Twenty years before the release of third edition Dungeons & Dragons, the Japanese-themed RPG Bushido included this rule:
“Saving throws…represent the chance of making a supernatural exertion of the Attribute, such as dodging a trap or missile (Speed), resisting a spell (usually Will), or neutralizing a drug or infection (Health).” – Bushido (1980) by Paul Hume and Bob Charrette
I suspect the near match between the saving throws in Bushido and the Reflex, Will, and Fortitude saves in 3E comes from designers working at the same problem and arriving at a similar solution, rather than from a direct influence. Nonetheless, the similarity is striking.
I’m assuming it is not the saving throw, but the similarity between Bushido’s attributes and the derived attributes in 3e you are noting?
I was struck because, for saving throws, Bushido tests the same three character traits as 3E.
Bushido’s round structure is similar to 3e’s as well, with it’s full actions and half actions.