View Full Version : Necropolis Building! Calling all Necromancy Enthusiasts!

2010-10-09, 08:23 PM
So for a particular IRL game(D&D 3.5e), my necromancer has recently come into a lot of money. Rather than spend it on optimizing my character (Not too keen on buying a bushel of nightsticks), I am going to use my other in-game resources to aid in the construction of an "undercity" for our current base of operations which is currently listed as a small city.

I have a large army of 1HD zombies with picks and shovels, being led by various intelligent undead, who I have digging tunnels beneath the city so I may start construction. I also have access to an undead bard in possession of a lyre of building so my costs are already reduced by one-third.

My goal for my undercity is to make it an economic powerhouse and a place for various illegal activities. If any are familiar with the the Odyssey series of Magic the Gathering novels, I wish it to be something like the cabal city or failing that, akin to Hollowfaust of the scarred lands.

My request to you various playgrounders is to aid me in building my city. I need to think of an efficient way to keep the construction hidden, a way to start off the economy so as to at least fund the goings on of the city, and perhaps a list of absolute necessities the city would need in order to maintain itself. If anyone could also offer helpful tips on strategic layouts for the city as well, it would be much appreciated.

(As a note: I can quickly gain acess to any books necessary to make this possible so please feel free to use any books you like in your suggestion)

2010-10-09, 08:24 PM
Reserved for great ideas

2010-10-09, 08:38 PM
Oooh, city building ...

Well, an underground city likely means no need for walls and such to defend from attacking forces. Your fortifications are likely going to be an easily trappable, confusing tunnel down to the city. Lots of twists and turns, honeycombing all over the place. You can only get in if you're desperately lucky, or someone tells you how. This tunnel should also be narrow. For some reason, I don't see massive trade caravans headed into the city, more like individually smuggled, rare goods. The caravans can head into your above ground stronghold. Secondly, narrow tunnels are easily defendable.

Now, the next thing you're probably gonna do is build a cavern. Some huge cave that can hold a metropolitan city. I wouldn't recommend putting this directly underneath your pre-existing city, but rather a few miles away/a few hundred meters deep. You don't want getting into your secret, evil city to be easy. Also, ward it for teleportation. See if you can put some of that wealth into a Cloister type effect. I imagine you have to be pretty high level to have a city sized base of operations anyway.

Next, filling the cavern. You're not going to want to build everyone's buildings for them, but you're going to want to set yourself up as a competent leader. So, first thing's first, build yourself a nice, evil looking tower right it the center. It should almost reach the top of your cavern. Next, build roads. Grid-like structure. They should be wide streets, to prevent a coup from your seedy citizens. Also, wider streets mean a bigger zombie flood when you need to kill invading do-gooders. Leave most buildings to your expected citizens: that's their business.

I'd recommend a secondary large square somewhere. The first is around the tower, but the second is meant as a market square. Think Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. That means that most illicit business activitie, and the highest riding emotions of your citizens, happen significantly away from where you are. If you want the seedy feel, then make lots and lots of secondary alleys, but ones that don't really go anywhere except the market square. Only main roads should lead to your tower. Also, make everything interconnected. Mobility will be your friend.

So, that's all I can think up on the fly ... good luck!

The Mentalist
2010-10-09, 08:43 PM
I'd suggest for defense doing a quick search on Tuckers Kobolds, you may not have as many brains but you have tireless workers to build traps (especially via aid another or awaken them to work on their own)

Also in that vein, uncontrolled super low HD (rats, bats, cockroaches) Destructive Retribution undead.

For keeping it hidden I'd recommend spells like Passwall, lead linings, the usual wards. (I would put fewer defensive wards up though. A million glyphs of warding say "SOMETHING'S HERE!") I think a permanent Passwall in a hidden corner somewhere would work really well as the entrances and exits.

For quick money there is crafting (Undead minions) providing cheap labor (disguised undead minions) transformation into undead (you have vampires or such? How much would people pay to be transformed into a vampire?) Necromantic weapons (You remember those Destructive Retribution undead? Put them in a box and throw them with a catapult) Since you're going to killed on sight for being evil anyway you may as well work demons and devils over for some quick cash as well.

