Hello everybody. I am posting here this small ripoff collection of class abilities and other paraphernalia I shamelessly put together so that you may laugh at my efforts. However, if you were to offer some constructive criticism, either about the general idea or some minutiae contained therein, I would be most grateful.
Regarding power balance, compare it to other cleric prestige options (so Tier 1+).
What I was going for:
1. great (divine) necromancer, but overall non as good as cleric (especially offensively in melee)
2. some way to incorporate undead variants from Libris Mortis and other sources
3. create a class that could be played in more than one way/customized and at the same time encourage a character to stick with it till the end.
4. To make animated undead actually relevant till high level, and reduce their overall number.
Inspiration: True Necromancer. Except it ended up much different from the original.
The things I have most difficulties with:
1. drawbacks. Prestige classes often concentrate on one aspect of a class at the expenses of others. This is not so true for Cleric PrCs imho, where the only limitations they pose are requirements and not being able to take another PrC. Anyway, I figured jumping one spellcasting level would make players think twice about this, even with all the goodies. A worse BAB and Fort are added mostly for fluff.
2. costs. This has always been the critical point in balancing. With the last iteration of the class I introduced the possibility to use HDs from the "maximum controlled HDs" pool instead of gold/Xp. I may end up devising a double system.
3. skill ranks. I wanted for the character to access its abilities gradually, and being able to branch out to a certain path at the expense of another within the class. I also realize most clerics have very little freedom in their skill allotment.
On the creation and use of new feats: I believe in object-oriented homebrewing. These new feats are obviously strong choices for the prophet, yet they should be able to stand on their own and perhaps used in other builds. Also, it adds flexibility to for the player and the need of useless prerequisite feats.
On power balance: this PrC was initially meant in direct opposition to the Radiant Servant of Pelor, a class specialized in undead annihilation, which should constitute the baseline for comparison.
So, without further ado:
A prophets of Nerull is almost always a cleric who decides to embrace her patron’s power over undeath, becoming a conduit and a host for its dark force. At the same time, her studies and experimentation on the animation of corpses allow her to create more powerful undead. Prophets are not as hardy as regular clerics, but can still lead and bolster their undead troops on the frontline. Others start their careers as Cloistered Clerics (from Unearthed Arcana) and put their knowledge skills to 'good' use. It is exceedingly rare for a character without cleric levels to take this path, but it can be done. Theoretically.
Hit dice: d6
Alignment: any non-good
Spells: Able to cast 'Animate Dead'
Feats: Spell Focus (Necromancy), Corpse Enhancing
Special: Able to Rebuke Undead
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (all, taken separately) (Int), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), and Spellcraft (Int).
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of prophet of Nerull prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: No.
Spells per Day/Spells Known: Full casting, except for first level.
Rebuke Undead (Su): stack with levels of all other classes. The bonus from her necromantic prowess ability, once it is gained, also applies.
Animator Secret: at 2nd level, and every 3 levels thereafter, a prophet of Nerull gains insight in a particular facet of its job as undead master. He can chose one secret she qualifies for from the list below.
Master Anatomist:|When you are using the enhanced anatomy option from the corpse enhancing feat, you can add one HD for each 2 ranks you invested in the relevant Knowledge ability, up to 3/4 of your your prophet level or twice the original HD (whichever is lower). In addition, the first time you enhance a specific kind of creature (eg: elf, brown bear...) casting times are doubled. If you take this secret again, your maximum rises to 3/4 of your prophet level +2, but you are still subject to all other restrictions. Normal: extra HD are limited to 1/3 character level -1 and 1.5 times the original HD. Prototyping increase preparation times threefold.
Obscure preparations:|It is possible to create objects related to the creation, control and enhancement of undead as if in possession of the right item creation feat. Additionally, item creation costs for these items are halved.
Long Control:|Control Undead spell has its duration increased to 10 min./level. If you take this secret twice, it increases to 1 hour/level.
Eschew Materials:|You do not need to provide onyx to animate undead. You can substitute your own essence. You take nonlethal damage equal to 1d4 Hp per hit dice reanimated and become fatigued. Undead prophets take lethal damage instead. Requires the "Eschew Materials" feat.
Necromantic Knowledge:|Create Undead, Control Undead and Greater control Undead have their level reduced by 1. Can be taken multiple times, but not consecutively.
Specialist:|The caster level required to access specific undead with spells is decreased by 1. Can be taken multiple times.
Curse of the Necromancer:|If a creature under the influence of a curse (Bestow Curse or Greater Bestow Curse) placed by the prophet of Nerull dies, it raises 1d4 days later as an undead depending on its hit dice and the spell used. The undead is not automatically under the prophet’s control.
Undead Horde:|Increase your limit for controlling undead by +2 HD/caster level. Can be taken multiple times.
