Undead Master (5e Class)
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As a Undead Master you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Armor: Light Armor
Weapons: Daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbows
Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom
Skills: Choose two from Arcana, History, Investigation, Medicine, Nature, Deception, Persuasion and Religion
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) a quarterstaff or (b) a dagger
- (a) a component pouch or (b) an arcane focus
- (a) a scholar's pack or (b) an explorer's pack
- A spellbook
|Features||Cantrips Known||—Spell Slots per Spell Level—|
|1st||+2||Spellcasting, Necrotic Liege||3||2||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+2||Tough as Bone||3||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||4||4||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|6th||+3||Harvest of Death||4||4||3||3||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||4||4||3||3||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||5||4||3||3||3||2||1||—||—||—|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||5||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||1||—|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||5||4||3||3||3||3||2||1||1||1|
|20th||+6||What's dead may never die||5||4||3||3||3||3||2||2||1||1|
For the purposes of attunement to already existing items, you may consider yourself to be a wizard of the school of necromancy.
As a student of arcane magic, you have a spellbook containing spells that show the first glimmerings of your true power.
At 1st level, you know three cantrips of your choice from the Undead Master Spell list, detailed at the end of the class description. You learn additional cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Undead Master table.
At 1st level, you have a spellbook containing six 1st-level Undead Master spells of your choice. Your spellbook is the repository of the spells you know, except your cantrips, which are fixed in your mind.
- Preparing and Casting Spells
The Undead Master table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.
You prepare the list of Undead Master spells that are available for you to cast. To do so, choose a number of spells from your spellbook equal to your Intelligence modifier + your Undead Master level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
For example, if you're a 3rd-level Undead Master, you have four 1st-level and two 2nd-level spell slots. With an Intelligence of 16, your list of prepared spells can include six spells of 1st or 2nd level, in any combination, chosen from your spellbook. If you prepare the 1st-level spell magic missile, you can cast it using a 1st-level or a 2nd-level slot. Casting the spell doesn't remove it from your list of prepared spells.
You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of spells requires time spent studying your spellbook and memorizing the incantations and gestures you must make to cast the spell: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.
- Spellcasting Ability
Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your Undead Master spells, since you learn your spells through dedicated study and memorization. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
- Ritual Casting
You can cast an Undead Master spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell in your spellbook. You don’t need to have the spell prepared.
- Spellcasting Focus
You can use an arcane focus as a spellcasting focus for your Undead Master spells.
- Learning Spells of 1st Level and Higher
Each time you gain an Undead Master level, you can add two Unead Master spells of your choice to your spellbook for free. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots, as shown on the Undead Master table. On your adventures, you might find other spells that you can add to your spellbook (see the “Your Spellbook” sidebar).
Starting at 1st level, you gain the ability to bind certain undead creatures to your service, controlling them as though with animate dead. Mindless undead will ignore you, as long as you or your allies dont attack them. (They will however still attack you allies.)
Upon confronting an undead creature, as an action, you can attempt a Charisma check (DC 15 + the undead's Charisma modifier) to command it. You add your proficiency bonus to this roll. You cannot use this method if you or any of your comrades have already attacked the target creature.
If you fail the roll, you can not use this feature on the target again until you finish a long rest. If you succeed, the target becomes friendly to you and obeys your commands. The targets stays this way until one of your allies attacks it, it dies, or you try to control too many undead.
The combined challenge rating of your controlled undead has to be equal or lower to 1/2 your Undead Master level. The individual challenge rating of the controlled undead can not be higher than 3. Should you try to control more than the specified amount, you loose control of a combined challenge rating equal to the challenge rating of the creature you tried to control, regardless of the rolls result.
For example at 9th level, you can control a combined challenge rating of 4.5. Thusly, you could controll 1 mummy (challenge rating 3), 1 ghoul (challenge rating 1) and 2 skeletons (challenge rating 1/4). Or 4 ghouls and 2 skeletons. Or 18 skeletons. And so on.
