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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Necromancer build help

    So i am toying with the idea of playing a necro for my next character. Both my group and I really enjoy necromancers, so its something of a trope with us and will absolutely be able to fit into the campaign without serious RP penalties. The idea I want to go with is to pick up lord of the uttercold and then have a small number of elite 'cohort' style undead that i equip up and have fight my battles for me. For this character the uttercold blasting is secondary, I want the main focus and main source of power to be these power undead that he will create.

    So far I know how to get a few of these cohorts and make them strong. I am looking for more of this. Things that I am already aware of and plan on using, or at least considering using are as follows:

    gaining undead:
    -at least 1 level in wizard, specialize in necromancy and take the skeletal minion variant that replaces familiar. I may or may not take multiple levels in wizard, but im not 100% on that. and it wont be absolutely necessary to take multiple levels because even if its not strict RAW im pretty sure I can get my DM to allow the obtain familiar feat to apply to skeletal minion, which would let non wizard levels advance it.
    -undead leadership at level 6, to gain an undead cohort at 2 levels lower.
    -Animate dead to pick up some big bruiser skeleton or zombie. possibly go to at least 8 levels in dread necro to raise this cap to obscene levels?
    -rebuke undead to pick up some other available undead, if i go dread necro ill get this, if i go wizard then id like a way to get this without spending class levels on it if possible
    -pale master eventually gets an undead cohort similar to undead leadership. but loses a caster level, but also gains a no cap animating touch attack.

    boosting undead:
    -awaken undead for any that are not already intelligent
    -corpsecrafter feat
    -enhanced undead (variant from the wizard level(s))
    -dread necro 8 gives similar bonus to enhanced undead.
    -while i am aware the ability bonuses for corpsecrafter, dread necro, and enhanced undead dont stack (all enhancement), the HPs definately do. counting desecrate all of them would combine for a whopping +8hp/HD which is a substantial improvement to durability. Additionally, if there is any way to get those enhancement bonuses to stack I would love to hear about it. if there is absolutely no RAW way to get those bonuses to stack, what would be a good homebrew option for partial or complete stacking? temporary via spells or permanent via new corpsecrafter feats or something?

    Any input would be appreciated

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    I wish there was more input I could offer sadly I am not a wizard specialist. I will however include a tidbit that you want to have the spell inflict light wounds somehow (or its higher levels). Unless your party gets an evil cleric, the only way to heal your undead warriors would be a wand of inflict light wounds (or serious and higher).

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    Quote Originally Posted by Albanymusicfund View Post
    I wish there was more input I could offer sadly I am not a wizard specialist. I will however include a tidbit that you want to have the spell inflict light wounds somehow (or its higher levels). Unless your party gets an evil cleric, the only way to heal your undead warriors would be a wand of inflict light wounds (or serious and higher).
    Thanks man, and if i end up going dread necro i would have charnel touch for infinite healing. and with lord of the uttercold you do negative energy damage anyway. so even a wizard wouldn't need inflict to heal his undead.

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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    I play necromancers so I can offer some minionmancy and class selection advice:

    First, I wouldn't mix casting classes. Pick wizard or dread necro or cleric or whatever and stick with it.

    Options:
    Wizard - Has the obvious advantages of intelligence based casting from a massively versatile list. Honestly, I wouldn't even bother going necromancy specialist because necromancy is one of the weaker schools, and most of what you do with necromancy happens during offtime so it isn't a big deal to get bonus slots. Domain wizard or elven generalist are probably your best options. You also get access to some potent conjuration spells to call creatures to convert into corpses, like the planar binding and dragon ally line. Overall, wizard is probably the strongest option.

    Dread Necromacer - Arcane necromancer in a can. While probably strictly worse than wizard, it does have a couple advantages. Undead Mastery grants you access to a horde, but this isn't a great feature for reasons I'll get in to later. Charisma based casting can provider a lot of synergy with other classes defensive features, but you'd have to build around that specifically. Not a bad option by any means, but I think wizard can do it better.

