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So I understand how saving throws "work" in general as in what you test against.

However some spells just call for a "constitution" check for example for saving throw.

for example Poison Spray:

You extend your hand toward a creature you can see within range and project a puff of noxious gas from your palm. The creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or take 1d12 poison damage.

So the monster will use their constitution modifier with the saving throw...but whats the requirement...like how do we determine what number it has to be above? Poison spray doesn't say it needs to be above 12 to succeed the saving throw for instance?

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The chapter on Spellcasting answers this question:

The DC to resist one of your spells equals 8 + your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus + any special modifiers.

So for example, the DC of a Poison Spray cast by a level 1 Wizard with 16 Intelligence is:

8 + 3 (Int mod) + 2 (proficiency bonus) = 13

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  • \$\begingroup\$ While this math makes sense for a regular save against spell, this particular spell says constitution save throw. None of the numbers in the above explanation have anything to do with constitution. Just intelligence, proficiency, and a random 8. \$\endgroup\$ – user26827 Jan 23 '16 at 15:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Lily44 To combat your confusion: In this case, the constitution saving (i.e. 1d20 + your constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus if you are proficient in constitution saving throws) is the saving throw against the spell. This has to be higher than the number calculated with the formula given in the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – MrLemon Jan 23 '16 at 17:12
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As a spellcaster you have a "Spell Save DC": a difficulty class (DC) for any target to save against one of your spell's effects. This DC is

8 + your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus + any special modifiers. (PHB, p. 204)

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