Heading Toward Eventual Undeath - PF1


Advice


I'm trying to help a friend with a character concept, then eventually a build.

He wants to build a PC focused on necromancy. But not the undead armies, poison, and plague across the land type. At least not to begin with. =0

The character is actually intended to be LE. But using his powers in the service of the authorities (and the party) to make the nation a better and more stable place. He is doing this to build a positive reputation, get in the good graces of the authorities, and get favors owed to him.
Eventually he wants to turn himself into some type of undead creature and never quite die existing as a powerful spellcaster. The undead armies and plagues would be ok with him at that point.

Note: that last part of becoming undead may not actually occur in this campaign. (They are not sure how long it will last.) But that will be the actual end goal of the PC. The focus is to never die, not to turn himself into a target for every do-gooder that ever sets out.

He would like some suggestions as to what kind of spellcaster might wok best for this and what kind of undead should he be aiming to become. So what would you suggest for him?

Edit: I should mention, he does not see this a becoming a problem with the rest of the group. They are building a fairly neutral-ish mercenary type group. They also don't optimize so well, so if his PC isn't the ultimate, that is ok.


Well... for the record he doesn't even have to be a spellcaster in order to be a necromancer. As for spellcasters, some can more easily become necromancers than others. The most powerful are oracles, clerics and wizards. Or some combination thereof.

Since they don't care how optimized they are, do you know what casting class would the player like to be?


Going with the classics: Wizard and lich. It's exactly what you've described. Alternately, Arcanist. Arcanist does have some sweet advantages.

Sovereign Court

Knight of the Sepulcher Antipaladin? Tyrant for the LE part, though technically the archetypes don't stack. Because Tyrant alters fiendish boon (by requiring you to take LE creature instead of a C or E creature if you choose servant), and Knight of the Sepulcher replaces Fiendish Boon. If you are the GM it would be easy to allow them to stack.

This gives the gradual descent into undeath that you might be looking for, nut less on the full caster part.

Agent of the Grave allows them to be less picky on what turns them undead because they retain their intelligence and free will.

As far as undead templates go, I am a fan of Graveknight. Same CR adjustment as Lich, but an additional immunity, bonus feats, SR, Phantom Steed, Undead Mastery, Desecration aura instead of Fear aura, and additional elemental damage on all attacks instead of paralyzing touch. Does lose the utility of Lich Touch to heal themselves though.


The ghoul bloodline slowly turns you into a ghoul. This lends its self to a sorcerer, wizard or arcanist.


LordKailas wrote:
Well... for the record he doesn't even have to be a spellcaster in order to be a necromancer. ...

Well, he pretty much only plays spellcasters. But for my info, how can you be a necromancer without being a spellcaster?

LordKailas wrote:
... do you know what casting class would the player like to be?

He has not expressed a preference yet. He has played an seems to enjoy nearly every spellcasting class. He didn't really seem to be thrilled with his druid or his alchemist, but I think that was mostly poor build/focus rather than dissatisfaction with the class. He often complains about spellbook casters, but then he still plays them pretty often. It seems to me like charisma caster would work well with becoming undead since they use the charisma bonus instead of constitution for bonus hp.

LordKailas wrote:
The ghoul bloodline slowly turns you into a ghoul. This lends its self to a sorcerer, wizard or arcanist.

Ha! Never noticed that one before. I bring that one up to him. If he doesn't like it, I might just give it a try.

Firebug wrote:
Knight of the Sepulcher Antipaladin? Tyrant for the LE part, though technically the archetypes don't stack. Because Tyrant alters fiendish boon (by requiring you to take LE creature instead of a C or E creature if you choose servant), and Knight of the Sepulcher replaces Fiendish Boon. If you are the GM it would be easy to allow them to stack. ...

I'm not in the group, but I do know the GM. He is kind of a rules stickler most of the time. But I don't think anti-paladin is enough of a caster type for him.

Firebug wrote:

... This gives the gradual descent into undeath that you might be looking for, nut less on the full caster part.

Agent of the Grave allows them to be less picky on what turns them undead because they retain their intelligence and free will. ...

I do like this one. Especially since he is trying to hide that he is LE necromancer for the first part of his career.

Firebug wrote:
... As far as undead templates go, I am a fan of Graveknight. Same CR adjustment as Lich, but an additional immunity, bonus feats, SR, Phantom Steed, Undead Mastery, Desecration aura instead of Fear aura, and additional elemental damage on all attacks instead of paralyzing touch. Does lose the utility of Lich Touch to heal themselves though.

My first thought was that it isn't for a caster. However, as I think about it more, it would work for a cleric and it does give a lot of defensive powers. Since his whole goal is to never die, that might be pretty good.

Sovereign Court

Graveknight does give better ability score bonuses than Lich (same +Int, higher Wis/Cha, gets Str too) and quite a bit more hit points (since you use Cha, and it gets Toughness, and permanent Desecrate). The only issue is that you pretty much have to wear armor of some sort and the harder to destroy the armor the better since its your phylactery. So Arcane Casters might have a bit more trouble without investing some resources into negating that.