2010-10-09, 09:40 PM
K's guide says

"Undead Fortresses
Ok, so you’ve decided to build a base of operations. There’s a few things to remember. First, despite what everyone tells you, you are not going to have walls made out of bone or permanently desecrated hallways or pools of blood or any of that dramatic and expensive accessory items of out of The Sims, Necromantic Style. You are going to build it along a few practical lines.

You will have “dead-man rooms”, which are rooms full of masses of uncontrolled undead, and you’ll have taken a feat or spell like Lich-loved so that you don’t have to worry about being eaten when you restock the rooms. Then, when heroes come to bust up your tea-party your “Hive” breaks open and destroys the heroes, and perhaps the nearest city as well despite the number of turning attempts or Command Undead spells they might have.

For your intelligent undead, which are most likely incorporeal, you’ll have deep stone floors and walls so that have space to pop in and out as needed, and even 5’ deep walls for “ghost doors” usable by incorporeal guys. (This takes advantage of the fact that incorporeal creatures can only move 5' through objects).

If your DM is using the optional rules on how masses of undead creates ambient Turn Resistance, then you can abuse the Haunting Presence rules by taking a large number of low-HD skeles and turning them into para-ghosts that mass the area, putting enough necromantic mojo into the air to clot the holy artery of any cheeky bastard with Turning (even you, unfortunately).

That’s about it. Add in a few summoning rooms and a hospital ward to inflict dudes which ghoul fever and/or harvest liquid pain, and you are the Martha Stewart of the necromantic world."

Sadly it says nothing on how to build a underground fortress with out being noticed.

I would "find"(if your Dm goes for it) a vein of black onyx and see if you can build your city nearby for free animating undead and you can sell it to anyone who becomes a part of your city. I also recommend a tithe or tax annually from any member of your city to support the city.

2010-10-09, 09:40 PM
For the record the rules on building buildings are in the Stronghold Builder's Guide. Having the entire thing be a series of caves greatly reduces cost. There are plenty of anti-divination enchants, and barring that have the outer boundaries of the area be covered in lead (with lead-lined gates to enter/exit).

2010-10-09, 09:47 PM
Hmm, not sure, but you might have been better off getting some teams of undead dire badger skellies

undead lyre of building though, that's pretty good too since that can go on for quites the whiles.

Hmm. Could get in on the monster racket with both a breeding population of monsters, mebbeh warbeast, mebbeh mageybred, and undeadified versions of them. That works even better with access to zones of quickened time for access to a larger inventory from initial breeding stock. Maybe PAOing things into the base stock and going from there. Possibly a line of dungeonbred larger creatures that would be particularly valuable as mounts.

Alternatively, dire cattle?

DMG II might have some rituals you'd be interested in to help speed up magic item creation times if you're interested in that angle at all.

Consult with your DM about the ritual of crucimigration and if you can make people into necropolitans for a price in addition to bone, mummified, vampire types of corporeal undeads that retain some modicum of their former self.

Approach master craftsmen, politicians, nobles near the ends of their lives about the option of continuing their work until they're ready to let go, with alternate plans of just paying da monies for the transformation or entering into an indentured period of service with the organization, as, after all, what are 5, 10 prime years to an immortal creature. Did I mention you'd be stuck on a fast-time plane doing your thang?

2010-10-09, 09:48 PM
Keep in mind, I'm not trying to build a stronghold here (Though that will come in due time) I want to build a functional city, but when undead are thrown in to the mix it tends to complicate things.

2010-10-09, 09:57 PM
Non-spawning undead are preferable for city-living, wights are right out due to their riskiness and bad public relations. Vampires similarly would want to be kept limited. Non-feeding undead even more preferable, as they don't require an importation of food-resources or to be allowed to go out hunting and thus lead to the establishment trying to put the kibosh on your operation before it's off the ground.

But I'm not saying anything you probably don't already know.

I'd recommend finding an update of the bone creature and getting it approved by your DM (AFAIK, the main bit that's not kosher is the 1/2 damage from non-bludgeoning weapons thing.) and using that as the standard sentient undead package with necropolitan being a step up in the classes of immortality you offer.

