Turn Undead was the iconic ability of old-school D&D clerics, moreso than spellcasting. They could do it at will right from level one. It started fairly effective at turning skeletons and rapidly grew in effectiveness, affecting more powerful types of undead and eventually destroying the less powerful ones instead of just making them run away.

In Dungeon Fantasy, True Faith with Turning shares most of these traits. It doesn’t let you destroy undead, but it still makes it a lot easier for the rest of the party to finish the job. Particularly if they have ranged or high-Reach melee weapons!

After several editions of evolutionary pressure, D&D Turn Undead became quite different. In most “modern” editions it was renamed to something like “Channel Divinity” or “Channel Positive Energy”. It could only be used a few times a day and had several possible effects. When used for its original purpose, it caused damage to undead instead of turning them. The effectively turned it into a secondary ability, taking a backseat to spellcasting.

This “new-school” form of Turn Undead might look something like this in Dungeon Fantasy:

Channel Divinity (18/27/36 points)

Pre-requisite: Power Investiture (Holy) or Holy Might 1+.

You channel the powers of your deity into a blast of glorious light that emanates from your body and causes terrible burn to evil undead caught in its radius!

Using this ability requires a Concentrate maneuver and costs 2 FP. It affects any foes who would also be vulnerable to standard Turning, out to a distance of 4 meters/yards from you. Roll a Quick Contest of Will with each such target. You have a bonus to this contest equal to your Power Investiture (plus +1 or +2 for an exceptional holy symbol) and a penalty equal to the distance between you and the enemy in meters/yards. A monster’s Resistance to Good applies a bonus to its Will. Any foe who loses this contest takes 2d, 3d or 4d of burning damage (depending on the level of this ability). This damage bypasses all DR and affects insubstantial undead!

Statistics: This is Burning Attack 2d, 3d or 4d with the following modifiers: Area Effect, 4m, +100%; Affects Insubstantial +20%; Malediction 1, +50%; Affects only Truly Evil Undead, -50%; Costs Fatigue, 2FP, -10%; Emanation, -20%; PM: Holy -10%.

Design Notes

This power is basically just an area version of the Smite ability from Monster Hunters. The Accessibility limitation that restricts the target it affects is a little different, but I gave it the same value because it doesn’t change the size of the affected group all that much.

It makes clerics a lot more dangerous against undead in close combat, and gives Holy Warriors a good area attack option against such foes. Taking this instead of traditional Turning sacrifices some tactical flexibility in exchange for increased damage potential. It suits firebrand clerics of sun deities and the like. Of course, there’s nothing preventing a suffciently powerful character from eventually acquiring both!

Channel Divinity does not make [Smite Evil][1] redundant, since the valid targets for both abilities are slightly different. Smite Evil could affect demons, for example, but would do nothing against mindless undead. It can’t be combined with Smite Evil.