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kinem
2013-11-13, 11:42 PM
Edit: I have updated this first post to version #4 with the changes I discuss below.

Skeletal Avatarist (base class)

A skeletal avatarist animates skeletons and can move his consciousness into one, often using it as a means to explore or fight without putting his own body at fairly low risk, and learns to manipulate negative energy as well.

Alignment: Any non-good
Hit die: d6
BAB: Medium (3/4 level, as cleric)
Good saves: Will
Skill points: 4+ Int mod per level
Weapon and armor proficiency: The skeletal avatarist gains proficiency with light and medium armor, with all simple weapons, and with one martial weapon of his choice.
Starting Wealth: 2d6 x 10 gp.

The skeleton masterís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

{table]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special

1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Animate skeleton; Skeleton control; Corpsecrafter, Necro mage, Conjure Skeleton, SLA 0

2nd|+1|+0|+0|+3|Skeletal avatar, Usurp Skeleton

3rd|+2|+1|+1|+3|SLA 1

4th|+3|+1|+1|+4|Skeletal telepathy, Negative energy strike 1d6

5th|+3|+1|+1|+4|SLA 2

6th|+4|+2|+2|+5|Eyes of the dead

7th|+5|+2|+2|+5|SLA 3

8th|+6/+1|+2|+2|+6|Distant avatar; Negative energy strike 2d6

9th|+6/+1|+3|+3|+6|SLA 4

10th|+7/+2|+3|+3|+7|Negative energy immunity, Mark for undeath

11th|+8/+3|+3|+3|+7|SLA 5, Planar avatar

12th|+9/+4|+4|+4|+8|Flying minions; Negative energy strike 3d6

13th|+9/+4|+4|+4|+8|SLA 6

14th|+10/+5|+4|+4|+9|Draw from own body; Negative energy healing

15th|+11/+6/+1|+5|+5|+9|SLA 7

16th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+5|+10|Negative energy strike 4d6

17th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+5|+10|SLA 8

18th|+13/+8/+3|+6|+6|+11|Remote avatar transfer

19th|+14/+9/+4|+6|+6|+11|SLA 9

20th|+15/+10/+5|+6|+6|+12|Negative energy strike 5d6, Army of the dead, Avataric retreat
[/table]

Class features:

Animate skeleton (Sp): Up to once per day per SA level, the SA can animate a dead skeleton within 30í as a standard action; it can have up to 2 HD per SA level; to a max of 20 HD. This is otherwise as per animate dead. He can choose to control the new skeleton, but in that case may lose control of existing ones. He can choose which ones to release from his control, if need be. Uncontrolled skeletons follow their last orders. A skeleton that is killed cannot be re-animated in this way.

Skeleton control (Ex): The SA can control a total HD of skeletons that he has animated using the above class feature equal to twice his SA level. Undead he may have animated by animate dead spells or other means do not count against this limit.

Corpsecrafter: The SA gains this bonus feat at 1st level. It gives the skeletons he animates +2 hp/HD and a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength. If he already has this feat, he can instead choose any feat that has this as a prerequisite.

Necro mage (Ex): If the SA has necromantic spells or abilities from other sources, his caster level for those is increased by his SA level.

Conjure Skeleton (Sp): Once per day, the SA can bring a skeleton to his side, typically a warrior if humanoid, typical for its race if not humanoid, with HD equal to his SA level or less. He must still be able to animate a skeleton that day, and it animates as soon as it appears. He can choose to control the new skeleton, but in that case may lose control of existing ones. The dead skeleton is teleported from its grave or a battlefield site, with no equipment. This ability only works if there are appropriate skeletons within 100 miles on the same plane as the SA.

SLA # (Sp): The SA can choose a spell of a level equal to the listed number or less to cast as a spell-like ability which is usable 3/day. He must choose a spell of the divination or necromancy school, from any spell list. The DC is 10 + spell level + his Charisma modifier. Using the SLA is a standard action, but if his SA level is 7 higher than the level at which he acquired or could have acquired the SLA, he can use it as a swift action.

Skeletal avatar (Ex): The SA can attune himself to a skeleton that he animated and controls with his SA skeleton control ability, which takes 10 min/HD of the skeleton and requires that he touch the skeleton during this time. He can only be attuned to one skeleton at a time. Once attuned, he can transfer most of his consciousness into the skeleton by touching it as a standard action.

