should i be worried about necromancy?


General Discussion


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i made a post a while ago about necromancy

https://paizo.com/threads/rzs42ble?can-i-ask-a-question-about-necromancy

i love playing as necromancer wizard and that is why i'm worried about it

and make no mistake i really appreciate changes like bind undead that skip the annoyances and let players have fun

i understand its not being tested yet but its precisely because of that i want to be more vocal in the hopes that it can be addressed before its too late

1 - having only 4 minions at max

2- having to use 1 action to issue verbal commands with concentration per minion

3- not being able to leave undead alone for more than 1 minute

these 3 things can potentially completely ruin what makes the class fun

i'm reading the rules wrong or is there a reason i shoudln't be worried?

Liberty's Edge

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Personally, I think they should wait until the 2nd Hardcover (Whatever the PF2 Equiv of Advanced Players Guide) to publish any significant Archetypes, Uncommons Spells or Gear, and Classes that focus heavily on Summoning/Creating Creatures in general.

It's obvious that the basic groundwork for controlling multiple non-PC Creatures is VERY shaky right now. Hell, any PC could spend less than 5gp and have a pack of a dozen Guard Dogs that COMPLETELY DESTROY any semblance of CR evaluation, Party Level, Action Economy, and basic sanity at the table if they're brought along for an Adventure. I'm sure we would be looking at the same kind of stupidity if we tried testing Necromancy Spells and Powers at this phase.

The thing is, nobody wants to summon just 1 Undead Creature and direct it to act on their turn, they want LEGIONS of Undead, a bare minimum of 5+ muking about causing havok and with the current Minion Rules that is simply impossible without writing a whole new page of rules as a special carveout for controlling/creating/summoning Undead.


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You are missing the most important reason to be worried: NPC's don't need to be built with PC rules anymore. Just because the Big Bad NPC can send a 100 skeletons to attack the PC's doesn't mean that a PC should ever be able to get 100 skeletons.

If I was masochistic enough to design PF2, I would probably give the necromancer a swarm of undead. The mightier the necromancer, the bigger the swarm (or maybe better quality, like having to decide if you want to move from a large to huge swarm of zombies, or change to a large swarm of ghouls). You control a lot of undead with one action, and you don't waste a lot of game time doing so.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mechagamera wrote:

You are missing the most important reason to be worried: NPC's don't need to be built with PC rules anymore. Just because the Big Bad NPC can send a 100 skeletons to attack the PC's doesn't mean that a PC should ever be able to get 100 skeletons.

If I was masochistic enough to design PF2, I would probably give the necromancer a swarm of undead. The mightier the necromancer, the bigger the swarm (or maybe better quality, like having to decide if you want to move from a large to huge swarm of zombies, or change to a large swarm of ghouls). You control a lot of undead with one action, and you don't waste a lot of game time doing so.

The PF1 troop creature type would fit well here I think.

That would strike a good balance between "controlling lot of Minions" and "Not boggling down the turns".
I play with a Necromancer right now in PF1 and his turns are always longer than us because he have to control them all.


Elfteiroh wrote:
Mechagamera wrote:

You are missing the most important reason to be worried: NPC's don't need to be built with PC rules anymore. Just because the Big Bad NPC can send a 100 skeletons to attack the PC's doesn't mean that a PC should ever be able to get 100 skeletons.

If I was masochistic enough to design PF2, I would probably give the necromancer a swarm of undead. The mightier the necromancer, the bigger the swarm (or maybe better quality, like having to decide if you want to move from a large to huge swarm of zombies, or change to a large swarm of ghouls). You control a lot of undead with one action, and you don't waste a lot of game time doing so.

The PF1 troop creature type would fit well here I think.

That would strike a good balance between "controlling lot of Minions" and "Not boggling down the turns".
I play with a Necromancer right now in PF1 and his turns are always longer than us because he have to control them all.

I was so gonna say troop.

