Dark Necromancer (3.5e Class)
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|“||Chapter 1: How to properly use a shovel.||”|
|—The Book of the Dead|
A Necromancer is a spellcaster that harbors the ability to raise, animate, create, or summon undead. They are spontaneous arcane magic casters that are more adept in the arts of magic that twists bodies, minds and souls alike than anyone else.
Making a Necromancer
A Necromancer is a caster that is able to expel negative energies flowing through their veins. Necromancers are similar to sorcerers, but are more adept with necromancy and, to some extent, enchantment spells. They use their abilities to gain absolute control over their enemies' bodies, minds and souls and usually the best thing to do that is by raising/summoning undead from their fallen enemies, skill at which they are unparalleled. Necromancers are also effective with diseases, poison spells, and affecting opponents with fear, fatigue, exhaustion, pain, negative energy damage, or even gaining mindless supporters through the use of enchantment spells like charm or dominate.
A Necromancer's strengths are in bolstering undead, summoning or raising undead minions (which they can control up to a number of a large mob) and being able to cast a vast repertoire of various necromancy spells. They are strong spell casters but are not durable in physical combat. A Necromancer should primarily be used for crowd control (and at higher levels, seriously, a 'crowd controller') able to curse the enemy while animating different undead to occupy the enemy while their teammates continue to sustain a mass of dead bodies for you.I
Abilities: Charisma is the most important as it powers all the necromancer's spells in addition to granting more 'rebuke undead' attempts. A high dexterity can prove invaluable when enemies focus their attacks on rather frail but extremely potent caster. Constitution is also important unless necromancer intends to transform himself into undead at some point in his career via some of the most gruesome necromantic rituals.
Races: Humans are best fit to work as necromancers, due to their particularly short life spans and nonchalant attitudes toward the dead. Elves lack the stomach, and raw power to unearth materials. Gnomes find that the afterlife just isn't as entertaining as where they are now. Halflings see it to be a waste of time, as many undead weigh a lot and are too bulky to be hauling around everywhere. Many Orc, and half-orc shamans dabble in necromancy, and half elves don't mind it too much either.
Alignment: Any non-good (too much negative energy for a good aligned character to live with). A Necromancer is not quintessentially "evil", though most necromancers display traits of uncontrolled insanity, earlier on in history, necromancers were a welcome addition in any village or town. Once upon a time, necromancers were honored as shepherds of the dead, justified by aiding transition to the other side, as well as being a cornucopia of funerary wrappings, sacred incantations, and other things that help them to put the dead to rest.
Languages: A necromancer may substitute Draconic for any of the bonus languages available to the character because of her race. Starting Gold: 3d6 gp x10
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Rebuke undead, undead companion||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+1||+0||+0||+3||Negative energy conduit||4||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+2||+1||+1||+4||Animate Dead 1/day||6||4||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|10th||+5||+3||+3||+7||Master of Atrocities, Animate Dead 2/day||6||6||6||5||3||—||—||—||—|
|13th||+6/+1||+4||+4||+8||Tough as bone||6||6||6||6||6||4||—||—||—|
|15th||+7/+2||+5||+5||+9||Grave Touch, Animate Dead 3/day||6||6||6||6||6||6||4||—||—|
Class Skills (4 + int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the necromancers.
Spells: A necromancer casts arcane and Divine spells, which are drawn from the necromancer’s spell list. Like a sorcerer, he can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. When a necromancer gains access to a new level of spells, he gains spells as a sorcerer does. If the spell is Divine and arcane, use as the lower spell level. The somatic components required for the necromancer's Necromancy school spells are simple, so members of this class can cast necromancer spells while wearing light armor, without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. She still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells derived from other classes our non-necromancy school spells. In addition, if a necromancer wears medium or heavy armor, or uses a shield, she incurs the same chance of arcane spell failure as any other arcane caster if the spell in question has a somatic component (and most do).
To cast a spell, a necromancer must have a Charisma score of 10 + the spell's level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a necromancer's spell is 10 + the spell's level + her Charisma modifier. Like other spellcasters, a necromancer can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is same as a Sorcerer. In addition, she receives bonus spells for a high Charisma score (see Table 1—1 on page 8 of the Player's Handbook).
Spell list is comprised of Necromacy School, some Enchantment, and Cold based spells. Automaticly get amimate dead, create undead, and create greater undead as spells known.
