Monday, March 28, 2011

[Greyhawk] Clerical Turning

The effect of a Cleric (or Paladin) turning Undead is implemented as a Social Combat attack by a Cleric versus a one or more Undead, opposed by the Resolve skill.

A turning is accomplished by a cleric using the "Turn Undead" stunt, where the cleric's Resolve skill (with a trapping of Faith) is substituted for Intimidation.

Use of the Turning Undead stunt counts as an Action by the cleric as per normal.

Upon resolution of the Turning attack, there are the following possible outcomes:

The cleric has done sufficient stress to generate a Consequence, which could then force the undead to offer a Concession or be Taken Out.

Partial Success:
Social stress was generated, but not enough to generate a Consequence. The undead cannot attack the cleric physically and is now considered "held at bay" and the Intimidation battle can continue. Note that if the undead chooses to disengage from the Intimidation battle and try to attack someone else, it can still be Intimidated by the cleric.

There's been the suggestion that a fragile aspect could be placed on an undead trying to disengage from a Turning, "trying to tear his eyes away from the Cleric", but playtesting will determine if that holds up.

No stress shifts were generated, and the cleric can no longer attempt to Turn any undead present in that scene.

Epic Failure:
No stress shifts were generated, and the Undead generates Spin. The cleric cannot attempt any further Turning in that scene to any Undead present and the Undead with Spin gets the +1 as per normal. Have something appropriately nasty happen to the cleric! The cinematic idea of the undead grasping the cleric's holy symbol and having it burst into flames might be fun!

Requirements for Turning
A Turning requires that the following:

  • Stunt "Turn Undead" (only available to the Cleric or Paladin class)
  • A material component (the cleric's holy symbol)
  • Somatic component (the cleric actively brandishing the holy symbol)

(See below for an option to add a verbal component.)
Consequences from Being Turned
If an undead can accept a social Consequence, it can then choose to either:

Accept A Turning Consequence
Something like "Cowering", "Driven to its Knees", "Covering its Eyes", "Shrieking in Agony" or even a physical consequence like "Blistering Skin" would be appropriate. The consequence could then be tagged as per normal.

NOTE: Use of Grit Rules (or Undead "Grit"):
Certain NPCs or monsters can potentially have Grit, a number usually at 1 or 2. The number represents how committed the entity is to the conflict. That value represents the number of Consequences the character will elect to take before offering a Concession.
Grit is contextual as most monsters "will not go to the mat over trivial matters."
EXAMPLE: A vampire out wandering around may have no Grit, whereas when protecting their coffin, they could have a Grit of 2 (very committed).
Remember that Grit is not a matter of how many Consequences are available, but rather how many Consequences they will accept before offering a Concession.
Offer a Concession
In the event that the Undead chooses not to accept a Consequence it can offer a Concession to the cleric. If an undead CANNOT accept a Consequence, there's no opportunity to offer a Concession and you go right to "Taken Out".

The nature of the concession offered by the undead depends somewhat upon the alignment of the cleric:

Undead Concession Offered to a Good-aligned Cleric:
Undead who offer a Concession to a cleric of Good alignment will compel the creature to move directly away from the cleric and stay as far away as possible for the rest of the scene, moving at full speed for the duration if at all possible. After the scene, the turned undead will be able to come back again, but they are subject to further turning by the cleric. Any Consequences on the undead in later scenes could be tagged for an improved Turning.
Undead Concession Offered to an Evil-aligned Cleric:
Undead who offer a Concession to a cleric of Evil alignment will cause the creatures to take a neutral attitude to the party and the cleric for the rest of the scene.
Neutral undead will ignore the cleric and his or her party. This Concession is only valid as long as the Undead are not the subject of a hostile act by the party or the cleric. Examples of hostile acts are:
  • Entry into an area which the undead were created to guard.
  • Attempts to remove guarded items or treasure which the undead were created to guard.
  • Preventing the undead from carrying out commands from which they were created to guard.
  • Outright attacks (physical or magical).

