U Is for Undead Turning

Remember the good old days when your cleric unleashed some turning against some undead? Some of them ran away. Others exploded. What variety! Nowadays with Pathfinder, undead take damage from turning, which is now called channel energy. The undead get a saving throw for half damage. Your cleric can get them to run away if he happens to have the Turn Undead feat. Again, what variety!

And, just in case my sarcasm wasn’t detectable, by “What variety!” I mean pretty much the opposite. Unleashing all that channeled positive energy at the undead ought to do more than a few d6 points worth of damage, and it ought to do so without having to spend precious resources like feats to get a limited effect. So, here’s my latest, completely unplaytested idea.

Whenever a cleric channels positive energy, he can opt to sacrifice a certain number of d6s of channeling damage in order to tack on additional effects. The two quickie charts below show the number of d6s of channeling damage that must be sacrificed to gain a desired effect for a desired duration. N.B. The maximum duration for dazed equals 1 round.

Additional Positive Channeling Effects
1d6: dazed
2d6: fatigued, shaken, or sickened
3d6: blinded, stunned, exhausted, or frightened
4d6: nauseated or panicked
5d6: paralyzed

Positive Channeling Effect Durations
0d6: 1 round
1d6: 1d3 rounds
2d6: 1d4 rounds
3d6: 1d6 rounds
4d6: 1d8 rounds

All additional effects can affect undead creatures even though undead are normally immune to such effects. The positive energy overwhelms normal undead immunities when channeled properly. The undead affected still get a Will save against the channel energy at the same DC as before. If the save succeeds, the undead takes one-half the damage and the additional effect is negated.

For example, Bob the Brewer is a 9th-level cleric who channels 5d6 worth of positive energy. He confronts a ghoul pack, and lets fly with some holy power. Bob sacrifices 4d6 to add 1d3 rounds of blinded to his channeling. The ghouls attempt their Will saves. Those that fail suffer 1d6 points of damage and are blinded for 1d3 rounds. Those that succeed take one-half of 1d6 points of damage.

Of course, we don’t want to leave the evil clerics without some of the fun. Evil clerics normally can channel negative energy to damage enemies or to heal undead creatures. Instead of the latter, evil clerics can channel negative energy to make undead temporarily more formidable. N.B. The maximum duration for “+1 move action” equals 1 round.

Additional Negative Channeling Effects
1d6: +1 move action
2d6: +2 profane bonus to Strength or Dexterity
3d6: +4 profane bonus to Strength or Dexterity
4d6: +4 profane bonus to Strength and Dexterity
5d6: haste

Negative Channeling Effect Durations
0d6: 1 round
1d6: 1d3 rounds
2d6: 1d4 rounds
3d6: 1d6 rounds
4d6: 1d8 rounds

For example, Evil Ed is a 9th-level cleric who channels 5d6 worth of negative energy. He and his ghoul pack confront a gang of adventurers, and Ed lets fly with some unholy power. He sacrifices all 5d6 to add 1 round of haste to his undead minions.

April 24th, 2012  in RPG 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “U Is for Undead Turning”

  • Wiggy Wiggins says:

    I really enjoy this concept as a DM and Player who both loves Channel Energy but, also enjoys watching the Undead explode from old fashion TU. I will be implementing this house rule that you have devised into my next campaign, and seeing how it works. Thank you very much and I assume since you posted this you would like for people to test it out. I will as time goes by, let you know about my experience with this system.

  • admin says:

    Thanks for the kind words! Please let me know how the rules work for you in play. I’d love the feedback. :)

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