way to get +4 Morale, but you can get +2 Morale to basically everything ever via the Admiral's Bicorn from Stormwrack.

Originally Posted by TheFred View Post
Yeah, Conviction, if cast with a CL of 12-17. That's only a L1 slot, though I'd suggest Mass Conviction for all your buddies too, and I'd suggest casting it with a CL of 18+ to get the full +5 bonus.
I clearly need to start looking in the Spell Compendium more. A 1st level spell that's like Shield of Faith for saving throws? The only catch is that, like Shield of Faith, it's a cleric-only spell.

Oh well, I guess that's what a cohort is for.


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