Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

RPG Superstar 2015

Make me a Necromancer


Advice


I'd like to build a necromancer villain.
I'm looking for a undead army leader (okay maybe a big band) perhaps CR 8-10.
Skeletons and zombies, without immunity to crits are not very powerful and limit this villain type unless I pepper some heavy hitters like Vampires. (And I don't want this to be Ravenloft; more like mass undead combat.)
And I want him built within the rules for PC.

The best I could come up with is a charisma-heavy Sorcerer with craft wand and 'Undead master' feat. This way he could have a Skeleton warrior cohort and a plethora of low-level Wizards who could run around the country side looting cemeteries and controlling/capturing undead stocked in carts. (Picture the robot troop carriers from Star Wars.)
He would equip them with either command undead wands or hide from undead rings so they can threaten and release undead on commoners.

Any suggestion of class, feats I should use for a leader of undead armies? Item suggestions are welcomed but mostly it's about a NPC built I am looking for.

Thanks


Undead Lord is another necromancer type build you could use.

Skeleton Summoner has never looked all that useful to me, but it would match the necromancer villain.

There's probably some shenanigans he could do with the Leadership feat.


Just post in this thread.


I like Undead Lord, but the only thing it adds is a Skeleton companion. Just the leadership feat itself could give access to a slew of (sentient) undead companion. (Not too much of a twist on the feat for this situation IMHO).

To be more precise; how can I, within the rules, have a arcane caster lead as much undead as possible. Preferably skeletons & ZOmbies.

Ryinjin: this seems to be a thread on asking for a lite Pathfinder book. ...don't get it. :/


Payne Mykonos wrote:
Rynjin: this seems to be a thread on asking for a lite Pathfinder book. ...don't get it. :/

It was a joke (admittedly kinda a bad one).

A thread that old with the most recent post being from 3 years ago is considered "dead".

If you posted now you would be "resurrecting" it.

Hence, Payne Mykonos, Forum Necromancer!


Rynjin wrote:
Payne Mykonos wrote:
Rynjin: this seems to be a thread on asking for a lite Pathfinder book. ...don't get it. :/

It was a joke (admittedly kinda a bad one).

A thread that old with the most recent post being from 3 years ago is considered "dead".

If you posted now you would be "resurrecting" it.

Hence, Payne Mykonos, Forum Necromancer!

Wow... just wow. That was a good laugh.

Payne Mykonos wrote:

I like Undead Lord, but the only thing it adds is a Skeleton companion.{/quote]

Not quite. The companion is a minor little bonus. The bigger stuff is the bonus healing to undead and the fact that the Undead Lord can heal itself with channeled negative energy. If you have the quick channel feat, you can heal undead and yourself (or damage living enemies while healing yourself) as a move action. If you allow 3rd party stuff, throw the maximize channel feat in there for a lot of nasty fun.

Also, as a cleric, the Undead Lord can throw unhallow and desecrate around to pump up his undead minions. Don't pay so much attention to the undead companion, it will distract you from the real bonuses :P.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

ha!, yeah thread necromancy. I know.

Any suggestion on how to increase the # of undead controlled by a caster?


Increased caster level will increase the max number of undead you control (at least for the animate dead spell).

This thread is discussing ways to increase caster level.


Payne Mykonos wrote:

ha!, yeah thread necromancy. I know.

Any suggestion on how to increase the # of undead controlled by a caster?

The leader doesn't need to control all of the undead himself...haven't seen good rules for such a build. She could be the master of a few intelligent undead, who would then control the lesser undead. You could also have a few living followers to do the same. The undead horde pyramid.


Make you a Necromancer?
Ok.
To start, kidnap a virgin. Make sure its real! Lay it out on a table, skin the top off. Drain the blood. Add a pinch of mummy wrapping to thinken. Boil over light heat for about 2 hours, while skimming off the creamy bile that rises to the top. Remove from heat while stirring. Let cool. Drink your elixer with a side of crackers.
Now that thats out of the way, take the body and chant your unholy rituals from Necromancy for dummies. You bought the book right?

Star Voter 2013

Payne Mykonos wrote:

ha!, yeah thread necromancy. I know.

Any suggestion on how to increase the # of undead controlled by a caster?

I do not know for sure, but maybe an undead Lord/ Necromancer /mystic theurge coudl do the trick. Choose that trait that give +2(wizard) caster level, and that feat that gives +3(cleric) and +1(wizard) caster levels, and you could have a character that command undeads with his divne magic and the same number of undeads with his arcane magic.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Tar-Tar
True; bolstered undead give more 'humph' to the troops and increase challenge. They can also be kept close the the main guy so to make a nice surprise at the end.
Good point.
I wonder about other way to protect them from clerics. I plan to trick the cleric into wasting his burst onto skeleton enchanted with "animate object".

