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I've been looking into the warlocks Pact of the Chain, which states that you're allowed to pick from the normal familiars as well as a select few Warlock-Only familiars, including the Sprite.

When you cast the spell, you can choose one of the normal forms for your familiar or one of the following special forms: imp, pseudodragon, quasit, or sprite.

Then invocation Investment of the Chain Master states that:

If the familiar forces a creature to make a saving throw, it uses your spell save DC.

And the Sprite has a Shortbow attack that forces a creature to make a saving throw:

Shortbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 40/160 ft., one target. Hit: 1 piercing damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 1 minute. If its saving throw result is 5 or lower, the poisoned target falls unconscious for the same duration, or until it takes damage or another creature takes an action to shake it awake.

From what I gather, that means that the initial save for the poison should use the players save DC? So for a lvl 7 character with 20 charisma, that would be a save of 16?

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Spellcasting modifier

However the second part of the Shortbow attack states that:

If its saving throw result is 5 or lower, the poisoned target falls unconscious for the same duration

What does "saving throw result is 5 or lower" mean? Would that be the rolled number for the save + the save modifier?

saving throw result = save dice roll + save score modifier

Or would it be the resulting rest from removing the spell save DC from the rolled total?

saving throw result = Spell save DC - (save dice roll + save score modifier)

I haven't seen the phrase "saving throw result" referring to a number before, usually it just refers to "did the creature roll over or under the spell save DC? Yes or No."

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    \$\begingroup\$ I assume this is about the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons? \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Feb 2 at 16:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 yes. My bad. \$\endgroup\$ – Olian04 Feb 2 at 16:55
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A saving throw's "result" is the total the creature got on the roll with any modifiers

Though I can't find any part of the rules that makes this explicit (the rules don't often use the term "result"), it is the natural interpretation of the phrase. If they merely meant the number rolled on the d20, they would have worded it differently.

Thus; when the Sprite's unconsciousness inducing effect requires that "its saving throw result is 5 or lower" this means the creature's result on the die plus (or minus) their Constitution modifier. This has nothing to do with the actual DC of the saving throw.

For an example of wording where the actual DC matters there is the ghost (emphasis mine):

Each non-undead creature within 60 feet of the ghost that can see it must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened for 1 minute. If the save fails by 5 or more, the target also ages 1d4 × 10 years.

This wording relies on looking at the difference between the saving throw result and the saving throw DC and seeing if it is 5 or more whereas the Sprite only requires looking at the result itself and seeing if that is 5 or less.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Outside of negative modifiers from other sources, yes; but also no. They do not auto-succeed on the save at all; only against the secondary effect which is not itself another saving throw. They could fail the initial save and succeed on what is effectively a sub-DC of 5 \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Feb 2 at 18:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Oh, yeah, bane reduces the save roll, doesn't it? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 2 at 18:56
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The d20 result plus any appropriate modifiers is 5 or less.

The rules for saving throws tell us how to determine the result of a saving throw:

To make a saving throw, roll a d20 and add the appropriate ability modifier.

If the result of the d20 plus the appropriate modifier (Constitution here) is 5 or less, the target falls unconscious:

If its saving throw result is 5 or lower, the poisoned target falls unconscious for the same duration

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