Quick: 1d20 + cleric level + CHR vs. 10 + HD. Succeed by 5 or more banishes or destroys. Nat 20 always succeeds, nat 1 results in a complication.
To turn away unholy creatures, such as demons or the walking dead, present an object of faith. Roll 1d20, add cleric level, and add charisma modifier. If the roll is equal to or greater than 10 + creature HD, the creature shrinks back or flees. If the roll exceeds the target number by 5 or more, the creature is destroyed or banished. Roll no more than once per encounter, and compare this single roll to all potentially affected monsters. Lower HD creatures are affected first. On a natural 1, your faith has failed you (or your god has deserted you), and your hubris only angers the monsters, giving them some form of bonus for the remainder of the encounter (perhaps +1 to everything, or a burning desire to slay and feast on the cleric specifically). Most of the time, you can assume that all undead in the encounter are potentially affected, but if there is a true horde, the max HD of affected creatures could be the modified turning roll (so a 6th level cleric with CHR of +2 that rolls a 10 affects up to 18 HD).
Advantages of this method:
- Easier to remember than reaction roll ranges or (shudder) the whole turning table.
- Less certainty makes every attempt interesting.
- Gives lower level clerics more potential and higher level clerics more risk (relatively).
- The turning roll always has 4 potential degrees of success.
- Require the use of a vial of holy water to add resource management restriction.
- Allow anyone to turn, but widen the “fumble” zone to 1 + monster HD for non clerics.
- Games without charisma modifiers would obviously just use + level.
- Works as influence undead, of course, for necromancers or anti-clerics as well.
Somewhat reminiscent of Delta’s house rules, though his approach is framed as target 20 (and he has done away with clerics). Also similar to the 3E/Pathfinder method, though player-facing rather than referee-facing. In PF, the undead make a will save with DC 10 + half cleric level + cleric CHR. By the book, the PF method probably requires much more dice rolling, as each creature should get its own save, though I suppose you could roll one save per creature type to save time. In general, for PC abilities, I tend to prefer player-facing rolls, as they are more engaging (this is one thing that 4E definitely got right).