I'm only coming from 5e not PF1, but even there controlling a bunch of individual minions is pointlessly slow. Following minion rules but e.g. being able to heighten an animate dead spell to summon a minion troop could work pretty damn well.

In normal play it would cap out at controlling three undead swarms, but I think that is reasonable enough. At any rate I think troops would nail the feel without significantly ruining the action economy, balance, or time per turn.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If it's spellcasting-related, then yes you have reason to worry.

The minion rules are really bugging me; it's sorta working in the case of summons because they pop in and pop out exactly when you need them, but for actual minions that follow you around the action upkeep of ordering them around is quite excessive.


Dasrak wrote:

If it's spellcasting-related, then yes you have reason to worry.

The minion rules are really bugging me; it's sorta working in the case of summons because they pop in and pop out exactly when you need them, but for actual minions that follow you around the action upkeep of ordering them around is quite excessive.

Maybe this could benefit from something similar to the Ranger and Animal Druid abilities to do one stride or strike even if you don't command them. Not sure if it'd be the proper fix but it might be a good base. But that wouldn't be good if the 4 minion limit were lifted. Maybe a theoretical Necromancer prestige archetype could give this ability?


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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

The obvious intent (at least to me) of the weaker Necromancy spells (if memory serves, only make 1 at a time instead of a bunch) and the minion rules is to make eliminate the problem of playing with a necromancer.

What I mean by that is that turns start to look like this: Fight swings his sword, Cleric casts a spell, Rogue sneak attacks, mooks go...
Skeleton 1 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 2 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 3 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 4 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 5 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 6 attacks- gets lucky, rolls a 20 and does 1d4+3 dmg
Skeleton 7 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 8 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 9 attacks- can't hit
Necromancer summmons more skeletons

ROUND 2....

Tons of fun for Necromancer PC, but everyone else at the table takes one turn vs. 10+ for the Necro.

The rules were done this way on purpose to eliminate that problem.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
j b 200 wrote:

Skeleton 1 attacks- can't hit

Skeleton 2 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 3 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 4 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 5 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 6 attacks- gets lucky, rolls a 20 and does 1d4+3 dmg
Skeleton 7 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 8 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 9 attacks- can't hit

In practice, swarms of weak undead were a very poor strategy for that exact reason. You weren't hitting anything. Generally speaking 1 or 2 strong minions was the way to go.

While I understand and agree that summons and minions could bog down the game, I feel this swings too far in the opposite direction and is just a hard stop for way too many concepts. One of my more memorable games involved a solo necromancer (who was later joined by a summoner), and the longer turns with lots of bodies were cancelled out by the smaller player count so it worked well.


Dasrak wrote:
j b 200 wrote:

Skeleton 1 attacks- can't hit

Skeleton 2 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 3 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 4 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 5 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 6 attacks- gets lucky, rolls a 20 and does 1d4+3 dmg
Skeleton 7 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 8 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 9 attacks- can't hit

In practice, swarms of weak undead were a very poor strategy for that exact reason. You weren't hitting anything. Generally speaking 1 or 2 strong minions was the way to go.

While I understand and agree that summons and minions could bog down the game, I feel this swings too far in the opposite direction and is just a hard stop for way too many concepts. One of my more memorable games involved a solo necromancer (who was later joined by a summoner), and the longer turns with lots of bodies were cancelled out by the smaller player count so it worked well.

TBH this is one of the few cases where I think "You can houserule it" is a valid reason for why this shouldn't be majorly changed. The reason being that I think at the majority of tables having more minions, especially if you don't have to give up some of your combat potential to grant them theirs, isn't likely to be any good. Most people I've played with don't want a Necromancer/Summoner with a load of minions on the team if at can be helped, for the above reasons. It's fine for some groups or, as you said, smaller groups going with this in mind, but I think it's better to have the standard functionality similar to how it is now and leave simple houserule additions to be made for those where the whole group wants/accepts it, rather than have the standard rules allow this and put it in the hands of the GM to have to be the one to shut it down if a player wants to do it and take it out of hand, which I think would happen more often.

