Brewer's Guide to Undeath - A Necromancer's Handbook


Advice

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No advice for a Bones Spirit Summoner?


Insain Dragoon wrote:
What are a players options for transporting Undead without alerting the local constables? Druids/Rangers/Hunters can cast carry companion as a second level spell, what can Necromancers do?

Scult Corpse is a fine choice for this. It is a wizard/sorceror/arcanist 1 spell people can get a will save if they get too close or suspect something but besides that it should work.


TheOddGoblin wrote:
No advice for a Bones Spirit Summoner?

this guide was made before that archetype was a thing, so i wouldnt expect it to--but really, a lot of the guide is more of general rules of thumb and making your DM have less paperwork.

Silver Crusade

Could just wrap some blankets and robes around your skeletons.

One of my players dresses his up in long robes, masks and armor. He tends to avoid zombies for the smell, and for the inefficiencies they represent.

He wanted to make a bloody chuul skeleton, but HD limit and the fact he'd have a twelve foot tall blue bleeding thing kind of put him off a bit (the fact a live chuul wouldn't go over too well played into it too).

What is important to remember is that some things get lost when turned into a skel or zombie. Chuuls lose their tentacles for example. Giant snakes lose constrict.

Ironically, a giant snake loses its constrict, but keeps its poison. Go fig.


i thought they keep any attack stuff (which would include constrict, no?) when changed. then again personally i'd trade contrict for rake (intead of crushing them with muscles, you're stabbing them with loads and loads of rib-bones while largely keeping the same motion)

that said yeah--dress your undead up as a priest or funeral procession--front undead carries some rather pungent incense to mask the scent of the dead following behind.

long robes, ceremonial masks, and a ghost sound cantrip for chanting and you're golden for the most part--just hope nobody you pass has detect evil/detect undead.

if you wanna be really evil, have the incense laced with an inhaled poison or air-communicable disease to screw with places you pass through--more corpses for the army!

Silver Crusade

They keep certain kinds of attacks and lose 'special attacks.'

Poison is tied in with a snake's attack, but constrict is a 'special attack.' And thus zombie and skeleton snakes lose it.


huh. strange, but that's PF for ya.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Caimbuel wrote:

have they stated if the Evangelist works with MT? I would house rule no, but curious.

If yes the Cleric 1/wiz 3, MT 10, Evangelist 6
casts as 16 cleric, 18 wizard

They have not said. But your suggestion doesn't depend on whether or not Evangelist advances MT. You can't advance beyond 10th level via any means because there isn't an 11th level line in the PrC.


Quick tip, might be obvious but i kinda overlooked it in the beginning. Cruoromancer has 5HD cap for Animate Dead but the Dhampir FCB adds 1/4th CL for Necromancy, ergo starting from CL 12 (effective CL 15) he can control more HD than Juju Oracle, topping out at 125 vs 120 for the Oracle while still retaining the half Desecrate effect. Only loss is the max hp for zombies, gain is better spell list.


KBrewer wrote:

I've got a new mini-guide for those casters that are wanting to have some undead minions.

The Guide: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5kvBvq2DEHjRWFhSWc1ZzAzaDg/edit

Great stuff


KBrewer wrote:

I've got a new mini-guide for those casters that are wanting to have some undead minions.

The Guide: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5kvBvq2DEHjRWFhSWc1ZzAzaDg/edit

What counts as an intelligent undead? Having a hard time nailing that down

My DM feels that ghouls mummies aren't so they shouldn't require rolls then they should be treated like skellies and zombies right?


intelligent undead are any undead without the mindless trait (far as i know). stuff like ghouls, vampires, ghosts, etc.

they've got intelligence (and free will), so controlling them will mark you as #1 on their hit list when they eventually break free.

and they will break free eventually, since they get a save every day, and another save anytime you order them to do anything they don't like.


That's what i thought it was my dm trying to convince me that ghouls and m ummys wouldn't require the checks! I should have just gone with it


AndIMustMask wrote:

intelligent undead are any undead without the mindless trait (far as i know). stuff like ghouls, vampires, ghosts, etc.

they've got intelligence (and free will), so controlling them will mark you as #1 on their hit list when they eventually break free.

and they will break free eventually, since they get a save every day, and another save anytime you order them to do anything they don't like.

Depends how intelligent that are. They may also adopt a 'break for freedom' type idea.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quote:
What counts as an intelligent undead? Having a hard time nailing that down

If the undead creature has an intelligence score, it's an intelligent undead creature.


