necromancer


Advice


I'm looking to play a caster/necromancer. But I don't want to do a whole "army" of undead. I was thinking one core undead that i keep around permanently with disguise and robes etc. What would be a good class to pick for said idea? since Ive heard about cleric necromancers wizards sorcerers and not doing caster Im really unsure which one to play/use


As for concept of the char/idea. I was thinking one major undead I help/control that I also keep maintained. while i sit back attack with spells/range and also possibly buff every including said creature/minion.


Spiritualist or Gravewalker Witch could work.


Sacred Necromancer, I can't say enough good about it if your GM allows it. It is 3rd party, but it is, no exceptions, the most fun class I've ever played.
The mechanic for gaining access to all the necromantic spells is pretty much on the nose for how to go full force necromancer, you lose all other spell schools but its an acceptable trade in my eyes.


I'd be tempted to ask if you could run a summoner, with your eidolon as the undead creature.


That's basically a Spiritualist.


Sort of, although the phantoms strike me as more of the ectoplasmic/reventant type than a more typical skeleton. You could make a summoner with an eidolon based off a bone devil, I guess, and the non-unchained summoner had some options for a more undead feel.


Well i was thinking a necromancer/summoner type of role since if I raise a skeleton I could always put em in robes or something to keep em "hidden" or if i learn spells to change his appearance. Ive heard of flesh sculpting but i think that would send me down a different route. lol


MaxManAtArms wrote:
Well i was thinking a necromancer/summoner type of role since if I raise a skeleton I could always put em in robes or something to keep em "hidden" or if i learn spells to change his appearance. Ive heard of flesh sculpting but i think that would send me down a different route. lol

Again, a spiritualist could do that with an ectoplasmic phantom... and have a spell list with all sorts of negative energy spells to heal it and boost it.


I'm waiting on my Gm to see if he allows Occult Classes or not. No one ran those classes so its kind of a unasked question.


For the gravewalker what would the Set up be lik? never played a witch before.

Scarab Sages

Secret Wizard wrote:
MaxManAtArms wrote:
Well i was thinking a necromancer/summoner type of role since if I raise a skeleton I could always put em in robes or something to keep em "hidden" or if i learn spells to change his appearance. Ive heard of flesh sculpting but i think that would send me down a different route. lol
Again, a spiritualist could do that with an ectoplasmic phantom... and have a spell list with all sorts of negative energy spells to heal it and boost it.

Better yet, a spiritualist wouldn't need to disguise their phantom: they could just call it back to their consciousness.

BTW, phantoms do not heal from negative energy. They are outsiders, not undead.


Orly? I've always treated them as undead in my games D:


Ya, R'lyeh :) . My main worry with spiritualists as necromancers is that their spell list may be somewhat limited. Also, aren't phantoms mostly utility based with less combat ability than an equally built unchained eidolon?

Scarab Sages

The Shaman wrote:
Ya, R'lyeh :) . My main worry with spiritualists as necromancers is that their spell list may be somewhat limited. Also, aren't phantoms mostly utility based with less combat ability than an equally built unchained eidolon?

This has been my experience, yes, sadly. The only phantom build that can positively compare to the natural attack spam of an unchained eidolon is Anger emotion with Haunted Archetype. Against a non-unchained eidolon, no phantom can even dream about challenging that.

But phantoms beat UnEidolons in a few respects. DR 5/slashing and the ability to move through walls come to mind. An utility phantom has nothing against a skill-based UnEidolon, however (Skilled evolution? +8 to a skill, costs 1 evolution point. Balanced!)

If you want a single undead companion, have a look at Undead Lord archetype for the cleric. It's... okay-ish.


Phantoms are very good users of Teamwork feats, and Spiritualists work well with a big Scythe, Power Attack and heavy armor.


Had a player play Necromancers and undead army made my head hurt. Undead Lord Cleric might be what you want. It gets one undead minion that gets stronger as you do. You get Command Undead as a bonus feat. The downside is one Domain and it has to be death.
If your DM allows Occult classes look at the Occultist. All armors and martial weapons and can cast spells in armor at no penalty. Downside is limited spells and spell selection. Their schools is what makes them powerful. Necromancy gives you massive control of undead above and beyond Animated Dead.
My player did massive single HD minions with two high HD bodyguards and spent money to equip them so they were useful.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Something completely different: go crazy and play a cleric which turns to Shadowdancer PrC.
Taking 3 levels lets you get a shadow as companion which is incorporeal.
Your casting will be stalled though.

Ruyan.


