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View Full Version : 3.5 Necromancer: Curse Master or Army of Undead?



Arakune
2009-12-15, 11:44 AM
I want to make an 8th level necromancer, but I'm unsure of what type to go: the curser (evervation of doom, debuffs) or the army of undead route.

Also, what good books other than libris mortis, complete arcane and spell compentium I should take?

ShakeHandsMan
2009-12-15, 11:45 AM
Dread Necromancer in Heroes Of Horror.
/thread

BRC
2009-12-15, 11:45 AM
I want to make an 8th level necromancer, but I'm unsure of what type to go: the curser (evervation of doom, debuffs) or the army of undead route.

Also, what good books other than libris mortis, complete arcane and spell compentium I should take?
Heroes of Horror contains the Dread Necromancer class, which is probably what you're looking for.

Fishy
2009-12-15, 12:02 PM
Frank and K have you covered with all the discussion of necromancy you could want. (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19872726/Revised_Necromancer_Handbook)

Arakune
2009-12-15, 12:03 PM
Oh yes, the guide. Forgot the link about this one.

RagnaroksChosen
2009-12-15, 12:04 PM
If you can't go dread necormancer then
go cleric if you want an army
go wizard if you want to debuff...


I'm, a big fan of debuffer necromancers. Lord of uttercold is amazing as well.

dsmiles
2009-12-15, 12:05 PM
If you can't go dread necormancer then
go cleric if you want an army
go wizard if you want to debuff...


I'm, a big fan of debuffer necromancers. Lord of uttercold is amazing as well.

Go True Necromancer if you want both.

Zaq
2009-12-15, 12:06 PM
Go True Necromancer if you want both.

I believe our friend Ackbar once said something about the True Necromancer.

IT'S A TRAP!

SurlySeraph
2009-12-15, 12:07 PM
As Frank and K explain exhaustively, True Necromancer is a trap. However, Dread Necromancer can do that just fine.

I personally prefer playing curse necromancers, but horde necromancers can be fun if you RP them right. "Right" being "Go, my undead minions! Go save the children!"

Pluto
2009-12-15, 12:23 PM
Why decide?

RagnaroksChosen
2009-12-15, 12:24 PM
Why decide?

because you can't realy play both well.. I meen you could play a debuffer with a Few HD of undead... but those undead are gonna be speed bumps more then effective undead.


Edit:
Not focusing makes you weeker at both.

My recomendation for the OP is to go debuffer and just make sure you get animate undead to grab one or two minions as even speed bumps have a purpose and a use.

Pluto
2009-12-15, 12:27 PM
because you can't realy play both well.. I meen you could play a debuffer with a Few HD of undead... but those undead are gonna be speed bumps more then effective undead.

I thought that was standard fare for the Army of Undead type. Maybe I've just never seen it done right.

Anyway, Dread Necromancer does both easily.

dsmiles
2009-12-15, 12:36 PM
I personally prefer playing curse necromancers, but horde necromancers can be fun if you RP them right. "Right" being "Go, my undead minions! Go save the children!"

Why would I ever want my undead minions to save anybody (unless it was my meat shield)? It's more like, "Go my undead minions! And get me some fries with that!"

RagnaroksChosen
2009-12-15, 12:38 PM
I thought that was standard fare for the Army of Undead type. Maybe I've just never seen it done right.

Anyway, Dread Necromancer does both easily.

I always thought undead army types where more of a swarm type tactic with sum debuffs.

Incorrect
2009-12-15, 12:38 PM
Unless its a solo campain or the other players are 100% fine with it, dont go Undead Army. Combat with ten thousand minions takes alot of time.

If you want minions keep to a very few, more powerful, undeads. Preferably with some nice abilities, or as stand-in for unfilled party roles.
For this, you could just take Undead Leadership, and then focus on being a debuffer

dsmiles
2009-12-15, 12:42 PM
Why would I ever want my undead minions to save anybody (unless it was my meat shield)? It's more like, "Go my undead minions! And get me some fries with that!"

No, no. I think I screwed that one up...lemme think...

OH YEAH!

