[Wizard: Necromancer abilities] Playtest gripes by player


Classes: Sorcerer and Wizard

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Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My last post not withstanding, that takes us back to the Necromancers powers. They need to enhance the Necromancer without judging what the Necromancer is doing. Things that add to undead do unbalance the class. I very much like giving them a version (or just giving them a copy of) Channel Energy. I don't know that I like them to have the power to heal living and harm unliving the way the cleric does. I would be afraid that they would become another cleric. If you are going to play wizard then take good necromancy so you can heal us.

They must have some form or control/repell though. Without it the true path to ultimate necromancy will be the Cleric. (As it has been for a long time)


What about instead of an undead animal companion, give the ability to enchant a single item into an intelligent item?(btw creating intelligent items needs an overhaul). This would provide a life/death link for the class.


I'm not wild about animal companions or golemlike animated sticks.

I'd like to see the specialist power to be a constant invisibility to undead effect, like the spell. A Horde of minions seems like one path a necromancer could take rather than defining to class

I'd like the first level power made more useful. A cold hand doesn't cut it for me. Rather than buffing it by making it ranged why not convert it into a minor negative energy channeling. Change the damage from cold to negative, (and make it unusable on yourself if you happen to be undead) and have undead hit with it need to make a will save to avoid being controlled by you. The DC of this could be is equal to 10 + 1/2 your Necromancer level + your Charisma modifier. It keeps the feel more than a frost ray would while still becoming useful.

I think this leaves room for necromancers to have any alignment. A good necromancer could delude himself into thinking he is declawing undead while not destroying them, or could decide to use them in the battle for good.

Silver Crusade

Just want to add my opinion about good Necromancers. NO Please!Why does everything have to be open to everyone? What is wrong with mecromancy being an evil act (At least commanding and summoning undead)? I like options, but I also like restriction. They enforce arche type, and they can cause people to step out of thier practised role into something different. No body is willing to adjust to play what they want, instead they think the rules should change to accomidate everyone. I guess it is a pet peeve of mine, but I say if you want to play a wizard that dabble in dead thing (summoning undead, commanding them) then pu an E on your sheet and deal with it. Learn how to play that way. If you friend kills you, now you know why necromancers are so bitter and power hungry.


While I think there is some room for "good" necromancers - in the real world, these are "mediums" and other "speakers of (for? with?) the dead," and probably most similar to diviners in terms of what they do for a party - I'm not on board with going back to defining necromancy as somehow linked to the creation or manipulation of life energy. The prefix "necro" means DEATH, and that's what its "mancers" ought to be students of. If you want someone who studies life energy, there was some old dragon magazine article or other on "vivimancers." (Though keeping the "life" side of things in the hands of clerics and druids makes more sense to me.) The necromancer meddles with death - whether this is the person who speaks with spirits, honors the dead and plays by the rules, or the next would-be-Nagash-from-Warhammer-World, is a matter of taste, I suppose.

(And as far as nonevil undead companions, one of the best character ideas I ever saw was a guy in GURPS: Voodoo who was accompanied by the ghost of his murdered friend. A full-on ghost may be too much for a 1st level PC's undead companion, but some sort of low-level poltergeist - like an unseen servant or something, with room to grow - might fit the bill, no?)

Silver Crusade

plungingforward2 wrote:

While I think there is some room for "good" necromancers - in the real world, these are "mediums" and other "speakers of (for? with?) the dead," and probably most similar to diviners in terms of what they do for a party - I'm not on board with going back to defining necromancy as somehow linked to the creation or manipulation of life energy. The prefix "necro" means DEATH, and that's what its "mancers" ought to be students of. If you want someone who studies life energy, there was some old dragon magazine article or other on "vivimancers." (Though keeping the "life" side of things in the hands of clerics and druids makes more sense to me.) The necromancer meddles with death - whether this is the person who speaks with spirits, honors the dead and plays by the rules, or the next would-be-Nagash-from-Warhammer-World, is a matter of taste, I suppose.

(And as far as nonevil undead companions, one of the best character ideas I ever saw was a guy in GURPS: Voodoo who was accompanied by the ghost of his murdered friend. A full-on ghost may be too much for a 1st level PC's undead companion, but some sort of low-level poltergeist - like an unseen servant or something, with room to grow - might fit the bill, no?)

That is a great idea, and something I would see as being a DM Exception, perfect for the few characters that come up with a creative RP way to do something. And it still keeps them away from doing the whole summoning and commanding thing.


noretoc wrote:
... something I would see as being a DM Exception...

Yes indeed. In order to keep the Pathfinder book less than a bajillion pages, it's pretty much a given that not every little suggestion is going to be in there. My favorite part of d20 is how easy it is to pull apart class features and reassemble (or reinvent) them to get the character your player wants to play.

EDIT: That said, I AM on board with noretoc's implication that if you want to animate and control legions of undead, why not just be evil? You might be able to work with the power of death and remain good, but you certainly shouldn't be able to trifle with or seek to command it outright. A "good" necromancer wouldn't animate a corpse to sweep his floor, much less order it to fight for him.


Something else any chance we can get the nerco rules from the last kobold mag, as core. Ross did a killer job there

Dark Archive

plungingforward2 wrote:
(And as far as nonevil undead companions, one of the best character ideas I ever saw was a guy in GURPS: Voodoo who was accompanied by the ghost of his murdered friend. A full-on ghost may be too much for a 1st level PC's undead companion, but some sort of low-level poltergeist - like an unseen servant or something, with room to grow - might fit the bill, no?)

That's the concept behind Brother Voodoo (otherwise lame Marvel superhero). The ghost of his murdered brother travels with him and can go out and scout around, manipulate some stuff, etc. as well as move more fully into his body and 'lend his strength' to his living brother, basically giving him doubled strength for a short time.

In D&D terms, he's got a 'ghost familiar' that he can use to cast Bull's Strength on himself, or as an Unseen Servant, or just as the most awesome invisible incorporeal fully-intelligent spy / scout.

Liberty's Edge

seekerofshadowlight wrote:
KnightErrantJR wrote:


Stuff

How I was thinking was useing the shadow as the base, that fits easy enough as other classes have this feature. On days he loose his ablity would not matter if it moved up to the 8th level slot.

In Frostburn there is a template for a Spirit Animal (+1 cr)that could be tacked on (although I am now looking at the book and nowhere is the OGL :( ) at a higher level. Or at least something along that line.

I too would like to see the Necromancy school have powers that could be used on both sides of the boneyard, and blame the bad necro rep on the few who use them for the Dark side. They are not subtle and would ruin it for the rest of us. Is it SOOOO wrong to want to know just how the spark of life works? I ask you, is it really immoral if you remove it, scientifically of course, from someone when you know you can return it later? What harm is there if it is all for the greater good? A great stride in the name of Science?

