In D&D, all characters can resist spells to certain degrees. Some resist it far better than others, and some resist things like, say, Poison, better than Mind Control. This blog will make an effort to document all resistances offered by two mechanics offered within D&D- Fort and Will saves, respectively.
What Are Saves?
Saves are a game mechanic placed in D&D in order to give a viable method of resisting the many powers of D&D. While they are game mechanics, the resistances themselves are not- they are, much like anything within D&D, real resistances that the characters have that are governed by game mechanics. Some characters even have abilities that heighten these resistances (Such as the Iron Will feat).
Some classes for characters will inherently resist various abilities better. A Fighter will always resist poison and certain stat reducing attacks more than, say, a Wizard, who will in turn always resist age manipulating and mind control attacks better than the fighter. This is because the Fighter, a physical contender, will have a higher Fortitude, whereas a Wizard will have a higher Will.
For the purpose of this blog, Reflex is disregarded, as it is essentially dodging an attack rather than resisting it. Reflex generally applies to attacks like explosions and lightning, and dodging such attacks.
In the game, Fortitude and Will scale with level, and thus should be somewhat comparable to Challenge Rating and tiers in regards to this wiki. A 9-A character is unlikely to resist an attempt at mind control from a Low 7-B character. For the purposes of this blog, we will disregard the only truly game mechanics point of these resistances- that each character, regardless of context, has a guaranteed 5% chance to fail (even if the attack is from a much weaker foe) and a 5% chance to succeed (even if the attack is coming from a much stronger foe). These are exemplified by the d20, which decides your chance to resist. A 1 is always a failure, while a 20 is always a success- this being completely game mechanics makes it invalid.
These resistances will likely be incomplete due to the vast amount of content available for D&D that I personally do not have access to. If you are knowledgeable and know of another resistance garnered by these saves, please let me know. To my knowledge, this is what makes D&D a formidable verse- they have a viable method of countering many hax.
These will be greater for more phsyical-based characters, such as a baseline Ogre, though are possessed to some degree by all characters.
- Absorption/Water Manipulation: Characters can resist having the moisture from their body being sucked out of them.
- Disease Manipulation: Characters can resist being given a dreadful sickness. Contagion can be resisted, and it forces the subject to lose stats due to sickness.
- Statistics Reduction: Can resist having their strength sapped by Death magic. They can also resist this bad boy.
- One Hit Kill/Death Manipulation: Can resist death magic that forces all within a set radius to die. This one instantly kills one target and can be resisted to some degree.
- Time Manipulation: Can resist being forced into a temporal stasis, in which all time is stopped permanently for the character. Can resist various lesser time effects, such as Slow. Can also resist Time Hop, which BFRs the target into the future. Can become manually immune to all effects regarding time.
- Status Effect Inducement: Can resist being forced into a coma, sickened, or panicked.
- Life Manipulation: Can resist having their life force siphoned and absorbed via Battletide.
- Darkness Manipulation: Can resist attacks from Claws of Shadow. Resist the effects of Shadow Spray, which uses darkness to sap strength and daze enemies.
- Existence Erasure: Can resist having their essence being utterly destroyed. Note that only deity-class magic can bring one's soul and mind back into existence from this.
These will be greater for more mental-based characters, such as a Beholder, though are possessed to some degree by all characters.
- Mind Manipulation: Just one example of a mind-controlling spell that can be resisted through will. Can resist a spell that forces the subject into a trance where all they can do is watch the user. Weird, but animals and plants can resist being awoken, as in, brought to human-like sentience. Here is a version that works explicitly on humans, as these spells will work on one subset of entity. It too can be resisted. They can also resist confusion effects. Another spell that forces subjects to follow one command to the best of their ability. MOAR MIND SPELLS. This will be the last mind one, since we have tons of backing for this. Basically, this one clouds the mind, preventing complex cognitive thought.
- Empathic Manipulation: A Will save can help you resist a spell that makes creatures want to get close to a subject or leave the area immediately. Additionally, people can resist powers that calm their emotions. Can resist a spell that causes people to experience great sadness.
- Memory Manipulation: The subject can resist losing their memories due to Baleful Polymorph. Can resist Memory Rot, which specifically drains the memories of the user.
- BFR: Characters can resist being forced out of the plane. Same deal, can resist being forced out of the plane again. Can resist being sent to the past/future for brief periods of time. Can resist being dragged onto a quasi-real path along the Plane of Shadow, which then shunts you in random directions. Can resist the effects of Shadow Well, which creates a small pocket realm that drags the opponent in.
- Curse Manipulation: You can literally resist curses that inflict mass stat decreases. Can resist having your water (and presumably items) cursed, too.
- Telekinesis/Sleep Manipulation/Sealing/Transmutation/Size Manipulation: Can resist a spell meant to hold a subject in place. Additionally, this spell can force foes into a comatose state or keep them in some place that is inescapable, or even force the subject to become gaseous or very small.
- One Hit Kill/Paralysis: Blasphemy can be resisted- it has a chance to instant kill a target or leave them paralyzed.
- Illusion Creation: Will allows the user to see past the effects of Blur. And Displacement, which causes the user to appear two feet to their left/right/etc. Can willfully disbelieve the effects of Dead End, which supernaturally covers the environment. Can resist the illusion of light offered here.
- Fear Manipulation: Will can let you remain unafraid. Will allows you to resist being afraid of the feeling of impending doom. Resist the fear effects of the Shadow Realm.
- Death Manipulation/Energy Absorption: Can resist having their energy absorbed by death magic. Can resist being killed instantly at low health.
- Perception Manipulation: Can resist being forced to see in the dark, for whatever reason (again). Can resist being forced to stare blankly at nothing.
- Teleportation: Can resist being unwillingly teleported away.
- Madness Manipulation (Types 3 and 4): Can resist the maddening gibbering of the Allip, and can negate the madness effects that are caused by trying to read its thoughts. Can resist the effects of the Insanity spell.
- Fate Manipulation: Will saves can resist this spell, which bends the fate of a target that wronged the user and causes them to fail. Can potentially negate the Choose Destiny spell, which allows the user to pick one of multiple possible "destinies" for some time.
- Age Manipulation: Can resist various spells listed here, including Aging Touch and Temporal Jolt, each of which instantly age the user considerably.
- Causality Manipulation: Resists Contingency, which generally speaking, causes one thing to happen in response to another.
- Darkness Manipulation: Can resist darkness interacting with them physically. And again.
- Dream Manipulation: Can resist the effects of Nightmare Terrain, which forms an area of a total nightmare.
- Duplication: Can resist having clones of themselves made. Can also ignore duplicates of enemies with great enough will, essentially ignoring all but the real one. More proof of being able to disbelieve duplicates out of existence.
- Sealing: Can resist being imprisoned- this imprisonment is so strong it negates even Wish spells from freeing you.
- Use Prevention: Characters can will themselves into being able to use portals (and presumably other things) that they otherwise were unable to use.
- Telekinesis: Can resist being grappled by shadow.
- Willpower Manipulation: The Allip's gibbering directly attacks the will of their foes.
Other abilities that can be resisted somehow in D&D. This might include taking more time due to basic stats or just having some form of resistance to it physically or due to a state of being (Undead resisting poison and death attacks, for example). Let's begin.