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- Apr 2007
All of the necromancer, none of the army (Base Class)
Like a lot of people, I enjoy the idea of necromancers in fantasy. One of the big problems with these masters of the undead, however, is that they bring entire armies along and really bog things down in a number of ways. This class (the first thing I've made in a while) is an attempt to fix that and develop a more balanced necromancer.
While this guy still has some problems that the old minion master has (such as needing to check stat blocks for attack bonuses now and then), this class abandons the nightmare of full spellcasting and avoids the nightmarishly long combat rounds that minion masters tend to create. Of course, this was just created over the course of an afternoon as a remake of the old dread necromancer so it is far from perfect. Let me know what you think.
Alignment: Any but good
Hit Die: d8
Bluff, Craft, Decipher Script, Disguise, Diplomacy, Hide, Intimidate, Knowledge(arcana), Knowledge(religion), Move Silently, Profession, Spellcraft, Use Magic Device
Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) ◊ 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier
1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Gravebound Aura, Dark Influence (Attack, Defend)
2nd|+1|+0|+0|+3|Charnel Blast 1d8, Tainted Form
3rd|+1|+1|+1|+3|Dark Influence (scout, preserve)
5th|+2|+1|+1|+4|Dark Influence (question, move)
6th|+3|+2|+2|+5|Charnel Blast 2d8
7th|+3|+2|+2|+5|Dark Influence (speak, explode)
8th|+4|+2|+2|+6|Aura of Fear
9th|+4|+3|+3|+6|Dark Influence (restore, travel)
10th|+5|+3|+3|+7|Charnel Blast 3d8
11th|+5|+3|+3|+7|Dark Influence (consume, reap)
13th|+6/+1|+4|+4|+8|Dark Influence (task, infect)
14th|+7/+2|+4|+4|+9|Charnel Blast 4d8
15th|+7/+2|+5|+5|+9|Dark Influence (seal, doorway)
17th|+8/+3|+5|+5|+10|Dark Influence (cast, manifest)
18th|+9/+4|+6|+6|+11|Charnel Blast 5d8
19th|+9/+4|+6|+6|+11|Dark Influence (avenge, possess)
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: You are proficient with simple weapons and one martial or exotic weapon of your choice (this choice may not be later changed). You gain proficiency with light armor, but not with shields or tower shields.
Gravebound Aura: You are surrounded at all times by an aura of foul energies that extends out to 50 feet + 10 feet/class level. All living creatures can feel this aura as a chill across the spine (even if normally resistant to the cold) and living creatures with intelligence scores of 2 or less are shaken while within this aura, though they return to normal immediately upon leaving.
Beyond these simple atmospheric effects, however, this aura marks the immediate reach of the corpsebound necromancer, containing the energies that he has gathered. As a full round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, you may reap the soul of an adjacent slain creature that has died within the past hour. To successfully reap a target, they must have been a living creature and their soul must not have been taken or destroyed through other means (such as an earlier use of this class feature). If these conditions are met, you can gain necromantic points (NP) up to the HD of the reaped creature.
At any given point, you may have no more than 4 NP/class level. Further, you may not gain more than 2 NP/class level from any one reaped soul. Whenever you succeed in gaining all of the NP that the soul of a target relinquishes when reaped, that target may not be returned to life by raise dead or similar effects unless the caster first succeeds on a DC 20 caster level check.
Dark Influence: Using the stored energy of souls you have reaped, you can control the actions of corpses in a wide variety of ways. At each odd level, you gain new ways in which you may exert your dark influence, typically spending a listed amount of NP to control or manipulate a corpse within your gravebound aura in some fashion. Unless otherwise noted, the corpse to be affected must be at least mostly intact (a suitable target for an animate dead spell). Unless otherwise noted, each use of this ability is a free action but no corpse may be targeted more than once per round.
Attack: You may spend 1 NP/2 HD a corpse possessed in life (minimum 1 NP, maximum 10 NP) to have it make one natural attack against a target within its reach as though it possessed the skeleton template. Corpses ineligible for the template may not be targeted and the appearance of the corpse is not affected. A damaged corpse may be affected so long as the means of attack (such as the limb needed for a slam attack) is fully intact. For every 4 class levels you possess, the negative energy powering the corpse grants the attack a +1 enhancement bonus to the attack and damage roll.
