Author Topic: Several questions about turning and rebuking  (Read 8239 times)

Offline Iainuki

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Several questions about turning and rebuking
« on: September 22, 2013, 03:42:08 PM »
I'm trying to write something on optimizing turning and rebuking and running into a couple of different problems.  Note that here I'm talking about actually optimizing turning and rebuking, not figuring out ways to spend turn/rebuke attempts on something else.

1) The existing discussions of turning aren't structured well and aren't comprehensive.  The Comprehensive Guide to Turning, http://community.wizards.com/forum/previous-editions-character-optimization/threads/979911?page=1 has been mangled by WotC's multiple board changes and wasn't well-organized or complete to start with.  I've filled in some of its holes with the 3.5 Cleric Handbook, http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=1238, and some GitP threads, http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=106249 and http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=141266.  Are there better resources I haven't found?  What abilities that help you turn creatures with more HD, turn more HD worth of creatures, or turn more types of creatures are there that I haven't already found?  (See the lists below and my second question for what I already have.)

Bonuses to Cha checks: Circlet of persuasion, admiral’s bicorne (St 131), marshal’s (MH 12-13) motivate charisma aura, Nymph’s Kiss (BE 44).

Turn other kinds of creatures:

• Air, domain: turn earth creatures, rebuke air creatures.
• Earth, domain: turn air creatures, rebuke earth creatures.
• Fire, domain: turn water creatures, rebuke fire creatures.
• Water, domain: turn fire creatures, rebuke water creatures.
• Plant, domain: rebuke plants.
• Cold (SC 271), domain: turn fire creatures, rebuke cold creatures.
• Moon (SC 277), domain: turn lycanthropes.
• Scalykind (SC 279), domain: rebuke reptiles.
• Spider (SC 280), domain: rebuke spiders.
• Slime (SC 280), domain: rebuke oozes.
• Thirst (Sa 108), domain: rebuke oozes.

Turn resistance reduction: Rod of defiance (LM 78), lyre of the restful soul (LM 79).

2) The rules for turning are... not well-written.  I'd like to poll other people's interpretations of the rules for the following bonuses, asking two questions about each.  Does it apply to turning, rebuking, or both?  Does it apply to all turning checks, including turning of creatures with air/earth/fire/water subtypes from the elemental domains and other similar forms of turning, or only to turning (or rebuking, or both) undead?  I've provided web links to the exact wordings or copied them where there's no web link I'm aware of.

Improved Turning: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#improvedTurning
Extra Turning: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#extraTurning
Phylactery of undead turning: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/wondrousItems.htm#phylacteryofUndeadTurning
Glory domain: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/divine/domains.htm#gloryDomain
Hallow: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/hallow.htm
Unhallow: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/unhallow.htm
Consecrate: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/consecrate.htm
Knowledge (religion): http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/knowledge.htm
Empower Turning (CD 81, LM 26): http://dndtools.eu/feats/complete-divine--56/empower-turning--854/
Heighten Turning (LM 27): http://dndtools.eu/feats/libris-mortis-the-book-of-the-dead--71/heighten-turning--1376/
Quicken Turning (CD 84, LM 29): http://dndtools.eu/feats/complete-divine--56/quicken-turning--2339/
Light of faith (CCe 123): http://dndtools.eu/spells/complete-champion--57/light-of-faith--588/
Light of purity (CC 123-124): http://dndtools.eu/spells/complete-champion--57/light-of-purity--589/
Light of wisdom  (CCe 124): http://dndtools.eu/spells/complete-champion--57/light-of-wisdom--590/
Paragnostic apostle’s (CCe 94-96) see through the veil: http://dndtools.eu/classes/paragnostic-apostle/
Scepter of the netherworld (LM 78): "Anyone who holds the rod and has the power to turn or rebuke undead is treated as if three levels higher than his actual level when he uses his turning or rebuking power."
Sacred (BE 112): "A suit of armor or a shield with this quality assists only wearers who have the ability to turn or rebuke undead.  Sacred armor or a sacred shield increases the owner’s effective level for the turning check by +2."
Ephod of authority (MIC 215): "While wearing an ephod of authority, your effective cleric level is treated as one higher than your actual level for the purpose of turning (but not rebuking or
commanding) undead."
Talisman of undead mastery (MIC 188): "A talisman of undead mastery benefits any character capable of either turning or rebuking undead. The talisman has
3 charges, which are renewed each day at dawn. Spending 1 or more charges increases your effective cleric level for the purpose of a single turn or rebuke undead check, which must be made before the end of your turn.
1 charge: Increase effective turning level by 2.
2 charges: Increase effective turning level by 3.
3 charges: Increase effective turning level by 4."
Nightstick (LM 78): "Anyone who possesses the rod and is able to turn or rebuke undead gains four more uses of the ability per day."
Reliquary holy symbol (MIC 120): "As the repository of a tiny fragment of a long-dead high priest of a particular deity, a reliquary holy symbol functions just like any other holy symbol. In addition, for each of the following prerequisites that you meet, the holy symbol grants you one additional daily use of your turn or rebuke undead ability.
• At least 5 ranks in Knowledge
(religion)
• Improved Turning feat
• At least one divine feat (CD 77)"

