concerns about the impossibility of a character who is secretly a necromancer


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Unicore wrote:
Neutral_Lich wrote:

ok can understand people's hatred for the undead minions but at the very least let me seek lichdom in peace

i mean its my soul and pharasma would obliterate it anyway for rejecting her judgement so there is no crime there

I am fairly certain that Necromancer is a viable player option in the core rulebook of the playtest and will remain there in the next edition book. Pursuing something like lichdom, just to avoid Phrasma's judgment is a perfectly legitimate character backstory that you should feel free to run. Even having the character be evil, or even a neutral character that use spells with the evil descriptor can be fine, but shouldn't be done without consulting the GM, and, in the vast majority of games, consulting with the other players. The core idea you are wanting to play is 100% feasible in the playtest. A lot of players will be fine with this as a background that motivates your character as long as you agree not to be secretly undermining them or working against group goals.

What is not present, and shouldn't be a core feature of the game, is classes, feats, spells, and abilities designed to manipulate and deceive other players without being gated behind requiring GM, and other player approval. And, of all the things that could be included in the core rulebook, antagonistic play rules are near the absolute bottom of things I would want to see in the next edition of this game.

The kind of game where every character agrees ahead of time not to reveal any backstory of their characters, nor their character abilities, and accepts that character motivations may lead to violent conflict is not "bad wrong fun," but it has to the play style chosen by everyone or it is a violation of the core level of trust that is necessary for people to be able to play roleplaying games.

Pathfinder is also not the best game for this model of play though. There are so many die rolls that need to be visible, if not to the other players, at least to the GM. If PF1 was going to...

its not antagonistic i'm not trying to kill or betray the party i just wanna play a class i like without getting killed by the 1 guy who hates necromancers

what should i do when 3 people are ok with necromancy but 1 guy want to kill me first session just for being a necromancer?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

You should talk to your GM about the other player being antagonistic. If the rest of the party is fine with your concept but he isn't, the burden falls on him to work that out with the GM IMO. At the very least, the GM should mediate between the two of you and come up with a compromise.

Someone insisting on playing a character that wants to kill your character is going to be toxic no matter what you play. The kind of person who hides behind "it's what my character would do" - I often hear them referred to as "That Guy"s - is going to cause friction anyway.

No matter what the dynamic is, it sounds like something that needs to be resolved between the players, rather than trying to rely on the system as a crutch.


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This is one of those tricky places where the rule book is never going to be able to provide the "right" answer. A Necromancer is going to be FPS legal, and if another character is going to attack another character immediately based upon who they are and not the actions they take in play, then they are the one that is probably not going to be welcome for long in the pathfinder society.

However, if you are playing with a close group of friends, and in a longer campaign, then the rule of consensus is that you and all the other people at the table have to be able to talk about why you want to play the game together, and if you feel you are being denied the ability to play the game the way you want to, you should look and see if this is a character concept you can play out in a different group. Either online, or finding another play group. Then maybe you can play a different character when you play with this other player and everything will be fine. If this necromancer concept is the only character you ever want to play though, you should be prepared for your party getting tired of playing with the same player in every campaign. It doesn't mean you are wrong for wanting to play it, but they are not wrong for deciding they don't want to play another game with that same character.

The bottom line is that it sounds like your primary issue is related to you feeling excluded by your play group more than by the rules of the game.


I think what everyone is glossing over at this point is that the OP originally wants to play something that we have very little information about still.

Paizo has already said that, yes, raising the dead and playing a necromancer is going to be in the final product. We just don't know it what form. The OP has concerns about it not being the way he wants to play the necromancer, which is valid (I don't care if you want to play the sole CE character in a team of LG/CG heroes, that's between you and your DM).

However, this is at least the third thread he's made whinging about rules that we don't know anything about yet. The idea that raising skeletal minions being ritual only is rumor at best (where did that crop up?) and there's a reason why a more complex system wasn't included in the playtest. It's quite beyond what they want to playtest.

You guys can argue about the ethics of playing a disruptive character, but at the core of this, many people have already talked to this poster about incredibly baseless complaints that provide no constructive feedback.

Liberty's Edge

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I really dislike how you're being ganged up upon, but to be fair I'm really having a hard time following your logic that this kind of Character isn't possible.