Hmm, the problem with non-feeding undead though... What are their motives? What are their needs? What goods and services do they require/desire and are most likely to choose to try to provide to their fellow undead?

I'm thinking entertainment is probably going to be one of the biggest demands of a population of non-feeding undead.

They don't need food or water or rest/shelter, so that's the three basic things that define living sentient beings out the window, along with a 24-hour day instead of a 16-or-so.

If they're still materialistic they'll at least want a place to store their stuff, so charging rent rather than letting them own would be one way of motivating them to work and engage in the economy.

Social status and interaction may or may not be a factor to them post-mortis, but if it is, that is another potential motivating factor, competing to see who can have the nicest/most stuff and the swankest furnishings and be the more up to date on the fashions and current events of the times and being the most cultured and refined skeleton for 40 blocks.

If they're feeding undead they at least have the desire to A. hunt, B. kill, and C. feed so they have some angle by which they can be manipulated into buying into the game of the city. On the other hand, due to their natures, manipulating them using what they want is difficult due to the supply of living humanoids one has to offer and getting enough living humanoids without becoming blatant.

2010-10-09, 09:57 PM
Assuming the people who will be frequenting it are undead you might want to consider having the streets and flooring made of Black Sand, gives undead temporary hit points just by standing on it.

2010-10-09, 10:05 PM
Hmmm well while I wish for this place to be a safe haven for the various undead, I still want to make this a place people would want to go. I had plans for an arena type deal with lots of gambling, the inclusion of several taverns of varying quality, as well as a separate wing for activities to be performed exclusively by necromancers. I might map out by basic idea for layout tonight and see if anyone could improve upon it. This is going to be based out of the stronghold builders guide as much as possible by the way.

2010-10-09, 10:30 PM
I need to think of an efficient way to keep the construction hidden

Well, someone suggested lead and that there were ways to prevent scrying, but I'm not familiar with them. I'd say it is in your best interest to prevent scry and die over as much of the essential machinery of the city and offer the service for a fee to any prominent individual undead who would be having dealings outside of the city that could attract outside scrys/attention/assassins/adventurers.

Starting sufficiently deep, never progressing above a certain point, and reinforcing the tunnels well so as to minimize/prevent noticeable shifting is one thing that can be done during the construction to prevent you being discovered in your nascent state. I believe at first, secrecy will be your biggest protection and then having a state with borders as tight as the one room within the borg cube that people can teleport into is the next one. I'm trying to remember what they did with it, but I'm sure you can find the borg cube stronghold that's crawling/flying/swimming with tons of spell turrets on the outside and made of obdurium.

I'd recommend taking inspiration from that for your entrances and exits, though probably not to the extent outlined in that bit of TO.

a way to start off the economy

Well, what goods and services are you able to provide at present?

Once you get a floor-plan and some suites/rooms/buildings, you can provide a relatively safe and secure location amongst other undead that adventurers would have their resources strained to get into and mess with any individual undead or group thereof. At least, once you've secured your place against outside interference.

You need to also decide what sort of trade relations you'll have and who your potential trade partners would be, even if it's just your own private army of crafters making swag to steadily and gradually increase your wealth.

Presumably you can offer training and instruction to further necromancers, so you could also use that as a way to help flesh out a bureaucracy/professional class of undead-necromancers in the city.

But, really, as I mentioned earlier... you've got to figure out why undead would want to work and contribute to an economy. I don't have an easy answer for that out of hand.

Might finagle with your DM to get handle animal to work with your specially programmed warbeast animal skellies at a penalty and determine prices for them for selling them to wizard cabals for resale or directly to others.

Maybe starting your own "wizard cabals" in various municipalities to both increase revenue and allow an indirect outlet of trade but to also provide a cover for your... selection of new intelligent undead for your citystate.

a list of absolute necessities the city would need in order to maintain itself.

Well, it's going to need a central unifying location from which to organize the necessary bureaucracy.

It's going to need some way to both keep its population from expanding faster than its ability to have enough space for its inhabitants and some way with which to increase its population without yours truly having to go out, find some people, and kill and zap 'em into undead.

So, a shadow organization that can take steps to avoid having adventurers trace them back to your city and approaches the types of people you want to become your people as the fear of death grips their hearts and then transports them to a processing "Naturalization" division of the bureaucracy would probably be good if you're maintaining secrecy for a while.