Intelligent undead are harder to control in this way. If the target has an Intelligence of 8 or higher, you have disadvantage on the Charisma check. If you succeed, and the target has an Intelligence of 12 or higher, it can make a Charisma saving throw against your spell save DC at the end of every hour until it succeeds and breaks free.
Additionally, if you cast Find Familiar, Find Steed, or Find Greater Steed, the summond creature is an undead instead of a celestial, fey or fiend.
Tough as Bone
Starting at 2nd level, your body has started to adapt to the energy you surround yourself with. You gain proficiency with Constitution saving throws, you dont need to sleep anymore, and you gain advantage in resisting diseases as well as mundane and magical sleep effects. At 4th level, this instead becomes immunity to diseases and sleep effects.
Ability Score Increase
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Harvest of Death
Starting at 6th level, using this feature, you can cast animate dead as if using a third level spell slot without material components. This feature has charges equal to half your Intelligence modifier, rounded up, and you regain all uses of this feature after a long rest. The undead created by this feature are by default under the effect of Necrotic Liege. They fill up your limit acording to their challenge rating, until you reach your cap. Any created undead that go above your cap follow the normal rules of animate dead.
You may also use a pile of bones or a corpse, with a size equal to or larger than you, to create a suit of undead armor. You make this armor by working 4 hours, which may be done during a long rest. The armor is a light armor with an AC of 14 + your Dexterity modifier (max. 3).
At level 9, this becomes magic armor +1, at level 11 this increases to +2, and it increases again to +3 at level 15.
Starting at level 13 the armor allows you to cast create undead without using material components or a spell slot once per long rest. When casting Create Undead with this feature, you may create or controll five ghouls, or two ghasts or wights, or one mummy. Undead created by this are also by default under the effect of Necrotic Liege.
At level 19, the armor adds +1 to your Spell save DC and your Spell attack modifier.
At 10th level, you replaces your lower arms with undead prosthetics, which may be skeletal in form or preserved flesh stitched in place like that of a flesh golem. The arms allow you to make a melee spell attack against a target. On a hit, you deal 3d8 + your Intelligence modifier necrotic damage, and the target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against you Spell save DC or be paralysed for 2 rounds. You regain use of this feature after a short rest.
Starting at 16th level, an enemy killed by this feature raises one turn later as either a skeleton or zombie (your choice) permanently under your command, following your verbal orders to the best of its ability.
Additionally, undead you controll add hit points equal to your Undead Master level to their hit points and hit point maximum, and half of your proficiency bonus, rounded down, to their attack and damage rolls.
Starting at 14th level, you add your Intelligence modifier to the damage rolls of spells dealing necrotic, cold, force, acid or poison damage.
At 18th level, your body has fully adapted to the necromantic energys flowing around it. Your creature type becomes undead, and you gain immunity to the poisoned and exhaustion conditions, as well as to poison damage. You no longer need to eat, drink or breath, you stop aging and magical aging has no effect on you. When you gain this feature you may change your look to appear as one of the undead (skeleton, zombie, ghoul, mummy, vampire, any combination if you want).
Raise Dead, Resurrection and Clone ignore your undead status. Should you be resurrected, you come back as a living creature and regain the bonus of this feature over the course of a week. Alternatively, you may cast finger of death on yourself to make this process instant.
What's dead may never die
Once per long rest, if you fall to 0 hit points, instead of going unconcious, you automatically gain the benefits of gaseous form and invisibility as if you cast both on yourself. These last for 1 hour and dont require concentration, during which you may act normally within the constraints of gaseous form. If you take any damage during the effect, after one hour, or if you decide to end this effect early, your body reforms and you are unconcious for 1 hour, after which you awaken with 1 hit point. If you take any damage during this hour, you start making death saving throws as normal.
Undead Master Spelllist
This is by no means an exhaustive list. I do not have access to all books. If you think a spell should be included, talk to you DM.