While inhabiting his skeletal avatar in this way, his own body can only take move actions and loses any Dex bonus to AC. While inhabiting the avatar the SA experiences what the avatar does, including the use of its darkvision.

If the skeletal avatar has fewer HD then the SAís level, add extra d12 HD so that it will have as many HD as his SA level. It has average hp. If necessary, recalculate Fort and Reflex saves for the new HD using the poor save progression. These extra HD donít count against his control limit, but disappear once he no longer inhabits the avatar. Use the SAís own BAB, Will save, and skill ranks for the avatar while itís being inhabited.

In this form he can speak, can use any feats he has other than those that donít apply to a new body, can use precision-based abilities such as sneak attack, and can cast spells (if he has that ability normally) or use spell-like abilities, which originate at the avatar.

He can transfer his full consciousness back into his own body as a standard action. If the avatar is separated from his body by more than 300í or on another plane his consciousness instantly returns to his own body. If the avatar is slain while inhabited, he must make a DC 5 Will save to return his consciousness to his own body; if this fails he dies.

If his own body is slain while he inhabits an avatar, the SA becomes stuck in the avatar, and canít leave it until his body is raised from the dead or the avatar is slain. If he sleeps without returning to his own body, the SA is exhausted the next day, and takes 1d4 Charisma damage that cannot be healed by any means until he returns to his own body.

While the SA is attuned to it, whether inhabiting it or not, the skeleton is immune to attempts to control it by anyone other than the SA, such as by control undead or magic jar spells, and is immune to turning or rebuking.

Usurp skeleton (Sp): Starting at 2nd level, the SA can attempt to take control of a mindless animated skeleton within 60í as a standard action. If the skeleton has HD less than or equal to the SAís level, and it fails a Will save (DC 10 + Ĺ SA level + Charisma modifier) than he takes control of it as if he had animated it. This has no effect on other types of undead, such as zombies or bone creatures. If this puts him over his skeleton control limit for HD, he must choose which ones to release from his control.

Skeletal telepathy (su): Starting at 4th level, the SA can telepathically command his skeletons as a free action once per round. This has a range of 20í per SA level, measured from either his own body or an avatar he inhabits. The order may be given to any or all skeletons he chooses within range, but they all receive the same order. He can still give spoken commands as a free action, but the telepathy is silent and may be longer range depending on how sound carries.

Negative energy strike (Sp): Starting at 4th level, as a swift action the SA can channel negative energy into a melee attack, including one made with a weapon, whether in his own body or while inhabiting an avatar. Such an attack does 1d6 negative energy damage to living creatures in addition to normal damage. For every four additional SA levels the damage increases by 1d6. As with a touch spell, the SA can hold the charge until he makes a successful attack.

Eyes of the dead (su): Starting at 6th level, at will the SA can see for one round through the eyes of one of the skeletons he controls as a move action. He must be within skeletal-telepathy range but does not need of sight to the skeleton. Unlike inhabiting an avatar, this does not daze him.

Distant avatar (Ex): At 8th level there is no longer a range limit for the SA to inhabit an avatar.

Negative energy immunity (ex): At 10th level, the SA becomes immune to negative energy damage.

Mark for undeath (Su): At 10th level, as a standard action the SA can make a touch attack, which can be resisted with a Will save (DC 10 + Ĺ SA level + his Charisma bonus). If the Will save fails, then when the target dies, on the next round his bones will rise as an animated skeleton under the SAís control. The normal limit of 20 HD applies. The mark for undeath can be removed with a remove curse spell.

Planar avatar (Ex): At 11th level the SA can remain inhabiting an avatar that is no longer on the same plane as his own body.

Flying minions (su): Starting at 12th level, all winged skeletons under the SAís control gain the supernatural ability to fly (if they could fly when alive), with the same speed and maneuverability that they had when alive.

Draw from own body (Su): At 14th level, as an immediate action the SA can transfer hit points from his own body to heal an avatar he is inhabiting. He can transfer any number of hit points up to and including the amount that would kill his body.

Negative energy healing (Ex): At 16th level, negative energy heals the SA as if he were undead. If positive energy would normally heal him it continues to do so as well.

Remote avatar transfer (Su): At 18th level, the SA can inhabit a skeleton he is attuned to as a standard action without having to touch it and regardless of where it is.

