Turning Undead - A Question

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Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10
Turning Undead - A Question

Hello,
Team Autarch is having some internal debate about Turning Undead. As the edition differentiators among you may have noticed, the Turning Undead table is mathematically related to the Turning Undead table from B/X D&D.
We are considering an alternative table, as follows.
Skeleton: 1 10+; 2 7+; 3 4+; 4 T; 5 T; 6 D; 7 D; 8 D*; 9+ D;
Zombie: 1 13+; 2 10+; 3 7+; 4 4+; 5 T; 6 T; 7 D; 8 D; 9+ D*;
Ghoul: 1 16+; 2 13+; 3 10+; 4 7+; 5 4+; 6 T; 7 T; 8 D; 9+ D;
Wight: 1 19+; 2 16+; 3 13+; 4 10+; 5 7+; 6 4+; 7 T; 8 T; 9+ D
... [skipping wraith, mummy, specter, vampire, but progression should be clear]
Infernal 1 -; 2 - ; 3 - ; 4 - ; 5 - ; 6 19+; 7 16+; 8 13+; 9+ 10+
The major changes in this table are:
1) The ease of Turning improves by 3 points per level rather than by 4 points per level
2) The difficult of Turning increases by 3 points per HD rather than by 5 points per HD
3) Turning caps at 9th level
As a result of these changes:
1) At 1st level a cleric can potentially affect a broader array of undead (16+ for Ghouls, 19+ for Wights) compared to our current table (19+ for Ghouls, no chance on Wights)
2) At 9th level, a cleric can always destroy Wights, always turn Mummies, and is at 4+ on Spectre, 7+ on Vampire, and 10+ on Mummy; in contrast at 9th level on the current chart, a Cleric destroys Wraiths, always turns Mummies and Spectres, is 5+ on Vampire and 9+ on Infernal.
2) At 14th level, a cleric can always destroy Wights, always turn Mummies, and is at 4+ on Spectre, 7+ on Vampire, and 10+ on Mummy; in contrast, at 14th on the current chart, a Cleric automatically destroys any undead encountered.
In short, the revised table buffs clerics in the early game but reduces their power in the late game.
Please let us know what you think.

sean wills
Joined: 2011-07-07 19:39

I prefer it. Makes low-level Clerics more useful and those greater undead should always be a threat (requiring more than Turning) - especially Infernals.

Undercrypt
Adventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion ContributorDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-21 00:40

I rather like that. It keeps the Grand High Exalted Arch-Priest from being on call to instantly dispose of the villain of the week.

ahstrongmorse
Adventurer Conqueror King BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara Backer
Joined: 2011-07-13 02:05

I greatly prefer the revised version. That said, I wonder if it would be better to keep more of the randomness in. T, D, and D* results are fundamentally pretty boring. I wonder if it would be possible to have there still be a turning throw, but with varying degrees of success, so that instead of a "at level 4 skeletons are automatically turned" it's at level 4 skeletons are turned on a 2+, Destroyed on a 10+ or something.

joshlyle
Adventurer Conqueror King Backer
Joined: 2011-07-28 21:04

I prefer the revised version.
As compensation, I wonder if mid-high level clerics could have their turning ability broadened to affect more targets. Perhaps the 14th level cleric may still fail to turn an infernal, but could burn to ash a regiment of skeletons or zombies.

James S
Adventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu ContributorACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Contributor
Joined: 2011-07-29 12:36

It looks to me like you're basically looking to shift to something very similar to the AD&D 2nd Edition turning table, missing the '20' off the progression and reducing the overall number of undead types. There's an implication from the D* on your table that a cleric at this table will do more than destroy the given number of undead - Turn an additional 2d6?
For those who don't have access to the 2nd Ed rules:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10-11 12-13 14+
Skeleton (or 1HD) 10 7 4 T T D D D* D* D* D* D*
Zombie 13 10 7 4 T T D D D* D* D* D*
Ghoul (2HD) 16 13 10 7 4 T T D D D* D* D*
Shadow (3-4HD) 19 16 13 10 7 4 T T D D D* D*
Wight (5HD) 20 19 16 13 10 7 4 T T D D D*
etc..
Special - - - - - - - - 20 19 16 13
An advantage this table has, I think, is that it gives the HD comparisons so you can quickly work out how well a cleric turns your homebrew monsters.
Were it not for the fact that Shadows are undead in AD&D 2E and the other extra undead on the table (Ghasts after Wights, and Ghosts and Lich's between Vampire and Special), the two are roughly analogous in their progression. The major difference is that each level of cleric has a 5% chance to turn the next step of undead which the ACKs cleric cannot.
That said, I like your proposed table better than the current one, though I'd like to see HD comparisons to make it easier to turn homebrew and unusual monsters.

sean wills
Joined: 2011-07-07 19:39

My main priority would be keep the table usable at a glance.