    Death Master - A relatively obscure base class from dragon compendium, Death Master casts as a wizard(int based), but off a smaller, specialized list. Notably, it gets a scaling skeleton companion starting from level 1, and animate dead as a 2nd level spell, available from level 3. Also gets rebuking, and basically every relevant core necromacy spell. While it doesn't get the negative energy touches or melee features of a dread necromancer, I don't think you should really be in melee anyway, and would usually strictly recommend Death Master over Dread Necromacer outside of specific Charisma synergy builds.

    Cleric - I don't play divine casters, I'll be honest. But it's hard to argue with cleric being a full caster with a d8, heavy armor, and 3/4th bab. Animate dead is a 3rd level spell for them, so it comes online earlier than wizard and DN, and they get rebuking. Plus, it's a cleric. If your party needs one of those, but you still want to play a necromancer, this is a good option. They have native access to desecrate but not command undead, nor is command undead on any domain lists. I wouldn't call this the best option, but it has it's place.

    Prestige classes:
    Honestly, I don't think there's any goods ones other than general prestige classes for casters. There are very few PrCs that actually make your undead better, and they're fairly limited in scope or setting specific. Royal Animator is a


    Mostly wizard specific tricks:
    You can get access to minionmancy from level one by taking the Fell Animate feat and Easy or Practical metamagic. This allows you to prepare a damaging cantrip in a 1st level slot, that if it kills will reanimate the victim as a zombie. Remember that you can do a coup de grace with a weaponlike spell, so a fell animate ray of frost can be used to finish off a bleeding or unconscious target and get a zombie without animate dead and without costing any material components. At this level, even a human warrior zombie is a relatively durable frontliner. This uses the normal control limits as a bonus, so you get 4hd worth of undead at level 1, which isn't bad.

    Command Undead is an immensely powerful second level spell which is what makes Dread Necromancers core gimmick kind of worthless. It effectively dominates mindless undead for 1 day per caster level out of a 2nd level slot, and is compatible with the chain spell metamagic, which also comes as a metamagic rod. Chaining command undead with a rod allows you to assume control of Caster Level mindless undead for Caster Level days for every 2nd level spell slot you spend on it, regardless of their hit dice. A 20th level wizard spending just one spell slot and one rod charge on this every day could permanently keep up to 400 skeletons or zombies under his thrall. This spell is the primary reason I do not consider the Dread Necromancers animate dead limit increase particularly valuable.

    While on the topic of chaining, Greater Magic Weapon also qualifies for chain spell. Grab a rod and go to town, giving all your undead up to +5 weapons for a 3rd level slot and a rod charge will give them a very large increase in damage output, overcome some DR, and allow them to wack ghosts.

    Compound bows are good, but slings are cheap.

    If you aren't a dread necro, take the corpsecrafter feat. Adds 4 str and 2 hp per HD to all your undead, hard to complain about that. There are some other feats that corpsecrafter is a prerequisite for that are decent. Nimble bones adds 10ft to their move speed, deathly chill adds 1d6 cold damage to all their natural attacks, and hardened flesh adds 2 to their natural armor. There's some others in there too,but if those are worth a feat I'll leave up to you, I usually have other stuff to take with my feat slots.

    You'll want to get access to desecrate somehow. It adds hit points to any undead created inside of it, permanently. There are some magic items that replicate it, but ideally you'd want Fell Energy Desecrate to get up to +6 HP per HD on undead. Metamagic feats can be crafted into scrolls at the appropriate level, so you might be able to buy a scroll or magic item that replicates it. If all else fails, wizards get Blackwater Taint as a 6th level spell, which desecrates an area of water for a limited duration, as well as having some other effects.

    To heal your undead, you can create a Necrosis Carnex with animate dead. Which is a nifty disgusting pile of fused together corpses, that has an aura with no save that causes living creatures to take penalties, and has an at will negative energy touch attack that heals undead. Keep one of these around to keep your crew in top shape.

    If you can't get access to potent corpses, you can turn nearly anything into a bloodhulk with animate dead. They aren't better than an optimal skeleton for their hit dice, but they're better than rolling around with dozens of human zombies at high levels and clogging up the turn order.