This type of character would in ANY RPG SYSTEM need to at LEAST have some kind of passive illusions disguising their undead as normal people, or worse than that some kind of non-stop unlimited use cooked up custom Artifact to enchant people to think they're anything but walking corpses.

What you're asking for seems to be a way to not ONLY get some of the most powerful abilities in the game (Crunch wise AND Lore wise), and ALSO the ability to hide your evil-doing from any doers-of-good. Have you considered the role of a Neutral Necromancer who takes pains to only reanimate fresh bodies, you know, buy em nice clothes, treat the undead with SOME respect, put on perfume etc and wash them regularly, perform final (Final Final) rites and bury their body? I think that tack may get you a bit further to stay in the good graces of other adventurers than trying to hide something (Literally the fastest way to get PVP is for one player to try to hide something from the other actual PEOPLE playing the game) from the rest of the players.


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Neutral_Lich wrote:

its not antagonistic i'm not trying to kill or betray the party i just wanna play a class i like without getting killed by the 1 guy who hates necromancers

what should i do when 3 people are ok with necromancy but 1 guy want to kill me first session just for being a necromancer?

This is what session zero is for. You should be talking about this with the group before everyone makes characters to get a party where there is some compatability, not trying to get the rules changed so you can make a character that will literally only work if the rest of the party doesn't know about it.

Because yes, if I am playing my current Cleric of Sarenrae and it turns out someone in the party has a secret army of undead doing who knows what? We're going to have problems (Sarenrae is not so big on undead and my Cleric is not so big on evil, which raising undead is). Had I known in advance someone in the group was going to be raising undead, I'd have played something else.

This is not a rules problem. This is a "everyone at the table wants to play a hero except you" problem. That is where it needs addressing.

The time and place for this character is a party where the other characters don't care. Could be an evil party. Could be a party that just doesn't have any characters who care about undead so long as they help complete the quest ("the greater good" and all that). The time and place is not "there's two Paladins and an undead hunting Cleric in this party already".

If you insist on making something when you already know my character will loathe you for it, you then don't get to complain when my character loathes you for it. That's on you. This is a cooperative storytelling game, at the end of the day. It works better when everyone at the table is on the same page in what story they are trying to tell than it does when one person insists on undermining it.


To neutral lich, I’m sorry that the playtest doesn’t allow you to play this character concept and that when it does become available I think it’s been made clear that in Golarion this concept is a bad life choice in general. This may not help you now but for the future you may want to talk to GMs about running a different setting, one that won’t punish your concept and allow you to play it to the hilt. One that leaps to mind is Eberron. I don’t know what has happened to it after 3.5 but it’s always been one of my favorites, even giving Golarion a run for its money. Things you might like: they did everything short of throwing alignment out the window, so much so that cleric’s have no alignment restrictions tied to deities. Necromancy is fairly tolerated, one of the major nations’ military is about 3 quarters undead. No one really likes that nation but they are respected. Hell, there’s even an elf nation run by positive energy powered liches.
When your necromancer’s secret inevitably gets out your party is far more likely to accept you than in other settings as long as you’ve been a contributing member of the group. I don’t know how helpful this has been but hopefully it’s something to think about.


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A thing worth underlining is that if player A wants to play concept x, and player B wants to play concept y and concepts x and y are incompatible for whatever reason, this is a people problem not a game mechanics problem. Players A and B need to figure out how they can both be happy in this party, even if it means playing something different.

It is almost always a mistake to try to solve people problems with game mechanics.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Helmic wrote:
Neutral_Lich wrote:
playing a outright evil character would mean i would have to leave the party and come up with a alibi

Well, no. It would mean you stop playing, period. No sane GM is going to run an entirely separate game just for you, you'd just be disinvited from the table for odious behavior. At best you'd be forced to create another character, and the GM would probably force you to be Lawful Good for good measure. It's just not feasible for someone to take one whole hour out of a four hour biweekly session where the GM is focusing entirely on what just you are doing while the rest of the party has to sit and twiddle their thumbs.

Have you actually played Pathfinder or D&D with others before? Did you play this particular character concept? How exactly did that go down, and why do you think it'd be any different in PF2?