Material resources are going to be a necessity. How are you going to get them? Skeletons don't have any rules for breaking down over time, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't take pains to maintain their vessels through the long, long years of the afterlife. So too they need to be able to take care of their tools and when they finally do wear out, they need to be able to replace those tools. And to do that they need either trade with an external source for raw materials or finished goods or a source of raw materials.

Magical Fungiwoods may be adaptable to become wood-substitutes, but unless the city is sitting above significant deposits of metals and stone, those are going to need to be acquired somehow. Though, it might be possible for you to just dig down far enough to get to decent stuff as well. Though that does risk hitting the underdark.

Traps of True Creation are a bit high level and niche (Creation 8, after all), and tippyversque so possibly not even compatible.

strategic layouts for the city

1st thing's first. Start thinking in 3D. Just like in dwarf fortress, it will be about as easy for your inhabitants (tireless and indefatigable to a man unless you let in mortals for trade) to travel up and down a flight of stairs to get to the next courtyard as it would be to walk to the next block over.

Then you need to decide whether you're going to be reachable by teleportation magics only or if you're going to have physical entrances and exits.

Hmmm well while I wish for this place to be a safe haven for the various undead, I still want to make this a place people would want to go. I had plans for an arena type deal with lots of gambling, the inclusion of several taverns of varying quality, as well as a separate wing for activities to be performed exclusively by necromancers. I might map out by basic idea for layout tonight and see if anyone could improve upon it. This is going to be based out of the stronghold builders guide as much as possible by the way.

Ahh, in that case, you're probably going to be wanting to think in layers/quarters.

Like, Living/Visitor's/Foreigner's Quarters: Where entertainment more suited to the living is readily available and it would border the central marketplace/trading hub of the city, because, well, they're coming here to trade with you predominantly.

Probably split that into a living permanent residents quarter near the visitor's quarter and the actual trader's/visitor's quarter.

IIRC, DMG, DMGII, and Cityscape have some comments on types of burroughs/wards.

I'd crib notes from the mage's university sort of neighbourhood and adapt it to a necromancer's laboratories neighbourhood, and have it be placed on the far side of the city from the entrances for the living.

For some reason I'm thinking of a sort of three-layered ring as the central hub of the city where the markets, great arena(s), and civil governmental seat are. Residential and Experimental districts would be spokes off of the wheel, the better to make them feel insulated from the general business of the thriving city proper. Maybe have the living quarter be such a spoke (not sure if you want multiple layers or not, probably eventually though, so I wouldn't build underneath it) with connections to the main thoroughfare/gate into the city and the main hub. Just to start of with, ya'know. Want something parallel and similar for the caravaners and merchants to let their pack animals rest.

I'd probably have each of the three main hub rings be a sort of grand cavern(maybe sort of split levels with a central area/connection with the other hubs and spokes that allows lots of room and then has a wall of honeycomb structures like a mall with a central courtyard sort of, with one of them being a GREAT Cavern(like, more space from bottom to ceiling than from the ground to the top of a cathedral's tallest tower in order to really impress upon people your abilities to get that sort of space underground.

Look to materials on Eberron and Sharn for inspiration about how to get humans/the inpatient/busy/couriers/rushed/armed forces around quickly between levels.

Depending upon how far it is to the underdark, you may attempt to divine how/where to dig in order to link up with that trade.

Though you may want more of a dark road that's not really well known that connects to more of a trade depot there and mindless undead are used to get the goods between the depot and the main city's predominantly undead and more tied to the city area/loyal to you area, which, thematically, I would have be a quieter spoke off of the undercity to better discourage the living from encountering anything that would cause them to turn up their nose like slaving, depending upon your world's set up anyway.

2010-10-10, 03:50 AM
Spelltiched undead. Complete Arcane. Requires Craft Wonderous Item.

The granted SLA's can be of great use, especially for spells with costly component costs. You should at least be able to spellstitch a lieutenant capable of Animate Dead as an SLA. Conjuration spells such as wall of stone and iron should also be available, depending on the wisdom of the base undead creature.

