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View Full Version : The Encysted Necromancer (Horror PrC, 3.5)



Realms of Chaos
2010-04-13, 03:23 AM
NECROTIC MASTER

While most necromancers have similar goals in mind, their precise methods vary to a high degree. Of the various obscure paths to necromancy, almost none holds the horror of the mother cyst. This cyst of undead flesh, held within the necromancerís body, allows him to place similar, baleful cysts within others.
The necromancerís target is doomed from the moment that the cyst appears in their body. The target becomes far more pliable to the necromancerís magic and more vulnerable to the undead. Even worst, the necromancer has near total control over his victim. The necromancer can use the cyst to scry or sense his victim, to dominate the targetís mind, or to torture and slay the victim in the worst manner possible. It is even said that one such spell can utterly destroy a victimís soul. The only true hope for the victim lies in a bloody and risky surgery, a surgery as likely to end in death as salvation.
Some necromancers apparently decided that this wasnít enough. Putting their full faith in their mother cyst, they have expanded the use of necrotized flesh into a horrible, bloody form of art. As the mother cyst grows steadily inside their bodies, the necromancer can make their more baneful cysts far more deadly and tenacious.
Even though more powerful necromancers exist, few are more feared than the horrid Necrotic Master.

Prerequisites:
Feats: Mother Cyst
Spellcasting: Ability to cast 3rd level spells

Game Rule Information
Hit Dice: d8
Class Skills: Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Knowledge (The Planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int)
Skill Points At Each Level: 2 + Int Modifier

Necrotic Master
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spells

1st|
+0|
+0|
+0|
+2|Necrotic Mastery, Stubborn Cyst|

2nd|
+1|
+0|
+0|
+3|Bloating Plague, Encysted Horde|+1 level of existing spellcasting class

3rd|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+3|Necrotic Might, Stubborn Cyst|+1 level of existing spellcasting class

4th|
+3|
+1|
+1|
+4|Bloating Plague, Necrotic Dominion|+1 level of existing spellcasting class

5th|
+3|
+1|
+1|
+4|Necrotic Might, Stubborn Cyst|[/table]

Class Features:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: You gain proficiency with light armor. They gain no proficiency with any weapons or shields

Spells Per Day/Spells Known: At each level except 1st and 5th, you gain new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a Necrotic Master, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day and spells known.

Necrotic Mastery: You a master of implanting necrotic flesh in foes. When you cast the necrotic cyst spell, itís range is increased to close and its save DC is increased by your class level. Furthermore, a creature can be filled with a number of your necrotic cysts up to your class level +1, all of which stack with each other.
Lastly, you gain a single spell slot each day of a spell level up to the level of the highest spell you have access to +1 (maximum 9th). This spell slot can only be used to prepare or cast a spell granted to you by the mother cyst feat.

Stubborn Cyst: The necrotic flesh that you place in others integrates itself into the targetís body, making it harder for other creatures to remove. At the same time, it leaks out fluids with small amounts of negative energy, preventing most forms of healing. Whenever you cast the necrotic cyst spell, you may choose to have any or all targets suffer the effects below in addition to the spell's normal effects.
Starting at 1st level, all Heal checks made on a creature with at least one of your necrotic cysts take a penalty equal to twice your class level. When removing a necrotic cyst, a chirurgeon canít take 10 on his or her Heal check.
Starting at 3rd level, creatures affected by protection from evil and similar effects arenít protected against necrotic cysts (although they receive the normal bonus to the saving throw). Furthermore, all spells of the healing subschool fail to affect them unless the caster makes a caster level check (DC 10 + class level x 2).
Starting at 5th level, creatures with at least one of your necrotic cysts stop healing naturally. Furthermore, any necrotic cysts removed from a creature reform 1d4 weeks later so long as you remain alive, undead, or otherwise animate. Any cysts removed while you are dead do not return if you subsequently return to life.

Bloating Plague: Staring at 2nd level, your necrotic cysts start consuming targets from the inside out. The disease causes rapid and uneven swelling of the body, a wracking cough, and often a trickle of blood from at least one orifice. In advanced stages, the targetís skin begins ripping as they move, revealing muscle and bone beneath.
After an incubation period of 1d6 days, the target must start making a DC 15 Fortitude save each day or take 1d4 points of Constitution damage. If a target succeeds on three consecutive saves or receives the benefit of a remove disease spell or similar effect, the disease returns 1d4 weeks later if the target has any necrotic cysts. Any creature killed by this disease becomes a free-willed undead known as a skulking cyst (libris mortis, p 120) 1d4 hours later.
Starting at 4th level, the disease grows into a far more deadly strain. The Fortitude DC increases to 20 and the Constitution damage increases to 1d6. The disease returns only 1d4 days after fighting it off if the target has any necrotic cysts. Any creature that breathes within 5 feet of an infected target must make a DC 10 Fortitude save or catch the disease, gaining a small and temporary cyst that likely does not return. Lastly, any creature with this disease who dies becomes a free-willed undead known as a skulking cyst (libris mortis, p 120) 1d4 minutes later.
At any given time, you may suppress or reactivate the infection in any creature you have implanted a necrotic cyst within. Doing so is a swift action.