Offline Nunkuruji

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Re: Several questions about turning and rebuking
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2013, 04:19:59 PM »
http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=2733.msg31817

Ruby Blade (MIC): Relic Power: +4 effective level for rebuking, commanding, bolstering

Offline Maat Mons

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Re: Several questions about turning and rebuking
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2013, 08:39:00 PM »
If you include Dragon magazine content, a cloak of the dragon (Dragon 340, p68) gives a +2 enhancement bonus on charisma checks for 8,400 gp. 

I don't know if you want to list breastplate of command, since it it doesn't stack with circlet of persuasion and provides a lesser bonus. 

If you're addressing turning of non-undead creatures, you might want to make a note that deathless can be turned by evil clerics and rebuked by good clerics. 

Constructs can be rebuked via the warforged domain (Faiths of Eberron, p150).  Oozes can also be rebuked via the ooze domain (Fiendish Codex I, p89) or the initiate of Ghaunadaur feat (Champions of Ruin, p23).  Plants can be turned via the plant defiance feat (Deities and Demigods, p51) and rebuked via the plant control feat (Deities and Demigods, p51).  Blightspawned can be rebuked via the blightbringer domain (Unapproachable East, p34).  Hippopotamuses can be commanded or rebuked via the blessed by Tem-Et-Nu feat (Sandstorm, p49). 

The kin mastery feat (Dragon Compendium, p101) gives you a turn or rebuke ability that affects "creatures of the same kind as your bloodline ancestor."  Unfortunately, your effective cleric level is terrible.  Interestingly, if you go with penumbra bloodline, your ancestor is "a planar traveler who frequented the Ethereal Plane or Plane of Shadow."  Arguably, anyone who's ever been subject to a blink spell has traveled to the ethereal plane frequently. 

The anarch paladin variant (Dragon 310, p47) can turn constructs instead of undead.  The incarnate paladin variant (Dragon 310, p47) can rebuke outsiders instead of turn undead.  The sentinel paladin variant (Dragon 310, p50) can turn outsiders instead of undead.  The crusader cleric variant (Dragon 311, p50) can turn worshipers of a selected deity instead of undead.  The anti-paladin paladin variant (Dragon 312, p20) can turn good outsiders and rebuke evil outsiders instead of turn undead. 

The wild defender ranger variant (Dragon 324, p95) has a rebuke ability that grows broader with level.  At 6th level, it only affects animals.  Vermin are added at 8th level, plants at 12th, fey at 14th, oozes at18th, and elementals at 20th. 