    As above, you can use planar binding and dragon ally to kidnap creatures to brutally murder and convert into undead minions. Dragons particularly have special rules in the Draconimicon, allowing them to retain some features like BAB, their breath weapon, and their frightful presence. Try not to do this to anyone or anything with a lot of friends.

    Extradimensional storage is nice to stash your horrors. An enveloping pit is the cheapest and spaciest option, if you can activate it. Requires your alignment to be within one step of Lawful Evil, or a UMD check.

    Very arguably, stone shape and stone to flesh can be used to generate any corpse you like for animation. Check with your DM.


    With all this in mind my typical build for a necromancer is just pure generalist wizard with whatever prestige classes I fancy, being either human or a race with an int bonus with flaws. Pick up Fell Animate and Easy Metamagic at level 1, silverbrow human is a good alternative to get a bonus feat and qualify for Practical Metamagic if dragon magazine isn't allowed. Finish off bleeding foes with fell animate to get zombies. At 3rd level you get command undead, allowing you to bypass your animation cap; I don't actually recommend bringing dozens of zombies to every fight, but it is amusing to have an army of reserves. At 7th level you get animate dead, and can create a necrosis carnex for unlimited healing, and bloodhulks if your game is light on good candidates for reanimation. At 9th level you can call outsiders up to 6hd and dragons up to 15hd(for 100xp) and kill and reanimate those. At 11th level, those numbers go up to 12 and 18, respectively. You can also use divinations or whatever to hunt down specific things to animate, if you care to. At 13th level you get awaken, and can start playing around with giving your minions feats and skills.

    Other than fell animate and easy metamagic to carry you at low levels, and corpsecrafter once you have animate dead, this doesn't really require any specific feats. And you're still a wizard with full access to the wizard list to go bananas with, try hasting a bunch of arrow demon skeletons for some laughs. You can also feel free to throw nasty stuff that undead are immune to in there, lord of the uttercold is a good one for that as you mentioned, but you can also throw some other stuff. Stinking cloud, necrotic skull bomb, etc.

    Try not to replace the party too much.
    Last edited by Zanos; 2021-04-15 at 06:50 PM.
    If any idiot ever tells you that life would be meaningless without death, Hyperion recommends killing them!

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    There are so many fun Necromancer builds. Lord of the Uttercold is a fantastic feat as well.

    I will agree that if your plan is a core elite troupe of undead then Death Master is probably a better choice than Dread Necromancer. Specially if your plan is Lord of the Uttercold. Here are a few different ideas...

    1. Dread Necromancer 2/Death Master 3/Ultimate Magus 10/Anima Mage 5 : This one a huge amount of necromancy that they can bring to bear at a time, with Death Master 15/Dread Necromancer 12 spellcasting. They can apply metamagics to their spells with ease.

    2. Dread Necromancer 8/Ur Priest 2/Contemplative 1/True Necromancer 10 : Dread Necromancer 16/Ur Priest 10 spellcasting, rebuke undead as a 19th level character, and a permanent aura of desecration. This one is better at traditional necromancy, but still not quite what I think you are going for.

    3. Paladin of Slaughter 2/Hexblade 2/Dread Necromancer 4/Divine Crusader 1/Bone Knight 1/Contemplative 1/Bone Knight 9 : Very durable. Not much else here though. Divine Crusader grants you access of up to 9th level spells in 2 domain lists. You get your Cha to saves, and your cha to saves against spells/slas. Still not the traditional necromancer with uttercold that you seem to desire. I feel like I am leading you on.

    4. Necromancer Wizard 2/Master Specialist 10/Pale Master 9 : I think this is relatively simple. Cast a Necromancy spell and all your undead allies gain fast healing 10 for 5 rounds. You get your Pale Master Companion, your undead Cohort, and if your DM does indeed let obtain familiar work then you get that one too. And your a wizard 19 in casting. Sometimes simple is better, isn't it.