*ahem* Will slink off to my lab now. Sorry.


I know that reversable spells have disappeared, but allow the necromancer to use his animate/create spells to destroy. Thus the necromancer becomes undead hunter, using his knowledge of the dead to locate and his magical ability to trap, immobilize or destroy undead. A few more spells in the school list for this theme would help. By making those spells reversable you lose the evil tag.

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orcface999 wrote:
I know that reversable spells have disappeared, but allow the necromancer to use his animate/create spells to destroy.

Sort of a '23rd trimester counterspell' option, where a Wizard who knows Animate Dead could 'counterspell' already-created zombies or skeletons if he beats their creators in a caster level check, expending the spell and 'uncreating' the undead?

That would be cool.

For that matter, applying that sort of option, to counterspell something that's already been cast, could be neat for all sorts of effects, from using a Wall of Iron spell to 'counterspell' a Wall of Iron blocking your way (expending the spell to attempt to unravel the other casters spell) or expending a Hold Person to attempt to disrupt a Hold Person on an ally...


I miss the good ol' days (advanced and 2nd ed) when Healing Spells where in the Necromancy school, where they belonged truthfully. After all healing is bring dead parts back to life just like making a corpse dance is (only better of course, from the living's perspective).

Beyond that:

I would like to see more of a "manipulation of life energy" approach to the school of necromancy. Some of the low level spells are great examples of this:
Ray of Enfeeblement, Chill Touch, Spectral hand,

But they just seem to peter out, or go straight evil fairly quickly. I'm not saying some types of necromancy shouldn't be evil but not all of them are.

As I pointed out eariler healing is just advanced necromancy really, and healing isn't evil is it? ;D

Dark Archive

Abraham spalding wrote:
As I pointed out eariler healing is just advanced necromancy really, and healing isn't evil is it? ;D

Of course it is. You are defying the natural order by pulling energy from another dimension to cause flesh and blood and bone to flop around unnaturally and seal itself up in a disgusting mimicry of natural processes of living cellular regeneration. It's gross and unnatural. Literally, unnatural, as in not-of-nature, not just 'icky' and morally dubious.

If animating and manipulating flesh, blood and bone with pure neutral not-even-a-little-bit-evil Negative Energy is bad, then animated and manipulating flesh and blood and bone with pure neutral non-even-a-little-bit-*good* Positive Energy is just as wrong.

Or it would be, if there was any consistency to the 3.5 decision to make mindless things malevolent and a pure neutral energy that is dark in color into a corruptive non-good taint, while a pure neutral energy that is shiny in color remains neutral and usable to do good without fear of going to a *completely unrelated* lower plane...

Or, to borrow a phrase, "It's because I'm black, isn't it?"


Here's a list of Necromancy school spells in the Arcane list that are considered Evil:

Animate Dead (Create Undead, Create Greater Undead)
Contagion
Symbol of Pain
Eyebite

I've tried, and there's no logical reason why I can find that these particular spells are considered Evil, while others are not.

It's not because of use of Negative Energy: Enervation isn't an Evil spell, and it's literally a "a black ray of crackling negative energy that suppresses the life force". How much more "using negative energy" can you get?
Note: The Plane of NEGATIVE ENERGY is NOT tagged with an alignment, making it a Neutral area. (Yeah, yeah, you can say "the act of using" negative energy would be evil, but... Enervation).

It's not because it's causing pain or suffering. Horrid Wilting sucks the water right out of you.. are you going to say that isn't painful? How about a FIREBALL. How about DEATH (Symbol of Death isn't considered Evil).

It's not because you are dealing with flesh and bringing it to life. Clone isn't evil, and you literally transfer the soul into the new flesh and it becomes your new body.

It's not because you interfere with the soul in the afterlife somehow. Beyond the fact that most of those spells don't even touch the soul (only the undead creation ones could be considered touching a soul in any way), Soul Bind literally prevents you from going to the afterlife and being resurrected, etc... and it's not considered Evil. Magic Jar either and it's manipulating souls in a double-whammy.

It's not because it's only function is to cause pain and not kill. Besides the morality issue with "killing is better than using pain to stop someone" (Symbol of Pain could be a D&D version of a Tazer in my books), all of the Fatigue and Fear inducing spells aren't considered Evil. Beating someone in the head until they fall unconscious (non lethal damage) isn't considered Evil.

I can't seem to make rhyme or reason as to why certain spells are specifically considered evil while others are not. I could maybe buy the whole "slavery is Evil, so enslaving a dead body is evil" line, except that begs the question... what about speak with dead and getting permission from the deadee? Or just a "Death Pact" spell that contacts the "owner" of the dead body and asks permission?

.

If we look into Cleric spells, we get even more ridiculous.

Deathwatch is Evil. The spell that lets you see how close to death people are. I have to go out of my way to try and find Evil reasons for using this spell (maybe so you can tell who to cast a particular undead ability that causes them to turn into something if they die from it, or something).
The more practical application is know who needs to be healed without needing direct communication!. How is this not a staple Healerbot spell, and rather an evil one?

And as far as I can tell, it's entirely due to the fluff description of "using the foul sight granted from the powers of unlife". What? Where is the precedence for this? The Undead type doesn't mention anything about seeing "levels of health". The only vision they get as a standard is Darkvision. In fact, I can't find a single undead that gets this in any form other than being a caster, which is thus by virtue of class levels, not "unlife".

So a bogus description cuts off a fairly useful spell that I can't see any Good cleric saying no to?

.

In fact, the only other spells that have Evil are specifically mentioning "Unholy". A spell granted by some Evil force? Now THAT makes sense to be Evil.

Oh wait... Nightmare from the Illusion spells. Yet another "fatigue" plus damage one. Why? Damage spells aren't evil. Fatigue spells aren't evil. So what's evil about giving someone a Nightmare? Because it's "mean"? And slamming him in the head with your mace, or blowing him up from the inside (Implosion) isn't mean?

.

If there's ever a sacred cow that needs to be run through the Rasputin punishment, it's "But... this spell is eeeeeeeeevil!".

Spells are like Guns. You can use them for good or bad intentions and effects.
With the small exception of the spells that are intrinsically tied to alignment (some alignment spells or spells specifically tied to holiness/unholiness).


Symbol of pain and the contagion I can understand... they cause undue suffering for the simple point of causing suffering (yes you may win a fight becuase your opponent was diseased... if you give it enough time to fully incubate! why not just curse them and be done with it?)

Animate Dead I can also understand as a form of rape.. therefore evil (if I have to explain why rape is evil, just leave).

The rest have been an issue that has never really made sense to me. We ignore, (purposefully) the supposed evil discriptor on deathwatch, for the same reason you mention.

I believe the healing spells where moved out of necromancy going into 3.x becuase WotC was worried that someone would grab it and make a PR problem out of it (you know, like the myth that someone your pastor knows knows someone in the community next to yours that had someone commit sucide becuase his favorite character died ::eyeroll::).


