View Full Version : Best Death Master PrCs...What are your thoughts?

2010-07-22, 10:46 PM
I have always been fond of the Death Master class from the Dragon Compendium. It's what the Dread Necromancer should have been. A arcane necromancer who can match the cleric in the necromancy department and also has some considerable non-necromantic arcane power to aid him. While I have played Death Masters before, I want to know what all of you here believe to be the best PrCs for this class to take up, mainly as a reference for myself and others who who want to know more about this obscure but awesome class. In fact, once I've decided that I've played the death master class enough I may create a guide for it, though I don't think I'm 100% ready to do that just yet. However, this is mainly for so I can find some PrCs that I don't know about but that may be awesome for the class and some of these PrCs may even make that guide, if and when I decide I'm ready and experienced enough to make it.

So, anybody got some PrCs to add to the list?

2010-07-23, 03:08 PM
What do you want from said PrCs. Standard incantrix stuff or someone more exotic?

I use this class for my CoDzilla (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=3084.0)and his max DMM-able pool cohort.

2010-07-23, 03:22 PM
Death Master is quite underrated indeed. I wonder if it really could out-undead a Dread Necro?

Unlike Dread Necromancers, Death Master's get nice utility spells from the other schools too - like Phantom Steed and Desecrate. The lack of a Cha focus could hurt their rebuking though.

2010-07-23, 03:31 PM
Death Master is quite underrated indeed. I wonder if it really could out-undead a Dread Necro?
Possible, but probably unlikely, due to the Cha-synergies the DN has.

Unlike Dread Necromancers, Death Master's get nice utility spells from the other schools too - like Phantom Steed and Desecrate. The lack of a Cha focus could hurt their rebuking though.
Also unlike DNs, Death Master's don't really get useful class features. This is at once good and bad. Bad because well, class features are awesome. Good because it encourages PrCing out into something else.

However, I'd like to draw a touch of attention to something hilarious. The Lichdom capstone on the Death Master has some text that the DN does not, such as the fact that a non-humanoid Death Master still becomes a lich, an already undead Death Master gets all the abilities ANYWAYS, and the Lichdom abilities stack with any the Death Master might already have. This leads to the following hilarious situations:

-A true dragon Death Master 20 becomes a lich, not a dracolich.
-A Death Master 20//Dread Necromancer 20 gets the entire lich template twice, including two phylacteries.
-If a member of the Emerald Legion became a Death Master 20, shenanigans ensue.

2010-07-26, 03:44 PM
True, Dread Necromancers are the ultimate skeleton horde platform once they reach level 8 and beyond. But pre-level 8 a cleric and death master both easily out necro a dread necro. Dread Necros always have the best rebuking, though. However, the death master, as mentioned, gets some great utility spells and also gets some of the best core arcane spells there is. In fact, some people I know consider the Death Master to be a tier 1.

Also, as far as dread necromancers go, they are the best necromancers, bar none, if you fix their spell list via some homebrewing. If you don't, however, they lack some key spells and a few of their spells are actually useless. The planar binding spells they get literally are un-usable for the dread necromancer unless he can find some alternate way to cast a magic circle spell he lacks. The DN also gets one spell(I forget which) twice, once as a level 2 spell and once as a level 3 spell.

Another shotcomming of the DN is the fact he gets animate dead as a level 4 spell, meaning a cleric still gets animate dead sooner then a DN dose. In fact, a DN can't animate any undead at all until level 8 sans fell animate shenanigans. The lack of desecrate is also a big downside of the DN. The positive side is that if you somehow make it to level 8 your the best necromancer there is, the issue however is that until level 8 your going to be a very poor necromancer. For the most part you will be a negative energy loving gish for 7 levels of your carrier, while a Cleric can start the necromancy thing as soon as he gets to level 3 spells and the Death Master can start it when he has access to level 2s. So in the end, to me, DN Vs. Cleric Vs. Death Master depends on the starting level of the game. If you start anywhere from level 8 onwards, a DN will be the best necromancer. However, if you start at lower levels, the DN will be a rather stinky necromancer(until level 8-on) when compared to a cleric or death master(Though your still more of a necromancer then a wizard or sorcerer would be.), and thus the lower levels can be quite painful, not much unlike a rogue.

So for me, Death Master vs.DN all comes down to how much your willing to give up for necromantic power. If you feel you can suffer through 7 levels of being a stinky necromancer to then at level 8 become the best necromancer in the game then the DN is for you. If you want to animate undead minions and you want to do it now, play a Death Master.(or Cleric). Me, I like both the DN and Death Master, but at lower levels prefer the Death Master simply because a lower level Death Masters actually plays like a necromancer while a DN plays like a gish with an fondness for negative energy for 7 levels.

However, I have played both and really think both classes are awesome. However, I feel the death master needs more love and is a great necromancer in his own right, and is definitely a better arcane necromancer then a wizard or sorcerer will ever be. His downside though is his lack of class features. That's what this thread is for. PrCs to make the death master worthwhile. As for what kind of PrCs I'm looking for, anything which improves the Death Master's Necromancy would be best, though I'm open to PrCs which may not have direct necromantic flavor but still aid a Death Master in his Necromantic pursuits. I am also open to any 3rd party classes and in fact have used death masters with 3rd party PrCs before.

One PrC I usually use is a somewhat altered version of the Animator PrC from Hollowfaust, City of Necromancers. The class itself is unchanged, but the requirements are altered to fit a game in which the spells and knowledge skills in that book do not exist. I also usually get a houserueling that the rebuking the animator gets stacks with any rebuking you already have from another class.(Death Master, Cleric or Dread Necro.) As for the class itself, it's a necromancer, and a very good one at that. It gives you lots of spell-like abilities that either animate or control undead, rebuking and the extra turning feat, the ability to create and control all kinds of undead golems and a capstone which allows you to destroy any undead(including lichs and greater undead) with a touch attack, though at a great price. Oh..and I forgot to mention it's a full 10/10 caster progression class, which makes it even better.