Unlife Mastery:|All undead created have maximum hit points for their HD. Requires Knowledge (religion) 18 ranks.
Arcane Dabbling:|You can chose one Arcane Necromancy spell for each level and substitute it for one domain spell of the same level. Requires ranks in Knowledge (arcana) equal to the highest spell level swapped +3.
Divine Spellstitcher:|You can stitch spells upon undead creatures (see MM2 p215). The creature must have HD equal to twice the spell level in order to use a stitched spell, as well as comply with wisdom requirements presented. The prophet is still required to pay all related costs. If spellstitching another PC, the recipient can pay half the costs.
Fiendish Influence|You can apply the Fiendish enhancement to undead you create. In addition, you gain a +2 competence bonus on your Diplomacy checks when dealing with evil extraplanar creatures. Requires Knowledge (planes) 12 ranks[/table]
Necromantic Prowess (Ex): When she rebukes undead, casts a necromancy spell, or uses a spell-like ability that mimics a necromancy spell, her effective caster level increases. The bonus is +1 at 3rd level, +2 at 6th level, +3 at 9th level, +4 at 12th level and +5 at 15th level.
Zone of Desecration (Su): At 4th level, a prophet of Nerull begins to exert her authority over undead. This aura is identical to the effects of the desecrate spell (see page 218 of the Player’s Hand- book) except that it affects only allied undead.
Widened Desecration (Su): At 7th level, a prophet of Nerull's influence over undead widens. The supernatural aura of negative energy surrounding her (see Zone of Desecration, above) now extends to a radius of 10 feet per a prophet of Nerull class level.
Greater Desecration (Su): At 10th level, a prophet of Nerull ties to its god are so tight, she becomes an effigy of its power. Her zone of desecration ability function as if an altar or other permanent fixture were present. A consecrate spell targeted on the prophet suppresses this ability for 2d4 rounds. A subsequent casting of desecrate on the prophet counters this.
Unhallowed Aura (Su): At 13th level a prophet of Nerull has become a conduit of her god's nefarious power. All allied undead in the zone of desecration are considered as if under the unhallow spell, except that no other spell can be tied to it. They become immune to controlling effects (including command undead and control undead) from enemies; if such effects are already in place, they are suppressed but not dispelled. The profane penalty to turning checks is concurrent with and superseded by that granted by greater desecration. This function suppresses and is negated by hallowed terrain.
2|1|0|0|3|Necromantic Secret|+1 level of spellcasting class
3|1|1|1|3|Necromantic Prowess +1|+1 level of spellcasting class
4|2|1|1|4|Desecration Aura|+1 level of spellcasting class
5|2|1|1|4|Necromantic Secret|+1 level of spellcasting class
6|3|2 |2|5|Necromantic Prowess +2|+1 level of spellcasting class
7|3|2|2|5|Expanded Desecration|+1 level of spellcasting class
8|4|2|2|6|Necromantic Secret|+1 level of spellcasting class
9|4|3|3|6|Necromantic Prowess +3|+1 level of spellcasting class
10|5|3|3|7| Greater Desecration|+1 level of spellcasting class
11|5|3|3|7| Necromantic Secret|+1 level of spellcasting class
12|6|4|4|8| Necromantic Prowess +4|+1 level of spellcasting class
13|6|4|4|8| Unhallowed Aura |+1 level of spellcasting class
14|7|4|4|9| Necromantic Secret|+1 level of spellcasting class
15|7|5|5|9| Necromantic Prowess +5|+1 level of spellcasting class[/table]
Deathbound: this domain allows the prophet of Nerull to both create and control 50% more HD worth of undead.
Death domain: levels of this prestige class stack with those of Cleric regarding the Death domain power.
NEW FEAT [Item creation feat]
Corpse Enhancing [Item creation feat]
Prerequisite: Knowledge (religion) 4 ranks, patron deity with access to the death, undeath or deathbound domain.
Effect: You have become skilled in the subtle art of preparing corpses for reanimation, enhancing created corporeal undead with bonuses based on your knowledge. You can apply simultaneously any bonus you qualify for, but only one variant. For each bonus bestowed on a controlled creature, its HDs increase by the cost given only for determining the maximum amount of HD you can control. You may need to supply additional corpse (for spare parts) up to the bonus HDs given. If you only bestow one bonus, its cost is reduced by 1. You can also substitute gold/Xp in order to remove the increased Hd penalties, at the rate of 1000 gp and 80xp per cost unit. It takes one hour to prepare corpses using this feat.