- 1st—cause fear, charm person, Chill Touch, Curse Water, Doom, hypnotism, inflict light wounds, ray of enfeeblement, and summon undead I
- 2nd—blindness/deafness, command undead, death knell, false life, gentle repose, ghoul touch, inflict moderate wounds, scare, spectral hand, summon undead II and touch of idiocy
- 3rd—animate dead, bestow curse, contagion, dispel magic, halt undead, inflict serious wounds, hold person, ray of exhaustion, speak with dead, summon undead III, vampiric touch,
- 4th—charm monster, confusion, crushing despair, death ward, enervation, fear, Ice Storm, inflict critical wounds, poison, and summon undead IV
- 5th—blight, Cone of Cold, dominate person, hold monster, magic jar, mass inflict light wounds, Mark of Justice, oath of blood slay living, summon undead V, symbol of pain, and waves of fatigue
- 6th— circle of death, create undead, eyebite, greater dispel magic, harm, mass inflict moderate wounds, revive undead, symbol of fear, and undeath to death
- 7th— Awaken Undead, control undead, destruction, finger of death, greater harm, insanity, mass inflict serious wounds, power word blind, symbol of weakness, and waves of exhaustion
- 8th—Binding, clone, create greater undead, demand, horrid wilting, mass inflict critical wounds, power word stun, symbol of death, symbol of insanity, trap the soul, and veil of undeath,
- 9th— astral projection, energy drain, imprison soul, mass harm, plague of undead power word kill, soul bind, wail of the banshee
Rebuke Undead (Su): A necromancer can rebuke or command undead creatures by channeling negative energy through his body, as a cleric of equall level.
Undead Companion: A necromancer may begin play with a companion selected from the following list: human warrior skeleton, wolf skeleton, kobold zombie, human commoner zombie. This undead is a loyal, intelligent companion that accompanies the necromancer on his adventures until destroyed or released.
A 1st-level necromancer’s companion is completely typical for its kind except as noted below. As a necromancer advances in level, the undead’s power increases as shown on the table. If a necromancer releases his companion from service, he may gain a new one by performing a ceremony requiring an appropriate body and 24 uninterrupted hours of meditation. This ceremony can also replace an undead companion that was destroyed.
Negative Energy Conduit (Su): At 2nd level, a necromancer becomes a living conduit to the negative energy plane. This allows him to channel negative energy to heal undead allies (or himself, if somehow transformed to undead) for Level times Cha Modifer in Hp per day, as the lay on hands abillity.
Deathless Vigor (Ex): Beginning at 3rd level, a necromancer’s body becomes more akin to the undying flesh of his undead associates. The character gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves except against effects that also work on objects, they also receive a +4 to AC. This effect increases to +4 at 14th and higher levels the AC is unaffected.
Undead Mastery (Su): All undead creatures created by a necromancer who has reached 4th level or higher gain a +4 bonus to Strength and Dexterity and 2 additional hit points per Hit Die.
Necromantic Prowess (Ex): At 6th level, a necromancer gains unsurpassed power over death. When he rebukes undead, casts a necromancy spell, or uses a spell-like ability that mimics a necromancy spell, his effective caster level increases. The bonus is +1 at 6th level, +2 at 12th level, and +3 at 18th level and higher.
Animate Dead (Sp): At 5th level, a necromancer's experience working with undead forms brings the ability to animate the dead easily. The necromancer is able to animate the dead once per day as a spell-like ability that works as animate dead spell. At 10th level number of uses increases to 2/day and at 15th level a necromancer can use it 3/day.
Desecration zone (Su): At 8th level, a necromancer is continuously surrounded by an aura of negative energy identical to the desecrate spell but affecting only allied undead.
Undead Senses (Ex): At 11th level a necromancer gains the senses of the dead, granting him sight, hearing and smell of the undead creatures. Necromancer gains darkvision 60 ft. and can see, hear and smell even if his respective sense organs are damaged or removed.
Master of Atrocities (Ex): At 10th level, a necromancer significantly extends his mastery of Animate Dead class ability. A necromancer's experience working with undead forms brings the ability to animate the dead easily. The necromancer is able to use Create Undead once per day as a spell-like ability that works as create undead spell.
Undead Toughness (Ex): 13th level necromancer takes on even more of the qualities of an undead creature. He becomes immune to disease, nonlethal damage, poison and stunning.
Grave Touch (Sp): At 15th level a necromancer gains the ability to cast the spell "Horrid Wilting" once per day as a spell-like ability.
Necromancer's Undead Companion
A necromancer’s undead companion is different from a normal undead of its kind in many ways. A necromancer’s undead companion is superior to a normal undead of its kind and has special powers, as described below.
|1st||1d12||+0||+0||Link, Dark Empowerment||11th||11d12+22||+0||+0|
Undead Companion Basics: Use the base statistics for a creature of the companion’s kind, but make the following changes.
Class Level: The character’s necromancer level. The necromancer class levels are the base for determining the companion’s abilities and the alternative lists available to the character.
HD: Twelve-sided (d12) Hit Dice. Remember that Hit Dice improve the animal companion’s base attack and base save bonuses. An undead companion’s base attack bonus is the same as that of a necromancer of a level equal to the undead’s HD, the extra hit points indicated is from Undead Master bonus of +2 hp per Hit Die. An undead companion has good Will save and weak Fortitude and Reflex saves (treat it as a character whose level equals the undead’s HD). An undead companion gains additional skill points and feats for bonus HD as normal for advancing a monster’s Hit Dice.
