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    Default Dread Necromancer Advise

    I'm starting a human Dread Necromancer starting level 2. I'm trying to work out the feats and items to hunt for and was looking for some advise. I'm pretty sure I'm going to take Corpsecrafter and the feats that go with it. I was planning on taking Dread necromancer all the way to 20 so I can become a Lich and then take some Demonologist. Any advice or sugguestions would be fantastic..Thanks!
    I will kill you, then raise you, then have you kill your friend...muhahahahaha!!!

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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer Advise

    The feat Dreadful Wrath in PGtF is pretty good.

    Tomb-Tainted Soul in LM is fairly standard.

    Versatile Spellcaster from Races of the Dragon can give you early access to the next higher level of spells, but it depends on how your DM interprets its interaction with when a DN gets knowledge of a level of spells. That will also increase the max level of your Advanced Learning spells by one.

    Arcane Disciple (CD) for the Evil domain to get access to Desecrate is also standard.

    Definitely get the Ghostly Visage familiar once you get to that level, and always have it possessing your character to give you immunities. It can manifest over your face to use its paralyzing gaze against opponents (and careless allies) while you cast spells.

    For your Advanced Learning spells, definitely get Animate Dread Warrior from UE at level 12, as there's no limit to how many you can have and they get to keep most of what they could do when alive. If you can't get that, Awaken Undead in SC is the go-to, since something like a Cave Troll (MM3) Skeleton or a Razor Boar Skeleton will get some amazing special attacks/qualities once Awakened. If neither of those will work for you, Aura of Terror in SC should be your next choice.

    Eventually you should use your Rebuke Undead ability to control a Slaymate (LM), which will give you some nice metamagic reduction for your necromancy spells.

    For items, MIC has the Mace of the Dark Children, Rod of Defiance (better for turning than rebuking), Ruby Blade, Scepter of the Netherworld, and Talisman of Undead Mastery, plus the Circlet of Rapid Casting and of course p233-234. In LM you'll find Night Sticks, which since their benefit isn't expressed as a bonus having multiples of them should stack.

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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer Advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    Cut for length
    +1
    That's pretty solid advice.
    As an alternative for animate dread warrior have a look at create bone creature. Both are good, its just an alternative.

    here are some links that might help:
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=151961

    http://community.wizards.com/go/thre...ancer_Handbook

    http://brilliantgameologists.com/boa...p?topic=2242.0

    http://brilliantgameologists.com/boa...p?topic=5584.0

    http://community.wizards.com/bleak_a...r%27s_Handbook
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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer Advise

    Tomb Tainted is a good choice to give you self-healing, but it’s a wasted feat if you can get transformed into a Necropolitain at level 3; ask if you can have the ritual performed upon you at that level before picking up that feat.’

    Mother Cyst is an amazing feat as it gives access to a chain of spells most people find useful; a permanent Scry beacon, permanent Dominate Person/Monster, an innate save debuff…all of its spells are keyed off hitting a target with Necrotic Cyst, but the penalties Necrotic Cyst drops on that target are great. Really, this is mostly for long battles and controlling your living minions, but it’s still spectacular.

    The Evil Domain gives access to Desecrate AND Magic Circle vs Good; you’ll only be able to planar Bind Angels and the like with that but it’s still spectacular to have the option. If you want to save a feat pick up an Eternal Wand of Magic Circle vs X and another of Circle vs Y (probably Good and Evil, but Law and Chaos also work) and grab a Lesser Ring of Desecration; for about…18k you get the all the effects you could need 2 or so times per day (and you’ll probably only need 2 Magic Circles and 2Desecrate effects per day anyway)

    Although everyone makes it sound like you can just wander about picking up nice undead, it’s actually somewhat difficult. Slaymates, for example, are prized by necromancers…and you aren’t the only necromancer/fiend/demon/archmage in the world. If you want one, you’ll probably need to do in game research and then steal it from someone most likely by destroying them.; at least you’ll get mage-swag though.

    The Ghostly Visage familiar is great but it isn’t required, especially if you’re going Necropolitain. It’s possession ability uses Ego and can potentially get it control over other beings.

    Nightstick are one of those abuse things you might want to be careful about; some DMs don’t take kindly to them being abused.

    Plan your character around what you want to be able to do, and make it abundantly clear to your DM what that plan is. I cannot tell you how many people were pissed off about Dread Necromancers when they first started seeing play because suddenly at level 8 a player was animating anything that stood still long enough for him to whip out some onyx, and bringing his WHOLE collection of oddities with him everywhere.