Encysted Horde: Starting at 2nd level, your talents for necrotic flesh find their way into your other necromantic talents. Your fleshier undead always seem to have a couple specialized cysts and your more skeletal works have unnatural bulges where flesh was crammed into their bone marrow.
All undead that you create though necromancy spells gain +2 natural armor and can sense creatures with necrotic cysts as if they had blindsight out to 120 feet. Furthermore, their extra damage against creatures with necrotic cysts is treated as vile damage. Only corporeal undead benefit from this ability.

Necrotic Might (Ex): The mother cyst that you hold within your body expands rapidly in both size and power as you advance, moving a few of your vital organs aside but preserving your life through its dark power. You likely appear to be quite plump, although a look at your bare skin would reveal the lopsided nature of the added mass.
Starting at 3rd level, your natural armor increases by +2 and you no longer need to eat, drink, or sleep. Furthermore, you gain immunity to nonlethal damage and you gain temporary hit points equal to your class level x 5 at the start of each day. Lastly, the range of your Necrotic Cyst spell increases to medium and you may target a second creature with the same casting.
Starting at 5th level, the extra mass increases you by one size category. You gain a +2 size bonus to Strength and a Ė2 Size penalty to Dexterity. Furthermore, you gain Damage Reduction 5/piercing. Lastly, when you are slain, you erupt in a show of necrotized gore, forcing all creatures within 10 feet to make a Reflex save (DC 10 + class level + Wisdom modifier) or take 2d6 vile damage and gain a necrotic cyst. Lastly, the range of your Necrotic Cyst spell increases to long and you may target a third creature with the same casting.

Necrotic Dominion: At a certain point, you learn how to gain precise control over the flesh you necrotize. Even if it should awaken to sentience, you can keep it well under your control. Soon, an army of the damned shall await you.
Starting at 4th level, whenever a skulking cyst is created by one of your spells or as a result of your Bloating Plague class feature, the undead falls under your control. The undead counts towards your normal limit of undead controlled but only counts as having half as many hit dice for this purpose.


Notes
Well, there it is. I was just thinking to myself how the necrotic spells from Libris Mortis, which see like an obvious treasure trove of horror, are so often overlooked. The next thing I know, I'm staring down at the rough outline for a PrC based on that concept and I figure that I wrote it. :smalltongue:
So, yeah. This is a pretty horrific PrC, made for early BBEGs and for DMs who want their horror campaigns still a bit low-power (aka gritty) when the campaign (or first major campaign arc) ends (which should be quite common in horror campaigns).
I took special time to make sure that this guy can fight lower-level PCs in a variety of less direct ways (placing a cyst in them from a distance, using the disease, sending out enhanced skeletons/zombies or skulking cysts) before you fight the guy himself.
The amount of though that I put into balance, however, is best expressed as a negative number so I'd appreciate anyone looking over it. :smallbiggrin:
PS. I realize that I'm not using the word "encysted" properly. Let's see who points that out first.

draco_nite
2010-04-13, 04:44 AM
I'll be honest. When I saw your name on this, I was expecting this class to be based around some bizarre mechanic that you invented.

I'm not quite sure on how cysts work, but I have Libris Mortis lying around here somewhere, I'm sure I can brush up on it.

peacenlove
2010-04-13, 04:57 AM
I so want to put it on my campaign! :smallbiggrin:

I feel however that it loses too many caster levels. adding one at 3rd level wouldn't hurt.

Realms of Chaos
2010-04-13, 04:59 AM
I'll be honest. When I saw your name on this, I was expecting this class to be based around some bizarre mechanic that you invented.

I'll take that as compliment. :smalltongue:

Seriously, though, I do use preconstructed mechanics to build my classes every now and then. Pretty rare but it does happen.

Edit: Yeah, I think I'll put in that last caster level. In that way, you gain necrotic termination (the one spell in all of existance that stops ALL forms of mortal revival 100% of the time when it works) when most casters normally get 9th level spells and you get the rest of your 9th level spells two levels later.

Analysis
2010-04-13, 08:34 AM
Consider making all the cyst spells signature spells (for prepared casters) and extra spells known (for spontaneous casters) so that they can always be cast spontaneously.

Sereg
2010-04-13, 09:17 AM
PS. I realize that I'm not using the word "encysted" properly. Let's see who points that out first.[/COLOR]

I win.

Otherwise, definately a flavourful class as one should expect from you.