Flesh_Engine wrote:
Quick tip, might be obvious but i kinda overlooked it in the beginning. Cruoromancer has 5HD cap for Animate Dead but the Dhampir FCB adds 1/4th CL for Necromancy, ergo starting from CL 12 (effective CL 15) he can control more HD than Juju Oracle, topping out at 125 vs 120 for the Oracle while still retaining the half Desecrate effect. Only loss is the max hp for zombies, gain is better spell list.

As I always like to mention in these kinds of threads, the control pool for animate dead isn't really worth worrying about. You'll get way more mileage out of Command Undead (the spell), then any amount of Animate Dead HD optimizing.


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The guide is very good, I've been developing a Cleric Minion Mancer, starting at level 1, and It was quite helpful. I agree that the Undead Lord is not a fair trade off for 2 domains, I've instead chosen Death(Undeath), and Law(Inevitable), for Command Undead as 3rd level spell.

For traits, I took Omen, for the swift demoralize and Intimidate as class skill. I use intimidate to quick debuff before casting Cause Fear or using the Inevitable Command Domain Ability.

I also chose Beast Bond for Ride as a class skill. A must for any minion-mancer, IMO.

I went Human, so two feats at level 1: Command Undead, and Spell Focus(Necromancy).

Command Undead(feat) is not that useful, due to the low HD cap.. However, I use it to catch overflow from the Animate pool, or to dominate ghouls or other low level Intelligent undead.

At 3rd level, I took Spell Specialization ( Lesser Animate Dead ) for the +2 caster level, netting me a 20HD command pool at level 3.

I'm glad someone mentioned Blood Money.. I found an NPC wizard with Craft Wonderous and commissioned a 1/day "knife of blood money" for ~800 gp (1*1*2000, *2 for slotless, /5 for 1/day). In the long run, I've ended up buying 3 of them!

5th level FINALLY came, bringing with it 3rd level spells, switching Spell Specialization to regular old Animate Dead. (woo animating Large/Huge creatures!) (woo Command Undead as a spell!).

Feat choice was clear to me : Undead Mastery. Some people apparently undervalue this feat... The wording is clearly bad, but my GM has ruled that I get a + 4 levels to my DC for Command(Feat), but not HD that can be controlled. This is a fairly weak bonus, I agree, but the meat of this feat comes in the next two:

+4 CL for "animate" pool. Some say this is a waste... those who do, do not see the advantages of stacking multiple templates on your skeles. At 5th level, with +4 from UM, and +2 from SP, cast desecrate, == 44HD "animate pool" Add in another level from any various source (Death Knell, DeathWine), and that == 3 "5hd" Bloody,Burning Owlbear skele's per casting.

And the best part, is doubling the duration on Command Undead(spell). At 5th level, that becomes 10 days... which means that casting 1/day, I can have 10 skeletons of any HD under that "pool". Put the biggest skele's here.

at 5th level, that means 5HD from Command(feat), 28HD from Animate, and, assuming average HD of say 6HD for the 10x Commanded undead, that == 93 HD.

At 6th level, I plan to swap my Spell Specialization from Animate to Command, losing 8hd from the Animate pool, in favor of 4 more HD irrelevant Commanded undead /spell slot (assuming that slot is used daily). I will also go for the Agent of the Grave PRC, which will replace the 8HD from Animate.

I want to point out that 2nd level AoTG allows mind-affecting spells to be used on undead. Of course this means command, charm person, etc.. But it ALSO means BLESS, AID, BLOOD RAGE, etc.

I'm not sure where to go with my 7th level feat.. Perhaps Extend Spell, to get me another spell slot of Command Undead, with double (triple) duration, as my "4th level domain spell".. Maybe Leadership. Leadership gets me intelligent cohort / followers.. Extend, gets me 21 more mindless undead of any HD ( ~120HD!! ) , at the cost of my 4th level Domain slot (enervation). My GM is giving us Leadership for free at 10th level (with a +4 bonus if you took it as a feat), so I'm leaning towards Extend. May also go for Craft Wonderous, and crank out "Command Undead" items... Open to suggestions tho!!

At 9th level I plan to go with Greater Spell Specialization (Command Undead) -- this will allow me to cast Command spontaneously, liberating it from my Domain slots.

Potentially, this means that if I use *all* of my 3rd and 4th level spell slots for Command, my control pools at 9th level would look like:

Command Feat: 9hd
Animate Bucket: 52hd
Command Spell : 5x 3rd level slot duration 18days = _90_ commanded undead, ~540 HD! (avg 6 hd each)
4x 4th level slot duration 27 days = 108 commanded undead, ~648HD (avg 6HD each)

Grand total at *9th* level ==~ 1,249 HD OF UNDEAD!!