Increasing the Necromancer's level unfortunately means 2 problems;
1-Skeletons, even bolstered, are no longer a threat.
2-Access to badder undead (ghouls, vampires etc) and I want to use as few as possible. I want mass combat with traditional undead.

Jaxtile
Tried it; didn't work. Can't talk about it. Court case pending.

Nicos
Where are those traits listed?
Can I get an official ruling that casting a divine spell and a arcane spell would stack?

O.O
How could I have been so blind???
This rocks!


Well you can still do hordes of traditional undead with the method suggested by hwkies.

Summon some powerful undead "generals" and then give them control of the lesser minions.

Because I believe you can raise as many as you want, it's just personally controlling them all would be a hassle.


So, say Cleric 5 Sorcerer 8 (ouch, my CR)
Undead master (Sor +4Lvl for max total undead HD)

10+24=34Hd of Skeletons (meh!)

Leadership Feat (assume max Lead score, say 16 due to ability bonus items)
Say..
1 Awakened Skeleton, Lvl10 Fighter
1 Necromancer* Lvl3 (1 skeleton companion, +1 skeleton commanded by item)
2 Necromancer* Lvl2 (1 skeleton companion, +1 skeleton commanded by item)
25 Skeletons

* Using "animate undead" scrolls & Hide from undead they could travel with 24 additional skeletons each (free-willed).

So potentially I can reasonably generate 122HD worth of skeletons.
not too shabby.

Rynjin
I was planning to have my head Necromancer animate back ups in his dungeon. When the first bunches get killed...open the gates.
Heck; he could also become invisible to them and only keep the controlled ones near him.

Star Voter 2013

Payne Mykonos wrote:


Nicos
Where are those traits listed?
Can I get an official ruling that casting a divine spell and a arcane spell would stack?

O.O
How could I have been so blind???
This rocks!

The trait is

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/traits/magic-traits/magical-knack

the feat i am not really sure what is its name, i thnk it is in the magic of the inner sea, and it is not a normal feat. i think it has campaing restrictions but i suppose you as the Dm could just houserule it. Sorry for not habing the complete informtion.

Now, I do not think you can stack the arcane and the divine levels, I think they would work separated. You could not have stronger undeads but ou could have more and more undeads, but again I am not sure.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Try Araonna Chorster on for size. She's a 15th-level human death oracle that leads an army of non-evil undead, including a purple worm zombie that functions as a makeshift "ground-craft carrier."

Feel free to modify her to taste. Also, be sure to check out my Crazy Character Emporium for other inspiring characters.


Sounds fun Mykonos.

I was planning on my next char being an Alchemist, but maybe this would be good...

Though maybe a Reanimator Alchemist + Undead Lord Cleric?

Though an Undead Bloodline Sorcerer + Undead Lord would be very cool and thematic. Is that what you're doing, I assume?

Dark Archive

I think he is refering to the esoteric training feat which is only attainable as part of a magical organisation it would be considered generally unavailable.

Inner Sea Magic Excerpt: Due to your membership in a spellcasting guild (and Fame score of 35) you gain a +3 bonus to your caster level with one spellcasting class of your choice and a +1 bonus to your caster level with another spellcasting class (up to a maximum of your character level). These bonuses grant you additional spells known and spells per day for your modified caster level.


Ravingdork
An Oracle hm? Interesting.

Rynjin
Glad you like it; I wanted to start a back-to-basic campaign with simple stuff. It seems a undead general is NOT a rules-friendly concept. (Sure, as NPC the GM can cook anything, but I like to be fair.)

A couple of things I plan;
-Immersed corridors with undead pulling PCs under. (Gotta love all their nice immunities. Poison gas room is nice too.)
-Diseased Zombies, Skeleton rogue hidden among normal skeleton (surprises)
-Animated objects on corpses to drain the cleric, and Wiz damage poison/curses etc

Caderyn
If I can find this; i'm in business

edit I would gain +8hd of undead .

Star Voter 2013

Caderyn wrote:

I think he is refering to the esoteric training feat which is only attainable as part of a magical organisation it would be considered generally unavailable.

Inner Sea Magic Excerpt: Due to your membership in a spellcasting guild (and Fame score of 35) you gain a +3 bonus to your caster level with one spellcasting class of your choice and a +1 bonus to your caster level with another spellcasting class (up to a maximum of your character level). These bonuses grant you additional spells known and spells per day for your modified caster level.

yes, I wa talking about that feat. Is not acommon feat and is usually unavaliable but the DM coud just use it.

Sczarni

Technically there's no limit to how many undead you can create-- you just have a cap on how many you can directly control. Once you exceed the cap, the older undead become uncontrolled and wander. However, the Command Undead feat could be used to temporarily reassert authority over them if need be.