It kinda reminds me of Leadership. It was widely banned because it was such a pain but if it wasn't then, well, why WOULDN'T you do it (Tactically speaking)?

Just my two cents.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Edge93 wrote:
It kinda reminds me of Leadership. It was widely banned because it was such a pain but if it wasn't then, well, why WOULDN'T you do it (Tactically speaking)?

Leadership was usually banned because it was overpowered.

I once unbanned leadership with the following stipulation: your cohort must use an NPC class, must use the heroic array, and can only take feats from the core rulebook (and not leadership itself, obviously). Funny thing, no one wanted to take it (I still think it was really strong even with that level of limitation, just not so crazy that everyone and their dog wanted to take it...)


j b 200 wrote:

Skeleton 1 attacks- can't hit

Skeleton 2 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 3 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 4 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 5 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 6 attacks- gets lucky, rolls a 20 and does 1d4+3 dmg
Skeleton 7 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 8 attacks- can't hit
Skeleton 9 attacks- can't hit

i would sugest talking with the necromancer in question?

i cant think of why anyone would use such strategy but i'm sure nobody likes to be hated by the party

im sure that some dialogue could convince him to have not have his skeletons participating in the fights specially if they are indeed that useless

the reason i'm particularly worried is because you can use less undead or having them not be in the fight but convincing a gm to buff a class is not just hard but it feels horrible to be a special snowflake

also undead can be used in many diverse ways besides fighting

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Not to give any indication as to where we are going with this...

But I think I would much rather have a necromancer summon a horde of skeletons which works a lot more like a swarm (or troop as mentioned above), dealing damage to anyone they come into contact with, rather than rolling 20 times and hoping for a crit for them to have any effect at all.

I think summoning a bunch of undead is very iconic for the character concept... creating 1 skeleton might work as a bodyguard or something, but that is going to be some advanced skeletal knight or something.

Anyway.. just thought I would add my 2 cents.. carry on.


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Outside of the potential for a Necromancer archetype that uses troops (which is unlikely to be the core book), I'd say most of these are features rather than bugs.

In PF1, any type of minion was a no-brainer to take if possible, since they doubled your actions in a round by default. Summons did mostly the same, only with the added benefit of not caring if they died in battle. Even if a minion/summon had a difficult time contributing to damage, every hit aimed at one was a hit not aimed at a PC. Not to mention that in numbers, they could clog up the battlefield and keep certain enemies unable to contribute until the party was done with the rest.

In-combat, having too many minions slogs things down. And while you're right that they can also have uses out of combat... one of the big focuses in PF2 seems to be removing the ability for casters to outright replace mundane party members through magic (in addition to everything else they're doing with magic). And if you have a load of disposable undead minions, it is really easy to assign them tasks that make other roles useless (who needs a trapfinder if the skeletons just trigger every trap by walking into it?)

In short: Addressing your concerns here seems (to me at least) like something that would create far more problems than it solves.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
But I think I would much rather have a necromancer summon a horde of skeletons which works a lot more like a swarm (or troop as mentioned above), dealing damage to anyone they come into contact with, rather than rolling 20 times and hoping for a crit for them to have any effect at all.

To be honest, I'm surprised we didn't get a skeleton troop and zombie troop statblock in PF1, along with a note on how to create them with the animate dead spell. It definitely fits the theme, and would be much more effectual and easier to run than having to fiddle with individual creatures. I'm definitely all for this approach in PF2 (and wouldn't mind if it got slipped into one of the remaining PF1 softcovers, if it fits ;-)


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Themetricsystem wrote:

Personally, I think they should wait until the 2nd Hardcover (Whatever the PF2 Equiv of Advanced Players Guide) to publish any significant Archetypes, Uncommons Spells or Gear, and Classes that focus heavily on Summoning/Creating Creatures in general.

