Full-fledged Shadow Controller: Necromancer (homebrew in progress)

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Yes, I know that there is both an official Necromancer "path" for the Mage class in Heroes of Shadow, and that there are other attempts at doing Necromancers as classes scattered across these boards, but... Well, though I don't think the Necromancer Mage is a bad kit perse, it's not really that appealing to me (feels too much like "wizard with necromancy tacked on"), and similarly I have my own visions and ideas for the Necromancer that, as far as I know, nobody else has tapped into.

I've gotten some positive feedback on my ideas, so I just wanted to start trying to flesh it out into an actual class.


These below are my basic thoughts about how the class "is"; what it can do, what kind of class it tries to be, etc.

Thematic Motif: The Necromancer is a character who wields the powers of death. They imbue corpses with a mockery of life to do their bidding, and snuff out the essence of life where they find it. Dark and sinister, they can serve the forces of good by turning their unholy powers against forces of evil that threaten the living - and their affinity with the undead actually makes them uniquely suited to snuffing out their perverse existence. Bitter cold and all-consuming void, disease and decay, poison and vermin, these bolster the Necromancer's ability to conjure spirits and command animate corpses.

Role: Controller. Necromancers summon minions and use them to blockade and harrass enemies, as well as using powers that weaken, cripple or otherwise debilitate their foes, impairing their abilities to fight or effectively counter the efforts of a PC party.

Secondary Role: Striker or Leader. Some Necromancy hexes are especially nasty; while they aren't guaranteed to kill a victim outright, they are able to leave an enemy severely weakened and ready to be picked off. Similarly, some Necromancy hexes are able to not only cripple a foe, but bolster an ally.

Primary Damage Type: Necrotic - this is the energy most associated with necromancy and the undead.

Secondary Damage Types:
Poison/Acid - Both of these are damage types associated with corrosion, the slow death, the crippling effects of entropy, a life force being slowly eaten away.
Cold - There's a reason we speak of the "chill of the grave"; cold is the element most thematically associated with entropy and oblivion.

Barred Damage Types:
Radiant - Radiance is the power of light, the force of life incarnate. Necromancers draw their power from the deepest darkness of the soul; Radiance is their fundamental antithesis, the very opposite of the power that fuels them.
Fire - Radiance's mundane relative, Fire is an element of life and transmutation, of change and energy. Necromancy deals with death and stasis.
Lightning - Kin to Fire and Radiance both, Lightning is a dynamic force, a brilliant energy beyond the grasp of shadow magic.

Class Features:
Necrotic Soul - A necromancer is adept at wielding necrotic energy above all else. This allows him to bolster himself from harm by necrotic energy - but it can also shield him from radiant energy; by enveloping himself in a cloak of purest Shadow, elemental Light is swallowed harmlessly. It also means that he can pierce and unravel the shadowy defenses of the Undead. This functions as per the various "Arcane Souls" of the Sorcerer class, except it provides a Necromancer with resistance to Necrotic and Radiant damage and lets him pierce Necrotic Resistance.

Dark Secrets - These are the selectable class feature, akin to Warlocks and their Pact.
Lord of the Dead - Necromancer magic revolves heavily around the power to create and control the undead. Consequently, they learn how to require a lessened expenditure of life-force in their creations, and to mitigate the backlash of unexpected destruction. The Necromancer reduces the normal amount of hit points lost for having Summons destroyed by the enemy, if they choo.

Deadwalker - Some necromancers establish a particular bond with a singular undead creation, ensuring that they always have one stable, dependable, reliable minion at their beck and call. This is the Necromancer "pet" line, focusing on using a permanent companion, ala Beastmaster Rangers.

Destroyer - Necromantic magic is often considered fairly subtle, but it does have tis more overtly destructive side. A Destroyer is a Necromancer who focuses on bringing death to enemies through his magic; Withering cold, storms of necrotic energy, screaming rifts, tornadoes of souls, these are the powers a Destroyer commands. This form of Necromancer is better at straight-up attacking than either a Lord of the Dead necromancer or a Deadwalker necromancer - I'm thinking that they can perhaps do bonus damage and/or impose a penalty to "end effects" saving throws.

Black Grimoire - A necromancer learns many dark rituals in his or her quest to master the undead. A Necromancer has a ritual book containing three rituals chosen from the following list.
Last Sight
Talk to the Dead
Gentle Repose
(?)



