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Necromancer

Necromancer

Image Credit: Bonnie Martin and Samurai Sheepdog. Used with permission.


The goddess of death gives power over her dominion as freely as Life brings hers into the world. Wizards and clerics, in particular, master the art of necromancy through the lens of their studies and their faith. Even druids, whose purpose is to maintain balance in the world, have necrolytes they rely on when it comes to communing with Death and her reapers. But what of those who draw their power directly from the goddess? Who do not merely worship her, but allow her will and her power to suffuse their very beings? These are the true necromancers, the dread followers of Death who carefully walk the line between the mortal concept of living and dead. They see beyond both into the churning heart of reality with the power to breed life and snuff it out in the blink of an eye.

Role: Necromancers are neither the poor fools who must conjure an army of undead to hide behind for safety, nor the pious believers who plea for their goddess to give them a lick of her boot. A true necromancer stands ready for his enemy, necrotic power playing at his fingertips. When his foe draws too close, or carelessly leaves himself open to his power, he reacts. With a touch, it falls to madness, despair, or dust, and the necromancer moves on, uncaring, to his next victim.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d8

Starting Wealth: 4d6 × 10 gp (average 140 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

The necromancer’s class skills are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks Per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: Necromancer
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spells Per Day
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Cantrips, charnel touch, dominion 3+1
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Channel negative energy 1d6 4+1
3rd +1 +3 +1 +3 Command undead, cruelty 5+1
4th +2 +4 +1 +4 Necromantic studies, spectral hand 6+1 3+1
5th +2 +4 +1 +4 Fearless 6+1 4+1
6th +3 +5 +2 +5 Channel negative energy 2d6, cruelty 6+1 5+1 3+1
7th +3 +5 +2 +5 Damage reduction 1/— 6+1 6+1 4+1
8th +4 +6 +2 +6 Charnel touch (2d8), necromantic studies  6+1 6+1 5+1 3+1
9th +4 +6 +3 +6 Cruelty  6+1 6+1 6+1 4+1
10th +5 +7 +3 +7 Channel negative energy 3d6, damage reduction 2/— 6+1 6+1 6+1 5+1 3+1
11th +5 +7 +3 +7 Light fortification  6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 4+1
12th +6/+1 +8 +4 +8 Cruelty , necromantic studies 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 5+1 3+1
13th +6/+1 +8 +4 +8 Damage reduction 3/— 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 4+1
14th +7/+2 +9 +4 +9 Channel negative energy 4d6 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 5+1 3+1
15th +7/+2 +9 +5 +9 Charnel touch 3d8, cruelty 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 4+1
16th +8/+3 +10 +5 +10 Damage reduction 4/—, necromantic studies 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 5+1 3+1
17th +8/+3 +10 +5 +10 Moderate fortification  6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 4+1
18th +9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Channel negative energy 5d6, cruelty 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 5+1 3+1
19th +9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Damage reduction 5/— 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 4+1
20th +10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Heavy fortification, necromantic epiphany 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1

Class Features

The following are class features of the necromancer.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Necromancers are proficient with all simple weapons, light armor, and shields (except tower shields).

Undead Fortitude (Ex)

Necromancers are naturally tougher than other spellcasters, even though their combat ability is the same. Their hit die is a d8.

Spells

Table: Necromancer Spells Known
Level Spells Known
0th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st 4 2
2nd 5 2
3rd 5 3
4th 6 3 1
5th 6 4 2
6th 7 4 2 1
7th 7 5 3 2
8th 8 5 3 2 1
9th 8 5 4 3 2
10th 9 5 4 3 2 1
11th 9 5 5 4 3 2
12th 9 5 5 4 3 2 1
13th 9 5 5 4 4 3 2
14th 9 5 5 4 4 3 2 1
15th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 2
16th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 2 1
17th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 2
18th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 2 1
19th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 3 2
20th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 3 3

A necromancer casts divine spells which are drawn from the necromancer spell list. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time.

To learn or cast a spell, a necromancer must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a necromancer’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the necromancer’s Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a necromancer can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Necromancer. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells).

