D&D 5E Turn Undead as a Spell?

DND_Reborn

Legend
So, pretty simple concept: turning undead as a spell. Here's the write-up (updated after feedback from posts below):

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This is limited to 5th level and for a version of the game where 5th level spells are the maximum. To keep things clear, below is the spell progress for casters:

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So, my only real concern about this is what school it should be? I have abjuration for now, but could see other options. Also, I think I should probably have the duration be 1 minute, but with the idea the undead damaged release them, I'm not sure.

Any one have any thoughts??
 
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jdrakeh

Front Range Warlock
I present this as an option in my Front Range Warlock compendium of house rules for OD&D (1974) under the "magic-users cast all the spells" alternate magic system (clerics do not exist using this option, so their spells and abilities are folded into the magic-user class). So, I guess, I think it's a fine option. I'm unsure of what school of magic I'd associate it with in 5e.
 


Stalker0

Legend
So the closest spell equivalent to this would be Command, at least for the Turn part. Effectively turn is a mass command (flee) that only affects undead and has a 30 foot range instead of 60 feet. And that is an enchantment spell.

As just that piece, that seems like a reasonable spell. However, I think the destroy portion is a bit out of whack. I can start popping CR 3 undead in your version at 6th level, I would need to be 14th to do the same thing in base. Now I think the destroy table is a bit steep in the base cleric but this I think is a bit crazy, especially since in 5e a group of low CR undead are still meant to be a credible threat for a good long while, and this spell just obliterates them with a 2nd level spell.

My advice would be to split the turn and destroy undead abilities into separate spells. Destroy undead would be a higher level spell or might work on less undead.
 


Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
However, I think the destroy portion is a bit out of whack. I can start popping CR 3 undead in your version at 6th level,
Just to be precise: but in its version of the game, spellcasters get access to 4th level slots (to pop CR undeads) at 15th level, so that even things out a little.

As for the School, I prefer if anything related to undead is Necromancy, since it's a little thin as a school for the moment.

I'd make a similar spell for higher level slots that works as a ''Hypnotic Patterns'' for undead, and when their CR is low enough, you instead charm and command them.

And maybe a buffed Power Word Kill working only on undeads?
 


DND_Reborn

Legend
However, I think the destroy portion is a bit out of whack. I can start popping CR 3 undead in your version at 6th level, I would need to be 14th to do the same thing in base. Now I think the destroy table is a bit steep in the base cleric but this I think is a bit crazy, especially since in 5e a group of low CR undead are still meant to be a credible threat for a good long while, and this spell just obliterates them with a 2nd level spell.
I think you are misreading the table at this point. You cannot destroy undead of CR 3 until 10th level, not 6th. Yes, 10th is faster than 14th, but IMO the RAW destroy progression is slower than I would like so I don't see the faster progression as bad at all.

As for reducing the number of targets, it is only on a failed save, so even lower CR undead will have some "survivors" of the spell.

As for the School, I prefer if anything related to undead is Necromancy, since it's a little thin as a school for the moment.
Good point. Others have suggested Necromancy as well, I'll go with that I think.

My first gut feeling is that this is a little OP for a L1 spell. But if the spell consumes the holy water that is balanced pretty quickly.
That is a great option. I'll update the spell!
 
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DND_Reborn

Legend
In reviewing Undead of different CRs, I agree the lower level capabilities are too strong really.

For example, a ghoul is CR 1, which being able to destroy multiple ghouls with a single 2nd level spell is probably too much.

Maybe if you use the spell to destroy, it only affects a single target and any others are turned?

I don't know, I'll have to give it more thought.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Heh, I love full-casters. But in a "low magic" setting, the casters work well if half-casters. Paladin, Trickster, Eldritch Knight, Ranger, Psi Warrior, even Monk, etcetera might be the only casters in a low magic world.

In any case, I prefer the Turn Undead ability to be a spell rather than a class feature. For various reasons.

Not all sacred traditions of Clerics should have competence with regard to the undead creature type. For example, I see little reason why a Tempest Cleric would know how to turn undead.

Some wizards (Necromancers) actually do have competence with regard to undead.

Making Turn a spell, works better for various reasons.
 

aco175

Legend
I'm likely missing something with the rest of the campaign. I'm initially against the idea of making it a spell. I like the idea of a limited casting option, but taking class features for spells cheapens that class. Tasha's already has options to use Chanel Divinity to gain spells back.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
I'm likely missing something with the rest of the campaign. I'm initially against the idea of making it a spell. I like the idea of a limited casting option, but taking class features for spells cheapens that class. Tasha's already has options to use Chanel Divinity to gain spells back.
The "class" is gone, which is what you're missing (understandable since I never said anything about it).

I've reducing 5E to three classes, based primarily on the sidekick classes, so the Expert, Magus, and Warrior.

Magus incorporates Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard features into a general class. As such, certain features as Turn Undead, will be regulated to spells in theory, but we'll see how it goes.
 

dave2008

Legend
The "class" is gone, which is what you're missing (understandable since I never said anything about it).

I've reducing 5E to three classes, based primarily on the sidekick classes, so the Expert, Magus, and Warrior.

Magus incorporates Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard features into a general class. As such, certain features as Turn Undead, will be regulated to spells in theory, but we'll see how it goes.
I've thought about going to 3 classes, but a differet group:

Divine (all celestial magical ability classes - not spell based)
Magic-User (all arcane magic classes - spell based)
Mundane (would combine your expert and Warrior
 
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