[BECMI] Turn Undead + Attack?

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Cthulhudrew
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[BECMI] Turn Undead + Attack?

Post by Cthulhudrew »

So by RAW, a cleric can choose to attack or to turn undead in a single round; not both at once. What if they could?

I've been exploring expanding options in BECMI for characters, with things like different classes, weapon mastery changes, skill changes, and the possibility of something resembling 3rd and 5th edition feats. One thing I think would be a good way to do the latter is to provide options that allow characters to "bend the rules" in some fashion through dedication. Turning and attacking is something that struck me as a possiblity.

It would be similar to the "Touch Dispel" option for dispel magic in the Master's set, allowing the cleric to channel their turn undead ability through their weapon. The big disadvantage, of course, would be that it would only affect the creature attacked (and not be widely applicable to groups of undead); to compensate, I am thinking that it would allow a greater chance of affecting the undead, either some kind of bonus to the turn roll, or an additional +X HD turned/destroyed (possibly tied into the amount of damage dealt).

Another option might be to reserve this ability for a high-level class option, such as an Exorcist/Banisher type of specialization (similar to how the druid is handled in the Companion set), rather than making it a feat.
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Re: [BECMI] Turn Undead + Attack?

Post by Tom Bulls Eye »

It would be quite a change to the basic concept of magic in BECMI, since it is always considered that active magic requires concentration and that you cannot concentrate on the task at hand if you're already now contemplating your next action, such as a combat move.

Apart from that, it is not a bad idea to compensate a little for the late arrival of other magic compared to a magic user.

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Re: [BECMI] Turn Undead + Attack?

Post by shesheyan »

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:29 pm
So by RAW, a cleric can choose to attack or to turn undead in a single round; not both at once. What if they could?

I've been exploring expanding options in BECMI for characters, with things like different classes, weapon mastery changes, skill changes, and the possibility of something resembling 3rd and 5th edition feats. One thing I think would be a good way to do the latter is to provide options that allow characters to "bend the rules" in some fashion through dedication. Turning and attacking is something that struck me as a possiblity.

It would be similar to the "Touch Dispel" option for dispel magic in the Master's set, allowing the cleric to channel their turn undead ability through their weapon. The big disadvantage, of course, would be that it would only affect the creature attacked (and not be widely applicable to groups of undead); to compensate, I am thinking that it would allow a greater chance of affecting the undead, either some kind of bonus to the turn roll, or an additional +X HD turned/destroyed (possibly tied into the amount of damage dealt).

Another option might be to reserve this ability for a high-level class option, such as an Exorcist/Banisher type of specialization (similar to how the druid is handled in the Companion set), rather than making it a feat.
I would not allow that. The cleric could Turn undead, move and then attack. That is a major boon compared to Magic-Users you can't move at all if they cast a spell. One of the main problems I run across with 5e and d20 in general is the rise in number of actions per turn, per character (standard actions, bonus action, reaction actions). At higher levels you add extra attacks per round as well.

I suggest instead to take a look at the ACKS* proficiency system if you want to add spice to BECMI without turning it into a feat system. It includes 96 proficiencies you can play around with.

Adventurer Conquerer King System:
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/99 ... ing-System

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Re: [BECMI] Turn Undead + Attack?

Post by CommanderCrud »

It's funny how newer editions not only give more action per turn, but reduce the amount of time that a turn is.

I would not allow that either.

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Re: [BECMI] Turn Undead + Attack?

Post by Cthulhudrew »

shesheyan wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:12 pm
I would not allow that. The cleric could Turn undead, move and then attack.
That's not exactly what I'm suggesting. What I would be implementing, instead, would be the cleric moves and attacks an undead, channeling their turning ability through their strike. This would allow two things:

1) They could target a specific undead, rather than a group of undead and hoping that they roll high enough to turn/destroy a lot of HD of undead.

So, for example, if there is a vampire with a group of zombie minions, and I really, *really* want to make sure that I get that vampire, rather than hoping I roll high enough to take them all out in one turn (or multiple turns), I target my turn strictly against that vampire through my mace.

