Necromancer Supplement

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Longman
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Re: Necromancer Supplement

Post Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:11 pm

Topped. RE: this thread.

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1304&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

I've been thinking of opening up a new area of Boldenwald for another player and I'd like to have the Necromancer as an option. I have the following comments on the class so far, and the 'animator' idea as well.

- Being able to use a d8 weapon is a major advantage over traditional MU and I'd probably drop it especially give the other advantages of this class.

- To me, this type of class would be all about components and rituals and so on. It would be the most arcane and studious type of magic. I'd have learned spells and important spell components. Certainly not free casting or spell points or anything like that. But at early levels they'd probably only know one spell anyway (Corpse Servant) so it wouldn't be much of a choice.

- Corpse Servant at 1st level is a good idea but it is the spell everyone would want and I can't imagine not giving to a player. It's what the whole class is about. The spell is up there with Sleep in terms of power. No other 1st level spell I have seen allows the control of 2HD of creature to attack and so on, for 1 hour.

As an option - the casting time could be connected with the duration - the longer the ritual, the longer the corpse stays upright. That way, if the character did a ritual for a full hour, the creature would fight or serve for an hour. But if they only laid hands on it for a few minutes, that would be all they'd have. It would be like charging the corpse.

I'd make Animate Dead 3rd level, not 4th.

I'd also probably throw in some extra spells:

some kind of voodoo curse using hair or other body parts to inflict pain from a distance (2nd level)

a spell to summon bats or rats (2nd level)

A frankenstein type spell to make a flesh construct / golem (4th or 5th).

A 'phantom steed' type spell.

An energy drain spell, other than drainblade, to allow the necromancer to slowly drain the life energy out of many people around him, over time.

An ability to sense dead bodies and know how they died, without actually casting Speak with Dead.

An ability to know how close people were to death.

Plus of course, spells like mage hand and wizard eye would actually be a hand an an eye. Big fun with body parts.

For myself, I think there's plenty of scope to have a fun character in here without developing a further subclass of 'animator'.
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SmootRK
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Re: Necromancer Supplement

Post Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:57 pm

I have skimmed over the Animator thread, and I agree with Longman here that I think the Necromancer already covers that sort of archetype... it is pretty much all in the play-style and spell choice. I don't think a separate class "animator" is necessary. That said, a campaign/game specific rewrite of Necromancer is certainly feasible for individual Game Masters to utilize. I would not use 2 separate classes that overlap so distinctly, only one or the other.

Perhaps instead the idea of such an Animator could instead be a kind of specialization or even a quasi-class that any spellcaster could join (or specifically those capable of utilizing Animate Dead spell - certain "evil" clerics, MU or of course the Necromancer would fit well with it).

And then addressing Longman's other points:
I have not worked on the Necromancer in quite some time, but I like many of your spell ideas. Most of the spells (low level ones anyway) have been playtested a bit now, and overall the Necromancer class is slightly inferior to standard MU overall (at least in my opinion and of a couple others who have told me of their experiences)...
I would probably not bother with rewriting any of the spells at this point as they have become pretty standard fare, however your new spell ideas are great. If you care to write up the ideas more fully and present here or in a separate thread where they can be critiqued by the collective here I would be happy to add the spells to the Necromancer document as well as into the Libram Magica. :D

The d8 damage item... while you make a good point, given the slightly sub-par nature of the necromancer (especially at the lowest levels) AND the overall dumbness of a d4 hd person getting into melee, I would actually disagree about this being a big overbalance point. By the time the Necromancer has enough HP to wade into melee with even low level bad-guys, his spells and subsequent undead minions would make getting into melee more unlikely. Basically a non-issue in my mind.
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Longman
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Re: Necromancer Supplement

Post Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:32 pm

SmootRK,

I'll have a go at writing up some new necromancer spells and ideas. Can't say how long it will be though. I'm also working on an 'examples of play' supplement to give new GMs an idea of of game-play.

