Dread Necrolord (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Dread Necrolord[edit]

Why are you so fond of life? Death...reveals greater rewards.
—Marcaus, Human Dread Necrolord

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 Necrolords have spent years devoting themselves the dark art of Necromancy. They emanate negative energy, a dark aura 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 you 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.
Skills: Knowledge (Religion) 5 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 5 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks.
Feats Required if you are a Wizard: Spell Focus (Necromancy), Greater spell focus (Necromancy).
Spellcasting: Ability to cast Arcane or Divine 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 of existing spellcasting class
2nd +1 +3 +3 +3 Siphon Life, Speed of Death +30 +1 of existing spellcasting class
3rd +2 +3 +3 +3 Dark Strike, Spell-Like Ability,Dread Might +4 +1 of existing spellcasting class
4th +3 +4 +4 +4 Gift of the Dark Gods, Speed of Death +60 +1 of existing spellcasting class
5th +3 +4 +4 +4 Dread Might +6, Empowered Casting +1 of existing spellcasting class
6th +4 +5 +5 +5 Aura of Death, Speed of Death +90 +1 of existing spellcasting class
7th +5 +5 +5 +5 Favor of the Undead, Spell-like Ability,Dread Might +8 +1 of existing spellcasting class
8th +6 +6 +6 +6 Living Alchemy, Speed of Death +120 +1 of existing spellcasting class
9th +6 +6 +6 +6 Dread Might +10, Horrid Knowledge +1 of existing spellcasting class
10th +7 +7 +7 +7 Secret of Darkness,Speed of Death +150, Fly Speed(Avg.) +1 of existing spellcasting class
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. 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 the 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 communing for an hour with your necromantic energies, a window of featureless negative energy opens before the Dread Necrolord. Through this window, Death reaches out and bestows a set of armor and a +1 starmetal infused adamantine 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 receives a weapon that changes to his needs and can summon it to his hands from anywhere, even if it's on another plane as a free action.

The weapon is a embodiment of darkness. The Weapon is counted has having a permanent Wraithstrike enchantment. As a free action, the Necrolord may change it into a any kind of weapon he prefers with Spell-Storing (no spell level restriction) and with an Unholy Enchantment. In addition, you may add a +1 enchantment to the weapon per 2 Dread Necrolord levels (Max 5). All weapons have an emblem of a skull upon them, if not part of their design. The armor granted by the ritual is natural armor and grants a +4 to AC, also the armor gains an additional bonus of +2 on its AC for every 3 HD you possess past gaining the armor. The Dread Necrolord is considered proficient with all forms of the weapon and the armor and the damage of the weapon is 2D8 per 3 caster levels of Dread Necrolord he has.

Dread Might: Starting at 1st level, the Dread Necrolord is imbued with the power of death. If he has a Strength score under 10, it becomes 10. He gains a +2 Natural Armor bonus, +2 to hit, +2 to damage, and gains a +2 to one attribute of his choosing. Gain an Aditional +2 again to each at 3rd level and every 2 levels after. At each increase, the Necrolord may choose to increase the same attribute or a different one.

Siphon Life: Upon reaching 2nd level, a Dread Necrolord has learned the power of Death's grip. On any successful 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 entwined with the lord of death. His base speed is increased by 30 at level 2 and every even level after that. Also at 10th level he gains a flight speed double to his movement speed (average).

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. At level 5 he also deals 1d6 Str damage, and at level 10 he also deals 1d6 Dex damage. The Necrolord may perform this strike up to a number of times eaqual to 4 + spellcasters primary 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 and lastly at 10th level she may get a last 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 and control undead, that he can now create and control twice the number of undead previously able. He now also does not require remains to create and summon undead creatures. Also, he may expend a total of 12 Spell levels for the day and use True Resurrection as an extraordinary ability (E.g. four 3rd level spells ext.) and this can be used a number of times equal to your primary stat modifier per week.

Empowered Casting (Ex): The Dread Necrolord is so potent with his Necromancy, that all his spells add +1/2 of his Dread Necrolord class levels to his caster level and spell DC's

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. He and his allies receive DR 20/-, +25 SR, a +5 to AC and a +5 bonus on saves. (Radious is 100ft. + 10ft. Per caster level)

Favor of the Undead: The Dread Necrolord has reached such a level of power that 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 from the living. In addition, he can revert any undead back into a mortal. The transmutation from life to death or death to life, takes effect by using a 7th level spell slot. If unwilling, the target must make a Will save (DC 10 + caster level + Charisma Modifier). If the transmutation is successful, 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 (no saves). He may expel the soul in a force similar to an explosion of negative energy. Dealing 1d6/caster level in damage to any enemy in a 25ft.+5ft./ caster level centered on the Dread Necrolord. The creature can not have been dead for more than 1 minute/level for the Dread Necrolord to store it's soul. He may store up to his caster level worth of souls in his armor for later use, and may release any soul if needed.

Secret of Darkness: Further honing his knowledge about the dark arts the Dread Necrolord attains an extended knowledge of soul manipulation making him capable of using his stored souls to attain higher levels of power, and he does so by sacrificing 5 souls, gaining a +2 to any atribute permanently (MAX Total of +20). His weapon damage increases from 2D8/3 caster levels of Dread Necrolord to 2D8/2 caster levels of Dread Necrolord.

Ex-Dread Necrolords[edit]

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Dread Necrolord[edit]




Dread Necrolords in the World[edit]

NPC Reactions:

Dread Necrolord Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in can research to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

DC Result
11 .
16 .
21 .
26 .

Dread Necrolords in the Game[edit]


Sample Encounter:

EL whatever:

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