A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    Default Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Feat)

    Necromancy (General)
    Prerequisites: Any evil alignment, Knowledge (Religion) 4 ranks, BAB +4, Must not be able to cast spells, manifest powers, or use invocations
    Benefit: When you kill a living creature with a melee or ranged attack, you may call upon it to serve you for eternity. As a full-round action, you may touch the corpse of a creature you have slain, and channel negative energy into its body. The creature rises again, with either the skeleton or the zombie template applied to it (your choice). As usual, a creature with the skeleton or zombie template is mindless and undead. It loses all feats and gains a bonus feat (Toughness for zombies, Improved Initiative for skeletons), as well as the ability to cast any spells or use any special attacks that it had in life. See the skeleton/zombie templates for full details. The creature obeys you completely, and will stand around idly if it has no other commands. You may only use this ability if the creature's total HD (before the template is applied) does not exceed your total character level. You may only have one such creature under your control at a time. If you raise a creature with this feat while you have another already under your control, the first creature becomes a free-willed undead and will immediately attack you and attempt to kill you, using all of its power and even risking its own existence in order to end yours.

    This feat is a supernatural ability. Using this feat is an evil act.
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2012-04-26 at 11:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    It affects any living creature? Not limited to creatures with fewer hit dice than your own?

    So broken...so sad, was hoping for actual zombie chicken. Even an undead formerly frozen chicken, headless and without feathers, would have been amusing. But this? This is so not happening in my campaign.

    And here I thought there were actual zombie chickens involved. Sniff...sniff..sniff.

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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    It affects any living creature? Not limited to creatures with fewer hit dice than your own?
    The resurrected creature's HD may not exceed twice your HD, which means that if you are applying the zombie template, you may only use a creature whose HD is less than or equal to your own (Zombies have double the hit dice they had in life).

    So broken...so sad, was hoping for actual zombie chicken. Even an undead formerly frozen chicken, headless and without feathers, would have been amusing. But this? This is so not happening in my campaign.
    Unfortunately I don't think that's worth a feat slot. Though there is certainly nothing stopping you from resurrecting a chicken with this feat.

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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    Just some minor nitpicks:

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    If you resurrect a creature with this feat while you have another already under your control, the first creature becomes a free-willed undead and will immediately attack you and attempt to kill you, using all of its power and even risking its own life in order to end yours.

    This feat is a supernatural ability. Using this feat is an evil act.
    Should be "raise" and "unlife" (or, even better, "'existence").

    Aside from that, I find this very funny, specially with the zombie chicken presentation! I can clearly see a charlatan entertaining an audience, just to be killed in his sleep by the bones of his last dinner For those purposes, however, a limitation of 1/2 HD or less would work best, and I would lose the BAB requirement, but I guess you were going for something more, ehm, useful

    On a side note, now I'm afraid of negative energy channeling 8th level commoners
    Last edited by Larkas; 2012-04-24 at 03:43 PM.
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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    Just some minor nitpicks:

    Should be "raise" and "unlife" (or, even better, "'existence").

    Aside from that, I find this very funny, specially with the zombie chicken presentation! I can clearly see a charlatan entertaining an audience, just to be killed in his sleep by the bones of his last dinner For those purposes, however, a limitation of 1/2 HD or less would work best, and I would lose the BAB requirement, but I guess you were going for something more, ehm, useful

    On a side note, now I'm afraid of negative energy channeling 8th level commoners
    Fixed the nitpicks, and making one of my own: A commoner couldn't do this until 9th level (no feat slot at 8th).

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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Fixed the nitpicks, and making one of my own: A commoner couldn't do this until 9th level (no feat slot at 8th).
    Eep, indeed. I already have a hard time imagining a commoner above 1st level, let alone 8th or 9th It would be hilarious to see a skeletal horse working the land, though
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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    Did you intend to allow psionics-users to be able to use this feat?
    Last edited by Steward; 2012-04-24 at 10:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    Quote Originally Posted by Steward View Post
    Did you intend to allow psionics-users to be able to use this feat?
    No, fixing that now. Thanks.

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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    it seems like a fun feat, but i think it should require a commoner to be able to use. i really do like the idea of a commoner picking up a bit of necromancy to save a bit of cash. even moreso if he is under an oppressive dictatorship.
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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    it seems like a fun feat, but i think it should require a commoner to be able to use. i really do like the idea of a commoner picking up a bit of necromancy to save a bit of cash. even moreso if he is under an oppressive dictatorship.
    Well, I made the feat so that you could play a warrior or rogue necromancer. Someone who wasn't a caster. Like a death knight or an assassin who raises his victims, etc.