I like the Shadow Dancer idea it's a nice Prestige Class. But besides level loss here's another problem. Three feats to get into it. Granted Dodge isn't a bad feat but the other two will hurt when you can take other feats more appropriate for your character.

Liberty's Edge

MaxManAtArms wrote:

I'm looking to play a caster/necromancer. But I don't want to do a whole "army" of undead. I was thinking one core undead that i keep around permanently with disguise and robes etc. What would be a good class to pick for said idea? Since I've heard about cleric necromancers wizards sorcerers and not doing caster I'm really unsure which one to play/use.

As for concept of the char/idea. I was thinking one major undead I help/control that I also keep maintained. while i sit back attack with spells/range and also possibly buff every including said creature/minion.

I would suggest you take a good look at the White Necromancer class in the New Paths Compendium from Kobold Press!

In addition to being a non-evil necromancer class, there's an archetype called the Grave-Bound that literally focuses on a specific undead companion (choices include ghost, zombie, mummy, skeleton, vampire, etc) which scales in power as the Grave-Bound White Necromancer increases in level, including gaining new abilities as the Necromancer gets stronger.

I think the class (and specifically the Grave-Bound archetype) might be exactly what you are looking for!

Check out the reviews and see what you think! White Necromancer


Occult classes have been denied. I heard undead lord is a trap class

""Undead Lord Archetype

I would advise against this archetype. The basic tradeoff is this: In exchange for your domains (you only get

one, and the one you get isn't very good) you get the Corpse Companion bucket for undead minions and gain

Command Undead as a bonus feat.

This isn't worth it for a few reasons.

First, the Corpse Companion bucket isn't really all that good. It doesn't cost any components, but it takes 8

hours - and even more importantly, it's a very small bucket that can't overflow. Remember our 9th level cleric?

How most of the CR appropriate monsters were at 12-14 Hit Dice? We can't use them as Companions at all.

And if we do find something weenie enough to turn into a Corpse Companion, it'll still be too big to turn into a

Bloody Skeleton. As a general rule of thumb, a plain skeleton has a CR value equal to half its hit die... which

means the best you'll ever be able to do with this ability is pack something with a CR half your current level

(which quickly gets irrelevant.)

And second, domains are really useful. Losing them is a pretty big blow - certainly more valuable than a feat.

Heck, if that's what you're after, just take a domain that gives you a feat. Even if you're in love with the Death

Domain's 8th level ability, just remember this: you can still take that domain without this archetype, and get

another domain (with good spells!) to go along with it.

Short story? Avoid the archetype.""


MaxManAtArms wrote:
As for concept of the char/idea. I was thinking one major undead I help/control that I also keep maintained. while i sit back attack with spells/range and also possibly buff every including said creature/minion.

Honestly that sounds like a Summoner to me. There is even an eidolen evolution that makes it count as undead, and feats to add skeletons to your summoning spell lists.


Edymnion wrote:
MaxManAtArms wrote:
As for concept of the char/idea. I was thinking one major undead I help/control that I also keep maintained. while i sit back attack with spells/range and also possibly buff every including said creature/minion.
Honestly that sounds like a Summoner to me. There is even an eidolen evolution that makes it count as undead, and feats to add skeletons to your summoning spell lists.

I'll take a look into it. Was thinking a necromancer so i can summon a undead as it fights I buff ally's/debuff enemy's. But didnt wanna do a "army" of undead


The summoner primarily focuses on their single permanent Eidolon, wit temporary summoning spells as backup.

Very good at buffing their eidolon and supporting it, and should it ever go down it just gets banished and you can resummon it the next day.

Plus you get to tailor it exactly how you want. 2 legs, 4 legs, claws, tentacles, wings, you name it, you can make it.


Summoners suck except for their Eidolons. Yes they can wear light armor and the unchained template gives them a slightly better spell list but still they suck. The Synthesist Archtype is the only good thing about that class period.
As far as making your eidolon undead I wouldn't it seems to hurt it in the long run then help. Yes you get that theme going but the points needed to make it almost truly undead get expensive and they if I remember never become truly undead just undead like.
I'd stick with Necromancer or evil cleric. No you don't get a pet but your spell selection will be far better then a Summoner even with restricted schools.
As far as undead reread skeletons. You can make a powerful monsters a Bloody and Burning nightmare a friend of mine did it a couple of times. It's all about HD and the HD limit is actually quite high before you have to make it some other undead.
Two ideas you may want to consider. Their is an antipaladin template that makes you undead like, it's interesting. The second is three levels of Shadow Dancer. You get a Shadow of your alignment. It's actually the only real prestige class I love overall. The problem with it is twofold. Three feats to get it and that's three levels of spellcasting you lose. Now if your GM uses Faction rules you can get them back. It also gives you Hide in Plain Sight an awesome ability. Darkvision and a Rogue Talent. But again it's pricey to get into.