Forever Curious
2010-04-13, 10:41 AM
It's vile, horrid, sick and wrong!

...can i use it in a campaign? :smallbiggrin: I really like this class, mainly because the "cyst" line of spells and abilities are amazingly flavorful and downright horrific.

It looks okay balance-wise to me, but I'm hardly a good judge...:smallsigh:

peacenlove
2010-04-13, 03:22 PM
Consider making all the cyst spells signature spells (for prepared casters) and extra spells known (for spontaneous casters) so that they can always be cast spontaneously.

The feat makes all 11 cyst spells known to spontaneous casters. Adding 11 signature spells to prepared spellcasters would be much more powerful, however making them mastered via the spell mastery feat wouldn't be unreasonable.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2010-04-13, 03:29 PM
The only problem I see is that the spell that bestows a Necrotic Cyst is still 2nd level, and all the others are dependent on that.

How about an ability treating that spell (and only that spell) as if it were always of a level equal to the highest level spell you can cast (while still using it's normal spell slot)? It's still a 1-action penalty for having to hit a target with the spell, but now you'll actually be useful. Maybe also give it the ability to target multiple foes, if you're feeling nasty.

That should partly make up for the loss of the caster levels.

Coplantor
2010-04-13, 03:40 PM
The only problem I see is that the spell that bestows a Necrotic Cyst is still 2nd level, and all the others are dependent on that.

How about an ability treating that spell (and only that spell) as if it were always of a level equal to the highest level spell you can cast (while still using it's normal spell slot)? It's still a 1-action penalty for having to hit a target with the spell, but now you'll actually be useful. Maybe also give it the ability to target multiple foes, if you're feeling nasty.

That should partly make up for the loss of the caster levels.

I second this. If the DC for implanting a cyst is too low then you just wasted five levels. I love the concept, the cyst related spells are my favourites, athough as they are, they are quite useless.

peacenlove
2010-04-13, 03:50 PM
The only problem I see is that the spell that bestows a Necrotic Cyst is still 2nd level, and all the others are dependent on that.

How about an ability treating that spell (and only that spell) as if it were always of a level equal to the highest level spell you can cast (while still using it's normal spell slot)? It's still a 1-action penalty for having to hit a target with the spell, but now you'll actually be useful. Maybe also give it the ability to target multiple foes, if you're feeling nasty.

That should partly make up for the loss of the caster levels.

Heighten spell to the rescue! The class gives you free slots after all...

Realms of Chaos
2010-04-13, 04:13 PM
Okay, to address a few issues...

1. As with all of my homebrew, anyone who wants to use is free to do so. I'd appreciate it if you PM me with any notes on how encounters went so I can fine-tune my skills (posting at that point would likely be thread necromancy :smallyuk:) but it's not neccessary.
2. The Mother Cyst Feat already lets wizards prepare the spells without a spellbook.
3. I chose to take the traditional BBEG PrC approach to power... more power now but less in the long run. You now increase the save DC of Necrotic Cyst by your class level. Furthermore, necrotic cyst now improves to eventually become long range and target up to 3 creatures per casting.
4. I changed the name to necrotic master but I'll leave the thread's title unchanged to avoid confusion.
5. Good work, Sereg. *hands sereg a cookie*

JoshuaZ
2010-04-13, 06:49 PM
I have a lot of necrotic cyst related material that I haven't gotten around to posting here which could go very well with this. Maybe when classes are over.


Caster advancement- This should be 4/5 for caster progression if not even 5/5 given that there's such a close focus on a specific line of spells which require a specific feat.

Skills - Knowledge(Any) seems too broad given what the class does. Maybe just Religion, Arcana and The Planes? I don't see thematically why giving them all knowledge skills makes sense.

Also, some of these abilities need to be clarified as whether they are Su or Ex. And Stubborn Cyst and Bloating Plague should be optional for any given cyst. Many necromancers want to implant nasty cysts for control or surveillance and might not want these effects to take place.

draco_nite
2010-04-13, 07:02 PM
The feat makes all 11 cyst spells known to spontaneous casters. Adding 11 signature spells to prepared spellcasters would be much more powerful, however making them mastered via the spell mastery feat wouldn't be unreasonable.

Spell mastery doesn't let you cast spells like a sorcerer.

