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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default 3.5 Planar Turning/Rebuking optimization [Epic]



    Given that planar turning is epic play, there doesn't seem to be much work done in optimizing it. What possibilities are there to make your planar turning, and especially rebuking, irresistible?

    I can imagine bringing in an outsider via one of the planar binding spells. The outsider says its ready to negotiate, and you are like "nah, gonna rebuke you and make you my slave instead".
    Last edited by redking; 2020-01-14 at 12:49 AM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Planar Turning/Rebuking optimization [Epic]

    I mean there's probably not any advice on optimizing specifically this thing, but I have no doubt there's a half-dozen handbooks/guides out there something like "how to get the most of using turn undead the way it was supposed to be used". You can apply 99% of stuff you find there to this. I'm sure there's mechanics scattered throughout this edition that will boost turning in general in all kinds of ways. Increasing your effective cleric level, boosting your charisma, letting you roll more turning dice, increasing total turning attempts per day, increasing the maximum HD affected...there's probably lots of stuff like that out there. What is specifically relevant to this feat, however, is that the target's SR factors in to how difficult they are to turn/destroy/rebuke/command, and that's something we can take advantage of that's not gonna be in all those guides. You're looking for ways to lower your target's effective HD!

    Getting that SR as low as possible is ideal - getting it into negatives, if you can. Most optimization focused around this is based on improving your own check to beat SR, rather than lowering the SR directly, but it's the latter we need to do here. The key here will be the spell "Lower Spell Resistance" from Draconomicon - a Clr 4 spell that's SR: No, Fort negates, they take a penalty on the save equal to your Caster Level, and if they fail the save their SR is lowered by your CL to a minimum of 0. Pull some caster level shenanigans (Permanent Emanation: Greater Consumptive Field, maybe?) and basically anything is going to have crap SR for 1 min/lvl. Next, we're gonna pull a sneaky that none of the guides will mention because it wouldn't apply to undead: stack up negative levels on those outsiders. Not only are they not immune as a rule the way undead are, and not only will each negative level make their HD count as one less for purposes dependent on how many HD they have (like turning results), but a lot of outsiders have SR that is based on their HD, so every negative level might well be double-penalizing their effective HD for turning purposes.

    Additionally, if this is a 3.P epic game (which...isn't uncommon here ITP), you can have somebody make a bunch of super-low-damage attacks against the outsider with a Nullifying Weapon (which reduces their SR by 1 per hit, or by [crit mult] per crit for 1 minute...self-stacking).
    Last edited by AvatarVecna; 2020-01-14 at 03:38 AM.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Planar Turning/Rebuking optimization [Epic]

    If you're only interested in commanding or destroying there's little point in boosting turning damage and turning check, the only thing that matters is your effective level for turning.
    Anything you could command (HD = half your effective turning level) will work even if you roll a 1. Anything above that can't be commanded. There's no need to make it irresistible, it already is for everything it'll work on.

    Because of the way the feat is worded everything that increases effective turning/rebuking level against undead should work fine.
    So Sacred (BoED) armor/shield/dastana/chahair-ana for +8 (the bonus is untyped so it should stack),
    +3 Scepter of the Netherworld (LM)
    +4 Phylactery of Undead Turning (DMG)
    +4 Rod of Authority (DotF)
    +2-4, Talisman of Undead Mastery (MIC)
    +1 Ephod of Authority (MIC)
    +4 Icon of Ravenloft (ECR)
    +1 Improved Turning feat (DMG)
    +2 Divine Energy Focus feat (GW)
    +2 See through the Veil ability of the Paragnostic Apostle (CC)

    There's also some items which only improve turning (but not rebuking) level like the Flametouched Iron Holy Symbol (+1, ECS) and the Moonfriend ring (+3, ECR), but you're probably better off buying items that boost both first.
    Unfortunately items that lower turn resistance (like the Rod of Defiance or Lyre of the Restful Soul) won't work on outsiders, which takes some of the biggest command boosters out of the game.

    Still, that's up to +33 to your effective turning level, which should allow you to command something useful, especially if you follow AvatarVecna's advice and lower their SR first.
    Unlike undead a lot of outsiders have fairly modest HD for their CR and abilities which makes commanding/destroying them easier once you've done that.

    Also after going through all the effort of boosting your turning level you may as well buy a set of Khyber Shard Holy Symbols (FoE, 7000gp) which grants the power of the Air, Earth, Fire or Water domain. Getting two permanent minions with half your turning level in HD for 7k is a steal no matter how you look at it, and there's plenty of useful creatures with the relevant subtypes (like dragons).

