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View Full Version : Help me make Arcane Minion-Necromancy not suck(WIP ACF, feat and spells..needs help.)



Maho-Tsukai
2011-06-27, 02:56 PM
As I have numerous times expressed on the forums, I despise with all my heart and soul the fact that wizards are inferior to clerics when it comes to the animation/minionmancy side of necromancy. Since nothing exists in official material that mitigates this, I decided to just suck it up and homebrew what I wanted. However, what I have here I feel is too overpowered and thus I desire your help. I want to make the content I made here more balanced and thus exceptable in a real game of D&D but not sure how to do that.

Also, note that while some things may seem odd, they have their reasons. The main one that may be strange is the fact the new spells state they cannot be cast by a divine caster unless they use levels in an arcane class they have to cast it. The reason mechanically for this is so clerics cannot use that ******** divine magician ACF to poach the spells from the arcanists(As they cannot poach cleric spells, so it's only fair.). Fluff wise you could say that they are special spells developed by arcane spellcasters and thus not castable by clerics as they are build on arcane principles and thus not able to be cast via divine magic...or something similar. The other is that one of the feats specifies "Necromancy AND [evil] descriptor" spells. This is so desecrate can be learned through it, which it could not if it was limited to just necromancy(as desecrate is evocation). So, as odd as these things are, I DON'T want them to change.

Anyway, anybody think they can help me balance this stuff?



ACFs:

Necromaster Wizard

The Necromaster wizard is a Necromancy specialist who delves so deep into the dark arts that he forgoes the traditional methods of necromancy specialists and studies both arcane and divine texts to gain powers over the undead usually exclusive to clerics and other servants of the gods. To take this ACF, a wizard must be a specialist in the school of Necromancy and must possess an evil alignment.

Gain: The ability to rebuke undead as an evil cleric who's level is equal to your own character level. The "Delver of the Dark Arts" feat as a bonus feat at 1st level.

Lose: "Summon familiar" class feature, all benefits of specializing, including extra spells per-day.


Feats:

Delver of the Dark Arts
Prerequisites: 1st level Arcane spellcaster, evil alignment
Description: Some spellcasters dabble in dark magics while others claim to be specialists of the fell arts. You, however, delve even further into the dark arts and learn magics beyond what the standard praticoners of dark arcane magic s are capable of casting.

Whenever you level up in an arcane spellcasting class or a prestige class that advances your arcane spellcasting class and learn new spells or gain new spells known you may choose those spells from both your own spell list and all necromancy school spells and spells with the [evil] descriptor. In addition, if you can learn spells from written sources you can learn any necromancy spell or spell with the [evil] descriptor as if it where a spell on your spell list, even if it is not. This feat can only be taken at 1st level.

Zone of Desecration
Prerequisites: Must be an Arcane Spellcaster of at least 9th level. Knowledge(Arcana): 8 Ranks, Knowledge(Religion): 8 Ranks
Description: Your dark power is so great that you radiate an aura of foul, corrupting negative energy. You gain an ability identacle to the "Zone of Desecration" class feature of the True Necromancer Prestege Class.

Enslaving Enervation
Prerequisites: Must be an Arcane Spellcaster who knows the spell "Enervation," Knowledge(Arcane): 8 Ranks, Knowledge (Religion): 8 Ranks
Description: You have such mastery of the life draining powers of your necromantic magics that you can use the negative energy of your level draining spells to bring undead created by them into your service. Whenever a creature is killed by a level-draining spell or ability you used and returns to life as a wright it automatically falls under your control.



Spells:

Animate Skeleton
Necromancy[evil]
Level: Wiz/Sorc 1, Dread Necro 1
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Range: Touch
Target: One Corpse Touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: N/A

This Spell is identical to the "Animate Dead" spell in all ways except as follows: You can only animate one undead creature with this spell, and that creature must be a skeleton. The creature you seek to animate with this spell cannot have HD that exceeded twice your caster level. The skeleton you animate with this ability has half the HD of the creature from which it was animated if that creature's HD exceeds your own caster level. This skeleton dose not count against the HD of undead you can control with "Animate Dead" and similar spells.This spell cannot be cast by a divine spellcaster unless they have levels in an arcane spellcasting class and use that class to cast it.

