No more evil clerics/necromancer?!

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My group sometimes mess with playing non-good campaigns just for fun, and my char was a human cleric worshipping Vecna. I usually controls hordes of undead to send against fools that dares disturb me. :D

But it seems 4th edition clerics are all slanted towards good only. Even unaligned/neutral clerics don't get to choose whether they turn/destroy or rebuke/command undeads.

Did I miss it somewhere or PCs just aren't allowed to be evil anymore?
My group sometimes mess with playing non-good campaigns just for fun, and my char was a human cleric worshipping Vecna. I usually controls hordes of undead to send against fools that dares disturb me. :D

Well, that's something specifically that 4e doesn't want -- controlling masses of minions. It lets one player monopolize the table. That's why rebuke undead is out.

Did I miss it somewhere or PCs just aren't allowed to be evil anymore?

You're allowed to. It's just not the kind of thing they put up a lot of support for in the PHB since people generally play the good guys. For more info on how to reflavor an evil Cleric, see the DMG pp. 163.
My group sometimes mess with playing non-good campaigns just for fun, and my char was a human cleric worshipping Vecna. I usually controls hordes of undead to send against fools that dares disturb me. :D

Summoning is currently out of the game.. as it needs a fix. in 3.X it allowed instant reinforcements that slowed down combat alot and gave one player a very long turn. It will likely be fixed by the next PHB.

But it seems 4th edition clerics are all slanted towards good only. Even unaligned/neutral clerics don't get to choose whether they turn/destroy or rebuke/command undeads.

Did I miss it somewhere or PCs just aren't allowed to be evil anymore?

The first PHB is made with mostly "heroic" characters in mind - aka the good guys. WOTC admits that evil campaigns exist, but that its the lesser occurring theme.. and it wont be catered to first.
Okay, but how do I make him a necromancer?

I won't allow Rebuke Undead then, instead turning them...(Or serious time limits.)

But how do I handle the fact that he wants to MAKE undead? How do I price a ritual like that?
Well, this is annoying. Why not keep the option of an evil cleric like in the other editions. Yet another marketing ploy to get money for heaps of players handbooks and DMGs. I really don't like what they're doing here.

That little section about giving clerics and evil flavour must have just been a small afterthought they put in or something.

Guess we'll just have to create heaps of house rules just to do what we already could in 3.5 (or just skip this edition and hope they learn for d&d5)
I imagine something like animating undead will be covered in a ritual later on, and, when it is released, I shall make gratuitous usage of it.
Yet another marketing ploy to get money for heaps of players handbooks and DMGs. I really don't like what they're doing here.

Oh please, anti-corporatism does not have an answer to everything.
There's a ritual in the Monster Manual for creating vampires. However, only vampires can perform it.

The DMG advises DMs to let evil Clerics use necromantic energy instead of radiant. Clerics also get several prayers which conjure ghostly apparitions onto the battlefield. That's as close as you're going to get to an undead-making evil cleric.

Warlocks can mimic the status-effect/debuff kind of necromancer pretty well.
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Oh please, anti-corporatism does not have an answer to everything.

Yeah? Well, why not add more stuff like this in the base PHB. It's not like it would take much effort. Why shouldn't we get something which has been present in other versions?
Yeah? Well, why not add more stuff like this in the base PHB. It's not like it would take much effort. Why shouldn't we get something which has been present in other versions?

Have you seen the size of the PHB? It's huge, more than 300 pages, is imposible to put everything in just one book. You'll get your necromancers in it's just time.
But I want a 500 page book for only $9.99.

Seriously though what are people expectations for a company inregards to how they're suppose to make money?

Admitily it does suck that there are some things we can't do in 4e (oppss messed up I guess. Going by the board consensus I'm suppose to be using $e not 4e) that we used to be able to due in 3.x but haven't we gain some things in 4e that were not present in 3.x?
Have you seen the size of the PHB? It's huge, more than 300 pages, is imposible to put everything in just one book. You'll get your necromancers in it's just time.

Don't you get it? He wants 4E updates of 8 years worth of options and evolution right now! And because WotC has not provided it all in the initial release they are evil power hungry money grubbing super-villains.
Don't you get it? He wants 4E updates of 8 years worth of options and evolution right now! And because WotC has not provided it all in the initial release they are evil power hungry money grubbing super-villains.