With all due respect, the Pathfinder CRB supports both summoning creatures and raising or controlling undead as a workable, effective character concept. It would be disingenuous for PF2 to fail to support it in core.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Another thing to consider, a primary aspect of one of the concerns was that the necromancer has a long turn where they are active, while the other players are not.

Minions are summoned/controlled/programmed creatures, with limited actions/choices. They don't don't generally, to my knowledge have a hive mind with their master, so they have a general purpose they are determining, but they are doing it based on an impression given them by their master, not by direct control of their master at all times.

One way to help level the playing field would actually be pretty simple. The necromancer defines his commands to his minions... he doesn't actually choose any of their specific individual actions.

Those are delegated to other players, with veto/guidance by the GM, because they should fit in with the general definition presented by their master.

I'm honestly fine with familiars and to a degree, even animal companions, being primarily run by their respective player. Mounts generally are being directly controlled as well, so also probably apply here. However, pet/trained animals I would easily see having them delegated to other willing players and given limitations on their coordination/intelligence depending off the creatures.

I actually have a bit of an issue with the idea that an animal will only react according to a specific command given by using an equivalent action count by the commander, per animal commanded. I understand the reason for it based on maintaining a balance, but it seems improbably.

It is easier to imagine that if you give an Attack command, to an animal, it will enter a programmed state where it will move towards the specified target creature if necessary, to engage and attack the creature and use, say up to 2 remaining actions to preform attacks on the creature. depending on the training, it would continue to attack until the creature becomes prone/unmoving or dead/meaning probably prone/unmoving and having been successfully hit/damaged after said state. Depending on if the animal was taught to disable or kill. It would continue to react in a programmed, simple way (which can be delegated to another semi-neutral player) based on its programming. Taking damage, etc. might cause morale rolls that might cause it to flee, or change 'programmed actions' but these could be defined by training.

The same can basically be provided for undead minions. There would be a set or subset of programming that necromancers or evil priests or such can require of these undead minions. "Some basic options: Stay in this area and kill anything living that enters (other than me), or Stay as if inanimate in the room and arise if something other than me touches or moves a given object, killing anything present and move it back. Or even programmed to do some sort of manual work, such as moving objects, or cleaning an area."

These programs should be generally very basic, and limited. They could be limited to certain types of creatures. [undead can sense life and so the options to kill other life, of course are limited to those, certain types of programs would be limited to animals, some might require more advanced intelligence or higher leveled trainers for instance.] Training an animal to attack to kill would be a different training than training an animal to attack to disable. Training an attack to do non-lethal damage would also be a different training, and would likely be an 'Uncommon' training. Even an Attack with intent to Flank might be a specific type of training. The animal being willing to use a step action once each turn in order to arrange for a flanking bonus. While some animals it might not really be a default option for them, I think pack-like animals such as wolves and/or dogs should have it as an option, but not the default one for domesticated beasts.

Again, don't give direct control to the player who owns the minion. They control assigning what programming is applied by utilizing their actions to change them, or to specify specific instructions to specific minions to do something specific, overriding the current programming. Otherwise they continue to follow the criteria based on there most recent programming. [or potential change based on some circumstance like being hurt, failing a morale check and entering a flee program]

It seems unreasonable for someone to not be able to have a small pack of four guard dogs walking around with them and be able to ask them to 'Sic' intruders, setting them into action attempting to taking the intruders down.

The issue might be once engaged, getting them to stand down, might actually be an individual command to each one, meaning if they say Sic, and then later realize the intruders will kill the dogs, they may have to take actions to request each to stop. Or perhaps they suddenly realize the intruders are allies, they didn't recognize, for instance. I think this can be balanced with really reasonable controls.


Charon Onozuka wrote:

Outside of the potential for a Necromancer archetype that uses troops (which is unlikely to be the core book), I'd say most of these are features rather than bugs.

