View Full Version : [3.5e]Master of the Undead Legion(WIP)

2010-11-18, 12:47 PM
< Fluff goes here, work in progress>

Alignment: Any Evil
Skills: Knowledge[Religion]: 7 Ranks, Knowledge[Arcana]: 7 Ranks
Feats: Spell Focus(Necromancy), Corpsecrafter
Spellcasting: Must be able to prepare and cast 3rd level arcane spells, one of which must be of the Necromancy school. Must be able to cast a necromancy spell of each spell level you know.

Hit Die

The Master of the Undead legion gains no proficiencies with armor, weapons and shields of any kind.

The Master of the Undead Legion has the following skills as class skills: Concentration(Con), Knowledge [All skills taken individually](Int), Profession(Wis), Spellcraft(Int).

Skill Points
2+ Int Modifier

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spells

+2|Arcana Necromantica, Rebuke Undead|+1 level of existing spellcasting class

+3||+1 level of existing spellcasting class

+3 |Animate Dead|+1 level of existing spellcasting class

+4||+1 level of existing spellcasting class

+4|Legion of Undeath|+1 level of existing spellcasting class

+5||+1 level of existing spellcasting class

+5|Energy Conversion|+1 level of existing spellcasting class

+6||+1 level of existing spellcasting class

+6|Fell Animation|+1 level of existing spellcasting class

+7|Greater Legion of Undeath |+1 level of existing spellcasting class [/table]

Class Features

Spellcasting: Every level, the Master of the Undead Legion casts spells (including gaining any new spell slots and spell knowledge) as if he had also gained a level in a spellcasting class he had previous to gaining that level.

Arcana Necromantica: At 1st level the Master of the Undead Legionís studies of the divine revial to him a the secrects to casting specific spells thought to be the sole domain of clerics as arcane spells. At 1st level he adds all the spells from the list below of the spell levels to which he is able to cast to his spellbook. In addition, whenever he gains the ability to cast spells of a new level he adds all spells of that level from the list below to his spellbook. These spells are in no manner different from any other spells the Master can cast. They are arcane, governed by the Masterís primary casting stat and can be prepared in the exact same manner as any other spells the Master knows. They are effected by metamagic just like any other spells he knows.

Arcana Necromantica Spell List:

Level 1: N/A
Level 2: Desecrate
Level 3: Speak with the Dead
Level 4: N/A
Level 5: Unhallow
Level 6: N/A
Level 7: N/A
Level 8: General of Undeath
Level 9: N/A

Rebuke Undead: At 1st level the Master of the Undead Legion learns to channel negative energy to dominate undead he encounters or creates. He gains the ability to rebuke undead as an evil cleric of the same character level. He can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3+ the Masterís Cha modifier. If the Master already possesses the ability to rebuke undead when he takes this class he instead treats levels of Master of the Undead Legion as levels in whatever class granted him rebuking for the purpose of rebuking advancement as appose to gaining the ability to rebuke.

Animate Dead : At 3rd Level the Master of the Undead Legion gains the ability to use Animate Dead as a Spell-like ability. This ability can only be used out of combat and can be used a number of times per day equal to Ĺ his character level rounded down.

Legion of Undeath: At 5th level the Master of the Undead legion is as his title says. He becomes the ultimate undead horde commander, gaining the power to control more undead then any of his peers. The Master of the Undead Legion adds his class level to the total HD of undead he can control round down.

Energy Conversion: At 7th level the Master of the Undead Legion has such a mastery of negative energy he can convert the damage from any spell with the cold, ice, fire, or acid subtype to instead inflict negative energy damage.

Fell Animation: At 9th level the Master of the Undead Legion is able to bring those whom he kills under his command through channeling negative energy into his offensive spells. The Master of the Undead Legion at this level gains the power to, while casting a spell, give up a rebuke attempt to give that spell the benefits of being prepared with the fell animate metamagic feat. A Master of the Undead Legion need not possess the fell animate feat to use this ability and the spell's level is unchanged. This ability, however, cannot be used on a spell which the master could not normally prepare with Fell Animate if he possessed the actual feat. (So spells who's level would exceed the highest level of spells the Master of the Undead Legion can cast if prepared with the fell animate feat are not legal targets for this ability.)