Offline phaedrusxy

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Re: Several questions about turning and rebuking
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2013, 08:51:47 PM »
The incarnate paladin variant (Dragon 310, p47) can rebuke outsiders instead of turn undead.
Oh my... this is begging to be abused to high heaven and back!  :P Outsiders often have stupendous abilities (and high CR) compared to their hit dice (completely the opposite of undead), and you could control just about any of them via this and enough optimization pizzazz.
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Offline Maat Mons

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Re: Several questions about turning and rebuking
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2013, 11:29:29 PM »
The initiate of nature feat (Player's Guide to Faerun, p81) gives a cleric or druid the ability to rebuke plants and animals.  The turn elemental feat (Dragon 343, p91) gives a shugenja the ability to turn elementals of one type and rebuke elementals of the opposite type. 

Offline Iainuki

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Re: Several questions about turning and rebuking
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2013, 01:13:29 PM »
I forget to mention breastplate of command, but it's not important since it's frankly inferior to the circlet of persuasion.

A friend was making the argument to me that characters should only have one turning level, which applies to all forms of turning.  The exact wording of the core domains that let you turn additional types is:  "Turn or destroy earth creatures as a good cleric turns undead. Rebuke, command, or bolster air creatures as an evil cleric rebukes undead. Use these abilities a total number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier."  The argument here would be that "as a (good|evil) cleric (turns|rebukes) undead" means that anything that applies to turn/rebuke undead also applies other forms of turning and rebuking.  Another similar argument to the same effect is that the name of the cleric feature is "turn or rebuke undead," and that it's just a name since in some circumstances turning can apply to other things.

If I take these arguments seriously, they have some weird implications and interactions.  First, what happens with abilities that explicitly apply only to turning but not rebuking like the ephod of authority?  If I'm a cleric with turn undead, that item, and the Air domain, what is my effective turning level for undead and air creatures, and my effective rebuking level for earth creatures?  What if I had rebuke undead instead?  How does this interact with PrCs that grant turn undead?  If I have a cleric with turn undead, the Air domain, and PrC into sacred exorcist, does my effective turning and rebuking level for air and earth creatures, respectively, continuous to increase along with my level for turning undead?  What if I instead start off as a class with no ability to turn undead and PrC into a class that gives me a domain, like contemplative, and use it to take the Air domain: what is my effective turning and rebuking level for air and earth creatures, given I don't have the ability to turn undead at all?  What if I start with turn undead from cleric and multiclass into contemplative, then take the Air domain?  Contemplative doesn't get turn undead and doesn't say that it stacks for turn or rebuking undead.  Again, what are my effective turning levels for the three kinds of creatures I can turn and rebuke?  (Is there even an official ruling on how effective level for domain powers is calculated in the case of PrCs?  If a cleric/contemplative takes the Magic domain as one of their cleric domains and the Travel domain as one of their contemplative domains, what is their effective level for using wizard spell-trigger and spell-completion items and how many turns of freedom of movement do they get a day?)

K's necromancer handbook brings up another can of worms that I'd considered opening up in my initial post but didn't.  Specifically, K asserts, "Rebuking can of course be increased, and rather easily. The key is that the ability itself is “as Turn Undead” with no provision on level bonuses. So any bonus to Turn Undead also bolsters Rebuking by default, but the reverse is not also true."  He also briefly brings up the problems with different kinds of turning and rebuking but concludes there isn't any unambiguous answer.  "[Wearer of Purple] specifically doesn’t ad to Rebuking, but it gives you a domain, and if the domain it gives happens to be Scalykind it gives its own special Rebukin, which then makes it a Rebuking class – you can now have an argument with your DM over whether or not the class adds to Rebuking. CustServ has come down on both sides of that issue."  (snakeman830 also asserts, "This handbook is in dire need of editing as much of the information is either misleading or outright false (especially where Rebuking is concerned).", but doesn't say why he thinks so.)

