Necro Blade (3.5e Class)
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A necro blade combines the might of a martial class with the spellcasting ability of a necromancer. They kill anyone who opposes them and command their undead bodies.
Making a Necro Blade
Necro blades rely mainly on their martial weapons to deal damage and augment it with spells. They use spells and their own natural abilities to command undead and fight alongside them.
Abilities: Strength is the most important ability for necro blades. Most of their powers benefit from having a high Strength score. Charisma is a close second, since it grants more powerful spells and bonus spells. Dexterity is the next most important ability since necro blades usually wear light armor. Constitution is also important, as it is with any martial class.
Races: Humans are the most likely race to become necro blades as they have a good natural ability for things such as spellcasting. Races that have a strong affinity for the undead are also commonly necro blades.
Alignment: Any non-good.
Starting Gold: 4d4×10 gp (100 gp)
Starting Age: Moderate.
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+2||+0||+2||Reaping, Summon Familiar||2||1||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+2||+3||+1||+3||Blade of Blood||3||2||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|18th||+13/+8/+3||+11||+6||+11||Greater Undead Aura||9||9||8||7||6||5||4||3||2||1|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the necro blade.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Necro blades are proficient with all simple weapons, with scythes, and with light armor but not with shields. When a necro blade wears light armor, he does not incur the normal arcane spell failure chance. However, if the necro blade wears medium or heavy armor or uses a shield, he incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance and a necro blade incurs any armor check penalty that any armor has, regardless of weight.
Spells: A necro blade can cast any spells from the necromancy school. The level of the spell is treated as the level of the spell for a sorcerer/wizard. If the spell has no level for a sorcerer/wizard, use the level for a cleric, instead. Like a sorcerer, a necro blade has a number of known spells that they cast from (see the table below). In order to cast a spell of a particular level, a necro blade must have a Charisma level of at least 10 + the spell level and the Difficulty Class for a spell that a necro blade casts is 10 + the spell level + the necro blade's Charisma modifier.
(Note that this list is not exclusive as it only lists the spells in the SRD. If you are playing in a campain that allows homebrew spells, you can use any spell that is part of the necromancy school. Use the rules above to determine the level of the spell that you should use.)
Reaping: A necro blade can wield a scythe that is one size category larger than usual.
Familiar: A necro blade can obtain a familiar in the same way that a sorcerer can, however, the familiars a necro blade can choose from is more limited than for a sorcerer (see below). Obtaining a familiar takes 24 hours and uses up magical materials that cost 100 gp. A familiar is a magical beast that resembles a small animal and is unusually tough and intelligent. The creature serves as a companion and servant.
The necro blade chooses the kind of familiar he gets. As the necro blade advances in level, his familiar also increases in power.
If the familiar dies or is dismissed by the necro blade, the necro blade must attempt a DC 15 Fortitude saving throw. Failure means he loses 200 experience points per necro blade level; success reduces the loss to one-half that amount. However, a necro blade’s experience point total can never go below 0 as the result of a familiar’s demise or dismissal. A slain or dismissed familiar cannot be replaced for a year and day. A slain familiar can be raised from the dead just as a character can be, and it does not lose a level or a Constitution point when this happy event occurs.
A character with more than one class that grants a familiar may have only one familiar at a time.
|Bat||Master gains a +3 bonus on Listen checks|
|Cat||Master gains a +3 bonus on Move Silently checks|
|Rat||Master gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves|
|Raven||Master gains a +3 bonus on Appraise checks|
|Snake||Master gains a +3 bonus on Bluff checks|
|Toad||Master gains +3 hit points|
Familiar Basics: Use the basic statistics for a creature of the familiar’s kind, but make the following changes:
Attacks: Use the master’s base attack bonus, as calculated from all his classes. Use the familiar’s Dexterity or Strength modifier, whichever is greater, to get the familiar’s melee attack bonus with natural weapons.
Damage equals that of a normal creature of the familiar’s kind.
Saving Throws: For each saving throw, use either the familiar’s base save bonus (Fortitude +2, Reflex +2, Will +0) or the master’s (as calculated from all his classes), whichever is better. The familiar uses its own ability modifiers to saves, and it doesn’t share any of the other bonuses that the master might have on saves.
Skills: For each skill in which either the master or the familiar has ranks, use either the normal skill ranks for an animal of that type or the master’s skill ranks, whichever are better. In either case, the familiar uses its own ability modifiers. Regardless of a familiar’s total skill modifiers, some skills may remain beyond the familiar’s ability to use.
Familiar Ability Descriptions: All familiars have special abilities (or impart abilities to their masters) depending on the master’s combined level in classes that grant familiars, as shown on the table below. The abilities given on the table are cumulative.
|1st-2nd||+1||6||Alertness, Improved Evasion, Share Spells, Empathic Link|
|5th-6th||+3||8||Speak with Master|
|7th-8th||+4||9||Speak with Animals of Its Kind|
|13th-14th||+7||12||Scry on Familiar|
Natural Armor Adj.: The number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus.