I'd enjoy a Villain's Handbook for players who want to be evil.

Same format as the original book (minus the rules, perhaps), but focused on the evil side of things.

That'd be pretty cool. Make it a full blown book, and not some half-assed side bar in the original books.
I'd enjoy a Villain's Handbook for players who want to be evil.

Same format as the original book (minus the rules, perhaps), but focused on the evil side of things.

That'd be pretty cool. Make it a full blown book, and not some half-assed side bar in the original books.

So you want a full book about evil PC, I have to admit that sounds pretty cool... Is a book that I'll definitely buy.
But you have to admit that demanding something like that when the game is just starting is very... well... childish of you...
They can't add everything everyone wants on the first try is just no reasonable to expect that. Just be patient, enjoy what you have right now and wait for the next "libris mortis" full of necromantic evilness.
Well, 1st ed managed to have assassins, piles of evil wizard and cleric spells, both imps and quasits to be your little winged minions, and did it quite neatly in three books with an equal or lesser page count.

I don't think it's space limitations so much as marketing and marketing politics. Wizards, if you remember, had to airbrush out the inverted pentacle on the "Unholy Strength" card when reprinting to make a version acceptable to be carried in Walmart.

I expect we'll have our Book of Vile Darkness eventually, along with the Books of Mild Grayness, which will be carried by specialist and hobby stores as well as giant etailers like Amazon that don't have to bother with a "family" image, which is basically code for saying that they don't have a large physical presence in the Bible Belt and don't need to worry about protests.
Amusing to read how people rant on about what we supposedly mean...

8 years of options and evolution? Please... I only want features that have been basic for a while provided in the core books so I can play it from the get go without having to buy additional "core books" or use home rules. You don't need heaps of books to make a game. I don't want huge bloated books that you can't manage either, but core rulebooks that give a fair amount of options from the start. Although I haven't read through all the books I've skimmed over quite a bit of it (must admit I almost stopped at some places, seeing what they'd done).

The suggestion about an optional book for evil adventurers is a good one, and I'd support that as an optional book. I never really play evil campaigns, but some characters can still be evil, so I want that possibility without shelling out for a new book. I'm not saying that Wizards of the Coast are money hungry villains, although they want to make money just as much as anyone. I'm simply saying that they've put up a strategy on how to publish their material that I'm not entirely comfortable with.

Hopefully you understand better what I mean this time.
I'd enjoy a Villain's Handbook for players who want to be evil.

Same format as the original book (minus the rules, perhaps), but focused on the evil side of things.

That'd be pretty cool. Make it a full blown book, and not some half-assed side bar in the original books.

A badguys guidebook would be pretty interesting. Make it mostly fluff, with mechanical stuff like powers and feats that are staples of non-heroic types. And make the book cover 'anti-heroes' as well as outright evil villains. I like it.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

I would suggest that Evil Clerics do NOT deal Necrotic Damage. For the same reason that 3.0+ Evil Clerics where real bad PC's they designed some monsters to be weak against radiant damage and strong against Necrotic, but nowhere near the number of opposite. That is, few monster that have radiant resistenace and necrotic vulnerability. So instead, use shadow and fire combo damage like the Orcus Priest. That way you can still deal normal damage, have an evil fluff, and not much really changes mechanicly, though over time you can see the difference in fights.

The other reason is because Evil PC's often don't fight good NPC's, they fight other evil NPC's.

Also, consider adding the Deathmaster Template in DMG. NPC only craptasticness or not.

For the most part, when WotC says they listen to their fans, what they mean is they listen to people that play RPGA, where they have already told those players what they can and can not think, not all those "other people".
Well I think you have to keep in mind that 4E is designed with the mindset it will be a heroic fantasy adventure game. The primary goal of design was to make sure that worked well first. Non-heroic and outright evil PC's will come later, if at all. They just arn't a design priority.
Well, that's something specifically that 4e doesn't want -- controlling masses of minions. It lets one player monopolize the table. That's why rebuke undead is out.

As cool as it is and looks to summon monsters and create undead (and place and move the minis around!) to fight for you, the side effects on gameplay were impractical and significantly unbalancing. Just took too much time, and made one player very strong with monsters at his fingertips. Not their fault, summoning/creation of monster allies was incredibly powerful.

