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    Ogre in the Playground

    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Vancouver <-> Dublin

    Default Create Undead Champion (necromantic Leadership/Simulacrum, hopefully balanced)

    Create Undead Champion
    Necromancy [Evil]
    Level: Sor/Wiz 6
    Components: V, S, M, F, XP
    Casting Time: 24 hours
    Range: Touch
    Target: Corpse touched
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: No

    The wyrm's skeleton suddenly stirs, as an unholy radiance flares in its eye sockets, maw, and rib cage. It rises and spreads its great wings, then inclines its head to you in a gesture of fealty.


    You raise a corpse to serve you as a powerful and loyal undead champion. This is similar to a cohort obtained from the Leadership feat, save that the creature gains the undead champion template (see below).

    The champion is utterly loyal to you at all times. You share a bond as if by dominate monster, save that the effect cannot be broken, overcomes the normal undead immunity to mind-affecting effects, and allows you to give even obviously self-destructive or inimical orders to the champion without permitting a save.

    You gain a negative level and the champion gains three negative levels. These negative levels remain as long as the champion serves you and disappear when the creature is destroyed. They never result in actual level loss, but cannot be overcome in any way (including restoration spells or by virtue of being undead) while the champion exists.

    The champion's CR can never exceed your own -2 (including the negative levels described above). If this spell would create a champion with a CR greater than your own, it automatically fails. Whenever you gain levels, the champion gains racial Hit Dice or appropriate class levels (at the DM's option). Whenever you lose levels, the champion loses racial Hit Dice or class levels (at the DM's option).

    If you are slain or the focus gem (see below) is destroyed, the champion is immediately destroyed in an explosion of negative energy (dealing 1d6 points of negative energy damage per caster level to all creatures within 100 feet).

    You may have any number of undead champions, gaining an additional negative level for each one.

    Material Component
    A clay pot filled with grave dirt, another filled with brackish water, and a final one full of fresh blood.

    The spell must be cast on the dead body to be animated. A ruby, pearl, black opal, or similar gem worth 500 gp per CR of the champion to be animated is also required. If the gem is not valuable enough, it shatters when the spell is attempted. (While creatures have no concept of level or Hit Dice as such, the value of the gem needed to create an undead champion can be researched. Remember that this value can change over time as creatures gain more levels.)

    XP Cost
    100 XP per CR of the creature to be animated.

    Undead Champion
    These restless dead serve as loyal bodyguards, servants, and warleaders for their necromancer masters. They can appear in any state of decay - from merely gaunt and pallid to rotting cadavers to fleshless skeletons, depending on the condition of their corpses when fist created.

    Undead champions speak any languages they knew in life. If they did not speak in life, they are limited to understanding the commands issued through their master's dominate monster effect.

    Creating An Undead Champion
    "Undead Champion" is an acquired template that can be added to any aberration, animal, dragon, fey, giant, humanoid, magical beast, monstrous humanoid, plant, or vermin (referred to hereafter as the base creature).

    An undead champion has all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

    Size and Type
    The creature’s type changes to undead. It gains the augmented subtype and retains all other subtypes, but any alignment subtypes change to match its new alignment (or are lost if it becomes neutral). It uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

    Hit Dice
    Increase to d12.

    As base creature (even if the the creatures wings, fins, etc. are otherwise rotted away).

    Armour Class
    Increase the base creature's natural armour bonus by an amount equal to one-third their CR (a base creature without natural armur has an effective natural armour bonus of +0).

    An undead champion retains all the natural weapons, manufactured weapon attacks, and weapon proficiencies of the base creature. A creature with hands gains one slam attack per hand; the undead champion can strike with each of its slam attacks at its full attack bonus. An undead champion's base attack bonus is unchanged.

    As base creature. Slam attacks gained through this template deal damage based on the creatures size (or the base creature's, whichever is better).

    Special Attacks
    As base creature, save that any attacks (other than spells or spell-like abilities) that deal any type of energy damage deal negative energy damage instead.

    Special Qualities
    As base creature, plus the following:

    Turn Immunity (Su)
    An undead champion cannot be turned.

    Undead Vitality (Ex)
    An undead champion retains its Constitution score. At the DM's option, it instead loses its Constitution score, increases its Charisma score to match its prior Constitution, and adds its new Charisma score as bonus hit points per die and as a bonus on Fortitude saves.

    The creature retains the base Fortitude and Reflex saves of its original type and Hit Dice, but increases its Will save to the Good progression.

    Abilities, Skills, and Feats
    As base creature. An undead champion with an Intelligence score of less than 3 gains an Intelligence score of 3, including feats and skill points (but not spoken languages).

    As master.

    As master.

    Challenge Rating
    Same as the base creature.

    As permitted by master.

    As master.

    See the create undead champion spell. Monstrous undead champions typically advance by additional racial Hit Dice or by associated class levels.

    Level Adjustment

    New Feats

    Undead Leadership
    You are a master of the lesser forms of undead.

    Undead or specialist wizard (necromancer), character level 6th.

    Undead with CR less than your own -5 do not count towards the limit of undead you can create through the animate dead spell.

    Improved Undead Leadership
    You are a master of undead.

    Undead or specialist wizard (necromancer), Undead Leadership, character level 12th.

    You may rebuke undead as an evil necromancer of your character level. Undead with CR less than your own -10 do not count towards the limit of undead you can command through this ability.

    Greater Undead Leadership
    You are a master of undead.

    Undead or specialist wizard (necromancer), Undead Leadership, Improved Undead Leadership, character level 18th.

    The number of negative levels you suffer from the create undead champion spell is reduced by one.

    You may select this feat multiple times. Its effects stack.

    Undead Vigour

    You have an unnaturally strong life-force (or death-force, rather).

    Undead, Int 1.

    Unlike other sentient undead, you heal hit points every hour rather than every day.

    Whenever one of your body parts is severed, you may instantly reattach it simply by holding it to the stump at any point thereafter.

    Greater Undead Vigour
    You are a particularly lively undead.

    Undead, Undead Vigour, Int 1.

    You gain fast healing equal to one-half your character level.

    Whenever one of your body parts is severed, you may regenerate it after 1d4 minutes.

    Undead Warlord
    You can command undead troops on behalf of your master.

    Undead champion.

    Whenever your master permanently gains control of undead (e.g. through the animate dead spell or the command undead cleric ability), she may transfer control of any excess undead to you (rather than allowing them to become free-willed) at any point thereafter as a full-round action. You can command up to 4 Hit Dice of skeletons and zombies in this way. You may command non-skeleton, non-zombie undead as well, but their effective Hit Dice is doubled for the purpose of this ability.

    This ability does not allow you to take control of undead independently, only those relinquished to you by your master.

    If you are destroyed, your master regains control of all undead you controlled in this way, to the limits of her ability. Any excess become uncontrolled as normal.
    Last edited by rferries; 2018-03-25 at 06:13 PM.

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

    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Vancouver <-> Dublin

    Default Re: Create Undead Champion (necromantic Leadership/Simulacrum, hopefully balanced)

    So the idea is that powerful effects can be justified via the permanent negative levels. Obviously just one negative level might not be enough (same for the three negative levels for the "cohort"), but it's a simple question of adding more.

    Unlike simply paying an experience cost, you retain your original level, so you don't get extra XP for being behind the rest of the party. In this way you can't "cheat" the way you would for LA buyoff etc.

    Also, the allowed undead champion abilities could be restricted further (especially SLAs and spells).
    Last edited by rferries; 2018-03-25 at 06:17 PM.

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