Acid Splash, Blade Ward, Chill Touch, Controll Flame, Create Bonfire, Dancing Lights, Eldritch Blast, Fire Bolt, Frostbite, Green Flame Blade, Gust, Light, Lightning Lure, Mage Hand, Mending, Message, Minor Illusion, Mold Earth, Prestidigitation, Ray of Frost, Resistance, Shape Water, Shocking Grasp, Spare the Dying, Sword Burst, Thunderclap
1st Level Spells
Alarm, Armor of Agathys, Burning Hands, Charm Person, Chromatic Orb, Color Spray, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic, Disguise Self, Earth Tremor, Expeditious Retreat, Faerie Fire, False Life, Find Familiar, Fog Cloud, Grease, Ice Knife, Identify, Illusory Script, Jump, Logstrider, Magic Missile, Ray of Sickness, Shield, Silent Image, Sleep, Tasha's Hideous Laughter, Tenser's Floating Disk, Thunderwave, Unseen Servant, Witch Bolt
2nd Level Spells
Aganazzar's Scorcher, Alter Self, Arcane Lock, Blindness/Deafness, Blur, Cloud of Daggers, Continual Flame, Crown of Madness, Darkness, Darkvision, Detect Thoughts, Dust Devil, Earthbind, Enlarge/Reduce, Enthrall, Find Steed, Flaming Sphere, Gentle Repose, Gust of Wind, Hold Person, Invisibility, Knock, Levitate, Locate Object, Magic Mouth, Maximilian's Earthen Grasp, Melf's Acid Arrow, Phantasmal Force, Pyrotechnics, Ray of Enfeeblement, Rope Trick, Scorching Ray, See Invisibility, Shatter, Silence, Skywrite, Snilloc's Snowball Swarm, Spider Climb, Suggestion, Web
3rd Level Spells
Animate Dead, Bestow Curse, Blink, Clairvoyance, Counterspell, Dispell Magic, Erupting Earth, Fear, Feign Death, Fireball, Flame Arrows, Fly, Gaseous Form, Glyph of Warding, Haste, Hypnotic Pattern, Leomund's Tiny Hut, Lightning Bolt, Major Image, Melf's Minute Meteors, Nondetection, Remove Curse, Sending, Sleet Strom, Slow, Speak with Dead, Stinking Cloud, Tidal Wave, Tongues, Vampiric Touch, Wall of Sand, Wall of Water, Waterbreathing
4th Level Spells
Arcane Eye, Banishment, Blight, Confusion, Control Water, Death Ward, Dimension Door, Evard's Black Tentacles, Fabricate, Find Greater Steed, Fire Shield, Greater Invisibility, Hallucinatory Terrain, Ice Storm, Leomund's Secret Chest, Locate Creature, Mordenkainen's Private Sanctum, Otiluke's Resilient Sphere, Phantasmal Killer, Polymorph, Stone Shape, Stoneskin, Storm Sphere, Vitriolic Sphere, Wall Of Fire, Watery Sphere
5th Level Spells
Animate Objects, Cloudkill, Cone Of Cold, Contact Other Plane, Dominate Person, Hold Monster, Immolation, Legend Lore, Mislead, Modify Memory, Passwall, Raise Dead, Rary's Telepathic Bond, Scrying, Seeming, Telekinesis, Teleportation Circle, Transmute Rock, Wall Of Force, Wall Of Stone
6th Level Spells
Antilife Shell, Arcane Gate, Blade Barrier, Bones of the Earth, Chain Lightning, Circle Of Death, Contingency, Create Undead, Disintegrate, Eyebite, Flesh To Stone, Globe Of Invulnerability, Guards And Wards, Harm, Magic Jar, Mass Suggestion, Move Earth, Otiluke's Freezing Sphere, Otto's Irresistible Dance, Programmed Illusion, True Seeing, Wall Of Ice
7th Level Spells
Delayed Blast Fireball, Etherealness, Finger Of Death, Forcecage, Mirage Arcane, Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion, Mordenkainen's Sword, Plane Shift, Prismatic Spray, Project Image, Reverse Gravity, Sequester, Symbol, Teleport, Whirlwind
8th Level Spells
Abi Dalzim's Horrid Wilting, Antimagic Field, Antipathy/Sympathy, Clone, Control Weather, Demiplane, Dominate Monster, Earthquake, Feeblemind, Incendiary Cloud, Maze, Mind Blank, Power Word Stun, Telepathy
9th Level Spells
Astral Projection, Foresight, Gate, Imprisonment, Meteor Swarm, Power Word Kill, Psychic Scream, Shapechange, Time Stop, True Polymorph, Weird
If you want to change something that isn't grammar related, then at the top left of the page there is 'discussion'. This leads you to a talk page, where you can bring up your ideas, so we can discuss them.