    The title of the thread is based on a Skyrim video that gave me the idea.

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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    It says Know instead of Knowledge. Other than that I like this feat. It suits evil overlords who have non-caster classes perfectly.
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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    Hmm, misleading, thread title says mundane and the feat is supernatural, which isn't mundane. I also don't understand either why it needs a certain amount of martial skill nor why having studied the mystical arts or unlocking your mental prowess should disable you from crafting mobile corpses, especially given the psionic arts don't grant any ability to raise undead servitors at all, at least from my recollection.

    I think I may stick by the Tome of Necromancy for my sensible undead servitor needs.
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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    Hmm, misleading, thread title says mundane and the feat is supernatural, which isn't mundane.
    Well, by that I meant that a mundane character could get access to necromancy through the feat.

    I also don't understand either why it needs a certain amount of martial skill nor why having studied the mystical arts or unlocking your mental prowess should disable you from crafting mobile corpses, especially given the psionic arts don't grant any ability to raise undead servitors at all, at least from my recollection.
    It's just a balance issue. The BAB prerequisite is to cement it as a 6th level feat for most characters, so that it doesn't come too early. The restriction against casters and manifesters is simply because magic and psionics already has enough nice things.

    I think I may stick by the Tome of Necromancy for my sensible undead servitor needs.
    Well okay then.

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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    I feel like the feat is a tad strong-- I could, for example, make a CR 6 advanced megaraptor skeleton at level 6, which is wall above what most other summon-type spells can do. Maybe limit post-zombification hit die to character level.

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    It's just a balance issue. The BAB prerequisite is to cement it as a 6th level feat for most characters, so that it doesn't come too early. The restriction against casters and manifesters is simply because magic and psionics already has enough nice things.
    Ehh... I see where you're coming from, but this just strikes me as weird. I mean, yes, from a purely metagame sense, the requirements work. From anything else? Purely random. It would make a great, flavorful feat for any necromancer type, redundant or not-- heck, it looks more like a reserve feat than anything else.

    I'd set the requirements at "Any evil alignment, Knowledge (Religion) 8 ranks."
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2012-04-25 at 06:03 PM.
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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    I feel like the feat is a tad strong-- I could, for example, make a CR 6 advanced megaraptor skeleton at level 6, which is wall above what most other summon-type spells can do. Maybe limit post-zombification hit die to character level.
    Edit: Glancing at the megaraptor on the SRD, I am very unimpressed. The skeleton template would make it lose 4 Natural Arrmor, reducing its AC to 13. The skeleton template would strip the megaraptor of the Pounce special attack. The skeleton template would strip the megaraptor of its scent extraordinary quality. The skeleton template would remove the megaraptor's 43 bonus hit points (8*Con mod of 5, plus Toughness feat), replacing it with 8d12 (an average of 52 HP, which is much less than its current 79).

    So...why is this overpowered?

    Ehh... I see where you're coming from, but this just strikes me as weird. I mean, yes, from a purely metagame sense, the requirements work. From anything else? Purely random. It would make a great, flavorful feat for any necromancer type, redundant or not-- heck, it looks more like a reserve feat than anything else.
    A reserve feat? Clerics and wizards hardly need extra raising power.

    I'd set the requirements at "Any evil alignment, Knowledge (Religion) 8 ranks."
    If I did that, most of the non-casters couldn't take the feat until level 15 (need to be level 13 to meet the cross-class requirements, and level 15 before you got a new feat slot).
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2012-04-25 at 06:17 PM.

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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    What if you limited it to zombies (preventing early access to 'broken' monsters, besides which they will be freshly slain creatures anyway) and changed the prerequisites to "Skill focus: Knowledge (religion); cannot control a zombie while you have an animal companion or familiar".

    That way humans could have one from first level if they invested both their feats into it, but it would still be far less powerful than just playing a druid with an animal companion (and you couldn't do both).

    Also, no tier 1 non-druid caster would pay 2 feats to have an undead minion when they can create better or more undead companions just by spending money.

