Undead Turning Table

Discuss Swords & Wizardry White Box - Rules questions, commentary, house rules

Undead Turning Table

Postby Shadow Demon » Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:41 pm

Mostly, there are only minor quibbles like the HD of the shadow being 3+3 instead of 2+2 which probably doesn’t really matter either way. However, I think it can matter in the context of the Undead Turn Table which is a major problem.

If you compare 1st printing of S&W Complete and the 2nd printing, the difference in the Undead Turning Table was my persuasion to Matt Finch to change it. It was compromise since the challenge level column is still really wonky. Since the 1st printing of Core, he had basically the OSRIC or 1e version with undead that weren’t even in S&W. 1e has a screwy progression that was corrected in 2e.

So, to now focus on White Box version. As much I disliked the 1st printing Complete version, I really dislike the White Box version. I noticed that Charlie changed it to 10 levels only which is a good change. However, there is so much wrong with this table left from previous printings.

1) HD does not properly track with undead examples.

2) There are no “T”s on the table.

3) The ghoul is missing.

4) The lich and demons were not turnable in 0e.

In S&W Compete 2nd printing, the lich was added and the demon entry removed. I am including a proposed table using a 2d6 probability curve. This could easily be changed to 3d6 probability and replacing the numbered entries in my example. The lich is still included but is extremely difficult to turn. This line could include any undead greater at 10 or greater HD like the ghost. The shadow and ghast are also easily incorporated into the table.

Regards,

James
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Proposed White Box Undead Turn Table
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Re: Undead Turning Table

Postby The Wanderer » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:43 pm

This is similar to how Delving Deeper does it. Which I almost included because I like the 2d6 roll. But I decided to stay close to the original White Box.

I will admit, I never noticed how off the examples are to Hit Die. I did note, that there were no "T"s on the table, but I thought that was just a design decision by using the d20 and allowing some higher HD creatures to be turned at a lower level instead of auto turning. Which I kind of like getting rid of the auto turned undead. It makes undead a little bit more of a threat.

I do like how you postponed the "T" until 4th level. For comparison, Delving Deeper has "T" at level 2, but only 2d6 are auto turned. Whereas in White Box, ALL of the undead type are turned, so moving the "T" out to a middle level is a good idea.

Overall, I really like this. Thank you for sharing. This is definitely going on the list for updates.
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Re: Undead Turning Table

Postby Shadow Demon » Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:47 am

I think having a turn effect only 2d6 undead as in Men & Magic is better but not necessarily the best playable option. ALL targeted undead is definitely not a good option. This leaves a 10th level cleric the ability to obliterate an unlimited number of the targeted type at Spectre and below.

IMHO the best option is to have only a single turn attempt that will affect 2d6 HD of undead from the lowest to the highest. A single undead is always turned on a successful attempt. This is exactly the what Tom Moldvay came up with in 1981 D&D Basic. This is my favorite because it is self-contained without ambiguity using a single attempt against multiple undead types. Of course, this option goes outside the scope of 0e WhiteBox and into B/X realm.

Regards,

James
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Re: Undead Turning Table

Postby The Wanderer » Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:00 pm

Well I already added a moral table, so I'm not apposed to going the B/X route if it makes sense.

I agree that turning ALL undead should be changed. I'm not sure how exactly I would want to change it yet. But I'm definitely open to doing something with it.
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Re: Undead Turning Table

Postby merias » Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:40 pm

As we know S&W deviates from OD&D in lots of places, and the current WB table is, as you noted, kind of broken. So I say change it and make it playable. I haven't looked at it too closely before, I think because I tend to run lower-level PCs - 5 is the highest WB level I have refereed or played. And at lower levels (1-3), I think it works fine. It is a bit harder to turn low-level undead than in 0e, but I always liked that aspect of it. Anyway, for a game that caps out at 10th level, the 2d6 success roll is fine. Then 2d6 creatures or HD is also fine.
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Re: Undead Turning Table

Postby Shadow Demon » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:41 pm

Another option is 2d6 creatures with the undead affected from lowest HD first. There would be a single turn roll regardless how many undead types present instead of "targeted" undead. This single number is compared to the target for each undead type present. A good example of "less is more".

Until I found this forum, I never read a version of Core earlier than the 4th printing. The basis of WhiteBox uses the first three printings of Core which are significantly different than the fourth. Hence, there is legacy language in WhiteBox that could be edited for clarity and simplicity. Of course, if the audience is practically all veterans than there may be little payoff in the effort.
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Re: Undead Turning Table

Postby PrismaticDM » Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:43 am

My house rule changed turning into a saving throw for the affected undead. It meant I could eliminate the turning table altogether. Probably not a good fix for out of the box whitebox, but it makes turning drop dead simple, so to speak. ;)

https://dndborderlands.blogspot.ca/2016 ... asses.html
Just scroll down to the Cleric class.
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Re: Undead Turning Table

Postby foxroe » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:18 am

PrismaticDM wrote:My house rule changed turning into a saving throw for the affected undead. It meant I could eliminate the turning table altogether. Probably not a good fix for out of the box whitebox, but it makes turning drop dead simple, so to speak. ;)

https://dndborderlands.blogspot.ca/2016 ... asses.html
Just scroll down to the Cleric class.

Hey, that's a pretty good idea.

And welcome to the forums!
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Re: Undead Turning Table

Postby PrismaticDM » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:35 pm

foxroe wrote:Hey, that's a pretty good idea.

And welcome to the forums!


Cheers and thanks for the welcome!
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