Paragon Paths:
Deathslayer - This is a necromancer who took to studying the black arts for one reason; know thy enemy. This is a necromancer whose speciality is destroying the undead. Class features include a bonus to defenses and attack rolls against enemies with the Undead keyword, and a strengthened form of Necrotic Soul that means they treat Necrotic Resistance as Vulnerability: Necrotic instead. Powers are an encounter attack hex that cripples an undead to make it easier to kill, an encounter utility that makes allies more resistant to undead attacks, and a daily attack that causes heavy ongoing necrotic damage - and if the initial target is undead, this damage can spread to other targets.

Pale Master - This is the classical necromancer who specialises in controlling multiple undead at once. Features make his summons better, while powers revolve around particularly nasty summons - this is the Necromancer equivalent of the Master Summoner (Bonded Summoner?) paragon path for Wizards.

Crypt King - This is a necromancer who invests the effort to create a permanent undead minion, stronger and more powerful than is usual. Features revolve around this necromantic "pet", as do its powers. This is the Necromancer equivalent of the Thrallherd paragon path for Psions.

Plague Master - Necromancers whose interests lie in the slow, creeping power of poison, plague, decay and rot take up this mantle, which gives them unparalleled mastery over venom and disease. Features include greater resistance to diseases and Poison Resistance, while powers revolve around Poison and Acid damage, typically slowing or weakening foes as well.

Sanguine Witch - Necromancy is not so much about death as it is about life; most turn to necromancy as a way to cheat death, to prolong life. And the most primal, vital symbol of life is blood. A Sanguine Witch learns to master blood, both her own and those of her enemies, clinging more stubbornly to life than every before. Features include gaining a low-level form of Regeneration, being able to immediately regain health by spending an Action point, and a bonus to "Death Saving Throws" and to rolls to come back when Raised (reflecting the necromancer's improved ability to cling to life). Powers include draining blood to heal themselves, being able to restore health to allies by sacrificing healing surges, and causing massive damage on enemies by trying to rip the blood from their bodies.

Animator - Necromancers are adept at investing a mockery of life where life once was, but some aren't satisfied with this. Animators are Necromancers who try to imbue life where life never flourished before, granting the ability to fashion not only undead, but constructs as well.

Epic Destinies:
Primagen - Some Necromancers become so consumed with necromancy's apparent power over life and death that they turn to the most blasphemous of arts; attempting to create life. Not a false life, as is usually the case, but actual life itself. Whether they stitch together abominations from corpses or grow new lifeforms from alchemical equipment, they typically produce naught but perversions... but, sometimes, very rarely, a Primagen succeeds in her dark goal...

Undying One - Some Necromancers fear death so much that they do anything - anything at all - to cling to life, without having to make the sacrifices that becoming one of the undead would require. These are the Undying Ones, seekers of immortality at any cost. Some fail, settling for lichhood or some strange new form of undeath. Others, though, succeed, though rarely as they intended.

Lychking - Mastery over the walking dead is the most basic art of Necromancy, and yet there is always a limit to how many a necromancer can control at once. A Lychking seeks to expand their will and hone their powers until they can control a veritable army of the undead, all on their own.



And these are the suggestions for the basic "stat block" of the class... As is obvious, I really don't know what I'm doing, so I could use all the help I can get to make something out of this.

Power Source: Shadow
Role: Controller
Key Abilities: Intelligence
Secondary Abilities: Constitution, Wisdom, Charisma

Armor Proficiencies: Cloth
Weapon Proficiencies: Dagger, Scythe, Quarterstaff
Implements: Staffs, Daggers, Tomes
Bonus to Defense: +2 Fortitude

Hit Points at first level: 12 + Constitution score
Hit points per level gained: 6
Healing Surges per day: 5 + Constitution modifier

Trained Skills: Religion or Arcana. From the class skills list below, chose three more trained skills at first level.
Arcana, Dungeoneering, History, Religion, Nature, Heal, Intimidate, Streetwise, Bluff.
I love what you have so far, and I will gladely help. Luckily for me, I like formatting and class feature building but suck at fluff making and power making. I'll take care of the formatting if you take care of the fluff xD

Necromancer

Class Traits:
Role: Controller. While your hexes aren't guranteed to kill a victim outright they do leave your foes severly weakened, and your summonings allow you to keep some foes isolated from your friends, you can even use the same techniques of imbuing corpses with energy to bolster your allies. Depending on your choice of class features and powers, you lean towards either Striker or Leader as your secondary role.
Power Source: Shadow. You wield the powers of death, you have the ability to imbue corpses with a mockery of life to do your bidding and snuff out the essence of life where you find it.
Key Abilities: Intelligence, Constitution, Charisma.

