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I've seen a lot of chatter about gaining alternate turning pools as a way of powering Divine Metamagic, but I have been unable to find any indication what turning pools are available and how to gain them. What additional types of turning are available to clerics, and how can these be obtained?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You're talking about Nightsticks, right? \$\endgroup\$ – J. Mini May 8 at 17:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ No I'm talking about ways to be able to turn creature types other than undead, not increase the number of turns. \$\endgroup\$ – Connor Clarke May 8 at 18:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Check out domains, e.g. the plant domain. \$\endgroup\$ – J. Mini May 9 at 17:01
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The feat Divine Metamagic requires the creature to, "[a]s a free action,… take the energy from turning or rebuking undead and use it to apply a metamagic feat [that's picked when the Divine Metamagic feat is taken] to divine spells that you know. You must spend one turn or rebuke attempt, plus an additional attempt for each level increase in the metamagic feat you’re using" (Complete Divine 80).

Thus, strictly, unless otherwise specified, the only pools that count for using the feat Divine Metamagic are those that the creature can use to rebuke undead or turn undead.

While being a cleric of a good (or, at least, goodish) deity is an easy way to get a pool of turn attempts, a creature who is considering the Divine Metamagic feat as a way of life will probably not want turn undead from his cleric levels but a pool that counts as either rebuking or turning yet isn't rebuking or turning. The least controversial of these is likely the alternative class feature rebuke dragons that says that an "attempt to rebuke dragons counts as an attempt to turn or rebuke undead for the purpose of… activating divine feats" (Dragon Magic 14). The class feature conveniently replaces the cleric's normal rebuke turn undead ability. (Other alternatives—like the variant cleric class lightbringer cleric alternative class feature destroy undead (Ravenloft 206–7)—are typically much less clear as to whether they count.)

Then the character—as soon as possible—takes a prestige class that grants normal turn undead attempts—like the prestige class sacred exorcist (Complete Divine 56).

Then the character takes the prestige class death delver (Heroes of Horror 93) and loses a precious, precious caster level in exchange for largely the only class that can grant a good character at level 1 a pool of rebuke undead attempts. (Other options besides these might be available: see answers to this question.)

So by level 9 or thereabouts a creature can be a cleric 7/deathdelver 1/sacred exorcist 1 and have three turning pools suitable for use with his Divine Metamagic feat when the game probably expected a creature to have but one. That said, it should be clear that—especially in a high-level campaign where the loss of a lone caster level hurts less keenly—this is some pretty serious optimization, and a player considering this route for his PC should clear the concept first with the DM.

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Please note that this is a fairly high-optimization trick that may well not fly at many, even most, tables. Nothing in the rules actively says you can use other types of turning for divine feats; they just use phrasing like “spend one turn or rebuke attempt,” without specifying what sort is being discussed. Worse, for Divine Metamagic in particular, the previous sentence says, “you can take the energy from turning or rebuking undead and use it to apply a metamagic feat to divine spells that you know,” which is a fairly descriptive statement that you could maybe try to ignore under some theoretical-optimization most-favorable-possible-interpretation as “not RAW” as it isn’t “rules text.” You will have a very, very difficult time convincing a DM to allow that in an actual game (and if you ever find such a DM, you might both consider another game system altogether, as you are twisting 3.5e well past what I would consider its breaking point and another system might support the power level you’re interested in better than 3.5e does).

Anyway, all that said, answering the question itself (since there are other divine feats that lack Divine Metamagic’s explicit reference to turning the undead and also lack Divine Metamagic’s balance problems):

Cleric Domains

Most of the options are from various domains: even just in core, the elemental domains (Air, Earth, Fire, Water, plus Plant) give the ability to turn and/or rebuke elemental creatures (and plant creatures). Since a typical cleric gets two domains, you could spend both on this. At higher levels, this may be more worthwhile to a Divine Metamagic cleric than the traditional Planning and Undeath Domains (for Extend Spell and Extra Turning, respectively). In addition to the core elemental domains, the Blightbringer,UE Cold,SC Moon,SC Ooze,FC1 Scalykind,SC Slime,SC Spider,SC Thirst,Sand and WarforgedFoE domains also offer alternative types of turning/rebuking.

Cleric

You get two, obviously. These must be domains offered by your deity or ideal—you can arguably justify basically anything as an ideal, but the faith you choose can limit your prestige class options as well as later options for bonus domains.

Bonus domains of your faith with full spellcasting

In addition to the two domains you can get by being a cleric, you can also get another domain by taking a level of the contemplative prestige class,CDiv which is dead-easy to enter (albeit not until 11th level). You could get a second bonus domain from contemplative 6th, and it is a full-casting class so that’s not terrible.

The divine disciple also gets a bonus domain at 4th,PGtF and is full-casting. Clerics of ideals cannot enter the class, though, which greatly limits how many of these domains you might have access to.

