13th Sage: Turn Turn Turn the Undead


In the demonologist playtest I ran a week ago, the non-demonologist character in the party cast turn undead against a mixed group of zombie mooks and ghostly mooks. We were halfway through the attack when we all realized, no, this couldn’t be right, something was wrong with our results.

I must have half-remembered an earlier moment with the cleric’s spellbook because I decided to look at the 13th Age FAQ here on the Pelgrane website. Half a minute later I was reading the turn undead FAQ entry from the cleric section to my players, who guffawed when I read the part that said the turn undead spell isn’t playing as intended against mooks, and that “Rob Heinsoo says . . . .” The FAQ goes on to explain how the spell can be revised to work properly against mooks.

Now that I’ve designed many more classes, I realize that turn undead could use a bit of a tune-up. The version of the spell below is what I’ll use in my game. I’m sorry that it’s wordier, but it now folds in the mook usage notes from the FAQ. It also has slightly improved adventure-tier and champion-tier feats. Not so much that the feats are must-haves, because spells that only target one or two types of enemy are either heavenly-useful or hellishly-irrelevant. But if you’re going to take feats that are attached to a questionably relevant daily spell, you should have a little more fun with it.  The improvements make it less likely that casting the spell at its proper targets will play out as an unlucky waste of time.


Turn Undead

Close-quarters spell


Target: 1d4 nearby undead creatures, each with 55 hp or fewer

Attack: Wisdom + Charisma + Level vs. MD

Hit: The target is dazed until end of your next turn.

Hit by 4: 1d10 x your level holy damage, and the target is dazed until end of your next turn.

Hit by 8+ vs. non-mook: Holy damage equal to half the target’s maximum hit points, and the target is dazed (save ends).

Hit by 8+ vs. mook: 4d10 x your level holy damage, and any mooks left in the mob after this attack is over are dazed (save ends).

Hit by 12+ or Natural 20 vs. non-mook: The target is destroyed.

Hit by 12+ or Natural 20 vs. mook: 4d20 x your level holy damage, and any mooks left in the mob after this attack is over are dazed (hard save ends).


3rd level spell       Target with 90 hp or fewer.

5th level spell       Target with 150 hp or fewer.

7th level spell       Target with 240 hp or fewer.

9th level spell       Target with 400 hp or fewer.

Adventurer Feat: If you wish, you can expend your daily use of turn undead to gain an additional use of heal in one battle. Cast against undead targets, the spell now targets 1d3 +1 undead instead of 1d4 undead.

Champion Feat: You can choose to target either demons or undead with the spell (but not both with the same casting). In addition, natural even attack rolls with the spell weaken targets instead of dazing them.

Epic Feat: Increase the targeting limit by 100 hp.

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