    5. Druid 5/Frost Mage 2/Talontar Blightlord 5/Frost Mage 8 : This is a necromancer. Contrary to what it looks like. You don't have rebuke undead. You don't have command undead. You don't even have animate dead. You have cold immunity. You are a druid with a disease that turns creatures into undead. But that still doesn't make you a necromancer. What makes you a necromancer is the Juju Zombie Treant Blackguard undead cohort behind you. But no the big thing is that Druids get access to some of the best [Cold] spells out there along with Mantle of the Icy Soul (either frostburn or spell compendium versions work). Combine with some good metamagic choices, Lord of the Uttercold and you have yourself an icy plague of doom.

    6. Ok I think you understand that I am just having fun here at this point. Binder 5/Ur Priest 2/Tenebrous Apostate 5/Thrall of Orcus 8. Ninth level ur priest spells. Very flavorful. You worship Tenebrous. Who is a dead god. But is also Orcus. This whole thing is specifically allowed by Ur Priest, and makes it one of the few prestige classes that have a deity requirement that Ur Priest can enter. If it is worth it to you, you can drop ninth level spells for summon Major Undead, but a 7th level vampire or ghost is not really worth it.

    If you would like any assistance with specifics you can PM me, but I think you got this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
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  6. - Top - End - #6
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    Thanks both of you guys for the input, that's a lot of different things to research. can you guys think of any good ways to expand my spell list if I go wizard or something? it has most things but a few little goodies like general of undeath and desecrate are cleric only.


    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    With all this in mind my typical build for a necromancer is just pure generalist wizard with whatever prestige classes I fancy, being either human or a race with an int bonus with flaws. Pick up Fell Animate and Easy Metamagic at level 1, silverbrow human is a good alternative to get a bonus feat and qualify for Practical Metamagic if dragon magazine isn't allowed.
    practical metamagic isnt available at level 1 due to its skill rank requirements. and the whole point of going specialist wizard was to pick up skeletal minion and enhanced undead ACFs, so if i went wizard at all it would be specialist. because that is an additional powerful, scaling cohort.


    Quote Originally Posted by Falontani View Post
    There are so many fun Necromancer builds. Lord of the Uttercold is a fantastic feat as well.

    I will agree that if your plan is a core elite troupe of undead then Death Master is probably a better choice than Dread Necromancer. Specially if your plan is Lord of the Uttercold.
    derp! i totally forgot death master was even a thing! thanks a bunch! and those are some hilarious build ideas. there are really so many ways you can go about this. but i need to check out death master, I haven't looked at that class in ages.

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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    Quote Originally Posted by Xeni View Post
    Thanks both of you guys for the input, that's a lot of different things to research. can you guys think of any good ways to expand my spell list if I go wizard or something? it has most things but a few little goodies like general of undeath and desecrate are cleric only.
    You only need desecrate during creation, so items will usually suffice. A deadwalker's ring will get you the desecrate bonus if you can't get your hands on or can't activate the scroll with UMD.

    If it's on the table a skull talisman of fell energy desecrate can be activated by anyone. Market price would be 1,500 gp, so not cheap, but a good investment if you want to create a whole bunch of undead at once.

    For 'native' access to desecrate, Arcane Disciple can add domain spells to your lists if you have the wisdom for it. I believe the Undeath and Evil domains have desecrate. Wyrm Wizards can also learn a few spells off any list, but that prestige class loses 3 CL over 10 levels, and the first two loses are on the same level as the bonus spell feature.

    You could also just use Blackwater Taint at 11+, which is a wizard spell.

    General of Undeath was reprinted in spell compendium to only increase your HD limit by 1 per caster level, which isn't super great. Just use command undead instead. A Rod of Undead Mastery(20k) will also double your animate dead pool, should you care. Undead Lieutenant will also grant a similar buff, increasing your animate dead cap by your CL.


    practical metamagic isnt available at level 1 due to its skill rank requirements. and the whole point of going specialist wizard was to pick up skeletal minion and enhanced undead ACFs, so if i went wizard at all it would be specialist. because that is an additional powerful, scaling cohort.
    Ah, good point. You could go with metamagic school focus instead, but you'd need SF(Necromacy). So you'd need to take flaw(s). Otherwise you could go Easy Metamagic, but that's dragon mag.

