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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    So, one idea from Exalted I've always loved is the idea of Necrotech. If you can create a skeletal body, why can't you create just a skeletal pair of legs, stick a dozen on them underneath a sharpened log, and suddenly have a self propelled battering ram. Or just nail armour plates to a skeleton.

    What kind of things like this can you do in D&D 3.5?

    Some general enhancement could be represented by the corpsecrafter set of feats, but are there any other classes that let you improve on stuff in a way that fits with this? I'm quite fine to refluff a class that comes with the right mechanical effects.

    Secondly, any good ways to armour plate skeletons? I have the idea of a necromancer wandering around with a set of skeletons in armour that fully covers them, and makes them look like they're actually constructs of some sort? Add perhaps light leaking from inside the plate, appropriate Illusions, Nystull's Magic Aura, and so forth.

    It's not clear whether skeletons keep or lose their armour profficiency, which would affect how useful it is. It's also not clear whether barding requires proficiency, and thus whether you can stick a suit of something on an animal skeleton.

    Any suggestions on that score?

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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    Most rulings I've seen involve skeletons being automatically proficient like a warrior. Note that the example human warrior skeleton in the MM is using a heavy steel shield without a penalty to its attack roll, so it must be proficient with the shield. From this, we can surmise that skeletons are ~probably~ meant to be proficient with armour and martial weapons (also note that is uses a scimitar, again without issue). Hence, just stick them in full plate.

    What you want mostly seems to involve creating new undead monsters as desired, and making them creatable using Animate Dead. I think a generalized system would be over-complicated.
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ponce_LeRue View Post
    Most rulings I've seen involve skeletons being automatically proficient like a warrior. Note that the example human warrior skeleton in the MM is using a heavy steel shield without a penalty to its attack roll, so it must be proficient with the shield. From this, we can surmise that skeletons are ~probably~ meant to be proficient with armour and martial weapons (also note that is uses a scimitar, again without issue). Hence, just stick them in full plate.
    Nifty. Would you say the same applies to animal skeletons?

    What you want mostly seems to involve creating new undead monsters as desired, and making them creatable using Animate Dead. I think a generalized system would be over-complicated.
    More I'm after anything I can use to buff undead, or somesuch.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    Can you hook up a skeletal limb to a crank, and have it serve as an engine?

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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    from the SRD

    Attacks
    A skeleton retains all the natural weapons, manufactured weapon attacks, and weapon proficiencies of the base creature, except for attacks that can’t work without flesh. A creature with hands gains one claw attack per hand; the skeleton can strike with each of its claw attacks at its full attack bonus. A skeleton’s base attack bonus is equal to ˝ its Hit Dice.

    so a fighter's skeleton would be proficient with a sword & sheild, while a wizard skeleton most likely wouldn't.

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    The base creature is 'Human', not 'Human Fighter' or 'Human Wizard', since you lose class levels. Humanoids have the following proficiencies:

    Proficient with all simple weapons, or by character class.
    Proficient with whatever type of armor (light, medium, or heavy) it is described as wearing, or by character class. If a humanoid does not have a class and wears armor, it is proficient with that type of armor and all lighter types. Humanoids not indicated as wearing armor are not proficient with armor. Humanoids are proficient with shields if they are proficient with any form of armor.
    So...hm. It says by character class, but you don't have any class levels. So, if you give a Skeleton Full Plate, it automatically gains Heavy Armor Proficiency?
    Last edited by The Glyphstone; 2009-11-27 at 06:28 PM.
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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    Humans don't have a monster manual entry, hence the crux of the issue. Their proficiencies are never defined.

    Same goes for most other humanoid races (orcs, elves, etc) since in the manual they are described as having class levels, which are (probably) what grant them their proficiencies.

    However, the Rule of Cool says that they ARE proficient, so most DMs I know default to this. People probably wouldn't bother raising skeletal armies if they had to go into battle naked.

    I mean, you can banter about the rules all day, or you could just default to the standard fantasy of warriors rising from the grave to fight again, which is what most people want anyway.
    Last edited by Ponce; 2009-11-27 at 06:54 PM.
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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    Uh... the trick there is that Humanoid is a TYPE, and the type has racial proficiencies. Skeletons base their proficiencies on the type they are generated from, I believe.

    Of course, this gets into the random questions like "well, why do some humanoids with classes not have the proficiencies of the humanoid type?" To which I can only say "the designers were dumb?"

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Glyphstone View Post
    The base creature is 'Human', not 'Human Fighter' or 'Human Wizard', since you lose class levels. Humanoids have the following proficiencies:



    So...hm. It says by character class, but you don't have any class levels. So, if you give a Skeleton Full Plate, it automatically gains Heavy Armor Proficiency?
    It's not clear. Among other things, the entry talks about weapon proficiencies, but doesn't mention positively or negatively whether you get armour profficiencies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jothki View Post
    Can you hook up a skeletal limb to a crank, and have it serve as an engine?
    Not as written, in D&D 3.5. You could, however, raise a level 1 skeleton and have it just provide motive force.

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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    Quote Originally Posted by Draxar View Post
    Nifty. Would you say the same applies to animal skeletons?

    You can't be a robot tiger, Hesh!

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    Mostly I want a fake robot tiger. Something that looks like a construct but is, in fact, undead.

    Weirdly, there are no rules for barding's effects – whether it has non proficiency penalties, how you get an animal to learn to use it, and so forth.

