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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Necromancer Help

    I want to play a necromancer-ish person. This is for a geshalt campaign, so I was thinking Wizard/Archivist...

    I've never really played a necromancer before so feat/item/class/race/undead advice would be greatly appreciated.

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Why not "Dread Necromancer"? Take "Tomb-Tainted Soul" feat for free healing, and go to town!
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    sonofzeal, you're like a megazord of awesome and win.
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    SonOfZeal, it is a great joy to see that your Kung-Fu remains undiminished in this, the twilight of an age. May the Great Wheel be kind to you, planeswalker.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Where is Dread Necromancer from?

    I forgot to mention: I do not own the book of bad latin, which is where everything is probably from .
    Last edited by Olo Demonsbane; 2009-03-02 at 09:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Olo Demonsbane View Post
    Where is Dread Necromancer from?

    I forgot to mention: I do not own the book of bad latin, which is where everything is probably from .
    I thought Dread Necromancer was from Heroes of Horror, but I'm probably thinking of something else.

    If you've got Wizard and Archivest gestalt, you've pretty much got nothing to worry about in the spell department, but without Rebuke/Command Undead... You'll be a little limited is all.

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Collin152 View Post
    I thought Dread Necromancer was from Heroes of Horror, but I'm probably thinking of something else.
    Actually, you're quite right, Collin. Dread Necro is indeed from Heroes of Horror.
    It is inevitable, of course, that persons of epicurean refinement will in the course of eternity engage in dealings with those of... unsavory character. Record well any transactions made, and repay all favors promptly.. (Thanks to Gnomish Wanderer for the Toreador avatar! )

    Wanna see what all this Exalted stuff is about? Here's a primer!

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Is there a legal link to it? Thats how I got Archivist.

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Olo Demonsbane View Post
    Is there a legal link to it? Thats how I got Archivist.
    No, just this little thing and whatever you can get out of this, which will give you the basic idea but probably not enough to play it. I highly highly recommend getting the book/pdf/whatever, as it really is an excellent class for this concept. I'd say that the Dread Necromancer has the best straight-up necromancy you can ever expect to get in D&D. Wizards and Archivists can both cast a lot of necromancy spells, and can do just fine in the whole "unholy master of the undying legions" archetype, but that's mostly because they'll be supported by their other, non-necromancy skills. If necro-power is what you care about, and you want to stay strictly within the archetype, then Dread Necromancer is the path for you.

    On the other hand, if you're doing Wizard/Archivist necromancy, I would be lax not to mention the True Necromancer (from the "book of bad latin" as you call it). It's an arcane/divine dual progression PrC that loses out horribly to just about every other necromancy options due solely to how hard it is to get into the class... but if you're taking a mix of divine and arcane anyway, you should at least consider it.
    Avatar by Crimmy

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    sonofzeal, you're like a megazord of awesome and win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    On the other hand, if you're doing Wizard/Archivist necromancy, I would be lax not to mention the True Necromancer (from the "book of bad latin" as you call it). It's an arcane/divine dual progression PrC that loses out horribly to just about every other necromancy options due solely to how hard it is to get into the class... but if you're taking a mix of divine and arcane anyway, you should at least consider it.
    He's playing in a gestalt campaign, so far as a wizard//archivist. True Necromancer would not only be 'losing out,' but needlessly redundant.

    However, he may want to take a look at the necromancer variant specialist wizard here (originally printed in Unearthed Arcana, but in the online SRD). Do that instead of Dread Necromancer, since it gives some of the same options while keeping Intelligence as the primary spellcasting stat (rather than Cha like the Dread Necro). Since Archivist is also an Int-casting class, the synergy should be obvious. Why have MAD if you don't have to?

    Using these variants (all or any), he could just go straight 1st->20th wizard//archivist and be fine. Or, PrC the archivist side into something that doesn't lose caster progression but increases BAB or improves saves, whatever.

    For feats, I would recommend the book of bad latin for the various Corpsecrafter feats - very, very nice if he intends to be a minion-master. In particular, the one that make destroyed undead explode with negative energy (Destructive Retribution?). Tomb-Tainted Soul is also nice (but the other feats in that chain would be redundant if he takes the necromancer variant stuff); extra nice if he takes the feat that makes destoyed undead explode, since he'll be healed if he's in the AoE.
    Last edited by ghost_warlock; 2009-03-03 at 04:16 AM.

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    First, while True Necromancer from the BoBL is nice, it is recommended not to allow dual-progression prestige classes in a gestalt build. If you want to go that route, you will probably need to run that by your DM.

    Second, there is another fun option if you want to consider it. In the book Sandstorm, there is a PrC called Walker in the Waste. You can meet one prerequisite with Archivist, you can't be good (relatively easy change to a character sheet, especially if you are focusing on necromancy), but you still need to get a relatively useless feat.
    The nice side effects: 8/10 caster progression in a class (no limits to arcane or divine), +2 natural armor bonus (or your existing one increases by +2), you get a nice touch attack that improves 1d6 / 2 levels dessication damage (you suck the water out of the creature you touch), the ability to create Sand Golems (Ex) and Salt Mummys (Su), and at 10th level you become a lich (dry lich to be precise, see book for full details).

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    I know some of the feats, including Corpsecrafter and Destructive Retribution due to CM.

    I have the 3.0 version of True Necro and Pale Master, maybe switch over to them after a few levels (my DM allows dual multiclassing while geshalt .)?

    Thanks for the SRD advice, I think I may go with that as well...at least the third ability.

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Personally, I'd stick cleric in there. Rebuking Undead is extraordinarily powerful if you optimize it: http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=599129
    Last edited by dyslexicfaser; 2009-03-03 at 03:30 PM.
    People seemed to like this better, but only marginally so - the way one might prefer to be stabbed than shot. Optimally, one isn't stabbed or shot. Optimally, one eats some cake! But there are times when cake is not available, and instead we are destroyed. This is the deep poetry of the universe. -- Tycho Brahe

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Olo Demonsbane View Post
    I want to play a necromancer-ish person. This is for a geshalt campaign, so I was thinking Wizard/Archivist...

    I've never really played a necromancer before so feat/item/class/race/undead advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Necromancy?

    Gestalt?!

    [mind instantly boggles]

    All right then!!

    1. No dual-progression classes! You already have the best of both worlds, no need to nerf yourself! I.e. Mystic Theurge, True Necromancer right out! Not only do dual progression classes suck, but they're also prohibited by the Gestalt rules!

    2. You're a Spellcaster with so many spells that you won't ever need to resort to mundane combat, so don't nerf your spellcasting power by taking useless melee classes!

    3. Wizard/Cleric FTW!

    Cleric =>> Paragnostic Apostle > Contemplative > Runecaster. Divine Metamagic + Rebuke/Command Undead abound! Pick Domination, Undeath and Fire as your domains. Spontaneous casting for Domination (PHBII option). With DMM: Heighten and DMM: Chain this guy’s best features include ability to get stupid-high DCs on Domination spells and ability to undispellably Command Vampires (self-perpetuating, limitless army) and Efreet (free Wishes). With Turn Anathema he'll Rebuke Solars. And Runecaster... can you say "Unlimited Power"?

    Wizard, Necromancer =>> Red Wizard of Thay > Mindbender. Forbidden: Enchantment, Evocation, Illusion. Circle Magic, period. Telepathy? To command your hundreds of minions? Why certainly!

    What’s that you say? MAD? Human, Old-Aged, INT first, then WIS, then CHA, physicals are DUMPED. (32 point buy: STR 5, DEX 5, CON 5, INT 20, WIS 18, CHA 16). You don’t need physicals as you’re going to be so thoroughly meat-shielded no one would be able to even come close to you. Plus, you and your minions will keep you basking in stat-increasing spells and items. Finally, you’re getting yourself a new body ASAP anyway. Polymorph for starters, then Polymorph any Object, then Shapechange -> Persistent Shapechange through commanded Incantatrix? That’s right, Mr Great Wyrm, I have your body now. Or how about Nishruu? Immunity to Magic = nice.

    DON’T take the Necro Alternative features from Unearthed Arcana posted previously! They suck, forcing you to give valuable abilities in exchange for useless things.

    Don't take the Corpsecrafter feats! Most of them suck; Corpsecrafter + Destruction Retribution is nice, for making undead tanks. However, the point of this build is not making undead tanks; it is making and/or controlling those who make undead tanks! as well as many other useful things.

    What you really want is stupidly high DC and Caster Level on your spells that kill/command the living and control the unliving. Divine Metamagic: Heighten + Leadership + Cooperative spell + Circle Magic + Black Lore of Moil/Holy Potency + Consumptive Field spell = DCs and Caster Levels THROUGH THE ROOF. Add Gate and let the Epic Monster Slaying/Re-animation begin.

    Dread Necro is for p00ssies! Who needs those worthless Skeletons and Zombies when you can have Dread Warriors and Ju-Ju Zombies that RETAIN ALL CLASS ABILITIES! I.e. a 20th level Incantatrix Persisting/Heightening/Enlarging your spells? AND a 20th level Dread Necro with his own 800+ HD army of Undead? AND a 20th level Gestalt Wizard/Archivist who was previously your PC buddy? They're all now your obedient undead slaves.