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Pick any class with the Summon Monster chain, Mount, Alter Summoned Monster, and take the feats Heighten Spell, Spell Focus (Necromancy), and Skeleton Summoner.

This will allow you to, on any class, have a buddy who happens to be a Skeleton that lasts 2 hours/level. At 4th level, that's effectively the whole day. You can switch which buddy you have on the daily, depending on what you need/want that day.


How about a summoner?


Summoner's except for their eidolon suck. The ability to use Summon monster without their eidolon doesn't compensate that without their eidolon they suck as casters. Even a specialized Wizard has a better more versatile spell selection. The feat Skeleton Summoner you can take as a specialized Wizard. And as a Wizard you get bonus feats every five levels they do make a difference. Consider this you get as a Wizard Scribe Scroll. One feat makes all scrolls you cast off of at one level higher. So I'd take Wizard load up on scrolls for the first few levels then start considering permanent as you start getting your first undead minions.


If you just want a single undead buddy, the "Undead Servitor" Focus Power that Occultists get might serve. You spend one mental focus point to get a single skeleton or zombie to pop out of the ground for 10 minutes/level and the undead that levels up as you do. If it dies, you can spend another focus point in order to get it back to full health (at 13th level this makes it split into two copies of itself). This is arguably not evil, since you're not actually raising a corpse, you're just getting one to show up from somewhere (the ability doesn't have the "evil" tag or anything.)

The occultist has an extremely limited spell selection, but that does fit the "lone undead that gets better" and you can do other things with your other implements.


The focus power of the Occultist is what made me smile. Up to 4 HD per lvl of control beyond Animate Dead. 7th level is when you get Animate Dead. An Elf with an Int of 18 + favored class gives him 15 points. That gives me 28 extra HD worth of Undead after my limit from Animate Dead. That is Control no create.


Eh, summoners without an eidolon are no wizards, but I would not say they suck. They have some of the better utility 6-level spell lists imo - sure, a lot of power is in their eidolon, but I would not say they are useless without it. If a non-unchained summoner is allowed, you can have a pretty cool undead-looking eidolon.

A necromancer wizard should be good enough for it, but I have not played one or seen one in a game I was in, so I am not sure.


Friend of mine has played three Necromancers in the last few games we have run and he usually splits his class between Wizard and Cleric and Mystic Thuerge. If he sticks with one class he prefers Cleric. He usually doesn't play Arcane finding Divine casters fitting better with the whole army of undead.


Well Occultist has been vetoed since none of us has done one and the Gm doesnt want any of the occult classes in this run. as for summoners seems to be "bad" from some points of view.So there is still witch/wizard/cleric


I'd pick Wizard Cleric over Witch combination. The Witch is an interesting class and the archtypes are not bad. Here's the problem with them, spell selection. With a Wizard Cleric combination you don't have to specialize as a Wizard so you have all your spells. Now if you do this where the cleric takes up the slack. The schools you get rid of compare the spells on both Wizard and Cleric. Divination spells for a Cleric and Wizard are pretty much the same. So no loss there. I'd go for Enchantment over Illusion as my second school. Illusion has spells I want at some point less so with enchantment.
Summoners have the same issue even worse then a Witch. Had a player use a Summoner for a one shot adventure without making his eidolon. Except for his Summoning spells he sucked. The spells they get really just don't compare to a Wizard or Sorcerer. Having undead is your goal a specialized Wizard isn't bad. A Cleric Wizard combination doesn't hurt. Mystic Thuerge sounds good on paper have had them played and every player complained they just don't compare to the single class Cleric or Wizard. The versatility is there but you lose the power a single class offers.
Too bad about banning the Occult classes. I think the Occultist is really cool and the Spiritualist is a far better class over the Summoner which it was based off of.


Eh, Summoners were not meant to be quite the equal of a sorcerer or wizard in casting. It´s a casting class with 6 spell levels vs one with 9 levels. However, the summoner list has some very useful buffs and utility spells on its list, so I think it compares well with most other 6-level casters like the Bard and the Inquisitor.

