Turn Undead and the Cleric

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I have an issue with the Turn Undead spell. Why is it limited to creatures with 25 Max HP and less? As a Cleric, I can't step up and try to hold back a Wight in a party of level 3+ PCs. So, a classic staple of the Cleric class is of no value beyond level 2?

I understand not everyone wants to be forced to have Turn Undead (ie: War Clerics). No problem with that at all. I like to play Clerics in all manners. But, if I want to be a pious, healer type that channels the power of my god to smite the undead.... Sorry?

Will WotC bring up more advanced forms of Turn Undead Spells? If so, that might be fine. It would take out my ability to use those spell slots for higher level spells I could use. I would like to see the Turn Undead spell scale with level like Damage spells (ie: max HP affects goes up).

How fast should it go up? I do not know the scaling of max HP on monsters. Taking the max HP of the undead in the Blingdenstone adventure:

Skeleton: 9 HP (2d8) Max HP: 16 - I can affect with Turn Undead
Zombie: 9 HP (2d8) Max HP: 16 - I can affect with Turn Undead
Wight: 27 HP (6d8) Max HP: 48 - I can NOT affect with Turn Undead

If Turn Undead scales like these monsters max HP, maybe start Level 1 at 15 HP and add 15 HP per level. Or, change it to Hit Dice affected like 2 HD at Level 1 and +3 HD per 2 levels. This way the Turn Undead spell still is effective at higher levels. It would also give the Cleric more options to burn higher level spell slots for a level 1 Turn Undead in case they run into a large dungeon of undead.

Edit: To clarify that the spell reads against MAX HP, not current HP.
I have an issue with the Turn Undead spell. Why is it limited to creatures with 25 HP and less?



So you can't just go 'oh, undead' *poof* encounter over.  You have to fight them some first.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Also, I may be one of the few players.  But, I really liked the idea of Turn Undead as part of the Channel Divinity aspect of Clerics.  It was very limiting and sometimes useless if it was the only level 1 option.  

Totally agree with you Sol_Majere that either the spell needs to scale with level or that a higher level option needs to be made available later.  I would prefer that the spell scaled with level because that would weaken undead vs. Clerics.  I hate the Undead.   
I have an issue with the Turn Undead spell. Why is it limited to creatures with 25 HP and less?



So you can't just go 'oh, undead' *poof* encounter over.  You have to fight them some first.

No problem here having to fight undead. I am not talking about auto-destroy low HD undead like past editions. I just want to see the Cleric be able to hold back undead that is much lower level than the party so we can fight the higher HD undead.

Here is an possible encounter:

Walk into a fight with a Vampire leader directing Ghouls and Wights. As the spell reads now, the cleric can not stop any of these undead at all. (Assuming Ghouls are 3 HD and Vampires are higher HD than Wights).

With this type of encounter, where a classic Cleric shines, they can not perform a key ability that has existed for as long as I have played D&D.
I think that Clerics should have a chance at turning higher level undead. I also would like turn undead and heal to be two abilities that work using channel divinity. Give starting clerics channel divinity x2. Make then choose when to use each specific version.

A Brave Knight of WTF

I like the idea of more options for channel divinity. Giving clerics some flexibility has always been good in my book. I'm surprised that domain features are not tied to channel divinity. Maybe this will change or be an optionlater on.

I would like the turn undead ability to have a hp threshold based on current hp. Beating down a powerful undead so the cleric can turn him would be a cool fight mechanic.
It is kind of silly that Turn Undead doesn't work on vampires at all now.  That's kind of the classic fantasy use of the power.

"Edison didn't succeed the first time he invented Benjamin Franklin, either." Albert the Alligator, Walt Kelly's Pogo Sunday Book  
The Core Coliseum: test out your 4e builds and fight to the death.

It is kind of silly that Turn Undead doesn't work on vampires at all now.  That's kind of the classic fantasy use of the power.


Could be worse.

First time I tried to use it in an earlier playtest, we found out that skeletons were immune to it.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
My problem with the spell is that is a spell. I'd rather the cleric be granted a limited amount of divine energy devoted to healing or turning undead or something else entirely that they use up. this might be recharged with a short rest and expending a hit die. 

As a spell, the most limited of the cleric's, resources it's about useless in a lot of the situations I'd be putting players into.  
I would like the turn undead ability to have a hp threshold based on current hp. Beating down a powerful undead so the cleric can turn him would be a cool fight mechanic.



I like this. Get in some good hits and then turn the weakened creature. I would be good with that.
However, turn undead, regardless of it being a spell or Channel Divinity Ability, should scale with the Cleric's level.
I agree that Turn Undead needs to be something other than a spell. Making it a Channel Divinity ability makes sense. Another option is to make it one of the options a cleric can choose from upon creation. Make it an option under Channel Divinity, and give the cleric the opportunity to learn more uses as he levels, or to empower existing ones. Making it a spell just doesn't seem right, and that HP cap on what a cleric can affect really limits the ability's use.


I shall be using this table/rules from 2nd edition, I think it fits in perfectly for D&D Next.

Key things for D&D - Where is the character from and why do they do what they do? / Recurring NPCs - allies and enemies / Plot, World and Personal Events.

