Q: If you could travel back in time to the early 1970s, would you still make it that clerics can turn undead? I ask because of these words you wrote on page 101 of the original version of Necropolis:
'Priests and Priestesses have no extraordinary ability to affect the Netherrealms creatures and beings, spirits, Unliving, Undead, and Unalive in this game system. There will be no mumbled prayer followed by a "Vaporize!" or "Shoo!" removing dangers such as these foes in this tomb! Naturally, clerical personas wield many instruments which are amongst the Susceptibilities of these sorts of creatures and beings, but there are no givens ("gimmes") here. Be sure to keep this in mind--and to gently remind players of this too, if they are veterans of game systems which make this sort of fell minions of Evil lightweights to be brushed aside with the wave of a sacred object.'
A: So many of the very most interesting "monsters" were subjected to that rude capacity of turning/destroying that I initially bestowed upon the cleric class that I did indeed come to rue the initial benison given to that class. My plan for a revised edition of AD&D was such as to limit that power somewhat while adjusting things for the capacity of undead to withstand "turning" so as to make things more challenging for PCs without emasculating the power of the cleric. Alas, that was not to be in AD&D terms, so I did things differently in the DJ system, as you note, and have continued that fine tradition now in the LA RPG :-D
Friday, July 22, 2016
Gygax Regretted Clerical Turning
From the old ENWorld Q&A thread with Gygax: