Optimized necromancer and other thoughts


Advice


I've made a lot of wizards, but never delved too much into Necromancy. That changes today.

So I have a bit of a concept working and I was thinking I should take some sort of Save or suck spell to specialize in. The character is a Mystic Theurge Early entry (It's house ruled, I know its not longer "legal") Tiefling. Necromancer/Cleric. I'm going to do the "Horde of undead" build, but with MT that kinda doesnt require additional consideration. I also want some sort of Save or suck goodness.

1) Any thoughts on the "best" necromancy spell to specalize in. I'm not opposed to combining this with metamagic. I'm thinking it'll be save or suck, but open to any advice.
2) Any other useful advice for a burgeoning necromancer.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
I'm going to do the "Horde of undead" build, but with MT that kinda doesnt require additional consideration.

This, in my opinion, is part of what makes undead minions so great. It doesn't need optimization. You can just cast the spell with no feat or class feature support and it works amazingly well. This allows your character to expend feats and class features on other things to be broader and more well-rounded. Minion-mancy is something you can literally slap on any spellcaster build that gets access to the spell.

With that said, the Mystic Theurge does add the synergy of having access to both the arcane and divine casting list. Normally you'd want to have access to both the Desecrate and Command Undead spells, and there is no class that gets both without cross-list shenanigans. This makes it uniquely suited to the task.

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
1) Any thoughts on the "best" necromancy spell to specalize in. I'm not opposed to combining this with metamagic. I'm thinking it'll be save or suck, but open to any advice.

Spell Focus is really all you need here, and I don't think there's any particular reason to specialize in a specific Necromancy spell. Just pump the DC's for the entire school and you should do great.

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
2) Any other useful advice for a burgeoning necromancer.

The biggest trick with necromancy isn't the game mechanics, but the style of your GM. Their comfort level with you having an entourage of undead minions and casting spells that are on the darker shade of grey is going to have an impact on your game experience. Ensure you and your GM are on the same page in that regard.

Oh, and don't bother with the Create Undead spell line. It's really bad. Stick with Animate Dead for those lovely fast zombies and bloody skeletons. They're more obedient and more powerful.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
1) Any thoughts on the "best" necromancy spell to specalize in. I'm not opposed to combining this with metamagic. I'm thinking it'll be save or suck, but open to any advice.

I'm a fan of bestow curse, for its flexibility if nothing else. With a bit of creative thinking and a cooperative GM, you can get a lot of mileage out of a single custom curse.

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
2) Any other useful advice for a burgeoning necromancer.

Have you considered being a Thassilonian Specialist? Abjuration and enchantment are pretty good opposition schools, and you'd probably be better off using your cleric slots for abjurations anyway. The extra spells per day could be really nice.

Also, stock up on salt. You can use two pounds of it (worth 10 gp) as an alchemical power component for any necromancy spell to get +1 caster level. And it's a trade good, so you can always exchange any excess at full price should the need arise.

Further options to boost necromancy CL include Varisian Tattoo and Deific Obedience (Urgathoa).


I found out something of interest the other day while looking into the things you can planar bind from Abaddon for another thread.

The Druj Nasu Div can make Frostfallen creatures or create up to Huge-size Necrocraft with all the bells and whistles for free with their Animate Dead SLA. As a special ability, though, all undead it creates are immune to fire. So you remove the biggest weakness of Frostfallen undead right off the bat and make your bruiser boy Necrocraft shrug off Fireball with nary a care. Or I suppose if you had it make Bloody Freezing/Electric variant Skeletons for you, then they'd be immune to two of the most common energy types.

Since you'll have Command Undead, then you can take control of the mindless undead it creates for you.

With SR 19, Cha 23, and a +11 Will save, they might be a bit tricky to nab during the levels where undead minions would be most relevant, especially as you'd likely be reliant upon using scrolls to accomplish the task.

Additionally, this thread on player-createable undead may be of interest, if for no other reason than its proposed houserule to limit the CR bloat and potential for an arbitrarily large number of attacks on Necrocraft.

As for Create Undead, you really only want to pay attention to Blast Shadows, Crawling Hands, Tikoloshe (but note they're one use until level 15), and Tuyewera.

Unless the GM rules that some of the intelligent ones can be bargained with, of course. Pathfinder can be a bit inconsistent about the nature of undead and their ability to think and cooperate due to the differing personalities behind the scenes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Exoskeletons make Animate Dead useful.


Coidzor wrote:

I found out something of interest the other day while looking into the things you can planar bind from Abaddon for another thread.

The Druj Nasu Div can make Frostfallen creatures or create up to Huge-size Necrocraft with all the bells and whistles for free with their Animate Dead SLA. As a special ability, though, all undead it creates are immune to fire. So you remove the biggest weakness of Frostfallen undead right off the bat and make your bruiser boy Necrocraft shrug off Fireball with nary a care. Or I suppose if you had it make Bloody Freezing/Electric variant Skeletons for you, then they'd be immune to two of the most common energy types.

Since you'll have Command Undead, then you can take control of the mindless undead it creates for you.

With SR 19, Cha 23, and a +11 Will save, they might be a bit tricky to nab during the levels where undead minions would be most relevant, especially as you'd likely be reliant upon using scrolls to accomplish the task.

Additionally, this thread on player-createable undead may be of interest, if for no other reason than its proposed houserule to limit the CR bloat and potential for an arbitrarily large number of attacks on Necrocraft.

As for Create Undead, you really only want to pay attention to Blast Shadows, Crawling Hands, Tikoloshe (but...

Interesting. This is good stuff. One question though. I don’t get crawling hands. They’re kinda cool, but don’t seem overly useful. What am I missing?


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
I don’t get crawling hands. They’re kinda cool, but don’t seem overly useful. What am I missing?

I presume he means the giant crawling hand and its Mark Quarry ability, which provides it a continuous Locate Creature effect provided you can get a sample of the target's blood. With that said, a lot of people forget that Locate Creature has limited range (400 ft + 40/level) so it's not quite as good as it sounds. You already need to have narrowed down your search before you're close enough to track with Locate Creature.


Dasrak wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
I don’t get crawling hands. They’re kinda cool, but don’t seem overly useful. What am I missing?
I presume he means the giant crawling hand and its Mark Quarry ability, which provides it a continuous Locate Creature effect provided you can get a sample of the target's blood. With that said, a lot of people forget that Locate Creature has limited range (400 ft + 40/level) so it's not quite as good as it sounds. You already need to have narrowed down your search before you're close enough to track with Locate Creature.

Ahh. Also cool. Thanks.

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