The pre-unchained Summoner in particular had a LOT of early access spells (i.e. getting lvl 7 or 8 wizard spells as level 6 spells, or getting Haste as a level 2 spell - so before the wizard), which made it come fairly close. The unchained summoner lost the early access and a lot of spells were not updated for it, so while its spells are still useful, they are not as strong as before. I still consider both versions useful if you want to have a customizeable minion, and if the regular summoner is available, it is worth it for an undead-ish minion and a lot of control/utility spells. S

Between the wizard, the witch and the cleric I think the wizard necromancer is probably the most versatile, as you retain a very wide spell list and you can determine what opposition schools you will have. Remember than in PF wizards CAN prepare spells from the opposition schools, although at a disadvantage.


With the cleric Wizard some of their spells overlap so you don't have to take the two spell slot hit. Haven't read Unchained much. What I have read doesn't interest me seeing really no need to change three of four good base classes when how they work is pretty simple with a bit of reading and common sense. I know there is more in the book but all of it seems geared to making things weird confusing or attempting to make classes overpowering without needing to.


Derek Dalton wrote:
Summoner's except for their eidolon suck.

You basically just said "Wizards expcept for their spells suck".

The summoner is not a primary caster, the eidolon is the entire focus of it. Don't think of it as a spellcaster, think of it as a melee class with self buffs where the Eidolon is actually the main character combat-wise.


The edidolon is the main focus of a Summoner I do get that. The thing is their spells aid their eidolon as they should but do little else. They talk about what happens if their eidolon dies however if that happens I see a Summoner shrieking like a little girl and running away since a big chunk of their power is gone. Now to make it worse the spells they do have won't help them survive long without their eidolon.
Their eidolon is their power and they should do everything to protect it. However in the case of The Spiritualist and Occultist whose focus power is in their abilities they still have a better selection of spells to be able to defend themselves when not depending on their powers. That's the point I'm trying to make. I'm not knocking the eidolon I'm knocking a Summoner's weak spells selection. Even Unchained doesn't help this problem at all.


Unchained doesn't help the problem, because prior to Unchained, I don't think this problem existed. Sorry if that seems hostile, but I must really disagree about summoners having bad spellcasting - this class is among the better casters in the game due to the "discount" spell access that gives them access to powerful spells at around the same character levels as full casters do. You are casting haste, one of the best party buff spells, at level 4 - before even the wizard gets it (nevermind other 6-level casters like the bard). Something like 20% of the spells on the summoner list are 1 or 2 level higher for other classes, and they are often good spells - haste/slow, wind wall, Dimension door, greater invisibility, black tentacles, wall of X, teleport, insect plague... This is all on top of the summons.

Basically, if you want to have one special and fairly powerful minion, this is straight up the summoner's alley. That is their niche, and it is close to what the original poster wanted, which is why I was pushing for it. If you go for such a build and your minion is taken out, you do lose some power, that is for sure. That is just how things go when your main power feature is taken out. Mind you, the summoner has a level 2 spell to bring the eidolon back on top of the regular summon monsters s/he can spam in the meantime. Then you add in the buffs and the battlefield control.

Again, this is the APG summoner. The unchained summoner is weaker - that's another story - but its spell list is still close to that of the Spiritualist. I would not recommend it for a "necromancer", if that is what the op is looking for, but it can be a handy half-caster.


What I have read of unchained doesn't impress me at all. There were guidelines for beginning players some of which I felt were poor choices. Trying to supposedly improve three solid classes a wasted book. Barbarians, Monks, and Rogues are all good classes if played by someone who knows and likes them. I saw no reason to make adjustments and other changes.
I like the Synthesist Summoner but if I play a class like him I'd Spiritualist instead.


Eh, I think we can agree to disagree on Unchained, then - I think pre-unchained rogues and monks (outside a few builds) were not cutting it :) . Anyhow, the wizard would be my choice for a necromancer from the 3 classes MaxManatArms mentioned, but it is a matter of style and party needs more than anything else - the wizard has more utility than just the necromancy. I might go for witch if the group has neither an arcane caster nor a dedicated cleric as their spell list can pull "double duty" of sorts, or for a cleric if I want to stress their spell list.


Fair enough on unchained. Witch do have an interesting spell selection. It's not a class I'd pick first but I don't hate them.


I'd be most inclined to suggest gravewalker witch, followed by summoner.
I think the witch has a more necromantic selection of other class abilities/spells than the summoner does, to go alongside the one undead companion. But the summoner would probably be able to focus better on the one undead minion than the witch could.