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    Default Re: 3.5 Planar Turning/Rebuking optimization [Epic]

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyphoenixx View Post
    If you're only interested in commanding or destroying there's little point in boosting turning damage and turning check, the only thing that matters is your effective level for turning. Anything you could command (HD = half your effective turning level) will work even if you roll a 1. Anything above that can't be commanded. There's no need to make it irresistible, it already is for everything it'll work on.
    This is true by default, but there's some methods out there that change a "turned" result to a "destroyed" result and we can use that to get a lot more Commanding than we could normally. the sun domain's "Greater Turning" ability does this (albeit 1/day), while the feat "Disciple Of The Sun" lets you spend an extra turn attempt to get the same effect. Mind you, either of these routes means you're probably an epic good-aligned cleric who's rebuking Good Outsiders into obeying, and I feel like there's probably an easier path towards commanding such creatures for you. It's evil that needs encouragement to work together. Those are the two I found in a quick search - there's probably a few more out there that are more friendly towards Evil characters.

    From there, anything improving the basic turning stuff will improve the controlling options.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Planar Turning/Rebuking optimization [Epic]

    Would Ignore Turn Resistance found here on wizards.com also apply to Planar Turning?

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    Default Re: 3.5 Planar Turning/Rebuking optimization [Epic]

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    This is true by default, but there's some methods out there that change a "turned" result to a "destroyed" result and we can use that to get a lot more Commanding than we could normally. the sun domain's "Greater Turning" ability does this (albeit 1/day), while the feat "Disciple Of The Sun" lets you spend an extra turn attempt to get the same effect. Mind you, either of these routes means you're probably an epic good-aligned cleric who's rebuking Good Outsiders into obeying, and I feel like there's probably an easier path towards commanding such creatures for you. It's evil that needs encouragement to work together. Those are the two I found in a quick search - there's probably a few more out there that are more friendly towards Evil characters.

    From there, anything improving the basic turning stuff will improve the controlling options.
    I'd rule that Disciple of the Sun and the Sun domain wouldn't work on rebuking because they only upgrade turning.
    You could use them to destroy evil outsiders (which is certainly useful enough) but not command more powerful non-evil ones.

    The second reason is that the game very pointedly doesn't offer similar options for rebuking/commanding, for obvious reasons.
    Destroying something of equal HD to yours (or even more) is one thing, getting it as a permanent servant is quite different.
    You can get around that by stacking turning level boosters of course, but there is no simple "command what would be rebuked" option in any offical 3.5 source afaik.

    Quote Originally Posted by redking View Post
    Would Ignore Turn Resistance found here on wizards.com also apply to Planar Turning?
    It should because of how it's worded and because it applies to the turn attempt itself. At least that's how i'd rule it.
    Given the prerequisites and how easily it's replaced by a relatively low level spell it's probably a waste to take it though.
    Last edited by sleepyphoenixx; 2020-01-14 at 05:58 AM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Planar Turning/Rebuking optimization [Epic]

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyphoenixx View Post
    You can get around that by stacking turning level boosters of course, but there is no simple "command what would be rebuked" option in any offical 3.5 source afaik.
    So I can optimize the heck out of rebuking, but I can't get around the fact that I can't control anything that has more than half effective HD than my real HD.

    So if I want to control an outsider, I've got options like energy drain to lower their real HD and ignore turn resistance feat to lower their effective HD. I wouldn't use the lower spell resistance spell because I don't want to have the Dungeon Master's Guide thrown at me.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Planar Turning/Rebuking optimization [Epic]

    Admiral's Bicorne (Stormwrack) adds a +5 untyped bonus to Charisma checks.

    Turning Check
    The first thing you do is roll a turning check to see how powerful an undead creature you can turn. This is a Charisma check (1d20 + your Charisma modifier).

    Saying that someone reading RAW differently than you is "home brewing or house ruling, but that's fine" doesn't make you right, it just makes you seem pompous.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Planar Turning/Rebuking optimization [Epic]

    Quote Originally Posted by redking View Post
    So I can optimize the heck out of rebuking, but I can't get around the fact that I can't control anything that has more than half effective HD than my real HD.

    So if I want to control an outsider, I've got options like energy drain to lower their real HD and ignore turn resistance feat to lower their effective HD. I wouldn't use the lower spell resistance spell because I don't want to have the Dungeon Master's Guide thrown at me.
    No, you can't control something that has more HD than half your effective turning level.
    Which can easily be in the 40-50s at level 20, so you shouldn't have any problems finding useful outsiders to command.

