Saving throws (or saves) are your character's attempts at resisting an unusual or magical attack. Like an attack roll, a saving throw is a d20 roll plus a bonus based on your class, level, and an ability score.
Your saving throw modifier is equal to:
- Base save bonus (determined by your class levels) + ability modifier + bonuses from class abilities, class enhancements, spells, items
Saving throw types
- Fortitude save
- These saves measure your ability to stand up to physical punishment or attacks against your vitality and health. Apply your Constitution modifier to your Fortitude saving throws.
- Reflex save
- These saves test your ability to dodge out of the way in the nick of time. Damaging area effects commonly allow these. Apply your Dexterity modifier to your Reflex saving throws.
- Will save
- These saves reflect your resistance to mental influence as well as many magical effects. Apply your Wisdom modifier to your Will saving throws.
Some feats (like Insightful Reflexes) modify which ability score you can use for each save.
Saving throw Difficulty Class
The Difficulty Class (DC) for a save is determined by the attack itself. For example, the DC to resist a spell is equal to 10 + the level of the spell + the modifier for the caster's casting ability: Intelligence for Wizard spells; Charisma for Sorcerer and Bard spells; Wisdom for Paladin, Ranger and Cleric spells and most Monk offensive finishers; and either Wisdom or Charisma for Favored Soul spells. The save DC for physical actions like Sunder and Stunning Blow is modified by the attacker's Strength bonus.
Automatic failures and successes
Results of saving
Succeeding a saving throw may negate all effects of the special attack, or negate some effects, or it may prevent half the damage you would normally take. Most non-magical traps are usually reflex saves for half damage, exceptions are poison traps (fortitude save to negate ability damage) and illusionary/magical traps - saves vary wildly on these. A rare few mechanical dart traps are instead treated as standard attacks, which offer no saving throws, but instead armor class may help against.
Strength and Dexterity saves
In addition to the three 'real' saving throws, DDO also uses Strength and Dexterity saving throws for some effects. Your Strength or Dexterity bonus is the only thing modifying the d20 roll, and other effects which boost saving throws do not apply. Because they are saves instead of ability checks, a roll of natural 1 or natural 20 is still an automatic failure or success, respectively. Also, some effects allow the saving throw to use the higher of either your Strength or Dexterity modifiers.
Special categories of saving throws
Apart from the universal saving throw bonuses, special bonuses exist that apply against a subset of effects. For example, Barbarian's Trap Sense grants a bonus to reflex saves versus traps only. These circumstantial bonuses stack with the universal saving throws.