We were fighting something last weekend (umber hulks, I think) and they could put an effect on us that gave us -2 to defenses(save ends). This effect was an escalating effect (I'm not sure that is the official term) where if you failed your saving throw it became -2 to attacks and defenses and you are dazed(save ends both). (I probably don't have all the exact details right, but you get the idea.)

Would the effect escalate when the cleric or warlord granted you an extra save? I realize the rules as written say "on a failed save", but did they mean to include those?

If it does, why would that make sense? (and I realize that not all game mechanics need to make sense!) I can understand the rationale for when you fail the save at the end of your turn: "this has been affecting you for your turn, you haven't shaken it off yet, therefore it gets worse." But why would it escalate mid-turn if you got an extra chance to do something about it? It makes more sense to me if the effect escalates at the end of your turn if you are still affected by it.

The wizard spell Sleep is another basic example where dazed(save ends) becomes unconscious(save ends) on the first failed save.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Someone who's awake should create an intelligent version of the correct answer. Sorry to flail about. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bryant
    Commented Sep 23, 2010 at 21:18

2 Answers 2


It was explicitly addressed on pg 219 of PHB2 (and in the Rules Compendium page 98 ):

Failed Saving Throw: Sometimes an effect changes as a target fails saving throws against it. The new effect, specified in a “First Failed Saving Throw” or a “Second Failed Saving Throw” entry, takes effect after the target fails a saving throw against the previous effect at the end of the target’s turn. The effect doesn’t change if the creature fails a saving throw against it at a time other than the end of its turn.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Rules Compendium p98 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 24, 2010 at 0:23

If you are a DDI subscriber you can find the answer in this entry, otherwise in this forum thread.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't have DDI. Thanks for the link, though, which lead me to find the text. \$\endgroup\$
    – yhw42
    Commented Sep 23, 2010 at 22:49
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ We want to provide the answers here on this site. Providing the sources so that folks can verify the answers is very cool, but please include at least the answer here as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pat Ludwig
    Commented Oct 5, 2010 at 4:00

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