Army of the dead (Ex): At 20th level, skeletons of 2 HD or less donít count against the limit of HD that he can control.

Avataric retreat (Su): At 20th level, if the SA is slain, he can roll a Will save (DC 25). If successful, he is able to move his consciousness into one of his skeletons, inhabiting it as an avatar. The skeleton must be one that he is attuned to or has previously used as an avatar.

Alignment: Any non-good
Hit die: d6
BAB: Medium (3/4 level, as cleric)
Good saves: Will
Skill points: 2+ Int mod per level
Weapon and armor proficiency: The skeletal avatarist gains proficiency with light armor and with all simple weapons.
Starting Wealth: 2d6 x 10 gp.

The skeleton masterís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special

1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Animate skeleton, skeleton control; Corpsecrafter, Necro mage, Conjure Skeleton

2nd|+1|+0|+0|+3|Skeletal avatar

3rd|+2|+1|+1|+3|Inflict light wounds

4th|+3|+1|+1|+4|Skeletal telepathy

5th|+3|+1|+1|+4|Negative energy strike 1d6

6th|+4|+2|+2|+5|Inflict moderate wounds

7th|+5|+2|+2|+5|Eyes of the dead

8th|+6/+1|+2|+2|+6|Distant avatar

9th|+6/+1|+3|+3|+6|Inflict serious wounds

10th|+7/+2|+3|+3|+7|Negative energy immunity; Negative energy strike 2d6

11th|+8/+3|+3|+3|+7|Planar avatar

12th|+9/+4|+4|+4|+8|Inflict critical wounds

13th|+9/+4|+4|+4|+8|Flying minions

14th|+10/+5|+4|+4|+9|Draw from own body

15th|+11/+6/+1|+5|+5|+9|Inflict moderate wounds, mass; Negative energy strike 3d6

16th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+5|+10|Negative energy healing

17th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+5|+10|Mark for undeath

18th|+13/+8/+3|+6|+6|+11|Inflict serious wounds, mass

19th|+14/+9/+4|+6|+6|+11|Remote avatar transfer

20th|+15/+10/+5|+6|+6|+12|Inflict critical wounds, mass; Negative energy strike 4d6
[/table]

Class features:

Animate skeleton (sp): Up to once per day per SA level, the SA can animate a dead skeleton within 30í as a standard action; it can have up to one HD less than (2 HD per SA level); to a max of 20 HD. This is otherwise as per animate dead. He controls the new skeleton, but may lose control of existing ones. He can choose which ones to release from his control, if need be. Uncontrolled skeletons follow their last orders. A skeleton that is killed cannot be re-animated in this way.

Skeleton control (ex): The SA can control a total HD of skeletons that he has animated using the above class feature equal to his (SA level x 2) - 1. Undead he may have animated by animate dead spells or other means do not count against this limit.

Corpsecrafter: The SA gains this bonus feat at 1st level. It gives the skeletons he animates +2 hp/HD and a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength. If he already has this feat, he can instead choose any feat that has this as a prerequisite.

Necro mage: If the SA has necromantic spells or abilities from other sources, his caster level for those is increased by his SA level.

Conjure Skeleton (Sp): Once per day, the SA can bring a typical human warrior skeleton to his side. He must still be able to animate a skeleton that day, and the skeleton animates as soon as it appears. The dead skeleton is teleported from its grave or a battlefield site, with no equipment. This ability only works if there are appropriate skeletons within 100 miles on the same plane as the SA.

Skeletal avatar (Su): The SA can attune himself to a skeleton that he animated and controls (from whatever source), which takes 10 min/HD of the skeleton and requires that he touch the skeleton during this time. He can only be attuned to one skeleton at a time. Once attuned, he can transfer most of his consciousness into the skeleton by touching it as a standard action.

While inhabiting his skeletal avatar in this way, his own body is dazed and can only take move actions and loses any Dex bonus to AC. While inhabiting the avatar the SA experiences what the avatar does, including the use of its darkvision.

If the skeletal avatar has fewer HD then the SAís level, add extra d12 HD so that it will have as many HD as his SA level. It has average hp. If necessary, recalculate Fort and Reflex saves for the new HD using the poor save progression. These extra HD donít count against his control limit, but disappear once he no longer inhabits the avatar. Use the SAís own BAB, Will save, and skill ranks for the avatar while itís being inhabited.