How do you handle your undead?
Necrotic Liege allows you to controll up to 10 CR of undead, with the max. individual CR being 3. This means, even with the strongest individual undead, you will have 4 extra entities that may clog up the battlefield and turn order. The highest amount would be 40 undead.
So, how do you deal with that? I will make my arguement with a high amount of the undead. Here are the number of entities:
- Your Familiar
- Summoned Steed
- 40 Skeletons via Necrotic Liege
(I will ignore any amount created though Finger of Death or Necrosis, and any amount controlled via spell slots.)
Solving the issue:
- You are obviously your own entity, there is nothing much you can do here.
- There is also no real way to reduce the impact of your familiar.
- You can probably ignore you steed, as long as you are riding it, since you want to stay away from melee most of the time, and they have very limited ranged options. They simply increase your speed, but attacks may still target it.
Now we get to the main course, 40 skeletons:
Talk your DM into allowing you to put them into formations. In a formation, two skeletons can occupy the same 5ft. square, and every square of the formation has to be connected to each other (a single continous line, a 2-by-2 square, etc.). A formation acts as a single entity in terms of initative, saving throws, movement, attack rolls and damage rolls.
When separated, as part of its movement, a formation connects again. If this would not be possible, you will have to treat each separated square as a single formation until they are connected again.
When targeted by a single target attack, a single skeleton in the formation is targeted, with no damage overflowing to others. When targeted by an AoE, the formation makes a single saving throw, and damage is rolled once for the whole formation, and applied to any skeleton within the AoE.
Attacks by the formation target a single 5ft. square and the AC of anyone within that square. The formation ignores disadvantage from long range, as they arent going for precision, but for saturation fire. Ranged attacks deal [(1/2 skeletons in fromation, rounded down)d6]+2+(any bonus once) piercing damage. Should the formation be engaged in melee, only the frontal skeletons engage and try to open the enemy up for ranged attacks, allowing for the ones in the back to make ranged attacks without issue, so the attacks roll of the formation is made without disadvantage. Should every square of the formation be engaged in melee combat, roll on attack. Every square can attack one target, dealing 1d6+2+(any bonus once) piercing damage on a hit.
On the example of the 40 skeletons (thusly, at level 20): You make three formations, two of 18 skeleton, which take up nine 5ft. square each (15ft. square, 40ft. line, etc.), and one 4 skeleton group in two 5ft. squares. The 18's deal 9d6+2+3 with a ranged attack, while the small formation deals 2d6+2+3.
One of the 18's is in a 40ft. line, and burning hands is cast in such a way that 4 squares of the line are targeted. You roll the dexterity saving throw once, and the damage roll once. Apply the damage to all skeletons in the targeted 4 squares accordingly.
If you take every other creature under your control separately, that would make 6 entities. I think this would already be the upper limit for comfortable use.
(These rules have not been playtested. For any input and improvement, see the top of the "Notes" section.)
The most important thing is however: PLAN YOUR TURNS IN ADVANCE. Your skeletons wont be doing much other than possibly moving and attacking. Same goes for your steed. Your familiar will possibly move and either deliver your touch spell, use the help action, or use an object like caltrops. You will possibly move, and either cast a spell, use the help action, or use an object/interact with something. Going through those options while others make their turn will speed everything up enormously.
Also, you will most likely not be able to just run around with 40 Skeletons (depending on the game scenario.). Storing undead in Bags of Holding or on a demiplane might be advisable. This would limit the amount of undead you could deploy quickly, and create a sort of bottleneck for the enemy to target.