Realms of Chaos
2010-04-13, 11:53 PM
OK, now for some responses:

JoshuaZ:

Caster Advancement: Actually, I lowered the spellcasting on purpose. As I've said, this class is 90% intended for enemies. I know that this is a similar argument to the one that WotC uses for level adjustment but this is nothing nearly as crippling as losing entire levels.
In my worldview, a PrC needs to do one of 2 things in order to be notable. It either has to either (1) be mathematically advantageous or (2) perform a specific task in a way that no other class does better. This class' task is very specific but the fact that nobody does cysts better ensures that anyone looking to specialize will at least consider this class.
In short, I'm obviously trying to cheat all prospective players of this class out of their precious, PRECIOUS caster levels. Muwahahaha!
Skills: Good point. I'll change it.
As for supernatural and extraordinary abilities, I honestly didn't know what to do. I made necrotic might (Ex) but literally every other ability simply alters your spellcasting, something that seems neither (Su) nor (Ex).
As for making the abilities optional, you'll see that the bloating plague already lets the necromancer turn off or turn on the plague in any victim. I suppose that I should do the same for stubborn cysts, though.


draco_nite: I'm pretty sure that peacenlove was trying to say that giving the benefits of spell master (which he knows isn't spontaneous casting) is more reasonable than actually giving spontaneous casting.
I personally think that giving prepared casters a special bonus without giving one to spontaneous casters would be a little unfair (seeing as they already have delayed spell access to deal with).
Also, I'm actually trying to make a Tier 4 class here, defined as a class who can do what it does relatively well but is sometimes upstaged in that department and has very little to do outside of that narrow focus.

Mulletmanalive
2010-04-14, 07:01 PM
From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Realms of Chaos.

You have saved me the effort of coming up with a decent way of doing Obluette demons from Infernum thanks to the bloating and twisting. A few minor fiddles and it should work fine in my system.

You win over the Ultimate Prestige Classes' Corpulent Priest because this one actually does stuff rather than being a powerful uber commoner. I'll let you know how it copes when i finally get my planned campaign up and running.

JoshuaZ
2010-04-15, 03:50 PM
Hmm, I understand then the loss of caster levels. But it seems weird in this case it that it also means that an encysted necromancer actually gets access to higher level necrotic cyst spells slower than a straight caster. Moreover, even after they have them, they cast them at a lower caster level. At minimum, there should be a boost to casting necrotic spells. Maybe a bonus of +1 and at +5 to caster level for necromancy spells? Or if that's too much, just to spells that require a Mother Cyst as a focus?

Mulletmanalive
2010-04-15, 04:05 PM
Hmm, I understand then the loss of caster levels. But it seems weird in this case it that it also means that an encysted necromancer actually gets access to higher level necrotic cyst spells slower than a straight caster.

Your statement here is incorrect. The main spellcasting list would be crippled, the gain of Necrotic spells is equal.

Edit: Oh, and Realms, have you considered combining this with some of the Cancer Mage abilities to turn it into say a 6/8 casting prestige class? The Mother Cyst is just begging for the Cancerous Companion feature and the disease powers are cool and would work pretty well with the core concept, perhaps even intelligent carcenogens?

JoshuaZ
2010-04-15, 08:35 PM
Your statement here is incorrect. The main spellcasting list would be crippled, the gain of Necrotic spells is equal.


Only once a day. A single spell slot. If one got bonus spell slots with the same property (that is restricted to necrotic spells) that would work fine. But as is, another caster with a Mother Cyst could easily cast more high level necrotic spells daily.

Mulletmanalive
2010-04-16, 06:20 AM
Only once a day. A single spell slot. If one got bonus spell slots with the same property (that is restricted to necrotic spells) that would work fine. But as is, another caster with a Mother Cyst could easily cast more high level necrotic spells daily.

And has been pointed out previously, would be forced to spend most of those on Heightened versions of the level 2 spell just to be able to spread the cysts in the first place.

I'm not seeing the benefit of more spells when you can't actually make them stick.

Analysis
2010-04-16, 07:24 AM
draco_nite: I'm pretty sure that peacenlove was trying to say that giving the benefits of spell master (which he knows isn't spontaneous casting) is more reasonable than actually giving spontaneous casting.
I personally think that giving prepared casters a special bonus without giving one to spontaneous casters would be a little unfair (seeing as they already have delayed spell access to deal with).

So, the way I read the Mother Cyst feat, it specifically says that you:

- Can learn and cast necrotic cyst spells.
- Can prepare them without a spellbook, as per spell mastery, if you are a prepared caster.

By RAW however, it does not add them as known spells to spontaneous casters, except possibly the classes that know all spells on their list automatically. A lot of people seem to miss this, and it would make sense for the feat to do so. If your class does, that is one good benefit to spontaneous casters. Upgrading the spells from spell mastery-affected to signature spell-affected seems to me to be a fair equivalent for that for prepared casters.

Ziaphas
2013-07-24, 06:24 PM
Can I say that this PrC is absolutely awesome? First post, seriously, I just joined this forum because I just had to comment on this.

I may be necromancing this thread at this point, but for anyone interested, I'm planning on using this PrC as an enemy in an upcoming horror-ish campaign.

I was considering making a few changes, and if anyone is interested, I'd be happy to post/PM the tweaks I made!