20th level Necromancer: wtf?


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well white necromancer do not deal in negative engery there about healing and working with the dead or dieing.


Arkenbow wrote:
I think the deathless ability is appropriate whether the character is good or evil. Working with negative energy for that long is likely to have side effects, regardless of how you decide to use it.

What he said; it makes good thematic sense. A necromancer who does not want to become undead could dip into a prestige class instead.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
well white necromancer do not deal in negative engery there about healing and working with the dead or dieing.

No offence, that is not a necromancer. That is a cleric. Necromancers have always trafficed with the undead from their original representation and even in myths. A spellcaster that traffics in positive energy that does as you say is not a necromancer, it is a healer. The closest you can get to a "good" necromancer is one who uses his powers for a greater good or does not see death/undeath as a negative thing but instead something to be used for the good of society. In either case the necromancer should utilize negative energy though the ends to which he uses it shuld be determined by alignment.

Liberty's Edge

Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:

Not all necromancers WANT to be undead. Many of those who do would probably prefer something jazzier, like full lichdom.

Seriously, the 20th level necromancer power is just wrong. And not even wrong in an overpowered and awesome way.

Agreed.

Brennin wrote:
Arkenbow wrote:
I think the deathless ability is appropriate whether the character is good or evil. Working with negative energy for that long is likely to have side effects, regardless of how you decide to use it.
What he said; it makes good thematic sense. A necromancer who does not want to become undead could dip into a prestige class instead.

Actually, it should be the necromancer that wants to become undead that should take a prestige class. Base classes should be open to a more general approach, while prestige classes should exist for focusing on a more specialized (or, this case, an even more specialized) path.

I'm with Evil Midnight Lurker, not all necromancers are going to want to become undead so that's something that should be optional and not forced upon them or forced to multiclass to avoid it.


I think myth about dark voodoo also twists our idea of necromancer. Instead picture this.

As the raiders rode towards the village, grisly trophies hanging from their saddles they could see one old man standing before the gates of a simple wooden pallisade. Behind it old men, women and beardless boys cowered armed only with rusty tools and broken weapons.

The leader smirked to his men, 'this will be easier to break open than a drunk virgin.'

The greybeard in front of the gate hadn't moved as the raiders came closer.'GO BACK,' he shouted in a powerful voice.'We have no wish to harm you'.
The leader rode forward laughing. 'Who is this 'we' that you speak of? I only see cripples, boys and women who shall soon be ours anyway?'
'I beg you one last time, please turn from this course. Our guardians are unforgiving.'
The leader looked around nervously fearing an ambush but could see nothing. With a casual ease he stuck his knife into the old man.'Your guardians have failed you.'
As the blood gushed into the dirt the horses began to whinny nervously and try to back away. The stink of rot and death filled the air as the ground opened to let the bodies of dead villagers shamble forth. The leader hacked savagely but although he cut an arm free his attacker ignored it and reached out to him with fingers like skeletal daggers. A dozen hands pulled him from his saddle. The last thing he saw was an undead child staring into his before sinking her teeth into his throat...

From behind the pallisade the survivng townspeople watched on as the last of the raiders was pulled screaming beneath the soil.
'our ancestors have saved us once again. Bless them.' Quick run to the good father and get abandage on that wound.'

I think a necromancer could be a force for good as shown. It always depends on what you do with it.

Liberty's Edge

Time for me to chime in on this. I don't see Necromancy as inherently evil. Think about this, the various Cure Wounds are part of the Necromancy discipline of magic, and those channele Positive energy.

Here's another thought for some of you. In the campaign I'm currently playing in, the party's wizard is a Chaotic Neutral Necromancer with Necrophobia. Yes, this character is a practicioner of magic dealing with the very same thing he is afraid of. The player's reasoning behind this is the character sees the undead(Good and Evil alike) as abominations, and uses the power of Necromancy against them. He doesn't do it for the greater good, or to rid himself of an enemy, he just freakin' hates the dead. Its an awesome character concept... that is, when he actually uses magic; and not when he decides to pull out a longbow and accidentally shooting me instead of one of the ghouls we're trying to destroy.


Cato Novus wrote:
Time for me to chime in on this. I don't see Necromancy as inherently evil. Think about this, the various Cure Wounds are part of the Necromancy discipline of magic, and those channele Positive energy.

No they aren't. They are part of Conjuration.

Cure Light Wounds

Which, btw, I think is stupid. If Necromancy could return to the manipulation of Positive and Negative energies, I'd be a very happy person. So I'd like things to be as you describe them...I'm just pointing out that they aren't.

Liberty's Edge

Kain Darkwind wrote:
Cato Novus wrote:
Time for me to chime in on this. I don't see Necromancy as inherently evil. Think about this, the various Cure Wounds are part of the Necromancy discipline of magic, and those channele Positive energy.

No they aren't. They are part of Conjuration.

Cure Light Wounds

Which, btw, I think is stupid. If Necromancy could return to the manipulation of Positive and Negative energies, I'd be a very happy person. So I'd like things to be as you describe them...I'm just pointing out that they aren't.

That's odd. I seem to remember something that had Cure and Inflict spells as Necromancy, which makes a lot more sense to me.