Iron is good for the economy. Break it down for crafting. Weapons, armour, tools, cages or whatever. The important thing is that it is free.

Stone is good for the economy. Use it for building/supporting an underground complex.

2010-10-10, 04:33 AM
You are going to be needing food and primarily water, if the quick are going to live with the dead. This might mean that unless there is a sizeable body of water nearby, you might end up competing for resources with the town above.

If that happens, just march your zombies above and make everyone go through the necropolitan ritual. :smalltongue:

2010-10-10, 04:44 AM
Well, if you want a completely sustainable underground city after you build your city section dig another cavern below, line the ceiling with infinite day light items to fill the chamber with bright light,. bring topsoil down and start heavy crop rotations, a few decanters of endless water should provide the needed water for irrigation and make a nifty running water system for your city!

The way this makes it completely sustainable, the living folk in the upper sections of the city create carbon dioxide which is heavier than air, it settles down into the crop areas, the plants create oxygen which raises back up into the city! This also gives you lots of food so your meatbag citizens can survive easily throughout sieges.

Defense is fairly easily, collapsible ceiling in the 1-5 mile long path leading to the real city, your city using the above idea is completely self sufficient and can be completely cut off from the surface for an indeterminate amount of time.

NOW onto the social aspects. You will have alot of experts in your city not many commoners, as the common junk is taken care of by your undead minions. This would mean your city will likely want to be based on intellect or production.

A good way to start out would be to mass produce weapons and armor, cheep stuff, and provide this to nations on the cheep or insurgent forces working against people you dont like. With this initial influx of cash you can set up a very reputable very secure banking system, works very well with ring portals in auxiliary offices elsewhere!

You could also provide mediation areas, declare your city neutral ground and offer specialized services for mediation between parties from civil groups to nations. With your aforementioned banking system people will already like you enough to deal with you monetarily so they will accept your unbiased decisions, this will also help to provide defense to your city as no one will want all the eggs smashed, if one nation rallies against you you call the other nations for help, offer them the offending nations money if they come to your aid, this should be sufficient to discourage adventurism! :D

2010-10-10, 04:46 AM
some way with which to increase its population without yours truly having to go out, find some people, and kill and zap 'em into undead.

why not make a new type of sentient undead that breeds like a normal race? you can raise a couple thousand of them and wait a few decades and BAM! undead population. you could even have them need to eat a specific type of food 1/week (like Fireballed Kobold) as a way to motivate them. bonus: if they breed they have urges so strip clubs etc. provide another reason to earn $$$

Octopus Jack
2010-10-10, 05:35 AM
why not make a new type of sentient undead that breeds like a normal race? you can raise a couple thousand of them and wait a few decades and BAM! undead population. you could even have them need to eat a specific type of food 1/week (like Fireballed Kobold) as a way to motivate them. bonus: if they breed they have urges so strip clubs etc. provide another reason to earn $$$

This is a good idea, if it can't work then why not just keep camps of humans in your city as breeders and you convert some of them into your undead friends while leaving most alive to continue breeding. This way you're not constantly kidnapping people from other towns and have an emergancy supply of food if you need it.

2010-10-10, 08:56 AM
Make sure that while you're doing this you have a copy of Libris Mortis (a.k.a the book of bad latin) in front of you. I consider it absolutely necessary for anything extensively dealing with undead. There are some great ideas, monsters, and items and good stuff in it that you should definitely look at.

2010-10-10, 11:37 AM
Ah, social aspects. Well, I have one pretty good idea for that:

Basically, you'll have your living population, the ones who need to think to do their jobs, like business owners, alchemists, and experts. Then, you'll have your mindless undead, who do all the hard labor for them. Then you'll have your few intelligent undead, which works best as vampires, for reasons I'll discuss in a moment.

Firstly, from an economic perspective, being underground will probably be best if you can mine things: other people have suggested being near a vein of black onyx, which is a great idea. However, really, any ore will do. Your cheap zombie labour means easy mining for no cost other than the cost of making the undead, since they don't need wages: these will be controled, so they don't need motivation. Then, the living population, or any undead you have capable of fine manipulation, will fashion the ores into weapons, tools, etc. Since you don't have to pay your laborers, this ore can be sold at lower than listed price to your artisans, and you'd still make a profit. Then, they'd be able to sell the finished products for less, making more and more people willing to trade with you.