Improved Evasion (Ex): When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, a familiar takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage even if the saving throw fails.
spell-like ability) he casts on himself also affect his familiar. The familiar must be within 5 feet at the time of casting to receive the benefit.: At the master’s option, he may have any spell (but not any
If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting the familiar if it moves farther than 5 feet away and will not affect the familiar again even if it returns to the master before the duration expires. Additionally, the master may cast a spell with a target of “You” on his familiar (as a touch range spell) instead of on himself.
A master and his familiar can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the familiar’s type (magical beast).
Empathic Link (Su): The master has an empathic link with his familiar out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The master cannot see through the familiar’s eyes, but they can communicate empathically. Because of the limited nature of the link, only general emotional content can be communicated.
Because of this empathic link, the master has the same connection to an item or place that his familiar does.
Speak with Master (Ex): If the master is 5th level or higher, a familiar and the master can communicate verbally as if they were using a common language. Other creatures do not understand the communication without magical help.
Speak with Animals of Its Kind (Ex): If the master is 7th level or higher, a familiar can communicate with animals of approximately the same kind as itself (including dire varieties): bats with bats, rats with rodents, cats with felines, hawks and owls and ravens with birds, lizards and snakes with reptiles, toads with amphibians, weasels with similar creatures (weasels, minks, polecats, ermines, skunks, wolverines, and badgers). Such communication is limited by the intelligence of the conversing creatures.
Spell Resistance (Ex): If the master is 11th level or higher, a familiar gains spell resistance equal to the master’s level + 5. To affect the familiar with a spell, another spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the familiar’s spell resistance.
Familiars at Epic Level: Special abilities granted to a familiar continue to grow as the level of its master increases beyond 20th, as shown on Table: Epic Familiar Special Abilities. Even though the table shows advancement only to 42nd level, that is not the limit. The patterns in the table continue infinitely. Familiar special abilities gained at less than 20th level also continue to improve.
Enchanted Blade: At 2nd level, a necro blade can channel spells through his weapon. Any time he casts a spell that requires him to make a melee touch attack, he may make a standard melee attack instead of the touch attack. If the attack succeeds, the spell is cast normally. If the attack fails, the weapon is no longer charged with the spell but the necro blade does not lose one of his spells per day.
Blade of Blood (Ex): At 3rd level, a necro blade can absorb energy from his opponents. When a necro blade strikes an opponent with a melee attack, he gains temporary hit points equal to half the damage he dealt, up to half of the opponent's remaining hit points + 10, which would kill the creature. This effect is not affected by additional damage from things like enchantments and damage from spells put into the weapon by the necro blade. However, it does heal additional hit points from critical hits.
Special: This effect can only be applied when using a slashing or peircing weapon.
Ghost Touch (Ex): At 5th level, a necro blade's knowledge of undead creatures allows him to hit incorporeal creatures with melee and ranged weapons. Any weapon that a necro blade wields gains the ghost touch enchantment, which allows him to hit incorporeal creatures as if they had real bodies. This bonus cannot be dispelled but is not applied if the necro blade is not proficient with the weapon or if it is an improvised weapon. (For example, you can't expect to hit a ghost if you throw a chair at it.)
Soul Eater (Su): At 7th level, a necro blade can absorb some of the energy from a creature he slays. Any time a necro blade kills or destroys a creature, he gains temporary hit points equal to 2 times the creature's Hit Dice and a +1 bonus to Strength for 1 hour. These bonuses do not stack with other bonuses from this skill (apply whichever bonus is higher) but they do stack with bonuses from other spells or abilities.
Head Hunter: At 10th level, a necro blade gains the ability to always strike at the target's throat when he lands a critical hit. The target of the critical hit must succeed on a Fortitude Save with a DC of 10 + 1/2 times the necro blade's class level + his Charisma modifier or be instantly decapitated. This effect counts as a death effect for the purposes of things such as death ward and Undead Aura. Some creatures, such as aberrations and oozes, have no heads and take only the normal critical hit damage. Others, such as golems and undead, are not affected by the loss of their heads and effectively only take the normal critical hit damage. In general, if the necro blade's critical hit is prevented for any reason, Head Hunter has no effect on the creature.
Special: This effect can only be applied when using a slashing weapon.
Undead Aura (Su): At 13th level, a necro blade gains the ability to turn the creatures he slays into undead servants. Any time a necro blade kills a creature with a death effect, he can choose to turn that creature into a skeleton or zombie version of itself. This creature falls under the necro blade's command and counts towards the total Hit Dice of undead he can command given by his ability to rebuke or command undead (his class level - 3). If the necro blade cannot dismiss enough undead to gain control over the new creature or he doesn't want to or cannot activate this ability, the subject simply dies as it normally would. Any creature that is destroyed when it dies, cannot be affected by Undead Aura.