    -

    Of course that's just how i'd do it. I really like the idea and the tactical options of being able to use it in combat. Also the thought of using it on random low level critters is cool too (thinking of the ham from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy)

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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    Quote Originally Posted by Rainbownaga View Post
    What if you limited it to zombies (preventing early access to 'broken' monsters, besides which they will be freshly slain creatures anyway) and changed the prerequisites to "Skill focus: Knowledge (religion); cannot control a zombie while you have an animal companion or familiar".
    Because that makes it less powerful than the animate dead spell, which I don't think any character who wanted to play a necromancer should be. If I want to play a death knight, and I took this feat, I should get the same benefits from it as I would have if I picked up a scroll of animate dead.

    That way humans could have one from first level if they invested both their feats into it, but it would still be far less powerful than just playing a druid with an animal companion (and you couldn't do both).
    Raising at level 1 is incredibly stupid, and by that I don't mean broken, it's just stupid. First of all, level 1 is generally when you fight groups of CR 1/3rds, not single CR appropriate enemies. So nothing you fight will be worth two feats to serve you. And secondly, you're level 1, and you're walking around with an evil undead next to you. At higher levels, this is doable, because you can hide the undead with magic or simply take on the guards (or run away) when they challenge you over it. At level 1, there's no hiding the fact that the creature is a zombie, which will be enough to get you arrested/executed in most Good cities.

    Also, no tier 1 non-druid caster would pay 2 feats to have an undead minion when they can create better or more undead companions just by spending money.
    Right, but I'm not upping the requirements to two feats. That's just too much investment for a character, and it's unnecessary. Let me put it this way: If the feat cost an additional feat to take and only let you get zombies, why would anyone choose it over Undead Leadership?


    Of course that's just how i'd do it. I really like the idea and the tactical options of being able to use it in combat. Also the thought of using it on random low level critters is cool too (thinking of the ham from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy)
    Thank you.

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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    Seems a little overpowered. Take a look at how much it cost to animate dead. it costs a lot. This lets you do it for free. And lasts forever. Also, NeoSeraphi, you could probably hide it if it was a chicken.

    EDIT: sorry for the crappy attitude. I didn't realize till after i posted it.
    Last edited by Roger3; 2012-04-25 at 09:57 PM.
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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger3 View Post
    Seems a little overpowered. Take a look at how much it cost to animate dead. it costs a lot. This lets you do it for free. And lasts forever. Also, NeoSeraphi, you could probably hide it if it was a chicken.
    25 gp per HD, or a feat. Most characters only get 7 feats in their entire career. And animate dead also lasts forever.

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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Because that makes it less powerful than the animate dead spell, which I don't think any character who wanted to play a necromancer should be.
    If someone wants to be a full-time necromancer, why should they be able to do that on only one feat?

    Raising at level 1 is incredibly stupid, and by that I don't mean broken, it's just stupid. First of all, level 1 is generally when you fight groups of CR 1/3rds, not single CR appropriate enemies. So nothing you fight will be worth two feats to serve you.
    Why must it be something you fight? Why can't you have a level 1 commoner with his zombie horse?

    And secondly, you're level 1, and you're walking around with an evil undead next to you. At higher levels, this is doable, because you can hide the undead with magic or simply take on the guards (or run away) when they challenge you over it. At level 1, there's no hiding the fact that the creature is a zombie, which will be enough to get you arrested/executed in most Good cities.
    Some characters don't live in Good cities.

    Let me put it this way: If the feat cost an additional feat to take and only let you get zombies, why would anyone choose it over Undead Leadership?
    Because Undead Leadership requires level 6, and you have to take care of your cohort and followers. This would be available earlier, and allow expendable servants.

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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    If someone wants to be a full-time necromancer, why should they be able to do that on only one feat?
    A full-time necromancer, no. But the ability to raise one creature and have it be a companion should be just fine. In that respects, its a lot like the Wild Cohort feat, except instead of the undead gaining power as you grow in levels, you can just swap it out whenever you want with another creature (as long as you kill the first one first).


    Why must it be something you fight? Why can't you have a level 1 commoner with his zombie horse?
    Because level 1 is not when you gain the power of life over death. For any class, let alone commoners.


    Some characters don't live in Good cities.
    Yes, but others do. And most adventurers travel. Even if they don't live in Good cities, they will most likely come to one eventually.


    Because Undead Leadership requires level 6, and you have to take care of your cohort and followers. This would be available earlier, and allow expendable servants.
    Expendable servant. And the zombie template sucks, incredibly so. Plus, see my previous complaint about a feat being less powerful than a scroll of animate dead.

    Why do you think I should weaken the feat? It's not like its too powerful as-is. And adding a useless feat prerequisite would basically make it unusable to most PCs.