    Or something small. Like twenty Ghostly Visages residing in your body and dishing out 20 Paralysing Gaze attacks every round. Sound nice enough? Don’t forget Staffs of Control Undead and Dominate Person/True Domination supercharged with Metamagic: Chain and DC/CL-boosting spells/abilities to keep your army in line!

    Also, take the Mother Cyst feat from Libris Mortis and Necrotic Tumor people for that extra layer of slaves!

    Here’s the build:

    1. WIZARD 1/CLERIC 1 | Heighten Spell, Divine Metamagic: Heighten (Human Bonus Feat), Scribe Scroll (Wizard feat), Spell Focus: Enchantment (Domination domain), Extra Turning (Undeath Domain)
    2. WIZARD 2 /CLERIC 2
    3. WIZARD 3 /CLERIC 3 | Tattoo Focus
    4. WIZARD 4 /CLERIC 4
    5. WIZARD 5 /CLERIC 5| Cooperative Spell (Wizard bonus feat) -> counting Scribe Scroll lets you PrC into Red Wizard
    6. RED WIZARD 1 / PARAGNOSTIC APOSTLE 1 (See through the Veal +2 CL for Rebuke/Command, +1 DC to Necromancy vs. Undead – e.g. Control Undead) | Leadership | Cohort: Sorceress/Incantatrix
    7. RED WIZARD 2 / PARAGNOSTIC APOSTLE 2 (Penetrating Insight +1 CL to overcome Spell Resistance and Dispelling checks)
    8. RED WIZARD 3/ PARAGNOSTIC APOSTLE 3 (Discern Weakness [humanoids] +1 DC to all spells vs. humanoids)
    9. RED WIZARD 4/ PARAGNOSTIC APOSTLE 4 (Mind over Matter – all spells that give Armor bonus give +2 more AC; STACKS with the many Wizard and Cleric AC-giving spells// OR Mortal Coil +1 CL to all polymorph spells, letting you change into more powerful creatures) | Eschew Materials
    10. RED WIZARD 5/ PARAGNOSTIC APOSTLE 5 (Spatial Awareness +10 ft to all speed spells, +1 CL for teleportations) | Inscribe Rune (Red Wizard bonus feat)
    11. RED WIZARD 6 /CONTEMPLATIVE 1 | Fire Domain (now you can cast Planar Binding AND command the Efreet with Impunity, once you buy/ make someone make you a Phylactery of Undead Turning and Rod of Denial)
    12. RED WIZARD 7/RUNECASTER 1 | Mother Cyst
    13. RED WIZARD 8/RUNECASTER 2
    14. RED WIZARD 9/RUNECASTER 3
    15. RED WIZARD 10/RUNECASTER 4 | Holy Potency, Black Lore of Moil (Red Wizard bonus feat) = +CHA Bonus to DC of Necromancy spells
    16. MINDBENDER 1/RUNECASTER 5 (Telepathy 100ft to command your many minions)/
    17. WIZARD 6 /RUNECASTER 6 |
    18. WIZARD 7 /RUNECASTER 7 | Magical Artisan [Inscribe Rune]
    19. WIZARD 8 /RUNECASTER 8 || Rune Power!
    20. WIZARD 9/RUNECASTER 9

    This is not 100% precise. E.g. Runecaster can be bumped up if you want Rune Power!(c) earlier. If you are allowed to take Flaws or use Taint from Heroes of Horror to get yourself more feats, pick Chain Spell and Divine Metamagic: Chain. Otherwise use Metamagic Rods and your Incantatrix minions.

    Skills: Don’t forget to max Knowledge (arcana) & Knowledge (religion) for TWICE as many Epic Spells per day. For other skills, pick Spellcraft, Concentration, Diplomacy (w/five ranks in Knowledge(nobility) for the bonus), Bluff, Intimidate (Red Wizard class skills), Speak Language (Paragnostic Apostle class skill), Sense Motive (Contemplative class skill). Also, put 6 ranks in Knowledge [nature] and 5 each in [architecture] and [geography] for the Paragnostic Apostle capabilities.

    This character has:

    a) Incredibly high DCs and CLs for your favourite Death Spells and any other spells you wish to cast;

    b) an Obscene Army of Extremely Powerful Minions through a number of methods (Rebuke/Command Undead, Control Undead, Animate Dead, Animate Dread Warrior, Create Undead [Ju-Ju Zombie], True Domination, Monstrous Thrall, Necrotic Tumor, Commanding Master Vampires who in turn command Master Vampires ad infinitum etc.) with a majorly high CL making the command undispellable except for Disjunction (which wont work on Rebuke/Commanded, and is quickly negated through your Staffs of Command);

    c) the Runecaster XP Machine… and I won’t even go into that! Just four words… activate on read/passed.

    All in all, this is a character who can lay waste to continents, turn their entire population into undead minions, and storm the Celestial Planes <-- haven't tried yet. Even in a very limited campaign, he should have no trouble killing epic monsters long before he reaches epic levels.

    You’ll need: Complete Arcane, Complete Divine, PGTF, FRCS (errata’d), Complete Champion, Libris Mortis, Unapproachable East, Spell Compendium. They're obtainable ;-)

    Oh, and don't forget... Necromancy is Evil. So make all us Evil-players proud 8=))
    Last edited by Undead Prince; 2009-03-03 at 05:32 PM.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Thanks for the advice everyone!

    Im switching to a Cleric//Wizard.

    Undead Prince:

    I really like your ideas, but I only have Complete Arcane and Spell Compendium of the Books listed, so Im a little confused on that part.

    Maybe Id better list my books for Referance:
    SRD material, Complete Arcane, Complete Mage, Dragon Magic, Complete Warrior, DMG 2, Dungeonscape, Tome of Battle, Savage Species, Complete Scoundral, Tome and Blood, Stronghold Builder's Guidebook, Defenders of the Faith, Sword and Fist, Draconocmicon, Arms and Equipment, Magic of Faeurun, Masters of the Wild, Magic of Incarnum, Hero Builder's Guidebook, Manual of the Planes, Monster Manual 2, PHB2, Complete Adventurer

    I don't have many undead related books.

    Could someone post the basic gist of the Ju-Ju Zombie and the Dread Warrior so I can homebrew them?

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Undead Prince, a slight problem with your build.

    You ban Enchantment...and then take a level of Mindbender? How is this possible, since Mindbender requires the ability to cast Charm Person, which is not a cleric spell and is banned to you.

    Just sayin...

    And I'd probably go Wizard20/Cleric3/Geomancer10/X7 or something similar. If you are starting above level 3, this makes you nearly completely SAD again, because you base ALL of your spells off wisdom and just max it. Oh, and now you are casting your wizard spells as Divine spells, which makes them viable targets for Divine Metamagic.

    If you want to necromance from level 1, there is a trick with Illumen, although it works without em too. Using Naenhoon Sigil (mini-Divine Metamagic) on Fel Animate allows you to use Inflict Light Wounds on a fallen foe to get a free zombie. A non-Illuman could do it too, but that would require a lot of feats to get by 1st level.

    Consider the Deathbound domain. It increases the amount of undead you can control by 1.5x. This is really good.

    Use your rebuke undead to get a friendly Shadow around ECL6. Your 1 Shadow will be able to solo most encounters at that level, and create more tastey spawn for you to control vicariously through him.
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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Olo Demonsbane View Post
    Thanks for the advice everyone!

    Im switching to a Cleric//Wizard.
    You sure you don't have any friends with HoH? Dread Necromancer//Cleric is far less work for more synergy and similar flavor. Not to mention enough Rebuke Undead attempts to make armies obey you.
    [/sarcasm]
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    I play primarily 3.5 D&D. Most of my advice will be based off of this. If my advice doesn't apply, specify a version in your post.

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Olo Demonsbane View Post
    Thanks for the advice everyone!

    Im switching to a Cleric//Wizard.
    Great choice! (damn, I feel like a car salesman 8=))

    Undead Prince:

    I really like your ideas, but I only have Complete Arcane and Spell Compendium of the Books listed, so Im a little confused on that part.

    Maybe Id better list my books for Referance:
    SRD material, Complete Arcane, Complete Mage, Dragon Magic, Complete Warrior, DMG 2, Dungeonscape, Tome of Battle, Savage Species, Complete Scoundral, Tome and Blood, Stronghold Builder's Guidebook, Defenders of the Faith, Sword and Fist, Draconocmicon, Arms and Equipment, Magic of Faeurun, Masters of the Wild, Magic of Incarnum, Hero Builder's Guidebook, Manual of the Planes, Monster Manual 2, PHB2, Complete Adventurer
    Hey, one could do a LOT with that ;-) However, check that little message I sent you. Maybe it'll help a bit 8=)

    I don't have many undead related books.