    Enhanced undead is okay but I'd rather take corpsecrafter to cover the strength bonus. The HP does stack, but if you stack some metamagic on a desecrate your undead should have plenty of hit points as it is. Fell energy desecrate and corpsecrafter will get you to +8, which is the same hit points per HD as a barbarian with 26 CON.

    My personal opinion is that the skeletal cohort that specialist wizard gets is atrocious. It isn't created by a necromancy spell so corpsecrafter won't apply, so at level 1 you're stuck with a 6 hp minion that is destroyed when it hits 0 that doesn't heal naturally, and has +1 str and dex mods. You have to ban two schools of magic to get it, and it's going to be pretty rapidly outclassed by anything you can make with spells later. Even at 20th level, you're gonna have a 20HD skeleton with 19 str and dex and 12 natural armor. The numbers on it just don't work out.
    If any idiot ever tells you that life would be meaningless without death, Hyperion recommends killing them!

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    Thanks again for all the help! especially the itemization stuff, I suppose I can cover a lot of bases with intelligent itemization and save character creation resources for other stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    General of Undeath was reprinted in spell compendium to only increase your HD limit by 1 per caster level, which isn't super great. Just use command undead instead. A Rod of Undead Mastery(20k) will also double your animate dead pool, should you care. Undead Lieutenant will also grant a similar buff, increasing your animate dead cap by your CL.
    My dm loves necros, so I'm pretty sure I can get him to work with the older x5cl or x10cl versions. also the command undead with a chain spell metamagic rod is a hilarious combo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    Enhanced undead is okay but I'd rather take corpsecrafter to cover the strength bonus. The HP does stack, but if you stack some metamagic on a desecrate your undead should have plenty of hit points as it is. Fell energy desecrate and corpsecrafter will get you to +8, which is the same hit points per HD as a barbarian with 26 CON.

    My personal opinion is that the skeletal cohort that specialist wizard gets is atrocious. It isn't created by a necromancy spell so corpsecrafter won't apply, so at level 1 you're stuck with a 6 hp minion that is destroyed when it hits 0 that doesn't heal naturally, and has +1 str and dex mods. You have to ban two schools of magic to get it, and it's going to be pretty rapidly outclassed by anything you can make with spells later. Even at 20th level, you're gonna have a 20HD skeleton with 19 str and dex and 12 natural armor. The numbers on it just don't work out.
    hmm, im not quite following how that gets +8. a fell energy desecrate gets you +4, and corpsecrafter gets you 2 for a total of +6. unless fell energy applies to corpsecrafter as well? but that wasn't quite my reading of it. +6 is still fairly respectable, but i like big HP'S lol.

    And skeletal minion totally sucks at lvl 1, thats for sure. but im pretty sure I can get my DM to let me count it as created by a necro spell. Also with awaken cast on it and some decent equipment it could be a fairly decent bruiser. not spectacular, but decent. And its ease of replaceability is one of its major draws, in the event that there is a corpse shortage its good on resources.

    I know this build will not be OP lol, not even low OP i dont think. But I really want to push the envelope with how many distinct undead 'cohorts' I can get. and how strong I can make them.

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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    Desecrate adds +1. Fell energy adds +2. Using desecrate in an area with a dedicated altar doubles the bonus. You can apply these in the most beneficial order, so (1+2)*2 = 6. Add corpsecrafter for 8.

    If you can get some DM passes for the skele cohort it could be decent. I'm comparing to stuff you can make with animate dead you might come across, though:
    With corpsecrafter:
    Orc, 1 HD, medium, 21 str,
    Ogre, 4hd, large, 25 str
    Troll, 6hd, large, 27 str
    Hill Giant, 12hd, large, 29 str
    War Troll, 12hd, large, 35 str
    Cloud Giant, 17hd, Huge, 39 str,
    Storm Giant, 19hd, Huge, 43 str