    -Among mages being able to say “Yeah, I have an undead that can do that.” Is typically fine; it saves others a spell. Don’t be afraid to remind medium/high op characters and mages that you have disposable minions.

    This is sometimes not true among melees; it isn’t intentional, but once you have particularly strong/durable undead you’ll basically be saying: “Oh, you wanted to go into melee? Naa, your silly little pure melee build isn’t up to par. You should hang back and watch, while I solo this encounter with my three Troll skeletons. Also, get me some coffee.”

    -If you’re going to focus on having one or two strong minions, things are typically fine…but if you plan on having a standing army (and yes, a lot of people enjoy doing that even though it isn’t cost effective or…well…effective.) or even taking 3+ guys with you, you should talk with your party and DM before bringing your minion out.

    -Try leaving a few to guard places, so they’re still being useful but they aren’t displacing anyone. Or selling them; fiends, mages and unscrupulous royalty might go for it. Or building your party’s home base, or actually acting as part of an army in a real war, or…Be creative and you’ll not only make good use of them, but you’ll also avoid offending/annoying other players.

    Ask your DM how he’s handling Hit Die research; specifically, how he’s handling the cost for animating undead, how your undead will play and whether you get sheets for them.

    -If he says “Oh, just bring a pile of Onyx and it’ll take what it needs” you can make estimations for how many you can control based off how much onyx was used.

    -If he lets you just straight up look at the Monster Manual and duplicate the sheet for the monster, you have no problems whatsoever. You know X and Y, can make upgrades and generally have a good time.

    -If he says “Heh. Make an X skill check to ballpark it.” Then you’ll probably have a harder time than others.

    Skeletons are usually better than Zombies. Zombies are meatier and have easier access to flight.

    Ask how undead are being handled; whether Mummy and Ghoul and Vampire/Vampire Spawn are templates or monster classes or what. If they’re templates, life is good. If they are monster classes…life is alright; could be better, but it’s still alright. If they’re straight from the Monster Manual, you’ll probably never have the need to create one of them for as long as you play the game.

    Lets see…umm…Have a plan for getting any undead you use around; A Portable Hole, hiding in the forest around a town, etc.

    Play how you want, but you don’t have to be that cackling old man who rolls around in a pile of skulls in the marketplace. Have fun with your identity and magic.

    Since you'll have Corpsecrafter (and I reccomend playing around with feat order to either get it some of the tree at 6/9/12, or getting the first feat at 1/9) you can really have Elite Undead; this is a single pet that is basically a party member in and of itself, and is favored like it IS one. Once you get one you like you can equip it with basic items, then move the items to a different undead when it's time to upgrade. It'll trail behind by a bit since those items come from your shrea of the treasure, but the party will quickly get into the swing of things if you like it enough to name it and use it for everything.

    Consider just flat becoming a Lich without using the DN capstone; you can do it earlier, make use of the abilities longer and play around with the whole 'immortal undead mage' thing a lot more.

    Plan whether you're going to take prestige class levels and, if you will, how many.

    -SandShaper (from Sandstorm) gives you a pile of useful spells added to your spells known list.

    -Fleshwarper(from Lord of Madness) allows you to improve yourself, your party and your favorite undead by giving them upgraded bodyparts; this also lets you get around some of the more annoying limitations of the DN class, like not having flight abilities despite being a mage.

    ---Honestly, I love Fleshwarper. I've turned a cheetah into a cat-motorcycle/jetski/hoverbike (It was the only animal we had on hand for that kind of treatment). I play necromacners with STYLE.

    Remember immunities; undead you cant control and constructs are pretty annoying to fight as a DN, so figure out how you want to deal with them early on.
    --------------
    *To the above poster* The spell you are thinking of isnt "create Bone Creature" it's Create Undead, using a new spell option presented in the Book fo Vile Darkness. Corpse Creature are also pretty good.
    Last edited by Doxkid; 2012-11-15 at 11:12 AM.
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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer Advise

    One thing I might recommend is a two-level dip in Pale Master (LM). It grants you Animate Dead 1/day as a supernatural ability with no component cost.
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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer Advise

    It's better to use Planar Binding to bind something with Animate Dead as an SLA (there are...4 or so fiends who can do it. I dont remember them ATM, but they're in either the Fiendish Codexes or Fiend Folio...or maybe Book of Vile Darkness...) and force it to make undead for you; being able to cast it AD once per day yourself is pretty decent, but going that extra mile and getting it two or three times per day for free is spectacular.
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    Using Practical MM Fell Drain cantrips on peasants will make them raise as wights. Then you can command them. A Lyre of Restful Souls (LM?) should make them easier to command.
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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer Advise

    Thank you guys soo much for the advise so far. Its really given my a few ideas and really some items to go after. With Tomb-Tainted Soul all negative energy will heal me? So if a wizard uses a spell that would deal negative energy he just healed me? That sounds amazing lol.
    I will kill you, then raise you, then have you kill your friend...muhahahahaha!!!

