Dread Necrolord (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Dread Necrolord
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Dread Necrolord[edit]

Why are you so fond of life? Death...reveals greater rewards.
—Marcaus, Human Dread Necrolord
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The Dread Necrolord is a force of pure death. He is a powerful ally or a formidable foe. So much so, that to seek one out is to walk into the arms of death incarnate. The Dread Necrolord have spent years devoting themselves to the dark art of Necromancy. They emanate negative energy, an unsacred stink that push those uncomfortable with the dark arts away. Masters of undeath, they can rework a soul for their own power. They summon forth creatures of the dead to do their bidding at their will. More powerful Necrolords can even create undead, from the living.

It starts as a fascination for Necromancy. Slowly, death pulls the practitioner into his domain, and grants dark power to his chosen. After he tastes what power death can bestow, there is no chance of returning to the previous state of being.

Becoming a Dread Necrolord[edit]

Entry Requirements
Alignment: Any non-good.
Base Attack Bonus: +3.
Race: Any.
Skills: Knowledge (Religion) 8 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 8 ranks, or Concentration 8 ranks, Spellcraft 8 ranks.
Feats: Spell Focus (Necromancy), Greater Spell Focus (Necromancy), Combat Casting.
Spellcasting: Ability to cast Arcane or Divine Necromancy spells.
Special: Must have either the Death Domain or access to 3rd level Necromancy spells.

Table: The Dread Necrolord

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spellcasting
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +2 +2 +2 Dark Martial, Dread Might +2 +1 Spellcaster Level
2nd +1 +3 +3 +3 Siphon Life, Speed of Death +20 +1 Spellcaster Level
3rd +2 +3 +3 +3 Dark Strike, Spell-Like Ability +1 Spellcaster Level
4th +3 +4 +4 +4 Gift of the Dark Gods, Speed of Death +40 +1 Spellcaster Level
5th +3 +4 +4 +4 Dread Might +2, Empowered Casting +1 Spellcaster Level
6th +4 +5 +5 +5 Aura of Death, Speed of Death +60 +1 Spellcaster Level
7th +5 +5 +5 +5 Favor of the Undead, Spell-like Ability +1 Spellcaster Level
8th +6 +6 +6 +6 Living Alchemy, Speed of Death +80 +1 Spellcaster Level
9th +6 +6 +6 +6 Dread Might +2, Horrid Knowledge +1 Spellcaster Level
10th +7 +7 +7 +7 Secret of Darkness +1 Spellcaster Level

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level)
Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha).



Class Features[edit]

The Dread Necrolord is an agent of death from the start of their career. They walk in shadow and fear, a path only few can stomach. Through their diligence and devotion however, they are rewarded in ways most fierce and cunning. The power of death flows through their body, giving them power and grace. In a graveyard late at night, the practitioner of death summons Death with an offering of souls. He gathers three black gems containing souls of the recently deceased. A portal into the void opens, and he receives his gifts. All of the following are class features of the Dread Necrolord.

Spellcasting: At each level, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one divine or arcane spellcasting class before becoming a Dread Necrolord, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.


Turn/Rebuke Undead (Su): If the Dread Necrolord already has turning or rebuking, he may add his levels of Dread Necrolord to her level for the purposes of turning or rebuking.


Dark Martial: Upon completing the dark ritual linking oneself to Death, a window of featureless negative energy opens before the Dread Necrolord. A small but potent hole into the void. Through this window, Death reaches out and bestows armor and weapon. The armor appears in the form of souls, dark and deranged, they wrap themselves around the Necrolord, covering his chest, arms, hands, legs, and feet. After the armor is bound, the Necrolord reaches into the portal and takes his instrument of death. He recieves a weapon that changes to his needs.

The weapon is a Scythe, with a blade of sheer darkness, and handle molded after the spine of Death himself. The Scythe is counted has having a permanent Wraithstrike enchantment. As a free action, the Necrolord may change it into a Greatsword with Spell-Storing (no spell level restriction), or a Warhammer (2h - 1d10) with an Unholy Enchantment. In addition, the weapon in all forms recieves a +1 enchantment/4 character levels (max +5). All weapons have an emblam of a skull upon them, if not part of their design. The armor granted by the ritual is counted as natural armor granting +4 to AC with a 0% spell failure chance. There is no armor check penalty or maximum Dexterity restriction. The Dread Necrolord is considered proficient with all forms of the weapon and the armor.


