Saving Throws and Resistances
This article was written by the god
, and posted on April 04, 2009.
It was last updated on May 23, 2014.
This article will explain what saving throws are, how to identify saving
throws, what spell and magic resistance is, and how these effects can protect you.
What is a saving throw?
A saving throw is a representation of how well-protected you are against a
particular type of damage. The term originates from the tabletop version
of Dungeons and Dragons, where dice are rolled (thrown) to determine the
effectiveness of certain spells and special attacks. In Alter Aeon, the
term is a bit of misnomer, since no dice are "thrown". There are seven
classes of saving throws, and each has an abbreviated form that is more
- Saving Spell (spellsave)
- Saving Poison (poisonsave)
- Saving Breath (breathsave)
- Saving Fire (firesave)
- Saving Cold (coldsave or icesave)
- Saving Zap (zapsave)
- Saving Normal (normsave)
Using the 'statistics
' command, you will see a column with the heading
"Resistances", and under this column are each of the saving throw names.
If you have the 'elemental lore
' skill, a percentage will follow each
saving throw class; these percentages indicate how protected your character
in each category. (Magic is listed last, this will explained in the
Spell Resistance section.) They will all begin at 0% for a new player,
but they can be modified through use of spells, skills and equipment.
(If you are new to the game, it is recommended that your learn the
which can be learned at most low-level spellcaster teachers.)
Sometimes equipment will have a saving throw effect, such as SAVING_FIRE
, that will be listed when it is identified. When referring to
the piece of equipment, this is said to be the object's saving throw.
What the Saving Throw Numbers Mean
When statting pieces of equipment for saving throw effects, the higher the
number, the more resistance it offers you. Eq with SAVING_COLD 5% will
protect a little bit against cold-based attacks and spells. SAVING_COLD 10%
will protect you even more. Effects with negative modifiers, such a
SAVING_FIRE -10%, will make you more vulnerable to that kind of damage. Each
saving throw type is effected separately, for better or for worse.
At 0% you take normal damage.
Saving Throw Categories
Here are some specific rules for each type of saving throw:
This will help protect you against enemy weapons with
magic damage types. It will also protect against damage from pure magic damage spells, such as
'magic missile' and 'prism'.
Additionally, spellsave adds directly to your defensive level against
various spells. The saving spell effect is divided by 5 and added to the effective
defensive level. An example of this would be your defenses against spells
like 'weaken', 'blindness',
or 'ice imprison': having SAVING_SPELL 50% gives you
an effective bonus of ten levels when defending. A good amount of spellsave
can protect you against casters that are much higher level than you are.
In the case of 'dispel magic', the defensive level is the level of your
spells, not your own level. If you are affected by a level 25 'sanctuary'
spell and have SAVING_SPELL 50%, your sanctuary spell will be as difficult
to dispel as if it were level 35. Similarly, if you were to have SAVING_SPELL -25%,
it would be as easy to dispel as if it were level 20.
The 'bless' spell will give you spellsave.
This will not only help you take less damage from poison attacks and
spells, it will also slow how quickly you become poisoned. It will help you
recover more quickly if you are already poisoned.
The 'slow poison' spell offers you temporary poisonsave, but the cleric spells,
'remove poison' and 'cure poison',
and the druid 'draw poison' salve, are far more effective to
heal you when you are poisoned.
The 'poison resistance' skill will give you a natural amount of poisonsave, and
is a good idea to get if you anticipate encountering poisons regularly.
This helps you take less damage from air spells and gaseous attacks, such as 'gust of wind' or a dragon's
breath attack. The 'armored skin' skill gives you a small
amount of breathsave, and the 'dragonbreath defense' skill can protect
you specifically against dragonbreath attacks. The spell 'still air' also
gives you breathsave.
This will protect you from fire attacks and spells. Fire is a common
element for fighting. The 'ice shield' spell will help protect you against
fire by temporarily improving your firesave.
This saving throw works like firesave except against cold-based attacks and
spells. Note that many ice spells actually hurl icy projectiles at the
target, thus dealing normal damage in addition to cold damage. The 'fire
shield' spell gives you coldsave.