In PF1, any type of minion was a no-brainer to take if possible, since they doubled your actions in a round by default. Summons did mostly the same, only with the added benefit of not caring if they died in battle. Even if a minion/summon had a difficult time contributing to damage, every hit aimed at one was a hit not aimed at a PC. Not to mention that in numbers, they could clog up the battlefield and keep certain enemies unable to contribute until the party was done with the rest.

In-combat, having too many minions slogs things down. And while you're right that they can also have uses out of combat... one of the big focuses in PF2 seems to be removing the ability for casters to outright replace mundane party members through magic (in addition to everything else they're doing with magic). And if you have a load of disposable undead minions, it is really easy to assign them tasks that make other roles useless (who needs a trapfinder if the skeletons just trigger every trap by walking into it?)

In short: Addressing your concerns here seems (to me at least) like something that would create far more problems than it solves.

i understand what you mean nobody should have to compete for a role but ask you to take into consideration that those caster can only cast so many time

i have no intention of denying that casters can fill the role of other party members but also consider that a skeleton would have a hard time competing with a seasoned warrior

also remember that not all parties are balanced so sometimes its good to have a caster patch them

i agree with people that having a troop/swarm monster could be potentially more fun than either of the extremes

but i also think that we are losing sight of what a necromancer is

what was the last time you saw a lich issue verbal commands that just feel lame it ruins the speechless mysterious feel

seriously at the very least remove this verbal command bit and change it to concentrate, talking is too lame


Really "Mass Minions" should have either printed rules to help organize them like Troop, or a side info block talking about ways as a GM to deal run with it.

Also, I saw something about using Skeletons to trigger traps. Well I mean that's nice and good an all but depending on the trap, simply triggering it doesn't disable it so hope you have good Disable Device once it's found.


MerlinCross wrote:

Really "Mass Minions" should have either printed rules to help organize them like Troop, or a side info block talking about ways as a GM to deal run with it.

Also, I saw something about using Skeletons to trigger traps. Well I mean that's nice and good an all but depending on the trap, simply triggering it doesn't disable it so hope you have good Disable Device once it's found.

even DD part one has one of those, for example.


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Neutral_Lich wrote:

i made a post a while ago about necromancy

https://paizo.com/threads/rzs42ble?can-i-ask-a-question-about-necromancy

i love playing as necromancer wizard and that is why i'm worried about it

and make no mistake i really appreciate changes like bind undead that skip the annoyances and let players have fun

i understand its not being tested yet but its precisely because of that i want to be more vocal in the hopes that it can be addressed before its too late

1 - having only 4 minions at max

2- having to use 1 action to issue verbal commands with concentration per minion

3- not being able to leave undead alone for more than 1 minute

these 3 things can potentially completely ruin what makes the class fun

i'm reading the rules wrong or is there a reason i shoudln't be worried?

These are things I like as a GM.

Necromancy was completely broken in PF1. It gave one player way too much power and versatility.


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Claxon wrote:


Necromancy was completely broken in PF1. It gave one player way too much power and versatility.

...Maybe this is just my experience, but I've never seen a Pf1 Necromancer actually have any more power than a normal PF1 cleric, and no more versatility than any minion-summoning divine caster would have. Even if we add in incorporeal undead, or specific strong minions, etc, etc, in my experience they are in no way more dangerous than a good Summoner build or a Monster Tactician Inquisitor.

Undead are kind of fragile; they're an extra mook or two you have running around (plus a pile of skeletons, probably bloody ones, that are better off as butlers than anything else) that you rely on the GM's story and a few feats to support, with the knowledge that said mooks are obvious, vulnerable to positive energy and a lot of spells, smite-able, and probably unrecoverable once destroyed.


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Sorry, let me expand.

Summoning was bad too.

Anything that gave you more than 1 minion was pretty awful for every else at the table. I've played with too many necromaners that had pets with special senses and other special abilities that simply outshone what PCs could accomplish easily within the rules. And this was equally true of summoning/binding.