Dread Might: Starting at 1st level, the Dread Necrolord is imbued with the power of death. Any negative Strength modifier is ignored. He gains a +2 bonus to Armor class, to hit, and to damage. He also gains +2 to one attribute of his choosing. This bonus increases by 2 at 5th level and 9th level. At each increase, the Necrolord may choose to increase the same attribute or a different one. All AC bonuses are considered Natural Armor.


Siphon Life: Upon reaching 2nd level, a Dread Necrolord has learned the power of Death's grip. On any succesful melee attack with the weapon of the Dread Necrolord, the weapon drains that energy from the target. Any damage against enemies is turned into healing for the Dread Necrolord on a point for point basis.


Speed of Death: At 2nd level, the Necrolord is further intwined with the lord of death. His base speed is increased by 20 feet. This bonus is increased by 20 feet at 4th, 6th, and 8th level.


Dark Strike (Su): The Dread Necrolord has become so proficient, the touch of his weapon is deadly. He is capable of performing a strike that deals 1d6 points of Con damage, in addition to normal weapon damage. The Necrolord may perform this strike up to an equal number of 4+ spellcaster stat mod per day. So if he was a wizard before taking the prestige class, it would be 4+Int modifier/day, etc.


Spell-Like Ability (Ex): The Dread Necrolord needs to make sure he can deliver death swiftly. He can select any Necromancy spell up to his current spell level, and use it as a Spell-Like Ability up to 3+Spellcaster Stat Mod/day. At 7th level, this increases to 6+Spellcaster Stat Mod/day, and a second Spell-Like Ability also at 6+Spellcaster Stat Mod/day. At any point, the Necrolord may change what spell is his Spell-Like Ability, but may not take the old spell for 1 week after removing it from Spell-Like Ability.


Gift of the Dark Gods: The Necrolord has grown so powerful in his ability to create undead, he can now create and summon twice the number of undead previously able. He now also does not need any remains to create and summon undead creatures. The undead he summons can also summon their own undead, but those undead cannot summon others. He is considered to have control over twice his HD of undead creatures.


Empowered Casting (Ex): The Dread Necrolord is so potent with Necromancy, that all his necromancy spells are cast at +1 spellcaster level for the sake of DC.


Aura of Death (Su): The Dread Necrolord has walked the path of death for such a time, that he permeates the energy of death itself. He is under a permanent Aura of Death. It functions similar to Unholy Aura, except instead of DR/Good, He receives a general DR/5 and SR/10. He still receives a +4 to AC and +4 bonus on saves.


Favor of the Undead: The Dread Necrolord has reached such a level of power, his undead receive his Dread Might bonus on AC and to their Strength score, regardless of what attribute the Necrolord increased.


Living Alchemy (Ex): The Dread Necrolord has learned the weave of life and death. As he has discovered, he has the ability to create any undead he has the ability to summon, including vampires, and liches from the living. In addition, he can revert any undead he's created in this manner, back into a mortal. If willing, the transmutation takes effect by using a 7th level spell slot. If unwilling, the target must make a Will save (DC 10 + Spellcaster level + Charisma Modifier). If the transmutation is succesful, the spell slot is consumed as normal. If it is not successful, the spell caster retains the spell slot.


Horrid Knowledge: Approaching a brink from which he cannot return, the Dread Necrolord can take and consume souls from the recently dead. Taking a soul in this manner stores it in his armor. If he chooses to consume it, he is given a temporary +1 Str boost, and 10 temporary hit points that lasts 1 round/level. Alternatively, he may expell the soul in a force similar to an explosion of negative energy. Dealing 1d6/level (max 10d6) damage to any enemy in a 25ft.+5ft./level showering radius from the Dread Necrolord. The creature can not have been dead for more than 1 round/level. He may store up to three souls in his armor for later use.


Secret of Darkness: The Dread Necrolord has learned the secret of undeath, and can turn himself into either a Vampire or Lich. He gains the appropriate template for his choice and his alignment changes accordingly. The ritual consumes resources equal to 30,000 GP.



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