If rape is non-consensual sex, then what would it mean if you Speak with Dead and getting consent before doing Animate Dead?


With consent before animating, via speak with dead (which again allows a save throw if they are of different alignment, meaning it too is a form of attack ::eyeroll::) I guess it's fine.

However I have a hard time seeing anyone giving consent to being animated.

I know of only one case were I had something like this happen. My party animated the rogue when she died, because we didn't have ressurection magic on us. After animating her we trouped her back to the temple (under some gentle repose spells) then we dismissed the animation spell, and had the temple raise her.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

I think the Universalist school needs some work, but this is not the thread for it. Instead, we should be looking at the necromancy school, which also could use a bit of work. I am thinking about changing this one to grant you an undead companion, that would tie into the animal companion rules, but I am not set on this yet.

Thoughts?

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

I've certainly heard worse ideas, but I'd really like the dedicated

wizard necromancer to no longer suffer in comparison to the evil
cleric who happens to dabble in necromancy.

Thus, I'd like necromancers to have cleric-style undead control.
You can thus have your skeletal army if that's your thing, or
you can have one or two badass minions if that works better.


Jon S wrote:

I'm not wild about animal companions or golemlike animated sticks.

I'd like to see the specialist power to be a constant invisibility to undead effect, like the spell. A Horde of minions seems like one path a necromancer could take rather than defining to class

I'd like the first level power made more useful. A cold hand doesn't cut it for me. Rather than buffing it by making it ranged why not convert it into a minor negative energy channeling. Change the damage from cold to negative, (and make it unusable on yourself if you happen to be undead) and have undead hit with it need to make a will save to avoid being controlled by you. The DC of this could be is equal to 10 + 1/2 your Necromancer level + your Charisma modifier. It keeps the feel more than a frost ray would while still becoming useful.

I think this leaves room for necromancers to have any alignment. A good necromancer could delude himself into thinking he is declawing undead while not destroying them, or could decide to use them in the battle for good.

Nice. I like this a lot. I really wanted something that impacts

undead as well as the living, but in a different way. This fits
the bill.


I apologize if the following comments were made already.

For the deathless ability, I would suggest using the Undead Apotheosis ability from the Unearth Arcana variant Necromancer – undead abilities without actually becoming undead.

As to necromancy spells, I noticed that distrupt undead actually uses positive energy to harm undead ("You direct a ray of positive energy"). So at the very least, necromancers should have an option of some positive energy based spells for combating undead and possibily undoing the effects of undead abilities.

In may own campagin, I included the following spell for white necromancers:

Whittaquick’s Recovery
Necromancy [Good]
Level: Sor/Wiz 2
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: One living creature touched (see text)
Duration: 1 hour/level or until discharged; see text
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

You fill the target’s life force with a charge of positive energy that lies dormant until the spells duration ends or the target suffers sufficient harm to be rendered disabled or dying. If the target’s hit points drop to zero or less, the positive energy held within them flows forth, healing 1d8 points of damage +1 point per two levels of the caster (maximum +5). If this is not enough to bring them out of the negative hit point range, then the energy released stabilizes the target. If the damage dealt to the target is sufficient enough to kill them instantly (killed from massive damage or reduced to –10 or lower in a single attack), then the spell discharges for no effect.

Due to the strain of the positive energy on the target’s life force, the target cannot receive more than one Whittaquick’s Recovery within a 24-hour period. If the spell is again cast on them before the 24-hour period has past, it disperses without affect.

Whittaquick’s Recovery does not work on constructs or undead. Likewise it cannot affect someone who was reduced to negative hit points directly prior to the receiving the spell.

Material Components: a drop of blood drawn from the target of this spell.

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Abraham spalding wrote:
However I have a hard time seeing anyone giving consent to being animated.

Imagine all those weirdos (like, uh, me) who sign their organ donor cards, under the impression that if they aren't using those organs, they might as well be of some use to other people. It's *possible* that in a fantasy world there might be someone able to make a decision that hundreds of thousands of real world people make.

Although consenting to be animated probably maps over better to those people who donate their entire bodies, to be used to train medical students or whatever.

In a society where polished skeletons work the farms and so help support their living descendents with their tireless efforts, people might have never come up with the notion that throwing dirt over your loved ones bodies and leaving them to vermin to feed off of was the most sacred and respectful tradition. It might considered proper and even *reassuring* to know that the bones of your parents are still working along side you, even 'though their spirits have long since passed on, a constant tangible reminder of the time they spent with you in the world.

It's not like animation has *any* effect on the final disposition of the soul. Indeed, the person who left that body behind probably has no idea that their skeleton is running around doing stuff, so long after they took up mountain climbing in Elysium (in fact, someone going out of their way to inform them of this fact, possibly casting a pall on their hard-earned reward in the afterlife, could be considered to be evil, or at least a colossal jerk! "Hey Bob! How's heaven? Let me totally ruin it for you by telling you what awful things are happening back on Golarion that you can't do a darn thing about..."). Even Speak with Dead doesn't interrupt their permanant vacation, only 'speaking' to some sort of 'echo' of the original person that hangs around in their body.

Other stuff, like Contagion, is, ironically, *creating life,* (albeit an unfriendly microscopic kind of life), which is about as far from what negative energy is supposed to do as to be kind of silly. Back in 1st edition, the Mummy, the only disease-causing undead, was even said to have been animated by *positive energy,* not negative energy, which completely fit the Gygaxian definition of negative energy as anti-life and positive energy as being life-generating, and, in this case, as in the case of visiting the positive material plane, *dangerously* life-generating... [Yeah, that's ironic, 1st edition was more *consistent* than 3rd in this one particular detail!] The spell shouldn't have anything to do with negative energy, and while I personally would consider it to be reckless and evil (bringing into the world a disease that could end up killing thousands), it's not any more evil than casting fireball in a city and risking a fire that will kill thousands, or summoning a demon via planar binding and then letting it go loose, again, possibly to kill thousands.


I have to agree with Set here. I am one of those people that feels that mindless undead should be neutral and not neutral evil.

Culture can greatly effect how necromancy is looked at. I could see the people of Osirion agreeing to having their remains animated to serve as guardians in the family tomb. The soul goes to the afterlife while a fragment remains behind to animate the body (much like how speak with dead works).


I'm sorry I've always seen all forms of undead as being a cursed half-existance of continious suffering. The differents between mindless and sentient only being the level of suffering taking place. This would be why being undead is a bad thing, instead of just away to continue being useful. In fact if I remember right almost all versions of undead mention suffering, curses, or some other undesirable feature connected to them. This is part of why I don't like so much vampire literature, they make the vampires into simple people with fangs and an unique diet. This is not the case, a vampire has a constant driving insane need to feed, even if they just fed.