A necromancer’s selection of spells is extremely limited. A necromancer begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of her choice. At each new necromancer level, she gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Necromancer Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a necromancer knows is not affected by her Charisma score; the numbers on Table: Necromancer Spells Known are fixed.) These new spells can be common spells chosen from the necromancer/wizard spell list, or they can be unusual spells that the necromancer has gained some understanding of through study.

Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered necromancer level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), a necromancer can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. In effect, the necromancer loses the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged. A necromancer may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that she gains new spells known for the level.

Cantrips: Necromancers learn a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on Table: Necromancer under “Spells per day.” These spells are treated like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again.

Charnel Touch (Su)

At 1st level, when a necromancer can make a melee attack, he can use charnel touch instead. Charnel touch is a melee touch attack that deals 1d8 points of damage + 1 point for every two class levels the necromancer possesses. He can use this ability at will, but only once per round. The damage die increases to 2d8 at 8th level and 3d8 at 15th level.

Dominion

Through rigorous practice, a necromancer gains access to a collection of unique spells and powers referred to as his dominion. The necromancer’s dominion is identical to a cleric’s domain, but does not require worship of a deity to access and use. The necromancer is free to worship a god of his choosing, but that deity has no direct say in how he applies his talents. He gains one dominion of his choice at 1st level, and 1 domain spell slot of each level he can cast.

The dominions a necromancer can gain are blight, darkness, death, madness, repose, and resurrection.

Channel negative energy (Su)

FAQ

If I have the Channel negative energy ability from more than one class, do they stack?

No—unless an ability specifically says it stacks with similar abilities (such as an assassin’s sneak attack), or adds in some way based on the character’s total class levels (such as improved uncanny dodge), the abilities don’t stack and you have to use them separately. Therefore, necromancer channeling doesn’t stack with paladin channeling, necromancer channeling, oracle of life channeling, and so on.

[Source]

Regardless of alignment, any necromancer can release a wave of energy by channeling his power through his own body. Starting at 2nd level, the necromancer can use this energy to cause damage to living creatures or heal undead creatures.

Channeling energy causes a burst that affects all creatures of one type (either undead or living) in a 30-foot radius centered on the necromancer. The amount of damage dealt or healed is equal to 1d6 points of damage plus 1d6 points of damage for every four necromancer levels beyond 2nd (2d6 at 6th, 3d6 at 10th, and so on). Creatures that take damage from channeled energy receive a Will save to halve the damage. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the necromancer’s level + the necromancer’s Charisma modifier. Creatures healed by Channel negative energy cannot exceed their maximum hit point total—all excess healing is lost. A necromancer may Channel negative energy a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier. This is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. A necromancer can choose to heal himself with this effect, regardless of how he uses it.

Command Undead

At 3rd level, a necromancer gains Command Undead as a bonus feat.

Cruelty (Su)

At 3rd level, and every three levels thereafter, a necromancer can select one cruelty. Each cruelty adds an effect to the necromancer’s charnel touch ability. Whenever the necromancer uses charnel touch to deal damage to one target, the target also receives the additional effect from one of the cruelties possessed by the necromancer. This choice is made when the touch is used. The target receives a Fortitude save to avoid this cruelty. If the save is successful, the target takes the damage as normal, but not the effects of the cruelty. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the necromancer’s level + the necromancer’s Charisma modifier.

At 3rd level, the necromancer can select from the following initial cruelties.

Fatigued: The target is fatigued.

Shaken: The target is shaken for 1 round per level of the necromancer.

Sickened: The target is sickened for 1 round per level of the necromancer.

At 6th level, a necromancer adds the following cruelties to the list of those that can be selected.

Dazed: The target is dazed for 1 round.

Diseased: The target contracts a disease, as if the necromancer had cast contagion, using his necromancer level as his caster level.

Staggered: The target is staggered for 1 round per two levels of the necromancer.

At 9th level, a necromancer adds the following cruelties to the list of those that can be selected.

Cursed: The target is cursed, as if the necromancer had cast bestow curse, using his necromancer level as his caster level.

Exhausted: The target is exhausted. The necromancer must have the fatigue cruelty before selecting this cruelty.

Frightened: The target is frightened for 1 round per two levels of the necromancer. The necromancer must have the shaken cruelty before selecting this cruelty.

Nauseated: The target is nauseated for 1 round per three levels of the necromancer. The necromancer must have the sickened cruelty before selecting this cruelty.