Greater Undead Aura (Su): At 18th level, a necro blade's Undead Aura improves. He can create more powerful undead, as shown below.
|Class Level||Undead Created|
|23rd or higher||Devourer|
Any necro blade that becomes Good is shunned by all the undead currently under his command and loses any special abilities he has but he retains any armor and weapon proficiencies. He cannot gain any more levels as a necro blade until he atones (see the atonement spell).
Epic Necro Blades
2 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Spells: The necro blade’s caster level is equal to his class level. The necro blade’s number of spells per day does not increase after 20th level. The necro blade does not learn additional spells unless he selects the Spell Knowledge feat.
Familiar: The necro blade’s familiar continues to increase in power. Every two levels beyond 20th the familiar’s natural armor and Intelligence each increase by +1. The familiar’s spell resistance is equal to the master’s class level + 5. At 21st level and again every ten levels higher than 21st, the familiar gains the benefit of the Familiar Spell epic feat for a spell of its master’s choice.
Bonus Feats: The epic necro blade gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic necro blade bonus feats) every 3 levels after 20th.
Epic Necro Blade Bonus Feat List: Augmented Alchemy, Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Energy Resistance, Enhance Spell, Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Familiar Spell, Ignore Material Components, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Intensify Spell, Master Staff, Master Wand, Multispell, Permanent Emanation, Spell Knowledge, Spell Stowaway, Spell Opportunity.
Human Necro Blade Starting Package
Weapons: Large Scythe (2d6, x4 crit, 20 lbs, two-handed, slashing or piercing). Dagger (1d4, 19-20/x2 crit, 1 lb, piercing or slashing). Light Crossbow (1d8, x2 crit, 4 lbs, projectile, piercing) and Bolts (10 pcs, 10 lbs).
Armor: Leather Armor (+2 AC, +6 max Dex bonus, 15 lbs, Speed: 30ft.)
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 3 + Int modifier.
Feat: Weapon Focus (Scythe)
Gear: Backpack, bedroll, flint and steel, 10 days rations, torch, waterskin. Gold: 10gp.
Playing a Necro Blade
Religion: Necro blades do not usually worsip a paricular deity, however, deities of death are followed more often due to most necro blades' affinity with death and the undead.
Other Classes: Necro blades get along best with necromancers and evil clerics because they can all control undead. Most other classes get along just fine with necro blades, as long they're alone. However, a large group of undead that the necro blade commands can make other classes uneasy, particularly those that have a good alignment.
Combat: Like most martial classes, a necro blade is designed to get up close to enemies and hack away at them. They generally use their spells at close range as either an augment to their weapons or to raise and command undead. They can either choose to fight alongside their minions or command and support them from a distance.
Advancement: Many necro blades may multiclass as necromancers or other arcane spellcasters if they want the ability to cast more necromancy spells or spells of other schools. Since they can already command undead, there isn't much reason to multiclass as evil clerics and multiclassing as a good cleric (in this case, a necro blade would have to multiclass as a nuetral cleric of a good deity) is nearly unheard of.
Necro Blades in the World
Daily Life: Non-adventuring necro blades often find jobs as morticians or gravekeepers, due to their affinity with the dead. Even those that do often go on adventures, do not keep their undead between adventures because they will scare anyone they try to interact with away. They tend to like working at night and will often find professions that involve staying up all night such as gaurds.
Notables: Unfortunately, the most famous necro blades are usually the chaotic evil ones that kill everyone they see and add their body to their army of undead.
Organizations: Groups of necro blades (and occasionally evil clerics and necromancers) usually gather in secret in graveyards and tombs in the middle of the night. They often brag about the most powerful undead they have commanded and partake in games where they force undead to fight each other.
NPC Reactions: The scythe may be intimidating to some NPCs but most do not avoid a necro blade because of it. If they figure out that he is a necro blade and knows about their nature, most common NPCs will try to avoid them. However, more important NPCs like shop owners will usually not avoid them in the interest of business. If a necro blade commands one or more undead, however, most NPCs will either run or try to attack it.
Necro Blade Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (religion) can research necro blades to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||Necro blades can command undead and cast spells.|
|10||Necro blades know necromancy spells and channel them through their weapons.|
|15||Necro blades can absorb some of their opponent's energy when they damage or kill a creature.|
|20||Necro blades can kill you with one swing of their scythes and turn you into powerful undead servants.|
Necro Blades in the Game
Necro Blades are usually found in places with many undead creatures or corpses. They usually are solitary or with one or two other characters that don't mind having undead around. They will almost always have a few undead with them, unless they recently left a town and dismissed any undead they had before they entered the city.
Sample Encounter: The PCs wander through an abandoned graveyard as fog rolls over the moonlit ground. They see mysterious figure in the distance surrounded by a number of zombies. The wizard immediately launches a fire ball at the group which lights up the night with its fiery blaze and destroys the undead. The humanoid stands in the remains of the spell and turns toward the PCs. His scythe glows with a purple hue as he runs toward the PCs readying an attack.