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For a homebrew project I’d like to add the ability to re-try a saving throw against some ongoing effect under certain conditions. This was a very-common sort of ability in 3.5e, but I can’t find any examples of it in 5e. For example, the core 3.5e rogue had the option of taking the slippery mind special ability:

This ability represents the rogue’s ability to wriggle free from magical effects that would otherwise control or compel her. If a rogue with slippery mind is affected by an enchantment spell or effect and fails her saving throw, she can attempt it again 1 round later at the same DC. She gets only this one extra chance to succeed on her saving throw.

But the rogue class feature by the same name in D&D 5e instead gives proficiency on Wisdom saving throws.

So, my question is, does any ability give the ability to make another saving throw against an effect, some time after the effect has been applied and its initial save failed? I don’t mean advantage on the initial saving throw; obviously the game has that. Likewise, immediate rerolls are easily found, e.g. from the Lucky feat, but don’t serve the purpose I’m looking for. And spells that have multiple saving throws built in, like dominate person, aren’t what I’m looking for—what I’m really looking for is some ability (class feature, feat, spell, whatever) of the target’s that effectively makes other spells work kinda like dominate person even when they haven’t been written that way.

In my case, I was giving the class advantage on saving throws against things that would move you (the class is focused on standing your ground), and I realized that ongoing effects might not move you immediately (and so would not get advantage), but then could cause you to move later (and I want to give you another bite at the apple, so to speak, since you didn’t get advantage originally). I’m looking for wording on this—if the answer to my question here is “no,” I’ll likely be asking a new question about how best to word this. But for right now, I’m after the official language for such an ability, if it exists, both for this project and, at this point, out of simply curiosity.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ To clarify, an immediate reroll is not what you're looking for? Because there are lots of immediate reroll effects that are easy to find. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 19:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov Correct; I’ll add that to my list of things I’m not looking for. As you say, those are easy to find and I already know about them. Good point bringing them up, though, as if there is no official example of this, they may be a good place to start from with the wording. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 19:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm assuming you're looking for features that just grant a new roll and not things like a Monk's Stillness of Mind feature which lets them use an Action to just straight-up end an effect? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 20:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pyrotechnical Correct. The new roll is crucial, since I want it to be a triggered effect rather than an action (and if it were triggered without a roll, it would be effectively immunity). \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 20:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Unrelated (that is, a list of features that KRyan is not looking for because they allow an immediate reroll: What abilities allow me to reroll or replace die rolls? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Commented Jul 19, 2022 at 0:19

2 Answers 2

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There are some similar concepts, but there are no extant mechanics that do exactly what you're looking for.

The closest to this is probably the Giant Snapping Turtle:

Stable. Whenever an effect knocks the turtle prone, it can make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw to avoid being knocked prone.

So if you shove the snapping turtle and win the contest, the snapping turtle then gets to make a saving throw to avoid being knocked prone.

Wish has an effect that seems to be similar to what you are looking for. It reads:

You undo a single recent event by forcing a reroll of any roll made within the last round (including your last turn). Reality reshapes itself to accommodate the new result. For example, a wish spell could undo an opponent's successful save, a foe's critical hit, or a friend's failed save. You can force the reroll to be made with advantage or disadvantage, and you can choose whether to use the reroll or the original roll.

The language of this mechanic is arranged around actually undoing the past, which is not what you are looking for.

In a way, the spell dispel magic is somewhat similar:

For each spell of 4th level or higher on the target, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell's level. On a successful check, the spell ends.

This allows you to attempt to end an effect at your discretion, using an ability check, rather than a saving throw.

Of course, proving a negative is pretty difficult in this case. The best I can do is to say that I am pretty well read on the D&D 5e corpus and have pretty good research skills when it comes to working with texts in D&D Beyond's dumpster fire of a search function, and I can't come up with anything better than the two effects quoted above.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hm, so wish is, apparently, rewriting history here, making the save retroactively successful. That’s not what I have in mind—I mean a second chance to end an effect, after it’s been operable for some time, that would end the effect going forward but not undo anything the effect has already done. I mean, wish clearly does the job but it’s vast overkill—are you making the claim that wish is the only thing in 5e like this? Because that would be useful information. But “wish, at least, but maybe also other things” doesn’t really help me that much... \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 19:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Definitely nothing else like this in my brain, and it has evaded the last ten minutes of my research skills, but I'll keep looking till I'm confident. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 20:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch I think the idea here is that we're looking for something at the player's discretion rather than just being directed by a negative spell effect to try again. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 20:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ I missed the comment that triggered that, but “being directed by a negative spell effect to try again,” sounds like dominate person, which indeed, is not what I want. I want to give the class the ability to do that to spells that don’t have a built-in feature like that. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 20:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Alright, I've converted to a more firm answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 20:50
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There is no such ability

You are right that there is feature in 5E that lets you do what you want. There are features that allow you to re-roll a failed save immediately, there are Legendary Resistances that allow you to turn a failed save into a success, condition immunities, spells that remove a condition but there is nothing that would let you re-roll next round.

A lot of spells and effects, however, have this built in already, the majority of spells and other features that require a save against a condition explicitly state that you are allowed to repeat the save on your every turn, and/or under some specific circumstances. “Every time you take damage” is quite popular.

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    \$\begingroup\$ A similar case occurs in Ghosts of Saltmarsh, where a certain staircase has "Each creature that hears the screams must make a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, a creature has disadvantage on all ability checks for 1 hour unless it is immune to the frightened condition. The creature can repeat the saving throw every 15 minutes." \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Commented Jul 19, 2022 at 0:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt nice find! \$\endgroup\$
    – AnnaAG
    Commented Jul 19, 2022 at 6:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sometimes attempting another save would cost an Action, e.g. Otto's Irresistible Dance has some negative effects on the target but doesn't entirely stop them from taking other actions / bonus-actions in combat. As an action, a dancing creature makes a Wisdom saving throw to regain control of itself. (err wait, that's not phrased as optional; does that mean they must spend their action to attempt the save? They could still cast bonus-action spells, as they're not incapacitated.) More commonly, optional spend-your-action things are ability checks to break grappled/restrained, e.g. Entangle \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 19, 2022 at 13:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ (What exactly does Otto's Irresistible Dance prevent? debates whether must vs. can is implied. If I could think of another example where spending an action to repeat the save is definitely optional, I'd use that instead. Irresistible Dance does still definitely let you take bonus actions and reactions, though.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 19, 2022 at 14:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Up-voted for being clear about why these effects don't exist. In 3.5E and older, it was fairly common to have effects that, if you failed the up-front save, lasted for their full duration unless dispelled, and the effects were usually pretty brutal. Virtually all such spells allow for either intermittent or trigger-induced resaves now. Spells that don't typically got their level boosted a lot or their power reduced, and even then weren't as permanent (e.g. Feeblemind went from 5th to 8th level, still added a once a month save, and can be fixed by a 5th level spell, vs. 6th level in 3.5). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 19, 2022 at 17:27

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