View Full Version : Unearth Arcana Necromancer Skeletal Option

2007-05-13, 03:14 PM
So I'm looking through the Unearthed Arcana and I see the option for a specialist necromancer to take Skeletal Minion in place of a familiar and it seems pretty powerful. d12 per level of necromancer and other bonuses to str and AC with improved initiative.

Now it does not say exactly how this minion is acquired, but I think its probably animated some how since its a necromancer minion. Which in that case could benefit from a Desecrate Spell, Corpse Crafter, Boilster Resist, Necromatic Presence and eventually Awaken Undead spell at 13th level.

Now if all applies at 13th level you end up with this as a minion if you create/ animate in a Desecrated area.

Skeletal Minion Human

13 d 12 + 39 hps, +8 vs turning, +8 to AC, +7 to str, +5 to dex, Improved Initiative, 5-10 intelligence, Can wear fullplate + tower shield. Plus any extraordinary abilities they once had.

I was thinking Headband of Intellect +6 could bring intelligence up to 11-16. I think a 16 intelligence is pretty impressive. And if destroyed you get another one for 24 hours of time and 100gps.

Thats just the highlights as far as I can figure.

Granted this assumes the the Skeletal Minion is animated or created which I think is a fair assumption.

This seems like some gravy for a necromancer to me? Just looking for thought and opinions here.

2007-05-13, 03:25 PM
Considering how a Cleric does better in the one area that a Wizard Necromancer specializes in, it very much makes up for the weakness of being a wizard Necromancer. Also, don't forget the Enhanced Undead variant found in the same book. +4 to Dex and +2 more HP per hit die.

Thats +6 per Hit die, or a CON score of 22 on a living being. But be warned. Awaken Undead does very little for your minion. Your minion gains no benefit from intelligence since it cannot take class levels. You're better off saving Awaken Undead for your Spell-Stitched Undead Revivers.

EDIT: Also your skeletal minion is much better off using his claws rather than a tower shield. He gains crazy natural armor bonuses from your class levels, and since you can grab a feat that gives +1d6 cold damage to undead skeletons you make, he gets 2d6+Strength per hand.

2007-05-13, 03:32 PM
Oh nice, didn't dawn on me to take both of those variants. Very nice. Think thats worth giving up your bonus spell for?

I was just thinking with a 16 int my minion and me could sit around my war table in my castle of pain and conspire to rule the world !!!

2007-05-13, 03:46 PM
Not to mention with 16 int he can take very complex orders.

2007-05-13, 06:22 PM
If you're a wizard, you will always have more Intelligence than your minion. As such, you're better off finding yourself a high Wisdom minion to get the other half of the two 'smart' stats.

As for your bonus spells. Honestly, it doesn't matter. +1 Necromancy spell. Whoop-de-doo. Compare that to +4 Dex and +2 HP on all your minions.

Rule #1 of Wizard Necromancers: Minions come first.

EDIT: Also, if you're willing to take some MAD.. Up your Wisdom and pick up Arcane Disciple. Pick your Arcane Disciple domain as the Deathbound domain. Deathbound gives you 3HD per caster level.

As for complex commands.. You control them mentally. It doesn't matter.

Jack Mann
2007-05-13, 06:31 PM
No, rule #1 of wizard necromancers is to focus on your debuffs. That's the real strength of necromancy for wizards. Then you look after your minions.

2007-05-13, 10:56 PM
Deathbound domain has been errataed.

For all your necromancer needs, see here:


Currently, the last post in that thread also references the Dread Necromancer Handbook with a link, which helps if you want to take that route.