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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Jul 2010

    Default [3.5] One Necromancer's Journey to Conquering the Realm + related spells/feats

    I have a level 12 Neutral Evil human necromancer. His name is Vindias Mont.

    Level Breakdown:
    3 Necromancy Wizard
    3 Cleric of Toldoth (From Deities and Demigods)
    6 True Necromancer

    I gave up Illusion and Evocation, as these schools of magic are pretty much useless to a style of play that promotes massing an army to to your bidding. My cleric domains are Death and Destruction.

    Variants:
    I shamelessly took the Wizard variant from Unearthed Arcana to give up my bonus feats and scribe scroll for a fighter's feat progression. As only a 3rd level wizard, I will never see those feats, so why not turn them into fighter feats that I CAN actually grab in three levels? (Quick Draw and Improved Initiative, respectfully) I also took the Skeletal Minion, and Enhanced Undead Variant from the same book, giving up my familiar and bonus spells as a specialist wizard for the (duh) skeletal minion, and bonuses to all my undead's stats. To reprimand my lost spell per spell level, I took the Focused Specialist variant from Complete Mage. This lets me drop a wizard spell slot per spell level for TWO EXTRA necromancy spells per day.

    That's just the wizard variants. I also took the Domain Spontaneity cleric variant that lets me spontaneously cast from a particular domain rather than cast inflict spells. I chose the destruction domain, which already has 3 inflict spells in it's list. Variability is the key word.

    Feats:
    1st: Spell Focus (Necromancy) < - Requirement for true necromancer, lots of save-or-die spells that require high DCs.
    1st (human): Corpsecrafter < - No-brainer
    3rd: Destruction Retribution < - Lets me turn straight numbers of undead controlled into numbers of damage. Like evocation, only more awesome.
    6th: Practiced Spellcaster (For Wizard)
    9th: Practiced Spellcaster (For Cleric)
    12th: Craft Wondrous Item
    -And when the time comes-
    15th: Craft Magic Arms and Armor
    18th: Craft Construct

    At 12th level....
    Total Wizard CL:12
    Wizard Necromancy CL:14
    Total Cleric CL:11
    Cleric Necromancy CL: 13

    Important Spells:

    Animate dead:
    This is the meat portion of our meal. It can be cast both as a cleric and wizard spell, with the True Necromancer class giving me access to both. The formula for determining just how many mindless (and we will get into why that's such an important word in just a bit) undead HD that you can exert control over with this spell is simply CL * 4. Being able to cast this spell as both arcane and divine, I can apply that equation twice. This, coupled with a Rod of Undead Mastery, and you're able to control (Wizard CL * 8) + (Cleric CL * 8) HD of undead.

    Total number of undead controlled at level 12, with a rod of undead mastery: 216 HD.

    That's 216 Undead human skeletons, if I so wished. With the Enhanced Undead variant and the Corpsecrafter feat, each of these little suckers have a +8 Str, +4 Dex, and +4 HP per HD. When each one dies, thanks to the Destructive Retribution feat, they deal a minimum of 1d6 negative energy damage in a 10ft radius.

    If you played your cards right, (and maybe had a couple drinks), you can easily destroy all these 10 HP 1 HD creatures in a round and deal 216d6 damage. Easily better than an Admixed, Suddenly-Maximized Moonbow any day.

    Create (Greater) Undead:
    This is our potatoes portion, and remember, you can never have too many potatoes. As a True Necromancer, I get access to these two spells twice per day as spell-like abilities; on top of (eventually) being able to cast them as bona-fide spells. With these spells comes a handy little chart that lets you bounce your caster level off of a particular undead creature that can be found in the MM. Kind of fun, but not at all what we are trying to do.

    Found in the very back of the Book of Vile Darkness, is a couple of undead monster templates that often goes without notice. Bone creatures and Corpse creatures. Bone creatures are essentially skeletons, while Corspe creatures are more zombie-like, only more intact. These templates can be applied to any non-undead, non-plant, non-construct corporeal creature. (Bone creatures must have a specific skeletal structure, of course.) The templates come with a particularly juicy bit about being able to be applied to any applicable dead creature by using the create dead and create greater undead spells, as long as the number of HD that the base creature has does not exceed the number of HD of the highest undead creature you can normally create using these spells. (Capping out with Morhgs, who have 14 HD)

    The advantages of Corpse Creatures and Bone Creatures is readily apparent. All the base creature gets is a few stat modifiers, lose the Con score, and their type changes to Undead. All other abilities and skill ranks granted by class levels remain the same. Bone creature rogues still sneak attack, corpse creature wizards still cast spells, and meek lvl 1 Bone creature commoners can still make craft (blacksmithing) checks. Unlike with our controlled numbers of mindless undead, which are limited with the formula presented with animate dead, these intelligent creatures are able to perform all of their lovely abilities and skill checks for me with a rebuke attempt, command undead, or control undead.