But I start things, and then...y'know.
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Longman
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NEW SPELLS

Post Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:14 pm

Bone Token (Necromancer 1)
Range: 60’
Duration: 1 hour / level

Using a magically created token of bone (usually a skull), the caster summons a skeletal creature to fight, guard or carry out simple instructions. The skeleton has 1HD and functions as a Skeleton as per the Basic Rules. It remains for an hour per caster level or until it is reduced to 0 hit points. This spell does not affect the limits of other necromantic animation spells. Making a Bone Token requires a ritual of one full day, and costs 500 gold pieces. The advantage of using the Bone Token spell over other forms of necromantic animation is that the body of the skeletal creature is never destroyed. When it is reduced to 0 hit points or the spell duration expires, it simply disappears, and returns intact when the spell is next cast. It also means that the caster does have to access dead bodies or skeletons in order to summon undead assistants. A necromancer may create and carry 1 token per caster level.

This spell is distinguished from Fireskull Familiar (level 2) in the ritual time, the cost, and the fact that it is not destroyed when the summoned creature is destroyed.

Deathwatch (Necromancer 1)
Range: 60’
Duration: 1 turn / level

This spell allows the caster to determine the life-status of any creature within range. It can distinguish between alive (more than half remaining hit points), wounded (fewer than half remaining hit points), fragile (1-2 hit points), dead, undead, or never alive (such as a golem or magical construct). It sees through attempts to feign death, even magical ones, but will be fooled by illusions if the caster fails the relevant saving throw.

Fate Sense (Necromancer 2)
Range: 60’ plus 10’ / level
Duration: 1 turn / level

This spell grants the caster the ability to sense the location of corpses or skeletons, and to gain insight into the manner of their death. The corpses must be at least partially intact for the spell to work (i.e., to have remaining bones in a roughly skeletal structure). The spell does not allow the caster to speak or question the corpse, as in Speak with Dead (3rd level). Instead, it gives a brief sensory impression of the moment in which they died. It is useful in exploration, or in finding a particular body among many. If the necromancer simply wants to find bodies for their nefarious ends, they are better off using Locate Corpse (Level 1).

Golem, Bone (Necromancer 4)
Range: 60’ or special
Duration: permanent until destroyed

This spell allows the caster to make a Bone Golem (Core Rules p.92, R75.) The ritual involves at least two complete human skeletons or the equivalent amount of bone from other humanoid creatures, but it must have 4 functional arms. The Golem can be left to follow simple instructions (guard a 60’ radius area, prevent access through a door, attack any who enter an area, etc) at the discretion of the GM. Alternately, they may be brought into combat or other service by their maker at a range of 60’. They can only ever be controlled by their maker and may not be turned. The ritual to create a Bone Golem takes one full week and costs 200 gp per HD, i.e, 1600 gold pieces.

Golem, Flesh (Necromancer 5)
Range: 60’ or special
Duration: permanent until destroyed

This spell allows the caster to make a Flesh Golem (Core Rules p.94, R75.) The ritual involves at least two complete human corpses or the equivalent amount of body parts, but it must have 2 functional arms. The Golem can be left to follow simple instructions (guard a 60’ radius area, prevent access through a door, attack any who enter an area, etc) at the discretion of the GM. Alternately, they may be brought into combat or other service by their maker. They can only ever be controlled by their maker and may not be turned. The ritual to create a Flesh Golem takes one full week and costs 2000 gold pieces.

Note: The Flesh Golem is a more physically powerful creature but the Bone Golem is faster and has more attacks.

Pain Doll (Necromancer 3)
Range: 1 mile per level
Duration: 1 round / level

To use this spell, the caster must have obtained some small body part or personal item from the target, typically a lock of hair or a favorite possession. The caster may create a doll-sized impression of the subject, in a ritual that takes at least one day. From then on, the caster may cast the spell and torture the subject, inflicting 1 hit point of pain damage for every round it remains in effect. The damage is not real and lost hit points will return in exactly twice as many rounds as the spell’s full duration (i.e., if the caster does 5hp damage, the hit points will return in 10 rounds from the time the last point was taken). A subject may be tortured into unconsciousness using the spell, but not to death. At the GM’s discretion, the spell may interfere with the subject’s sleep, healing, spell learning or other processes.

Variant: The spell may do more or less damage depending on the nature of the item gained. For example, if the caster is able to find no more than footprints from a subject, they may do no more than 1 hit point per day. However if they obtain a family heirloom, they may do twice the normal damage.