My GM is going to hate me ;)

Silver Crusade

I've been looking into creating a Necromancer type cleric, and this guide really helps. Thank you.


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Also to consider, when attempting to control intelligent undead:: The power of Bestow Curse.

You can layer the curses so that the intelligent undead is almost impossible to save:

Bestow a -6 penalty to save vs command by anyone in your religion.
Then bestow a general -4 penalty to will saves.
Then bestow a conditinal curse: *If* the creature attempts to betray you or disobey your orders, it suffers a -6 penalty to wisdom.

See if that ghoul, ghast, or wight can make a saving throw at -13!

Bestow curse can also be good for your front line:: Curse some creatures to become Enraged at the sight of species X, or to become diseased, etc.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quote:

Bestow a -6 penalty to save vs command by anyone in your religion.

Then bestow a general -4 penalty to will saves.
Then bestow a conditinal curse: *If* the creature attempts to betray you or disobey your orders, it suffers a -6 penalty to wisdom.

The first and third are not possible by RAW, and would require GM approval as custom-curses. There are no guidelines for conditional curses, or even anything in RAW to indicate it's possible at all.

Secondly, even if you did get this approved by your GM a -6 penalty to save vs command and a -4 penalty to will saves in general wouldn't stack. Penalties from the same source don't stack, so the best you can get is the -3 from a lower wisdom score and the -6 from the better of the two applicable saving throw curses.

Silver Crusade

Dasrak wrote:
Quote:

Bestow a -6 penalty to save vs command by anyone in your religion.

Then bestow a general -4 penalty to will saves.
Then bestow a conditinal curse: *If* the creature attempts to betray you or disobey your orders, it suffers a -6 penalty to wisdom.

The first and third are not possible by RAW, and would require GM approval as custom-curses. There are no guidelines for conditional curses, or even anything in RAW to indicate it's possible at all.

Secondly, even if you did get this approved by your GM a -6 penalty to save vs command and a -4 penalty to will saves in general wouldn't stack. Penalties from the same source don't stack, so the best you can get is the -3 from a lower wisdom score and the -6 from the better of the two applicable saving throw curses.

Also, co-religionists who use undead may or may not be friendly. The religions that rely on undead can sometimes be, let us say, evil.

And you don't want to hurt your controlled undead's will saves. You really, really, don't. It makes it easier for someone else to snitch them, or for someone to frag them with positive energy.

Sentient undead in general, are a tricky thing to deal with. You gain competence and relative free action in exchange for having to deal with a competent and intelligent servant who may or may not pull a white mutiny on you if mistreated, even if it can't wiggle out of the will save.

Think of stuff adventurers have done to bypass undead? The ghost who's tasked to guard a door, but wasn't instructed to stop beings going through it, or a mummy obliged to interfere with the progress of intruders who might decide to interfere by putting a sign up saying 'Don't go in there' and calling it a day unless he's messed with.

If you aren't careful, you can end up playing lawyerball with your sentient undead, and they have more time, more inclination and more danger if they find loopholes in your commands.

Liberty's Edge

I liked the guide but I felt as though you underrated the Undead Lord archetype.

When you brought up the trade offs, you never mentioned the 8th level ability Unlife Healer, which essentially gives you free Empowered healing for undead, and free Maximized and Empowered undead healing at 16th level.

Also, your suggestion of having a custom Staff of Command Undead won't work out as you intended. Because the spell isn't one that you are capable of casting (unless you took the Inevitable domain), you would never be able to recharge it. The solution is to add a spell to the staff the you can cast in addition, such as Animate Dead. For example, if Command Undead was single-charged, and Animate Dead was triple-charged, the cost would be 6400gp.

d20pfsrd wrote wrote:
Staves hold a maximum of 10 charges. Each spell cast from a staff consumes one or more charges. When a staff runs out of charges, it cannot be used until it is recharged. Each morning, when a spellcaster prepares spells or regains spell slots, he can also imbue one staff with a portion of his power so long as one or more of the spells cast by the staff is on his spell list and he is capable of casting at least one of the spells. Imbuing a staff with this power restores one charge to the staff, but the caster must forgo one prepared spell or spell slot of a level equal to the highest-level spell cast by the staff. For example, a 9th-level wizard with a staff of fire could imbue the staff with one charge per day by using up one of his 4th-level spells. A staff cannot gain more than one charge per day and a caster cannot imbue more than one staff per day.

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