Defend: You may spend 1 NP to target a corpse within 5 feet of you, forcing them to their feet to interject against an attack. This defense grants you a +4 bonus to AC against one attack or a +4 bonus to one reflex save. If the attack against you still hits or you still fail your reflex save, you may reduce any hit point damage you take by up to 5/class level, though you may no more than halve the damage in this way. You may use this ability even when it isnít your turn.
Scout: Starting at 3rd level, you may link your senses to those of a slain creature within range. As a standard action, you may spend 1 NP to select a single corpse within range. You can see and hear through the corpse as appropriate, using your own skill modifiers and gaining darkvision out to 60 feet (unless you have better). You retain your own senses as well and continue receiving sensory input from the skull even while sleeping. Corpses of creatures that were unable to see or hear in life limit your senses through them as appropriate and a damaged corpse may be affected so long as the skull is intact. This sensory link lasts for 8 hours and continues if the corpse leaves your gravebound aura.
Preserve: Starting at 3rd level, you can use your power to slow the progression of rot in a corpse. As a standard action, you may spend 1 NP to select a single corpse within range. That corpse is protected as if by a gentle repose effect that lasts indefinitely (ending only if destroyed, animated, or reanimated). Corpses may be targeted by this ability regardless of their current condition.
Question: Starting at 5th level, you can use your influence to contact the remnants of souls. As a standard action, you can spend 2 NP to select a single corpse within range and subject it to a Speak With Dead effect. Your caster level equals your class level and the save DC = 10 + 1/2 class level + Cha modifier. A damaged corpse may be affected so long as the skull is intact.
Move: Starting at 5th level, you can use your influence to force the undead to shamble where you direct. You may spend 2 NP to select a single corpse within range, which rises up as a skeleton of the appropriate kind before taking a single move action and deanimating once more. Corpses ineligible for the template may not be targeted and the appearance of the corpse is not affected. A damaged corpse may be affected so long as its means of ambulation (typically legs) are fully intact. The corpse need not spend an action to raise from prone and instantly deanimates if it takes damage from any source (such as by provoking attacks of opportunity).
Speak: Starting at 7th level, you may communicate through corpses. Without any cost in NP, you may have a corpse within range make any sound of your choice that it is mechanically capable of (possibly including speech). You may alternatively spend 2 NP to select a single corpse within range and have it produce a message or sound of your choice that it could produce of up to 25 words of 10 seconds of nonverbal noise when it next detects a small or larger creature come within 20 feet (using +5 spot and +5 listen modifiers). No corpse may hold more than one such message or sound. A damaged corpse may be affected so long as the means of making the desired sound are intact (and the skull, if leaving a contingent message).
Explode: Starting at 7th level, you can overload a corpse with energy to cause it to messily and violently explode. By spending 1 NP/2 HD a corpse possessed in life (minimum 1 NP), you can make it explode within a 10-foot radius. Every living creature within the area takes 1d4 points of damage/HD the corpse possessed in life from raw negative energy, though a successful Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Cha modifier) halves this damage. Once a corpse has exploded, it can no longer be targeted by any other abilities.
Restore: Starting at 9th level, you can use your dark energies to restore corpses. By spending 3 NP, you may restore one corpse within range to its full splendor as if it had just perished, connecting any disconnected body parts present and regenerating the rest. If one corpse has been split into multiple parts, only the largest existing part can ever gain the benefits of this ability. While this ability may make a corpse intact for the purpose of raise dead and similar effects, it doesnít turn back the clock on how long the corpse has been dead for the purpose of such effects.
Travel: Starting at 9th level, you can have your corpses travel alongside you. By spending 3 NP, you may have a corpse within range rise up and begin shambling as you direct at a rate of up to 20 feet per round. Moving corpses possess no other forms of movement and possess a -5 penalty on climb, swim, and jump checks. If an affected corpse would take damage, leave your gravebound aura, or be targeted with another of these abilities, it instantly deanimates. Otherwise, it remains ambulatory for up to 24 hours.