    Could someone post the basic gist of the Ju-Ju Zombie and the Dread Warrior so I can homebrew them?
    Sure, as soon as I get home from work I'll help. These two AWESOME creatures come from Unapproachable East - the one with Rashemen and Thay, which synergies very nicely with the Red Wizard PrC for Roleplaying Justification of Awesome (c). In fact, the Animate Dread Warrior spell is a personal pet of Szass Tam, the Necromancy Zulkir of no small fame 8=)) It lets you animate a corpse with All Class Abilities Intact (although it does take a hit to some of the mental stats). You have to pay 250xp per HD of the Dread Warrior, but the good part is that since it's an Animate Dead knockoff the Dread Warrior is automatically your servant, unlike those pesky Create Undeads where you have to Command or Control the resulting creature to get it to obey.

    Ju-Ju Zombie is even more awesome since the creature does not take any hits to abilities, and is basically the living PC/NPC/monster with the Undead template. It can be spawned by a Create Undead cast by a 16th level caster (easily achievable as soon as you get Create Undead through Consumption Field and Death Knell). The description is not 100% clear on how it's commanded, but there is a phrase "forever slaves to the foul magic that created them" or somesuch, meaning Animate Dead-like automatic control rather than a requirement for additional controlling measures. The DM might take a different position just to make it no so amazing, and you'd have to be very careful in having means to control the creature, as Ju-Ju Zombies are said to hate their undead existence. Oh, and don't forget to slap a Tongues on it so it can speak, as it's mute by default.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar
    Undead Prince, a slight problem with your build.

    You ban Enchantment...and then take a level of Mindbender? How is this possible, since Mindbender requires the ability to cast Charm Person, which is not a cleric spell and is banned to you.
    Easily solved. Take Enchantment as your Red Wizard prohibited school, so that the first few spell levels are available to you (Charm Person is only a 1st level spell).

    Wizard20/Cleric3/Geomancer10/X7
    A very interesting idea. Geomancer, which is IMHO v.bad for non-gestalt non-epic characters, may really shine in a gestalt build. Arcane spellcasting in heavy armor, I like 8=) Also, higher DCs for Cleric spells (should take INT as primary stat due to skillpoints), which means better Domination abilities. You will, however, miss out on the amazing power of Runes (Runecaster shines at 8th level). But something to think about, surely!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid
    Dread Necromancer//Cleric is far less work for more synergy and similar flavor. Not to mention enough Rebuke Undead attempts to make armies obey you.
    First, Rebuke Undeads won't stack (if that's what you mean by "enough Rebuke... etc") according to Gestalt rules . He'll only have as many Rebukes as the class with the highest number of Rebukes. And a couple more Rebukes due to slightly higher CHA won't make the day.

    Second, you can Command Undead only half your level in HD. Sure, it can be somewhat alleviated by accumulating many items that increase your Rebuking level, but still, they'll be much weaker than you. Anything higher, you'd have to Control. And that's where you need the high DC/CL on your Control Undead, etc.

    Third, the Dread Necro's improved undead command pool only works towards undead created from Animate Dead (or Plague of Undead which is several castings of AD rolled into one spell), i.e. stupid worthless skeletons and zombies. What you need is control over undead with full class levels (e.g. command Dread Necromancers with their own undead armies).

    Four, this forces you to take a lower INT score. Which means less skills. And skills can be powerful weapons in themselves (i.e. Diplomancer).

    Five, you're losing out on all the goodness my build has to offer... all those bonuses, Circle Magic etc. etc.

    Six, and this is a Big Six, you're losing out on the amazing Wizard spells. Premonition? Etherealness? Greater Teleport? Persistent Shapechange? And dozens of other amazing spells that would be out of your reach? Do you even grasp what sort of power you're foresaking?

    Finally... no Rune Power. And this is perhaps the biggest nail in the coffin of potential greatness.

    To sum it up, you'll be a run-of-the-mill, regular-joe necromancer. The kind that any crypt is full of. Severely limited in his options. Kinda like Tsukiko. With my build, you'll be the Daddy of Necromancers, brimming with unholy power 8=)) You know, today's comic comes to mind >8=)))

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    You can't take more than one prestige class at any given level with gestalt, so I'd probably go Cloistered Cleric 20// Wizard 3/ Master Specialist 10/ Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 7.

    Animate Dread Warrior is a 6th level Sorcerer/Wizard spell that turns a humanoid corpse of at least 3 but no more than your character level Hit Dice, killed within the last tenday/week/whatever, into a dread warrior, costing you 250 xp per HD of the corpse. Dread Warrior is a fairly generic undead template that gives +4 Str, -6 Int, -4 Cha, +4 on Climb, Jump, and Spot, but otherwise retains all the skills, feats, special attacks/qualities, class features, racial abilities, etc. of the base creature unless its new ability scores make it fail to meet a prerequisite. Note the spell specifies that it is under your complete control, but it does not specify a limit on how many you can have, meaning you could gradually animate an army of thousands.

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    You can't take more than one prestige class at any given level with gestalt
    You're right, dammit! I was so enthralled by the potential power of this gestalt entity that I overlooked some of the deal's fine print... But have no fear as the awesomeness shall persist.

    I'd probably go Cloistered Cleric 20// Wizard 3/ Master Specialist 10/ Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 7.
    An interesting option, nay, quite a good one. It has the power, the flavor… there’s only one catch… does it have enough?

    What you’re proposing is a defensive character. His abilities increase the strength of his allies, and offer some protection. But in terms of offence, he’s a regular joe. And I firmly believe that offence makes a Master Necromancer. You have to be able to quickly and surely slay or enslave powerful foes, as well as reliably control your ever-growing army. Everything else can be done by your lieutenants.

    First, let’s look at the bonuses your build offers.

    Cloistered Cleric - the Knowledge domain is useless for a Gestalt with Wizard; the only real bonus is +4 skill points per level. For this, you lose the ability to use heavy armor and shields, your HD drops from 1d8 to 1d6 (with your low CON this is gonna hurt), and you get the worst BAB instead of Medium. If you're starved for skill points, go ahead; but with the build's high INT and Human's +1 skill point all important skills are already covered, so no real need to sacrifice survivability (which is particularly important at lower levels, when you don't have decent minions and very few Wizard spells).

    Master Specialist:

    Minor esoterica: Bonus equal to class level to saves and turn resistance of your undead allies in 60ft, for as many rounds as you have Master Specialist levels, every time you cast a Necromancy spell. Sounds good? Yes, and it is. Until your Control Undead gets dispelled, or is about to expire and you want to refresh it; or your Rebuke/Command gets broken by an enemy cleric, and you have to get command over these undead again. +10 to their Will saves vs. your Control Undead? +10 to their turn resistance vs. your Rebuke/Command? Not so good now, eh? Count in the factor that intelligent undead might hate you with a passion for enslaving them? Oh, those Master Vampires are not on your side now… and neither are their spawn!

    Moderate esoterica: you’re immune to level/ability drain, ability damage, negative levels. I won’t even say that you can get the same from some magic items. All it really takes is converting to Necropolitan, or taking some other form of Undeath. And you’d be doing it anyway, for the many bonuses, as well as the luxury of making the Negative Energy Plane your lair/hunting grounds.

    Major esoterica: Fast healing 10 for 5 rounds on all undead allies in 60ft, every time you cast a Necromancy spell. Good, any way you look at it. But it can be done just the same by another. Make one of your minions a Master Specialist; your minions are his allies, and so are you. So he can be the one sustaining the healing, and heal you as well (if you’re Undead, and you should be IMHO). Not only can a minion duplicate this ability; he can do it better, because he’s also healing you.

    Also, honestly, did you become a Necromancer to be a healer? Poor little skeleton, let me nurse you back to health 8=))

    Oh, and… the Master Specialist’s abilities become totally useless once you Control your first Atropal… which gives fast healing 20 and Turn resistance 20 to all undead in 30 ft radius…

    All other Master Spec bonuses are too minor to cover.

    That’s what you’ll be wasting 10 prestige levels on. Something that does nothing to augment your key abilities, can be done better by a minion, and would be eclipsed once you’ve attained enough power.

    Now the Initiate. A unique, powerful class, no doubt. But again, its greatest ability is of almost purely a defensive nature, and can just as easily be used by your minion.

    Honestly, building prismatic walls? Is that your idea of Necromancy?

    Add in the fact that the most powerful Veil actually disintegrates enemies, thus depriving you of their corpses; just doesn’t fly for a real Necromancer.

    Finally… to take the Initiate you have to WASTE THREE FEATS. That’s right, down the drain go THREE FEATS. Which could have been used to get you something like +8 to DC (Holy Potency + Black Lore of Moil) AND an incredible free Metamagic (Divine Metamagic: Chain or Twin) or the ability to use Node Spellcasting or any of the many great feats out there.

    Seriously, this build is not cutting it.

    Now let’s look at what the Red Wizard has to offer.