But I like the focus in 4e back on PCs relying on their own abilities and one another (along with their turns not lasting forever), and not their animal companions, familiars, mounts, summoned monsters or created undead. We'll probably see support for that at some point... but I shudder to think of all the work it will take to really try to balance these "extra PC-like allies" in the game. Again, for all their balance headaches, the short term solution is simple and brilliant - just leave them out of the game.
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Good point about game balance.
Well, 1st ed managed to have assassins, piles of evil wizard and cleric spells, both imps and quasits to be your little winged minions, and did it quite neatly in three books with an equal or lesser page count.


They also gave Martial classes a whole page worth of options! Each!

Seriously, the only people who are really complaining about "missing stuff" are Clerics and Wizards. My Paladin, Fighter, and Ranger are hung up on all the awesome stuff they can do now. The Cleric in my campaign is glad that she doesn't need Excel to keep track of her character options any more.

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
held his heart in his hands, and ate of it.
I said, "is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"but I like it,
"beacuase it is bitter,
"and because it is my heart."

you know despite the crushing amounts of peer pressure and persecution, you do not have to switch over to 4ed.
there are many reasons to stay 3ed:
minion control
gestalt
old skill systems
spells
subsystems
sneak attack on any weapon
the lack of a moral obligation not to download books for free*


In fact the only two reasons I've seen to move on are "balance" and "every one else is doing it." And on the part of "balance," D20 modern fixed the wizard nuking every body's but problem and is full of all sorts of awesome. So I'm sticking with the awesome I know and won't worry about 4ed till I play test it at a convention.


*wizards is no longer printing and selling the old books, so they lose no money by you not buying old books, so the argument of why not to falls apart.
*wizards is no longer printing and selling the old books, so they lose no money by you not buying old books, so the argument of why not to falls apart.

Faulty assertion. They still hold copyright, publishing right, and distribution right. Unless something has been released to the public (i.e. Elder Scrolls: Arena) or entered the Public Domain it is still regulated by law. Contrary to popular belief vaporware and out of print books, just like bootlegs of songs performed only in concert, aren't free game, even if the owners don't have time, energy, resources, or interest in policing piracy of the product. Lastly 3e and 3.5 books are still available in stores, so are commercially available, thus Wizards still makes profit off the sale of old books.

Plus advocating piracy is against the CoC.

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
held his heart in his hands, and ate of it.
I said, "is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"but I like it,
"beacuase it is bitter,
"and because it is my heart."

you know despite the crushing amounts of peer pressure and persecution, you do not have to switch over to 4ed.
there are many reasons to stay 3ed:
minion control
gestalt
old skill systems
spells
subsystems
sneak attack on any weapon
the lack of a moral obligation not to download books for free*


In fact the only two reasons I've seen to move on are "balance" and "every one else is doing it." And on the part of "balance," D20 modern fixed the wizard nuking every body's but problem and is full of all sorts of awesome. So I'm sticking with the awesome I know and won't worry about 4ed till I play test it at a convention.


*wizards is no longer printing and selling the old books, so they lose no money by you not buying old books, so the argument of why not to falls apart.

Hey more power to you if you want to stick with 3e but you have given very weak reasons to stay (minions and spells were horrendous balance problems, skill systems basically forced you to either go three ways: just trained, trained enough to beat a static DC or keep it maxed, and you want to sneak attack using your huge maul I take it.

Also piracy is a nono, even getting the older editions is still pirating so it is you that holds no water in your argument
I agree with the post about a whole book dedicated to conversion to evil. 2e and 3e weren't really full supporters of it, just a nod at it. 4e flat out tells you if you want to you can, but it's unusual(in this world that you play as a PC). Also, it's rather easy to turn a wizard into a necromancer. Magic Missile becomes necrotic bolt, dealing necrotic damage instead of force. And all sorts of other similar flavor changes that take like 2 seconds to change.

They are slightly unbalanced(changing damage types does affect balance) but in the end, it won't be too hard to compensate for.

As far as undead goes... tell him necromancers don't have to have undead to be necromancers. They are masters of death and undeath, not just undead =)
Well if it feels that necrotic will be resisted by quite a few monsters why not reflavour the feat that reduced fire resistance down to 20 to reduce resist necrotic a certain ammount based on tier (5 for heroic, 10 for paragon and 20 for epic)
Here's a novel idea; just use 3.5 rules where 4.0 rules are vague, unsupportive or non-existant. Seriously, it doesn't screw up things that bad, honestly. Rules updates are really more for the serious-minded gamer (like the kind who hold competitions, and need a flawless set of rules).