    The beauty of all of this is the wide, wide variety of monsters one can apply these templates to. Corpse/Bone creature Illithids, Dragons, Beholders, Giants, Orcs, Bugbears, Rocs, whatever! Everything I come across and kill can be easily turned into my undead, magically controlled minion. You can keep your leadership feat. I just need stop heart and create undead.

    Command Undead:
    This one is particularly important. The creatures created with create dead and create greater undead will not be very happy with me the moment I breathe them into a terrible existence. Command undead acts as a charm person spell for undead creatures. It has the added bit of text that says that the creature affected cannot attack me for the duration of the spell. This is a simple 2nd level spell that works for a number of DAYS equal to my caster level. This easily covers for and can even replace rebuke checks, which only last for 10 minutes.

    Magic Items:
    The rod of undead mastery is for certain. The higher my CL is, the more undead I can control with animate dead and the more powerful creatures I can create with create undead. So I will be investing in an orange ioun stone and a ring of arcane might. Wands of command undead will come in handy.

    The Constructs:
    The other half of Vindias' war machine, and the last three feats in his feat selection, we will not get to see any constructs until 18th level. But they are incredibly important, because all it takes to punch a hole in the army is a meddlesome cleric and his turn attempts. Normally, the craft construct feat can be a bit of a money and XP hole. It takes a whole 2 crafting feats just to even qualify, and generally is dismissed by PCs. But, with a few resources and a bit of DM eye-rolling, we can get this part off the ground.

    There are a few variant rules in the Book of Vile Darkness that we must consider: Sacrifices, Souls as Power, and Pain as power. Sacrifices are easy. It's an intelligent creature, a knowledge (religion) check, and a coupe de grace. You then bounce your check result off of the provided chart for the benefit that your deity grants you for conducting a sacrifice in their name. You can also forgo a more traditional benefit for a helping of Dark Craft Experience points. These wonderfully awful numbers can be used towards the XP cost of creating magic items, which also covers the creation of constructs. So in short: make a few sacrifices, get a bunch of free crafting experience, and craft constructs with it, without having to worry about spending my own experience.

    "But," you might say, "that section specifically states that you can only apply one sacrifice's worth of dark craft experience towards the crafting of an item. How silly of you to overlook that."

    Well, the DM decided that that little part is bunk. So there. He also said that I can also benefit from multiple sacrifices in a day as long as they went toward the dark craft exp pool.

    The pain as power section describes doses of "liquid pain" that can be extracted from creatures, up to a number of doses equal to the creature's Con score, ever. Each one of these doses can be used as 3 experience points each towards the crafting of a magic item. The souls as power section lets you use captured souls (captured with a number of methods upon death: thinoun daggers, magic jar, black stone altars, etc.) as 10 experience points each towards the crafting of magic items.

    In summary, Vindias will be creating constructs by extracting pain from, and sacrificing loads of creatures, just before trapping their souls.

    Master Plan
    Vindias and his party has already cleared out a lich's castle lair for the lawful-stupid king of the largest kingdom in the realm. Vindias immediately renovated the place and moved in. The castle is on a mountain, on the base of which, is a goblin city. It's all tucked away in a nice, neat little corner of the realm, just out of the reach of the ruling nearby kingdom. This city has already been taken over, with the headmost goblin being sacrificed for all his followers to see. The party has been helping out with rounding up all the goblins for pain extraction, sacrificing, and soul trapping. Each one of them being re-raised as Bone or Corspe creatures with create undead. The newly-made undead goblin citizens of the city can now all work tirelessly through the night, with no sleep or water. Blacksmiths crafting weapons for the undead army, patrols keeping guard, leather-workers and stonemasons workings constantly on the construct bodies to be magically animated. Anyone steps out of line, and they get a rebuke.

    From here, Vindias will build up, and attack the nearby villages. Everyone within our grasp will get liquidated into crafting experience, and turned into an undead creature, the only exceptions being the other party members. Each town will be forced to work and produce to keep the snowball rolling. Everything being watched by Vindias, with powerful undead (preferably Illithid) agents keeping tabs on the towns and villages for him, so he can receive any word of misconduct in one of his controlled territories immediately in his castle lair. A quick teleport and a control undead spell, and everything is smoothed out.

    Needless to say, the campaign is very fun, and the DM hates me. Thoughts?

    I need to get some sleep. As we take over more land in the game, I'll post numbers of minions and such when it comes up.

    For now, I do have one question: Can I bring a celestial outsider down to between -1 and -9 HP, cast dimensional anchor, kill and raise it as undead? Would it lose the outsider type and take on the undead type, thusly not making the body return to it's naitve plane at death and the eventual ending of the dimensional anchor? Food for thought.
    Last edited by captaindimitri; 2010-07-05 at 08:38 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Jan 2006
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    Male

    Default Re: [3.5] One Necromancer's Journey to Conquering the Realm + related spells/feats

    I suggest you to drop your TN and go Dread necromancer all the way for obscene amount of undead or break it at 8th level and grab some PrC.