It's like this, "Go, my undead minions! Harvest the souls of those innocent children! And get me some onion rings with that!"

Yeah...that was it...onion rings.:smallbiggrin:

BRC
2009-12-15, 01:13 PM
I really want to play a Necromancer (of the "Has a small number of powerful undead bodyguards rather than a massive host asking to be Fireballed variety) who is utterly convinced that his minions are not undead, merely "Having an odd condition". He routinely asks them for advice (They're mindless), has idle conversations with them, and does not think of himself as a necromancer, he in fact hates necromancers and will take offense at the implication that he is one or that his Friends are undead.

Optimystik
2009-12-15, 01:25 PM
I really want to play a Necromancer (of the "Has a small number of powerful undead bodyguards rather than a massive host asking to be Fireballed variety) who is utterly convinced that his minions are not undead, merely "Having an odd condition". He routinely asks them for advice (They're mindless), has idle conversations with them, and does not think of himself as a necromancer, he in fact hates necromancers and will take offense at the implication that he is one or that his Friends are undead.

I like that concept. He could even go Pale Master and idly wonder if the "condition" is contagious.


Why would I ever want my undead minions to save anybody (unless it was my meat shield)? It's more like, "Go my undead minions! And get me some fries with that!"

That's easy - it's the most efficient way of making paladins' heads explode :smallbiggrin:

Danin
2009-12-15, 01:38 PM
Take a single rank in bluff. Cloak them heavily. When questioned by the town guard about why the 8 people following you are all obscured and dressed identically respond:

"I....uuh... they're... lepers. Very contagious. I'm their... doctor. Yes, that one."

When asked why they don't speak, explain their lips have fallen off.

Also, if you do get a few powerful undead, ask if you can delegate control of one to each of your party members. If gives them something extra to do, you don't have to manage 5 creatures and you can justify it in character that you only can only keep track of so much at a time, its easier this way.

Finally, /bandwagon regarding the Dread Necromancer.

BRC
2009-12-15, 01:41 PM
I like that concept. He could even go Pale Master and idly wonder if the "condition" is contagious.

The best part would be if the DM plays along and starts providing responses when he talks to his "Friends". In reality, it's just him hallucinating. So the rest of the party sees him standing around talking to vacant-eyed skeletal soldiers.

Optimystik
2009-12-15, 01:45 PM
Take a single rank in bluff. Cloak them heavily. When questioned by the town guard about why the 8 people following you are all obscured and dressed identically respond:

"I....uuh... they're... lepers. Very contagious. I'm their... doctor. Yes, that one."

When asked why they don't speak, explain their lips have fallen off.

It's an odd town guard that lets 8 contagious lepers walk down the street freely, "doctor" or no. Even if you successfully Bluff him, you'd still need Diplomacy to stay in town.

Of course, Intimidate might solve both issues. "Out of my way, simpleton! If I don't treat these lepers immediately at my clinic, YOU will be joining their ranks! Do not delay me!"

Arakune
2009-12-15, 01:47 PM
I decided to go the Undead Army route. Any tips on feats?

So far I'm a Cloistered Cleric 8. I took tomb tainted soul to heal myself and my minions, but aside from that what do I need to take? The K's guide is quite open ended in that department.

BRC
2009-12-15, 01:51 PM
I decided to go the Undead Army route. Any tips on feats?

So far I'm a Cloistered Cleric 8. I took tomb tainted soul to heal myself and my minions, but aside from that what do I need to take? The K's guide is quite open ended in that department.
Don't go "Massive hordes of Skeletons", that's stupid and it will bog down combat and make your DM want to throw things at you and fireballs at your army.

Instead focus on a small number (One or Two) of the nastiest, most powerful undead you can find. One of them should be a bruiser/tank, something to smash faces, the other should be something to provide support and debuffs. An Incorporeal undead would work great for this.

Optimystik
2009-12-15, 01:52 PM
I believe our friend Ackbar once said something about the True Necromancer.

IT'S A TRAP!

I don't want to derail this thread, but I'd like to know why this is so. I'll start a separate thread to discuss it.