Phantom Steed (Necromancer 2)
Range: 0
Duration: 1 hour per level / 1 round per level

This spell allows the caster to summon a ghostly horse or other creature to serve as a steed. The steed has a speed of 20’ caster level, up to a maximum of 200’. The creature has 2HD plus 1hp per caster level and an AC of 18, although it may only be hit my magical weapons. It does not fight. If the casting is instantaneous (1 round), the steed only lasts 1 round per level, to enable a quick getaway. If the ritual takes 10 minutes, the steed will remain for an hour per level and may assist in overland travel. It can carry as much a regular draft horse (Core Rules p.59) and makes no sound while moving.

Skeletal Steed (Necromancer 3)

This spell is a particular manifestation of Animate Dead (Necromancer 4) but is available a level earlier than the regular spell, and counts towards the maximum animation limits for that spell. It requires the complete skeleton of a horse or other beast of burden. The creature functions as a War Horse (Core Rules, p.59), with 3HD and a move of 60, fighting and saving as Fighter level 3. Once it has taken all of its hp it collapses, leaving the rider to fall to the ground. If it takes more than 150% of its hp, it cannot be reanimated. Preparing the bones for initial animation takes 1 day.

Summon Rats (Necromancer 2)
Range: 60’
Duration: 2 rounds + 1 round / level

This spell summons a pack (5d10) of ordinary rats to fight for the caster. Individually, each rat has 1 hit point and an AC of 11, but the GM should treat the rats as a swarm, with 5d10 hp but fighting and saving as a 1st level Fighter. The pack occupies a full 10 square feet of floor space. It gets one attack per round on any creature within its surface area, doing 1d6 damage. For each point of damage taken, here is a 5% chance of contacting a disease (see ‘Rat’ in the Core Rules). Melee attacks on the pack do half damage, as though the attacker had hit more than one rat. Missile attacks may only target one rat and are very ineffective, although fire and area spells may be very effective. Once the pack has taken half more than half of its full hit point total (5d10), it will disperse, even if the spell is still functioning. The range indicates the maximum distance from the caster at which the pack will remain an attacking force.

Summon Bats (Necromancer 2)
Range: 120’
Duration: 2 rounds + 1 round / level

This spell summons a pack of ordinary bats (50+5d10) to fight for the caster. Each bat has only 1 hit point and an AC of 14, but the bats operate collectively and save as a 1st level fighter. They have no effective attack, but they wheel around in a distracting fashion and cause the Necromancer’s opponents to make all rolls (attack and saving throw) at a -2 penalty. Melee attacks on the pack do half damage, as though the attacker had hit more than one bat. Missile attacks may only target one bat. Once the pack has taken half more than half of its full hit point total (50+5d10), it will disperse, even if the spell is still functioning. The range indicates the maximum distance from the caster at which the pack will remain an attacking force.

SPELL VARIANTS

Corpse Servant (Necromancer 1)
Range: touch
Duration: 1 hour per level or variable (see variant rule).

Normal: This spell allows the caster temporarily animate skeletons or zombies. A number of hit dice equal to the caster's level may be animated for up to one hour per caster level. These non-permanent undead do not count towards the Animate Dead spell limitations, but they otherwise conform to the permanent undead created by that spell. Only one instance of this spell may be active at a time for any particular caster.

Animated skeletons have hit dice equal to the number the creature had in life; for skeletons of humans or demi-humans, this means one hit die, regardless of the character level of the deceased. Zombies have one more hit die than the creature had in life. An animated skeleton can be created only from a mostly intact skeleton; a zombie can be created only from a mostly intact corpse. The caster must touch the remains to be animated.

Variant 1: The duration of the spell is exactly equal to the amount of time the caster spent preparing the Corpse Servant, to a maximum of 2 hours per level. For example if the necromancer cast the spell on a single corpse with a ritual lasting for only ten minutes, the servant would only remain in effect for that length of time.

Variant 2: The preparation time for the first casting of Corpse Servant on a particular body involves a ritual lasing at least 1 full night. Once a corpse or skeleton has been prepared in this way, it may be reanimated with any future castings of the spell, instantaneously.