Zapsave will protect you from electricity spells and weapons with the zap
damage type. The 'ground' spell offers you zapsave.
Normsave reduces the amount of damage you take from non-magical attacks. It
can also protect somewhat against spells that evoke solid projectiles,
such as 'icebolt', and against acid.
The 'crystal coat' spell offers you additional protection by giving you normsave, as do
the 'barkskin' and 'stoneskin' salves. The
'armored skin' skill also will give you normsave. Note that there is no normsave
effect for objects: these are the ONLY methods of
The last line listed in the resistances section of the
statistics screen is labeled 'Magic'. This is your total spell resistance.
Spell resistance modifies the level of potentially harmful spells before
they affect you. Equipment that gives you spell resistance will have a
SPELL_RES effect when statted.
When spell resistance is applied to a spell cast at you, the level of the
spell is attenuated based on how much spell resistance you have. For
example, if a level 100 fireball is cast at you and you have 50 spell
resistance, it will affect you as if it were a level 65 fireball.
Likewise, a level 10 fireball cast at you would affect you as if it were a
level 6 fireball.
Only harmful spells are effected by spell resistance, so it will protect
you against enemy spells while allowing you to use curative magic without
any trouble. Note that the spell level is dropped before anything else is
Magic Resistance (called 'magicres'
or 'mr' for short),
and it represents a spell's ability to affect you. Note that there is no
way for players to obtain magic resistance except by means of the brew-only
Magic resistance works against a huge number of spells. There are a number
of spells it does not work against, but these spells are largely ones with
material components. Examples of spells that are immune to magic resistance
are 'crystal spear' and
'magic missile', because these spells use physical
objects to do damage. Even cleric spells may fail against magic resistance.
For spells that are affected, a percentage (100-sided) die is rolled to see
if the spell overcomes the target's magic resistance. If the die result is
lower than the target's magic resistance, the spell fails.
One final, yet very important note, is that magic resistance is indiscriminate
about which spells are tested: healing and protective spells are resisted
just as strongly as your opponent's fireballs or curses. The inability to
heal while using magic resistance is a significant handicap.
Damage has a bit of a random factor. Magic, fire, cold, zap, breath and poison damage is
multiplied by a random number from 0.5-1.5 before saving throws are
applied. This random factor is applied to normal, acid or nonorm damage only if the target has
Damage resulting from most spells without elemental damage is tested against spellsave. Damage
resulting from a melee attack is tested against normsave unless it is nornorm. Damage resulting
from a dragonbreath attack tests against breathsave.
After this first test, other tests may be made depending on the type of
damage of the attack (saving fire for a fire breathing dragon, saving zap
for lightning bolts, saving cold for freezing weapons, etc.) Except for
a few special circumstances, nearly all attacks in the game
are tested against a saving throw. Weapons with multiple elemental damage
types (fire/cold/zap) can only do one type at a time while fighting.
Protection that 'fire shield' offers:
Protection that 'ground' offers:
|Spell Level||Saving Cold|
|10 - 21||25%|
|22 - 33||30%|
|34 - 45||35%|
Protection that 'ice shield' offers:
|Spell Level||Saving Zap|
|13 - 24||25%|
|25 - 36||30%|
|37 - 48||35%|
Protection that 'still air' offers:
|Spell Level||Saving Fire|
|16 - 27||25%|
|28 - 39||30%|
|40 - 51||35%|
Protection that 'slow poison' offers
|Spell level||Saving Breath|
|23 - 27||15%|
|28 - 32||20%|
|33 - 37||25%|
|38 - 42||30%|
Protection that 'crystal coat' offers:
|Spell Level||Saving Poison|
|13 - 25||25%|
|26 - 38||30%|
|39 - 50||35%|
Crystal coat also offers between zero and two saving throw on fire, ice, zap and breath as
Protection that 'barkskin' and 'stoneskin' offer:
|Spell Level||Saving Normal|
|15 - 23||5%|
|24 - 32||10%|
|33 - 41||15%|
Barkskin provides additional protection against blunt and whip damage groups.
Stoneskin provides additional protection against edged weapons.
|Spell Level||Saving Normal|
|0 - 29||5%|
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