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    Is necropolitan off the table?

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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer Advise

    Quote Originally Posted by GrinningDemon View Post
    Thank you guys soo much for the advise so far. Its really given my a few ideas and really some items to go after. With Tomb-Tainted Soul all negative energy will heal me? So if a wizard uses a spell that would deal negative energy he just healed me? That sounds amazing lol.
    yes. if you take Tomb-Tainted Soul all negative energy will heal you, but positive will harm you. Just like as if you were undead.

    If you can (read: if your DM allows it) become undead, preferably necropolitan. You lose a level, but have LA+0, which is awesome. You get a whole bunch of bonuses, immunities out the wazoo, can dump Con at character creation, and sooner then you know it you will be back up with the rest of the party.
    As a nice added bonus, it also fits SO good with Dread Necromancer.


    this reminds me:
    A little trick you can put off together with a wizard is the "utter cold wizard build"
    The feat 'lord of utter cold' requires the feat energy substitution (cold) but spells are cast at the same level. It alters a spells damage to be half cold and half negative energy.
    Your undead get healed by negative energy and many are immune to cold too. If you are Tomb-Tainted you simply ignore all damage, as you heal the same amount you get harmed by.
    You send all your Skeletons (immune to cold, get healed by negative energy) into enemy lines and let them do what they do best. Now your Mage buddy casts Acid fog 9lord of utter cold) onto them. This will heal all your Skelies and harm your enemies. win-win
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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer Advise

    Not ALL negative energy, but the typical damaging type. Inflict spells and Negative energy Ray will heal you, as will similar spells.

    Energy Drain, curses and status effect based off negative energy won't heal you.
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    Another good trick is to take Human Heritage, if you can. If you are an Undead (Say, like a Necropolitan), your type becomes Humanoid (Human), making you Healed by positive (cuz you are living) AND negative energy (You kept that trait from being undead). You also become immune to turning and various other effects that target undead.
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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer Advise

    Why is the dreadful wrath feat good? Without something to escalate the fear to panicked I don't really see the point. And it only affects anyone once.

    I've been thinking of playing a DN myself. There's two demons in MMII, the Kelvezu and Jarilith. Jarilith zombies make great tanks, and awakened kelvezu skeletons are brutal if they get a flank.

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    Fear effects stack to make the Panicked status.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    Why is the dreadful wrath feat good? Without something to escalate the fear to panicked I don't really see the point. And it only affects anyone once.

    I've been thinking of playing a DN myself. There's two demons in MMII, the Kelvezu and Jarilith. Jarilith zombies make great tanks, and awakened kelvezu skeletons are brutal if they get a flank.
    It actually isn't, but not for the reason you think.

    First off, they start off with a Fear aura at level 5, but it kinda sucks. Then you tack onto that the spell Aura of Terror (using one of several loopholes to Persist it, either NaenHoon or Alternate Spell Source/Southern Magician to qualify spell as divine). Now tack on Dread Witch to bypass fear immunity, and boost the fear level up yet another notch, and you've got Panicked. Dreadful Wrath is unnecessary.

    Congratulations, you've beaten Takahashi at his own game. Without needing to expend any actions in combat to do it. As a class feature and a spell obtained from another class feature. And can still cast 9th level spells and have a swarm of disposable minions.
    Last edited by ShneekeyTheLost; 2012-11-15 at 04:54 PM.
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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer Advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    Another good trick is to take Human Heritage, if you can. If you are an Undead (Say, like a Necropolitan), your type becomes Humanoid (Human), making you Healed by positive (cuz you are living) AND negative energy (You kept that trait from being undead). You also become immune to turning and various other effects that target undead.
    So with that trick I can become and undead immuned to most undead destruction?! Thats amazing!! Just take human heritage then become undead...then amazing!
    I will kill you, then raise you, then have you kill your friend...muhahahahaha!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie-ranger View Post
    +1
    That's pretty solid advice.
    As an alternative for animate dread warrior have a look at create bone creature. Both are good, its just an alternative.
    Nitpic: You can just make them with create greater undead or create undead.

