This article was written by the god
, and posted on Jan 27, 2009.
It was last updated by Shadowfax
on September 19, 2011.
The undead have long posed problems and concerns for adventurers. The presence
of undead creatures is often a harbinger of greater problems and dark powers
soon to be manifest. However, there are effective ways to combat
the undead and properly free or lay the disembodied to rest. These abilities
lie in the realm of clerics and priests, who are often granted the power
from supernatural entities.
Finding and Avoiding the Undead
One effective way of dealing with the undead is simply to avoid them and deal
instead with the real problem: the source of the undead. Unfortunately, most
of the time it's necessary to wade through armies of the undead regardless.
Undead make excellent if stupid guardians, and are often summoned for that purpose.
Helping in both of these scenarios is the first of the undead related powers,
the 'detect undead
Learnable by low to mid level clerics, this spell
allows the caster to sense and locate undead, even from a distance.
Immediately after casting the spell is at its strongest. After a few minutes,
the spell will begin to wear off, and the distance that undead can be sensed
will decrease. Eventually the spell will fade completely, and even undead
that are attacking you can no longer be sensed, though at such close range it
Like many other spells, 'detect undead
' can be recast to refresh its potency.
In any area where undead are known to roam, 'detect undead
' can provide
invaluable information on the location of nearby threats.
When Undead Find You...
The phrase 'turn undead
' originates in the phrases 'turn the undead to dust',
'return the souls of the undead to the underworld', and 'turn away the undead'.
In cases where you simply must face down the undead, the
can be invaluable. It can be typically be learned by mid- to high-level
clerics, and increases significantly in power with the level of the user.
The uses are many, and there are several fundamentally different ways that
the skill can be used:
- Concentrate and immediately turn a single target
The instantaneous invocation triggered by turning a single target has the
largest effect on undead creatures. All of the concentration of the cleric is
focused on a single target; this is much more effective than attempting to
hold back an entire group of undead, dividing attention between them.
Dependent on the level of the undead being turned, the skill can have many
different effects. Possible effects on the undead target can be destruction,
severe damage, panic, fear, physical repulsion, minor annoyance, and the more
powerful undead will be able to ignore the effects of the skill completely.
- To immediately turn all nearby undead
To turn entire groups of undead, the skill can be invoked using the
command. This is less powerful than turning a single target, but it can often
buy a besieged group time to gather its wits or retreat. Against weaker undead,
this is also an effective way to remove their threat.
Note that the skill requires substantial concentration to use in this fashion. It
can quickly drain even powerful clerics if used often.
- As a time duration protective spell
The long term effect is a lower level aura of protection surrounding the caster
and his/her group members. This aura will hinder undead which attempt to
attack, dependent on the level of the undead and the level of the user. This
part of the skill requires a continuous effort on the part of the user, and
cannot be maintained indefinitely. It can be turned off by using the
'turn off' command, or by resting or sleeping.
- With other clerics to boost its effect
One of the lesser known uses is cumulative protection. If you're in a group
with other clerics, it's very effective for multiple clerics
to protect the group simultaneously. This can only be used for the time duration
protective aspect of the skill, but even low level clerics can help enormously.
For powerful clerics in a group, it may even be possible to simply walk through
an entire army of undead as though enclosed in a protective bubble. No cleric
can maintain the required level of concentration indefinitely, so doing this
should not be attempted by the inexperienced.
- In tandem with other spells to boost its effect
Sometimes the skill can be made more effective by using other spells and
skills to improve the conditions in which it is used.
One interesting example
of this is the use of 'detect undead' to track and precisely locate groups of
the undead followed by the use of the 'lightning flash' spell to bring them
to an ambush site or location. Once many undead have gathered in one spot,
a high level cleric may be able to destroy them all using a single area-effect
invocation of the 'turn undead' skill.
When a name is specified, that character is explicitly targeted for use by
With no arguments, the turn command has the following effects:
- If you are fighting an undead creature, only that creature is targeted.
- If an undead creature is fighting you, only that creature is targeted.
- If neither of the above, all undead in the room are targeted, like 'turn all'.
The following special commands allow you to pick other behaviour:
- 'turn on' tells your character to enable only the protective part of the skill.
- 'turn off' tells your character to stop using the skill.
- 'turn all' explicitly targets all undead in the room.
Note that the long term, protective part of the skill begins any time you use
the skill. Once the undead are destroyed, you may need to use the 'turn off
command to stop using the protective part of the skill.
Higher cleric cast level enchancing the warding feature of turn undead, but
it does not increase turn damage.
The amount of damage that turn undead does is strictly related to the
difference in cleric level between the turner and the undead. Higher level
undead will be more resistant, and a higher level cleric can turn much more
powerful undead than a low level cleric.
'Hold undead' is a powerful spell based off some of
principles of turning. When successfully cast on a undead target, it will cause
the victim to become immobilized and unable to move or fight for the duration of
the spell. However, the effect can be dispelled, and any aggressive act against an
effected undead will break the enchantment.
Also at the higher level cleric's disposal is the 'sacred touch'
spell. When cast, it imbues the target with holy energy that unleashes massive damage when
an undead opponent is struck.
'Sacred touch' requires a free hand to be used, and otherwise
functions similarly to other charge spells such as 'shocking grasp'
and 'sickening touch'.
BACK - Alter Aeon Article Index