The Gravewalker Witch doesn't give you a Minion it simply makes it easier to get one at lower levels. The Undead Lord Cleric archtype actually gives you an actual minion at first level and his abilities stacks with your so to make him better and better you do need to go up as a Cleric.


Might I ever so humbly suggest the Spell Sage archtype of the Wizard?

Access to cleric/druid/bard spells gives as well as a caster level boost ability, false focus feat and some reasonable downtime means at the low low level of 3 you can have a small army of shambling corpses from lesser animate dead with those juicy desecrate bonuses for the low low low cost of some grave robbing or brutal and thoughtless murder combined with some mending spells. Corpses are objects right? Means you should be able to repair combat damage with the mending cantrip. Lame but useful argument.

Also means you can be a really good crafter (blood money + heal?!), add in some cheese with preferred spell and you can snag Explosion of Rot from the druid list as your go to nuke (its basically a nuke that does untyped damage that affects almost anything golems included serious business). Only issue with it is that it competes for other fourth level spells which lets be honest are always Emergency Force Sphere, Dimension Door, and for the necromancer Fear and Enervation.

Regards,
DRS


Okay so If I could hijack this thread I'd like some help too.

so I've got this character Idea A evil princess whom belives that the serfs that her family controls are her property and that wishes to not only be queen of the kingdom of Valcuron but valator as well. she is vain and spoiled and has a superiority complex but she is incrediably smart. and willing to play the long game.
I want to go with a theme so though my skills may not be the most optimized but I want to have as potent of a character as possible with in the theme. this is a level 4 game, I am going playing a fourth level Sylph wizard necromancer my stats are.
STR:10, 0
DEX:17, +3
CON:13, +1
INT:21, +5
WIS:16 +3
CHA:17 +3

my skills are
Appraise: +10
Deplomacy: +11
intimidate: +10
Knowledge (arcana): 12
Knowledge (history): 12
knowledge (nobility): 12
Knowledge (religion): 12
sense motive: 10
spell craft: 10

any help optimizing this would be great.


The Phantoms are equal to an Eidolon in terms of ability and power. Like the Eidolon you can tailor your Phantom to look like anything to a certain extent depending on emotion.
It's the spell selection that makes a world of difference between picking a Spiritualist over a Summoner. To be blunt a Summoner's spell selection even Unchained suck. In fact a Summoner without his Eidolon is a target waiting to die quickly. A spiritualist actually has spells that give him a fighting chance if he loses his Phantom.
Now as far as having an undead caster I like the Occultist. The Necromancy school grants an interesting group of abilities. The base ability to control more above and beyond Animate Dead is hard to ignore. With a high Hit Dice and Templates you could easily find yourself with only one maybe two powerful undead. With Occultist you could have closer to four. That way you have one or two fight while the others simply protect you. The spell list of the Occultist is braod and varied and well worth taking depending on what you want.


Juju oracle. Just so you can beef up your single undead to max hit points and will have another casting of animate dead in you after animating your one beast of a zombie in a desecrate spell.


Mighty Glacier wrote:
The Shaman wrote:
Ya, R'lyeh :) . My main worry with spiritualists as necromancers is that their spell list may be somewhat limited. Also, aren't phantoms mostly utility based with less combat ability than an equally built unchained eidolon?

This has been my experience, yes, sadly. The only phantom build that can positively compare to the natural attack spam of an unchained eidolon is Anger emotion with Haunted Archetype. Against a non-unchained eidolon, no phantom can even dream about challenging that.

But phantoms beat UnEidolons in a few respects. DR 5/slashing and the ability to move through walls come to mind. An utility phantom has nothing against a skill-based UnEidolon, however (Skilled evolution? +8 to a skill, costs 1 evolution point. Balanced!)

If you want a single undead companion, have a look at Undead Lord archetype for the cleric. It's... okay-ish.

The problem isn't the Eidolon or Phantom both actually comparable in power. It's the spell selection. Spiritualist beat out a Summoner in spells every time. Hell a specialist archtype who gives up three schools of magic beat a Summoner in spell selection. Their power is their Eidolon but without them they suck. Spiritualist are similar but have a far better spell selection then Summoners including for this conversation Animate Dead. They even have Cure spells which fall under the Conjuration school. What is a Summoner, a specialized Conjurerer. Yet they lack spells a specialist Wizard gets.

The Grave Walker Witch Archtype is not bad, I don't care for it personally. Undead Lord Cleric Archtype I like better but you lose a Domain and the first is chosen for you, death or Undeath.


Again, dip one level into Juju oracle, if only so that your animate dead spell grants max hit points and 6HD/Level

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