Animate Zombie
Necromancy[evil]
Level: Wiz/Sorc 1, Dread Necro 1
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Range: Touch
Target: One Corpse Touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: N/A

This Spell is identacle to the "Animate Dead" spell in all ways except as follows: You can only animate one undead creature with this spell, and that creature must be a Zombie. The creature you seek to animate with this spell cannot have HD that exceeded twice your caster level. The Zombie you animate with this ability has half the HD of the creature from which it was animated if that creature's HD exceeds your own caster level. This Zombie dose not count against the HD of undead you can control with "Animate Dead" and similar spells. This spell cannot be cast by a divine spellcaster unless they have levels in an arcane spellcasting class and use that class to cast it.

Animate Dead, Lesser
Necromancy[evil]
Level: Wiz/Sorc 2, Dread Necro 2
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Range: Touch
Target: One or More Corpses Touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: N/A

This spell is identical to the spell "Animate Dead" except as follows: Corpses animated by this spell may be no older then one day per level of the caster. The creatures animated by this spell are not completely functional and only stay animated as long as the caster devotes some portion of his attention to their existence. This spell instantly ceases if the caster loses consciousness. If the caster is stunned or otherwise unable to think clearly, the undead pause during this time.

The caster may still cast spells freely while he/she has undead animated by this spell under his/her control. If an undead creature animated with this spell is “killed” it turns to dust, leaving the remains unable to be animated again. This spell has it's own control pool that is separate from that of the "Animate Dead" spell and has an HD control limit equal to the HD of undead that the caster could control with the "Animate Dead" spell. The caster can animate as many skeletons and zombies with this spell as he could with the spell "Animate Dead." This spell is effected by all spells, feats, abilities, class features ect.. that effect the spell "Animate Dead" as if it where the spell "Animate Dead." This spell cannot be cast by a divine spellcaster unless they have levels in an arcane spellcasting class and use that class to cast it.


Animate Dead, Greater
Necromancy[evil]
Level: Wiz/Sorc 6, Dread Necro 6
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Range: Touch
Target: One or More Corpses Touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: N/A

This spell is identical to the spell "Animate Dead," except as follows: Skeletons and Zombies can use all their special qualities and special attacks. This spell has it's own control pool separate from the "Animate Dead" spell who's HD control limit is equal to the HD the caster could control with "Animate Dead." The caster can animate as many skeletons and zombies with this spell as he could with the spell "Animate Dead."This spell is effected by all spells, feats, abilities, class features ect.. that effect the spell "Animate Dead" as if it where the spell "Animate Dead." This spell cannot be cast by a divine spellcaster unless they have levels in an arcane spellcaster class and use that class to cast it.

DracoDei
2011-06-27, 04:35 PM
The other is that one of the feats specifies "Necromancy AND [evil] descriptor" spells. This is so desecrate can be learned through it, which it could not if it was limited to just necromancy(as desecrate is evocation). So, as odd as these things are, I DON'T want them to change.
I understand your motivation and approve of it, but I think you are killing an ant with an elephant gun here... this gives them access to Dispel Good and
Spells:

Animate Skeleton
Necromancy[evil]
Level: Wiz/Sorc 1, Dread Necro 1
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Range: Touch
Target: One Corpse Touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: N/A

This Spell is identical to the "Animate Dead" spell in all ways except as follows: You can only animate one undead creature with this spell, and that creature must be a skeleton. The creature you seek to animate with this spell cannot have HD that exceeded twice your caster level. The skeleton you animate with this ability has half the HD of the creature from which it was animated if that creature's HD exceeds your own caster level. This skeleton dose not count against the HD of undead you can control with "Animate Dead" and similar spells.This spell cannot be cast by a divine spellcaster unless they have levels in an arcane spellcasting class and use that class to cast it.

Animate Zombie
Necromancy[evil]
Level: Wiz/Sorc 1, Dread Necro 1
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Range: Touch
Target: One Corpse Touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: N/A

This Spell is identacle to the "Animate Dead" spell in all ways except as follows: You can only animate one undead creature with this spell, and that creature must be a Zombie. The creature you seek to animate with this spell cannot have HD that exceeded twice your caster level. The Zombie you animate with this ability has half the HD of the creature from which it was animated if that creature's HD exceeds your own caster level. This Zombie dose not count against the HD of undead you can control with "Animate Dead" and similar spells. This spell cannot be cast by a divine spellcaster unless they have levels in an arcane spellcasting class and use that class to cast it.
These should reference NON-CLASS LEVEL hit-dice (minimum 1) since that is how both skeletons and zombies work in terms of the actual results.

