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Wrapped in mystery and burdened by reputations of evil, necromancers control dangerous energies that rob the living of strength and grant unlife to the dead. The most powerful necromancers command dangerous undead minions and threaten towns, cities and sometimes even entire kingdoms with their power. Although necromancers make excellent villains and nemeses for a group of adventurers, neutral- and good-aligned necromancers who view themselves as the shepherds of the living and guardians of the dead can also prove valuable allies.
Campaigns that include evil necromancers or groups of undead as antagonist can benefit from the inclusion of variant necromancers. Rival groups of necromancers might view certain types of undead as the only true or "pure" undead and all others as evils that must be destroyed, with each group disagreeing on which types are which. Other factions or groups might have an innate loathing for undead raised by any but themselves.
A 1st level necromancer using this variant can begin play with an undead minion (a human warrior skeleton). Obtaining this minion takes 24 hours.
This creature is a loyal servant that follows the necromancer's commands and accompanies her on adventures if desired. If the skeletal minion is destroyed, the necromancer suffers no ill effects and may replace it by performing a ceremony identical to the one that allowed her to obtain her first servant.
At 1st level, the skeleton is completely typical, but it gains power as the necromancer gains levels. The skeleton has a number of Hit Dice equal to the necromancer's class level. Add one-half the necromancer's class level to the skeleton's natural armor bonus. Add one-third of the necromancer's class level to the skeleton's Strength and Dexterity scores.
A necromancer using this variant permanently gives up the ability to obtain a familiar.
Undead Apotheosis (Ex)
As a necromancer using this variant progresses in levels, she gains some of the qualities that typify undead creatures.
At 5th level, the necromancer gains a +2 bonus on all saving throws made to resist sleep, stun, paralysis, poison, or disease. The bonus increases to +4 at 15th level.
At 10th level, the necromancer gains a +4 bonus on saving throws made to resist ability damage, ability drains, or energy drain.
At 20th level, the necromancer gains 25% resistance to critical hits, as the light fortification armor special ability.
A necromancer using this variant does not gain bonus feats for advancing as a wizard.
Enhanced Undead (Ex)
Any time a necromancer using this variant creates an undead creature (such as with animate dead, create undead, or create greater undead), all undead creatures created gain a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength and Dexterity, and two additional hit points per Hit Die. This ability does not affect the number of Hit Dice of animated creatures that the necromancer can create or control.
A necromancer using this variant does not gain additional spells per day for being a specialist wizard.