Secondly, you should levy a "tax" from your living citizens. It's nothing as dramatic as their first born, or a sick person: simply say that whenever anyone dies in the city, their bodies must be given to your or one of your undead-raising servants. That way, you have an undead population that grows at the human death rate. Since your undead shouldn't be getting destroyed that often, this means that you'll have a pretty stable, if not growing, population. People would be inclined to comply so they get to keep thier cheap labour. This tax can also include a small blood offering, for you Vampire upper class.

Vampires work for a good few reasons. With the blood tax, there should be very little vampires attacking living citizens. Plus, vampires get a whole bunch of advantages when they're the top class. They're powerful undead, while still looking fairly human, for those outsiders or residents who are opposed to undead. They're compelled to serve you, because your blood tax lets them live in comfort, and them going out and harvesting people would put them in danger. The vampire mystique is a good aspect to have, too. Everyone loves vampires*. Also, for a very few special people, the gift of vampirism could be given to raise them to a noble status.

I like the underground daylit area providing crops. Especially because it should mean that, in case your vampire upper class decides to betray you, there's a safe haven against them.

Your population should have a lot of Adepts in it, as well as experts. Because, well, someone's gotta maintain all these magical systems, and you've got adventuring to do!

*Not in the Twilight way, more like the vicious nobles who serve your interests way.

2010-10-10, 12:36 PM
a way to start off the economy

Perhaps sell the 1HD zombies as slaves after they've done their jobs?

After the city is set up, you could send some of your more elite undead on surface raids for living creatures to use as slaves. When the slaves have been brought to you, you can turn them into higher level undead, which can be used for more raids, to populate the city, form an army, or sell for more money.

Again, you should look at Libris Mortis.

2010-10-10, 12:56 PM
Oh and Heros of Horror is amazing for new monsters and feats.

2010-10-10, 09:22 PM
It's obvious what your major export would be: necromancy itself. People would come from far and wide to buy necromatic spells, purchase undead minions, and become undead themselves. Many visitors would come to be made into a necropolitan, at great expense. Some people who aren't wealthy enough to buy immortality right away would be allowed to pay it off through service. Many residents of the city would be indentured servants, working for a few years after or before becoming undead.

2010-10-10, 09:28 PM
Also, I believe SilverClawShift's adventure journals included (a partial) one about a necropolis. Maybe check that out?

2010-10-10, 09:38 PM
Also, I believe SilverClawShift's adventure journals included (a partial) one about a necropolis. Maybe check that out?

That was a pretty cool set up. If I remember correctly, it wasn't all underground but it was entirely indoors and windowless. Kind of like a giant warehouse with buildings inside and underground levels below the buildings. It was ruled by vampires who imposed a blood tax on their citizens. There were a lot of clever concepts, such as a transportation network of tubes vampires could travel through with gaseous form to take shortcuts through the city.

2010-10-10, 09:43 PM
That was a pretty cool set up. If I remember correctly, it wasn't all underground but it was entirely indoors and windowless. Kind of like a giant warehouse with buildings inside and underground levels below the buildings. It was ruled by vampires who imposed a blood tax on their citizens. There were a lot of clever concepts, such as a transportation network of tubes vampires could travel through with gaseous form to take shortcuts through the city.

Ah, that was where I got the blood tax idea from! I knew I wasn't clever enough to think of it on my own! But yeah, look at that for some inspiration. It's pretty damn cool.

2010-10-10, 10:07 PM
^: Link, guys?
why not make a new type of sentient undead that breeds like a normal race? you can raise a couple thousand of them and wait a few decades and BAM! undead population. you could even have them need to eat a specific type of food 1/week (like Fireballed Kobold) as a way to motivate them. bonus: if they breed they have urges so strip clubs etc. provide another reason to earn $$$

Hmm. Living Undead. Like warforged that can breed.

Interesting. Reminds me of the subtypes Frank and K came up with in their Tome of Necromancy. Specifically the one which they made for things like ghouls which had a sort of twisted biology to them.