    Some of the more common monsters in the 'big dumb idiot' class, although more powerful giants are actually fairly intelligent.
    It's all about what corpses you can get access to, but properly managed necromancy is extremely powerful. Lets say my 10th level party recently had an encounter with a fire giant, a CR 10 threat. After a bit of work, we reanimate him with corpsecrafter and buff him with fell energy desecrate and greater magic weapon, and swap his armor around. So his stats look something like this:
    217hp(15d12+15*8)
    AC 15(10 base, 2 natural, -1 size, 0 dex, 4 armor from a chain shirt or something) <- this is actually trash, but it's hard to do anything about it
    40ft land speed
    10 ft space, 10 ft reach
    Str 35(+12), Dex 11, nothing else really matters
    BAB +7
    Full Attack: +2 Greatsword, +20/+15 to hit, 3d6+20 damage, 19-20/x2 critical, or 2 claws + 18(1d6+12) and 2 slams +13(1d4+6)
    Immune to fire, cold, DR 5/bludgeoning, undead immunities, darkvision, blah blah blah.

    Without any modifications, you could have two of these in your animate dead pool, which is 40hd. With a rod of undead mastery, you could have five, and enough space for a necrosis carnex still. If you compare these stats to a regular CR 10 fire giant that hasn't been turned into a mindless slave, it's pretty competitive, and actually deals more damage. But if you show up a fight with two of these guys I'm pretty sure the living fire giant will be dead relatively quickly without you breaking a sweat. And this requires no daily resource expenditure, because the undeads hit points are infinitely replenished by the necrosis carnex.

    Throw in the fact that they're supported by a full caster with spells like haste and slow and stinking cloud, and things get really nasty.

    When you get up there with awaken you can do fun stuff with their feats. A 15hd giant would have 6 feats. You could put large and in charge on him and give him a reach weapon for battlefield lockdown, or dutiful + constant guardian to protect you. Or throw some funny tome of battle feats on there, nothing like a skeleton giant with a guisarme and thicket of blades. Or maybe iron guards glare? Go crazy.

    Even if you can't get reliable access to big boys to reanimate, you can always use planar binding and dragon ally to uh...requisition some dead bodies. A Ghour demon is a 12HD demon, a valid candidate for planar binding, with 31 base strength, huge size, and human(ish) hands. Since outsiders are automatically proficient with martial weapons, you can do this lad into a 35 str skeleton with a 4d6+18 damage greatsword, and 15ft reach. If he'll fit where you're going.

    So I wouldn't consider necromancy low OP. If you know what you're doing, and can either get access to or hunt down good candidates, your minions can probably handle the majority of the CR appropriate encounters by themselves.
    If any idiot ever tells you that life would be meaningless without death, Hyperion recommends killing them!

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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    Desecrate adds +1. Fell energy adds +2. Using desecrate in an area with a dedicated altar doubles the bonus. You can apply these in the most beneficial order, so (1+2)*2 = 6. Add corpsecrafter for 8.
    Oh thats tight! thanks for everything man!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    Even if you can't get reliable access to big boys to reanimate, you can always use planar binding and dragon ally to uh...requisition some dead bodies. A Ghour demon is a 12HD demon, a valid candidate for planar binding, with 31 base strength, huge size, and human(ish) hands.
    alas, outsider corpses are tricky for me. our table plays that outsider bodies melt away after being killed on the material plane. as they go back to their home plane. the dragon ally spells are promising, but i hate xp costs for spells lol

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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    Quote Originally Posted by Xeni View Post
    alas, outsider corpses are tricky for me. our table plays that outsider bodies melt away after being killed on the material plane. as they go back to their home plane. the dragon ally spells are promising, but i hate xp costs for spells lol
    Not going to tell you to change how your table plays, however:

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiendish Codex 2
    A devil slain in the Nine Hells stays dead. A devil slain outside Baator devolves into a puddle of foamy, stinking ooze over a period of 3 to 9 minutes. This residual soul essence registers as both magical and evil. Any mortal ingesting it must make a successful DC 20 Fortitude save or become sickened for 2d4 hours.
    This is likely the quote that gave your dm (or the party) the idea that outsiders all melt away. If this is the quote, then you can see that it takes 3-9 minutes to happen, animate dead can be completed faster than this, and Fell Animate spells should do it before the process can even begin. I do not recall any other mentions of other outsiders melting away like this, however it makes sense for certain ones.