I think, before worrying about anything else, you should be seeking out a specific setting where necromancy is actually accepted as normal, and then find a system where controlling armies is also normal for players. You're not operating on the scale of an adventurer, you're looking more towards an RP-strategy hybrid that would require completely different game mechanics. Like, if you're a necromancer with an undead army, the other players would be monarchs and warlords and wizards with their own armires, of knights and mercenaries and constructs. Something like Warhammer, but focused on actually roleplaying rather than just gamey battles between players. It sounds fun, but it's fundamentally incompatible with D&D and Pathfinder without massive tweaks that probably wouldn't satisfy you.

off the top of my head: Eberron. Necromancy and Undead are a normal part of life their.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I couldn't help but try to hunt down the setting with Necromancy that was an integral part of one of the cultures. I finally found it, it was Jakandor. It is no longer a supported setting, but there are three published books about the setting, if someone wanted to use them as a resource. The 'barbarians' hated the other cultures use of magic (that included a lot of necromancy). But in the culture that used magic, as I recalled, the use of non-intelligent undead was not considered evil.

But that isn't Golarion, and so would require house rules to implement a setting such as it.


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The next time a game starts, as part of session 0, ask if it would be possible to play in or around Geb.

Then. Work things out with the other Players. (I think this point has been made fairly clearly by many.) Compromises may need to be made, but, even on Golarion, SOMETHING could work out. It just requires OOC Diplomacy with the rest of the group. ;)

There are ways to get the story you want told, even as a player, it just requires cooperation, even if it's just a tacit buy in.

Perhaps, find out WHY the anti-necromancer Player is so anti-necromancy. There might be an interesting story there, in and of itself.


Neutral Lich, I wonder if your problem is that you are confined to a gaming group that are too narrow minded to allow you to explore your favorite fantasy. I can imagine religious players that can't leave their beliefs outside the game or some such. If this is true, you could remind those players that this is a GAME, and encourage them to go outside their comfort zone for this particular activity. Reciprocity would demand that you do the same for them at some point.

This is my opinion on animating the dead being an evil act
Reanimation is defined as evil by the game rules. A good character might get away with an evil act once in a blue moon as long as they are overwhelmingly good; only paladins are totally prohibited from evil acts. But a character that makes a profession of evil acts, doing them over and over, cannot be good. But such a character who does correspondingly good acts might outweigh the evil of their profession and end up neutral. If you play a reanimator who, outside of animating the dead, is as good as a paladin, such a character could in my opinion be neutral between good and evil. It is a very difficult balance act, but precisely for this reason it might be interesting to play. Having a good character act as your pseudo-evil PCs advisor and confidante would make this even more interesting, by involving other players more. But this would absolutely preclude attacking orphanages and killing people to animate them. You should only reanimate those who were grossly evil in life, so their undead existence is just a variant of the punishment that would normally be their final reward.

But all of this should be brought up during session zero. This when all the players (including the GM) gather to discuss what the game will be all about, what themes to explore, and what character concepts fits the story. Springing a reanimator on the other players (or worse, the GM) unknowingly would be horrible table manners and I imagine this would get you expelled from most gaming groups. It certainly would get you expelled from mine.


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And Alternative, is to explore the vibrant community here on the boards for PbP. Heck, there is at least one game recruiting RIGHT NOW, that your concept might actually be a BOON. (I took 10s to look at several of the recruitments open, and at least 3 MIGHT work.)

YES, it would require GM Buy in, but....

Secret Agent Man is MUCH easier to pull off, on a PbP format.

Disclaimers.
Not all games applied to would accept the concept.
Not all games that would accept such a concept, will survive more than 1d4 weeks.
Not all games that accept such a PC, will not have the same issues mentioned above, once you are inevitably outed, resulting in PC death.
Not all gamers have the personality traits that work well with the PbP format.
Your Mileage May Vary.

May the Dice Gods find fortune for you.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
It is almost always a mistake to try to solve people problems with game mechanics.

This just zenned me out. This should be in the PF2 intro.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
It is almost always a mistake to try to solve people problems with game mechanics.

I would argue that a lot of PF2 mechanics are an attempt to solve people problems.


Yeah, like what?


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Themetricsystem wrote:
I really dislike how you're being ganged up upon, but to be fair I'm really having a hard time following your logic that this kind of Character isn't possible.

This is a continuation of Neutral Lich's posts in the "What do Rituals add to the game?". So it helps to read his posts there to get the full picture.

Some posters here are continuing that conversation. He's also toned down the (semi-censored) swearing, so that's a plus.

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