View Full Version : Turn Undead: Its Not as useless as you think it is.

03-25-2008, 12:58 PM
Turning Undead is one of the most misunderstood abilities in the game. Early in the Game Turbine had a Habbit of not only raising Hit Points of the mobs we faced, but Increasing the Hit Die as well. This quickly made Turning a pretty useless ability.

Mobs are NOT like that anymore. THey have SIgnificantly more Hit Points, and yes their hit Die are increased on hard and Elite Difficulties, but they are not increased Exponentially like they were in the beginning!.

I have a Cleric that can turn undead quite effectively. I've never done intensive testing on the ability, But I will start and try to COnfirm as much as Posible.

First, Let see what the SRD Says On turning Undead.

Good clerics and paladins and some neutral clerics can channel positive energy, which can halt, drive off (rout), or destroy undead. Evil clerics and some neutral clerics can channel negative energy, which can halt, awe (rebuke), control (command), or bolster undead. Regardless of the effect, the general term for the activity is “turning.” When attempting to exercise their divine control over these creatures, characters make turning checks.

Turning Checks
Turning undead is a supernatural ability that a character can perform as a standard action. It does not provoke attacks of opportunity. You must present your holy symbol to turn undead. Turning is considered an attack.

Times per Day: You may attempt to turn undead a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier. You can increase this number by taking the Extra Turning feat.

Range: You turn the closest turnable undead first, and you can’t turn undead that are more than 60 feet away or that have total cover relative to you. You don’t need line of sight to a target, but you do need line of effect.

Turning Check: The first thing you do is roll a turning check to see how powerful an undead creature you can turn. This is a Charisma check (1d20 + your Charisma modifier). Table: Turning Undead gives you the Hit Dice of the most powerful undead you can affect, relative to your level. On a given turning attempt, you can turn no undead creature whose Hit Dice exceed the result on this table.

Turning Damage: If your roll on Table: Turning Undead is high enough to let you turn at least some of the undead within 60 feet, roll 2d6 + your cleric level + your Charisma modifier for turning damage. That’s how many total Hit Dice of undead you can turn.

If your Charisma score is average or low, it’s possible to roll fewer Hit Dice of undead turned than indicated on Table: Turning Undead.

You may skip over already turned undead that are still within range, so that you do not waste your turning capacity on them.

Effect and Duration of Turning: Turned undead flee from you by the best and fastest means available to them. They 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 stand within 10 feet without breaking the turning effect—you just can’t approach them.) 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.

Destroying Undead: If you have twice as many levels (or more) as the undead have Hit Dice, you destroy any that you would normally turn.

Table: Turning Undead
Turning Check

Result Most Powerful Undead
Affected (Maximum Hit Dice)
0 or lower Cleric’s level – 4
1–3 Cleric’s level – 3
4–6 Cleric’s level – 2
7–9 Cleric’s level – 1
10–12 Cleric’s level
13–15 Cleric’s level + 1
16–18 Cleric’s level + 2
19–21 Cleric’s level + 3
22 or higher Cleric’s level + 4

The Following is a List of Enhancmetns Feats, and Items that Assist in our Turning ability.

Sacred: This is the most common Item availaable. It shows up on Sheilds and Armor reguarlly but I have seen it on Necklaces as well. Sacred Increases your Effective Turn Level by 2 This means a L6 Cleric will be a L8 Cleric for the Turning DAMAGE Check. This does NOT effect your Initial Turning CHeck!

Gauntlets of Eternity: The Gloves fromthe Reaver raid have a Very nice Boost to Turning Abilities! Not only do they increase your Turn level by 2 (Like Sacred) They also Increase your Turn Check by 2 and your Turn Damage check by +4. These are a serious increase in Turning ability!

Seraphim: Tapestry Turn In helmet. THis has Sacred AND "Hallowed" on it. Hallowed Increases your Damage Check by +2

Aegis of Flame: 4th Tier Turn in After Abbot Raid for Silver Flame Item. THis increases your Turning Damage by +6

Black Dragonplate: Poseses the "Sacred" Attribute.


Improved Turning: Adds +1 your your Effective CLeric level for Turn Checks.


Cleric Improved Turning I/II/III: THis addes +1 to +3 to yoru Effective Cleric Level for Turning Checks.


So a L16 Cleric can do some pretty impressive Turning with the Right Items. Heres my L16 Null Speced Cleric as an Example.

ALandale is L16 Pure cleric. He has No Feats and the Tier 1 Enhancments. He Uses the Reaver Gauntlets of Eternity. and has a CHR of 24 (14 Base +3 Tome +1 Clr Chr +6 Item)

My turn Check:
1d20 +7(Chr Mod) +2(Reaver Gloves) Means I can turn a Minimum of a 16HD Mob (1+7+2+1(Turning CHeck Table Mod))
and a Maximum of 33HD Undead! (20+7+2+4(Turn Check table Mod)

Let me tell ya.. There arent a whole lot of 34+ Hit Die Undead in this game.... The Abbot is one of em... I cant think of any others.

The Damage Check: This is where we run into Problems. Its because we Face So many Undead at once.. The Turn Check Indicated the Total HD of mobs we can turn.

AMount of HD Turned
( 2d6 ) +16(Cleric level) +2(Eternal Faith Level Enhancmenet) +4 (Eternal Failth HD Enhancment)+4 Seek Eternal Rest (Sacred Bonus, L2 Spell)+1 ENH for a Total of 29 Minimum HD to a Max of 39HD.

