Home » Ancient Posts » Encounter-Ending Powers are a Good Thing!    
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Brilliant post!

@Cibet: So? Who cares? If they want to fight it, don't turn it. If they do Dispel Evil or turn and destroy the campaign vampire, awesome! Why would anyone want to dictate the result of an encounter. I wouldn't want to waste my players time or insult them by trying to take away their win from them.


@Cibet: If the party wants to kill a vampire they've been hunting for months, why would the party's clerics try to turn it? Unless, of course, the party is losing the battle? Just because the players might not want to turn every undead they meet doesn't make the power useless. Also, not every undead a party meets needs to be killed. For example, sometimes they might just want to drive it away so they can continue their overland journey in the morning or the like.

@Philo Pharynx: I'm sorry, but I can't understand the new school "obsession" with balance to begin with. I'm running a dungeon I designed in 1976 or so today for a group of players (and characters) I had never dreamed of back then in 1976. It certainly isn't balanced for them nor was it ever balanced. It just is. What the players choose to have their characters do in it (attack, oparley, avoid, steal, etc) from the monsters there is fine by me. I don't really see a role for "balance" at least as new school seems to see it. So while I admit that "wanting balance" is probably a defining feature of "new school", I just don't get it — and probably never will.


I agree with Philo, especially on the last point.

Turning was also convenient to use as a signpost of a cleric's relationship with the 'home office'. Otherwise belief (and roleplay) becomes just another feat or class ability.

Philo Pharynx

I think it's an old-school/new-school thing. New-schoolers like balance. How do you balance a cleric when they are more powerful against one type of creature than others? However you balance it, your character's value will depend on the campaign you're in. If you are fighting the Dread Den of Dead Duelists, you're the man! If you're going up against the Society of Sorcerous Serpents, you aren't going to be able to help as much. 3.5 tried and 4e succeeded in making other characters a viable option to having a cleric in the party. I can see somebody going for a warlord if they don't think they'll be facing a lot of undead and choosing a cleric if they knows the bad guy is a necromancer.

Even in old school, I wasn't a big fan of turning. Monsters that flee into places you don't control are monsters you have to worry about later. I'd mostly use turning to put them in a bad spot where we could take them out one at a time.

I think turning should be something optional that you choose, and it should be based on the enemies of your faith. I could see some clerics turning devils or demons. This would be how you could have a cleric that becomes an exorcist.


Btw, 3.5 did not damage undead it turned them by hit dice pretty much like every other edition before it.


You are only looking at low level mook type undead. Suppose the party meets that vampire or lich nemisis they have been hunting for months. When the party finally gets to fight it they don't want the cleric chasing it away by turning, they want to destroy it. This goes for any reasonably powerful intelligent undead. Just chasing them away with a turn means the dm has to track them and the party has to chase them down or wait to be ambushed.


OK, I have to admit that I don't even understand the objection in the first place. The point of encounters is that they end and the adventure continues. A power that ends the encounter allows the adventure to continue. So, I don't understand the problem. Do they think that an adventure is just a string of encounters or something?