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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    There is a very obscure feat in Oriental Adventures (I believe Secrets of the Shadowlands) that is very similar to this, so obviously a professional somewhere thought that the concept is balanced (though I admit OA may not be the best comparison).

    I have to agree though, I don't see anything balance-wise wrong with this. Compared with late-3.5 stuff, and your usual ToB 'brew, there's no problem to have a feat that emulates the UA Necro's class feature (effectively).

    I'd refer this, fluff-wise to PrCs like the Kaarnathi Bone Knight, and spell-less Blackguard, it's great for the 'kill it, raise it, send on suicide mission, repeat' strategy, and doesn't steal the necromancer's thunder.

    It's a bit wordy (paragraphing?), but I'll disagree with the majority- I like this feat and the idea behind it.

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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    you can just swap it out whenever you want with another creature (as long as you kill the first one first).
    Ah, it seems to me that you have to kill the first one first in the first place, right?

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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    A full-time necromancer, no. But the ability to raise one creature and have it be a companion should be just fine. In that respects, its a lot like the Wild Cohort feat, except instead of the undead gaining power as you grow in levels, you can just swap it out whenever you want with another creature (as long as you kill the first one first).
    That makes sense...the problem then becomes that zombies and skeletons have CR roughly proportional to HD, whereas a cohort's ECL is yours minus 2, so if you want it to match, you need something like "2X(ECL-2) for a skeleton, 3X(ECL-2) for a zombie", which is a bit awkward.

    Because level 1 is not when you gain the power of life over death. For any class, let alone commoners.
    Makes sense.

    Yes, but others do. And most adventurers travel. Even if they don't live in Good cities, they will most likely come to one eventually.
    I don't think every feat has to be appropriate for every character or even every campaign, so "others do" isn't relevant; as for visiting the city...if you're not interested in coming as a conquerer, you're going to have to leave your pet in the field someplace. Not such a big deal.

    And the zombie template sucks, incredibly so.
    Compare a Grey Render zombie (ECL 6) to a megaraptor (also ECL 6); the zombie is of course slower and gets fewer attacks, but has substantially more hit points and attack bonus, plus some DR. If it's used in a manner that does not require mobility (e.g. as the meat shield/counterattacker for something else), it's pretty good.

    Why do you think I should weaken the feat? It's not like its too powerful as-is.
    I didn't think you should, just that it's a viable option to make it a low-level feat.

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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    Compare a Grey Render zombie (ECL 6) to a megaraptor (also ECL 6); the zombie is of course slower and gets fewer attacks, but has substantially more hit points and attack bonus, plus some DR. If it's used in a manner that does not require mobility (e.g. as the meat shield/counterattacker for something else), it's pretty good.
    I have no idea what you mean by "ECL 6". ECL = Effective Character Level, and is generally used to speak about a character who has a Level Adjustment's "effective level" for the purposes of XP.

    The Gray Render zombie has 20 HD and a +0 level adjustment, for a total ECL of 20.

    According to the zombie template, a 20 HD zombie is a CR 6 creature, so I assume that's what you meant.

    Anyway, yes, zombies do have their place. Though you couldn't get a Gray Render zombie until you were at least 10th level through this feat, and of course, you'd still have to find and kill a Gray Render. Note that this feat requires you to actually slay the creature (it doesn't count if your party members do it). Since you are also not allowed to take the feat if you are a spellcaster, that means you have to be dealing decent damage and staying alive on your own, so if you took down a Gray Render as a 10th level non-caster who used up one of his feat slots on something that doesn't directly help in combat, then I think you earned the pet Gray Render.

    Still, I'll go ahead and say that if you animate a skeleton, its HD is capped at yours, while if you animate a zombie, its HD is capped at yours x 2.

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    Default Re: Now the Chicken is my Thrall! It is a Zombie Chicken! (3.5 Mundane Necromancy Fea

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    I have no idea what you mean by "ECL 6". ECL = Effective Character Level, and is generally used to speak about a character who has a Level Adjustment's "effective level" for the purposes of XP.
    Whoops, I meant CR.

    Since you are also not allowed to take the feat if you are a spellcaster, that means you have to be dealing decent damage and staying alive on your own
    Not necessarily. You could have party members help keep you alive, or even deal some damage (as long as you get the killing blow) or debuff it. But yes, this isn't going to give you anything nearly as strong as a leadership-type feat.

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