However that's a rant for another thread I'm sure.

My point being, I don't see being undead as the same as donating organs. These are not just corpses animated like objects (which would use the animate object spell), these are people reconnected to a dead and decaying body to continue serving and suffering in said body until someone is kind enough to release them.


Which is why I mentioned Osirion culture (Since it is based on the real world Egyptian culture). In Egyptian mythology, the soul had many parts. One part went to the afterlife to await reincarnation. Another part stayed behind in the body. The funeral rites prepared the body to house the fragment of the soul. Properly prepared, the body could be animated to defend the tomb from grave robbers.

Dark Archive

Abraham spalding wrote:

I'm sorry I've always seen all forms of undead as being a cursed half-existance of continious suffering. However that's a rant for another thread I'm sure.

My point being, I don't see being undead as the same as donating organs. These are not just corpses animated like objects (which would use the animate object spell), these are people reconnected to a dead and decaying body to continue serving and suffering in said body until someone is kind enough to release them.

That makes a fine house-rule and I wouldn't mind it at all. But it's not in the core rules, where a zombie or skeleton is a completely mindless entity animated by negative energy *not* animated by the soul of it's previous owner that has somehow been dragged out of heaven (or hell) and forced into 'eternal suffering' or whatever emo stuff.

I'd prefer a scenario where that option was the case, rather than the six of one, half-dozen of the other case we've got now, where negative energy is neutral and undead are mindless, except when negative energy is evil and undead are malevolent, for arbitarily drawn and contradictory reasons.

A game world where negative energy *was* evil and malign, and positive energy was just as good and beneficent in balance, would be a perfectly neat game world to play in. Mechanically, the only change would be to strap the [Good] descriptor on the various spells that summon up positive energy (just as the [Evil] descriptor has been currently inconsistently applied to spells that summon un-aligned negative energy) and forbid any evil Clerics or Druids or Bards from using Cure spells, since they'd be casting [Good] spells and 'bringing positive energy' into the world, which would be as much of a no-no for them as 'bringing negative energy into the world' would be for Good aligned Clerics, Druids, etc.

Whip up a few effects that allow an evil Cleric to heal his minions (perhaps necromantic spells that steal life-energy from foes and grant it as healing to allies), and we're good to go with a world-setting where the negative energy plane is a nihilisitic life-hungering pit of evil, and the positive energy plane is a benevolent source of all that is good and living.

This isn't sarcasm, btw. I'd be quite fine playing in such a game-world, but it's not what we've got right now. Right now, evil Clerics can bring all the positive energy they want into the world, with no [Good] descriptor or consequences at all, because the positive energy plane, just like the negative energy plane, is mindless and un-aligned, no more 'good' or 'evil' than elemental fire or the astral plane. And yet, completely in contradiction to everything else, some spells that use negative energy have an [Evil] descriptor, because it's apparently *cosmically* evil to use neutral energies to do a good deed (such as using Deathwatch, in it's intended function, to save lives in a triage situation).

Meanwhile, using Summon Monster to call up a Hound Archon and order it to slaughter a bunch of nuns and orphans is [Good] and yet obviously also evil. Using that same spell to call up a Dretch and force it to feed the homeless is [Evil] and, apparently, good?

Alignment descriptors, reducing moral complexities and common sense to mathematical inanities since 2001.

Scarab Sages

Necromancer Specialist ability from level 1.

If the last damage done with disrupt undead (or similar necromantic spell) against an undead would normally be sufficient to destroy it you may instead gain control over it, as long as doing so falls into the limited number of HD of undead you can control.


I would point out that in 3.5 negative energy was typically evil. The Book of Vile Darkness even points out that creating undead is always an evil act and a mockery of all life, so it's not me house ruling here, it's there in print. Beyond that you can get to the point that you are actually callious of life becuase you can always force the body to get back up and work some more, which is certainly not good and bordering on evil.

However pathfinder has moved away from this which just starts to beg the question what is evil in pathfinder, and for those of us who care why?

Dark Archive

Abraham spalding wrote:
I would point out that in 3.5 negative energy was typically evil.

Indeed, they even changed the mindless undead to Neutral Evil alignment, which was, IMO, fairly absurd. 'Yes, this mindless lump is malevolent and hates all life... Also, chairs. All chairs are evil, despite being mindless. I'm pretty sure snowflakes have a sinister agenda also...'

In 3.0, mindless things, undead or otherwise, animated by negative energy (skeletons), positive energy (vermin) or elemental spirits that sometimes go on berserk murderous rampages! (golems) were all neutral.

As I said above, I'd be fine with a consistent game-setting in which negative energy was malign and life-hating, and skeletons and zombies had Int 1, were animated by malevolent entities of pure darkness and, if unattended, would wander around killing people, 'cause of their evil nastiness.

But that's never been the case. Unattended skeletons and zombies idea of 'malevolent' is to sit around, waiting to obey whatever order they were given last. If that order was to attack anything that came into the room, they'll do that. If that order was to hand out candy, they'd do that as well, and not be fuming in their frustrated desire to do evil by their non-evil orders, because they've got no desires at all, no will to be thwarted, no 'evil intent' to be restrained (or expressed).

Golems, on the other hand, sometimes stitched together out of corpses, and animated by an entity that *goes berserk and kills people* are neutral, and creating them a neutral act. Whatever.

Abraham spalding wrote:
However pathfinder has moved away from this which just starts to beg the question what is evil in pathfinder, and for those of us who care why?

*If* Pathfinder is moving us back to the 1st, 2nd and 3.0 version of negative energy as mindless and non-evil, they are moving us back to the way the game has been for almost thirty years. The decision to make mindless undead evil (although frustrated by their lack of volition and complete inability to ever choose to do anything evil, just to sit there being evil by default) is very recent.

3.5 made some very inconsistent rulings on the use of negative energy.

I'd be fine with either alignment being *far* more important than numbers on a chart, not mindlessly reductionistic where good people doing good but casting the wrong spell to do so risk [evil] and evil people summoning Hound Archons to kill peasants are casting a [good] spell that endangers their evil alignment, 'cause, IMO, that's *ludicrous,* and it's exactly the state 3.5 left us in.

A good Cleric saving lives in a battlefield triage situation by casting Deathwatch to see who needs healing most urgently is categorically turning evil according to some soulless formulaistic notion of alignment as numbers on a chart.

An neutral Cleric of the goddess of plague and poison casting Summon Monster II to call up Celestial Bees, because he thinks it's funny to send them out to sting people (knowing that the Bee will die after it stings, meaning that he's killing a heavenly creature with each casting of the spell, in addition to poisoning random innocents) risks *turning Good* because he keeps casting a [Good] spell.

The current situation, IMO, isn't even defensible. It's just plain silly.

Alignments should be more than just math. More than just 'cast spell X and change the worldview and ethical stance you spent a lifetime developing.'