Armor Proficiencies: Cloth
Weapon Proficiencies: Dagger, Scythe, Quraterstaff.
Implement: Staff, Dagger, Tomes, Scythe.
Bonus to Defense: +2 Fortitude

Hit Points at 1st Level: 12 + Constitution Score.
Hit Points per Level Gained: 5
Healing Surges per Day: 7 + Constitution modifier.

Trained Skills: Religion or Arcana. From the class skill list below, choose 3 more trained skills at 1st level.
Class Skills: Arcana (int), Bluff (Cha), Dungeoneering (Wis), Endurance (Con), Heal (Wis), History (Int), Insight (Wis), Nature (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Streetwise (Cha)

Class features: Necrotic Soul, Lord of the Dead, Black Grimoire, Dark Secrets.

Necrotic Soul
You gain resist 5 to necrotic and radiant damage. The resistance increases to 10 at 11th level and 15 at 21st level. Your Necromancer powers ignore any target's necrotic and/or radiant resistances up to the value of your resistances.

Black Grimoire:
You know the Last Sight and Talk to the Dead rituals and can use one of them for free once per day.
Show
or you can use each of them for free once per day, whichever you choose. It's your class, after all


Dark Secrets 
Choice either the Deadwalker or Destroyer collection of class features.

Destroyer:
You gain the..... class features.

Deadwalker:
You gain the Lord of the Dead class feature.

Lord of the Dead:
Your magic revolve heavily around the power to create and control the eundead. You've learned how to lessen the expenditure of lifefoce in your ceations, and how to mitigate the backlash of the destruction of your creations.
Whenever one of your summonings dies you regain hit points equal to your Constitution modifier. If the amount of health regained cause you to have more hit points than your maximum hit points the excess is converted into temporary hit points.
Show
If I remember correctly you lose a healing surge when your summoning is destroyed. The best way of lessening that cost is to grant either hit points or temporary hit points. This could be as small as a secondary modifier, or temporary hit points equal to "half your healing surge value".

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Do you want to or should I make a mesh-up between the beastmastery pet and the sentinel companion and give it a Necromantic feel?
I'll add inn more of the flavour when I know how each of the different builds will turn out.

What striker mechanic should we use? Something typical like +secondary modifier or do we want something cool and original, that's still easy to track?

Flavour thinking-outloud-ness 
What if his striker feature is a Zone? A tornade of clawing souls that draw the very life out of your opponents? We can also use it to make up for his low AC. This is what I've got so far:


























Soul TempestNecromancer Utility
You summon a zephir of writhing souls. You command them to disrupt your enemies and bolster your allies.
At-Will Shadow, Implement, Zone
Minor Action - Area burst 2(?) within 10 squares
Effect: The burst creates a zone that lasts until the end of the encounter or until you use this power again. Enemies within the zone treat you as having partial concealment
Destroyer: Once per round, when you hit with an attack, you can deal necrotic damage equal to your Charisma modifier to one enemy within the zone
Deadwalker: One ally or summoning in the burst gains a +2 bonus to damage rolls. This bonus increases to +3 at 11t level and +4 at 21st level. Once per round you can grant an ally or summoning in the burst temporary hit points equal to your Constitution modifer as a free action.







Special: Using this power does not provoke an opportunity attack.




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...:D I think that this is going to be a very good partnership. I can cook up flavor text with no problems, and I like to think that basic ideas (for example, this power called "Toll The Bells of Death" may work by creating a zone of cosntant necrotic & thunder damage, it can be sustained as a minor action and expanded with a standard action) aren't a problem, but actual rules work isn't my strong point (for example, I would have no idea if "Toll the Bells of Death" actually is feasible under the rules and, even if it is, what level it would be, how mch damage to make it inflict, etc).

The original idea was that Lords of the Dead would be part of the "Dark Secrets" line, so a player can officially choose to focus on whether their Necromancer is a summoner, always attended to by an undead minion, or focuses on killing directly. But given that a number of the Necromancer's powers will be Summons, it does make sense to make it a more generic class feature.

The "Soulnado" looks like a very good idea, to me; it makes the Necromancer better as a controller, a striker and a leader, it fits into his "theme", and it's distinct from other striker/striker-esque class features.

I think it might be better if you work on the "crunch" for the Necromancer's Minion. However, looking over Martial Power, I note that the Ranger has several different "beast categories" he can choose his pet from. Perhaps we, too, should give a selection of "archetypes" for a necromancer to create his Dark Minion from?