    1. Easy entry requirements – you’ll be taking at least 2 metamagic feats anyway and you already have an item creation feat (Scribe Scroll). The Tattoo Focus is way better than Spell Focus: Necromancy as not only it adds +1 DC, but also +1 Caster Level. Besides, you should be getting the Tattoo Focus feat for FREE from your Red Wizard Initiator's Scribe Tattoo ability.
    2. BONUS FEAT. Grab that Metamagic!
    3. Spell Power: Permanent +5 to Caster Level. Stacks with everything.
    4. +4 to saving throws vs. Necromancy (not shabby).
    5. CIRCLE MAGIC. You should know how it works. Good on all levels, but I’ll give you an example of its full power. Once you get nine 17th level spellcasters under your rulership, and you SHOULD (if only for Cooperative Spell), for one ninth level spell slot each they give you 90 “spell bonus levels” per day. Each bonus level can be used to either: raise your Caster Level by 1 (to a max of 40); allow you to use Metamagic: Heighten to raise your spell level up to a max of 20 (that’s right, not 9 as with regular Heighten, but 20); or allow you to use Empower or Maximise (even if you don’t have these feats), with each “spell bonus level” paying for one level of the feat cost.
    6. So having 90 bonus levels, you can: get +11 DC on your 9th level spells; get +14 Caster level if you already have Caster Level 26 (from other Red Wizard features); do this three times a day, and for the fourth time get +10 DC and +5 Caster levels.
    7. For a 20th level caster, the Red Wizard features give +1 to DC and +6 to Caster Level permanently, and +12 to DC of 9th level spells and +20 Caster levels nearly four times per day (more if more than one Circle is allowed!). With Metamagic: Chain you can use it to instantly kill, or make Thralls out of, an entire battlefield of enemies; with Metamagic: Twin you can single-handedly slay or enthrall Epic Monsters. Add in Cooperative Spell, Consumptive Field, and Holy Potency + Black Lore of Moil, and you’ve got yourself a KILLER.
    8. For extra power, use Node Spellcasting and Metanode Spell and attune yourself to a +5 Evil Node, for +5 to Caster Level and -5 to Metamagic costs when casting near the Node (and you will be doing precisely that, with the Gate spell as your Door to XP). Your Incantatrix cohort can use this to slap a free Fortify on your spells, increasing the Caster Level by 10; or Persist that Shapechange and Foresight on you, and by extension on your familiar as well! A Great Wyrm familiar with Foresight? Nice!
    9. Two levels of Fatespinner are good for the extra killing power: once per day, you can add +2 DC to any spell, and, also once per day, force any enemy to reroll his save. This is like a free Twin Spell which can go ON TOP of the Twin Spell itself for some ultra-wicked Epic Monster slaying action.

    Build 2.0

    1. WIZARD 1 / CLERIC 1 Heighten Spell, Divine Metamagic: Heighten (Human Bonus Feat), Scribe Scroll (Wizard feat), Spell Focus: Enchantment (Domination domain), Extra Turning (Undeath Domain)
    2. WIZARD 2 / CLERIC 2
    3. WIZARD 3 / CLERIC 3 | Quicken Turning
    4. WIZARD 4 / CLERIC 4
    5. WIZARD 5 / CLERIC 5 | Cooperative Spell (Wizard bonus feat) | FREE: Tattoo Focus from your Red Wizard Initiator
    6. RED WIZARD 1 / CLERIC 6|Leadership (Incantatrix cohort)
    7. RED WIZARD 2 / CLERIC 7
    8. RED WIZARD 3 / CLERIC 8
    9. RED WIZARD 4 / CLERIC 9 |Holy Potency
    10. RED WIZARD 5 / CLERIC 10 |Black Lore of Moil
    11. RED WIZARD 6 / CLERIC 11
    12. RED WIZARD 7 / CLERIC 12 |Mother Cyst |Scribe Tattoo (Red Wizard feat)
    13. RED WIZARD 8 / CLERIC 13 Retrain Heighten and DMM: Heighten into Twin Spell and DMM: Twin Spell
    14. RED WIZARD 9 / CLERIC 14
    15. RED WIZARD 10 / CLERIC 15 Node Spellcasting (+5 CL)
    16. MINDBENDER 1 / CLERIC 16
    17. FATESPINNER 1 / CLERIC 17
    18. FATESPINNER 2 / CLERIC 18 Metanode Spell (-5 Metamagic cost, may be used with your Incantatrix's Fortify Spell to gain +10 Caster Levels)
    19. WIZARD 6 / CONTEMPLATIVE 1 (Fire Domain)
    20. WIZARD 7 / PARAGNOSTIC APOSTLE 1 (See through the Veil)

    This is, again, an approximation.

    For advice on Circle Magic, see here. Get yourself a Slaymate companion (Libris Mortis) for -1 to Metamagic cost on all Necromancy spells.

    "Let the Reaping Begin!" (c)RB
    Last edited by Undead Prince; 2009-03-04 at 09:37 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    dyslexicfaser's Avatar

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Oh lord, Circle Magic.

    Cloistered Cleric is only good if that's the flavor you want. From an optimizing viewpoint, regular cleric is much better, since you can get right up in combat with your undead minions; armor, higher HD, etc. Just remember to get Twilight Mithril armor if you go cleric/wizard with this option, to reduce ASF to 0%. This gets even more ridiculous if you get DMM: Persist. Throw Righteous Might or Necrotic Cyst or Death Dragon or Monstrous Regeneration or Greater Consumptive Field any of a dozen other buffable spells on you, Persisted, and you are a monster.

    I'm sticking to my guns. Command Undead can be great. Phylactery of Undead Turning, a Sacred Shield, and a Scepter of the Netherworld (30k gold or so in goodies), and a level 5 cleric can turn like a level 14th (7 HD undead and fewer; wraiths, ghouls, slaymates, vampire spawn, etc.), or a level 15 like a level 24th (12 HD undead and fewer; mummies, bodaks, devourers, atropal scions, whatever). Though that turn resistance in some of the cooler monsters like liches and vampires is tough.
    People seemed to like this better, but only marginally so - the way one might prefer to be stabbed than shot. Optimally, one isn't stabbed or shot. Optimally, one eats some cake! But there are times when cake is not available, and instead we are destroyed. This is the deep poetry of the universe. -- Tycho Brahe

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  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Actually, my DM allows dual prestige classing while geshalt , so I would be able to use the first build if only I had the right books .

    I am mainly looking for this to be effective around levels 1-10, as my campaigns don't usually reach higher than this...

    As an aside, I need to have Two Weapon Fighting as my first level feat (its another house rule). It makes me a lot better.

    Also, Cleric is better than Cloistered Cleric because of the armor. Yet another house rule . Sorry for the inconvineance.
    Last edited by Olo Demonsbane; 2009-03-04 at 10:46 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Despite Cloistered Cleric's armor proficiencies (or lack thereof), you still suffer arcane spell failure for your Wizard spells when armored, so that doesn't matter at all. +1 Twilight Mithral Breastplate with a Thistledown Suit has 0% ASF and being light a Cloistered Cleric is proficient with it. The Knowledge domain isn't there for the class skills, it's free in addition to your normal domains, meaning more options for what to spend those domain slots on. The only real loss is BAB, which considering Divine Might and how many spells/day you get, you probably won't need to worry about even rolling an attack roll, much less missing it when you do. Free domain spells to pick from, free skill points, in exchange for a BAB that you can replace with a spell and heavy armor that you wouldn't even have been wearing.

    The 3/10/7 Wizard build is fairly standard, and actually a strong choice when you have minions to smack around your opponents. Get IotSV maxed out first, you'll be able to put up veils as an immediate action whenever you need one when you get to the 4th level. Everything you get from Master Specialist is better than if you'd taken more Wizard, and you could easily switch the build to something like Wizard 3/ Master Specialist 6/ IotSV 7/ Archmage 4. Boost your undead followers with spells like Mage Armor, Haste, and Mass Bull's Strength, and use Bolster Undead if any opponents are carrying a holy symbol. Make your character a Necropolitan (LM) and Spellstitch yourself, with Animate Dead as one of your spell-like abilities so you no longer need a costly material component for it. Get Corpsecrafter and Destruction Retribution (LM) and focus on high-HD Zombie minions who will deal a lot of damage/healing to everyone around, including yourself.

    Circle Magic is a trap, it is entirely dependent on having numerous followers on hand daily to spend their highest level spell slots to boost your power. Such followers are difficult to acquire, even with Animate Dread Warrior you'll need corpses of spellcasters with Tattoo Focus, and they're an obvious vulnerability for opponents to attack. Assuming you do manage to gain followers who are spellcasters with that feat, whether from Leadership or some other method, there is no guarantee that they'd be willing to part with their most powerful spell slots on a regular basis. At the very least you should expect to pay them a hefty salary for their services, something along the lines of spell level x caster level x 10 gp per spell slot each time circle magic is performed, the standard cost to hire an npc spellcaster. Plus Red Wizard should only be available in the Forgotten Realms, and only if the DM is prepared to pile on the RP grief that was intended to balance the class. For example, a PC who expects followers to spend their spell slots to power his Circle Magic should have to spend his first fourteen levels spending his own spell slots to power his own master's Circle Magic, which would definitely be enough of a drawback to thwart anyone seeking to abuse the class.