The obvious, and slickest, way to handle the excesses of the Undead type would be to simply rewrite the Undead type with a lot less in it and throw down a number of subtypes (mindless for skeletons, amorphous for shadows, and ponderous for zombies) to put in the abilities that each type of undead is supposed to have. But polls have shown that people aren't willing to play with optional rules that do that – but perversely they are willing to add new subtypes to monsters to remove rules instituted by the base template. I don't know why, but DMs are honestly more likely to use an additional subtype that removes an inappropriate game effect from a monster than they are to use a modified base type that doesn't have the inappropriate effect in the first place. So that's how we're going to do it here.

Dark Minded (subtype)
Undead creatures with an intelligence score have an intelligence that can be influenced, though they are dead and cannot be influenced by appeals to emotion. A dark minded creature has the following traits:
- Not immune to mind affecting affects.
- Immune to morale and fear effects.
- Heals normally
- Any Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate attempts to influence a dark minded creature are made with a -10 penalty.
- A Dark Minded creature continues to advance in age categories, growing older and wiser over time. It does not accrue any penalties to its attributes for advancing in age categories, and a Dark Minded creature has no maximum age.

Unliving (subtype)
An Unliving creature is an undead that mimics many of the capacities of a living creature without truly being alive. An unliving creature has the following game effects:
- Unliving creatures have a metabolism of sorts, and thus have a Constitution score.
- Unliving creatures require food (often blood or flesh) and sleep, and are vulnerable to magical sleep effects even if they are otherwise immune to mind affecting effects.
- Unliving creatures have at least one vital organ, and are subject to critical hits from attackers with at least one rank in Knowledge (Religion).
- Not destroyed upon reaching 0 it points, though its existence still ends if it reaches -10 as normal.
- Subject to subdual damage, but can benefit from the Regeneration ability as normal.

That there unliving one, that's what I were thinking of.

Edit: Something I just found that's both a food source (probably just emergency in nature, but, y'know) and a sustainable form of non-magical lighting.
Phosphorescent Fungus (No CR)

This strange underground fungus grows in clumps that look almost like stunted shrubbery. Drow elves cultivate it for food and light. It gives off a soft violet glow that illuminates underground caverns and passages as well as a candle does. Rare patches of fungus illuminate as well as a torch does.

And, due to the violet light nature of it, helps make the necropolis look that more necropolissy :smallbiggrin:

Although, getting the DM to approve multiple strains/breed/species that provide different colors of light would be nifty for differentiating city districts/burroughs/zoning.

2010-10-11, 12:43 AM
excellent now we just need to lure the kobolds and we can have us a fair dinkum Aussie Kobold BBQ anyone want some Maximised Crispy Thigh?

2010-10-11, 08:48 AM
My recommendation? Exploit time. Ruthlessly. :xykon:

Find a way to accelarate time inside of your city, first. This will make any attempt at entry allow for several hours of preparation instead of several minutes.

After this step, accelerate time even more dramitically in your summoning pits. This will allow undead to stream seemingly-endlessly at regular intervals, with Intelligent attandants and/or apprentices.

Keep a number of Breeding Chambers. Considering that Undead reproduce through dead bodies, you're going to need a constant supply of bodies. If you breed desirable Undead candidates in a similar accelerated zone as to that of the Summon pits, then it will likely take a number of days to produce a handful of residents. Note that the first candidates will take several relative years to be useful, and thus it may take a year or two before you can factory-produce in this manner.

Said Breeding Rooms should be supplied with edible fungi and potable water - but remember not to make them too comfortable. Negative emotions are healthy for undead, and give you that delicious feel of autoinflicted doom.

Outside of time, whether you build a wall should depend on whther anyone knows about your position. Whether it's known or not, the tunnels to your fortress/town should relentlessly utilize an Undead's unnatural senses and melee strength; that is, leave a number of skeleton-drones that line the walls and ceiling with their necrotic selves until some idiot prompts them to let go.

Not only should there be traps, but there should be a sigil-activated door, preferably backed with steel and panneled with rough stone, so as to act as a hidden door on the mountainside. Considering your Undead won't be leaving very often (especially when the breeding kicks in), this will harm nothing and serve to discourage and baffle even the most perceptive of Elves.