Bypassing the control limits is probably a bad bad idea. A 3rd level character with access to corpses and a 14 Intelligence can pump out 5 zombies of 2 HD each... given a week of down-time (available in may campaigns) that is 35 of them. Granted there is a GP cost to this, but it is still a problem.

Both of these have an odd effect where something with your caster level in HD is MUCH better as a target than something with your caster level +1.

The zombie one is MUCH more powerful since that template doubles the number of hit-dice, but your spells are limited by the CREATURE'S hit-dice.


Animate Dead, Lesser
Necromancy[evil]
Level: Wiz/Sorc 2, Dread Necro 2
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Range: Touch
Target: One or More Corpses Touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: N/A

This spell is identical to the spell "Animate Dead" except as follows: Corpses animated by this spell may be no older then one day per level of the caster. The creatures animated by this spell are not completely functional and only stay animated as long as the caster devotes some portion of his attention to their existence. This spell instantly ceases if the caster loses consciousness. If the caster is stunned or otherwise unable to think clearly, the undead pause during this time.

The caster may still cast spells freely while he/she has undead animated by this spell under his/her control. If an undead creature animated with this spell is “killed” it turns to dust, leaving the remains unable to be animated again. This spell has it's own control pool that is separate from that of the "Animate Dead" spell and has an HD control limit equal to the HD of undead that the caster could control with the "Animate Dead" spell. The caster can animate as many skeletons and zombies with this spell as he could with the spell "Animate Dead." This spell is effected by all spells, feats, abilities, class features ect.. that effect the spell "Animate Dead" as if it where the spell "Animate Dead." This spell cannot be cast by a divine spellcaster unless they have levels in an arcane spellcasting class and use that class to cast it.
Change the name here to Animate Dead, Improved since it is BETTER than animate dead, not weaker.




Animate Dead, Greater
Necromancy[evil]
Level: Wiz/Sorc 6, Dread Necro 6
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Range: Touch
Target: One or More Corpses Touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: N/A

This spell is identical to the spell "Animate Dead," except as follows: Skeletons and Zombies can use all their special qualities and special attacks. This spell has it's own control pool separate from the "Animate Dead" spell who's HD control limit is equal to the HD the caster could control with "Animate Dead." The caster can animate as many skeletons and zombies with this spell as he could with the spell "Animate Dead."This spell is effected by all spells, feats, abilities, class features ect.. that effect the spell "Animate Dead" as if it where the spell "Animate Dead." This spell cannot be cast by a divine spellcaster unless they have levels in an arcane spellcaster class and use that class to cast it.
Does this share its control pool with the Lesser/Improved version above?







There have been many previous efforts to remedy this problem, Including redesigns of the corpse-crafter feat tree, and so on and so forth.
For your present reference, and the playground's future reference, here are mine (might be editing to add other people's stuff... I am on a one-dragon mission to add wikipedia-like cross-indexing to the homebrew forums). :


Sinister Spinal Cord (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=199098): Paralysis followed it wrapping around the victim's throat to attempt a slow strangulation.

Zooming Brain: Fly past on barely controlled course damaging all mental abilities for a brief duration.

Fat Glob: Slow, weak, but LOTS of HD, and a fatigue effect if it hits.

Rolling Eyeball (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=6178899#post6178899): Scouts, spies, and roving patrols. Zero offensive capabilities unless taken from something with a gaze attack or eye-rays.

Floating Lungs: (based around the Shout spell). Feel free to suggest a better name...

Hopping Stomach (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3301315): Spits acid. (Note to self: Remake this thread so I can add Acid Splash as an option for sufficiently small ones).

Gut Snake (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3295643&postcount=8): Undead intestines that fight with constriction, filth, and odor. Comment HERE (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26636&page=16).

Empty Skin: Macabre, but not always aggressive. Freak your characters/players out without a single die rolled... Intelligent servants for the necromancer just starting to come into his true power.

Dark Hearts: Literally pulsing with negative energy these repair the undead near them, and damage the living.

BladeofOblivion
2011-06-27, 06:50 PM
Long ago, when I still regularly did homebrew, I created a little something to make Necromancers a bit better at animating Minions. I've since discontinued work on it, but the feats might be of use to you.

Link (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=168477)