Really, this becomes a metaphysics question of the game world.

On the one hand, animate dead, versus create undead has no impact on any portion of the soul or vital energy of the person the soul belonged to. You could therefore, theoretically, cast animate dead to turn your friend into a zombie as an alternate method of transport, while you get him to a place where his soul can be reunited with his body. Treating your friend's body as a beast of burden, or making him set off traps, may or may not be evil, up to the judgement of your GM.

However, casting create undead on your friend, to turn him into a ghoul or a wight would overwrite your friend's Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma, class levels, etc. Your friend could then adventure as a wight or ghoul, even gain class levels as such, but you have just lost your friend forever, because the wight inhabiting your friend's body is a different creature from your friend. Necropolitans are, of course, a special case, where you get your friend back, but undead.

Now, non-intelligent undead, zombies and skeletons, have to be defined in the game as possessing appetites, drives, or not. If it is the assumption that mindless undead, inherently, when uncontrolled, yearn to exitinguish life, and will naturally rampage through villages slaughtering commoners left and right, then that by itself may allow them to be considered Evil. However, vermin yearn to consume other creatures, as part of their natural appetites, and yet, we do not consider vermin evil, within the game rules. Vermin, like skeletons, are considered mindless, and both have appetites. Unlike undead, vermin are not tireless, and an uncontrolled spider will only eat until it is full. Very important to this is what is considered an idle state for a mindless undead creature, though, as that determines exactly what about animate dead would justify it being considered Evil.

The good-aligned necromancer, depending on this idle state, must have, therefore, the ability to gain control over mindless undead. A village full of farmer skeletons is only ethical if the necromancer in charge of them can maintain and regain consistent control over the skeletons, to keep the natural tendencies of the skeletons to disembowel the living with their claws or farm tools under control. Changing the level 1 grave touch ability to 1d6 + (1 per 2 CL) negative energy, usable to gain command of undead with a Will DC 10+ CL/2 + Int mod (rather than Chr), would provide this mechanic. Like the malconvoker prestige class, you will then have to contend with commanding creatures which otherwise would be inclined to tear you apart, if you snag something intelligent, and perhaps make the level 8 ability grant the ability to cast animate dead without having the spell be considered evil. Then, good aligned necromancers can work just fine, but evil acts with your undead, or letting them rampage, will likely be considered evil.

The only concern with this as drafted is that, outside of combat, all of the necromancer's undead allies will always be at full hitpoints, with the necromancer being able to cast plus or minus inflict light wounds, roughly at will. Maybe add some text that undead can only gain hp from this ability every 24 hours, and then it might be more sellable. I don't know that it is necessary for the necromancer to only be able to provoke a save against being commanded for each undead creature every 24 hours, though. Any thoughts as to whether it is okay to allow necromancers a touch command undead at will, with a save DC which would max around 30 at level 20 (assuming Int of 30)? Drawbacks from the spell is that it of course is a touch ability, but only advantageous to the dedicated negative energy cleric in being at will, since it isn't a 30' burst.


Anyways about it the necromancy and alignment issues need clarification. Some blurb on this whole issue would be very useful all the way around. Even if it's just a designer's note pointing out the issue and leaving it to the DM and Players to decide. However with the length of Pathfinder so far I'm fairly sure we'll have to way for a later book before it will get properly address.


My two cents worth again.
1 look at the 2nd ed complete book of necromancers for white/grey necroes. even if they are good the local peasants are still terrified of them.
spells like suspend disease, cure blindness and deafness were all 2nd ed wizard spells.
Don't give up the wizards cant heal rule. it is to much a part of the game to mess with. If you want a blaster caster and healer all in one that can summon elementals like their nothing I recommend shadowrun. Their casters do it ALL.

Having played the undead summoning evil type character I can only say that it was alot of fun to do. my wizard eventually became a deathknight and we shut the campaign down because we could no longer challenge ourselves(killing colossal dragons in 2rounds)I would hate to see the very heart of the necro type wizard be shifted away from what it has always traditionally been.

Dont forget about the blood mage from 3.0 his ability's could be put to "Good" use as a necro even the silly blood potion storage thing.

Like said in a different thread about nerfing the mage class altogether Not everyone HAS to be equal ALL the time if your happy playing what you like then be happy. If you want to play a summoner of the undead that is not "evil" then use the option on the Monster summoning tables and chose specifically what you want to summon, trade the fluffy little puppy from the 7th heavens for your very own dismembered hand and call him thing. Just don't keep tearing down the "sacred Cows" or before you know it were all playing <Shudder> 4th ed D&D.

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Abraham spalding wrote:
Anyways about it the necromancy and alignment issues need clarification. Some blurb on this whole issue would be very useful all the way around. Even if it's just a designer's note pointing out the issue and leaving it to the DM and Players to decide.

It is definitely a concern, and one that would significantly change the tone of a setting.

If even such spells as Speak with Dead violated and disturbed a persons soul, and 'mindless' undead were changed to be intelligent defiled fragments of the original persons spirit, the game setting would be significantly different than as currently presented, where necromancy is blithely accepted and taught in major academies, and an entire country uses mindless undead to grow crops *which it then sells all over the setting.*

There has never been a rule saying that mindless undead did any such thing or had anything to do with souls (prior to spells like Magic Jar and Trap the Soul), but every thread about this topic has several posters who firmly believe that the animate dead spell creates intelligent flesh-hungering creatures animated not by negative energy, but instead by the tortured souls of their original inhabitants, somehow ripped out of heaven, so I guess it needs to be stated.


Oh I don't for a second think that they are intelligent. At most animal cunning, and probably not even that. But I do believe the simple act of creating undead is evil, and they should have some base desire that leads to the constant harming of living creatures. It's just too ingrained into my image of undead for me to just let that go (mmmmm braaaaaiiiinnnnsssss).

However that's just me. If the pathfinder setting goes a different route I can readily accept that, I just want the whole mess cleaned up some way so we can understand and have a cohesive logic to use on future developments from the issues touched on here.

Currently it's all a bunch of hogwash that doesn't make sense (as pointed out by Set), and that bugs me.


I'm not sure if this was taken from any particular fiction (gaming or otherwise), however here's how I originally had necromancy summed up way back when:

Necromancy is the school that deals with life force, using positive and negative energy. Since it has the capability to heal (positive energy), the Church (divine magic, clerics) felt it was encroaching upon their belief based abilities, and shunned the practice of necromancy from society.
Thus, what results is that the only people who are using necromancy, are those that are willing to go against the church. If primarily only evil people are using something, then the whole thing may appear to be evil (reinforcing the Church's propaganda).

And if you think about it... what will make people flock to your belief more than healing? If the Arcane figured out how to do it without the aid of a Divine source, people would start to gravitate away from the Gods (and Gods source of power being their followers, etc, etc).

