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    Canonfire :: View topic - Clerical ability to turn Greater and Lesser powers
    Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- AD&D 2nd Edition
    Clerical ability to turn Greater and Lesser powers
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 11, 2009
    Posts: 227
    From: Montgomery, Alabama

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    Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:16 pm  
    Clerical ability to turn Greater and Lesser powers

    I was thinking about a Cleric's ability to turn undead today and I remembered that high level Clerics even have a chance to turn Greater and Lesser powers, which is extraordinary when you think about it. In the Player's Handbook this ability is listed under Special on the Turning Undead table and it does require a high roll, but not an impossible one, particularly for Clerics over 14th level. While it does say certain Greater or Lesser powers can be turned, it doesn't give anymore specifics than that. Has anyone dealt with this in the course of a game or put any serious thought to what powers could be affected?
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 12, 2014
    Posts: 130
    From: Maryland, USA

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    Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:44 am  

    I believe that was intended to mean planar fiends, not actual deities (although I can't locate where it is stated). I think that text was a hold over from 1e, and they failed to update it. If you choose to allow the turning of actual deities, it should only work on avatars and other manifestations, and never on their home plane. It would use the Special category.

    Of note, the 1999 release Guide to Hell has a brand new chart for turning Baatezu, and the book recommends adapting it for Tanar'ri and Yugoloths as well.

    Jeff
    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
    Posts: 2440
    From: SW WA state (Highvale)

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    Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:51 am  

    Agree with AuldDragon on this. I don't think a mortal has any chance to Turn/Command an actual deity. The Special category you mentioned doesn't apply to Powers in this case, but rather unusual undead (and perhaps fiends) that don't fall into previous categories.

    -Lanthorn
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 11, 2009
    Posts: 227
    From: Montgomery, Alabama

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    Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:17 pm  

    I have a copy of Guide to Hell, but I haven't opened it up in a while. I'll check it out and take a look at the turning tables for devils for sure. Thanks AuldDragon!

    As far as your and Lanthorn's comments that the special category on the turning table meant fiends/devils, I'm not sure I agree totally. I agree that devils/demons are indeed under that special category, but the text specifically says Greater and Lesser powers, which I take to mean some type of god. Whether that's a demigod, lesser god, intermediate god, or even a greater god it's definitely not clear. I agree that a mortal being able to turn a power of any kind is a huge feat, but again it takes a very high level cleric and as the past has shown high level characters can affect gods (Zagig being just one example). Maybe they did mean powerful demon princes or one of the Lords of the Nine, which are hard to classify because most are extremely powerful and on the verge of becoming gods, but not quite there yet (except for Demogorgon, Jubulex, and a few others). I can see valid arguments on both sides. Thanks!
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 12, 2014
    Posts: 130
    From: Maryland, USA

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    Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:01 pm  

    The original 1e text for the Special category reads "Evil creatures from lower planes such as minor demons, lesser devils, mezzodaemons, night hags, from 1-2 in number. (As a rule of thumb, any creature with armor class of -5 or better, 11 or more hit dice, or 66% or greater magic resistance will be unaffected.)"

    That rule of thumb would eliminate most deities in 1e, so there's little reason to suspect the authors actually intended priests to suddenly be able to turn deities/avatars, rather than trying to come up with a neutral term for demons and devils (tanar'ri and baatezu hadn't been created yet). In addition, "Powers" wasn't yet the default term for deities. That came with Planescape; Legends & Lore only uses the term gods.

    Jeff
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 11, 2009
    Posts: 227
    From: Montgomery, Alabama

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    Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:04 pm  

    Ok AuldDragon, when you put it that way you're beginning to sway me to your side of the fence ;) However, as you said 1st edition's version of the turning tables does say minor demons and lesser devils so that still doesn't correspond to Lesser and especially Greater powers as listed in the 2nd edition PH. I guess the only way to find out for sure is to hear from David Cook. I wonder if he's a member of Canonfire....
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
    Posts: 3776
    From: So. Cal

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    Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:37 pm  

    I would stick to the 1E guidelines, as they are at least well-delineated.
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