Taken Out Result from Turning
In the event that a Concession is not offered or is refused by a cleric, the Turning continues. Note that a refusal of a Concession should be taken into further consideration later on (see below). In the event that a Consequence CANNOT be absorbed by the undead, it is considered "Taken Out". While the exact circumstances of the Taken Out result are up to the cleric, they should obey the following guidelines:

Taken Out by a Good-aligned Cleric:
Undead who are Taken Out by clerics of Good alignment, are then considered destroyed.

Taken Out by an Evil-aligned Cleric:
Undead who are Taken Out by clerics of Evil alignment, are then at the mercy of the cleric's discretion--they can be destroyed or are automatically considered Minions for a period of time that depends on "how bad" they were taken out.
  • The rest of the Scene (overflow of 0-1)
  • The rest of the Day (overflow of 2)
  • The rest of the Adventure (overflow of 3)
Once that period of time passes, the undead will either need to be re-controlled, destroyed, or otherwise turned. The GM should keep in mind that undead that have a degree of free will likely keep in mind their treatment for purposes of assigning any grit.

Turning-related Attack Modifiers

"Powerless before my Faith!"
In the event that a Cleric's Resolve / Faith skill (without any modifiers) is greater than the target's Social stress track (without regard to any existing damage) by 3 or better, no die roll is needed--they are automatically Turned, and the cleric receives a Concession.

If a Cleric's Resolve / Faith skill (without any modifiers) is greater than the target's Social stress track (without regard to any existing damage) by 5 or better, no die roll is needed--they are automatically Taken Out (as described above).

Adding a Verbal Component
In addition to the Material and Somatic components, a cleric can choose to add a Verbal component. If the cleric chooses to (and is capable of) speaking holy names, etc in a strong projecting voice, allow the cleric a +1 modifier.

Diametrically Opposed Alignment
It is possible to tag a target's diametrically opposed alignment (Law vs Chaos and Good vs Evil) to gain a +2 on the turning. This tag cannot be used for defensive purposes.

A Cleric with Skill of Intimidation
Having the skill of Intimidation might qualify as a bonus (complementary skill) on the Turning, but it cannot be substituted in place of Resolve / Faith.

Undead Tagging an Environment Aspect
If there is some aspect of Evil within the location or the Scene, the undead will be able to utilize a free tag for their opposed skill. However an evil cleric within the same area could tag that Aspect and earn the +2 for purposes of Control, instead of the Undead using it to resist. Similarly, an aspect of Good upon the environment or scene could be tagged by a Good cleric for use in Turning.

Repeated Turning
When dealing with multiple undead in a group, as long as a clerical turning is successful against ANY of those undead, the cleric may attempt to Turn any remaining undead as his next action until such time as the group is entirely turned, or he fails to turn any.

Note that undead minions under an undead leader, may use their leader's resistance to Intimidation.

Cleric Incapacitation
Any clerical compulsion (Turned or Controlled via "Taken Out" result) will be nullified in the event that the cleric who did the turning is killed or otherwise rendered unconscious (except for normal sleep). If this occurs the GM will consider the following factors when determining the actions of the freed undead:

  • Are the undead mindless or do they have a certain amount of free will?
  • What was their treatment at the hands of the cleric?
  • How much risk were the undead subjected to?
  • Possible reactions could range from mindless undead simply doing nothing, losing all animation and direction to vengeful undead attacking an incapacitated cleric and/or his party.

"Duelling Clerics"
Any clerical Turning or Taken Out result could be countered by another cleric (evil or good). However as stated previously, controlled undead would then be using their leader's Resolve / Faith as their opposed skill instead of their own.
EXAMPLE: A good cleric turned a group of undead and they began to flee. An evil cleric gaining control of those turned undead would then have countered the good cleric's prior turning and could use them as minions within that same scene.

EXAMPLE: An evil cleric with undead minions are being Turned by a good cleric. The undead will resist the turning based upon their leader's (the evil cleric) resistance to the good cleric's Intimidation.

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