It sounds like you've actually got a lot more leeway than you think. For a hallway full of immersed skeletons, the necromancer could just lead all her controlled undead into the hallway and then forget about them. As long as the hall they're in is locked from the outside, she shouldnt' have to care that she no longer controls them.

Your animated object skeletons won't count against your limit either.

From what I'm seeing, your best options are a cleric or wizard (for Command Undead). Take Leadership and get a sentient undead cohort who is also a necromancer to build up your pyramid.

Also, if you've got your heart set on intelligent undead, remember-- your NPC doesn't have to directly control an undead who is smart enough to willingly ally itself with her. There's no caster level cap on how many vampires, ghouls, or liches your character can persuade to help her, now is there?


Payne Mykonos wrote:

I'd like to build a necromancer villain.

I'm looking for a undead army leader (okay maybe a big band) perhaps CR 8-10.
Skeletons and zombies, without immunity to crits are not very powerful and limit this villain type unless I pepper some heavy hitters like Vampires. (And I don't want this to be Ravenloft; more like mass undead combat.)
And I want him built within the rules for PC.

The best I could come up with is a charisma-heavy Sorcerer with craft wand and 'Undead master' feat. This way he could have a Skeleton warrior cohort and a plethora of low-level Wizards who could run around the country side looting cemeteries and controlling/capturing undead stocked in carts. (Picture the robot troop carriers from Star Wars.)
He would equip them with either command undead wands or hide from undead rings so they can threaten and release undead on commoners.

Any suggestion of class, feats I should use for a leader of undead armies? Item suggestions are welcomed but mostly it's about a NPC built I am looking for.

Thanks

Mystic Theurge is the premiere necromancer in terms of quantity of undead. They have two rapidly expanding caster levels and assuming core classes can cast animate dead on both sides, benefit equally from Ioun Stones and traits that increase effective caster levels, and so forth.

A Wizard 7 / Cleric 3 / Mystic Theurge 10 has a caster level of 17 and 13, or a total of 30. Undead Master applies +4 caster level on both sides, giving an effective combined caster level for purposes of HD controlled of 38. An ioun stone that grants +1 caster level brings you to 40 caster levels at 4 HD / caster level. Leadership can grant you a cohort who likewise can govern undead, and you can use the monsters as PCs rules to determine the effective level of your cohort should you wish to have an undead cohort (such as a vampire).

The mystic theurge route is probably best because anything you can find to improve your caster level concerning animate dead generally applies to both sides of the coin.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Don't forget using Spell Specialization and Spell Perfection to double up on a lot of the bonuses.


If it doesn't need to come from official source I would suggest this conversion of Dread Necromancer.

I am using that in PBP here that is about to start. Few changes were made that the creator missed. Fortification is changed to Resist 5 Cold and lightning. Cure minor wounds off since cure spells have no place in the class. Greater harm away, and take Harm mass from death mage.(3rd party class.) Vile death changed to XP cost to gold, since PF went away with those.

That being said because of the 8th level class ability you get to add your charisma modifier on Animate dead (4+cha/lvl) and command undead (2+ch/lvl) so you can get real nice. Let's say a modifier of 5 including magic item. Spell specilization for +2CL on Animate dead. Varisian tattoo(Necromancy) for +1CL. Undead master for +4CL on Animate dead and +4 Levels on comman undead(feat) and double duration on the spell of the same name. So on Animate dead you get 9x15=135HD, command undead(spell) 7x9=63HD command undead(feat)8+4=12HD. Personally I would not take the feat because of how misarable amount 12HD and opt for selective channeling instead(bonus feat).

In the end Assuming 20 cha and level 8 you have the potential for 198HD or 210HD worth of undead.

But we can still get undead leadership from Libris mortis in 3.5 (+2 to leadership score with undead and -4 penalty on living.) That would net you 20 1HD and 2 2HD and 1 3-4HD Skeletons/Zombies. And 10th level equilevant cohort but because the char is 8th level the maxium is 6th so any undead CR 5 should work. The cohort also works nice with Master's Champion ability.

So if that is an option the end result is 28HD+Cohort more.

Of coarse this does require for one to be human to get all the feats by level 8.


You should check out the True Necromancer Prestige Class found in the 3.5 book Liberis Mortis. It's seriously boss.


I wonder if a feats & items that boosts effective level for undead control would apply to 2 classes at the same time or I would need to take the feat/item twice? IMO I would allow it.

EDIT: My math-fu is bad. Correction.
Cleric 5 Sorcerer 8 (ouch, my CR)
Undead master (Cle & Sor +4Lvl HD)

21x4HD= 84HD (better)
New total= 172HD

Silent Saturn
I plan to make a keep full of buffer zones with undead for sure.
Maybe letting some free undead roam the country side to spread fear (and encounters).
But I also need agents (Necromancers) with well-controlled units/troops alongside them to impose order (and taxes in the form of onyx gems hehe).

