Acolyte of Necrosis (3.5e Prestige Class)
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Acolyte of Necrosis
|“||I walk the walk, I talk the talk, I live the life, but all of these things, are death||”|
Even among the worst, most vile creatures, there are those few who still manage to strike fear in their hearts. Among these, are the acolytes of necrosis. Feared by almost everyone, especially those who understand them, the acolytes have taken their ability to channel dark forces to new extremes, imbuing themselves with the same energy that drives undead.
Becoming a Acolyte of Necrosis
While all acolytes of necrosis are warlocks to some degree, this prestige class is often appealing to those with the ability to raise and command undead, therefore the most common classes tend to be cleric/warlocks or necromancer/warlocks.
|Skills:||Knowledge (Arcana) 9 ranks, Knowledge (The Planes) 9 ranks, Spellcraft 6 ranks|
|Warlock Invocations:||Must know The Dead Walk|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Feeding Blast (1 negative level), Negative Energy Adaption|
|2nd||+1||+0||+0||+3||Aura of Desecration 10 ft.|
|3rd||+2||+1||+1||+3||Feeding Blast (2 negative levels)|
|4th||+3||+1||+1||+4||Aura of Desecration 20 ft.|
|5th||+3||+1||+1||+4||Feeding Blast (3 negative levels), Awaken The Fallen|
The following are class abilities of an acolyte of necrosis.
Invoking: At each level, you gain new invocations known, increased damage with eldritch blast, and an increase in invoker level as if you had also gained a level in the warlock class. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained.
Negative Energy Adaption (Su): An acolyte of necrosis has become so close to death, even the power used for slaughter leaves him unscathed. An acolyte of necrosis is now immune to all harmful effects of negative energy, and is actually healed by it, just like undead. Unfortunately, they are now damaged by positive energy effects.
Feeding Blast (Sp): An acolyte of necrosis's eldritch blast ability has become a conduit for dark necromantic power, allowing him to drain his enemy's lifeforce. Beginning at 1st level, whenever an acolyte of necrosis successfully hits his opponent with his eldritch blast, his target must make a Fortitude save (DC 10+class level+acolyte's Cha modifier) or gain a negative level. For every successful level granted, the acolyte gains 5 temporary hit points for 24 hours. At 3rd level the acolytes eldritch blast bestows 2 negative levels on a successful hit, and 3 levels at 5th level. The DC for the Fortitude save to remove these negative levels is 10+1/2 the eldritch blast caster level+the Acolyte's Charisma modifier. For more information, see SRD:Energy Drain, Negative Levels, and Level Loss
Aura of Desecration (Su): At 2nd level, the acolyte of necrosis radiates a permanent Desecrate effect in a 10-foot radius. This increases to a 20-foot radius at 4th level. An acolyte of necrosis may suppress this ability at will.
Awaken The Fallen (Sp): At 5th level, whenever an acolyte of necrosis slays a living creature with his eldritch blast, the corpse rises the following round as a zombie or skeleton under the acolyte's control. This otherwise functions exactly as the spell Animate Dead, with a caster level equal to the acolyte's character level.
Playing an Acolyte of Necrosis
Combat: While not exactly frontline combatants, acolytes of necrosis tend to get greedy in combat, blasting anyone who looks like they could provide more power.
Advancement: Since your key ability is feeding blast, you would be better off taking feats that help you overcome spell resistance, deal more damage, or make your feeding blast even harder to resist. Since you gain a more powerful feeding blast every other level, you would be best off finishing this class and then going back to warlock to increase your eldritch blast damage.
Resources: Acolytes of necrosis are rare, to the point where even others of their kind are shocked to discover others who share similar powers with them. A rare few acolytes may actually join an evil church, since their abilities often compliment those of clerics.
Acolytes of Necrosis in the World
|“||You think you know darkness? You think you've seen despair? You know nothing.||”|
|—Malleus, human acolyte of necrosis|
Sometimes, when a woman gives birth in a graveyard, or so the legend goes, that child will become a vessel for undead energies. Called thanatomancers by many scholars of obscure lore, acolytes of necrosis almost alway keep their identities hidden when among stronger creatures, especially among warlocks or mages, who they often believe will try to steal their powers. While they aren't necessarily evil, the knowledge of a living acolyte of necrosis often sparks a secret inquisition by churches of good-aligned deities. Such inquisitions often have a high body count, with a low success rate, due to an acolyte's ability to create hordes of undead to serve them. Strangely, one of the most notable acolytes of necrosis was Erric Flattenskin, a high priest of Ehlonna who actually tried to fight for legal rights for people of his kind. He met his end at the end of a paladin's sword (and the paladin is now a slave of some archduke of Hell) while standing in a town square holding a sign that defamed the church of Pelor for its actions.
Acolyte of Necrosis Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (religion) can research Acolytes of Necrosis to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||Acolytes of necrosis are vile mages who feed on the life-force of living beings.|
|16||Acolytes of necrosis can raise the dead with their strange, innate magic, which is much more a curse than anything else.|
|21||While around the acolyte of necrosis, undead are empowered and harder to control.|
|26||Characters who get this result can know the names and locations of specific acolytes of necrosis and items related to them.|
Acolytes of Necrosis in the Game
An acolyte of necrosis can fill many roles besides the fearsome necromancer, not the least of which is the role of the tortured hero. As their gift is often granted without their choice, the struggle to take control of it, to use their abilities against only those who deserve it. Unfortunately, many succumb to the headrush of sucking the life out of the living, leading them down a dark and dangerous path of death and destruction.
Adaptation: While the fit into nearly any campaign as-is, perhaps by changing the alignment restrictions, you can create a society of benevolent acolytes of necrosis, intent on protecting the world from the powers of undeath. Another idea is to alter them to channel positive energy, granting them the ability to "overload" creatures with it and the ability to animate inanimate objects.