2) They may get a bonus to turn or extra HD turned/destroyed based on their attack result. (Still drafting ideas).

Example 2, the cleric does a turn/strike against the vampire. If his attack misses, the turn is wasted. If his attack hits, he may have a greater chance of affecting the vampire depending on how the attack turns out.

[quote[I suggest instead to take a look at the ACKS* proficiency system if you want to add spice to BECMI without turning it into a feat system. It includes 96 proficiencies you can play around with.[/quote]

I've taken a look at ACKS, and I'm not really a big fan. I'm looking at systems that would overlay the existing rules rather than redoing or replacing them, and while ACKS does some of the overlay, its overall approach isn't to my appeal.
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Re: [BECMI] Turn Undead + Attack?

Post by Havard »

Interesting ideas Cthulhudrew! :)

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Re: [BECMI] Turn Undead + Attack?

Post by shesheyan »

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:29 pm
shesheyan wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:12 pm
I would not allow that. The cleric could Turn undead, move and then attack.
That's not exactly what I'm suggesting. What I would be implementing, instead, would be the cleric moves and attacks an undead, channeling their turning ability through their strike. This would allow two things:

1) They could target a specific undead, rather than a group of undead and hoping that they roll high enough to turn/destroy a lot of HD of undead.

So, for example, if there is a vampire with a group of zombie minions, and I really, *really* want to make sure that I get that vampire, rather than hoping I roll high enough to take them all out in one turn (or multiple turns), I target my turn strictly against that vampire through my mace.

2) They may get a bonus to turn or extra HD turned/destroyed based on their attack result. (Still drafting ideas).

Example 2, the cleric does a turn/strike against the vampire. If his attack misses, the turn is wasted. If his attack hits, he may have a greater chance of affecting the vampire depending on how the attack turns out.
I see. Interesting idea. Isn't that what a Mace of Disruption is for? ;)

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Re: [BECMI] Turn Undead + Attack?

Post by Cthulhudrew »

shesheyan wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:43 pm
I see. Interesting idea. Isn't that what a Mace of Disruption is for? ;)
I hadn't even thought about that comparison, but yes- the basic concept is the same.

Which reminds me: there isn't a mace of discruption in BECMI, but adding a Disruption ability as a possible weapon talent would be a good expansion to that list. There are several others that I have been considering, and I will add this, too!
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Re: [BECMI] Turn Undead + Attack?

Post by Tim Baker »

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:29 pm
What I would be implementing, instead, would be the cleric moves and attacks an undead, channeling their turning ability through their strike. This would allow two things:

1) They could target a specific undead, rather than a group of undead and hoping that they roll high enough to turn/destroy a lot of HD of undead.

So, for example, if there is a vampire with a group of zombie minions, and I really, *really* want to make sure that I get that vampire, rather than hoping I roll high enough to take them all out in one turn (or multiple turns), I target my turn strictly against that vampire through my mace.

2) They may get a bonus to turn or extra HD turned/destroyed based on their attack result.
I like this idea. It provides the cleric with interesting tactical choices. Do they opt to focus on a single-target, or a group? A miss means they spent their turn undead with zero benefit. A hit grants a boon beyond what they'd typically receive (plus, they're choosing the target). Another aspect that hasn't been discussed yet is that the cleric is now engaged with the BBEG (the vampire in your example). That may not be the place they'd most like to be, given the consequences. Clerics are reasonably equipped to be on the front lines, but that's still opening yourself up to be the likely recipient of that next big attack. And it's probably your job to keep the party on their collective feet, so what happens if the next big attack takes you out?

It's choices like this that make combat interesting as a player, based on my preferences.

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Re: [BECMI] Turn Undead + Attack?

Post by shesheyan »

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:48 pm
shesheyan wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:43 pm
I see. Interesting idea. Isn't that what a Mace of Disruption is for? ;)
I hadn't even thought about that comparison, but yes- the basic concept is the same.

Which reminds me: there isn't a mace of discruption in BECMI, but adding a Disruption ability as a possible weapon talent would be a good expansion to that list. There are several others that I have been considering, and I will add this, too!
Cool.