As someone who didn't play characters that could do those things, I absolutely hated them when they we're brought to the table. Especially necromancy because it didn't reduce day to day capabilities because the undead stuck around, unlike summons.

Sure, a necromancer isn't any worse than a summoner. But that's because both suck for everyone else at the table to deal with.

Minionmancy was a huge problem in PF1, and frankly I'm happy to see it put to rest.


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I rarely played characters with those abilities either (except for a monk with Leadership once), and I've never had an issue with other players using them. If we can get an extra meat shield and maybe some useful senses, I'm 100% down as a player. As a DM, I've never had anyone get upset over someone having a companion or eidolon, or summon monster. I think this is a problem more rarely than it's made out to be.


sherlock1701 wrote:
I rarely played characters with those abilities either (except for a monk with Leadership once), and I've never had an issue with other players using them. If we can get an extra meat shield and maybe some useful senses, I'm 100% down as a player. As a DM, I've never had anyone get upset over someone having a companion or eidolon, or summon monster. I think this is a problem more rarely than it's made out to be.

It may be more rare than it's portrayed here, but when it's a problem, it's really a problem. You may not have encountered this exact scenario, but no doubt as an experienced GM you have come across the scenarios where a PC was killed or completely incapacitated and had to sit out combat; or where an encounter favored the skills and setup of one character to the detriment of others. It can be very easy for player disinterest to mount in the face of lopsided involvement, and when this situation rears its ugly head, that's what you're faced with. And summons and undead creations aren't just pets or companions that disappear forever once killed. If you somehow manage to remove or nullify them via creative means, they'll just be back the next day or sooner.


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Claxon wrote:

Sorry, let me expand.

Summoning was bad too.

Anything that gave you more than 1 minion was pretty awful for every else at the table. I've played with too many necromaners that had pets with special senses and other special abilities that simply outshone what PCs could accomplish easily within the rules. And this was equally true of summoning/binding.

As someone who didn't play characters that could do those things, I absolutely hated them when they we're brought to the table. Especially necromancy because it didn't reduce day to day capabilities because the undead stuck around, unlike summons.

Sure, a necromancer isn't any worse than a summoner. But that's because both suck for everyone else at the table to deal with.

Minionmancy was a huge problem in PF1, and frankly I'm happy to see it put to rest.

if you hate them so much why not just ban or houserule them? the book basically says gm's are the law

or if he is you friend you could talk to him and ask him not to do it?

i understand you don't like it but ask yourself how many times has a player convinced you to buff a class or change rules

its important for the people who specially like this class and want to play it on other tables


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Neutral_Lich wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Sorry, let me expand.

Summoning was bad too.

Anything that gave you more than 1 minion was pretty awful for every else at the table. I've played with too many necromaners that had pets with special senses and other special abilities that simply outshone what PCs could accomplish easily within the rules. And this was equally true of summoning/binding.

As someone who didn't play characters that could do those things, I absolutely hated them when they we're brought to the table. Especially necromancy because it didn't reduce day to day capabilities because the undead stuck around, unlike summons.

Sure, a necromancer isn't any worse than a summoner. But that's because both suck for everyone else at the table to deal with.

Minionmancy was a huge problem in PF1, and frankly I'm happy to see it put to rest.

if you hate them so much why not just ban or houserule them? the book basically says gm's are the law

or if he is you friend you could talk to him and ask him not to do it?

i understand you don't like it but ask yourself how many times has a player convinced you to buff a class or change rules

its important for the people who specially like this class and want to play it on other tables

If you really want to play as a character who takes up 50% of the turns during combat then you can set up a house rule with your GM that allows you to do that. But that should not be the standard. I'd much rather like Jason mentioned a troop or swarm-like system where you can control an undead horde but it acts as one. And this is coming from a necromancer player in PF1e (Undead Lord cleric to be exact).