What does this mean? It means I can Reguarlly Turn Undead Mobs with 20-25HD.

The Trouble is when I get surrounded by 5 or 6 of em. I'm only gonna turn one or 2.

If your selective with your turn attempts, you can be quite effective.

03-25-2008, 01:29 PM
My lvl 15 Clr has every tuning feat/enhancement and sacred items....plus now the tapestry helm....and seek eternal rest spell.
I think I have a 26 Char as well.

Turns quite nicely!
Makes me really wish I had started with a maxed out Char. :( I think I had a 16 at lvl 1.

It works great, but I had to almost totally spec my toon out for it to.....most people are not going to do that.

Also.........even though turned.......many times the undead will continue to attack for a while....especially true is not destroyed.

Ive been lightning bolted so many times in the Orchard by the mob of frosty arcanes left outside a tomb by my faster buddies more times than I can count........only to have my ghost watch them run away after my death!......very annoying.

03-25-2008, 01:30 PM
question does enternal faith stack with sacred?

03-25-2008, 01:34 PM
question does enternal faith stack with sacred?

I'm not positive....but I've seen some evidence that it does. (Seek Eternal Rest)

03-25-2008, 02:03 PM
Oh man Impaqt, keep this up and pretty soon more people my think of clerics as more than walking ER's....

Seriously, even without dropping down some feats for it, just some gear and enhancements you can turn almost anywhere these days. Even my Paladin can do a decent job of it (of Course the 30 CHA doesn't hurt on that one....grin.) Actually makes those 13 turns worth blowing on some mobs.

Now if Paladins had some way to Channel Smites into Turning Damage, that would be cool!!

03-25-2008, 02:38 PM
I agree that turning is more effective now than it was in the past but the question is how useful is it overall?

With the proliferation of disruption weaps, Greater Undead Bane and the ever useful command undead from casters I just don't ever seem to need to turn them. I can always find better uses for my turns in the form of DVs, DHs or DCs. I'm not saying I don't enjoy running like a flaming chipmunk around in the Delera's dungeons gathering 15-20 undead then turning them en masse but when I am in a group the fighters and casters make short work of most of them and when I am AOE healing I get a little tweak in as well.

I do think that turning is important for the class lore based on the intent of clerics in PNP and in the larger context of the DND universe. I do agree that the way the HD increased previously made turning virtually useless.

03-25-2008, 02:55 PM
Keep in mind that a Turned Undead is basically a helpless undead and stays that way for a while, giving you or the group plenty of time to pound it to bits without return attacks. (Of course a destroyed undead is just that - destroyed). My Paly was soloing some of the upper mid level House J undead quests and took advantage of this many times. Send all those wights to their corners for a time out, while you go around and kill/disrupt them one on one and take 0 return attacks. Makes things a lot nicer, saves healing for when I need it. Most of those boss mobs really do not like getting the ole LoH treatment a couple of times...200+ points for each knocks them bosses down fast, since I can spam LoH almost instantly. Boss mob with less than 1000 HP dies in seconds now. (4 LoH for 260 at this time...)

03-25-2008, 03:01 PM
Also bear in mind That if you use the spell of "Seek Eternal Rest" you get an Additional +4!

Edit: Sorry missed the fact this was mentioned earlier in the thread.

please disregard.

03-25-2008, 03:18 PM
Yeah, there are a Lot of Disruptors in the game, Thats for sure... If I recall Correctly, The DC for Disruption is Pretty low.... Lets Take Madstone Crater for Example.. Those Giant Sceklies hit pretty hard.. Especially onHard and Elite. How nice is it when those Skellies are cowering in a corner rather than Wacking you for 50pts a shot and throwing you 30' while your trying to Curse/Disrupt em?

03-25-2008, 05:45 PM
question does enternal faith stack with sacred?Generally, items don't stack with items, but in this case does stack with the Seek Eternal Rest spell.

03-25-2008, 05:53 PM
There's definitely an improvement with seek eternal rest.

It's great fun to cower gatekeeper guards in the tor :)

03-25-2008, 06:01 PM
Turning Undead is one of the most misunderstood abilities in the game ...

Nice post. Was a great read. Thank you. I hope your testing continues to bear fruit and turning continues to be fun for you.

03-26-2008, 07:13 AM
It is when your starting CHA is 6 and all you have is a +4 CHA item :) Just kidding, well not about the starting CHA part.

03-27-2008, 03:30 PM
i just got through running Delera's with my turner

had to take a screen of it - 100 something kills 77 of which were me turning things
should have been higher but towards the last shrine the group went the long way and i missed turning 4 rooms

i think the next highest kill count was 17

it's great watching the tanks run up to something swinging and then everything in the room dissapears :)
the other great part was 3 when the wraiths appear in the circle room... everyone scrambling to the ladder yelling at me to run

yawn.. walk up turn
"hey guys, wraiths are dead"

after that i think i got something like
"all i can say is you are amazing"

what i don't get is the archers and ghost skeles
now i can understand only shaking the wight myrmidons - CR 7 cause they are pretty tough but the ghost skeletons are CR 4 and go donw like a shot so they can't have huge HP or HD numbers yet i could not destroy a single one

i could shake Zan'glaen while killing the many ghouls around him but one ghost skele i couldn't kill even on some high rolls
i wish it would show the other roll and i should have checked the combat log to see if it listed it there

curious as to the HD of the archers and ghosts... any ideas?