If your positon is known, it may be wise to build walls and crew them with Skeleton Archers. Remember that Skeletons recieve very little damage from arrows and no additional damage from fire. :smallamused:
Also, cauldrons of boiling pitch will allow you to kill groups of invaders without ruining those delicious bones of theirs.

I also recommend a central command structure. If you keep a number of generals/underlords/triumvirate under you, they can manage the lieutenants/barons/shieks, all the way down to every group of 20 or so weak Residents being commanded by its own Priest, Shaman or what-have-you.

If the Undead can reproduce, but only in a manner that doesn't threaten those above, it will help avert mutiny (as if that were likely to begin with) while allowing the population to steadily rise over time.

As mentioned by NelKor, this 'black sand' sounds intriguing. Not only does it strengthen your city against attack and boost morale, but it also gives your roads a sinister, corrupted feel. You could go as far as to make asphalt out of it, I'm sure.

It's worth noting that Breeding and Summoning chambers should be adjacent under the city spires (of command). In this way, if any party of name-that-crusade decides to start cleanering sections, you can still produce zombies and whatnot from the remaining structure.

Also, it's only fair to impose a limit on how many Undead you can command. Thus, any excess corpses should be stored for quick animation, and any beyond that should probably be sold to influential necromancers for favour. You could also use them to feed a feeding class, if you're so inclined. Note that most Undead don't actually have to feed - they just do. Skeletons and zombies are puppets, and could be easily commanded not to feed. Meanwhile, Morghs and Liches would be harder to deter, and might even grow mutinous from deprivation. Vampires and ghouls should be avoided - they actually have to feed, and thus would need a body count.

You could retain a Vampire or two on the defense, however. When he feeds, he produces Spawn, and Spawn are hard to keep your eyes on in a magically-darkened forest, I'm sure.

Finally, terrify, mindrape or brainwash powerful politicians and magicians into coming to your aid. Some can provide you with a well-misdirected warrior-squad or (sweet Vecna) a Hero hunt, and Magi can loan you some serious mojo in times of need. Just make sue they don't get too close to your zombies -if they're pulling the wool on your eyes, it's made worse if they can recorrupt and turn your troops quickly.

Wait, not finally - all this wll be noticed. There are only so many graveyards in the world, and only so many assassins that care enough to aid. This is why you start with a builder-caste composed of skeletons drafted from the Negative Energy plane. Quick labor, low profile, and an excellent site for your prime Animation pit. In fact, there should be about seven or eight portals to the NEP scattered evenly through your domain (numbers are irrelevant - just want good coverage). Much like the sand, your Undead are stronger - but now your enemies are probably weaker, as well.


(Also, time calculation!)

A good conversion would be one hour to the minute.

Every 24 minutes, your subjects would age a day.

Every 720 minutes (12 hours), a month would pass.

Every 24 hours, your subjects have aged two months.

Every 144 hours (6 days), a year has passed.

Every 120 days (four months), a given generation is 20 years old. Thus, they can now be taken to the chamber, where a night-long ritual takes about six to twelve minutes, and fielded after a short intelligence test about a relative minute-and-a-half long.

You'll need their farms to be internal, actually. By the time an Undead would have reached it after a 30 minute walk, more than a day would have passed. You need their bones and muscles strong, even at the expense of proper mental trauma. :xykon:

2010-10-11, 10:09 AM
Well aside from altering the passage of time, all of this advice has been wonderful. Not saying that time dilation is bad from my perspective, but I'd rather not get wacked by the DMs rolled up newspaper.

I have been working on a map for my basic idea so far but is coming along slowly. At least in my head the plan was to have a ground level cathedral-type building with a massive staircase in the center leading down to a long hallway. At the other ind of the hallway is a split in the path and a pair of metal gates guarded by various undead.

One way would lead to the "Restricted" wing, which is where all of my necromantic activity would be being conducted. All of the agricultural areas would be on the top level, with more dangerous areas descending beneath it.

The other way would lead to "civilian" wing of the entire complex, where it would split further. One path would take you to the business wing which is pretty self explanatory, and the other would be for the housing and entertainment district.

In between both major wings would be the "Lords" manor, only accessible by hidden passwalls and would be the area for my private affairs.