Grand Lodge

I have an Undead Bloodline sorcerer which I rather enjoy playing...the bloodline slowly transforms them into something close to undead, but not quite fully undead.

Similar to the Ghoul bloodline, and could certainly fit the bill.


There's always
Eternal Apotheosis


Revolving Door Alternate wrote:
Well, he pretty much only plays spellcasters. But for my info, how can you be a necromancer without being a spellcaster?

I have two builds but they are both basically variations of the same. The key to both is that you can get cast the spells you need via the Deific/Feindish Obediance feats as spell-like abilities.

Late in Life Necromancer (Any)[Basic]

Spoiler:

Key concepts: An Unconventional Necromancer, A master of the Undead that doesn’t cast spells
Deity: Circiatto
Class: Any(7), Evangelist(10), Any(3)
Key Feats: Exotic Heritage [Heal] (1st), Eldritch Heritage[Empyreal](3rd), Fiendish Obedience(5th), Improved Eldritch Heritage[Sacred Cistern] (11th), Command Undead (13th)
Suggested Feats: Charnel Soldiers
Key Features: Gets Command Undead (Spell) at 10th
Gets Animate Dead (no cost) at 13th
Gets Command Undead (Feat) at 13th level
Gets Create Undead (no cost) at 16th

The Secret Re-animator (Any)[Basic]

Spoiler:

Key concepts: An Unconventional Necromancer, A master of the Undead that doesn’t cast spells
Deity: Urgathoa or Orcus
Key Feats: Exotic Heritage [Heal] (1st), Eldritch Heritage[Empyreal](3rd), Deific/Fiendish Obedience(5th), Diverse Obedience/Damned Disciple(7th), Improved Eldritch Heritage[Sacred Cistern] (11th), Command Undead (13th)
Suggested Feats: Charnel Soldiers
Key Features: Gets Animate Dead (no cost) at 10th
Gets Command Undead (Feat) at 13th level

Revolving Door Alternate wrote:
He has not expressed a preference yet. He has played an seems to enjoy nearly every spellcasting class. He didn't really seem to be thrilled with his druid or his alchemist, but I think that was mostly poor build/focus rather than dissatisfaction with the class. He often complains about spellbook casters, but then he still plays them pretty often. It seems to me like charisma caster would work well with becoming undead since they use the charisma bonus instead of constitution for bonus hp.

So, I won't list the full builds here (as it would make this post far too long) but rather just go over the basic premises.

As mentioned for Sorcerer, wizard and/or arcanist. The undead and ghoul bloodlines make the most sense. For arcanist you can either take a 1 level dip in sorcerer and then take the exploit bloodline development or you can grab the blood arcanist archetype. Either way you'll get to advance the bloodline without any additional investment. Wizards can do something similar via the Exploiter Wizard archetype.

Alchemist: you're looking at the reanimator and Chirurgeon archetypes.

Clerics: ideally you want the death and inevitable domains, but no deity offers both meaning the separatist archetype unless your allowing the player to just pick two domains. The Divine paragon archetype gives you the deific obediance feat and advances it, so it's worth considering, as is the Undead Lord. Undead Lord gives you an undead servant at 1st level but you give up one of your domains. On the plus side you get to feel like a necromancer right out the gate, but the servant you get is fairly weak at higher levels.

Druid: The Blight druid archetype lets you pick up the death/undeath domain. It also shifts most of your animal based abilities so that they work on vermin instead, which can be used on undead animals.

Oracles: The Juju mystery(PAP39/PZO9039) gives one of the strongest buffs to necromancers via the Spirit vessels revelation as it increases how many HD worth of undead you can control. the Bones mystery is another way to go but it is less powerful.

Witch: You'll want the gravewalker and hex channeler archetypes. Since the feat Command undead doesn't care about how many dice you get you don't have to waste your hexes increasing your channeling dice. It only matters if you're using this ability to heal your undead.

Wizard: If you want to specialize in a school other than necromancy and still be a necromancer the Undead Master archetype is the way to go. This is because the archetype actually overlaps with the benefits gained from the necromancy school.

I have full builds for each of the above in my Character Concepts document. All of the necromancer builds are in the last section starting at page 164.


Well thanks for the help but this concept is dead. Ha. True dead!

He was leaning toward a Grave Walker witch going for the eventual Grave Knight template.

The group was ok with the concept, but the GM didn't seem to be thrilled with the idea of a secret LE character in the group.

I will probably be back later with some other warped concept to flesh-out.

Sovereign Court

Oh, random one I just remembered. Mark of the Devoted is a feat that basically allows you to turn into a Juju Zombie when you die. They get to keep their mental facilities, skills, classes, etc but you do have to turn evil.

IMO, as long as the character doesn't proceed to backstab the party and attempts to get raised at first opportunity, it might allow some flirting with the dark side.


Firebug wrote:

...

IMO, as long as the character doesn't proceed to backstab the party and attempts to get raised at first opportunity, it might allow some flirting with the dark side.

That GM doesn't have a whole lot of experience and has had a poor experience with group disintegrating into chaos. He's probably worried about that happening again.

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