For example, in my mind's eye, I can see the rudiments for a Shambling Thing (big, slow, stupid, but tough and strong - this could be flavored as anything from an extremely tough zombie to a flesh golem or a fenbeast), a Feral Dead (quick moving and good damage, but can't take a lot of punishment; a "fast zombie", a feral ghoul, an undead hound, etc), a Grave Guardian (the "mario" of the Dark Minions, good in all areas but not exceptional; your basic smart zombie or skeleton bodyguard), and a Spectral Fiend (intangible undead servant, good for scouting).
Rules are what I exceed at. From now on you can post any idea of an ability, power, class feature, feat etc, and I will (probably before the next day) have made an "official"-sounding version of it. I've always felt that the "fluff first, mechanics second" way of creating powers is best. I however have shot myself in the leg by the fact that I've never played past heroic tier, so when it comes to balancing encounter powers and paragon paths you will have to find another partner in crime.

Regarding Lord of the Dead, I think it should be a Deadwalker feature. The stereotypical Destroyer will most likely stick to blasts (a la sorcerer) and conjurations rather than actual physical summons.

Usually I'm not the guy that gets the ideas, but I really do like my Soulnado xD I am however almost sure that I unconsciously stole it from another source, that I've just yet to reminded of.

How he will use his pet however might become a bit tricky. I'm thinking that each "build " gives you a static at-will power and the other at-will can be chosen from a list.

You go ahead and think of a few powers, I'm gonna go eat dinner and think about Ghouls and Feral Deads. I think two types is enough (one burly and one quick), but I might be mistaken. You start doing the fluff (does he summon them from another plane? Does he pick up the bones of his enemy and puts it together, piece by piece, with magic? etc) and, yeah... I'll go eat.

P.S. I just heard that the rules about Zones has just been updated, I'll look at that as soon as I can be bothered. 

P.P.S. I had too:

































Toll the Bells of DeathNecromancer Attack 1
*insert your flavour text here*
Daily Shadow, Implement, Necrotic, Thunder, Zone
Standard Action - Ranged 10
Target: One creature
Attack:Intelligence vs. Fortitude
Hit: 2d8 + Intelligence modifier necrotic and thunder damage and the target is dazed until the end of your next turn.
Effect: The attack creates a zone of *flavour* in a burst 2 centered on the target. The zone lasts until the end of your next turn. Enemies that enter or start their turn within the zone take 5 necrotic and thunder damage and is deafened until the end of your next turn.
Sustain Minor: The zone persists until the end of your next turn.


I think this is what you are thinking about. This can easily be scaled down to an encounter or even at-will attack, or to be an Area burst attack

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Read my post and remember: Blue is New.

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The original writeup for Lord of the Dead ending like it does is because my mind wandered and I posted without realising. It was supposed to be, "if they choose this build-feature".

I was honestly thinking a power like that would be an Epic tier power. It just sounds so much like something you'd expect a master necromancer to do, you know?

As for the Dark Minion choices, the way I see it, if Rangers can have Bears, Boars, Cats, Lizards, Raptors, Serpents, Spiders and Wolves, well...

So, you want me to do some basic class fluff first? Alright, let's see what I can do...


Basic Class Fluff:
Necromancy is an art practised by many. Arcanists call up rotting corpses and bind restless shades with their magic. Priests dedicated to gods of death or dark powers are given the authority to command those who once lived in the name of their patron. Some spirit-walkers go beyond the arts of calling upon the power of ancestors long gone to instead enslave the spirits of the once-living. Even some psionicists learn to use their mental powers to manipulate corpses as grisly puppets. But all of these pale in comparison to the true Necromancer. Whilst others merely dabble in shadow magic, inviting in only the tiniest sliver of its dark power, Necromancers throw open their souls to the darkness, becoming conduits for the energies of death and decay, walking with one foot amongst the living and another amongst the dead.

Necromancers are feared and shunned, for many turn to their path because of a dark nature, or are enslaved by the vices and dark impulses that their condition opens them to, but many other necromancers are darkly heroic figures. More than one necromancer turned to the corpse-arts because of tragedy; bereaved by the death of a loved one or, more rarely, a massive event of carnage, they seek to master a way to cheat death itself and bring back those who are lost. Others believe that one must fight fire with fire; in a world overrun by monsters of the worst sort, no power is too dark to wield against them. Of these, some claim that they are merely giving those who once lived a chance to fight on to protect the world for their living descendents, whilst others view their undead charges as merely cannon fodder; better that some mindless thing of dead flesh and bones be destroyed than another living being suffer.