    Read this.

    From tactics, spells and powers to item selection and undead selection.

    Be the Ultimate Ninja! Play Billy Vs. SNAKEMAN today!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    SurlySeraph's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] One Necromancer's Journey to Conquering the Realm + related spells/feats

    Quote Originally Posted by captaindimitri View Post
    Level Breakdown:
    3 Necromancy Wizard
    3 Cleric of Toldoth (From Deities and Demigods)
    6 True Necromancer
    As linked above, straight Dread Necromancer will serve you better.

    I shamelessly took the Wizard variant from Unearthed Arcana to give up my bonus feats and scribe scroll for a fighter's feat progression. As only a 3rd level wizard, I will never see those feats, so why not turn them into fighter feats that I CAN actually grab in three levels? (Quick Draw and Improved Initiative, respectfully)
    You gain one feat at 1st level and one every five levels. You get the Fighter's feat list, NOT his progression. Only Improved Initiative, then.

    1st: Spell Focus (Necromancy) < - Requirement for true necromancer, lots of save-or-die spells that require high DCs.
    1st (human): Corpsecrafter < - No-brainer
    3rd: Destruction Retribution < - Lets me turn straight numbers of undead controlled into numbers of damage. Like evocation, only more awesome.
    6th: Practiced Spellcaster (For Wizard)
    9th: Practiced Spellcaster (For Cleric)
    12th: Craft Wondrous Item
    -And when the time comes-
    15th: Craft Magic Arms and Armor
    18th: Craft Construct
    As mentioned above, a straight Dread Necro progression would be best, obviating the Practiced Spellcasters. I don't think you'll get much mileage out of crafting, especially when you have undead-management to spend your downtime on. If you're worried about turning, just take Bolster Resistance and use smaller numbers of high-HD undead.

    That's 216 Undead human skeletons, if I so wished. With the Enhanced Undead variant and the Corpsecrafter feat, each of these little suckers have a +8 Str, +4 Dex, and +4 HP per HD. When each one dies, thanks to the Destructive Retribution feat, they deal a minimum of 1d6 negative energy damage in a 10ft radius.

    If you played your cards right, (and maybe had a couple drinks), you can easily destroy all these 10 HP 1 HD creatures in a round and deal 216d6 damage. Easily better than an Admixed, Suddenly-Maximized Moonbow any day.
    How do you plan to arrange 216 medium-sized skeletons such that your target is within 10 feet of all of them? And why would you be paying 25 gp of black onyx per HD if you're intending to sacrifice them that readily? I think you're seriously overrating Destruction Retribution here.

    Also, managing 216 creatures is a royal pain in the ass. You'd be better served with fewer more powerful creatures, such as corpse creature or bone creature [whatever monster you can find that has the highest CR].

    The Constructs:
    (etc.)
    Good plan for getting constructs cheaply, though as I said I don't think it's necessary. If you get it, though, get some Shadesteel Golems to help heal your other undead. You can also make some Necrosis Carnexes (MM4, creatable with Animate Dead) for the same purpose. Speaking of which, you may find this list helpful.

    Master Plan (etc.)
    Solid plan. Except for the "DM hates you" part. Because the DM is the Overdeity, and if he says a mob of Solars shows up and incinerate everything you made, a mob of Solars shows up and incinerates everything you've made. If you can make sure he continues to tolerate your plans, focus on taking single villages with blitzkrieg-type attacks, rather than making them all aware that you're a threat at the same time.

    For now, I do have one question: Can I bring a celestial outsider down to between -1 and -9 HP, cast dimensional anchor, kill and raise it as undead? Would it lose the outsider type and take on the undead type, thusly not making the body return to it's naitve plane at death and the eventual ending of the dimensional anchor? Food for thought.
    That's up to DM adjudication. I would probably rule against it, though thinking to cast Dimensional Anchor first is sufficiently thoughtful that it might be worth rewarding. Given that you can get angel feathers and such, it's clear that physical remains of outsiders *can* remain on a plane that they aren't native to. Whether killing them changes things is arguable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thespianus View Post
    I fail to see how "No, that guy is too fat to be hurt by your fire" would make sense.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Saya's Avatar

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    Jun 2010

    Default Re: [3.5] One Necromancer's Journey to Conquering the Realm + related spells/feats

    If you can, take the deathbound domain, some very nice spells from there.

    There are other things you should kind of look into, like finding ways to increase turn resistance of your undead so that the mentioned meddling cleric doesn't get to get rid of them so fast.

    In all honesty, I would suggest you get some clerics/NPCs that are able to rebuke undead, turn them undead, and rebuke them in order to increase your undead cap (Ask DM if this is allowed first). This solves the problem of you having to re-command undead everything that you own every x days, plus it also allows you to give mental commands instead of having to walk around giving orders.

    If possible, also get some wraiths, necromentals, etc, that can spawn their own undead for potential unlimited undead fun.
    Last edited by Saya; 2010-07-05 at 01:56 PM.

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