  22. - Top - End - #22

    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    Despite Cloistered Cleric's armor proficiencies (or lack thereof), you still suffer arcane spell failure for your Wizard spells when armored, so that doesn't matter at all.
    You seem to have ignored this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Undead Prince
    Cloistered Cleric - the Knowledge domain is useless for a Gestalt with Wizard; the only real bonus is +4 skill points per level. For this, you lose the ability to use heavy armor and shields, your HD drops from 1d8 to 1d6 (with your low CON this is gonna hurt), and you get the worst BAB instead of Medium. If you're starved for skill points, go ahead; but with the build's high INT and Human's +1 skill point all important skills are already covered, so no real need to sacrifice survivability (which is particularly important at lower levels, when you don't have decent minions and very few Wizard spells).
    When you're level 1, with only a handful of Wizard spells and no minions to speak of (unless you get some Hirelings), the ability to don heavy armor and pick a heavy shield is very good for survivability.

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou
    +1 Twilight Mithral Breastplate with a Thistledown Suit has 0% ASF and being light a Cloistered Cleric is proficient with it.
    How much does it cost? What crafting requirements?

    Again, you're looking at the issue from the standpoint of a high-level char.

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou
    The Knowledge domain isn't there for the class skills, it's free in addition to your normal domains, meaning more options for what to spend those domain slots on.
    And once more, you ignore this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Undead Prince
    Cloistered Cleric - the Knowledge domain is useless for a Gestalt with Wizard; the only real bonus is +4 skill points per level. For this, you lose the ability to use heavy armor and shields, your HD drops from 1d8 to 1d6 (with your low CON this is gonna hurt), and you get the worst BAB instead of Medium. If you're starved for skill points, go ahead; but with the build's high INT and Human's +1 skill point all important skills are already covered, so no real need to sacrifice survivability (which is particularly important at lower levels, when you don't have decent minions and very few Wizard spells).
    You already have TWO domains, including Domination, which is the one you'll be putting in Domain slots. The Knowledge domain only duplicates some Wizard spells, so it's useless for a Wizard gestalt.

    The only real loss is BAB
    And again, you totally ignore my post. Seriously, are you doing a soliloquy here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Undead Prince
    Cloistered Cleric - the Knowledge domain is useless for a Gestalt with Wizard; the only real bonus is +4 skill points per level. For this, you lose the ability to use heavy armor and shields, your HD drops from 1d8 to 1d6 (with your low CON this is gonna hurt), and you get the worst BAB instead of Medium. If you're starved for skill points, go ahead; but [B]with the build's high INT and Human's +1 skill point all important skills are already covered, so no real need to sacrifice survivability (which is particularly important at lower levels, when you don't have decent minions and very few Wizard spells).
    With a lesser Hit Die on top of your already lacking CON, you lose survivability.

    which considering Divine Might and how many spells/day you get, you probably won't need to worry about even rolling an attack roll, much less missing it when you do
    Nonetheless, the BAB might come in handy at lower levels, or even at higher if you need to cast a touch attack spell.

    Free domain spells to pick from
    Which you already have from Wizard and which you have nowhere to put since your domain slots are occupied by better spells

    free skill points
    Which you don't need with a high INT human build.

    in exchange for a BAB that you can replace with a spell and heavy armor that you wouldn't even have been wearing.
    I.e. BAB that would make you expend a spell (slot + casting time) to recover, and heavy armor and shield that a) greatly help your survivability at lower levels, b) can be worn perfectly well after you expend your 3 (three) Wizard spells per day. Also, you're losing out on HP which further cripples your survivability. All this for a bunch of "bonuses" you have no use for.

    The 3/10/7 Wizard build is fairly standard, and actually a strong choice when you have minions to smack around your opponents.
    I see you indeed have not bothered to read my post, which was addressed to you.

    Get IotSV maxed out first, you'll be able to put up veils as an immediate action whenever you need one when you get to the 4th level.
    Yes, and to do that, you'll have to start by WASTING THREE FEATS only to get into the PrC. As for the Veils, I've already said they can be used by your minions, so no need to waste a PrC on it.

    Everything you get from Master Specialist is better than if you'd taken more Wizard
    1) Why are you comparing the PrC to the plain Wizard?

    2) The Wizard would at least give you 2 bonus feats. The MS forces you to waste a feat on the weak Spell Focus, and then gives you abilites that at best are easily duplicated by your minions, and at worst actually impede your control over your own undead horde.

    and you could easily switch the build to something like Wizard 3/ Master Specialist 6/ IotSV 7/ Archmage 4.
    EVEN WORSE, as Archmage forces you to waste THREE MORE FEATS on top of the FOUR you've already wasted on Master Specialist and Initiate, which means SEVEN LOST FEATS IN TOTAL. Do you actually realise that you're wasting ALL YOUR FEATS on useless entry requirements? And the stuff you get from Archmage is as weak as Master Spec and Initiate.

    Honestly, this build is MAJORLY crippled.

    Get Corpsecrafter and Destruction Retribution (LM)
    I am sorry, but WITH YOUR BUILD YOU DON'T HAVE THE FEATS TO TAKE THESE TWO. YOU'VE ALREADY WASTED 7 FEATS ON ENTRY REQUIREMENTS, remember?

    Second, these feats are majorly worthless for you, as the Undead YOU're gonna be creating are powerful spellcasters with class levels, and not melee meatshields that could benefit from a small boost to STR and CON.

    These feats should be taken by your Dread Necromancer minions. Don't waste your own feats on them.

    and focus on high-HD Zombie minions
    LOL, focusing on Zombies? the most worthless of the Undead? Oh gods...

    Circle Magic is a trap
    Yes... a trap door that dumps you straight into AMAZING POWER!

    it is entirely dependent on having numerous followers on hand daily to spend their highest level spell slots to boost your power. Such followers are difficult to acquire
    THIS is what you'll be DOING - acquiring minions with class levels! THIS is the entire point of the build, to which I devoted extensive exposition! THIS is the door to REAL POWER, and not measly lordship over weakling mindless undead!

    There are a TON of ways to acquire such minions, and I've enumerated many of them above. Or, you can just cast Simulacrum (or ask your Incantatrix minion to do it) on yourself, and get clones with Tattoo Focus feats which can be used for Circle Magic.

    even with Animate Dread Warrior you'll need corpses of spellcasters with Tattoo Focus
    1) Ju-Ju Zombie is far superior as it does not have the INT hit.

    2) At Red Wizard 7, you acquire the Scribe Tattoo feat, which allows you to grant Tattoo Focus to others.

    3) Simulacrum.

    and they're an obvious vulnerability for opponents to attack.
    NOT! All that's required for Circle Magic is 1 hour of concentration per day. The rest of the day, they can do whatever. If they're Undead, just stuff them in a Bag of Holding, or in some pocket plane.

    Wait, what am I saying. These are powerful Undead spellcasters, basically Liches. They're not a "vulnerability", they're an incredible asset in combat. As Rorscharch puts it in Watchers, "I'm not locked in here with you... You're locked in with me!"

    Assuming you do manage to gain followers who are spellcasters with that feat,
    Have you read the class description? YOU are the the one who GIVES them Tattoo Focus.

    whether from Leadership or some other method, there is no guarantee that they'd be willing to part with their most powerful spell slots on a regular basis
    Oh ye Godz. Leadership. You know, Fanatics? Willing to DIE for you? And yet not willing to cast one spell per day when you ask them to? LOL. And the other types - Dominated, Thralls, Commanded, Controlled, Cysted - they're all basically slaves. Unquestioningly obedient, especially to such a minor request.

    At the very least you should expect to pay them a hefty salary for their services
    ,

    WHAT??! Oh, LOLZ!! Are you for real??

    Plus Red Wizard should only be available in the Forgotten Realms
    The DMG EXPLICITELY states the possibility to use it outside FR. That's the REASON it was printed in the DMG.

    and only if the DM is prepared to pile on the RP grief that was intended to balance the class. For example, a PC who expects followers to spend their spell slots to power his Circle Magic should have to spend his first fourteen levels spending his own spell slots to power his own master's Circle Magic
    1) Where the hell did you get that idea? NOWHERE in the PrC does it state that you have to sacrifice spell slots! That's not Roleplay, that's mechanics you're talking about! -1 highest level spell slot! A harsh handicap which you just invented out of the blue! Utterly Ridiculous. It's like saying a Fighter's "warrior ethic" precludes him from fighting at his full BAB and he always takes a -2 BAB penalty whenever the fight is "unfair" (e.g. not 1-on-1, or magic enhancement is involved). It's not in the rules and you can't just force it on players unless you admit it's your own houserule. //edited for a better example.

    2) Also, fourteen levels? The Red Wizard is ten levels long!

    3) Once the Red Wizard reaches his 5th level, he becomes a Circle Leader himself. So if you want him to sacrifice slots to some "master", you must therefore allow him to put Circle Leaders into his own Circles. I.e. he leads a Circle of 10 Circle Leaders, each of them leads his own Circle of 10 Circle Leaders, each of which... see the cheese potential?

    which would definitely be enough of a drawback to thwart anyone seeking to abuse the class.
    Even putting aside the fact that this "drawback" is nothing more than an absurd houserule gimping the class, -1 spell slot for a few levels is nothing compared to the HUGE bonuses of Red Wizard.
    Last edited by Undead Prince; 2009-03-06 at 09:12 AM.

