"Turning" Cleric

by Zed

Turning undead can make
it or break it in some situations. When a group is close to being
overrun by
undead a well timed and well placed Turn can send the undead scurrying
from the cleric, giving the group time to regroup and focus on a
smaller number
of targets. Or better yet, a powerful cleric could destroy countless
low level
undead turning the battle in a split second. Lets take a quick look
first of
all at how Turn Undead works.

Turning Check

When a cleric hits Turn
Undead the first thing the system does is a turning check, identifying
highest level of undead you could affect. 
The turning check is defined as:

(1D20 + CHA bonus)

The results are
calculated from a table. At this point we presume the table used is the
same as
the one found in the SRD, which is found href="http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/specialAttacks.htm#turnOrRebukeUndead">here

Once we have our
highest level undead we move onto the total number of hit dice that can

Turning Damage

Cannon pen-and-paper
rules tell us we roll 2D6 + Cleric Level + Cha bonus to determine
damage. However,
in testing it became clear that this was too much damage, making undead
easier to accomplish in DDO. So, our turning damage is defined as:

(1D6 + Cleric Level +
Cha Bonus)

href="http://ddo.tentonhammer.com/modules.php?set_albumName=Exclusive_Screenshots&id=Turn_Undead&op=modload&name=Gallery&file=index&include=view_photo.php"> alt="Turn Undead"
style="border: 2px solid ; width: 150px; height: 113px;" align="left"
hspace="4" vspace="2">This represents the
maximum number of hit dice we can affect. 
However, undead are interesting creatures and can have a turn
which increases the number of hit dice the create has relative to turn
checks.  For example a wraith is a 5HD
however it has a +2 turn resistance.  (You
can see that here). style=""> 
In effect, you need to be able to turn a 7HD
creature and then do at least 7HD worth of damage to make the wraith
run away.

When damage is
calculated there are then two possibilities for the undead that are
affected.  If you're total level is more
than twice the HD of the undead being turned you will destroy them
instead of
turning them.

The build

With that in mind then
our primary stat shifts from Wisdom to Charisma.  We
only ever need a maximum of 19 wisdom
(even at level 20) to cast spells up to 9th level. But if we
wisdom low we will hamper our saves, making debuffs easier for the
enemy to
resist. It will also lower our will saves a little.


I will present three
possible options for our Cleric here. These are raw scores and do not
any race assumptions.

Starting Abilities style="">

Rather than provide a
total break down of how to spread your stats out it suffices to say
that you
will want one of the following:

style="">Wis style="">     16 /

Cha      16

If you build a Wis 16,
Cha 16 Cleric, you will have a total of 8 points remaining to
distribute across
your other 4 stats, if you build a Wis 14, Cha 16 Cleric you will have
a further
12 points to distribute.

Class/Race Features style="">:

Turn Undead ( 3 + Cha Modifier)

Divine spells

Proficient with all armor
and shields excluding tower shields

Proficient with all
simple weapons

Add to this the
features of the race you choose.


Level 1: Extra Turning

Level 3: Improved Turn

Level 6: Mental

Level 9: Improved
Mental Toughness

If you are human you
can add mental toughness as your additional bonus feat.

Another consideration,
if you are happy to build based on player knowledge of the game and not
it as it comes, would be the fact that you really don't encounter much
until you hit the house quests. At this point you would typically be 4th
level.  In this case your feat selection
would change slightly.

Level 1 :  Mental

Level 3 : Extra

Level 6 : Improved
Turn undead

Level 9 : Improved
Mental Toughness

Human: Move feats down
a step and select another feat at any level 9.

Skills: (in order of priority)




Enhancements (at 10th

Energy of the Zealot X

Extra Turning III (+6
turn attempts)

Divine Vitality IV

Clerics Wisdom III or
Clerics Charisma II

With a lower Wisdom
score, this build will have a much lower spell point total, so Energy
of the
Zealot X becomes a good choice.  However,
if you are okay with sacrificing spell points, then any enhancement
that increases
Charisma by at least 2 would benefit the Cleric.

Spell Selection

Spells will focus on
damaging undead and boosting your party members abilities through
battles. These
are spell recommendations and can be swapped in and out dependant on
level and

Level 1:

Cure Light Wounds, Bane,
Protection from Evil, Shield of Faith, Bless

Level 2:

Cure Moderate Wounds, Eagles
Splendor, Lesser Restoration, Bulls strength, Resist Energy

Level 3:

Cure Serious Wounds, Searing
Light, Remove Curse

Level 4:

Cure Critical wounds,
Holy Smite, Restoration,

Level 5:

Mass Cure Light
Wounds, Flame strike, Spell resistance


With no increases in
Cha from a base 16, this cleric would have 16 turn attempts per rest
period. This
would give a +3 to turn checks and +13 (at 10th level) to
damage.  Whilst +13 will destroy lots of
smaller undead, high level undead encountered in places like Korromar
will not
be affected in more than ones or twos.  Increasing
Cha should always be a high priority. However if you start with a
Wisdom of 14,
its important to put one of the stat boosts into Wisdom to ensure you
access to level 5 spells by 10th level. 

This build is by no
means a front rank combatant, but focuses rather on managing undead
effectively, boosting other casters spell points and buffing your party. style=""> 
With the lower Wisdom more often than not
debuffs will be resisted by monsters, especially at higher levels. style="">

Post 'em if ya got 'em!

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Karen 1
Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.