    To get really super good Dread Warriors you're going to burn through a lot of XP so I highly recommend going with Awaken undead instead. Smaller XP cost and slightly better in the long run. If you have the option between Skeletons and Zombies. Go with Skeletons. Much more use in combat since they can effectively unless you plan to make a Flying creature your mount then just make it a Zombie. Eventually though you'll get create undead so you CAN just make it into a Bone/Corpse creature and get the best of both worlds. I friken love playing Necromancy based Characters especially if they're for long term games... and then you just whip out the good 'ol Living Zombie Wyrmling Silver Dragons...

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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer Advise

    Haunt shift a few dozen Whip Daggers and attach them to the back of your armor like a cape. You are now Doctor Octopus' great grandfather the dark lord Mollusk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrinningDemon View Post
    So with that trick I can become and undead immuned to most undead destruction?! Thats amazing!! Just take human heritage then become undead...then amazing!
    My favorite messed up character is an Undead Wizard with Human Heritage and Faerie Mysteries Initiate (Int to HP/level). Your Faerie partner can qualify for the lichloved feat, if you know what I mean.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    It actually isn't, but not for the reason you think.

    First off, they start off with a Fear aura at level 5, but it kinda sucks. Then you tack onto that the spell Aura of Terror (using one of several loopholes to Persist it, either NaenHoon or Alternate Spell Source/Southern Magician to qualify spell as divine). Now tack on Dread Witch to bypass fear immunity, and boost the fear level up yet another notch, and you've got Panicked. Dreadful Wrath is unnecessary.

    Congratulations, you've beaten Takahashi at his own game. Without needing to expend any actions in combat to do it. As a class feature and a spell obtained from another class feature. And can still cast 9th level spells and have a swarm of disposable minions.
    Well, it only works on those with less HD than you, and they get a will save to be immune for 24 hours, but it can beat fear immunity, so that's something (takahashi + dread witch doesn't work as far as I know).

    A neat trick, regardless. Good against hordes.

    I was actually looking at Sickening Grasp, myself. If you're going to be slapping people with charnel touch for whatever reason, it's pretty easy to get them nauseated from it (especially since there is no save). Nauseated is good times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    Nitpic: You can just make them with create greater undead or create undead.

    To get really super good Dread Warriors you're going to burn through a lot of XP so I highly recommend going with Awaken undead instead. Smaller XP cost and slightly better in the long run. If you have the option between Skeletons and Zombies. Go with Skeletons. Much more use in combat since they can effectively unless you plan to make a Flying creature your mount then just make it a Zombie. Eventually though you'll get create undead so you CAN just make it into a Bone/Corpse creature and get the best of both worlds. I friken love playing Necromancy based Characters especially if they're for long term games... and then you just whip out the good 'ol Living Zombie Wyrmling Silver Dragons...
    Or get one of the above as a SLA. I suggest Runescribe (RoS) but you need to be a dwarf.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    I was actually looking at Sickening Grasp, myself. If you're going to be slapping people with charnel touch for whatever reason, it's pretty easy to get them nauseated from it (especially since there is no save). Nauseated is good times.
    Sickened does not actually escalate into Nauseated as per current D&D rules; I'm almost certain about this. A common houserule allows Sickened-> Nausea, but that's...well...a houserule.

    Also, the usefulness of Sickening Grasp depends on whether your DM rules it automatically applies to all touch attacks, or if it requires its own action. By the Rules As Written, Sickening Grasp requires a standard action; how useful it is basically depends on your DM.

    Like I said earlier, being a Necromancer requires a LOT of talkng with your DM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    Well, it only works on those with less HD than you, and they get a will save to be immune for 24 hours, but it can beat fear immunity, so that's something (takahashi + dread witch doesn't work as far as I know).

    A neat trick, regardless. Good against hordes.

    I was actually looking at Sickening Grasp, myself. If you're going to be slapping people with charnel touch for whatever reason, it's pretty easy to get them nauseated from it (especially since there is no save). Nauseated is good times.
    Takahashi doesn't bypass immunity to fear, but Dread Necro + Dread Witch DOES bypass fear immunity. That's the whole point of taking Dread Witch.
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  24. - Top - End - #24
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer Advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    Another good trick is to take Human Heritage, if you can. If you are an Undead (Say, like a Necropolitan), your type becomes Humanoid (Human), making you Healed by positive (cuz you are living) AND negative energy (You kept that trait from being undead). You also become immune to turning and various other effects that target undead.
    I have been thinking about this for a while and i am not sure if i agree.