Poisoned: The target is poisoned, as if the necromancer had cast poison, using the necromancer’s level as the caster level.

At 12th level, a necromancer adds the following cruelties to the list of those that can be selected.

Blinded: The target is blinded for 1 round per level of the necromancer.

Deafened: The target is deafened for 1 round per level of the necromancer.

Paralyzed: The target is paralyzed for 1 round.

Stunned: The target is stunned for 1 round per four levels of the necromancer.

The necromancer can apply cruelties to his charnel touch a number of times per day equal to 1/2 his necromancer level + his Charisma modifier. These abilities are not cumulative. For example, a 14th-level necromancer’s charnel touch ability deals 2d8+7 points of damage and might also cause the target to become fatigued, dazed, poisoned, or diseased. Once a cruelty is chosen, it can’t be changed.

Necromantic Studies

At 4th level, a necromancer delves into a focused area of study that sets him apart from others like him. He chooses one of the following necromantic schools. Once his choice is made, it cannot be changed.

The necromancer’s chosen school grants him abilities at 4th level, and every 4 levels thereafter. In addition, he adds a specialized subset of spells to his spell list that he can learn in place of others. Finally, when he gains access to a new level of spells, the necromancer automatically learns 1 spell from his specialized list, in addition to any others he may gain (He gains a 0-level, a 1st-level, and a 2nd-level spell from this list as soon as he reaches 4th level).

The necromantic schools are detailed here.

Spectral Hand (Sp)

At 4th level, a necromancer learns spectral hand, and can cast it at will as a standard action. He can use the hand to deliver his charnel touch attacks.

Fearless (Su)

At 5th level, a necromancer is immune to fear (magical or otherwise). Each ally within 10 feet of the necromancer gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against fear effects. This ability functions only while the necromancer is conscious, not if he is unconscious or dead.

Damage Reduction (Ex)

At 7th level, a necromancer gains damage reduction. Subtract 1 from the damage the necromancer takes each time he is dealt damage from a weapon or a natural attack. At 10th level, and every three necromancer levels thereafter (13th, 16th, and 19th level), this damage reduction rises by 1 point. Damage reduction can reduce damage to 0, but not below 0.

Fortification (Ex)

At 11th level, a necromancer’s undead fortitude protects his vital areas more effectively. When a critical hit or sneak attack is scored on the necromancer, there is a 25% chance that the critical hit or sneak attack is negated and damage is instead rolled normally. The chance increases to 50% at 17th level, and 75% at 20th level.

Necromantic Epiphany (Su)

The necromancer knows well what happens to the godless when they die, and he intends to avoid such a terrible fate. At 20th level, the necromancer constructs a phylactery that he then uses to turn himself into a lich.

As a lich, the necromancer gains the following traits:

Type: The necromancer’s type changes to undead. Do not recalculate base attack, saves, or skill ranks.

Senses: The necromancer gains darkvision 60 ft.

Armor Class: The necromancer gains a +5 natural armor bonus.

Hit Points: As undead, the necromancer can use his Charisma modifier to determine bonus hit points (instead of Constitution).

Defensive Abilities: The necromancer gains channel resistance +4 and immunity to cold and electricity damage (in addition to those granted by his undead traits).

Rejuvenation (Su): When the necromancer is reduced to 0 hit points, his body is destroyed. His phylactery immediately begins to rebuild the undead spellcaster’s body nearby. This process takes 1d10 days—if the body is destroyed before that time passes, the phylactery merely starts the process anew. After this time passes, the necromancer wakens fully healed (albeit without any gear he left behind on his old body).

Favored Class Bonuses

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their favored classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have fighters as their favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed favored class reward.