Ok, so I noticed we've got two Domains here: Sun and War. And I got to thinking about how a god's Domains could affect the abilities it grants to its clerics. With that in mind, is it entirely appropriate for clerics with War as a domain to receive TU? Wouldn't a war god prefer it if his clerics' idea of "turning" undead was to mace them in the face? 
Ok, so I noticed we've got two Domains here: Sun and War. And I got to thinking about how a god's Domains could affect the abilities it grants to its clerics. With that in mind, is it entirely appropriate for clerics with War as a domain to receive TU? Wouldn't a war god prefer it if his clerics' idea of "turning" undead was to mace them in the face? 

I think all Clerics should have turning or commanding undead.

To me power over undead is one of the key things that distinguishes clerics from other casters.

War domain clerics could turn the minions to clear quick path so they can mace the undead leader in the face for a greater share of glory.

Likewise Nature domain to be able to turn plants as if they were undead, but still turn undead since the restless dead are against nature.

Key things for D&D - Where is the character from and why do they do what they do? / Recurring NPCs - allies and enemies / Plot, World and Personal Events.



To me power over undead is one of the key things that distinguishes clerics from other casters.

Never played a Specialty Cleric in 2e, I guess? A lot of them traded TU for greater power in other areas, or their gods simply didn't grant it. The key here is that clerical power depends on what their god grants, not some arbitrary standard. "Men of God" hasn't been a class option since very early oD&D.

War domain clerics could turn the minions to clear quick path so they can mace the undead leader in the face for a greater share of glory.

Guess that'd depend on your war god. Not all of them would approve of their power being used to make things that easy. After all, a war god would value a hard-fought battle more than just using TU like a weed whacker.

Likewise Nature domain to be able to turn plants as if they were undead, but still turn undead since the restless dead are against nature.

So by extension, War should be able to turn Humanoids as well as undead, Sun turns fire *and* water elementals, and Prison can rebuke anything not somehow nailed down or restrained? 
I've played clerics of all kinds in 2nd, 3.5 and 4th, not to mention pathfinder, palladium, rolemaster and hero system.

I know people can swop out turning for another granted power, but if we throw them around too much we take away the need for other classes like paladin and druid.

Also I like the focus on turning/commanding undead for most clerics since its takes attention away from the clerics=heal bot syndrome.

War gods could grant bonus to combat movement, aura vs fear etc instead of turning. But if it's war and not just small scale battle, then turning is still useful.

Personally i'd prefer -
Clerics - darkness, knowledge, magic, travel, trickery, sun domains
Druids - air, animal, earth, fire, plant, water, weather domains

but that's just me, I know they have to provide options for a wide range of players.

Key things for D&D - Where is the character from and why do they do what they do? / Recurring NPCs - allies and enemies / Plot, World and Personal Events.

I like the idea of more options for channel divinity. Giving clerics some flexibility has always been good in my book. I'm surprised that domain features are not tied to channel divinity. Maybe this will change or be an optionlater on. I would like the turn undead ability to have a hp threshold based on current hp. Beating down a powerful undead so the cleric can turn him would be a cool fight mechanic.



+1
It shouldn't be a spell, whatever they do. I also like the idea of Turning Undead being an option presented by a Domain, but not every Domain gets it.
I agree. Turn undead is a classic example of a cleric niche and would work via an innate divinity power. It should scale by level in regards to what type of undead it can effect, versus anyone mulit-classing or gaining a specialty that can exploit the 25 hp threshold. That is the problem with any hp threshold mechanic if they do not put further restrictions on them.
This thread's title totally should have been "2 undead 1 cleric". I'll just leave that here.
My two copper.
This thread's title totally should have been "2 undead 1 cleric". I'll just leave that here.

Dang it, I'm going to have to start hiding the runeblade better.
I agree. Turn undead is a classic example of a cleric niche and would work via an innate divinity power. It should scale by level in regards to what type of undead it can effect, versus anyone mulit-classing or gaining a specialty that can exploit the 25 hp threshold. That is the problem with any hp threshold mechanic if they do not put further restrictions on them.



Give the cleric the ability to turn a number of HD of creatures/day equal to his own hit dice (or some multiple of his HD). Total spitball idea.
I'm not liking the hitpoint threshold of this packet. Being able to reduce a creature's hit points below a certain number before it works is a little better but it still doesn't work for me. As a rule, not being able to affect things at all unless they come with fewer hit points is worse as I see it.

A lot of the spells presented using this method are basically useless in situations where you need them to work the most. Having one of your most powerful debuffs not work because the monster happens to have a con bonus which gives it two more hitpoints than your spell will affect is just wrong. (ray of enfeeblement vs the gnoll leader for instance)

I also like to actually roll monster's hit points. Averages are fine for statistical analysis but generally suck for hit point totals for creatures in a group. (after rolling the averages are there just not on every creature in the group). Because of this these spells and abilities will work on one creature and not work on another.
(Please don't tell me to just use the average to avoid these issues, it's not the solution, it's only your solution.)

To me, turning undead belongs on the cleric as a class feature not as a spell. It needs to be able to affect creatures by hit dice not by hit point threshold. Whether every cleric in the game should get it isn't an issue. (I think they should regardless.) If a domain would have nothing to do with undead then the turn undead ability should have a replacement of similar power.