Whatever their motivations, adventuring necromancers must work hard to prove themselves worthy of trust even by their own companions, and many will never be fully accepted.


What do you think of this, for openers?
Love it! :D

There you go "if you choose the build" was what I was missing ;)

All powers can be made as either level 1 at-will or level 30 daily ;)

Could you tell me (fluff-wise) how a Petmancer works with his minion. How is it created, how strong is it, what can it do etc.

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Powers/Summons/Pets I can think of:

Skeletal Archer:
Either as a Daily Summon or a Pet.

Death Wisp
A necromancer's version of Fire Hawk

Shadow Pack 
A huge close blast of conjured wolves.

Writhing Shadows
Multiple powers. Shadows can grasp, claw, blind, push, trip and hamper in so many different ways.

Living Bones
Boney arms come out of the ground and hold everyone in burst 1 stuck.

Raise the dead (encounter or daily, depending on its potency)
Raises all creatures that have died in the last 30 minutes/5 minutes/since the start of the encounter as minions. These minions can't do anything really, but when adjacent to them enemies take a cumulitive penalty. This could be a penalty to speed, defenses, attack rolls or grant combat advantage. You can move the minions as a move action and can use a standard action to have anyone of them make an attack. We could even have it so that you can determine line of sight and effect from one of your minions, but you must have line of sight and vision to the minion.

Conjure Crushing Hand
The hand is floating, so it doesn't immobalize, but It might affect the target's movement in other ways. The attack is vs. reflex and once you've hit you can sustain it as a standard action (keep crushing) without an attac kroll. A creature held by the hand takes an effect such as penalty to attacks/defenses, grant combat advantage or is slowed. Instead of sustaining it you can use a standard action to forcefully move the target x-squares, and the hand disappears. There are many ways to make this power, but it's pretty much always going to be a "sustain: standard". We just have to decide how strong and how big it is.

Transfer life
The standard grant THP/true heal/next that attacks the target can spend a healing surge, or something. There are 1001 ways to make a power that is based on transferring life

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Can you give me the flavour for the builds "the build intro text", and tell me if I should put my Soulnado into post #2 (if yes, any changes to be made?).

I think Petmancer should be Int, Con and the Destroyer Int,Cha.  

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I would actually argue Int/Cha for the Petmancer (you're using force of will - Charisma - to control and unify with a walking corpse) and Int/Con for a Destroyer (you are channelling the raw energies of death itself through your body; that needs toughness).

I'm honestly not entirely sure what I should say about your secondary post, though they do all look like valid manifestations of a necromancer's power.

Yes, I think your Soulnado makes a good official mark/blot/whatever it's supposed to be called.

I'll try and put together some flavor text for the builds as soon as I can.
Deadwalker Fluff: While most necromancers content themselves with merely raising or binding an undead slave when needed, some prefer to create a single, more reliable minion, one that is always present and which holds more power than any mere slave. Whilst some necromancers barter with or enslave existing undead, most prefer to raise or create undead exclusively for this purpose. The path of the Deadwalker involves the necromancer shaving out the tiniest sliver of his soul and implanting it into the minion. This binds them together in the most intimate manner; the minion is a conduit for the necromancer, and so long as one of them lives, the other is impossible to truly slay.

I was thinking, from this, that a Deadwalker necromancer is thusly able to trace line of sight from his pet as well as himself, that he can revive his pet if slain by sacrificing a healing surge, and that the pet's presence helps the necromancer for being successfully revived by the Raise Dead ritual.


Destroyer Fluff: Some necromancers choose not to embrace the undead, but rather to embrace the elemental forces of death itself. Wielding the destructive energies of shadow magic, they have little use for mindless, walking cadavers but instead slay their enemies directly, calling upon levels of offensive might that escape other necromancers, who must divide their attentions between death and undeath.

Features for Destroyers... escape me. I can see potential for making Lord of the Dead a path feature by having it grant not only diminished health loss from losing a summons but also the power to try and dominant/charm an enemy with the Undead keyword, though...
Deadwalker Fluff: While most necromancers content themselves with merely raising or binding an undead slave when needed, some prefer to create a single, more reliable minion, one that is always present and which holds more power than any mere slave. Whilst some necromancers barter with or enslave existing undead, most prefer to raise or create undead exclusively for this purpose. The path of the Deadwalker involves the necromancer shaving out the tiniest sliver of his soul and implanting it into the minion. This binds them together in the most intimate manner; the minion is a conduit for the necromancer, and so long as one of them lives, the other is impossible to truly slay.