Greater Legion of Undeath: At 10th level the Master of the Undead Legion holds under his command the largest undead legion of any spellcaster. He now adds twice his total class level to the total HD of undead he can control instead of his class level.

__________________________________________________ ______________

Notes: This class is a work in progress and I know some abilities may be broken.(Animate Dead SLA, Arcana Necromantica, energy conversion and Fell Animation come to mind.) That's why it's a WIP, I want constructive imput on what to do to change the class and make it more suited to actual play. The aim of the class, if you have not already guessed, is to make a Wizard on par with a cleric in the area of animating legions of undead. I always hated it that evil wizards specialized in necromancy where inferior to neutral clerics as far as animating goes. Thus, this class seeks to fix that by giving the Necro wizard the ability to have a large legion of undead and also giving them other necromantic abilities(such as setting certain spells to negative energy instead of X element damage for undead healing.) to make a wizard necromancer a capable animator and leader of an undead army rather then a debuff master with only a small band of undead to more less act as a meat shield.

So, anybody have any ideas how to tone down some of the abilities/make this class playable but not overpowered?

Dante & Vergil
2010-11-22, 11:50 PM
I don't quite get how you got the numbers you did with the examples in Legion of Undeath.

2010-11-23, 10:37 PM
It's called I suck at math without a calculator.(XD) Anyway, thanks for pointing that out and I will fix that right away. Also, I want to know if this is too overpowered. Most likely it is, however, I want other opinions. Also I feel the Animate Dead SLA and the Fell Animation may be better off as bonus corpsecrafter feats. Would that be a good idea which would help make this less overpowered?

2010-11-24, 12:32 AM
Actually, straight Dread Necromancer (you know, the class you take to get an undead legion), beats the crap out of this. Way underpowered.

Rage of Aeons
2010-11-24, 01:37 AM
Dreead necromancer base class destroys this one. As does the Wizard variant Deathwalker from Dragon 312. Also, the Libris Mortis has the 14 lvl prestige class True Necromancer that certainly beats out this one. I'd take this back to the drawing board and actually bring it up a few steps.

2010-11-24, 12:13 PM
Yeah man, underpowered. I would add something else, like undead leadership as a bonus feat. Something about improving your leadership score with undead to attract intelligent undead. Then maybe a fanatic undead morale ability (like some of the other command oriented classes) that gives all undead who serve under you a +1 morale bonus and +3 to those within 60 feet of you(something along those lines)?
Those are just examples on how to reflect the "leadership" aspect of the undead legion. Unless thats not what your looking for.

2010-11-24, 02:04 PM
Technically, a dread necromancer will get less undead pre-epic then this class dose with it's capstone since a DN, pre-epic won't ever have a +20 Cha modifier unless they have some insainly broken items or have the party wizard pull planar binding shenanigans. Overall, however, the DN still beats this class out because while this class will have advantage in the numbers game as far as undead horeds go the DN still has other class abilites which allow it to do more with their undead then simply buff up the numbers.

As for the undead leadership idea, I actually already toyed with it. Believe it or not this class actually originally had undead leadership as a prerequsit and gave some bonuses to that score. In addition it also made all your minions fanatic/totally loyal but I thought all that, plus the current abilites, plus the fact that the necromantica arcana list had a spell for each spell level made it too powerful but in my attempts to neuter the class it seams I have made it underpowered. So should I switch it back to the original as I described or should I add back the leadership elements and keep the arcana necromantica spell list as is?

Thats kinda my issue with crunch based homebrew. I usually wind up going to an extreme. Most of my homebrew starts out overpowered and then I end up overcompencating by totally neutering it. Sometimes finding that ballance can be difficult.