Consume: Starting at 11th level, you may convert dead matter into raw spiritual energy when you have no more need of a body. As a standard action that requires no payment of NP, you may cause a single body within your gravebound aura to rot into nothingness, granting you 1 NP + 1 NP per size category larger than medium. Creatures smaller than tiny grant no NP in this way. NP gained in this way does not count as NP from a reaped soul for the purpose of your gravebound aura class feature.
Reap: Starting at 11th level, you may have corpses within your gravebound aura reap the souls of others. As a move action that requires no payment of NP, you may reap the soul of a corpse within the reach of another intact corpse.
Task: Starting at 13th level, you may have corpses act more freely. You may spend 4 NP as a standard action to target a corpse within range and select a single instruction no more than a sentence or two in length. The chosen corpse rises up as a skeleton and does its best to accomplish the chosen order, attacking anyone or anything that gets in its way (including you). Corpses ineligible for the template may not be targeted and the appearance of the corpse is not affected. Only one undead can be tasked in this way at a time and using this ability again deanimates the previous one if still active. If a tasked undead is given a job it can complete and the job is completed, the undead deanimates.
Infect: Starting at 13th level, you may accelerate the rot of corpses to nauseate and infect those nearby. You may spend 1 NP/2 HD a corpse within range possessed in life to have it rot and release a fetid cloud within a 10-foot radius for 1 round. You may select a single nonmagical disease as if through contagion. All creatures within range must make a Fortitude save against a DC of 10 + 1/2 HD target possessed in life + corpseís prior Constitution modifier to avoid the disease. Further, creatures who fail their saves are nauseated for 1d4 rounds and those that succeed are sickened for an equal duration. Immunity to disease prevents these conditions as well. No corpse may be targeted more than once by this ability and no creature can be affected by this ability more than once per round.
Seal: Starting at 15th level, you may use your energies to prevent a specific corpse from ever being bothered again. As a standard action, you may spend 4 NP and choose a corpse within range. That corpse can never be raised as any form of undead, is immune to the dark influence class feature, and canít have its soul reaped through the gravebound aura class feature if it hasnít already been.
Doorway: Starting at 15th level, you may use your energies to transport yourself via lines of negative energy into a corpse. You may spend 4 NP and choose a corpse within range. You instantly burst out of that corpse as you teleport to an adjacent square. Effects the prevent teleportation prevent this ability normally.
Cast: Starting at 17th level, you can use your energies to force a caster to utilize its magic from beyond the grave. As a full round action, you may spend 5 NP and choose a corpse within range that possessed spells or spell-like abilities in life. You instantly learn what spell-like abilities, spells prepared, and spell slots (and spells known) the target had left and may make the target use one so long as the casting time doesnít exceed one standard action, all expensive foci or material components are within 5 feet of the corpse, and the spell requires no XP cost. You make all decisions for the casting but the caster level and save DC are determined by the corpse. Any feats, magic items, racial traits, spell effects, or class features that would increase the power of the spell function normally so long as they donít require activation (a spell can still benefit from spell focus, for example). No corpse may be affected more than once in this way.
Manifest: Starting at 17th level, you can use your energies to manifest ghostly copies of corpses to drain the might of enemies. You may spend 5 NP to choose a corpse within range and a creature to be targeted. A ghostly image of the corpse appears next to the target to make a melee touch attack, using the attack bonus it possessed in life (benefiting from any relevant feats, class features, racial traits, magic items, or spell effects). The target loses any touch attacks it possessed in life from any source but a successful touch through this ability deals 1d4 points of ability damage to an ability score of your choice other than Constitution. No corpse may be affected more than once per round in this way and no target may have any ability score damaged more than once per round in this way.
Avenge: Starting at 19th level, you can ensure that your demise is followed with revenge. If you are slain by damage, you may choose to expend all remaining NP you possess. If you do, you may animate any number of corpses within range as skeletons or zombies so long as their total HD do not exceed twice the amount of NP lost in this way. All undead created in this way are created with maximum HP per HD and attempt single-mindedly to destroy the creature most responsible for your death, continuing until they or the creature is slain (if the creature is slain, all undead created in this way are deanimated).
Possess: Starting at 19th level, you may have the spirit of a departed creature attempt to possess another creature on your behalf. You may spend 1 NP/2 HD a corpse within range possessed in life and a target to be possessed. The target must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 HD corpse possessed in life + Cha modifier of corpse in life) or fall under your control for 1d4 rounds as its soul controlled by a subservient spirit. A target immune to magic jar is immune to this ability.