  23. - Top - End - #23

    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Olo Demonsbane View Post
    Actually, my DM allows dual prestige classing while geshalt
    Cool!

    so I would be able to use the first build if only I had the right books
    Check your messagebox.

    I am mainly looking for this to be effective around levels 1-10, as my campaigns don't usually reach higher than this...
    Now that's harsh.

    Let's try to reach at least level 11, as it gives access to 6th level spells, i.e. Create Undead (Ju-Ju Zombies! You want them!) and Planar Binding (Command those Efreet for free Wishes!)

    Build v.3.0 (low-level edition)


    Human, Middle-Aged (won’t take Old Aged, as it gimps your physicals greatly, and since you’re only playing lower levels, that can be more dangerous than useful).

    Alignment: **** Evil.

    STATS (32 point buy):

    INT 17+1 (age) = 18 +2 (levels) = 20 by level 8
    WIS 15+1 (age) = 16 (enough for 6th level spells, don’t need DC’s because of Geomancer)
    CHA 15 +1 (age) = 16 (need for Rebuking, Divine Metamagic, Diplomacy and winning Charisma checks in Command Undead spell).
    STR 9 -1 (age) = 8
    DEX 9 -1 (age) = 8
    CON 9 -1 (age) = 8

    1. WIZARD 1 / CLERIC 1 Heighten Spell, Divine Metamagic: Heighten (Human Bonus Feat), Scribe Scroll (Wizard feat), Spell Focus: Enchantment (Domination domain), Extra Turning (Undeath Domain)
    2. WIZARD 2 / CLERIC 2
    3. WIZARD 3 / CLERIC 3 Quicken Turning
    4. WIZARD 4 / GEOMANCER 1
    5. WIZARD 5 / GEOMANCER 2| Cooperative Spell (Wizard bonus feat) FREE: Tattoo Focus from your Red Wizard Initiator
    6. RED WIZARD 1 / GEOMANCER 3 Leadership (Incantatrix cohort)
    7. RED WIZARD 2 / GEOMANCER 4
    8. RED WIZARD 3 / GEOMANCER 5
    9. RED WIZARD 4 / GEOMANCER 6 Holy Potency
    10. RED WIZARD 5 / GEOMANCER 7 Black Lore of Moil | Retrain Heighten and DMM: Heighten into Chain and DMM: Chain, or Twin and DMM: Twin, or Quicken and DMM: Quicken
    11. MINDBENDER 1 (Telepathy) / CONTEMPLATIVE 1 (Fire Domain) OR PARAGNOSTIC APOSTLE 1 (See through the Veil)

    With 7 levels of Geomancer, you cover all your spell levels (0 to 6th), so you can:

    always spellcast in Heavy armor and Shield;
    use Intelligence for your Cleric spells (e.g. Domination);
    apply Divine Metamagic to arcane spells, etc.

    This is particularly useful for you as you’re playing a low-level character and need all the survivability you can get. Plus, you can get +2 Caster Level while on a particular terrain type you prefer (e.g. forest, or plains) to make your Animations, Dominations and Slayings that much better.

    Also, 7 levels of Geomancer give you 7 Drifts (two 1st, two 2nd, three 3rd, and one 4th), some of which give very nice bonuses. E.g.:

    1st (pure flavor): Scaly skin, touch causes flowers to wilt (Necro!)
    2nd: Comely as a dryad (+4 to Diplomacy!), Swift as an elk (Land speed +5 ft! I.e. a 25% increase over your 20ft in heavy armor!)
    3rd: Fish gills (water breathing), Owl eyes (+4 to Spot in darkness), or Hawklike talons (free Weapon Finesse feat, 2 claw attacks, +talons are cool!)
    4th: Boar's Ferocity (Disregard Disabled or Dying conditions - you continue to fight at full capacity even when below 0 hp).

    Two more levels in Geomancer would have given you Wings (Flight 60ft).

    In fact, I think for a Wizard / Cleric Gestalt the Geomancer is almost indispensable.

    With 5 levels of Red Wizard, you get to be Circle Leader (though with only 6 participants including yourself), which gives you crucial boosts to DC and CL, as well as the ability to use Empower and Maximise. Also, you get +1 DC (always good), +3 Caster Level (vital for Animate Dead and Create Undead), and +2 saves vs. Necromancy, plus a Bonus Feat. You’ll need to command a higher level Red Wizard to make him give your minions Tattoo Focus, or just a 13th level wizard to cast Simulacrum on you.

    Mindbender and Contemplative are self-explanatory. You need the Fire Domain to command Efreet, and Telepathy to instantly communicate with your many minions. But you can also get the Fire Domain instead of, say, Undeath, through the spell Substitute Domain, so you might want to take Paragnostic Apostle for +2 to your Rebuking level and +1 to DCs of any spells you cast vs. Undead (i.e. Command Undead, which you'll be using often, and Control Undead in the future).

    With Quicken Turning, you can Command/Rebuke Undead as a free action, which is generally useful (i.e. you can turn and cast at the same time), and particularly useful for the Holy Potency/Black Lore of Moil Combo.

    Holy Potency/Black Lore of Moil – for a Rebuke Undead attempt and 25 gp, you add your CHA to DC of any spell. By level 11, assuming you can get a +6 enhancement, that’s +6 to DC of any spell, for as many times as you have Rebuke. Renders Heighten Spell obsolete, as it is a much more efficient use of your Rebukes.

    Dominate Person, Animate Dead, Animate Dread Warrior, Create Undead (Ju-Ju Zombie) and Command Undead will be your workhorse spells here. Command Undead is a tricky spell that works like Charm Person vs. intelligent undead, so make sure to pump your Charisma and Diplomacy, so that the undeads view you as their friend and ally. Grab Phylactery of Undead Turning, Rod of Denial, Sacred Armor and Sacred Shield from those Efreet wishes (or buy/make others make them for you). Then go for Nightstick and Rod of Undead Mastery. Planar Bind yourself a Slaymate to get a discount on all metamagic; Rebuke/Command Vampires to get an ever-growing Vampire army.

    In skills, besides the obvious, don't skimp on Diplomacy (and pile synergies on it).

    Also, Cleric is better than Cloistered Cleric because of the armor. Yet another house rule
    What's the house rule here? The official Cloistered Cleric variant only has Light armor proficiency and no shield, so it's definitely worse at lower levels.

    Edit: Build 3.1

    This one is more focused on Death dealing.

    As you're playing a low level campaign, no Finger of Death/Wail of the Banshee for you. So how can we make your Necromancer not only a master of Undeath, but also of Death proper?

    At character level 9, you'll get a nice Cleric spell Slay Living. Good ring to it, huh? That's right, kills any living creature on a failed Fortitude. Unfortunately, it's a Touch attack spell, which is bad. But what if we turn it into a Ray with Metamagic: Reach? and then make it strike twice with Split Ray? while it's being Heightened by your Red Wizard Circle Magic for that extra +15 to DC? with no chance of missing thanks to your Medium BAB and, if need be, True Strike? Feeling like Death Incarnate now? Oh, and you can use the Slaymate to drop metamagic costs by 1 for all applied metamagic feats.

    This strat can be applied to other good touch spells, such as the 3rd level spell Shivering Touch (Frostburn) which is Necromancy (i.e. benefits from Slaymate's metamagic cost reduction), has NO SAVE and does 3d6 Dexterity damage. With Circle Magic's Maximise, that's -18 to DEX, no save. At 0 Dex, the victim is Paralyzed. I.e. approach and Coup-de-gras into oblivion. You've got 1 round/level to do it. And you can do it to TWO TARGETS AT ONCE at the meager cost of 2 Rebukes from Divine Metamagic (1 Reach, 1 Split Ray) and 2 "bonus caster levels" from Circle Magic (Maximise).

    Or, how about Split Maximised Disintegrate? Recommended against Constructs!

    To afford this goodness, in the absense of Flaws (Flaws are not allowed in your game, right?) we'll have to drop the Holy Potency/Moil combo. The good news is that this allows us to use Spontaneous Domain Conversion from PHBII, which coupled with Geomancer allows us to spontaneously convert any Cleric or Wizard spell into a Domain spell of corresponding level. For this build, we'll choose the Domination domain, as it has a great selection of crowd-control and slave-making spells, plus gets a free Spell Focus.