Also, while this class was made with wizards(and death masters) in mind I was actually considering opening up entry to all arcane casters. My only worry with that, however is that you could get pretty cheesy with a DN as the entry seeing as this + Undead Mastery would be rather ridicilous as far as having an undead army gose. Likewise, Cha as a casting stat means even greater undead leadership which means that cha based casters, espcially DNs could get rather ridicilous with this class if the leadership elements where added back in. Hence, I decided to limit it to prepared casters in the early stages, something I never bothered to change. However, if the original class would not be too broken with Cha based casters I may consider opening it up to them.

2010-11-24, 02:13 PM
I would say, put the leadership back in but lower everything. As if you were making this a base class. Keep the score boosts low and to scale(by level).
As for Cha based casters.... Just put them in and as an aside say "DMs, if abused use the original rules"(the rules with no leadership).

2010-11-24, 02:21 PM
Yeah, the original bonuses to leadership where +2 at level 6, +4 at level 8 and + 6 at level 10. In addition the class recieved two bonus corpsecrafter feats at level 2 and 4, and Arcana necromantica had the following spell list...

1: Hide from Undead
2: Desecrate
3: Speak with the Dead
4: Death Ward
5: Unhallow
6: Harm
7: Destruction
8: General of Undeath
9: Mass Harm

However, would all that in addition to what the current class has be too broken? Thats what I was kinda worried about. Perhaps Arcana necromantica should instead become a "prestege" domain" with the character taking this class gaining domain spell slots instead of these spells going directly to their spells known? To fix the "desecrate once per day" issue that would cause I could always take away the corpsecrafter bonus feats and instead give an ability at level 2 or 4(whichever is less broken..which I would like to know.) to expend a prepared spell(s) who's total level is equal to 2(Or Rebuke attempt..not sure which would be better) to cast desecrate as a spell-like ability? Perhaps this desecrate power should completely replace Arcane Necromantica?

2010-11-24, 02:34 PM
Cut the leader ship bonuses in half. Then its fairly balance in the leadership regard. Maybe cut out a few spells at the levels you get a leadership bonus?

2010-11-24, 02:42 PM
Technically, a dread necromancer will get less undead pre-epic then this class dose with it's capstone since a DN, pre-epic won't ever have a +20 Cha modifier unless they have some insainly broken items or have the party wizard pull planar binding shenanigans. Overall, however, the DN still beats this class out because while this class will have advantage in the numbers game as far as undead horeds go the DN still has other class abilites which allow it to do more with their undead then simply buff up the numbers.

So wrong...

In addition, when a dread necromancer uses the animate dead spell to create undead, she can control 4 + her Charisma bonus HD worth of undead creatures per class level (rather than the 4 HD per level normally granted by the spell).

With 18 Cha, that is +80 HD at L20.
With 18 base + 6 item + 5 tome + 5 levels + 2 age = 36 Cha, that is +360 HD at L20.

Class Level to controllable HD is really, really worthless.

2010-11-24, 02:50 PM
The spell list gose by level of spells you can cast, not class levels. Also, the Dreadmaster gets the same leadership bonuses that I have above...though they where not for undead leadership. Also, this class was not intended for cha based casters. If I DO open it up to them then yes, those leadership fixes are fine but if I keep it exclusive to prepared casters, who generally don't have that big a cha, would the larger bonuses be justified or still too broken?(The Dreadmaster, who got simmilar bonuses to regular leadership was ment for clerics who usually don't have a great cha score either...)

As for the spells I was actually, as stated above, thinking about doing away with them entirely and just giving the class the ability to use desecrate as a SLA by expending a prepared spell(s) who's total level(s) are equal to the level of desecrate(level 2) and having the animate dead SLA work in the same manner except set to level 3 as a cleric instead of the standard, level 4 for arcane casters. Also, at that point I also was considering adding back the corpsecrafter bonus feats but I am not sure on that.

Also, as for the DN thing your right, I completely forgot about the per level part of the DN. It's been a while since I have used one(I have been on a death master kick as far as necromancers go..) and for some reason I got the idea in my head that they got Cha modifier to HD rather then Cha modifier to HD per class level. That was a silly mistake and I apologize for that.

