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So, Saving Throws get a brief three paragraphs. Halleck already encountered two situations in which he had to make saving throws–once, against the snake (a Poison saving throw) and once against the low-down dirty dog Bargle (a Saving Throw vs. Spells). The player checks his character’s saving throw chart, finds the target number for the type of throw, and rolls a d20. The goal is a number equal to or greater than the number on the chart.

As an aside, if you look up discussions about Moldvay B/X rules versus Mentzer BECMI Rules, you might see the argument that Moldvay is better for reference, while Mentzer is better for learning how to play the game. Well, that isn’t quite true, when the subject concerns saving throw tables. In Moldvay, one must search through the rules to find the chart that lists every class’ saving throw chart. Mentzer, however, gives the various class saving throw charts in the class description section. Much easier to reference.

In any case, the easiest saving throws (lowest target numbers) are for Death Ray/Poison, while the hardest saving throws are made against Spells, Rods, Staves, and Wands.

As a second aside, if you ever watch the excellent videos by Matt Colville, called “Making a Fighter in Every Edition of D&D” (he has completed up to 2nd edition, so far), you will hear him discuss how the only thing special about the “Dwarf Class” is the dwarf’s ability to detect sloping passages, new construction, etc., while in a dungeon environment, and how pretty much useless this special ability is. He even goes so far as to search through the TSR published adventure modules to see if they put any sloping passages in them for dwarves to detect. The Temple of Elemental Evil was the only one that he could find.

However, there is another reason to play a dwarf, and that is the excellent saving throws, which are better than any other class, except Halfling, which has the same Saving Throw numbers as the Dwarf.

That’s pretty much it, for Saving Throws.

The next few paragraphs describe how Halleck, as a fighter, does not have any special abilities. He just fights really well.

The section after that mentions the Combat Chart that is on the Character Sheet, which will be used in group games, but will not be needed for the second solo adventure, which is coming up.

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Becmi #5

Ability Score Adjustments. So, Ability Scores range from a low of three to a high of eighteen. For low or high scores, there are adjustments that must be made to simulate the character’s interaction with the world. A score of nine to twelve is considered within the normal range of most folk’s abilities. If a character’s score is higher than this normal range, then he gets a bonus to certain die rolls, and if the score is lower than normal, he suffers a penalty to his rolls.

STRENGTH: this ability determines how successful attacks are, and affect the damage inflicted by successful attacks. It doesn’t specify, here, but the Strength ability applies to melee, not ranged, attacks. Strength also affects the character’s attempts to open stuck doors and/or lifting huge rocks. Halleck’s Strength score of 17 gives him a 2 point bonus to his attack rolls, damage rolls, and to the various muscular-based activities he attempts. The show-off.

INTELLIGENCE: this ability’s sphere of activity isn’t described, excepting for the use of languages. Halleck’s score of “9” is considered average, and as a result he knows two languages: Commonese, and his alignment language of Lawish. Characters don’t use their alignment language, unless they have to, it says, which means they will never, ever use their alignment language.

WISDOM: this ability score affects certain saving throws, and apparently does nothing else (I jest; clerics’ spellcasting depends on the wisdom score, but that is not revealed in this section of the rules). Halleck’s wisdom score is 8, which means that he will suffer a one point penalty when an enemy casts a magic spell against him. Aleena had a bonus to her saving throws against magic, which, unfortunately, did not prevent her from being killed by a magic spell, ironically enough. As an aside, it is,mentioned here that Aleena’s low Strength score incurred a one point penalty to her attack rolls. I had assumed that the sample cleric that is listed in the middle of this booklet was supposed to represent Aleena’s ability scores, but this cleric has a Strength score of “9”, which is “average”, and suffers no penalty.

DEXTERITY: this ability score affects the use of missile weapons (a.k.a. ranged attacks), and how quickly the character acts compared to enemies. Halleck’s is “average” (it is listed on the previous page that Halleck’s Dexterity score goes to eleven).

CONSTITUTION: this ability score determines hit points. Halleck’s is high (a score of 16), and grants him a two,point bonus to his hit points (8 hit points rather than 6). A lower score might mean fewerr hit points.

CHARISMA: this ability score affects the character’s interaction with other characters. Halleck’s score of 14 gives him a one point bonus when he meets and converses with others.

Next topic: Saving Throws

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ECDTHM4e2 (2)

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Yes, yes; I know

FiveMB (2)

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