Charnel Blast (Su): Starting at 2nd level, you can channel destructive necromantic energy through your hands, touching others or releasing it in beams. You may make a melee touch attack or a range touch attack with a range of 60 feet against a living creature. This attack deals 1d8 damage at 2nd level, +1d8 damage at 6th level and every 4 levels afterwards.
Some or all of this energy, however, may be converted into more subtle effects as the will of your enemy to continue fighting is drained. You may reduce the damage dealt through this touch attack by any number of die, gaining an effect depending on the number of sacrificed die as described below. A Successful Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Cha modifier) negates this effect and renders the target immune to further uses for 24 hours. The target gains a +4 bonus to this save if this ability was used as a ranged touch attack. Either way, a remove disease, remove curse, or more powerful magic removes these conditions early.
Effects of Sacrificing Charnel Energy Damage:
Sacrificed 1 dice: Target is dazed for one round.
Sacrificed 2 dice: Target is dazed for 1d4 rounds.
Sacrificed 3 dice: Target is paralyzed for 1 round and dazed for 1d4 rounds afterwards.
Sacrificed 4 dice: Target is paralyzed for 1d4 rounds and dazed for 2d4 rounds afterwards.
Sacrificed 5 dice: Target is permanently paralyzed.
Tainted Form (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, your body is suffused with negative energy, transforming you into an undead. Unintelligent undead view you as another unintelligent undead and do not attack you unless specifically ordered to do so. As your metabolism slows down to a crawl, you only require half as much foot or water to survive.
The slow deadening of your vitals and stiffening of your flesh possesses its own benefits, granting you a 5% change/class level of ignoring extra damage from critical hits and sneak attacks and damage reduction equal to half of your class level that is only overcome by magical bludgeoning weapons.
Mental Bastion (Ex): As your body makes the slow transition to undeath, your mind is buffered from mortal magic that seek to manipulate your thoughts. Starting at 4th level, you only require half as much sleep or meditation, gain immunity to fear effects, and may add half of your class level as a resistance bonus to Will saves made against all other mind-affecting effects. The amount of rest required to regain spells is unchanged.
Aura of Fear (Su): The dark energies that power your charnel blasts and gravebound aura can harm or subvert in other ways. Starting at 8th level, you are shrouded in an aura of supernatural fear. As a free action, you may force all enemies within your gravebound aura who can see you to make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Cha modifier) or become shaken for as long as they remain in range. Whether or not they succeed, all such enemies are immune to this aura for 24 hours afterwards.
When activating this ability, you may spend any amount of NP. If you do, all affected enemies with HD equal or less than the amount of NP you spend are frightened if they fail their save or are shaken if they succeed. Even creatures immune to fear effects (but not those immune to mind-affecting effects) must make a save if their HD is equal or less than the amount of NP spent, though they are only affected by the normal version of this class feature.
Somatic Bastion (Ex): Approaching the edges of mortality, the effects of your transformation can be seen within your body. Starting at 12th level, you no longer need to eat, drink, sleep, or breathe. Further, you gain immunity to death effects, energy drain, ability damage, and ability drain. The amount of rest required to regain spells is unchanged.
Final Culling (Su): At the apex of your power, you can attempt to rip the soul directly from a living creature, slaying it in the process. Starting at 16th level, you may spend a standard action to choose a living creature you are aware of within your gravebound aura. If the target possesses 50 or fewer HP, it is instantly slain (no save) and you gain NP as if you had just culled its soul.
When you use this class feature, you may spend any amount of NP and subtract that number from the targetís remaining HP for the purpose of that use of this class feature.
Lich Transformation: At 20th level, you finally reach the peak of your ability and can transition into proper lichdom even without the ability to cast spells. You may create your phylacteries without any item creation feats or spells, simply spending the proper amount of gp, xp, and time to do so. Afterwards, the transformation requires a hideous ritual requiring 24 hours. At the end, you gain the lich template without the normal leval adjustment. You must reroll hit points for your new HD. If not compatible with the lich template, you do not gain this benefit.
Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2013-12-13 at 10:04 PM.I'm try not to be too vain but this was too perfect not to sig.