Saturday, December 17, 2011

simplified turning chart


  1. I think this is where Pathfinder manages to out-simplify regular D&D: instead of a turning chart, a Cleric channels xd6 (based on level) of positive energy that heals companions and damages undead in a radius. No complicated chart lookup, no additional rolling; just count up the six-siders.

  2. Anonymous12:42 PM

    Pathfinder 1, Basic-Expert D&D 647

  3. Anonymous1:12 PM

    Query: if there are multiple types of undead (say, a vampire with ghoul minions and a skeleton army), do you roll one 2d6 for all to determine the turning results, or separate for each type (in the above example, would you roll one result and compare it to the needs for each, or roll 2d6 three times, once for each)?


  4. I would use one roll.

  5. ... or: it's a 2d6 reaction roll, Good reaction or better means undead are turned. Modify roll by double cleric level minus double undead hit dice (but treat half-HD skeletons as 0 HD.)

    I set the autoturn numbers a little higher than you (cleric 2 levels above HD = autoturn, autodestroy at 4 levels above HD.) And for mixed groups, the lowest hit dice undead are turned first, but the cleric can try again for higher undead, turning each type once per encounter.

    Erin Palette will be happy to know I have healing and even other miracles covered under the clerics without spells rules. I'm currently using standard clerics in my campaign, but allow limited miracles through those rules; I have no druids in play right now, but plan to allow them in a simplified version, with miscellaneous non-spell druid abilities just bundled as a "turn animal and nature spirits" power.

  6. Anonymous1:43 PM

    I did something very similar and found it a good way not only to abolish the Turn Undead table, but make the mechanic quick and intuitive.

  7. This just went into my game. Thanks.

  8. I've taken a few runs at it.

    First, a contested Will check, modified by Charisma both sides (so that Really Big Zombie (HD 20, CR 6?, Cha 1) has effective +7 to his check (+12 base, -5 Cha) while the Clr6 has +5 base + mCha. On success, turned, never worked out rules for destroyed. I know I posted this to USENET, but evidently not to KJD-IMC. I should fix that.

    Normally undead are immune to fear and mind-affecting stuff, I considered another option where channelling (turn undead) lets you make Intimidate checks instead. I never got around to exploring this idea much.

  9. If we're simplifying anyway, why not just have the undead roll saving throws?

  10. 1) I like the stupid 2d6 based mechanics just fine.

    2) Player rolls trumpts DM saving due to a) player agency b) DM laziness.

  11. @Jeff:

    Here, here!

    Also, undead with saving rolls is too tempting to some GMs to modify ("this 1HD zombie is turned as a vampire!")

    Also, I have the 2d6 reaction table memorized. Can't be bothered to memorize saves.

  12. How about something like:

    2d6 + character's level > than 9 is HD of undead turned.

    natural 12, then replace "turned" with "destroyed."

  13. Anonymous4:40 PM

    I don't think I like the pathfinder mechanic. It changes turning into a sort of anti-undead fireball.

    They never run away or are held at bay. It's not very much like repelling Dracula with a cross at all.

  14. Anonymous9:05 PM

    I really, really like the idea of simplifying the original table.

    Did you mean to say that things turn/destroy 2d6 of the dead, not 2d6 HD of the dead?

    For example: mummies have 5 HD. In B/X, a 5th level Cleric must roll a 9 to turn 2d6 HD of mummies -- meaning 1-2 mummies. (Right? I must admit, I don't get into that level very often.)

    In this table, our 5th level cleric must roll 7 to turn 2d6 mummies -- 10-30 HD rather than 2-16!

    (Maybe the real question is where the heck all these mummies are coming from!)

  15. I use the OD&D rule of 2d6 number of creatures turned rather than HD.

  16. *yoinks and runs off cackling*

  17. Anonymous9:17 AM

    !! Well, once again not reading OD&D has made me feel silly.

    Nonetheless, I have added "HD" to my yoinking of the table, and am greatly pleased.

  18. So, an adventurer's common saves include stuff like death rays, dragon breath, poison, and petrification.

    What would such a table look like from the perspective of undead?

    Save vs. cleric
    Save vs. fire
    Save vs. holy water
    Save vs. paladin (perhaps just cleric but easier?)
    Save vs. maggots
    Save vs. boredom (how many years in that tomb?)

    Not that I would ever want to use such a thing in practice. But I do find this rather amusing.