    Though i don't see how energy drain is somehow less cheesy than lower spell resistance.
    Last edited by sleepyphoenixx; 2020-01-15 at 03:22 AM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Planar Turning/Rebuking optimization [Epic]

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyphoenixx View Post
    No, you can't control something that has more HD than half your effective turning level.
    Which can easily be in the 40-50s at level 20, so you shouldn't have any problems finding useful outsiders to command.

    Though i don't see how energy drain is somehow less cheesy than lower spell resistance.
    Lowering somebody's effective HD for the purpose of rebuking them (with the express intent of no-save no-SR dominating them indefinitely) is kinda cheesy by default, but Negative Levels seem like a slightly less cheesy way of accomplishing that goal than Drain Spell Resistance, since there's a lot of potential defenses against the various ways of granting negative levels, and it's a lot harder to drain a whole bunch at once. CL 21 DSR lowers effective HD by 10 with no SR and essentially no save. Energy Drain is 9th lvl to DSR's 4th lvl, but will average 5 negative levels, so half as much HD reduction.

    Where the negative level approach gets potentially more problematic than DSR is that two DSR's probably don't stack from the same caster, but you can spam negative-level-giving effects and they'll self-stack by default (...I think?).
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    Default Re: 3.5 Planar Turning/Rebuking optimization [Epic]

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    Lowering somebody's effective HD for the purpose of rebuking them (with the express intent of no-save no-SR dominating them indefinitely) is kinda cheesy by default,
    Since there are items and feats that have just that as their sole purpose i wouldn't call it cheesy. It's an intended mechanic. Turn resistance even explicitly goes into negatives.
    It's no more cheesy than using Power Attack and Shock Trooper to do more damage with your fighter.

    And since not reducing an outsiders SR or effective HD before turning them makes you unable to control anything remotely relevant - seriously, an epic cleric with Planar Turning would have to be level 28 to command a CR 6 Babau - i wouldn't call it cheesy there either.

    There is of course the problem with any optimization in that taking it too far will break the game, but that's a problem with most builds simply from the wealth of options 3.5 offers.
    In this case that's easily addressed by reducing the availability of turning level boosters. That approach will let you fine tune just what the cleric can command, banning SR reduction will just make the feat useless.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Planar Turning/Rebuking optimization [Epic]

    Im gonna go ahead and bring up Bone Talisman from Earthmother's Weapons

    Spoiler: Bone Talisman
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    Bone Talisman
    Necromancy
    Level: Druid 2
    Components: V, S, DF
    Casting Time: 1 minute
    Range: Touch
    Target: Bone touched
    Duration: 10 minutes/level or until discharged
    Saving Throw: None (object)
    Spell Resistance: No (object)

    You channel divine power and life energy into a bone from an animal or humanoid, giving it limited power against undead. Once cast, it may be used for two purposes (decided at the time of casting).

    Bone of Turning: You or another druid may present the bone in the manner of a holy symbol and use it to turn undead. The effective turning level is equal to your caster level. All normal turning effects apply. For example, if your turning level is twice the Hit Dice of the turned undead, they are destroyed instead of turned. After one turn attempt, the bone talisman loses its power (but you can cast the spell on it again).

    Bone Weapon: The bone is treated as a weapon that deals +1d6 damage to undead creatures, similar to but weaker than an undead bane effect. The bone is treated as a simple weapon appropriate to its shape, such as dagger or dart (small and sharp), club (if large and blunt), or spear (if small and sharp and fastened to a haft) and deals normal damage for its type. The spell does not grant proficiency in the weapon. The spell is not discharged when the weapon hits and this aspect of the spell lasts until the full duration (10 minutes/level) expires.

    The spell has no effect if you cast it on a bone taken from an undead creature. The bone must be at least 8 inches long and may be straight or curved; normally bones from the arm, leg, or ribs are used. You may carve, drill, or otherwise shape the bone before or after the spell is cast; the spell functions as long as the bone remains bone (not turned to wood or metal, for example).


    of note is Bone of Turning which allows you to turn undead with effective turning level = CL. so now you can boost your CL sky high and then stack the turning boosts on top. Which effectively makes this a no save, no sr, no mind-affecting tag dominate for outsiders. Yea its a bit cheesy but hey epic levels what you gonna do?

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