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    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Advanced Necromancy and Fear (60+ new spells, plus new mechanics!)

    I always like to write a little introductory bit at the beginning of every large-scale project I undertake. These are the Dread Spells of Maerok, and a new name is probably pending. Feel free to use these and, if you like them, continue on to Complete Lich.

    Of all the spells, necromancy is unique in that it doesn't seek to just hurt. It twists, it tests, it has a sense of bitter irony to it that makes the magic all the more sinister. Evocation will kill you as well, but necromancy will pervert your death, steal what you hold most sacred, and generally ruin your day. Necromancy doesn't just stab, it wiggles that blade back and forth to make the assault all the most devastating. It is a magic of life and death, usually wielded for the latter but occasionally it is applied in dire causes to save rather than maim. But when you call upon the dark art of necromancy, you're bound to bite off more than you can chew. And then it will bite back.

    Outside of the game, necromancy has always been nerfed in my opinion. Whether it is the spells or the PrCs available in splatbooks and Wizards' products, necromancy always seems sort of weak. For those who share my opinions, search out the Tome of Necromancy for that sort of stuff done right. But in all I get a kick out of classes like the True and Dread Necromancers as well as the Pale Master. Ever since the beginning of my gaming career, I've like to play the bad guy. It is my goal to compile a list of 100+ spells of my own creation. And I'd appreciate any comments.

    Necromancy's scope in magic is much deeper than one might initially think. In almost any situation, there is a necromantic solution. And it has answers to almost any threat: if it was created, necromancy usually has a spell to destroy it. It contains both specialized and open-ended spells. Between evocation and transmutation, I consider necromancy to be one of the three most useful schools. And necromancers themselves are cunning and methodical; no slacker pursues a mastery of the dark arts. They are tactical and without restrain in their methods. They'll strike when you're down and when they have an advantage.

    Sabotage Subschool
    Necromancy features a wide array of turning the enemy's powers against him. In turn, the sabotage subschool has arisen to become a newer style of spells. A sabotage spell is a cunning adaptation that is hard to detect and doesn't take effect until the victim triggers the necessary conditions. It is not exclusive to necromancy, but the crafty villains have taken strides to perfect the tactic.

    Properties of the Sabotage Subschool:
    • A victim is never aware that he has been afflicted by a Sabotage spell until its effects go off. The saving throws are rolled in secret or without the victim's knowing. Even upon witnessing the effects, it is up to them to figure it out from just a stroke of bad luck or a random anomaly.
    • Someone might see the spell casting being performed but Sabotage spells have a 75% chance of being mistaken for another spell of that spell level if they try and figure it out by any method. Someone with a Sabotage spell prepared (or cast, for spontaneous casters) that day only mistakes it 25% of the time.
    • Sabotage spells frequently deny saving throws and/or spell resistance in exchange for the off-chance that they might not be called into effect.
    Conjuration (Healing) -> Necromancy (Healing)
    As discussed in the Tome of Necromancy on the Wizards forums, it is proposed that healing spells be moved to Necromancy. I've always thought this was a good idea as necromancy is a magic of life and death, a two-sided coin. With moderation, you can do some good, but delving might bring some suspicion from your Pelor buddies, silly paladin. Necromancy isn't necessarily evil, but it is a powerful sort of magic and with such untapped power comes corruption and evil. You might start out casting cure wounds spells and before you know it you think you're the king of life and death, and continue on your way to raising the dead with dark spells, seeking to wield the darkness as a tool of light.

    Altogether, this adds 24 'new' spells from Conjuration (healing) to Necromancy (healing) from the SRD/Core. Select 'Conjuration' -> '-Healing' to see which ones. Spell Compendium probably has many more...

    In-game, I doubt the Clerics/Paladins of Pelor will be much obliged to consider themselves necromancers. They'll probably still call it 'conjuration of healing aid' or something like that. Oh well, a rose by any other name...

    Spells of note from Conjuration (Healing):
    • Cure wounds - Channel positive energy to heal; if I channel negative energy to damage and that's necromancy, then why not with positive energy. Fire and cold are opposite, but both are a part of evocation.
    • Heal - See above.
    • Restoration - Pretty much the same as with cure wounds. If you can do it with necromancy, why not undo it with necromancy.
    • Resurrection - Spells that bring the dead back to life are epitomes of conjuration (healing)'s role in necromancy. "I use conjuration magic, the art of summoning things, to bring him back to life" versus "I use necromancy, the art of life and death, to bring him back to life."
    • True resurrection - See above.
    • Raise dead - See above. If you don't think this is necromantic, I'll slap you.
    • Regenerate - A spell of the flesh. "I use spells to constantly summon new flesh to replace what goes missing!" No. Necromancy.
    • Remove paralysis - Nine Hellsssss no. This isn't conjuration. It could go for necromancy or abjuration, but has more to do with necromancy's healing aspect.
    • Neutralize/delay poison - Leave it to the pros, please. If they poisoned you in the first place, I'm sure they know their way around poisons.
    Spells to Consider from Other Schools:
    • Remove curse - Abjuration works here, because it is a defensive sort of spell. But arguments can be made for necromancy, seeing as a necromancy would know how to remove it best. Seeing as they most likely set forth the curse in the first place. Why isn't remove blindness/deafness abjurative as well? It's listed as conjuration(healing). Perhaps make it a dual school spell.
    • Reincarnate - It deals with death, but also transmutation. A dual school spell, perhaps?
    Necromancy Spell Guidelines (a sort of portfolio):
    • Good/Evil
    • Healing/Torture/Pain
    • Anatomy: Bones, blood, organs
    • Life/Dead/Undeath
    • Positive/Negative energy
    • Undead, souls, spirits
    Healing the Healing Spells:
    I propose that conjuration (healing) be split amongst necromancy and abjuration. Abjuration rarely comes into need for healing, but there are a few exceptions amongst various sources. I find necromancy to be the 'home school' of good/evil spells, but often times that role is moved over to abjuration for more defensive than thematic spells. Elemental spells are often evocation, thus a 'home school', to draw a parallel.

    Class Fixes
    Dread Necromancer

    Undead Mastery

    • Problem: Multiclassing from Dread Necromancer past level 8 comes at the cost of nerfing your army size...
    • Exhibit A: Animate Dead - "... she can control 4 + her Charisma bonus HD worth of undead creatures per class level"
    • Exhibit B: Control Undead - "... the spell targets up to (2 + her Cha bonus) HD/[spell] level... rather than the 2 HD/[spell] level normally granted"
    • Verdict: Animate dead gets boosted by this ability to have a maximum of "(4 + her Cha bonus) HD/level" instead of by class level. If control undead goes by spell level, then why not animate dead? All other benefits of Undead Mastery stay when the Dread Necromancer multiclasses, so the animate dead boost should too.
    3rd-level Death Ward Typo
    • See the Dread Necromancer spell list below for more information
    Additional Sections
    See the posts far below for more information and mechanics. I will either rethread this or cluster a bunch of posts together to arrange this better.
    Last edited by Maerok; 2007-02-22 at 01:30 AM.