    Now there is the difference between summoned and called, where summoned definitely do dissipate, return, or what have you, and called ones do whatever they do.

    This also solves the planar binding animation being somewhat powerful for many a DM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    I feel like telling the ghost of Gary Gygax to hold your beer is a good way to suddenly stop being the GM, but I have to admit that this would probably be remarkably effective. At what, I dunno, but effective.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zombulian View Post
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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    Quote Originally Posted by Falontani View Post
    Now there is the difference between summoned and called, where summoned definitely do dissipate, return, or what have you, and called ones do whatever they do.

    This also solves the planar binding animation being somewhat powerful for many a DM.
    interesting, could you elaborate on that a bit? or point me to a book and page where it is elaborated? does that devil passage refer to only summoned or only called devils? or both?

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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    Precocious Apprentice gives you one second level spell once per day. At first level. Make that spell Command Undead.

    Take Chain Spell as your bonus human feat.

    Have high K: Religion or whatever your DM reques for you to know about and seek out undead of particular types. Or work a backstop that explains finding them. What you're looking for are Slaymates. They have an aurahat reduces the metamagic cost of necromancy spells prepared in said aura.

    You want three of them to make Chain Command Undead a second level spell, which you can cast once per day. You can find them by looking for places where guardians betray and fatally neglect children; some will spontaneously arise there. People dying of Pale Wasting is another telltale sign. Slaymates inflict the disease with their bite.

    You could also work up a tragic backstory about your siblings and you being betrayed by your parents or guardians and only you surviving, but one or more of your siblings coming back as Slaymates.

    Command Undead is only a charm-like effect on Slaymates, but it is enough to help you win their loyalty and trust.

    Get Extend Spell when you can, and two more Slaymates. Chain Extend Command Undead is CL+1 indeed minions for 2 days per CL off a single casting. Six Slaymates make this a 2nd-level spell slot.

    Then, look into the Mother Cyst feat and the Necrotic Cyst spells. In combination, they can enable you to enslave living victims and force them to run up and beg for help while you make them explode in a hideous sphere of gore that does better-then-fireball damage and can infect those damaged with Necrotic Cysts you can use to control them!

    Oh, and you can chain the spell that makes victims explode. And it is a necromancy spell. So Slaymates can make the chsining free.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    Some more options:

    Warlock (or Dragonfire Adept with the Infernal Adept feat): The Dead Walk can produce unlimited amount of Skeletons or Zombies (and even cost-free, if you OK with 1 minute/CL restriction)

    Prestige classes:
    Horned Harbinger (Faiths and Pantheons) - it doesn't advances spellcasting, but also doesn't required spellcasting
    Subverted Psion: able to create Tainted Minions (Heroes of Horror) - up to 4 at once, Pthisic (one), and Caller in Darkness (one)
    Thrall of Zuggtmoy (Dragon #337): Raise the Rotten - 4th-level CF - gives created Undead +2 Str and +2 natural AC (both as unnamed bonus)

    Feats:
    Animation Mastery (Dragon #298): animated/created Undead always have maximal hp per HD, and got +2 turn resistance
    Bolster Power [necromantic] (Dragon #312): +1 turn resistance
    Desecrated Animation (Dragon #298): +2 turn resistance
    Death Curse [necromantic] (Dragon #312): 1d3/HD damage to everybody in 10' spread on destruction of the Undead
    Graveborn Expert [necromantic] (Dragon #312) gives +4 on one Str- or Dex-based skill
    Graveborn Warrior [necromantic] (Dragon #312) gives a bonus feat (any, presuming the undead have prerequisites for it)
    Heightened Agility [necromantic] (Dragon #312) +4 Dex
    Heightened Strength [necromantic] (Dragon #312) +4 Str
    Improved Animation (Dragon #298): Undead gets +1 HD, and +1 insight on attack and damage rolls
    Uncanny Speed [necromantic] (Dragon #312): +2 initiative and +10' speed
    Undead Legion (Dragon #298): +4 to HD limit of both animation and control for Animate Dead spell
    Greater Undead Legion (Dragon #298): as above, but +8 HD
    Vicious Claws [necromantic] (Dragon #312) +1 on damage rolls; in case of Zombies, their Slam is now does bludgeoning/slashing damage