In this form he can speak, can use any feats he has other than those that donít apply to a new body, can use precision-based abilities such as sneak attack, and can cast spells (if he has that ability normally) or use spell-like abilities, which originate at the avatar.

He can transfer his full consciousness back into his own body as a standard action. If the avatar is separated from his body by more than 300í or on another plane his consciousness instantly returns to his own body. If the avatar is slain while inhabited, he must make a DC 5 Will save to return his consciousness to his own body; if this fails he dies.

If his own body is slain while he inhabits an avatar, the SA becomes stuck in the avatar, and canít leave it until his body is raised from the dead or the avatar is slain. If he sleeps without returning to his own body, the SA is exhausted the next day, and takes 1d4 Charisma damage that cannot be healed by any means until he returns to his own body.

While the SA is attuned to it, whether inhabiting it or not, the skeleton is immune to attempts to control it by anyone other than the SA, such as by control undead or magic jar spells, and is immune to turning or rebuking.

Inflict wounds (Sp): Starting at 3rd level, the SA can use inflict wounds spell-like abilities, as a standard action, a number of times per day equal to his SA level, choosing from any inflict wounds ability listed for his level or lower. The caster level is his SA level and the DC is 10 + Ĺ SA level + his Charisma bonus.

Skeletal telepathy (su): Starting at 4th level, the SA can mentally give orders to any skeletons he controls as a move equivalent action. This has a range of 20í per SA level. The order may be given to any or all skeletons he chooses within range, but they all receive the same order. He can still give spoken commands as a free action, but the telepathy is silent and may be longer range depending on how sound carries.

Negative energy strike (Sp): Starting at 5th level, as a swift action the SA can channel negative energy into a melee attack, including one made with a weapon, whether in his own body or while inhabiting an avatar. Such an attack does 1d6 negative energy damage to living creatures in addition to normal damage. For every five additional SA levels the damage increases by 1d6.

Eyes of the dead (su): Starting at 7th level, at will the SA can see for one round through the eyes of one of the skeletons he controls as a move action. He must be within skeletal-telepathy range and have line of sight to the skeleton, either from his own body or while inhabiting an avatar. Unlike inhabiting an avatar, this does not daze him.

Distant avatar: At 8th level there is no longer a range limit for the SA to inhabit an avatar.

Negative energy immunity (ex): At 10th level, the SA becomes immune to negative energy damage.

Planar avatar: At 11th level the SA can remain inhabiting an avatar that is no longer on the same plane as his own body.

Flying minions (su): Starting at 13th level, all winged skeletons under the SAís control gain the supernatural ability to fly (if they could fly when alive), with the same speed and maneuverability that they had when alive.

Draw from own body (Su): At 14th level, as an immediate action the SA can transfer hit points from his own body to heal an avatar he is inhabiting. He can transfer any number of hit points up to and including the amount that would kill his body.

Negative energy healing (Ex): At 16th level, negative energy heals the SA as if he were undead. If positive energy would normally heal him it continues to do so as well.

Mark for undeath (Su): At 17th level, as a standard action the SA can make a touch attack, which can be resisted with a Will save (DC 10 + Ĺ SA level + his Charisma bonus). If the Will save fails, then when the target dies, on the next round his bones will rise as an animated skeleton under the SAís control. The normal limit of 20 HD applies. The mark for undeath can be removed with a remove curse spell.

Remote avatar transfer (Su): At 19th level, the SA can inhabit a skeleton he is attuned to as a standard action without having to touch it and regardless of where it is.

Ralcos
2013-11-14, 12:00 AM
I like the concept, but I feel that this class is WAY too powerful, even with a wizard.

I'd make it so you can create skeletons up to 1/2 your HD (min: 1), and the animator can choose a couple of traits from a list (similar to the Astral Construct power from Expanded Psionics).
Traits can be class features (Spell-like abilities would also be included, though limited).

Anyways, try to balance it based on the PH classes (even if they arent that good). Those classes make good templates for balancing a base class.

Arkhaic
2013-11-14, 01:22 AM
Way too powerful? Hardly. I might actually consider this class underpowered, as its power scales widely with the campaign (conjure skeleton was a nice touch to avert that, though). It gets some subpar damage abilities Compared to, say, Kellus' Necronomist this class is rather underpowered.