    First of, this feat is a nice little way of taking up races/templates that would change your type, such as unseelied fey (fey) or Aasimar (outsider), and later still be able to become undead.
    Necropolitan requires you to be humanoid or monstrous humanoid, so this feat would make it possible.

    Your argument about what heals you can be reversed.
    You are undead, so you get damaged by positive energy; and because you are alive (read next paragraph about that) you get damaged by negative energy. Therefor you cannot be healed or damaged by either. It would effectively cancel each other out.

    Where does it say that you could as 'alive' or 'living' in the feat description? It only gives you the type "humanoid (human)". It does not give you any traits or features of that type; which btw do not include anything about what energy type heals you.

    The feat also does not say what happens if you somehow change your type after character creation. Human Heritage is a 1st level only feat. If you would become undead (i.e. necropolitan) at 3rd level you would imo gain the type undead, and lose the type humanoid.
    My logic being:
    1: you gain feat,
    2: therefor your type is now humanoid (human)
    3: you become a necropolitan
    4: therefor your type is now Undead (humanoid)
    if you somehow would gain this feat after you become undead, then you would indeed be an undead with the type humanoid (human).
    (and you could become undead again? )

    Its a neat trick to change your type, but I don't believe it gives you any advantages in regards to what heals/damages you. This would be a pure houserule, and a logical thinking strict DM could make you lose all positive and negative effects of those two energy types..
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  25. - Top - End - #25
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Snowbluff's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer Advise

    Hence my 'if allow/if you can'.

    For starters,it requires you to allow humans to be descended from humans.


    I'm afb right now, so i can't go over the rest right now.
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    I dub this the Snowbluff Axiom.

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer Advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Doxkid View Post
    Sickened does not actually escalate into Nauseated as per current D&D rules; I'm almost certain about this. A common houserule allows Sickened-> Nausea, but that's...well...a houserule.

    Also, the usefulness of Sickening Grasp depends on whether your DM rules it automatically applies to all touch attacks, or if it requires its own action. By the Rules As Written, Sickening Grasp requires a standard action; how useful it is basically depends on your DM.

    Like I said earlier, being a Necromancer requires a LOT of talkng with your DM.
    It seems to be that as a standard action you grant yourself the ability to sicken on any touch, but you are correct in that people will read it different ways.

    The sickened doesn't escalate thing though - blow me down with a feather. I always thought it did. No wonder that's a common houserule - most spells where you see it specifically spell it out anyway, or use sickened on a successful save and nauseated on a failed save.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer Advise

    Okay so if the humanity thing doesn't work whats another way to deal with rebuking undead and other stuff that can really mess up my lich form?
    I will kill you, then raise you, then have you kill your friend...muhahahahaha!!!

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrinningDemon View Post
    Okay so if the humanity thing doesn't work whats another way to deal with rebuking undead and other stuff that can really mess up my lich form?
    It's a talk to your DM thing. You can Chaos Shuffle, Psychic Reformation or retrain it, if your DM doesn't belief in feats granting benefits.
    Last edited by Snowbluff; 2012-11-16 at 05:03 PM.
    Prior accolades, avatars, handbooks, and homebrew.Mitzi the Paladin by Ceika
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    All gaming systems should be terribly flawed and exploitable if you want everyone to be happy with them. This allows for a wide variety of power levels for games for different levels of players.
    I dub this the Snowbluff Axiom.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer Advise

    The two easy ways I protect against Rebuking/Turning is to either Magic Jar into a living creature, or to just get Turn resistance; it takes a pretty good amount of specialization for an enemy to actual rebuke a PC even without using these.

    Being outright destroyed by a specialized cleric is the most likely situation. Unfortunately, certain methods of optimizing Turn Undead can make being permanently destroyed an actual threat for even the hardiest of unliving beings.

    Once again, talk to your DM about this; being PERMANENTLY destroyed without any chance for a save or SR or any real defense/plan helping you is distinctly possible, so you need to know how your DM will rule Greater Turning and other things like it.
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  30. - Top - End - #30
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer Advise

    Quote Originally Posted by GrinningDemon View Post
    Okay so if the humanity thing doesn't work whats another way to deal with rebuking undead and other stuff that can really mess up my lich form?
    There is always the good old Contingent Teleport [if anything tries to rebuke or turn me] back to my base.
    Its the general gtfo card, but you might need a wizard buddy with craft-contingency. Its also a bit extreme and you would be leaving all your companions behind (which as a LE Dread Necromancer Lich you care soooo much about )
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