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Troop is a pretty good solution.


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Dire Ursus wrote:
Neutral_Lich wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Sorry, let me expand.

Summoning was bad too.

Anything that gave you more than 1 minion was pretty awful for every else at the table. I've played with too many necromaners that had pets with special senses and other special abilities that simply outshone what PCs could accomplish easily within the rules. And this was equally true of summoning/binding.

As someone who didn't play characters that could do those things, I absolutely hated them when they we're brought to the table. Especially necromancy because it didn't reduce day to day capabilities because the undead stuck around, unlike summons.

Sure, a necromancer isn't any worse than a summoner. But that's because both suck for everyone else at the table to deal with.

Minionmancy was a huge problem in PF1, and frankly I'm happy to see it put to rest.

if you hate them so much why not just ban or houserule them? the book basically says gm's are the law

or if he is you friend you could talk to him and ask him not to do it?

i understand you don't like it but ask yourself how many times has a player convinced you to buff a class or change rules

its important for the people who specially like this class and want to play it on other tables

If you really want to play as a character who takes up 50% of the turns during combat then you can set up a house rule with your GM that allows you to do that. But that should not be the standard. I'd much rather like Jason mentioned a troop or swarm-like system where you can control an undead horde but it acts as one. And this is coming from a necromancer player in PF1e (Undead Lord cleric to be exact).

maybe you didn't read my thread earlier but i don't use those undead for battle

i understand you don't like this specific style and me neither but please consider how hard it is to get a gm to completely change a class feature to buff a player

and above all try to understand how it feel for a player to need to get buffed to do something villains do all the time

from the moment the gm buffs you everything you accomplish feels meaningless because you are no longer following rules

at this point you might as well just write in a sheet of paper "i win" and continue with your life


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Dire Ursus wrote:
If you really want to play as a character who takes up 50% of the turns during combat

Just a quick observation from someone who has a high-ish level conjuration wizard that specializes in summoning. The problem in PF1e isn't so much bad summoning rules as it is unprepared summoner players.

If you're playing a summoner (or any other character with multiple critters running around), you have to be prepared and have your act together with all the information at hand on the creatures' characteristics. Nothing is more painful than watching someone summon a creature and then search online with their notebook computer or mobile device to find its stat block.


I think necromancy and summoning can work fine if we simply accept an arbitrary limit of 1 combat minion per person, max.

You can have background skeletons that carry your stuff or perform simple tasks. My only real problem is when they're allowed in combat.

As for why I don't change the rules.

I do when I GM, but I'm not always the GM. So I don't always get to make the rules.

When the rules exist, players feel entitled to them. Downgrading someone's potential power gets a lot more rebuff than expanding it.


pjrogers wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
If you really want to play as a character who takes up 50% of the turns during combat

Just a quick observation from someone who has a high-ish level conjuration wizard that specializes in summoning. The problem in PF1e isn't so much bad summoning rules as it is unprepared summoner players.

If you're playing a summoner (or any other character with multiple critters running around), you have to be prepared and have your act together with all the information at hand on the creatures' characteristics. Nothing is more painful than watching someone summon a creature and then search online with their notebook computer or mobile device to find its stat block.

I've only played with a few Minion users and I always make sure they know what they are doing. But I've also put a hard limit as to how many they can control and usually ask for 1-2 big guys instead of a horde.

It's what I do when I look to be a summoner and usually limit myself to a type of summon(Staying with Animals or Elementals, 1 type of outsiders you know some kind of theme)


pjrogers wrote:


Just a quick observation from someone who has a high-ish level conjuration wizard that specializes in summoning. The problem in PF1e isn't so much bad summoning rules as it is unprepared summoner players.

It does sound like this is a major source of the problem.