It does get some interesting intel abilities, but bind vestige (malphas) can replace those fairly easily. This class needs more versatility and a little more power.


PHB classes should not be used as a model for balance! Seriously, don't look to core for balance. Maybe bard, but that's it.


Suggestions: Start negative energy strike earlier, scale it like eldritch blast

Give the sight abilities a bit earlier

The class needs to be a bit more focused mechanically. What is it supposed to do? If it's about using skeletons as avatars maybe use Ralcos suggestions for whichever one you use as an avatar.

Amnoriath
2013-11-14, 01:51 PM
The mechanical difference from other necromancers is quite intriguing but I would still take a Dread Necromancer over this. Also I don't think it is as good as you think it is. It sounds cool but this guy isn't any frontliner so he isn't going to have feats in which his army will general benefit from. As such awaken comes into play, it is strictly inferior. This base class needs to be able to do more than just control skeletons and throw around a couple d6's of negative energy. It currently has very little modularity and may sit as a lowish tier 4. Also being so devoted to skeletons I kind of think it should be PrC. I mean you already caster level stacking and it would be the easiest route.

kinem
2013-11-15, 07:46 PM
Thanks for the comments.

Some say too strong, some too weak - maybe that means it's just right :)

However, at the moment I think it is too strong. The main reason is that the avatarist can - a lot of the time - avoid personal risk, just be sending his avatar on ahead. Other necromancers might have more or better minions, but they're fighting alongside them and thus at risk. Even having intelligent followers doesn't allow the PC to sit out the adventure - unless the player wants to sit it out as well! But the avatarist's player doesn't have to make that choice. He's there mentally and can act, while the PC is physically sitting it out.

I will therefore make some changes:
- The inflict SLAs will become a standard action, not swift. (He can eventually pick up feats to quicken the lower level ones if he wants.) On the other hand, he can now use it 1/day/level, not just per 2 levels.

- Leaving the avatar will be a standard action.

- If the avatar is killed while he inhabits it, he is at some risk. He must make a DC 5 Will save to return to his body; otherwise he dies.

- The maximum # of skeleton HD he can control equals (2 x SA level) - 1.

Amnoriath
2013-11-16, 12:52 AM
Thanks for the comments.

Some say too strong, some too weak - maybe that means it's just right :)

However, at the moment I think it is too strong. The main reason is that the avatarist can - a lot of the time - avoid personal risk, just be sending his avatar on ahead. Other necromancers might have more or better minions, but they're fighting alongside them and thus at risk. Even having intelligent followers doesn't allow the PC to sit out the adventure - unless the player wants to sit it out as well! But the avatarist's player doesn't have to make that choice. He's there mentally and can act, while the PC is physically sitting it out.


So can every other necromancer unless they can actually wade into battle and fight very well such as a cleric. Your avatar is just a free single awaken that is bound to your single strategy as a character rather than making a strategy for each and every one of your minions. I have no idea how you think you can be sitting out safely when you are walking sneak attack waiting to happen. You are by default blowing actions away to do so because you are dazed. I can make a Dread Necromancer that would make this look inferior in every way necromantic. Don't even ask what clerics can do with all the free actions and spells they have at their disposal.
I am not saying this is irredeemable and some things can be tweaked to be made better and more custom options added, however I think you need to realize you do not have anything ideal here especially when another tier 3 necromancer can wipe the floor against this.

Arkhaic
2013-11-16, 05:01 PM
Chasis: At first glance this appears to be some sort of divine utility class. Nope, it isn't. Why no martial weapon proficiency? Why no armor proficiency?

Class features:

Animate skeleton (sp): Up to once per day per SA level, the SA can animate a dead skeleton within 30í as a standard action; it can have up to one HD less than (2 HD per SA level); to a max of 20 HD. This is otherwise as per animate dead. He controls the new skeleton, but may lose control of existing ones. He can choose which ones to release from his control, if need be. Uncontrolled skeletons follow their last orders. A skeleton that is killed cannot be re-animated in this way.

Why no re-reanimation? Doesn't make sense fluffwise, just another nerf to the class. Ranged reanimation is nifty, but the dread necro can do that too with Spectral Hand.