Dark Empowerment (Ex): If a necromancer possesses any feats or other extraordinary abilities that boost undead he creates, he may also apply these bonuses to the undead companion at the moment of its creation. These also include necromancer class skill - undead mastery. In addition, the undead companion also counts as a familiar.
Multiattack: An undead companion gains Multiattack as a bonus feat if it has three or more natural attacks and does not already have that feat. If it does not have the requisite three or more natural attacks, the undead companion instead gains a second attack with its primary natural weapon, albeit at a –5 penalty.
Alternative undead Companions: A necromancer of sufficiently high level can select his undead companion from one of the following lists, applying the indicated adjustment to the necromancer’s level (in parentheses) for purposes of determining the companion’s characteristics and special abilities.
A Necromancer that doesn't want to sustain his link to the negative energy cannot gain levels in the Necromancer class and loses all special abilities and any spells from the necromancy school of magic.
Playing a Necromancer
Religion: Necromancer usually worship Nerull, the god of death. They may also worship Vecna, Wee Jas or Hextor. Necromancers who worship Nerull are particularly ill-tempered, as Nerull supports his subjects slaughter, and provokes them to go on killing sprees to boost the undead militia they've created. Orcus is also a popular choice. Necromancers worshipping Orcus are usually adept at shifting planes of existence, and sacrificing in the name of their deity. Necromancers worshipping neutral or chaotic neutral deities are not uncommon, but necromancers worshiping good deities like Pelor, and Yondalla, are virtually unheard of.
Other Classes: A Necromancer gets along with evil clerics and sorcerers who study the Necromancy school. Chaotic barbarians and fighters help protect the necromancer while he animates waves of undead. Should any of his teammates be slain, a necromancer wouldn't think twice about animating their corpse to use as fodder.
Combat: The typical role in combat for a Necromancer is artillery, magical support, or bestowed effects, as well as animating dead tissue for fodder.
Advancement: A Necromancer may multi-class as a Pale Master (Prestige Class, Tome and Blood), a True Necromancer (Prestige Class, Tome and Blood), with enough training a BlackGuard (Prestige Class, DMG3.5), wizard, sorcerer, or a cleric. Necromancer druids are not unknown.
Necromancers in the World
|“||Wow, a graveyard. How.... delightful.||”|
|—Devlin Ragner, Human 5th level Necromancer|
Necromancers are the people who create undead in the world. They will usually have hidden undead bases or live in abandoned houses near a graveyard so they have protection. They will work as grave keepers with no troubles. Sometimes certain nobles will employ the services of necromancers. These more wealthy commonfolk could just need the employment of an undertaker, and more often than not, to either avenge or resurrect a loved one.
The Path of Transcendence: Ancient necrotic tomes describe a process of rituals and incantations that are said to prolong ones life, indefinitely, ultimately becoming a Lich. This idea is thrown around throughout necromancy, but never really covered as a topic. Few know of the power unleashed through a millennia of spellcraft, and these select few aren't willing to part with that knowledge.
Organizations: Necromancers do not assemble or meet in set places in fear of paladin attacks, but live in small communities tied to the main guild and are given orders from there. Freelancing Necromancers are given a choice to join, and if not, they are usually killed as the Necromancer Guild prefers that they are not blamed for the freelancers mistakes or problems. They refuse to help those who declined to join.
NPC Reactions: Good NPCs hate Necromancers, and will usually try to kill them if they find out. But evil NPCs take to them like a duck takes to water and will work with them. Rarely a necromancer's mere presence will animate dead flesh, but on a much lower scale, like a cat buried in the backyard of the bar they're in- these animated birds and pets usually end up becoming the necromancer's familiar. In time necromancers heal with negative energy, drawing them (if not physically, then spiritually) towards evil clerics and other characters who resonate pure evil.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (History) or Knowledge (arcane) can research Necromancers to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
- DC 10: Necromancers are adept at animating and summoning undead, and many necromancers are skilled in casting disease and plague on their enemies.
- DC 15: Necromancers can voluntarily become a Lich, and expand their life indefinately. And if there are any powerful necromancers in their general area, like "You heard from a suspicious figure in a bar that in the mountains to the north (or wherever) strange dark purple lights have been sighted, and the sound of screams can be heard there."
- DC 20: "While concentrating on your thought, suddenly a cry for help dashes out of the nearest woods, and groups of civilians are seen running from what looks like walking skeletons!" With this check you learn where the latest undead attack has been seen, this does not imply it was direct necromancer contact, but the undead were exhibiting strange, almost controlled actions.
- DC 25: Youve heard through the grapevine that there was an attack on a village a day ago. The village has had problems with undead rising from their graves and walking off, and a strange man has been spotted in the village who looks very old, and smells of embalming fluid. In the same night men, women, and children were savagely attacked by their deceased loved ones.
Based off the works of the Author of the Nercromancer class. Slightly modified. Currently being play tested.