    So this is the new version of the build, with more offensive capabilities:

    1. WIZARD 1 / CLERIC 1 Heighten Spell, Divine Metamagic: Heighten (Human Bonus Feat), Scribe Scroll (Wizard feat), Spell Focus: Enchantment (Domination domain), Extra Turning (Undeath Domain), Spontaneous Domain Casting [Domination]
    2. WIZARD 2 / CLERIC 2
    3. WIZARD 3 / CLERIC 3 Mother Cyst (? may be variants)
    4. WIZARD 4 / GEOMANCER 1
    5. WIZARD 5 / GEOMANCER 2| Cooperative Spell(Wizard bonus feat) FREE: Tattoo Focus from your Red Wizard Initiator
    6. RED WIZARD 1 / GEOMANCER 3 Leadership (Incantatrix cohort)
    7. RED WIZARD 2 / GEOMANCER 4 |
    8. RED WIZARD 3 / GEOMANCER 5
    9. RED WIZARD 4 / GEOMANCER 6 Split Ray Retrain Heighten and DMM: Heighten into Reach Spell and DMM: Reach
    10. RED WIZARD 5 / GEOMANCER 7 Divine Metamagic: Split Ray
    11. MINDBENDER 1 (Telepathy) / CONTEMPLATIVE 1 (Fire Domain) OR PARAGNOSTIC APOSTLE 1 (See through the Veil)
    Last edited by Undead Prince; 2009-03-05 at 05:48 PM. Reason: Added Divine Metamagic bonus for Geomancer

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    +1 Twilight Mithral Breastplate with a Thistledown Suit costs 8,450 gp, which should be easily afforded by 7th level, not and item you wouldn't expect to get until 20. Twilight is in the PH2 in a sidebar with the Duskblade, Thistledown Suit is in RotW, everything else is from Core. Do you really expect a character who probably has Str as a dump stat to carry around a suit of armor and shield until he uses up his Wizard spells, then equip it mid-adventure?

    Just because you can scribe tattoos doesn't mean you can give your undead minions free feats. They cannot gain the feat Tattoo Focus unless they have an open feat slot to gain. Undead don't continue gaining experience, they would have to have the feat before becoming undead. Not even Psychic Reformation will work, since it's a mind-affecting effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Undead Prince View Post
    The DMG EXPLICITELY states the possibility to use it outside FR. That's the REASON it was printed in the DMG.
    DMG page 194, right above the Tattoo Focus feat:
    The Red Wizard prestige class was originally created for inclusion in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, and uses several rules specific to that setting. We've reproduced them here so you can better see how the class works. Consider carefully before adding them to a campaign that does not use the Forgotten Realms setting.
    Tattoo Focus and Circle Magic are specific to the Forgotten Realms setting, meaning they don't exist in any other setting unless the DM says so. It even advises DMs to consider carefully before adding them to a game, therefore you cannot just assume that it will be allowed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Undead Prince View Post
    1) Where the hell did you get that idea? NOWHERE in the PrC does it state that you have to sacrifice spell slots! That's not Roleplay, that's mechanics you're talking about! -1 highest level spell slot! A harsh handicap which you just invented out of the blue! Utterly Ridiculous. It's like saying the Fighter goes to "Fighter College" for his bonus feats and thus has to spend 6 months every year attending classes.
    Did you even read how circle magic works? DMG 194, on the right side of the page under Circle Powers, "Each participant casts any single prepared spell, which is consumed by the circle and has no other effect other than expending the prepared spell. The spell levels expended by the circle participants are totalled as circle bonus levels." It does indeed cost spell slots, I'm not making that up. You could just spend 1st level spell slots, but that means the circle leader has no more than ten circle bonus levels to work with.

    I have quite a bit of experience playing in and running games set in the Forgotten Realms, and I know all about the Red Wizards. You're required to be specialized in a school of magic to take the prestige class, because that culture is separated into factions based on school specialization. If you're a specialist Necromancer aspiring to become a Red Wizard, you're automatically a part of the faction led by Szass Tam. If a character tries to desert their faction, the Red Wizards are guaranteed to hunt them down and end their existence. I'm a huge proponent of self-taught prestige classes rather than having to join an organization, but this is one of the few classes that I would never presume to be self-taught.

    Quote Originally Posted by Undead Prince View Post
    2) Also, fourteen levels? The Red Wizard is ten levels long!
    Wizard 5/ Red Wizard 9 is a 14th level character. In the Red Wizards, you're always under someone more powerful unless you're one of the Zulkirs, which should never happen to a PC before 21st level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Undead Prince View Post
    3) Once the Red Wizard reaches his 5th level, he becomes a Circle Leader himself. So if you want him to sacrifice slots to some "master", you must therefore allow him to put Circle Leaders into his own Circles. I.e. he leads a Circle of 10 Circle Leaders, each of them leads his own Circle of 10 Circle Leaders, each of which... see the cheese potential?
    They're really going to be doing circle magic for ten hours a day? With their required eight hours of rest to get their spells back that leaves only six hours each day to do everything else. If there was no time constraint there would be cheese potential, but you've conveniently ignored that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Undead Prince View Post
    Even putting aside the fact that this "drawback" is nothing more than an absurd houserule gimping the class, -1 spell slot for a few levels is nothing compared to the HUGE bonuses of Red Wizard.
    You should read up on the Forgotten Realms and the Red Wizards of Thay before recommending someone drop their character into that organization. It always leads to more trouble than it's worth, and that setting uses RP to balance mechanics even more often than the BoED. I'm not making up absurd houserules, you've failed to read through and understand the mechanics of the class you're recommending. You're suggesting that he try to take the class for reasons of gaining power while completely ignoring its RP aspects and even the mechanics of it. In-game nobody likes a munchkin, and on forums nobody likes a troll.

  25. - Top - End - #25

    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    1 Twilight Mithral Breastplate with a Thistledown Suit costs 8,450 gp, which should be easily afforded by 7th level
    1. So at best it will be availabe by the last third of the OP's game. For 2/3rds of the game, the Cloistered Cleric will have to walk around in Light Armor and no shield. And have lower HP.
    2. Unless the PC or someone from his party crafts this thing, there is no guarantee they'll ever find it for sale.
    3. Even with this breastplate, the Cloistered Cleric still has a lower AC than with Full plate, and he still doesn't have a shield. Which means that, besides the straight AC loss, he cannot profit from the shield-specific Cleric spells he possesses (such as Magic Vestment, Shield of Warding (Spell Compendium, Draconomicon), or Energized Shield(Spell Compendium).

    With judicious application of Death Knell and Consumptive Field, at character level 10 the Magic Vestment and Shield of Warding (both 3rd level spells) give a total of +10 bonus to AC (+5 enhancement [shield], +5 sacred), which on top of the Heavy Shield's 2 AC gives a whopping +12 to AC which is stackable with your other armor sources since it applies to shield. Add in Full Plate's advantage over Breastplate (+3 AC), and you have a total +15 to AC thanks to not taking Cloistered Cleric.

    To put things into perspective, with +15 to AC an enemy who would hit the Cloistered Cleric 80% of the time would only be able to hit the Heavily Armored Cleric on a natural 20 (i.e. 5% of the time).

    Still think the few extra skill points are worth it? Even considering the fact you've got all your skills covered already?

    Do you really expect a character who probably has Str as a dump stat to carry around a suit of armor and shield until he uses up his Wizard spells, then equip it mid-adventure?
    1. He doesn't have to carry it all the time - a hireling or party member can do it, until the moment it is to be worn.
    2. He can carry it himself even with 8 STR, and still have capacity for other items. Due to encumbrance he might get -5 ft to speed, but in my 3.1 build this is negated by Geomancer's speed bonus.
    3. Equipping full plate takes four minutes. I believe there will be sufficient breaks in any adventuring day.
    4. Equipping a shield is a move action.
    5. With Geomancer, more and more Wizard spell levels will be castable with heavy armor and shield; from character level 8 and onward all available wizard spells will be free from armor-induced arcane spell failure.

    To sum it up, with Clerical armor-enhancing spells (especially those particular to shields), this getup drastically increases the survivability of the character (which is extremely important in the early levels), with no real drawbacks. QED.

    Just because you can scribe tattoos doesn't mean you can give your undead minions free feats. They cannot gain the feat Tattoo Focus unless they have an open feat slot to gain.
    However, that's precisely what it says in the DMG. The "Scribe Tattoo" ability allows you to give the feat "Tattoo Focus" to your minions.

    Quote Originally Posted by FRCS, DMG
    Scribe Tattoo: The Red Wizard gains the ability to place the Thayan Wizards' magic tattoos upon willing and qualified novices, giving them the Tattoo Focus feat and inducting them into his circle.
    There is a "Create Magic Tattoo" spell in PGtF, and a "Tattoo Magic" feat in Races of Faerun. Both allow inscribing tattoos on creatures to give them various bonuses and/or duplicate spell effects, without having to spend feats for it.

    But, whatever. In my build, there's a place for an extra feat anyway. Unlike your build, which wasted 7 feats on useless PrC prerequisites.

    Undead don't continue gaining experience
    Where does it say that? There are TONS of rules for Undead PCs and NPCs.

    Tattoo Focus and Circle Magic are specific to the Forgotten Realms setting, meaning they don't exist in any other setting unless the DM says so. It even advises DMs to consider carefully before adding them to a game, therefore you cannot just assume that it will be allowed.
    It has been reproduced in the DMG with the specific reason of demonstrating its workability, and the DMG explicitely states the possibility of using this class outside FR.