How about making "Disruption" an at-will clerical spell which requires a weapon focus, available at level 1? It would replace Turning undead which, to me, feels too much like Hammer films! :lol:

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Re: [BECMI] Turn Undead + Attack?

Post by Big Mac »

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:29 pm
So by RAW, a cleric can choose to attack or to turn undead in a single round; not both at once. What if they could?
I don't know BECMI rules, so I might get stuff wrong, but are you talking about a Cleric making a touch attack, to attempt to specifically turn an individual undead (instead of having less powerful undead run away and that specific undead not get turned)?

Are there any rules for a Turn Undead destroying undead in BECMI? Would you be wanting a Cleric to be able to try to focus all the Turning on one undead, so that they could destroy that one undead (if it would be possible, if that undead was on it's own) but leave easier to destroy undead intact (and unturned)?

I think that if a Cleric had to run up to an undead and slap them with their holy symbol, that holy slap might be enough of a balance for making this into a focused Turn Undead attack.
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Re: [BECMI] Turn Undead + Attack?

Post by Cthulhudrew »

Big Mac wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:07 am
I don't know BECMI rules, so I might get stuff wrong, but are you talking about a Cleric making a touch attack, to attempt to specifically turn an individual undead (instead of having less powerful undead run away and that specific undead not get turned)?
That's the idea, yes. Could be channeled through their hand (touch) or, more likely, through their weapon.
Are there any rules for a Turn Undead destroying undead in BECMI?
Yes- in early editions of the game (BECMI/1E and 2E AD&D), if a cleric was of a high enough level, they would destroy undead rather than turn them. The type of undead as well as the maximum number of HD was a function of level and die roll. If a particular undead was not affected by the first turn attempt, no further attempts could be made against it in that encounter.
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Re: [BECMI] Turn Undead + Attack?

Post by Big Mac »

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:17 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:07 am
I don't know BECMI rules, so I might get stuff wrong, but are you talking about a Cleric making a touch attack, to attempt to specifically turn an individual undead (instead of having less powerful undead run away and that specific undead not get turned)?
That's the idea, yes. Could be channeled through their hand (touch) or, more likely, through their weapon.
Big Mac wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:07 am
Are there any rules for a Turn Undead destroying undead in BECMI?
Yes- in early editions of the game (BECMI/1E and 2E AD&D), if a cleric was of a high enough level, they would destroy undead rather than turn them. The type of undead as well as the maximum number of HD was a function of level and die roll. If a particular undead was not affected by the first turn attempt, no further attempts could be made against it in that encounter.
Sounds like a logical way to go.

I guess that if a mace of disruption exists, then you probably wouldn't want to be giving a free mace of disruption effect to people who don't own a mace of disruption.

I'm not sure I would house-rule this (I'm not saying I don't like the idea, just that I've not thought it through) but I'm kind of leaning on thinking that, I would go for a hand touch to do it.

(I might use a Feat to unlock this, as a 3rd Edition D&D thing.)

Say if you are going to so an attack, would you drop the normal roll for a Turning check and swap it out for an attack roll?
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Re: [BECMI] Turn Undead + Attack?

Post by Cthulhudrew »

Big Mac wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:47 pm
Say if you are going to so an attack, would you drop the normal roll for a Turning check and swap it out for an attack roll?
I'm not sure. In AD&D, clerics used a d20 for both attack rolls and turn undead checks, but in BECMI, the turn undead check is instead made on a 2d6. Substituting the attack roll creates probability issues that I'm not sure I want to try to work around. Possibly there might be some way to reconcile THAC0 and the Turn Undead roll as one check, though. It is definitely something to think about.
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Re: [BECMI] Turn Undead + Attack?

Post by Havard »

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:29 pm

Another option might be to reserve this ability for a high-level class option, such as an Exorcist/Banisher type of specialization (similar to how the druid is handled in the Companion set), rather than making it a feat.
I rather like the idea of an Exorcist/Banisher high option class for Clerics :)

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