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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    Sinces barding is intended for animals that gain HD and thus feats (animal companions, special mounts and the like) I suppose that armor proficiency feat covers barding. At leat that is what I think that was RAI

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    Quote Originally Posted by DuskEclipse View Post
    Sinces barding is intended for animals that gain HD and thus feats (animal companions, special mounts and the like) I suppose that armor proficiency feat covers barding. At leat that is what I think that was RAI
    Except that none of the creatures with barding are mentioned as being proficient with it. And there's no specific mention in the rules. Lots of barding goes on NPC horses, which won't have the feats spare.

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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    Quote Originally Posted by Draxar View Post
    Except that none of the creatures with barding are mentioned as being proficient with it. And there's no specific mention in the rules. Lots of barding goes on NPC horses, which won't have the feats spare.
    well then I don't know

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    Handily, my DM has said I can have a custom feat to do this.

    Prerequisites are Corpsecrafting, then the feat off that that gives better natural armour and/or another one.

    Effect is that armour worn and weapons held by an undead at the moment you raise it will fuse with it, becoming unremoveable, allowing the creature to ignore non profficiency penalty, and making it so that when the thing dies, the equipment is ruined. Not utterly destroyed – probably can make more using it as part of the raw materials – but it's not instantly reuseable, and the magic is gone.

    Which pretty much covers what I want. Now I'm debating what non skeleton flunkies I want, given that as a Wizard I'll be less able to control them.

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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    Quote Originally Posted by Draxar View Post
    Handily, my DM has said I can have a custom feat to do this.

    Prerequisites are Corpsecrafting, then the feat off that that gives better natural armour and/or another one.

    Effect is that armour worn and weapons held by an undead at the moment you raise it will fuse with it, becoming unremoveable, allowing the creature to ignore non profficiency penalty, and making it so that when the thing dies, the equipment is ruined. Not utterly destroyed – probably can make more using it as part of the raw materials – but it's not instantly reuseable, and the magic is gone.

    Which pretty much covers what I want. Now I'm debating what non skeleton flunkies I want, given that as a Wizard I'll be less able to control them.
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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    A key NPC antagonist-turned-ally in a long running campaign my DM run specialised in designing and crafting unusual (mostly skeletal) undead. Examples include the 'skeleton backpacks' - skeletal exoskeletons whos four arms wrap around the wear while another set of arms wield a wand or crossbow. Gives the use extra armour and effectively another attack.

    Generally arms of various sizes have been used to manipulate ballistas, open and close draw-bridges and gates, operate factory-like machinary and even whole siege weapons. You've never seen an undead battle until you've seen trebuchet load themselves...

    A favourite was the 'skeleton scorpion chair' - a Huge sized vehicle with six legs, two mounted heavy crossbows with their own sets of arms controlling them, a great long scorpion-tail made from a load of arm and leg bones with a greatsword on the end, all with the necromancer sat in a kind of throne on its back. It could also climb walls and hang from ceilings, leading to my rather demented cleric to hang on to the tail for dear life from 40ft in the air while pumping it full of Cure spells.

    Good times.

    Ah, another one comes to mind. Along the lines of the battering ram, this was trundled out on wheels with the wooden slanted roof on top to deflect arrows etc. The skeleton arms were mounted underneath the roof and they'd pull and push the ram itself from there, which swung on chains.
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    Quote Originally Posted by Deth Muncher View Post
    Wightocolypse?
    As I understand it, anything not made with Animate Dead, you don't control. For a wizard, the only method of control I can see is command undead. Which is a nice spell, but the character concept means he'd only really use it on unintelligent undead, and I'm not sure what ones there are of those apart from skeletons and zombies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kastanok View Post
    A key NPC antagonist-turned-ally in a long running campaign my DM run specialised in designing and crafting unusual (mostly skeletal) undead.
    THat's the sort of thing I'm after, the problem is I can't see any real way to do it as a PC without a long conversation with my DM over each and every construction – as a DM yourself you had to work out if it was appropriately challenging-yet-not-overwhelming for your party, but didn't need to balance it as a PC use thing.

    To be fair though, I've got enough to do the base concept, so it is now playable.

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    Undead Leadersip (Libris Mortis) as well as standard Leadership gives you minions. I would rule that any undead you make that fall within the limits that gives you become additional controlled undead, outside of your Animate or Rebuke quota. Alternately, have Leadership minions that in turn control/animate/rebuke undead.

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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    Quote Originally Posted by Draxar View Post
    THat's the sort of thing I'm after, the problem is I can't see any real way to do it as a PC without a long conversation with my DM over each and every construction – as a DM yourself you had to work out if it was appropriately challenging-yet-not-overwhelming for your party, but didn't need to balance it as a PC use thing.

    To be fair though, I've got enough to do the base concept, so it is now playable.
    Mostly, you could call those creative (veryveryVERY creative) Animated Objects. There is (I think) a template somewhere that turns constructs into undead, which you could then apply to get undead animated whatevers. It's not perfect, obviously, but it's a decent start I think. Just build the object, animate it, then tell your DM what it does. Use the basic animate object stats, Undeadify it, and BAM! You're golden.

    It's also not a very mechanically GOOD option. But hey, it's something, right?

    All that I say applies only to myself. You author your own actions and choices. I cannot and will not be responsible for you, nor are you for me, regardless of situation or circumstance.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Necrotech/Faking undead [3.5/Eberon]

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    There is (I think) a template somewhere that turns constructs into undead, which you could then apply to get undead animated whatevers.

    Anyone have any idea where this might be?

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