Undead turning the living
I've had this in my Drafts folder for a year, so let's run with it a bit.
My twisted brain jumps to weird places, especially when I read something like this thread about the book "Salem's Lot" on the OD&D boards.
The Salem's Lot example made me imagine that the vampire had used the equivalent of the Turn Undead table on the priest! We can use that as a model for testing faith when it's reversed, so that the character or characters attempting to ward off the vampire can't use the typical methods (a holy symbol, a silver mirror, garlic, etc) if the vampire's reversed Turn Undead roll can beat their HD on the table.I absolutely love that idea, as a way of describing or giving a mechanic to how the undead fear effect works. It also hearkens back to a way that things might have worked for those games where players would play evil characters and villains opposite the players who played the heroes of Weal.
- The undead creature has to speak or some way of projecting their will. This leaves out the lesser undead. They are scary in their own right, but they don't have quite enough "oomph" to project their will. I would rule that it must be a Wraith or stronger that could possibly turn mortals.
- Turning the living works like "fear" in its effect. Just as the undead run away from the cleric displaying their holy symbol when they've been turned, so too do the mortals run away from the undead who's turned them aside. Their only option is to defend themselves if they are absolutely unable to run away, such as backed into a corner and there are the max undead there to block them. (Six Medium sized undead, using AD&D combat rules).
- If a cleric's roll to turn an undead is less than the undead's roll to turn the cleric, the cleric must have an additional effect in play to attempt to turn the stronger undead. These include: bless, chant (from a similarly aligned cleric), prayer, protection from evil, protection from undead. The DM may choose to allow comparable effects and/or situations to assist the cleric.
I'm not sure I would do this for all undead, but if there was a particularly nasty one I wanted to instill some fear and uncertainty into players' minds, this is a great approach that I might do.