I was thinking, from this, that a Deadwalker necromancer is thusly able to trace line of sight from his pet as well as himself, that he can revive his pet if slain by sacrificing a healing surge, and that the pet's presence helps the necromancer for being successfully revived by the Raise Dead ritual.


Destroyer Fluff: Some necromancers choose not to embrace the undead, but rather to embrace the elemental forces of death itself. Wielding the destructive energies of shadow magic, they have little use for mindless, walking cadavers but instead slay their enemies directly, calling upon levels of offensive might that escape other necromancers, who must divide their attentions between death and undeath.

Features for Destroyers... escape me. I can see potential for making Lord of the Dead a path feature by having it grant not only diminished health loss from losing a summons but also the power to try and dominant/charm an enemy with the Undead keyword, though...
Hm, I was wondering... This is an idea I have for the Pet (I'll post the rules about the pet in my next post after this one).

This is a very complicated and non-4e suggestion... but what if we allow the player to create his own undead minion, just like the necromancer creates his? We'll write the guide "in character" so the player really feels like he's creating his own minion.

Show

This is the basics of it:
"Greetings, necromancer. So, you have decided its time to bind yourself to a minons..." etc.

I'm gonna make a few combinations of HP, Defenses and Damage that are all balanced to each others (tanky w/ little damage vs. fragile w/ high damage)

Choose one of the following auras for your minion. But we (you) all describe them very flavoufully, so you are choosing the looks and style of your Pet, not the mechanics.
Bolstering:
· +2 to all defenses
· +2 to all damage rolls
· /an original idea based on flavour

Hampering:
· Grant combat advantage
· Take a -2 penalty to attack rolls
· Take a -2 penalty to defenses
· /an original idea based on flavour
 
Choose one of the following attacks:
The damage is determined by your Pet damage (balanced against HP and defenses), but each attack also has a secondary effect. The player should really see in his mind's eye how his character is molding his pet's wings, giving him the mouth of a wolf or the paws of a bear, even the tentacles of a displacer beast. 
Bite: +2 damage.
Slam:
 Prone
Swoop: Can shift 2 squares before and after the attack.
Tentacle:
Reach 2, and slides 1 square.


So, what do ya think? :D 
The more flavour the better. We can have 2 or 4 "premade" pets, for those that just want to play it right away. But for those "Advanced Necromancer", creating your own pet is pretty cool ^^

 

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Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
That sounds very intriguing. I'm not 100% sure how I can support you with it, but I wouldn't mind trying this out and seeing if it'll work better than my original quartet of dark minion archetypes.
Necromancer's Servant
Rules without flavour.

· Your servant is considered an ally of you and your allies.
· Your servant is a creature and is affected as such.
· The servant is an extension of you, you can use your servant for line of sight but not line of effect. You can see and hear through your servant, but it cannot make perception checks.
· Your servant's level is equal to yours, and its hit points, defenses and attacks are determined by your level as noted in its stat block.
· Your servant shares your healing surge total. Whenever an effect requires your servant to spend a healing surge, the surge is deducted from your total. When you use your second wind your esrvant also regains hit points equal to your healing surge value.
· At the end of a short rest, your servant regains all its hit points.
· If you or your servant drop to 0 hit points the connection between you is disrupted. You can reanimate your servant in two ways:
    · You lose a healing surge as a minor action. Your servant is reanimated with hit points equal to your healing surge value.
    · You lose a healing surge at the end of a short or extended rest. Your servant is reanimated with full hit points.
· Your servant lacks a real mind of its own and relies on you for strict guidance while you are within 20 squares of it. You are linked to it telepathically and command it with your will. You take actions so that it can act, and its initative is the same as yours during an encounter.
    · Standard Actions: To take a standard action your servant needs you to take a standard action.
    · Move Actions: Whenever you take a move action your servant can also take a move action. Alternatively, you can stay put but take a move action to move your servant.
    · Minor Actions: To take a minor action, your servant needs you to take a minor action to command it to do so.
    · Free Actions: Your servant can take free actions without you having to take an action to command it to do so.
    · Triggered Actions: If your servant's triggered action is triggered it requires you to take the same type of action to command it to do so. This means you and your servant can only take one immediate action per round and one opportunity action per turn.
    · In situations where you can't give commands to your servant it can act independantly. Remember that your servant, although containing a part of your soul, only has animal-level intelligence. A sercant acting independently can take either a standard, a move or a minor action on its turn. It can also take opportunity actions and free actions, but it cannot take immediate actions. A servant acting indepentantly will still follow his master's orders for as long as it can.
· When your servant is destroyed the part of your soul contained within it re-emerges with your own. During you next extended rest you can create another servant by going through the servant creations steps or selecting a premade servant. Creating a servant usually requires a source of corpses and bonus, but these can also be summoned, so a necromancer can gain a servant no matter of his location. 