...

Yeah, a kind of Davinci code cover-up thing going on, mixed in with some "we don't learn the Dark side of the Force" as well.

Normal Arcane mage universities and such didn't teach necromancy normally in my homebrew campaigns (back in 2e). And before you ask, no I wasn't being particularly political or making any kind of statements about our current religious state... this was back in the late 80's early 90's, and all I was thinking was "Hey, cool.. a neat hook for a campaign setting". My mind was a blank slate when it came to religion and politics and hate and belief... Odd I came up with this kind of setting in that state of mind though.

.

Now granted my own fluff might not be supported by the current rules either, so take this with a grain of salt. It's how I've been subconsciously running Necromancy ever since AD&D though (when I first started playing). Necromancy being neither inherently good, nor evil.. but it has a social stigma attached, and animosity from divine casters.

That's why I like games like Eberron that have animated undead used in neat campaign ways. While the stigma is still there, some people don't have a problem with their realm looking like the cover of a heavy metal album.


I need some clarifying on the necromancy school for wizards. The special power allows the wizard to control 8HD of undead.
I don’t under stand when this comes into play. The Animate dead spell and command undead spell and create undead spell. All bring (X amount) HD of undead creatures to life and under your command, until they are destroyed.
So what does this 8HD actually do?

You can control 8 HD worth of undead creatures per caster level. If you prepare spells of your opposition schools, excess undead immediately become free-
willed and do not return to your control when you regain this bonus. You choose which undead are released

Animate dead
This spell turns the bones or bodies of dead creatures into undead
skeletons or zombies that follow your spoken commands.
The undead can follow you, or they can remain in an area and attack
any creature (or just a specific kind of creature) entering the place. They
remain animated until they are destroyed. A destroyed skeleton or
zombie can’t be animated again.
Regardless of the type of undead you create with this spell,
you can’t create more HD of undead than twice your caster level
with a single casting of animate dead. The desecrate spell doubles
this limit.
The undead you create remain under your control indefinitely. No
matter how many times you use this spell, however, you can control
only 4 HD worth of undead creatures per caster level. If you exceed
this number, all the newly created creatures fall under your control, and
any excess undead from previous castings become uncontrolled. You
choose which creatures are released. If you are a cleric, any undead you
might command by virtue of your power to command or rebuke undead
do not count toward the limit.
Skeletons A skeleton can be created only from a mostly intact corpse
or skeleton. The corpse must have bones. If a skeleton is made from a
corpse, the flesh falls off the bones.
Zombies A zombie can be created only from a mostly intact corpse.
The corpse must be that of a creature with a true anatomy.

Create undead
(Hmmmm shouldn’t this be somewhere around PG 213…I can’t find it)

Command undead
This spell allows you some degree of control over an undead creature.
Assuming the subject is intelligent, it perceives your words and
actions in the most favorable way (treat its attitude as friendly). It will
not attack you while the spell lasts. You can try to give the subject
orders, but you must win an opposed Charisma check to convince
it to do anything it wouldn’t ordinarily do. Retries are not allowed.
An intelligent commanded undead never obeys suicidal or obviously
harmful orders, but it might be convinced that something very
dangerous is worth doing.
A nonintelligent undead creature gets no saving throw against this
spell. When you control a mindless being, you can communicate only
basic commands, such as “come here,” “go there,” “fight,” “stand still,”
and so on. Nonintelligent undead won’t resist suicidal or obviously
harmful orders.
Any act by you or your apparent allies that threatens the commanded
undead (regardless of its Intelligence) breaks the spell.
Your commands are not telepathic. The undead creature must be able
to hear you.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

I think the Universalist school needs some work, but this is not the thread for it. Instead, we should be looking at the necromancy school, which also could use a bit of work. I am thinking about changing this one to grant you an undead companion, that would tie into the animal companion rules, but I am not set on this yet.

Thoughts?

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Jason,

Thanks for opening this up to review from the players. I for one wouldn't mind a school-themed familiar being an option for ALL wizards, but personally I'd really, really like to get away from the "pet class necromancer" if possible. Since animating dead automatically lends itself to making lots of undead minions to order around, how about concentrating the necromancer's special abilities on the magic aspect of necromancy rather than the more passe and diablo 2-esque "a skeleton for every necromancer and for every necromancer a skeleton."

I'd much rather see more energy drain, curses and other classic "black magic" necromancy as abilities to balance out Animate (which is a really cool ability, don't get me wrong!)

Thanks for reading! You're the best man!

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I too, have always liked the idea that the healing spells were necromancy - the school should be about both life and death; if only for the metagame reason that if it were nothing but the "evil" then it stops being something for the PCs and starts being the stuff only the villains use (barring evil PC games and what have you, but those aren't the norm).

I really like the idea of an undead spirit companion. Good necromancers would definitely get a boost if they could have ancestor spirits, family ghosts, or even just friendly poltergeist's following them around. Conversely, Black necromancers could have bound spirits who they force into service. They could also go with the more traditional route of corporeal undead minions following them around.

Hmm, I just wrote that and immediately realized that good necromancers should have the option for solid minions too. I am sure there are ways to work that out. Perhaps a necromancer should get the choice between the two?

Last point: Mention was made of necromancers being able to manipulate their own life force to power their effects (or animate their minions). I think this can be taken one step further; all the necromancer abilities (specialist, not their general spellcasting) should be powered by life-force.
The question of good and evil comes from where the necromancer gets this vitality. Good ones take it from themselves, or perhaps willing allies. Evil ones take it from enemies, or helpless victims.

"Life-force" could be HP, or Stat damage, or maybe just inflicting penalties to rolls (negative levels?). If the cost stays low then we can ensure it doesn't overshadow the ability the necromancer is trying to power with it and I would definitely put in a saving throw for those who are unwilling to part with their life-force; success meaning that the necromancer's power fails.

Thoughts?

Scarab Sages

Mechanovaking wrote:

I need some clarifying on the necromancy school for wizards. The special power allows the wizard to control 8HD of undead.

I don’t under stand when this comes into play. The Animate dead spell and command undead spell and create undead spell. All bring (X amount) HD of undead creatures to life and under your command, until they are destroyed.
So what does this 8HD actually do?

It allows the caster to control twice as many undead as normal (8HD/caster level, instead of the 4/level in the normal spell description).

The only problem is, this ability is meaningless, until he gets the ability to cast Animate Dead, making it a non-ability at low levels.

Maybe he could cast it off a scroll, and risk the caster-level check, but that's hardly the sort of thing that comes into play every day, like the powers of the other schools.

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Snorter wrote:
The only problem is, this ability is meaningless, until he gets the ability to cast Animate Dead, making it a non-ability at low levels.