Skeleton control (ex): The SA can control a total HD of skeletons that he has animated using the above class feature equal to his (SA level x 2) - 1. Undead he may have animated by animate dead spells or other means do not count against this limit.
Why is this its own class feature? It just makes SA look like they have more abilities than they really do.
Corpsecrafter: The SA gains this bonus feat at 1st level. It gives the skeletons he animates +2 hp/HD and a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength. If he already has this feat, he can instead choose any feat that has this as a prerequisite.
How about you use this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57101) corpsecrafter fix and give the poor SA an allotment of free 'phantom gp' and time that applies to whatever skeleton is his avatar?
Necro mage: If the SA has necromantic spells or abilities from other sources, his caster level for those is increased by his SA level.
Not a class feature. Could interact strangely with stuff that don't scale equal to character level. Also, this just encourages using the class as a 2 level dip.

Conjure Skeleton (Sp): Once per day, the SA can bring a typical human warrior skeleton to his side. He must still be able to animate a skeleton that day, and the skeleton animates as soon as it appears. The dead skeleton is teleported from its grave or a battlefield site, with no equipment. This ability only works if there are appropriate skeletons within 100 miles on the same plane as the SA.

This one is nifty, but it should scale. See the Summon Undead line of spells.

Skeletal avatar (Su): The SA can attune himself to a skeleton that he animated and controls (from whatever source), which takes 10 min/HD of the skeleton and requires that he touch the skeleton during this time. He can only be attuned to one skeleton at a time. Once attuned, he can transfer most of his consciousness into the skeleton by touching it as a standard action.

While inhabiting his skeletal avatar in this way, his own body is dazed and can only take move actions and loses any Dex bonus to AC. While inhabiting the avatar the SA experiences what the avatar does, including the use of its darkvision.

If the skeletal avatar has fewer HD then the SAís level, add extra d12 HD so that it will have as many HD as his SA level. It has average hp. If necessary, recalculate Fort and Reflex saves for the new HD using the poor save progression. These extra HD donít count against his control limit, but disappear once he no longer inhabits the avatar. Use the SAís own BAB, Will save, and skill ranks for the avatar while itís being inhabited.

In this form he can speak, can use any feats he has other than those that donít apply to a new body, can use precision-based abilities such as sneak attack, and can cast spells (if he has that ability normally) or use spell-like abilities, which originate at the avatar.

He can transfer his full consciousness back into his own body as a standard action. If the avatar is separated from his body by more than 300í or on another plane his consciousness instantly returns to his own body. If the avatar is slain while inhabited, he must make a DC 5 Will save to return his consciousness to his own body; if this fails he dies.

If his own body is slain while he inhabits an avatar, the SA becomes stuck in the avatar, and canít leave it until his body is raised from the dead or the avatar is slain. If he sleeps without returning to his own body, the SA is exhausted the next day, and takes 1d4 Charisma damage that cannot be healed by any means until he returns to his own body.

While the SA is attuned to it, whether inhabiting it or not, the skeleton is immune to attempts to control it by anyone other than the SA, such as by control undead or magic jar spells, and is immune to turning or rebuking.

See above about corpsecrafter. Why does the Skeletal Avatarist get his signature ability at second level? I'd hazard that this is because first level looks crowded. But around half of those class features aren't actually class features.

Inflict wounds (Sp): Starting at 3rd level, the SA can use inflict wounds spell-like abilities, as a standard action, a number of times per day equal to his SA level, choosing from any inflict wounds ability listed for his level or lower. The caster level is his SA level and the DC is 10 + Ĺ SA level + his Charisma bonus.

What does listed for his level or lower mean? Inflict critical wounds, mass 20 times a day at 20th level is nice...but you are still a subpar blaster.

Skeletal telepathy (su): Starting at 4th level, the SA can mentally give orders to any skeletons he controls as a move equivalent action. This has a range of 20í per SA level. The order may be given to any or all skeletons he chooses within range, but they all receive the same order. He can still give spoken commands as a free action, but the telepathy is silent and may be longer range depending on how sound carries.

Just give the poor guy telepathy that applies to undead so he can command them silently.

Negative energy strike (Sp): Starting at 5th level, as a swift action the SA can channel negative energy into a melee attack, including one made with a weapon, whether in his own body or while inhabiting an avatar. Such an attack does 1d6 negative energy damage to living creatures in addition to normal damage. For every five additional SA levels the damage increases by 1d6.

+4d6 damage is puny at level 20. Especially since this is melee. You don't need to specify that it works in an avatar, because the avatar already allows you to use SLAs.