On a barely related note, I do wish that they would loosen up some of the alignment restrictions on the undead. Like necromancers; to kill something to make a servant is pretty bad. But simply drawing upon the forces of magic to animate bones, the same as any other material isn't necissarily evil, like the 2e bone golems. Why need to draw upon the negative force of magic to Animate Dead? The positive can function in the same manner as negative magic for the sake of keeping undead consistant, but in lands like Faerun it's to be expected that there are wizards who can summon the undead as servants without having to commit themselves to evil or give into the lure of greater power gained by becoming merciless killers. Fire mages rarely become piromaniacs, unless they are intended as enemies, and the elemental nature of fire can be just as corrupting as death magic, if not more so, or even as a "gateway evil"! After all, to the medieval mind the act of dissection for study was totally a sin of the utmost degree and therefor an intensely evil profession, but the enlightened mind recognizes the need for human cadavers. Why not then, a good society that animates the recently deceased's bones for performing hazerdous tasks, while still giving the family the ashes of the flesh to mourn (as the society may only view the soft part of the body as pertaining to the person who has died). It certainly is a stretch for a lawful good society to form an army of the undead, but perhaps chaotic good or even neutral good individuals can operate freely in some of the less unsavory sides of necromancy without losing their alignment or reputation as a do-gooder when summoning housekeeper skeletons (a simple "clean the floor every sunset" will do). After all, being resurrected is a sin against the order of nature in the first place; this, in a way (if you go by a medieval mindset and not a culture-to-culture one), makes all lawful good churches mockeries of the alignment. I know that logic points to evil as being emo and Vader-y, but then again, Drow defy the elven stereotype. Why not make undead-related features more split by a spell-by-spell basis of alignment? In that way, a necromancer can work to balance life and death, or to spread evil without being instantly labelled as "evil" the same way a barbarian can be xenophobic or have wanderlust and not be instantly assumed to be a murderous, ingnorant brute by ALL NPC's (as the wanderlust doesn't fit the barbarian stereotype very well at all, except for PC's).

Finally, it's only piracy if they will pursue legal action if you were to inform them of what you have done (which means we aren't advocating piracy anymore than browsing D&D FAQ's would be if you don't actually own any books). I don't mean that you should try to get away with it, I mean that it's the same as putting versions of the old-4ss videogames that were new in, like, the early 80's on free online arcade sites, despite the original company still being around (like Nintendo). It's bad if you make money off of it, or prevent them from selling new versions of the game, but if it is something that is guarenteed to be a "meh, who cares. Even I forgot about that stupid thing. Now don't bother me, I've got 5.0 to write and miniatures to license for the trendy gamers to pay for" kind of thing, I encourage you to. I think that it's actually legal in certain parts of the U.S. and Canada to snag copies of out-of-print books if the retail value is below a certain point. Besides, there's enought people discussing these systems all the time that you never actually NEED a book anyway, so long as you get the gist of it.

However, I agree with LFK on the subject of the 3.0/3.5 books. Those are still being sold in many, many retail chains (who are having a hard time getting rid of them for the same reason). If you want them for almost nothing, do what I did and go onto amazon.com and wait for a store to sell an overstock, or for a gamer to switch over to 4e and pawn off all of their old books (sacrilage!). H3ll, ya might even save money that way when you factor in the price of printer ink. Besides, nothing beats the beauty of having your own 3.5e set. It's a status symbol, and commands respect among Our Kind as far as I'm concerned.
Oh for the love of God.

No more evil characters?! In the first 3 books, they put out a ritual to BECOME A LICH, a starting class that's an INFERNAL PACT WARLOCK, and the Lifestealer paragon path that is about EATING SOULS.

They didn't put a lot of stuff in the first three books because it was unbalancing, and they're trying to put a bit of thought into it. I'm getting ready for a 3E campaign and my gfs probably gonna play a dread necromancer, and I'm gonna play a screwed up aberrant druid... and going to LAUGH AND LAUGH at the fighter and monk.