Sample servant stat block:


































Feral Dead

Level equal to yours


Medium natural beast (undead)

Initiative equal to yours
Senses Perception equal to yours
Flaying tentacles aura 1; Enemies within the aura gain vulnerable 2.
HP Equal to your bloodied value; Bloodied: 
AC 15+your level; Fortitude 13+ your level, Reflex 13+ your level, Will 13+ your level
Speed: 8        Resist 5 Necrotic
Servant Attack ( Standard, at-will )Beast
Reach 2, your level + 5 vs. AC. Hit: 1d8 + I have no idea damage and you slide the target 1 square.








Alignment Same as yoursLanguages Same as yours















Str 14Dex 20Wis 14
Con 17Int 2Cha 6



I need to intergrate the "You and your servent are one, all the life he possesses is originally yours" etc. Also, I was going to allow you to use your beast as an implement, but after some thought I decide it was not a good idea. I was then going to allow you to do it 1/encounter, but that just seems to be more pointless stuff to track.
I've yet to look at a few more sources with companions before I call this ready. So tired now, will do more later.

I do however support stuff like:
 

























Channeled MightNecromancer Attack
You use your servant as a conduit for your necromantic powers.
At-Will Shadow, Implement, Servant
Standard Action - Close burst servant
Target:Each creature in burst
Attack:Intelligence vs. Fortitude
Hit: 1d6 + Intelligence modifier necrotic and force damage and the target is pushed 1 square away from the center of the burst.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
I want to at least try the "make your own servant" type thing. 

Could you do the text for me? Just imagine that somone is reading this from his Necronomicon.
I also need a list of:

· Ways for servants to attack (bearclaws, wolf-mout, scythe-hands, gorrila's grasp etc) and how they would hit differently from other attacks.
· Different "fighting styles" for the servant. What is he doing when he's not making attacks? He's not just standing there, he's either hampering nearby enemies or bolstering nearby allies. How? I need a list of ways a servant can do this.
· All kind of body parts that would grant various benefits. Why not create a servant who has the upper body of an ape and lower body of a spider?!

I have a friend who is very graphic, and is going to love to put together some especially monstrous servants.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
I'd like to help out with this, but... honestly, I really don't have any clue what to write or where to begin to write. I really do think, on reflection, it might be best to just give the four generic Dark Minion archetypes I suggested at first and do a "make a minion" expansion later on, after we've got those refined. Making your own minions is a very interesting idea, but it's a lot of work.

You're right about the servants, picking from a list is easier, and custom-pets is a lot of work.

This is your class, what kind of pets would you like to see? Just give me a list of possible servants, what they look like and what are their attributes and I'll get to it.


Each Servant has three varying attributes:
Defenses (high/medium/low for each defense)
Speed (fast/slow)
Damage and effect (high/low + effect)
One or two servant-specific qualities. (auras, utility or other)
· Ability to manipulate objects
· Ability to attack from afar/reach
· Aura: Adjacent enemies grant combat advantage
· Has fly speed.
· Aura: Allies in the aura can use a standard action to become invisible.
etc...


Having a pet is a pretty big bonus, what does the destroyer have to compensate for the petlessness?
If nobody comes up with anything, we might have to resort to both builds having a servant but benefit from it differently. The destroyer would then use it more in a teamwork (passive) kind of way (you gain a bonus against enemies adjacent your pet) while the Petmancer uses is pet in a more aggressive, and less passive, manner. (you gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls with powers that have he servant keyword).
I have a Sentinel in one of my groups, and because of his relationship with his pet the pet doesn't really do anything for most of the fight. What that tells me is that a class that has a pet but doesn't need it will most likely ignore it. We can safely give the destroyer a pet, but since he's so much stronger on his own he'll probably never spend actions on it. The Petmancer however can only reach his peak by using his servant and servant-related powers. How about we only allow the Petmancer to use servant powers, therefor excluding them from the Destroyer's power list?


The only feature I'm not 100% about regarding the servant is its ability to regain full hit points during a short rest. Maybe we'll make the Necromancer take X damage when his pet is bloodied to prevent him from using him as a meat-shield (I've seen it happen, It is amazing how much resources you can save just by letting a pet soak up damage for the first half of an encounter).