Eyes of the dead (su): Starting at 7th level, at will the SA can see for one round through the eyes of one of the skeletons he controls as a move action. He must be within skeletal-telepathy range and have line of sight to the skeleton, either from his own body or while inhabiting an avatar. Unlike inhabiting an avatar, this does not daze him.

See, the SA has this really weird mix of tactical/intel type abilities and undead summoning abilities. Pick one or the other, or at least buff them so he is competent at them. So he can 'scry' anywhere in 400 feet at 20th level...but he needs line of sight to do that?

Distant avatar: At 8th level there is no longer a range limit for the SA to inhabit an avatar.

I really have to ask why you aren't a necropolitan that your minions carry around in an obdurium box at this point.

Negative energy immunity (ex): At 10th level, the SA becomes immune to negative energy damage.

Necropolitan.

Planar avatar: At 11th level the SA can remain inhabiting an avatar that is no longer on the same plane as his own body.

So now you can be a necropolitan in a bag of holding and no one will ever find you! Or I guess you can adventure with the astral projecting wizard from his personal demiplane. Or be a dread necro, pick up astral projection yourself through Advanced Learning and do the same thing.

Flying minions (su): Starting at 13th level, all winged skeletons under the SAís control gain the supernatural ability to fly (if they could fly when alive), with the same speed and maneuverability that they had when alive.



Draw from own body (Su): At 14th level, as an immediate action the SA can transfer hit points from his own body to heal an avatar he is inhabiting. He can transfer any number of hit points up to and including the amount that would kill his body.

Negative energy healing (Ex): At 16th level, negative energy heals the SA as if he were undead. If positive energy would normally heal him it continues to do so as well.

Necropolitan. I wonder why any enemies would have line of sight or effect to you at this point. I guess you can buddy up with another SA and hit each other to heal, I guess. But most parties should have unlimited out of combat healing at this point.

Mark for undeath (Su): At 17th level, as a standard action the SA can make a touch attack, which can be resisted with a Will save (DC 10 + Ĺ SA level + his Charisma bonus). If the Will save fails, then when the target dies, on the next round his bones will rise as an animated skeleton under the SAís control. The normal limit of 20 HD applies. The mark for undeath can be removed with a remove curse spell.

Could be useful, I guess. Maybe team up with a monk and have him use his quivering palm on the target?

Remote avatar transfer (Su): At 19th level, the SA can inhabit a skeleton he is attuned to as a standard action without having to touch it and regardless of where it is.[/QUOTE]

Is this supposed to be a capstone? It isn't. It probably should have came online a lot earlier, too. Maybe around the time wizards are getting their third level spells?


Overview: This is like a necromantic monk. The more I think of it, the more comparable to a monk it is. Both have lots of nifty-looking, but ultimately useless, class features. Some of those abilities are simply high-level versions of low levels spellsóMonk's slow fall and your Eyes of the Dead. Heck, Mark of the Dead reads like Quivering Palm's ugly step-brother.

You started with a good idea, and I would love to see it fully realized. Sorry if my criticism came off overly harsh.

Doxkid
2013-11-17, 05:58 PM
Interesting, but not particularly powerful. This is to a Dread necromancer what a an Aristocrat is to a Warlock.

I recommend gutting the class and then rebuilding with a base Rogue, Warlock, Dread Necromancer and Binder in mind; it's niche is riding around in a big, tough Undead Body, but once it gets one such body it can't really do much.

Consider making the Inflict Abilities a natural attack and/or a carried effect for normal attacks; as of now it's only useful for post-combat healing (which is not a real concern since almost all healing takes place out of combat). If you are worried about

Think about giving him some ability to control existing undead. Rebuking, perhaps, or Command Undead as an At-Will SLA.

kinem
2013-11-17, 10:52 PM
Thanks for the detailed comments, which are more useful that way.

I have upgraded several of the abilities:

- Better skill points and armor/weapon proficiencies.

- He no longer must take control of the skeletons he animates. Skeletal control is listed as a separate ability because it is and always was a completely different kind of ability from the animating ability - but was joined at the hip, since animation brought control. That is no longer the case; they are truly separate. He can even gain control of skeletons he didn't animate via Usurp Skeleton, and they count against his limit of 2 HD/level.

- Conjure Skeleton now lets him conjure one of HD up to his SA level.