Friendly sentient undead is very attractive, and makes for good roleplaying. (Maybe they can be persuaded to abandon the NPC. They may plot against him or want to make him an undead under their control. Perhaps they don't get along. etc)
They tend to be powerful however and I mainly want to see HOW big of a legion can be built with the lowest level possible

Ashiel
Mystic theurge is good. I forgot about him. Although it reminds me I wish I could really make a good, full arcane necromancer. :(

Ravingdork: Spell Specialization is nice thanks. But not may metamagic feat can be applied to animate dead. (unless actually *rolling* HD for every undead :p hugh!) What interesting metamagic would you apply to 'animate dead' for Spell Perfection?

Luna
I remember that guy from the 3.0 splat book. It inspired me to make a very interesting, yet balanced, prestige class. The necromancer slowly being imbued with negative energy, gaining undead immunities and eventually becoming undead.
Not a Lich, with all the tropes, just undead.


Payne Mykonos wrote:


Luna
I remember that guy from the 3.0 splat book. It inspired me to make a very interesting, yet balanced, prestige class. The necromancer slowly being imbued with negative energy, gaining undead immunities and eventually becoming undead.
Not a Lich, with all the tropes, just undead.

You're thinking of the Dread Necromancer from Heroes of Horror. I'm talking about the True Necromancer PrC on page 51 of the book Liberis Mortis. It's basically Mystic Thurge, but with AWESOME necromancy boosts...for 3.5 that is. In fact, it looks a lot like the MT from PF. I remember reading it and wondering "Why does the MT suck when they made this thing?" There was a picture of some chick almost french kissing the upper half of a zombie... O.o No, I'm not lying.


ha this one
http://www.freewebs.com/bensewahsulixtreme/True%20Necromancer.jpg

I was thinking of this one from Tome and Blood:
http://www.worldofazolin.com/wiki/images/thumb/e/e9/Truenecromancer2.jpg/18 0px-Truenecromancer2.jpg

Star Voter 2013

We kind of half-assed theory crafted an Undead Controller in the Praise Ashiel thread here. The theory craft was for a CR 20 Controller though, but some of the same things apply.

For instance, a Necromancer Wizard 3/Undead Lord Cleric 3/Mystic Theurge 4/Graveknight can control quite a few Undead for CR 11.

As a Wizard, he can control 3 HD of Undead for simply being a Necromancer Wizard. He can control 3 for being a Cleric as well.

Casting Animate Dead as a Cleric allows him to control 21 HD of Undead, while he'll also be able to control a further 21 HD of Undead for casting as a Wizard.

So far, he's at 48 HD of Undead.

As a Graveknight, he can control 5 HD of Undead per HD of the base creature. In this case, 50 HD for being a 10 HD caster.

You can control a total of 98 HD of Undead, just for having your levels and the template. Tossing on the Undead Master Feat, or increasing your caster level through various methods will only push you over the 100 HD mark with ease.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Since you are the GM (after all you are creating the villain... :)
Then tap Libris Mortis for the Corpsecrafter Feats, stronger, tougher undead horde that explode when slain... :)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am a big fan of the oracle of bones, although Ashiel makes a good argument for mystic theurge. My oracle of bones in PFS benefits greatly from knowing every inflict spell, which means he has a way of damaging enemies and healing any minion he might have. He can also heal himself because he's a dhampir, although there's also a revelation that causes you to gain the ability to heal yourself with inflict spells anyway.

The oracle is going to be the best at taking control of other people's undead because he's going to comparatively have the highest charisma of any necromancer. His Command Undead feat, therefore, is his greatest strength. That and a large number of animate dead casts per day.


I have not considered also all the boosts I can give to undead (desecrate, corpse craft etc). Thanks for reminding me some class also boost the vanilla skeleton. The variant cleric with a skeleton companion is also good.
I want to remain classic and go *lightly* with the ghouls, mummy and vampires addition, if at all.

Any level 1-5 spells suggestion to boost undead?

I may have to make him take over a onyx gem mine to ignore cost. hah!

Mergy
I wanted to use a Sorcerer because of high CH (& Leadership) but a Oracle would get 'animate dead' faster I guess.
Damn that slow spell gain progression...


[You asked for it with the thread title, so...]

POOF! You're a Necromancer!

>wipes tears from eyes, chuckling<

Ah, no...

Really, I like the Oracle of Bones for a necromancer; their Revelations are the stuff of dead magic.


Alitan wrote:

[You asked for it with the thread title, so...]

POOF! You're a Necromancer!

>wipes tears from eyes, chuckling<

Ah, no...

Really, I like the Oracle of Bones for a necromancer; their Revelations are the stuff of dead magic.

Not to mention you could pick up Eldritch Heritage (Undead) for flavor and the minor abilities if you're not feat starved.

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Advice / Make me a Necromancer All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.