They're not in 4E YET because they need to figure out a way to make fighters worthwhile still. Get a damn Animated Hydra or Fire Giant in 3E and you'll see why they're taking their sweet time getting to the necromancer.
Meh. If you're having trouble giving characters equal opportunity to be effective, you clearly are having troubles with your DM-not the edition. From Realm rules, to diverse plot twists, to digging up things from old editions (2e MM anyone?), a good DM should balance play to fit the needs of a party-not just using the prefab module or a pre-written "masterpiece" unaltered for the sake of using it. If there's a monster spellcaster, throw the PC's into a Faerunian deadzone, or if summoning is a problem then using an abundance of monster spellcasters who either steal your summon (DC + will save v.s. player's level + the CR of the summon + 10 oughta do it) or summon a b4d4ss monster to fight with (hence, melee classes become a must to nail the spellcaster while he's workin' his thang').
Even having enemies who CAN summon a horde of monsters to fight (by magic or by simple command), but for whatever reason (alignment restrictions?) offer the chance to fight fairly, without aid. Magic or sound triggered traps and space restrictions work well too. Fact is, only he of little wisdom (imagination is wisdom, right?) needs the rules to be balanced as far as classes go.

I'd understand if the spellcasting was outragous, like in 2e, but just balancing classes? Come on! Just allow the melee characters a monster race without level adjustment or give them a sw33t prestige class without as harsh prereqs' if they are really that bad...
if summoning is a problem then using an abundance of monster spellcasters who either steal your summon (DC + will save v.s. player's level + the CR of the summon + 10 oughta do it)

This is a 3.x mechanic. ALL of it. Will SAVES Summon CR's?

Part of it is a balance issue - part of it was a time issue, part of it was a PLAYER balance issue (spotlight stealer).

Your suggestions to just do: this or this or this or this CAN solve SOME of the problems with summoners, however are you going to include them in EVERY fight?

I find it interseting that there are complaints that there aren't explicit rules for evil summoning necromancers in the core handbook and yet suggestions for house rules or DM techniques to balance them out IF THEY WERE IN. Why not use that same creativity to reflavor the existing heroic cleric or wizard.

Seriously, look at the powers that any player gets - the only MECHANICALLY important part of the power is the: Attack, Hit, Effect and Sustain portions (and types, requirements and the like) NOT the fluff. Don't like your cleric calling forth a beaming radiant fire from heavenly diety's? The REFLAVOR the power yourself but keep it MECHANICALLY the same. Instead of radiant fiery wrath from teh heavens have it be undead and skeletal hands reaching from their graves to steal a bit of the targets soul. Hell, even make it an apparation that appears briefly in front of the enemy, attacks and then returns to intangibility or to the realm of the dead.

It seems to me, honestly, you are complaining at something that is entirely within your power to fix and instead of simply FIXING it using creativity and imagination you are spending your energy complaining that someone else hasn't already FIXED it for you.

Despite the pro and con marketing tactic debate that has gone on in the thread - it is irrelevant. The solution to your problem isn't more RULES but instead more creativity.

In case people haven't noticed when reading the "converting your character" series, wizards is very intent on providing MECHANICAL equivilences and suggesting FLAVOR adaptations to fit different "character Concepts"


But then again. I might be completely wrong too. /shrug
Too true. Want a Bard? Convince your DM to let you pick from the Warlord and Cleric power lists. Rename every power after pop songs, folk tunes, melodies, and hymns. Replace all instances of Holy Symbol with Musical Instrument. Enjoy.

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
held his heart in his hands, and ate of it.
I said, "is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"but I like it,
"beacuase it is bitter,
"and because it is my heart."

Wait. The Bard isn't in 4e?









...part of me just died.
Wait. The Bard isn't in 4e?

Not yet. Probably not until next March in the PHB II though I'm holding out hope that they'll release a class stub, like they've done with Swordmage and Artificer, before then.

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
held his heart in his hands, and ate of it.
I said, "is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"but I like it,
"beacuase it is bitter,
"and because it is my heart."

Ah, good. My faith in the post-Gygaxian D&D is restored.
Don't hold your breath; they also took away the charm and dominate spells, among many others. I'm not sure how useful a bard is without his mind control, unless you're happy being the party's cheerleader. Hopefully PHB2 will make 4e worth playing.
Ah, good. My faith in the post-Gygaxian D&D is restored.

Bah.... Bards always changed around, and it's not an Original D&D creation if one want to be picky.
The class offering also always varied. Nothing is vital beyond the Old Base Four...