- Clarified that he can 'hold the charge' with Negative Energy Strike.

- Skeletal telepathy is now a free action (1/round).

- Eyes of the Dead no longer requires line of sight.

- Army of the dead, new 20th level ability, lets him have as many weak skeletons as he wants.

The reason he doesn't get Skeletal avatar at 1st level is because I think the first level abilities are already strong enough, and also while I don't want to discourage dips too much, if you are going to dip then 2 levels is more reasonable.

Amnoriath
2013-11-18, 09:52 AM
Thanks for the detailed comments, which are more useful that way.

I have upgraded several of the abilities:

- Better skill points and armor/weapon proficiencies.

- He no longer must take control of the skeletons he animates. Skeletal control is listed as a separate ability because it is and always was a completely different kind of ability from the animating ability - but was joined at the hip, since animation brought control. That is no longer the case; they are truly separate. He can even gain control of skeletons he didn't animate via Usurp Skeleton, and they count against his limit of 2 HD/level.

The reason he doesn't get Skeletal avatar at 1st level is because I think the first level abilities are already strong enough, and also while I don't want to discourage dips too much, if you are going to dip then 2 levels is more reasonable.

The animate dead can control twice as many HD as this can, not including rebuking or other undead spells. I really think you need to know what other necromancers are capable of in this realm of power.
http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?PHPSESSID=2emmo8kaq1mkrt7d3soa4rsqs1&topic=5584.0
http://dndtools.eu/classes/dread-necromancer/
You really need to be able to develop a strategic advantage against ones that already exist. I have made a Necrocarnate fix, granted it is a bit unrefined and high powered, but it can develop strategies with their necrocarnum zombies other necromancers can only dream of while not being caster. I must emphasize the need for modular options, look at every base class that has them and you realize that all of them are never tier 5, infact most are tier 3 and above. The reason is of course it uncrowds your character chart while allowing yourself to make higher powered options knowing they won't get all of them.
http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?324357-Necrocarnate-Fix
Also, the dazed condition eliminates any actions on your turn and you can move corpsecrafter.

kinem
2013-11-18, 09:17 PM
I don't think the power level was really a problem - I don't want a tier 1 class here, and homebrew needs to not make standard options inferior - but Amnoriath, you do have a point about customizability. Not every SA should be the same.

In the latest update, I added SLAs that can be chosen, instead of the pre-chosen inflict wounds abilities. With just one of each spell level, it's still a lot less variety than a caster could have, but that's fine. The SA can now quicken lower level ones automatically. There are a few other upgrades as well.

Amnoriath
2013-11-19, 12:23 AM
I don't think the power level was really a problem - I don't want a tier 1 class here, and homebrew needs to not make standard options inferior - but Amnoriath, you do have a point about customizability. Not every SA should be the same.

In the latest update, I added SLAs that can be chosen, instead of the pre-chosen inflict wounds abilities. With just one of each spell level, it's still a lot less variety than a caster could have, but that's fine. The SA can now quicken lower level ones automatically. There are a few other upgrades as well.

Dread Necromancer is considered a tier 3 and the reason why tier 1's are considered as such is because necromancy is ultimately a small slice of the options they have at their disposal. You have a long way to go before you even touch tier 2.
While being able to use animate dead along with this I can't help but think that they are still just skeletons. As much as this class fetishizes(to the detirment of a base class I would argue) them it does very little in making them better than what other necromancer's can do.
You may also want to specify the spell level of what he may select.

kinem
2013-11-19, 11:15 AM
You may also want to specify the spell level of what he may select.

I did: "The SA can choose a spell-like ability of a level equal to the listed number or less". I suppose I can clarify that a little.

Thanks for the comments, Amnoriath. I think it is certainly powerful enough and this might be the final version.

Arkhaic
2013-11-19, 04:53 PM
Hm. Does 3/day Wish without a material component or Exp. cost make up for the other stuff?

kinem
2013-11-19, 05:20 PM
Hm. Does 3/day Wish without a material component or Exp. cost make up for the other stuff?

How do you figure? Wish is neither divination nor necromancy.

Doxkid
2013-11-19, 05:28 PM
At this point I am at a loss for how we could make the class look/feel right. Nothing short of converting it to be a 10 level prestige class seems correct to me, but that option would rob the Skeletal Avatarist of its identity...