Yeah, a 1st level class ability that doesn't have any applicable use until 7th level should be a 7th level ability. :)

The undead minion idea is at least useful at 1st level, and with the possibility of attracting a non-evil incorporeal spirit advisor, could be suitable for non-evil Necromancers (such as every single one that is going to be allowed in Pathfinder Organized Play).

Scarab Sages

To all those who wish to give necromancers more options;

Do you want to give these options just to the specialists?

Or the Wizard class at large?

Just a thought, as adding more spells to the school allows them to be used by the members of other specialist schools, and universalists, whereas adding them to the school powers makes them usable only by the dedicated few.

Either way is valid, but we need to be aware of that difference, as it changes what kind of characters will be possible.

Adding cure spells to the Necromancy list means all the evokers/transmuters/conjurers, etc will be able to use them, assuming of course, that they don't pick it as one of their opposition schools (though that seems to have been relaxed, for no reason I can see).
And it provides even more reason to stay universalist.
If so, the wizard class becomes even more aw3som3, stepping on even more classes' toes.

Having only the Necromancy specialists be able to Stabilise as an auto-ability, and/or cast several cures/day at 1st-level would, as well as compensating for a school which traditionally gets rejected, for having fewest spells, provide an in-game temptation and justification for jumping on the slippery slope to necromancy.

There is, currently, no good, in-game reason why a 6hp apprentice would risk the wrath of all right-thinking people, to learn from a master who is reviled by the general public, for messing about with dead things. This could be the reason.

<wizard, surrounded by mob with torches and pitchforks>

"But...but...you can't attack me! I'm one of the good guys! I only wanted to help people!"

<once the dust has cleared>

"Well, if that's the thanks I get, you call all go rot!"


How about this - based on the most used, strongly necro-themed, non-evilish spell. Could be School power or 8th level special ability.

--------------

Spectral Image (Sp): A ghostly, glowing form shaped from your life force materializes and moves as you desire, allowing you to deliver touch range spells at a distance. On summoning the image, you lose 1d4 hit points +1 point per caster level that return when the image is dismissed (even if it is dispelled), but not if the hand is destroyed. (The hit points can be healed as normal.) For as long as the spell lasts, any touch range spell that you cast can be delivered by the spectral image. The spell gives you a +2 bonus on your melee touch attack roll, and attacking with the image counts normally as an attack. The image always strikes from your direction. The image cannot flank targets like a creature can. If the image goes beyond 10 feet per caster level or goes out of your sight, it returns to your side. If you fall unconscious the image is dismissed. The image can be dispelled and is considered a spell of half your caster level (maximum 9th).

The image is incorporeal and thus cannot be harmed by normal weapons. It has improved evasion (half damage on a failed Reflex save and no damage on a successful save), your save bonuses, and an AC of 20 + your Intelligence modifier (which applies to the image’s AC as if it were the image’s Dexterity modifier). The image has the same number of hit points that you lost in creating it.

--------------

I made it spell-like. If supernatural is preferred remove the references to dispelling. Also more Project Image type issues (such as it mimicking you, or casting other spells from it, seeing through it) could be included, but it's already kinda long, and that would be a bit much.

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Snorter wrote:
Just a thought, as adding more spells to the school allows them to be used by the members of other specialist schools, and universalists, whereas adding them to the school powers makes them usable only by the dedicated few.

That is also a valid point.

Having the Necromancer's 1st level class ability be the ability to prepare the various Clerical Cure spells as arcane spells one level higher (with Stabilize being a 1st level spell, Cure Light Wounds being a 2nd level spell, etc) might be an option. Since it would be purely a Class ability to add them to the Necromancer spell-list, it would prevent the Necromancer from creating scrolls and wands of Cure Light Wounds usable by other Wizards, and non-Necromancers would never gain access to these spells (and Necromancers who multiclass into a PrC might never gain access to the higher level Cure Critical, etc. spells). Also, the spells would merely be 'added to his list,' meaning that the Necromancer will still need to actually aquire those spells (which he'll most likely do with his spells learned with Wizard levels, or from scrolls purchased from Bards or the like).

I'd be okay with that as a feature, or even as an Alternate Class Feature for Necromancer Specialists (with the Skeleton minion being the 'default' feature, since, 'white necromancers' aside, the class is generally associated with bad-guys).

The one-level-higher limitation means that the Necromancer will never be outhealing a dedicated Cleric, but will still be able to serve as a backup healer, just as a Bard or Paladin.

You could go one step further and say that they can also add all of the Inflict spells to their potential spell-list as well (also at one level higher, with the Bleed cantrip being 1st level, Inflict Light Wounds being 2nd level, etc.?). Again, they'd have to actually find and master those spells, scribing them into their spellbooks, and only be able to prepare and cast them thanks to their Class Ability, preventing them from scribing arcane scrolls of Inflict Moderate Wounds for non-Necromancers to use.

Scarab Sages

Following on from the idea above, about opening up the school of necromancy, without simply giving more options to the other schools;

Has anyone considered the option of having major and minor access to the various schools?

Ie: each school would have common spells, learnable by all wizards, but further layers of rarer spells, inner mysteries that could only be grasped by the dedicated few who specialised in that school.

The concept, of splitting the spells into common, uncommon and rare lists, is something that was done in Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed variant, and in Rolemaster (which may be where he carried it over from, being an ex-Iron Crown staffer).

There would, then, be a further reason for specialisation, other than the different SLAs. As it stands, there is no compulsion to prepare any spells from your school, meaning a wizard can currently just pick the school with the best SLAs, and prepare all his spells from the others.

This then, could explain why Necromancy gets a bad reputation. If the members of the other schools are unable to replicate the beneficial aspect of the Necromancy school, then they may not even know it exists, and unfairly paint them all as being evil by default?

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Snorter wrote:

Has anyone considered the option of having major and minor access to the various schools?

Ie: each school would have common spells, learnable by all wizards, but further layers of rarer spells, inner mysteries that could only be grasped by the dedicated few who specialised in that school.

That would be hot.

But, IMO, very incompatible with any sort of backwards compatibility.

I also knee-jerk slightly against that out of my irrational dislike for spells that a general Wizard can't learn. To me, that's always been the entire point of playing a general Wizard, the ability to cast *anything.* I'm okay with the arcane/divine split (it's a necessary evil, even if I prefer systems like GURPS or Arcana Unearthed, which do away with it entirely), but my eye twitches when I see some PrC or variant class that has spells that core classes can't use.

Unique Assassin, Harper, etc. spells make me fume.

Scarab Sages

Set wrote:
Having the Necromancer's 1st level class ability be the ability to prepare the various Clerical Cure spells as arcane spells one level higher (with Stabilize being a 1st level spell, Cure Light Wounds being a 2nd level spell, etc) might be an option. Since it would be purely a Class ability to add them to the Necromancer spell-list, it would prevent the Necromancer from creating scrolls and wands of Cure Light Wounds usable by other Wizards, and non-Necromancers would never gain access to these spells (and Necromancers who multiclass into a PrC might never gain access to the higher level Cure Critical, etc. spells). Also, the spells would merely be 'added to his list,' meaning that the Necromancer will still need to actually aquire those spells (which he'll most likely do with his spells learned with Wizard levels, or from scrolls purchased from Bards or the like).