    *Note: [necromantic] feats are needed not during the animation itself, but for preparation of the corpse. Thus, you may try to use as many of them as you want via floating feat or something (But usage of those feat cost you control - like if +1 or +2 HD for every such feat implemented)

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    Oh, one more feat: Fell Animate, for restocking your zombie hordes mid-fight. You have to actually kill them with the spell, but if you go heavy into metamagic reduction something like a Fell Frighten Fell Animate Kelgore's grave mist would be hilarious, locking down foes starting on the second turn with no save, and then they'd just sit there in the damaging AOE until it killed them and they rose as zombies.
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  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    smasher0404's Avatar

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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    In terms of spells, it's worth considering the Animate Dread Warrior spell from Unapproachable South, it's a sixth level spell on the Sorcerer/Wizard list and is specifically designed to create undead with class levels under your control. It has a hefty xp cost, but in a high-op game, you can mitigate it by converting it into a spell-like ability by spellstitching it to a high wisdom undead (Spellstitching can be found in Complete Arcane).

    If you are powering up your lieutenants in general, Spellstitching is also a good way of giving them additional abilities from your spell list (to save on action economy, or to allow them to operate independently from you). It also carries XP costs and a feat (Craft Wondrous Items), but it is a one-time cost per lieutenant (or yourself when you decide to go undead).
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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    Quote Originally Posted by ShurikVch View Post
    *Note: [necromantic] feats are needed not during the animation itself, but for preparation of the corpse. Thus, you may try to use as many of them as you want via floating feat or something (But usage of those feat cost you control - like if +1 or +2 HD for every such feat implemented)
    That's awesome! those feats are exactly what I was looking for!

  18. - Top - End - #18
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    Asmotherion's Avatar

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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    There's the Corpse Creature and Bone Creature templates that keep their Class Levels and are created with Create (Greater) Undead. Better than Awakening them.

    Necrosis Carnex to keep around and heal your troops

    Summon Undead IV-V is amazing, as it gives you control of an Allip; Few things are imune to Wisdom Drain.

    Animate Dead to have Dragon Zombies. Potentially a Giant Zombie too.

    Finally, I advise against Multiclassing. Anything that harms your Caster Level is by default not worth the trade. Exception in some PrCs, but that's not the point. Clerics are the Best Necromancers, but if you want something fancy, you can always go Dread Necro safely.

    "Summon a Strong Monster, and you're good for an encounter. Learn how to Planar Bind a Strong Monster, and you'll never have to worry about an encounter for the rest of your Adventuring Days."

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    Quote Originally Posted by Asmotherion View Post
    There's the Corpse Creature and Bone Creature templates that keep their Class Levels and are created with Create (Greater) Undead. Better than Awakening them.
    I love those templates!

    Quote Originally Posted by Asmotherion View Post
    Finally, I advise against Multiclassing. Anything that harms your Caster Level is by default not worth the trade. Exception in some PrCs, but that's not the point. Clerics are the Best Necromancers, but if you want something fancy, you can always go Dread Necro safely.
    yeah, i know it would be objectively stronger not to multiclass with this. but im already a caster, so i figure if there are martials in my party it will balance out. cause a lot of the people in my party just dont do optimization. so im not really too worried about having an op build. im willing to sacrifice some caster levels if it makes my undead stronger.

  20. - Top - End - #20
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    Maat Mons's Avatar

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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    If you can get obscure books allowed, Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil has a prestige class called Doom Dreamer that can double your effective level for Rebuke Undead.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Troll in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    If you are going to multi class anyway maybe look at the prestige class master of shrouds? With cleric 2/dresd necromancer 1 you can get into it quickly, no tricks required.
    Last edited by Particle_Man; 2021-04-19 at 12:16 AM.

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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Necromancer build help

    Quote Originally Posted by Maat Mons View Post
    If you can get obscure books allowed, Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil has a prestige class called Doom Dreamer that can double your effective level for Rebuke Undead.
    that is a neat class, rare to see abilities that buff rebuking like that. work considering

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