Dungeon Master Assistance

A place to share thoughts and ideas about Dungeons and Dragons

TURN UNHOLY (replaces turn or rebuke undead)

This is an excerpt from my D&D Lite rules. It is an alternative to the turn undead ability of clerics and paladins as presented in D&D v3.5. Rather than undead, this effects unholy. Unholy normally includes un-dead, demons, and devils. Each faith has its own definition of which creatures are unholy to that religion. They are typically identified in the holy writings of that faith.

By boldly presenting his holy symbol and uttering holy words, clerics (and paladins at -3 levels) can turn away the enemies of his faith. A cleric can attempt to turn away un-dead, demons, and devils. Some clerics of particular faiths may be able to turn away other kinds of creatures, depending on what powers their deities award them.

A turning check is a level check to which the character also adds his Charisma modifier. (Use the character’s effective turning level, which is equal to class level for a cleric or class level -3 for a paladin.) The DC is 10 + the creature’s Hit Dice + its turn resistance (if any).

You can turn unholy a number of times a day equal to 3 + your Cha modifier.

You can affect a number of Hit Dice of creatures equal to three × your effective cleric level on any one turning attempt. For example, a 4th-level cleric (or 7th-level paladin) can affect up to 12 HD worth of creatures, which could mean two creatures with 6 HD each, four creatures with 3 HD each, or any other combination that adds up to 12 HD.

You make one turning check for the entire group of unholy creatures. You affect the closest unholy first. You can affect unholy within 60 ft and in the line of effect.

Turned unholy flee for 10 rounds (1 minute). If they cannot flee, they cower (giving any attack rolls against them a +2 bonus). If you approach within 10 feet of them, however, they overcome being turned and act normally. You can attack them with ranged attacks (from at least 10 feet away), and others can attack them in any fashion, without breaking the turning effect.

Demons, devils, and unholy clerics are always allowed a WILL saving throw to avoid being affected. Deities and their Avatars cannot be turned.

SUCCESS: If your cleric level is 4 or more points higher than the unholy’s HD it is destroyed. If the unholy’s HD is 4 or more points higher than your cleric level it is unaffected. All others are turned.

FAILURE: If your cleric level is 4 or more points higher than the unholy’s HD it is turned even if you fail your turning check. All others are unaffected.

CRITICAL SUCCESS: If you roll an unmodified 20 on your turning check, all creatures that would have normally been turned on a successful check are destroyed instead. All others are turned with the exception of unholy creatures with a HD 4 or more points higher than your cleric level. They stay but are “frightened” by your holy symbol for the duration of the encounter. Creatures that are frightened by your holy symbol won’t approach close enough for you to touch them with it and they won’t allow you to touch them with it. They will only attack you directly if they think that it is the only way that they can prevent you from touching them. A touch from your holy symbol will do only 1d4 points of damage, but it burns and hurts very badly. Touching a creature with your holy symbol does no damage to a creature that isn’t frightened of it

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