The Seven-Sided Die

DHB Preview: Turn Undead

Posted Friday March 02, 2012 at 09:59 PM

Here's another taste of how I'm handling traditional D&D concepts in the first draft of the Dungeoneer's Handbook.

Turn Undead [−1]

You can rebuke undead creatures and send them fleeing or destroy them outright.

Musts: Your High Concept must be related to faith in some way.
Rebuke: When you present the symbol of your faith and stand firm against an undead creature, you may make an opposed Conviction roll against its Discipline to place the aspect “Held At Bay” on it.
Cleansed In Light: You may make an attack using Conviction against the creature's Discipline. If the undead is corporeal, stress dealt in this way is physical rather than mental.
By The Word: By paying one shift you may affect all undead in a zone, or (when using Rebuke) place the aspect “Fleeing!” instead of “Held At Bay”.

I was going to make the Must for Turn Undead be having Divine Miracles (the DHB equivalent of Sponsored Magic I'm using for priestly spellcasters), but for the Cleric template I took some inspiration from very early D&D editions and made spellcasting optional at character creation. So, Turn Undead (and their ability to use armour and decent weapons) is key to making a classic cleric work and I had to hang it on their faith-based character concept rather than spellcasting. The upshot is that characters without the Cleric template could conceivably take Turn Undead given a High Concept that is faith-related, but I don't think that's a problem as much as it might be a feature.

What I like about this power/stunt is that it captures the turn/destroy mechanic of D&D's turn undead ability without needing a big table for it. Does the undead creature have low discipline (a zombie or skeleton, say)? Then you can very likely send it running, and if you're good enough you can destroy it outright with the power of your faith. Of course, you have to choose which one you're doing first, but that introduces a nice tactical consideration, I think. Are you facing a vampire necromancer and its zombie minions? If you just Rebuke you're likely to get enough shifts to turn all the zombies but the vampire will be unimpressed; if you opt to attack then you likely won't generate enough shifts to fill the zombies' stress boxes and deal them enough consequences to take them out outright, but you've got a good chance of stinging the vampire if you try.

Of course, all this has to see playtesting before it can be considered good and functional under actual play conditions. But I certainly am fond of how this one has shaped up initially.

Comments (2)


Friday September 21, 2012 at 03:08 PM

Looks good.

I'm looking to do basically the same thing except for Golarion (the Pathfinder setting). Would it be possible to get a copy of what you've done so far to use as a base for my own conversion?


Sunday April 28, 2013 at 02:48 AM

I haven't done much more than what you see, unfortunately. I ran out of time and steam to work on this in greater detail. This is one of the most complete powers, which is why I could show it off.