Never mind, I read the class more closely... I thought all the levels were dual-progression. :smallyuk:

Arakune
2009-12-15, 02:05 PM
I don't want to derail this thread, but I'd like to know why this is so. I'll start a separate thread to discuss it.

From K's guide:



You are not going to play a True Necromancer!
A lot of people love the True Necromancer, even though itís a completely crippled class. Even a Mystic Theurge is better, and thatís saying quite a bit because that class is a dog with fleas. Youíre 5 real caster levels behind the curve. If you just took Leadership, and then your cohort took Leadership, both of the cohorts would have better casting than you (being 2 levels behind and 4 levels behind respectively). You can provide the party better and more powerful Necromancy as a single classed Fighter that happens to have Leadership than you would if you were a ďTrueĒ Necromancer.

Top Ten Reasons True Necromancers Are Bad

1. At 14th level, you are five caster levels behind in both classes, so if the party Fighter took Leadership, and his cohort got Leadership, heíd actually be bringing more Necromancy to the table than you. As a fighter.
2. You have to take the Death Domain as a Necromancer Cleric, which is a waste of a Domain Slot when you are trying to be good at Necromancy.
3. In the early levels, you postpone your access to Animate Dead by 4 levels.
4. At 8th level a True Necromancer can create, but not control Ghouls. A Cleric at that level can control but not create Ghouls. Guess which is better? At 11th level, the True Necromancer gets the ability to control Ghouls, and the Cleric gets the ability to create them, so thereís no point at which this is advantageous.
5. The only unique ability of the True Necromancer class is unimpressive. Desecrate is a great spell, but itís also a second level spell.
6. True Necromancers eventually get a bonus to Rebuking Ė at 17th level they have a +1 bonus to their Rebuking level. But at 7th level they have a 3 level penalty to their Rebuking level. So at low levels when rebuking is good they canít use it, and at high levels when Rebuking doesnít matter they donít care.
7. True Necromancers are always going to have underwhelming Save DCs. Between MAD and the fact that they are often forced to use spells that are 3 spell levels lower than what the single-classed casters can use, theyíre going to be out enough Save DC that it shows. A lot.
8. As a True Necromancer you have all the disadvantages of both a Cleric (the gods can take away all your spellcasting at any time), and a Wizard (you have Arcane Spell Failure, preventing you from wearing good armor). Also, your BAB and HPs stink when compared to a Cleric.
9. Control pools from Animate Dead actually donít accumulate between your two classes. Ití right in the spell, if you cast the spell it considers all undead you control from all castings of Animate Dead, not just your Arcane or just your Divine castings of the spell. Some people say differently, and some even quote CustServ, but when was the last time you won an argument with your DM using the line "some guy on a board said that CustServ told him....."?
10. There is almost no synergy between Cleric and Wizard Necromancy. Any synergy you desperately want to find could be replicated by just taking the Apprentice feat at first level and having some Use Magic Device. Get yourself a couple of Wizard Scrolls or something. Itís a better buy than setting 5 caster levels on fire. Smart cookies can even get the right spell effects off monsters for free, no less.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-12-16, 12:17 AM
Take a single rank in bluff. Cloak them heavily. When questioned by the town guard about why the 8 people following you are all obscured and dressed identically respond:

"I....uuh... they're... lepers. Very contagious. I'm their... doctor. Yes, that one."

When asked why they don't speak, explain their lips have fallen off.I prefer saying they're monks.
"You see, I saved a monastery a while back, and some of the Monks swore allegiance to me. They've all taken vows of Silence, Poverty, and Suffering, which basically means I have a bunch of smelly fighters following me around who WON'T! LEAVE! Please, let us in. I need a drink."

If you're making an undead army, take care that you never have more than 5 monsters in one combat. Your best bet IIRC are outsiders, Hydra Zombies, and Dragons under the Draconomicon rules(Rage Drake is AWESOME). Various Giants are pretty nice, too.

And another +1 to Dread Necro. Massive numbers of HD controlled, more Rebuke attempts than a CZilla, free healing for you and your horde, and the only way to get Rebuke Undead while worshiping a good god. What's not to love?