View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next New Cleric Spell: Desecrate (Back from 3.5e)

2017-06-21, 09:18 PM
As the title says. A big issue I have with D&D 5e right now is the wizard is really the only class able to do anything with undead minions thats worthwhile; while other classes have access to animate dead, they are piss poor at actually using it, so I've been trying to remedy that fact for a while, specificly because I want a charisma-based necromancer option thats not strictly worse at minionmancy than the wizard. I've tried archetypes, classes and everything under the sun, but in the end decided that, maybe the most simple, elegant and "5e" way to do this was with something as easy as a new spell. In particular, a spell that lets clerics reclaim some of their former minion-mastery while other classes, such as the lord bard and favored soul sorcerer, can pick it up with their class features.

The spell? Desecrate, and as it stands it basically gives other classes access to nearly accidental bonuses to the Wizard undead thralls feature, since I can't think of better bonuses and, more importantly, "why reinvent the wheel?" The bonuses the wizard gets are really the most elegant, simple and effective way to handle long-term undead minion buffing, so I felt that making a spell that gives clerics (and thus other classes) access to the same bonuses for a price, both in gold and spell slots. However, while this is an simple and elegant way to handle this issue, I'm not sure if it's really balanced...and thats my main concern. Does this spell's exsistance make the necromancer wizard too weak? Or is the spell slot GP savings, and the fact they get the spell's bonuses "for free" (whereas a cleric has to waste GP and a prepared spell slot on it while other classes like bard and sorcerer have to waste things like magical secrects or spells Known picks on it) enough to make the necro wizard still a relevent necromancy option in a world where this spell exists?

The spell is listed below...

2nd-level Necromancy
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: 20 ft radius spread, centered on you.
Components: V, S, M (A vial of unholy water and 25 gp worth (5 pounds) of silver dust, all of which must be sprinkled around the area.)
Duration: 1 hour

You perform a vile ritual that taints a 20 ft radius area, causing reanimation spells cast there to be bolstered in power. When you cast a necromancy spell that creates undead (Such as Animate Dead or Create Undead.) within this spread during this spell’s duration, that spell gains the following additional effects:

If this spell creates Skeletons or Zombies, it can target 1 additional corpse or bone pile and create (or reassert control over) 1 additional skeleton or zombie.
The Undead this spell creates add your spellcasting class level to the hit point maximums, if they would not already. If you have two spellcasting classes, you use the class that gave you access to this spell to calculate this (“spellcasting classes” are any class that gains the “spellcasting” feature.)
The Undead this spell creates add your proficiency bonus to their weapon damage rolls, if they would not already.

Any thoughts/opinions on this, and my aforementioned balance concerns about it, would be most appreciated!

2017-06-22, 12:09 AM
A few of my necromancy homebrew (http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/r1S91AO7Z) spells and features, like the Stir Dead cantrip, the Haunt Dead and Haunt Living spells, the Raise Any Dead feat/feature, and the Dance Macabre feat/feature might help you build that necromancer Cleric.

As spells and feats, these can be picked up by Lore Bards and their crowd too.

But more importantly. your spell! Desecrating the area as a ritual to prepare raising dead is super cool to me, because (like a passive feature) it improves the Cleric's minionmancy at no cost of slots of casts per rest, but unlike a passive feature, it demands a bit of preparedness and sets up for intense encounter where your minions aren't ready.

The bonus HP and proficiency damage are on par with what the Wizard enjoys, and the one extra zombie/skeleton doesn't seem unfair considering this feature is slightly less reliable. I think it works out nicely!

2017-06-30, 10:56 AM
I like this a lot. I'm relatively new to homebrew, but it seems to me there are some basic questions you need to ask of any homebrew like this, and I think yours passes the muster.

Uniqueness: Is there something in the existing rules (RAW) that already covers this? Not really. Yes, the wizard can do this, but your point is well taken that other classes should be able to as well. It seems strange to me that wizards are decidedly better at the whole undead minion thing than clerics? Warlocks?!?

Mechanics: Are the mechanics over- or under-powered? How do they compare with existing rules? Ideally, has this rule been play tested? This is the beauty of cribbing from the wizard class. You're taking mechanics that already exist and re-purposing them. So no significant concerns about being over or underpowered. You do have to worry about giving the power of one class to another, and you're right to be concerned about weakening the necromancer wizard. That said, I don't think you're weakening the necromantic wizard at all. Instead you're giving a viable path to necromancy to other classes that amounts to a preference: what kind of necromancer do I want to be?

Aethetics/Flavor: Does the new rule 'fit' within the game world? Heck yeah! Frankly a Cleric or Warlock necromancer makes more sense to me than a Wizard from a flavor perspective anyway. Not that the necromantic wizard doesn't fit, it's just dark clerics and warlocks clearly do.

If you haven't guessed by now, I'd be an advocate to adding this spell to the Warlock spell list as well. There's another charisma based caster for you that's thematically appropriate.