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In Moldvay/Marsh/Cook's B/X D&D:

  1. How many times can a cleric attempt to turn undead per encounter?

  2. When can the cleric do it? Instead of a melee/spell/missile attack or before the encounter begins? If before the encounter, before or after initiative is rolled?

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Posting as a comment because I don't have the book at hand and have to recite from memory of reading the section a day before: as far as I remember, you could do it as many times as you like, instead of a normal action in that round. Be advised that my memory is terrible, I will look it up tonight. – nvoigt Jun 18 '14 at 14:23
up vote 7 down vote accepted

A cleric can turn undead instead of attacking normally. The cleric can then roll on the table if he can turn any undead. If the roll succeeds, 2d6 hit dice of undead will flee. Turning undead can be done as many times per encounter and per day as you like, there is no limit.

Initiative in D&D was handled by rolling a d6 for the group as a whole, so there is no special initiative rule for turning undead. You act when you act, no matter what you do.

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