And inexperienced / inattentive / just slightly distracted at that moment players happen. I'm not going to say that what we need is more streamlined rules on summoned creatures, because we've been getting plenty of that, and it kind of limits what you can do with them (though 'zoomed out' and 'zoomed in' versions of summonables, thus giving those who care more control over their summons, would be bloody amazing). What I will say is that there are a lot of ways for a player to purposefully or otherwise take up too much time during a turn, and I don't think reducing summons -- or really reducing the actions available to summoned monsters -- really solves the issue.

'Troops as a monster' solves other issues (I'm looking at you, incredibly disposable skeletons).

ultrace wrote:
You may not have encountered this exact scenario, but no doubt as an experienced GM you have come across the scenarios where a PC was killed or completely incapacitated and had to sit out combat; or where an encounter favored the skills and setup of one character to the detriment of others

Yeah, but that's not necessarily a problem with summons (who honestly should be face-tanking in most situations anyway -- half the point of summons is that replacing them is way cheaper than replacing a PC, even if you can't do it until next time you leave the dungeon). That's *always* a problem in any situation where one character is doing (or the player thinks is doing) worse than another, or gets into a situation where he gets KO'd.

And that's an area that I feel like PF2 is trying to cover, though I really think more generalized cheap healing is a better solution. Hell, I'd like to see a few more "if I'm dropped I heal to X instead" disposable items out there to help nullify the risks frontliners have with no longer being able to act.

Alternatively, in PF1, if you build the right summoner and trade out a feat on your frontliners, you can always put In Harms Way on a bunch of summons and literally use them as chaff to keep your frontliners in the fight. I'm in a game where the Inquisitor one player has is using that constantly, and honestly its a pretty great use of his cheap summons.

ultrace wrote:
And summons and undead creations aren't just pets or companions that disappear forever once killed. If you somehow manage to remove or nullify them via creative means, they'll just be back the next day or sooner.

Sure, but they're out for that moment, and likely that combat. And undead creations are especially vulnerable to this, because unlike summons, you have to have a body. If your dragon skeleton is eaten by a bone-eating ooze, you're down a frontliner until you can get a new one. If you spent other feats to make them permanent, then you typically get them back well after the combat ends.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

No matter how experienced you are. It's still a ton of dice to roll if you do go for the many weak skeleton horde route in combat. Which is perfectly viable since they serve as flanking partners, and general meat shields and barriers for enemies in combat. But yeah. Doesn't matter if you're experienced if you are controller 10 skeletons in a combat on your turn it's gonna take a lot of time.


Dire Ursus wrote:
No matter how experienced you are. It's still a ton of dice to roll if you do go for the many weak skeleton horde route in combat. Which is perfectly viable since they serve as flanking partners, and general meat shields and barriers for enemies in combat. But yeah. Doesn't matter if you're experienced if you are controller 10 skeletons in a combat on your turn it's gonna take a lot of time.

I mean it would be nice if something generally considered to be a cool tactic was usable by a relative newcomer without killing the game for everybody else.

Spellcasting indecision is bad enough.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah for sure. That's why I think the troop mechanic would be absolutely perfect here.


seriously now is there any actual way of upgrading your undead?

i would certainly be more willing to play with a single powerful minion if i didn't had to look up for a bodies with just the right number of dice, expend a s%&* ton of onyx and then try to put it under my control


Neutral_Lich wrote:

seriously now is there any actual way of upgrading your undead?

i would certainly be more willing to play with a single powerful minion if i didn't had to look up for a bodies with just the right number of dice, expend a s*%* ton of onyx and then try to put it under my control

I don't think there will be any... I doubt they will put more than summon a undead soldier, summon an undead troop, summon undead swarm in the core rulebook.

On that what i want for an necromancer is actually pretty easy to achieve. Give it a pet strong undead that works like a companion, or buff a familiar to have a similar effect. Being able to summon small troops that can grab or attack opponents. Neing able to leave a swarm/troop to guard a place entrance with strict order(No crafting with them, no earning money... No breaking the game having infinity downtime...). I think that's all i want my undead to do if i ever want to play a necromancer.

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