Saving Throws are measures of a character’s resistance to special types of attacks — poisons, magic, and attacks that affect the character’s whole body or mind. Saving Throw values behave much the same way as THAC0; when a character makes a Saving Throw, they must roll higher than their Saving Throw value (some spells or effects may impose a penalty or bestow a bonus to this roll). Characters’ Saving Throw values improve as they gain levels and may be affected by magical items and specific spells.

If a Saving Throw is successful, it may reduce damage or prevent the effects of a spell or attack entirely. Some spells greatly improve Saving Throws against different types of attacks. The following Saving Throws are listed in order of priority, from highest to lowest; a spell that causes paralysis, for example, will use the Save vs. Paralysis, while a wand that causes petrification will use the Save vs. Wand. (Different Saving Throws are described in greater detail at the end of this book.)

  • Save vs. Paralysis/Poison/Death: 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).
  • Save vs. Rod/Staff/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.
  • Save vs. Petrification/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).
  • Save vs. Breath Weapon: A character uses this save when facing monsters with breath weapons, especially dragons.
  • 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.

Saving Throws for Short Races Edit

Short races (halflings, gnomes, and dwarves) receive special bonuses to Saving Throws based on Constitution. Halflings and dwarves receive this bonus to Saving Throws against death, wands, and spells; gnomes receive this bonus on Saving Throws against wands and spells.

Constitution Score Saving Throw Bonus
3 or lower -
4 +1
5 +1
6 +1
7 +2
8 +2
9 +2
10 +2
11 +3
12 +3
13 +3
14 +4
15 +4
16 +4
17 +4
18+ +5

Saving Throw for Spells Edit

This parameter lists whether the spell allows the target a Saving Throw and the effect of a successful save: “Neg.” results in the spell having no effect; “1/2” means the character suffers half the normal amount of damage; “None” means no Saving Throw is allowed.


  • Icewind Dale Enhanced Edition Manual - Part 2 - Mastering Melee & Magic
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