Ciaran, Crimson, Nbnmare, Chaosfang, where are you guys? :/


These are just ideas and mainly thematically. Its execution will have to be far more thought-out.


IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
Hmm... given that pets tend to be the harder class feature to balance, perhaps we should just stick to the Summoning & Damage focused builds at first? Make the Deadwalker an "expansion", ala Battlerager Fighter or Beastmaster Ranger?
Yeah, let's do that.

Let's give him daily powers based on the Protector's "Summon Ally" powers, and modify my soulnado to give that summoning THP when inside the zephyr. 
How does that sound for a Summon & Damage build? 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
That sounds alright with me, but... what's the Protector? I've got all of the core 4e books and none of the Essentials stuff besides Heroes of the Shadowfell & Feywild, and the Neverwinter Campaign Setting.
I finally remembered this topic/project and thought I'd try to blow the dust off of it; folks seemed to quite like the concepts, but apart from poor mhbjarkistef, nobody ever showed up. Here's hoping I can pull an appropriate bit of threat necromancy here...

For Summoning, given my lack of knowledge of (and taste for) Essentials rules, I think it might be better to use the core Summoning rules introduced in 4e's Arcane Power and Primal Power splats, plus the article Class Acts: Wizard from Dragon #385. This makes it easier to work with the rules, and should provide ample grounds for conveying diverse kinds of "summoned" (really, animated/reanimated) undead.

 For general Utility powers, I'm thinking a Necromancer is more thematic focusing on "defensive offense" type attacks and eerie phenomena. Creating an orbiting shield of bones to absorb damage, using poltergeists to lift things ala the Wizard's Ghost Hand cantrip, that kind of thing. Necromantic magic generally isn't that helpful.

Hmm... guess I may as well throw out some Hex/Spell/Whatever ideas for the class.

Toll The Bells Of Death: A sepulchral shade begins to strike a bell at your bequest, tolling the inevitable approach of death itself and beckoning listeners to the afterlife. (Creates a zone of Necrotic + Thunder damage, sustainable, possibly expandable, attacks Fortitude)

Wall of Screams: An ethereal wall of shrieking, ghostly visages rises up where you indicate, their screams chilling foes to the bone. (Creates a wall that either requires resisting an attack vs Will to pass through, inflicts Necrotic/Cold [or both?] damage on those close by, or both)

Grasping Gauntlets: Hands of the dead rise from the earth below, seeking to drag the living to their doom. (Creates a zone of Slowing, damage-inflicting terrain)

Word of Death: You speak a syllable so foul and unnatural that it strikes dead those who hear it.  (Burst of high-level Necrotic damage centered on caster)

Maddening Shades: You conjure phantasms that wail and moan, haunting your foes and driving them insane. (Target creature[s] suffer a penalty to Will)

Breath of the Tombs: Filling your lungs with necrotic power, you exhale a sickly cloud of vapors that rots and consumes those who succumb to them. (Blast of Poison/Acid damage)

Gravewind: Calling upon the cold breath of the deepest catacombs, you unleash blasts of unnatural wind that freeze the blood in a victim's veins. (Target takes Cold damage and is Slowed)

Creeping Death: Verminous forms scuttle and squirm forth at your command, enveloping your foes and bringing them down under a cascade of jaws, pincers, stingers and claws. (Creates a mobile zone that inflicts damage)

Bone Archer: Conjuring projectiles of bleached bone, you hurl them to impale your foes, conjuring skeletal minions from the remains. (Target 1-3 targets, basic damage, Summon a Skeletal Mob)

Nexus of Death: You briefly tear open a rift to the Shadowfell, letting necrotic energy bleed forth and taint the land, strengthening your dark powers. (Creates a zone that gives boost to Necromancer attacks) 
No replies yet, huh? Ah well, may as well try and cook up a few more spell concepts...

 The Breath of the Dead: An unearthly bank of roiling mists sweeps across the ground, engulfing the living and sucking the life from them to feed its insatiable hunger. (Ranged burst of Necrotic damage, possibly can be sustained as a zone for minor actions)

 Call the Pyre: Stinking of the scents of molten fat and burning flesh, a ghastly shape comprised of ashes and roaring flames manifests before you, eager to consume your victims. (Summons a creature that does Fire/Necrotic damage and has an aura of the same, and/or causes an impairment to enemy To Hit rolls)

Ghoul's Maw: A ghostly mouth jammed with vicious teeth materializes and savages your opponent, chewing them apart. (Ranged attack that causes ongoing Force damage.) 
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