For the original spell and both variants, the GM must decide whether the corpse or skeleton is still usable after a particular encounter. As a rule of thumb, if the Corpse Servant took more than 150% of its original hit point total in an encounter, it has been destroyed and the necromancer must find another body to act as a servant in future.
Last edited by Longman on Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Longman
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OTHER IDEAS

Post Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:22 pm

I personally think Animate Dead should be at 3rd level for this class. Any arguments against?

I also think Fireskull Familiar should be at level 1 because it doesn't seem to be powerful enough to be a 2nd level spell.

Also, in regards to creation costs for Golems and Mummies -

There is wild variance in basic literature about how much this sort of thing should cost.

The original AD and D monster manual says Flesh Golems should cost 1,000gp per hit point! That's 40,000 gp!

Smoot's Mummy spell is at 100 gp per hit die. I have aimed lower, in line with Smoots' Mummy spell - the cost is 200gp per hit die for Golems.
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Re: Necromancer Supplement

Post Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:46 pm

I think lowering the cost makes it a little too easy.
Magic Items... Sold Dirt Cheap!

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SmootRK
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Re: Necromancer Supplement

Post Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:54 am

Blogger find:
http://boddynock-te.blogspot.com/2015/0 ... g-and.html

New Spell: Corpse Mine

Nowadays, seeing as I have a couple of RPG's I like to write for, it seems to be a good idea to write-up universal fluff then do two small entries of crunch. Hopefully that spreads the appeal of the blog. also I can save on having to make multiple entries about the same idea with different crunch stats. I already fill the blog up with a lot of ramblings, let's not fill it with repetition. Now, onto "Corpse Mine"!

Background: Corpse Mine was created in an act of desperation during one the so-called great wars that plagued the known world. As one side was on the ropes they began seeking any kind of advantage over their winning opponents, even if it was through the means of dark arts. At first work began to animating dead soldiers as troops, which worked to help fill the ranks. But one necromancer had learned that you had to take care in how much necrotic energy you put into a corpse, too much makes them explode. A necromancer then discovered with the right levels you could turn a corpse into a booby trap for the enemy. A body that would explode in necrotic energy, shards of bone, and putrescent fluids. He invented the first corpse mine.
Image
Corpse Mine
MU 2, Necromancer 2
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 day/level

A corpse mine fills a dead body with volatile necrotic energy, making the body into a waiting bomb for anyone who gets close. Getting within 10' of the corpse causes the body to explode in a mass of bone, putrescent fluid, and necrotic energy. The explosion causes 4d6 points of damage with a Save vs. Spell for half.
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mTeasdale
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Re: Necromancer Supplement

Post Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:46 pm

Looks like someone played D2 recently ;) ...

More seriously, I like the fluff behind that spell, but I think it may be a bit too good for level 2. I've got two ideas :

1. Making the spell level 3 and giving it the damage of a fireball. The necromancer fireball alternative, with a shorter range, the need of a corpse, but the advantage of delaying the damage.

2. Scaling the damage with the HD of the corpse, something like 1d4 / HD, max 6d4. Pretty much the same damage with a 6HD corpse than your version, but lower damage with the body of an orc or goblin, for example. To inflict decent damage with the spell, you have to kill a worthy opponent in combat before...

Edit : didn't see it came for a blog. Anyway, here's my view on the spell anyway.
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JakeCWolf
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Re: Necromancer Supplement

Post Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:49 am

Curious about something, I'm asking here as it seems like the logical place to do so, but did the Necromancer or... any other class for that matter once possess a "Command Undead" ability that worked like the Cleric's Turn Undead ability? I see it mentioned several times in supplements and even the core book if I recall yet I can't find the spell anywhere, it's safe to assume if it did exist the Necromancer was the one who had it.
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SmootRK
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Re: Necromancer Supplement

Post Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:50 am

It is not a spell, but is the "reverse" ability of Turn Undead.

And no, it was not part of the Necromancer. The necromancer as designed was really just a specialist Magic-User and I did not want it to co-opt any clerical functions directly. Necromancer = Magic User with altered spell list as the primary difference... and specifically most of the work was coming up with loads of spells to make the differentiation notable.

That said, a Cleric of a death/undeath sort of deity would be able to command undead easily in my mind, being a specific perk of such worship. Bring on Clerics of Orcus!
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