Hardy|Increase natural armor bonus by +2.|4|500
Agile|Increase speed by 10 ft. gain a +4 enchantment bonus to Dex.|4|500
Retributive: |When an undead is reduced below 0 Hp, it explode dealing 1d4/HD negative energy damage in a 10 ft. burst. Reflex (DC 15) halves.|6|1000
Tough|Gain 2Hp/HD and a +4 enchantment bonus to strength|8|800
Chill Touch|+1d6 cold damage to natural weapons of undead created.|8|500
Diseased|Disease (Ex): Any successful melee attack by a diseased undead exposes the target to a disease (filth fever). Any creature making a successful unarmed or natural attack against a diseased undead is similarly exposed (a character who grapples with a diseased zombie gets a –4 penalty on the save made to resist infection).|8|1200
Swarming|Undead created can dissolve in a swarm of vermins with HD equal to the original undead HD.|8|1600
Battle Ready|Undead created gain a bonus feat or skill points (4+int/HD+3). Mindless undead (Int —) can only chose a combat feat.|10|1600
Unholy Vigor|Undead created in a desecrated area have +2 turn resistance. This does not apply to you at the moment of creation. If you lose control of said undead, you do not automatically ignore this bonus.|12|400
Awakened|You can awaken mindless undead during their creation as if casting the Awaken Undead spell. You must be able to cast the spell, but you need not prepare it or cast it during the process.|12|2000
Undead Liutenant|An intelligent undead can control 2HD/level worth of mindless undead as long as they remain within 30 ft. He can command them verbally.|14|8000
Enhanced Anatomy|When animating a corpse of a creature you have knowledge of, you can add one HD for each 3 ranks you invested in the relevant Knowledge ability, up to 1/3 of your character level-1 or one and a half the original HD (whichever is lower). For humanoids, use Heal ranks instead. These HD do not count toward your maximum limit of controlled creatures nor towards the 20HD limit of creatures animated with the animate dead spells. These HD cannot increase the creature size. You cannot increase HD of undead created with the Create Undead and Create Greater Undead spells. The first time you enhance a specific kind of creature (eg: elf, brown bear...) casting times are tripled. The cost listed is meant for each additional HD|8|100
Fiendish|General variant. You can add this enhancement to any corpse of non extraplanar creatures. Undead created using this enhancement gain the Fiendish template (see MM108). You must be a evil extraplanar creature, have the fiendish heritage feat (see Planar Handbook), the Fiendish Influece secret from the Prophet of Nerull PrC or any other link of equal or greater strength (the DM adjudicate when this is the case).Requires Knowledge (planes) 12 ranks.|12|5000
Flaming|Skeletal variant. +1d6 cold damage to natural weapons, immunity to fire, vulnerability to cold|6|500
Soldier|Skeletal variant. Bonus feats: Weapon focus (any), combat reflexes. Cooperation (Ex): A soldier skeleton gains a +1 circumstance bonus to its attack rolls and Armor Class for each other soldier skeleton that is adjacent to it. If a soldier skeleton flanks an opponent, it gains an additional +1 circumstance bonus on attacks against that opponent.|8|1000
Vicious|Skeletal variant. Claw attacks deal damage as if the skeleton were one size category larger than normal (if the creature is already Colossal, the claw attack deals 3d8 points of damage). Rend (Ex): If a vicious skeleton hits with at least two claw attacks, it latches onto the opponent’s body and tears the flesh. This attack automatically deals extra damage equal to twice the normal damage of a claw attack plus 1-1/2 times the vicious skeleton’s Strength bonus. Gain Improved Critical (claw) as a bonus feat.|10|1600
Fast|Zombie variant. Add 30 feet to base land speed, up to a maximum of twice the zombie’s normal base land speed. Fast zombies can run normally. The fast zombie gains a +2 dodge bonus to AC. Special Qualities: The fast zombie is not restricted to taking single actions only. However, it still cannot attack more than once per round.|6|800
Hunting|Zombie variant. Hunter zombies have the scent ability and gain Track as a bonus feat. Hunter zombies have a Wisdom score of 14. The hunter zombie’s Will save bonus increases by 2 thanks to its improved Wisdom score. They gain a +4 racial bonus to spot and listen checks in addition to the bonus provided by their increased wisdom.|8|800
Bloodthirsty|Zombie variant. They gain a bite attack that deals the same damage as its slam attack (or its normal bite damage, whichever is more) and Improved Critical (bite) as a bonus feat. Bloodthirsty zombies also have a slam attack as normal, but most don’t use it.Blood Drain (Ex): 1 point of Constitution damage on a critical.|10|1000
Unkillable|Zombie variant. It gains Improved Toughness (see Libris Mortis p27) as a bonus feat and Fast Healing 5.|12|1600[/table]
GREATER CORPSE ENHANCING [Item creation feat]
Prerequisite: corpse enhancing feat
You can enhance corpses raised to unlife via the animate dead spell with one of the following mutually exclusive bonuses. If you choose to bestow a single bonus, is cost is further reduced by 1.
Necromantic Prowess keeps improving every third level.
At 2nd epic level and every 3 levels thereafter a prophet can choose either a new secret or a bonus epic feat.