Liberty's Edge

Cato Novus wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:
Cato Novus wrote:
Time for me to chime in on this. I don't see Necromancy as inherently evil. Think about this, the various Cure Wounds are part of the Necromancy discipline of magic, and those channele Positive energy.

No they aren't. They are part of Conjuration.

Cure Light Wounds

Which, btw, I think is stupid. If Necromancy could return to the manipulation of Positive and Negative energies, I'd be a very happy person. So I'd like things to be as you describe them...I'm just pointing out that they aren't.

That's odd. I seem to remember something that had Cure and Inflict spells as Necromancy, which makes a lot more sense to me.

Great, now I'm going crazy trying to figure out where I saw that, because its not in any of the books I have with me.


Cato Novus wrote:
Great, now I'm going crazy trying to figure out where I saw that, because its not in any of the books I have with me.

Something from 2e, maybe?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Pretty sure cure being necromancy is from 2e.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

I don't think a school of magic should have moral connotations.

That takes the morality and the decision of whether an act is moral or immoral away from the individual.

Making good magic or bad magic (white and black if you please) seems like something which would make the game inherently unfun. If morals aren't in question, then alignment is sort of a stupid video-gamey rule. I want the good necromancer to ask himself/herself how far is too far? There should be dilema, there should be conflict, but it should come from an individuals use of power not from the power itself.

The class powers of a necromancer shouldn't confine them to a moral choice, keep them in the wonderfully gray area of neutrality and let the players walk whatever lines they dare.


I'm happy enough to have Necromancy be about commanding the magic of life and death, but Conjuration did blur with Evocation in having a sideline in summoning instantaneous energy for various effects. If anything, it might Conjuration more useful for players.

Shadow Lodge

yellowdingo wrote:
I agree on that. The Necromancer has been assumed Evil with a focus on that path.

i totally agree ive always wanted to be a necromancer but there was always a paladin or a cleric that said they would kill him.

Why does everyone assume necromancers are evil?

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm a big fan of the Necromancers of any Alignment article in Dragon #298. It totally outlines the philosophies of any wizard focusing on negative energy spells and the undead. The PDF is nicely priced...


Dragonborn3 wrote:


i totally agree ive always wanted to be a necromancer but there was always a paladin or a cleric that said they would kill him.
Why does everyone assume necromancers are evil?

I'm actually playing a Necro with a completely academic point of view on necromancy (think of your average HP Lovecraft's character), and he has regular arcana talks with a cleric of Iomedae. These are some of the things they have discussed:

- The positive and negative energy planes are both part of creation. While raw negative energy harms and kills living things on contact, that doesn't make it any more evil than a flask of poison. It's not evil, but it is dangerous.

- There are differences between an animated dead and the undead. An animated dead is a corpse animated with power from the negative plane and given a fascimile of intellect, which makes it no different from a construct like a Golem in that both are the arcane equivalent to a puppet. Undead, on the other side, are souls trapped within the confines of the prime material plane for a variety of reasons related to the circumstances of their deaths.

- A spellcaster who animates the corpses on a battlefield to defend those still living isn't commiting an evil act, but his act will be frowned on by those cultures who revere the sanctity of the grave. While ordering an animated skeleton to kill you isn't any more evil than say, burning you to ashes with a Fireball or butchering you with a greataxe, a spellcaster that makes a regular habit of desecrating the graves of humanoids to get animated servants, however, is showing that something is wrong with him regarding respect for his -own- species. The intentional creation of undead, on the other side (wights, ghosts, etc), is an outright evil act as it implies trapping the soul of a living, sentient being -and- binding it to your will.

This necromancer likes to educate, and he likes those close to him to understand the things he does and the way they work. However, as you might have noticed already, I'm using the default cosmogony of the planes which dates back to 2E-3E (We still have to buy a lot of Pathfinder's sourcebooks), so I'm not sure whether Golarion presents any changes regarding the cosmogony of undead and the planes of existence (I hope not).

Silver Crusade

Can anyone tell me in what stories, histories, or societies that a necromancer is not evil? Trying to think....Undead are used in the Olman society (based on ancient aztecs) who also used ritual human sacrifice...is there a heroic necromancer? In movies undead only exist for one purpose to kill (resident evil series, george romero movies, reanimater movies). Come to think about it the only time undead are talked about being considered not evil is when we are talking about the human mosquitoes. I find that this not only affects necro wizards but sorcerers too and not just the undead bloodline. In my game you have to really strive to be exalted to not follow the energy that is course through them. Very few can pull off a Spawn, or Nick Knight (forever knight 90's vampire tv show) without sliding back to evil.

Grand Lodge

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Inherently, Necromancy is like any other school. Its a means to an end using magic.

Asking if Necromancy is evil is like asking if Evocation, Illusion, or even Divination is evil. The schools themselves are not. Its the practitioner.

This is true for any magic, be it in a game or from cultures in our ancient past. Its all about the will focusing the magic, and not the magic itself.

The summoning of spirits is not evil. Divination can be said to summon spirits, but they arent seen. Evocation can be said to use a spirits' energy to mix with the tangible world and create destructive results; the more powerful (or number of) spirits, the bigger the devestation.

Controlling undead is not necessarily an evil thing either. If you summon zombies to do the house and yard work, how is that evil? All you have done is bring animation to a souless shell of a body.

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