Hah! I think we crossed each other!

It could be the general school ability, instead. Replace that ability to control twice as many undead (which has no game effect until later).
Change the wording of the Animate Dead spell, so that specialist Necromancers either control 8HD/caster level, and/or they 'count as' clerics, for the increased effect (ie; any they control via other spell-casting are in addition).

This 'prepare at one level higher' has a precedent, in the Mystic Theurge, and seems to be a reasonable cost, like a metamagic effect.
As such, would you count the spell as its original, divine, level, or its new, arcane, level? This matters, for the purposes of identifying, crafting, save DCs and getting through antimagic globes...

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Here's a random thought I just had... has anyone here ever seen the Chronicles of Riddick? Do you remember the lead Necromunger (can't recall his name)? He had a "shadow double" of himself that mimicked his movements in combat.

What if we gave the necromancer class a similar special ability? A "spirit twin" that can be summoned as a free action and lasts 1 round per 2 necromancer levels. The spirit twin could have access to the necromancer's spell list and take actions independant of the necromancer (though it would obviously still be under the necro's control). It would also be incorporeal and have half the necromancer's HP total. It would be able to cast spells on its own (effectively allowing the necromancer to cast two spells per round), deliver touch spells (since it's incorporeal, it is safer than having the necro deliver them himself), and could move up to, say, 5' for every point of INT that the necro has (a 20 INT necro's spirit twin, therefore, could move 100' away from the necro). I'm thinking that the spirit twin could be summoned in increments, so that you can use it for 3 rounds here, 2 rounds there, etc. instead of using up the full duration in one shot. Afterall, at level 20, 10 continuous rounds of double-casting onslaught is probably a bit overkill (though you could do it if the situation warranted).

I think this would make a much cooler capstone ability than the undead thing. You could add the caveat that the necromancer suffers half of all damage that the twin does if you wanted. So if something destroyed the twin, it would cost the necro 1/4 of his HP. I'm thinking that the twin's ability scores would be identical to the necro's and any spells in effect on the necro copy over to the twin as well, but the twin does not benefit from any gear the necro is wearing (such as rings of protection, etc.).

Scarab Sages

Snorter wrote:

Has anyone considered the option of having major and minor access to the various schools?

Ie: each school would have common spells, learnable by all wizards, but further layers of rarer spells, inner mysteries that could only be grasped by the dedicated few who specialised in that school.

Set wrote:

That would be hot.

But, IMO, very incompatible with any sort of backwards compatibility.

Aaaand, we crossed each other again.

Yes, backwards compatibility is a big thing for a lot of people.

How about, it doesn't apply to anything in 3.5 Core, just to some of the new spells added later (like, say, the proposed healing spells in the Necromancy school?). There's a lot of third-party OGL material out there, with different assumptions about the power level of the author's setting, that DMs might look at, and think "That seems cool, for a dedicated society, devoted to this concept, but I don't know if I'd want every wizard getting hold of it...".

All those old stat-blocks in old adventures can stay the same. DMs who don't have time or inclination to tinker, don't have to. But those who do, can add options to their NPCs (and that's the big theme of this PF experiment, right?).

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Snorter wrote:
Hah! I think we crossed each other!

[raises cross threateningly] The power of Sarenrae compels you!

Snorter wrote:
This 'prepare at one level higher' has a precedent, in the Mystic Theurge, and seems to be a reasonable cost, like a metamagic effect. As such, would you count the spell as its original, divine, level, or its new, arcane, level? This matters, for the purposes of identifying, crafting, save DCs and getting through antimagic globes...

I'd count it as it's new level for all particulars. A Druid gets Cure Moderate Wounds as a 3rd level spell, and it counts as a 3rd level spell in all particulars. The same should be true of a Necromancer Wizard. Rangers, Paladins, Druids, Bards, etc. all have the same issue (spells at different levels), and I don't see any need to make a special exception for the Necromancer Wizard.

Which does mean that, yeah, a Wand of Cure Light Wounds made by a Necromancer is gonna cost more than one made by a Cleric, just as a Wand of CLW made by a Ranger costs more. It's a kludge, but one that's already coded into the game, and I wouldn't want to 'fix' this for Necromancer Wizards, and leave it 'broken' for Bards, Paladins, Rangers, etc.

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Fatespinner wrote:
What if we gave the necromancer class a similar special ability? A "spirit twin" that can be summoned as a free action and lasts 1 round per 2 necromancer levels. The spirit twin could have access to the necromancer's spell list and take actions independant of the necromancer (though it would obviously still be under the necro's control). It would also be incorporeal and have half the necromancer's HP total. It would be able to cast spells on its own (effectively allowing the necromancer to cast two spells per round), deliver touch spells (since it's incorporeal, it is safer than having the necro deliver them himself), and could move up to, say, 5' for every point of INT that the necro has (a 20 INT necro's spirit twin, therefore, could move 100' away from the necro). I'm thinking that the spirit twin could be summoned in increments, so that you can use it for 3 rounds here, 2 rounds there, etc. instead of using up the full duration in one shot. Afterall, at level 20, 10 continuous rounds of double-casting onslaught is probably a bit overkill (though you could do it if the situation warranted).

A cool idea, but potentially too good, IMO.

Even a free 'spectral hand' feature would be potent and useful (and be a neat choice compared to the Mage Hand feature of Universalists), allowing the Necromancer to send a spirit double out to deliver his touch spells, at the cost of limited vulnerability. The two spells a round thing would be, IMO, over the top.

An incorporeal dupe of the caster that can deliver touch spells (but, if damaged, is destroyed and can pass some damage back to the Necromancer) would be spiffy enough, even with a limited 'tether' range of 5 ft. / point of Int bonus or 5 ft. x Necromancer Class level or whatever.

The dupe could have hp equal to the Necromancer's Class level + Int mod (so a 1st level Necromancer with Int 16 would have a 4 hp 'spectral dupe') and vanish at 0 hp, inflicting damage done to it to the Necromancer (alternately, perhaps he has to spend those hit points to summon it, and if the creature retains them when it's done, he gets whatever it has left back). If it's killed, he also has to save or be stunned or whatever, and can't resummon it until some time has passed. Perhaps there's even a cosmetic effect, such as the Necromancer doesn't cast a shadow, or has no reflection, until he's recovered from losing his 'shadow twin?'

This idea is WAY COOL, and even if it wasn't to be a Class feature for Necromancers, it would make a totally neat Feat or Alternate Class Feature or Undead Bloodline power or whatever!

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