There's another ability that lets you turn different types of creatures, http://dndtools.eu/spells/complete-champion--57/turn-anathema--611/ .  The wording is, "Upon casting this spell, you can use one of your daily turn or rebuke attempts to turn creatures with the opposing alignment subtype as though they were undead."   Do bonuses to "turn or rebuke undead" affect the turning you get from this spell?  The "as though they were undead" seems to suggest yes, though the wording's not that different from the wording of the core elemental domains.

I'm quickly concluding that not only do I not know how these rules were supposed to be interpreted, I don't even know what they actually say in the first place, and neither does anyone else.  Is there any official statement or evidence on any of these issues?  I looked through the FAQs and they were generally unhelpful.  Is the only thing I can say, "The turning rules are a complete mess, ask your DM to sort them out?"

Offline kitep

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Re: Several questions about turning and rebuking
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2013, 07:11:21 PM »
I haven't read any of the guides, so they may already contain this, but I'd like to point out the spell Substitute Domain (Complete Champion).  Since different domains allow you to turn/rebuke different types, it's handy to be able to change your domain if you need to.

Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Several questions about turning and rebuking
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2013, 05:58:52 PM »
Hey go for it, doing a new guide.
There's bound to be comprehensive cheese here-to-for undiscovered.
Like yeah Rebuke Outsiders = win the game = move over CoDzilla.

K's necro and revised necro are very old, at this point.
Nothing wrong with them at the time, and got a decent
sized C.O. hivemind working on Necromancy.
Which of course meant/means a difference of opinions.
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Offline Maat Mons

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Re: Several questions about turning and rebuking
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2013, 07:57:09 PM »
Oh yeah, can't forget doomdreamer (Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, p163).  One of the secrets you can learn is kiss of undeath, which doubles you effective level for rebuking and commanding undead. 

Offline snakeman830

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Re: Several questions about turning and rebuking
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2013, 11:04:42 PM »
The information in K's handbook that I feel is inaccurate is pretty much anything that mentions Turn Resistance after the Rebuking has occurred.  Once you've Commanded an undead (or whatever else), it doesn't matter if its turn resistance increases afterward.  Turn Resistance is only checked at the time of Turning/Rebuking.
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Offline phaedrusxy

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Re: Several questions about turning and rebuking
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2013, 11:18:35 PM »
Oh yeah, can't forget doomdreamer (Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, p163).  One of the secrets you can learn is kiss of undeath, which doubles you effective level for rebuking and commanding undead.
Holy crap... like... TOTAL effective level?!?  :twitch
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Offline Maat Mons

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Re: Several questions about turning and rebuking
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2013, 10:10:51 PM »
The exact wording is "Double character's effective turning level when rebuking or commanding undead (including maximum number of undead commanded)."  It doesn't address other modifications to your turning level, but the general rule is that you can apply things in the most beneficial order, so you should be able to add whatever bonuses you scrounge up before doubling the whole thing. 

Offline Captnq

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Re: Several questions about turning and rebuking
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2013, 02:04:51 PM »
Go check out my Extrapolated WSA guide. Key word search Turn and rebuke. There are some facinating extrapolated WSAs about boosting turning.
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Offline nijineko

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Re: Several questions about turning and rebuking
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2013, 05:14:47 PM »
that really is messy. but a rather useful list develops. ^^
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Offline PlzBreakMyCampaign

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Re: Several questions about turning and rebuking
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2016, 07:26:14 PM »
Greetings 2013 from 2016. I'll just mention that I don't find the turn/rebuke rules that confusing ... although I have significantly more experience with them than most, for instance my max pools and max rebuke builds in my build compendium. Much of the above has mentioned in those builds for years.

If the OP wants to ask specific questions, one at a time, I'll happily answer them. I'll start by saying that yes, everything that generally adds to turn will add to rebuke (unless it says otherwise) and that generally anything that creates its own turn/rebuke does NOT benefit from turn/rebuke undead boosts (unless it says otherwise).