Table: Alternate Favored Class Bonuses
Race Bonus Source
Core Races
Half-Orc The necromancer’s base attack is 3/4, as a rogue. This counts as his favored class bonus every level. If his base attack would increase because of his necromantic studies, the necromancer instead gains Toughness as a bonus feat. BoMT
Other Races
Astomoi Add +1/2 to the necromancer’s effective druid level when determining the bonuses granted to his undead companion or undead cohort. A cohort with 10 class levels gains +2 Strength and +2 Charisma. BoMT
Deep One Hybrid Add +1 foot to the size of all the necromancer’s aura class features. This option has no effect unless the necromancer has selected it 5 times (or another increment of 5); an aura of 14 feet is effectively the same as a 10-foot aura, for example. BoMT
Dhampir The necromancer’s base attack is 3/4, as a rogue. This counts as his favored class bonus every level. If his base attack would increase because of his necromantic studies, the necromancer instead gains Toughness as a bonus feat. BoMT
Drider The necromancer adds +1/4 to the number of cruelties he can inflict. BoMT
Drow The necromancer adds +1/4 to the number of cruelties he can inflict. BoMT
Fetchling Add +1 hit point to the necromancer’s undead companion. If the necromancer ever replaces his undead companion, the new undead companion gains these bonus hit points. BoMT
Gargoyle Add +1/2 to the necromancer’s effective druid level when determining the bonuses granted to his undead companion or undead cohort. A cohort with 10 class levels gains +2 Strength and +2 Charisma. BoMT
Gnoll The necromancer adds +1/4 to the number of cruelties he can inflict. BoMT
Goblin Add +1/2 to the necromancer’s effective druid level when determining the bonuses granted to his undead companion or undead cohort. A cohort with 10 class levels gains +2 Strength and +2 Charisma. BoMT
Kasatha The necromancer adds +1/4 to the number of cruelties he can inflict. BoMT
Kuru Deal +1 damage with attacks and damaging spells against creatures with less than half their total hit points, to a maximum of twice the necromancer’s Constitution bonus. BoMT
Lizardfolk Gain +1/3 of a new cruelty. BoMT
Nagaji Increase the saving throw DC of necromancer spells with the poison descriptor by +1/2 (to a maximum of +4). This doesn’t stack with Spell Focus. BoMT
Shabti Add +1 hit point to the necromancer’s undead companion. If the necromancer ever replaces his undead companion, the new undead companion gains these bonus hit points. BoMT
Shobhad Deal +1 damage with attacks and damaging spells against creatures with less than half their total hit points, to a maximum of twice the necromancer’s Constitution bonus. BoMT
Vishkanya Increase the saving throw DC of necromancer spells with the poison descriptor by +1/2 (to a maximum of +4). This doesn’t stack with Spell Focus. BoMT
Wyvaran Increase the saving throw DC of necromancer spells with the poison descriptor by +1/2 (to a maximum of +4). This doesn’t stack with Spell Focus. BoMT
Yaddithian Add one spell known from any necromantic study spell list. The spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level the necromancer can cast. BoMT

Archetypes & Alternate Class Features

When a character selects a class, he must choose to use the standard class features found or those listed in one of the archetypes presented here. Each alternate class feature replaces a specific class feature from its parent class. For example, the elemental fist class feature of the monk of the four winds replaces the stunning fist class feature of the monk. When an archetype includes multiple class features, a character must take all of them—often blocking the character from ever gaining certain familiar class features, but replacing them with equally powerful options. All of the other class features found in the core class and not mentioned among the alternate class features remain unchanged and are acquired normally when the character reaches the appropriate level (unless noted otherwise). A character who takes an alternate class feature does not count as having the class feature that was replaced when meeting any requirements or prerequisites.

A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the core class as another alternate class feature. For example, a paladin could not be both a hospitaler and an undead scourge since they both modify the smite evil class feature and both replace the aura of justice class feature. A paladin could, however, be both an undead scourge and a warrior of the holy light, since none of their new class features replace the same core class feature.

Archetypes are a quick and easy way to specialize characters of a given class, adding fun and flavorful new abilities to already established adventurers. Characters may take more than one archetype if they meet the requirements.

Table: Archetypes / Alternate Class Features
Archetype / Alternate Class Feature Class Features Replaced
Class Skills Skill Ranks Per Level BAB Hit Die Weapon & Armor Spells Charnel Touch Dominion Channel negative energy Command Undead Cruelty Necromantic Studies Spectral Hand Fearless Damage Reduction Fortification Necromantic Epiphany
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19
Pale             X C                       X   X        
Sanguine Outlaw      C   C C C X                       C   X        
Racial Archetypes – The following class archetypes are available to members of the listed race.
Coming Soon               C C C C C C C C C C C                
Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Book of Many Things, © 2018,Samurai Sheepdog; author Kevin Glusing.