    The point may however be moot, as we don't know whether the OP uses FR setting or not.

    Did you even read how circle magic works? DMG 194, on the right side of the page under Circle Powers, "Each participant casts any single prepared spell, which is consumed by the circle and has no other effect other than expending the prepared spell. The spell levels expended by the circle participants are totalled as circle bonus levels." It does indeed cost spell slots, I'm not making that up.
    You're making up that the PC IS OBLIGED TO SACRIFICE SPELL SLOTS FOR 14 LEVELS TO SOME "MASTER". In Circle Magic, the PC is the Circle Leader, and the spell slots get sacrificed by participants (including the PC) to give the PC "circle bonus levels".

    If you're a specialist Necromancer aspiring to become a Red Wizard, you're automatically a part of the faction led by Szass Tam. If a character tries to desert their faction, the Red Wizards are guaranteed to hunt them down and end their existence.
    Unless the DM is prepared to constantly take the PC on solo adventures, he better agree that the PC is "performing the tasks of the Zulkir" or "conducting independent research" while hanging out with the party.

    Wizard 5/ Red Wizard 9 is a 14th level character. In the Red Wizards, you're always under someone more powerful
    1. Oh, LOL. Wizard 1-5 is not "in the Red Wizards". He doesn't have Tattoo Focus, thus cannot participate in Circle Magic, thus cannot sacrifice spell slots for a Circle Leader.
    2. If the DM is willing to play this "someone more powerful" and give out tasks, why would the PC object to some bonus solo adventures with great solo XP? But again, it's all moot. Role-play or no role-play, the PrC does not state that you have to supply your spell slots to some higher-ups, and that's it. Role-playing cannot override game mechanics.
    3. Even fluff-wise, nowhere in the Red Wizards descriptions does it say that they are all obliged to sacrifice spell slots for a Master. In fact, any kind of "control" is mentioned only in respect of apprentices (wizards who have not yet entered the Red Wizard PrC); once the Red Wizard gets his red robes, he's an independent cell. Sure, there's an "elaborate pecking order" (Unapproachable East), but no obligation to sacrifice spell slots. You're just making it up to handicap the class.

    unless you're one of the Zulkirs, which should never happen to a PC before 21st level.
    You see, this works both ways. If I have to obey higher-ups, then as I progress higher in the Red Wizard hierarchy, I get my own Red Wizard underlings. FOR FREE. "At any given time, most Red Wizards claim up to a dozen apprentices" (Unapproachable East, p. 160). Are you, as a DM, prepared to go this far? And further on, as the PC gains levels, are you prepared to give the player ALL THE POWERS AND RESOURCES OF A ZULKIR?

    So, a compromise 8=) the Red Wizards don't bother the PC, and the PC in turn will not bother the Red Wizards.

    They're really going to be doing circle magic for ten hours a day?
    LOL, no, your math is entirely off. There's no trancing involved beyond 1-2 hours. PC is a Great Circle Leader with 9 other Circle Participants, each of whom is also a Great Circle Leader with 9 other Participants. By spending one 9th level spell slot each (two for the 9 Great Circle Leaders) and trancing one hour per day (two hours for 9 Great Circle Leaders), this coterie produces a total of 900 "circle bonus levels", divided between the PC an the 9 other Great Circle Leaders. That's some wicked spell power. And we can go further; one more layer of Participants equals 81 new Great Circles, which brings the total power up to 8190 "circle bonus levels". And the total costs amount to no more than 2 hours of trance for any given participant.

    On top of that, there is no express prohibition on leading several circles per day (although I agree that would be majorly overpowered). One more hour of concentration for 90 "circle bonus levels"? Yes please!

    However, there exist more imaginative (and less cheesy) ways to exploit Circle Magic. Such as:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Arcane Conversion, Heighten Spell, and Circle Magic
    One especially advantageous use of Circle Magic involves the spell Rary's Arcane Conversion from Complete Mage. Casting this spell allows the user to exchange a "prepared wizard spell" for "another spell of equal or lower level." The replacement spell must be one already scribed in your spellbook. The advantage lies in being able to Heighten a 1st level spell with Circle Magic, and Arcane Conversion it over to a 9th level spell. Hence a 6th level slot and the 1st level are exchanged for a 9th level slot.

    Thanks to Red Wizard Circle Leader Phoenix00 for this technique.

    Spell Engine, Energy Transformation Field, Arcane Manipulation, Absorption, Arcane Manipulation and Ring of Wizardry
    Spell Engine, Energy Transformation Field, and Absorption are from Spell Compendium.
    The Ring of Wizardry is from the Dungeon Master Guide.
    Arcane Manipulation is a feat from Lost Empires of Faerun.

    Set up the Energy Transformation Field to cast Absorption, and place in the field a creature able to use limitless spell-like abilities. Instruct it to do so. Place a Simulacrum (or other minion) in the center of the field. The Simulacrum will receive an Absorption spell when sufficient power has collected in the field. Repeat until all Simulacra have Absorptions. Utilize a creature with an at-will ranged 1st level spell-like ability to fill the Absoption spells.

    Use Arcane Manipulation on your three highest level spell slots, reducing them to as many first level spells as possible. These will be doubled via your Ring of Wizardry.

    Now, initiate Circle Magic. Instruct your minions to use the spell energy contained in the Absorptions to fuel the Circle. Your minions, the Absorptions, and the Transformation Field have now served to channel the specific and probably quite useless magical energy of your (probably enslaved) creature, into the superior form of Circle bonus levels.

    Apply these bonus levels to Heighten your now quite numerous 1st level slots to the level of spells you wish to cast for the day. They may all be 9th level spells, if that is your desire. Cast Spell Engine, and exchange your Heightened 1st level spells for the target spells from your spellbook. You may want to leave one slot, somewhere, now unprepared, in order to keep the Spell Engine turning.

    This functions at a low level if you can acquire scrolls of the above spells or pay someone to cast them for you.

    From the excellent Red Wizard Handbook




    You should read up on the Forgotten Realms and the Red Wizards of Thay before recommending someone drop their character into that organization.
    Have no fear, I have thoroughly perused the relevant DnD materials (e.g. Unapproachable East and the FRCS/PGtF).

    I'm not making up absurd houserules, you've failed to read through and understand the mechanics of the class you're recommending.
    Once again, there is NO rule that the PC has to sacrifice spell slots for any boss. Period. The Red Wizard class has stringent requirements and limitations as it is, and nowhere in the rules does it say that there's also a loss of spell slots for the benefit of some NPC.

    If you, as a DM, want to houserule such a requirement, then you'd have to accept that once the PC becomes a man of standing in the Red Wizards (i.e. a Circle Leader) he will gain Red Wizard apprentices FOR FREE. And once he reaches real power (Zulkir), he'll have the enormous resources of Thay at his disposal. You see, that's the danger of not thinking through your own houserules 8=)))

    In-game nobody likes a munchkin, and on forums nobody likes a troll.
    LOLZ, so I'm a muchkin AND a troll just for helping when help was asked for? And for pointing out the obvious deficiencies in YOUR build?

    BTW, I can't avoid noticing that despite all your high-handedness and personal attacks, for the second time in a row you have completely failed to defend your own propositions, and are just ignoring the parts in my posts where I point out your fallacies.
    Last edited by Undead Prince; 2009-03-05 at 03:56 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    This is getting awfully catty! Although on the whole, I do agree with Undead Prince.

    The man has got a lust for power, I can respect that. But no matter how you do it, definetly read the Necromancers Handbook (link higher up).

    WARNING: Going about in this manner may cause you to start giggling maniacally as you contemplate evil deeds and villainous acts.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Random NPC's Avatar

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Guys. Cloistered Cleric//Dread Necromancer.

    That's THE Necromancer

    /thread
    Image by Rich Burlew

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    dyslexicfaser's Avatar

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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    That's almost TOO much necromancer for any one build to hold.
    People seemed to like this better, but only marginally so - the way one might prefer to be stabbed than shot. Optimally, one isn't stabbed or shot. Optimally, one eats some cake! But there are times when cake is not available, and instead we are destroyed. This is the deep poetry of the universe. -- Tycho Brahe

    Spoiler
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  29. - Top - End - #29

    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Random NPC View Post
    Guys. Cloistered Cleric//Dread Necromancer.

    That's THE Necromancer

    /thread
    Haven't we already been over this? Both cloistered cleric and dread necromancer are inferior and plagued with weaknesses. Getting them together results in a very weak gestalt.

    It's not THE necromancer. It's A necromancer, more specifically, a necromancer minion in service of the true Master Necromancer.

    In this context, I find your "/thread" particularly amusing.
    Last edited by Undead Prince; 2009-03-06 at 07:12 AM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Necromancer Help

    Dread necromancer//Favored Soul(of some zombie maker friendly deity). Charisma synergy(you still need wis, but you are less dependant than you would be as cleric), and favored soul goes and gets all the cleric necro that you can't get through Dread Necro's expanded learning. Win freaking win.
    My homebrew
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    Did you just put a gear shift on a lightsaber?
    Redneck laser swords only work in manual.

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