Bonus domains of your faith without (full) spellcasting

The divine crusader gets a single domain,CDiv but has its own spellcasting so it cannot help your cleric spellcasting.

The 3.0e version of the sacred fist is the same story,DotF plus the 3.5e version doesn’t get a bonus domain.CDiv

Similarly, the divine agent gets a bonus domain at 1st,MotP, but does not get spellcasting that level (even levels only).

Likewise the fleet runner of Ehlonna,DComp though that requires worshiping Ehlonna whose only relevant domain is Plant anyway.

Bonus named domains (regardless of faith)

The arachnomancer prestige class gets the Spider Domain at 1st,Drow and is pretty easy to get into for an arcanist. Some Southern Magician shenanigans could conceivably get a cleric in,RoF though you would still need a way to get spider climb, summon swarm, or web onto the cleric spell list if you did that. Remarkably, arachnomancer will progress divine spellcasting at 1st, even though it requires arcane spellcasting. Go figure.

The Talontar blightlord prestige class gives the Blightbringer Domain at 1st,UE and grants spellcasting, but since it requires worshiping Talona the fact that the Blightbringer Domain feature is faith-agnostic is probably irrelevant. There are rules for changing your faith, and technically there’s no such thing as a “fallen Talontar blightlord,” as prestige class requirements only matter for taking the 1st level, but I sincerely doubt any DM will buy that in this case. Then again, if they’re letting you power Divine Metamagic with the Blightbringer Domain granted ability, maybe they will.

The wavekeeper prestige class grants one of several domains at 1st,Storm and the Water Domain is one of them. It only progresses spellcasting after 1st, however.

Sovereign Speaker

The ultimate source of domains, though, is the sovereign speaker prestige class,FoE gets an incredible 9 bonus domains over as many levels, though it loses two levels’ worth of spellcasting progression, and there are limitations on which you can select. But you could get Earth, Fire, Plant, and Warforged domains in four levels and “only” lose one level of spellcasting. The real problem here is that the sovereign speaker prestige class requires that you worship the Sovereign Host, which means domains from your faith (à la cleric, contemplative, or divine agent) can’t get any of the other domains we’re looking for at the same time without adapting the class or the DM relaxing the prerequisites.

Non-domain options

A few classes offer turning or rebuking particular creatures without actually getting a domain:

The holt warden prestige class also gets to rebuke plant creatures at 2nd.CChamp This says “See [...] the Plant Domain granted power,” but doesn’t specify how it stacks or doesn’t stack with the actual Plant Domain. Which it really should, since a cleric with the Plant Domain is a natural fit for the class (it requires “the three lowest-level spells off the Plant domain”). Anyway, full-casting class.

The windwright captain prestige class gets the ability to rebuke elementals at 3rd,Exp but misses spellcasting at 2nd. Again, unclear how this would stack or not with elemental domains. Also, incredibly cool class.

The drow judicator gets the ability to rebuke/command spiders at 2nd, but neither level progresses spellcasting so that’s painful (it only progresses spellcasting on every third level).

Finally, the binder class can make a pact with Tenebrous, the Shadow That Was.ToM Tenebrous is a 4th-level vestige, so a binder must be 7th level (or 5th level with the Improved Binding feat) in order to access it. Severe shenanigans might allow you to use anima mage to get there without losing spellcasting. Anyway, the reason I mention Tenebrous is that it allows you to rebuke undead once every five rounds. That could make this an option that gives one attempt per spell you want to cast with Divine Metamagic. And on top of that, anima mage is an absurdly good class anyway. (The Tenebrous apostate prestige class is the divine/pact “theurge” class, but unlike anima mage, it’s awful, and in any event requires that you already be able to bind Tenebrous.)


\begin{align} ^\textit{CChamp} &\quad \textit{Complete Champion} \\ ^\textit{CDiv} &\quad \textit{Complete Divine} \\ ^\textit{Drow} &\quad \textit{Drow of the Underdark} \\ ^\textit{DComp} &\quad \textit{Dragon Compendium} \\ ^\textit{DotF} &\quad \textit{Defenders of the Faith} \\ ^\textit{Exp} &\quad \textit{Explorer's Handbook} \\ ^\textit{FC1} &\quad \textit{Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss} \\ ^\textit{FoE} &\quad \textit{Faiths of Eberron} \\ ^\textit{MotP} &\quad \textit{Manual of the Planes} \\ ^\textit{RoF} &\quad \textit{Races of Faer$\hat u$n} \\ ^\textit{Sand} &\quad \textit{Sandstorm} \\ ^\textit{SC} &\quad \textit{Spell Compendium} \\ ^\textit{ToM} &\quad \textit{Tome of Magic} \\ ^\textit{UE} &\quad \textit{Unapproachable East} \\ \end{align}

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