Perhaps, then, a worthwhile fix for this class would be simply to fix Legions of Undeath by saying that you get + yoiur MotUL class level to HD of undead controlled for each character level(As appose + MotU Class level to total HD.) instead of adding all that extra stuff? Or would that be too broken?

2010-11-30, 11:45 AM
This class reminds me of something... :P
I agree with most of the arguments in the previous posts, but i just wanted to say:

Yay, another necromancy class!

Necromancy needs more classes!

2010-12-01, 02:34 PM
Yeah...However, I still have not had my questions from above adressed. Dose anybody have an answer for me? Even a strait no would be better then having said questions keep going ignored.

Also, funny enough your class is quite simmilar to mine. However, it still lacks a way to get desecrate....that makes me sad...and you let clerics get it. Wizards need better necromancy options. Clerics don't.

Still, awesome class, though.

2010-12-10, 06:02 PM
Alright, I've taken a second look at it, here's my take on things:

Animate Dead SLA:
This is isn't overpowered, since it cannot be used in combat. The Horned Harbringer from Faiths and Pantheons gives animate dead, create and create greater undead as SLA's which can be used in combat, but that class doesn't progress spellcasting.
I would change the amount of times a day it can be used. Having an undead army must have some cost, right?

Legion of Undead:
There are two (main) ways of controlling undead. To which one does this apply?
(Rebuke/command, Animate Undead)

Energy conversion:
All of it? That makes fireball (or should I say negaball) one of the best healing spells around (assuming you yourself are undead)
My advice is: half negative energy/half original type. (Such as the Lord of the Uttercold Feat (Complete Arcane) but for any type of energy)

Fell Animate:
Nice idea, I'd just change the amount of turning attempts it costs. How bout equal to the metamagic level adjustment Fell Animate normally has? (3 I believe)

Also, add a slow progression to undeath? It fits the class i'd say ^^

That's it, hope it helps. (And if you think I'm wrong, just ignore me ^^)

2010-12-14, 03:00 PM
These are all good ideas, however I am planing on tweaking the class a bit. I was planing on giving it an "undead Mastery" type ability which allows it to control 4HD + your Int modifier(Since this is a class made with wizards in mind) per character level with Animate Dead rather then 4HD per character level. This would make it slightly better then a DN's undead mastery(since it's per class rather then character level) IF it also gave the same buffs to your undead that undead mastery dose. However, this ability would NOT give you any buffs to undead like undead mastery, but I am not sure that makes it ballanced next to undead mastery or not.

I also am considering giving it some abilites dealing with undead leadership and having that feat be a pre-req for the class though I am not 100% sure on this. Also...part of why I wanted to make this class was to give wizards acssess to desecrate, among other things. Thus, I was thinking about adding the Zone of Desecration power that the True Necromancer and that drow only class both possess instead of actually granting them the desecrate spell. As for the other powers, I like the lord of the uttercold thing for the healing though it may be a bit powerful(Lord of the uttercold requires you to burn 2 feats, getting the same ability for free seems a bit broken.)

Since this class is all about the legion I am thinking about dropping most everything except rebuke and adding the int version of undead mastery, some undead leadership based powers, the zone of desecration/greater zone of desecration and a capstone which allows you to control 4HD + the sum of your int and cha modifiers for each character level you have instead of 4HD + your int modifier for each character level. I feel such a capstone may be broken but since the class if for wizards and only wizards(prepared arcane casting is after all a pre-req) it won't be all that broken since wizards usually don't have that great a cha so, barring magic items most wizards taking up this class will have a Cha modifier of +1 or +2 unless they got good rolls or are playing some race with stat boosts to cha and int(most of which won't be played due to LA...).

As for the animate dead SLA, what would be an aproprate use/per day. Since it's for out of combat I think 1/day is a bit too little and makes the ability underpowered but I am not sure on that.

So, any opinions in these ideas?