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Thread: The Reanimancer

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default The Reanimancer

    My favorite classes in video games have been classes based around pets. Unfortunately, I've never come across a tabletop class that has done the class type justice (though the Summoner from pathfinder came really close), in my opinion, so I decided to throw this together. This is a very rough draft that came from about 7 or 8 hours of work. I've been out of the game for a while, and this is literally the first D&D homebrew I've made in about a year. I'm not done with the class yet and would definitely like to add some more features and balance some others out. Would love some advice!

    EDIT: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...ilebasic?pli=1
    Better link

    The class will ideally focus on the minions, which is why the reanimancer has such poor saves, poor BAB, and no abilities that benefit himself directly. Another weak point is that he's more specialized than a wizard can be, what with him only being able to cast spells of a single school (Necromancy), while also being incredible fragile with only d4 hd. That's where the pets come in.

    I've constructed the system so as to try and give the players as much freedom as possible in designing their pet(s). Using my system, they can either make a bunch of little minions that all pose a bit of a threat to the player's enemies and each have their own utility, or one single minion beefed up with expensive improvements that leave little room for more than one minion.
    Last edited by WhiteLycan; 2014-01-24 at 07:26 PM.

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    Jormengand's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Reanimancer

    Please, please, for the love of all that is (un)holy and (non-)good, please re-format that into a GitP post. Trying to read it hurts my eyes.

    Just looking at it:

    Casting any Necromancy spell from any spell list is a no-no, especially since some are from 6-level lists and so are lower-level than you'd expect.

    "A reanimancer begins play with a grimoire containing all 0-level wizard/sorcerer spells, plus two 1st-level spells of their choice drawn from the Necromancy school." Well, obviously they don't, unless there should be another comma after "Choice." Because they can't cast most 0-level spells, 'cause they're not necromancy.

    The hell is a "Light shield?" Do you mean all shields with "Light" in their name, with the unfortunate implications of not being able to wield bucklers? All non-tower shields?

    Backlash can be abused horribly - a wizard who captures one of your undead can stick it on a hit point and Explosive Runes it about sixty times at once, killing you instantly with no chance of saving, just because he found some skeleton you'd forgotten existed.

    What's an exotic armour?

    How many SA dice does a Sneak Attacker get?

    Why does enlarge cost so much when you could just get a larger creature in the first place?

    Why does reduce cost so much when you could just get a smaller creature in the first place?

    "At 6th level, Undead Leadership as per the feat on page 31 of Libris Mortis." Missing a couple of words?

    Access to every necromancy spell ever written, and access to the ultimate power of "I have a minion for that" turns this into a T1 in short order, and it... could use a little bit of editing. It's also annoying just for its ability to be a better fighter than the fighter, just by animating and possessing an undead thing.

    I like the idea, it must be said, but my advice always consists of "This mechanical detail doesn't work" "This bit is wrong" "This can be abused horribly," so don't be too disheartened.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Reanimancer

    Thanks for the feedback! So let's dig in.

    Please, please, for the love of all that is (un)holy and (non-)good, please re-format that into a GitP post. Trying to read it hurts my eyes.
    Here, try this.
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...WLjrllMbc/edit

    Casting any Necromancy spell from any spell list is a no-no, especially since some are from 6-level lists and so are lower-level than you'd expect.
    I just figured that since they are only capable of casting one school of magic, that the extra spells would help out a lot. Honestly I was toying around with the idea of removing their spellcasting ability altogether.

    "A reanimancer begins play with a grimoire containing all 0-level wizard/sorcerer spells, plus two 1st-level spells of their choice drawn from the Necromancy school." Well, obviously they don't, unless there should be another comma after "Choice." Because they can't cast most 0-level spells, 'cause they're not necromancy.
    Was going to let them keep all the cantrips, no matter the school. Now that I say that out loud, it doesn't really fit thematically.

    The hell is a "Light shield?" Do you mean all shields with "Light" in their name, with the unfortunate implications of not being able to wield bucklers? All non-tower shields?
    Dunno why I put that, played too much elder scrolls or something. I meant Shields and Tower Shields, not light shields and heavy shields.

    Backlash can be abused horribly - a wizard who captures one of your undead can stick it on a hit point and Explosive Runes it about sixty times at once, killing you instantly with no chance of saving, just because he found some skeleton you'd forgotten existed.
    I don't see this as being an issue. For one, you're not going to forget about anything you animate; anything you animate consumes precious CP. And two, if the DM is pulling that kind of crap on me (trying to instakill me just because I forgot to say "Skeleton follow me"), I wouldn't want to play under them anyways. Alternatively, I could change it to "Takes 1 damage per HD of the destroyed minion."

    What's an exotic armour?
    Races of Stone, check it out.

    How many SA dice does a Sneak Attacker get?
    +1d4 every time the improvement is taken. It was mostly a copy/paste that I forgot to edit for that specific improvement, my bad.

    Why does enlarge cost so much when you could just get a larger creature in the first place?
    Enlarge: (Med-Large) +8 STR, -2 DEX, +2 NA, -1 AC/AB, increase the die size of all attacks by one, increase reach by 5ft, massively increase carrying capacity (not everyone enforces carrying capacity too strictly, I know, but I do). I think it's worth the ten points. Enlarge is basically 2x Brute (4CP), -1/2 Agile (-1CP), 1x Resistant (1CP), -1 Resistant for the -1AC/AB (-1CP) for a total of 2 CP. Then add die size damage for what I would estimate to be worth 2 CP, increase reach probably 4 CP, maybe 6. So 8-10 CP seems fair to me.

    Why does reduce cost so much when you could just get a smaller creature in the first place?
    Eh, I don't know. I see the benefit in enlarging your minions, can't really see any benefit in shrinking them. Might remove this improvement.

    "At 6th level, Undead Leadership as per the feat on page 31 of Libris Mortis." Missing a couple of words?
    One of my scarce few typos, leave me alone!

    Access to every necromancy spell ever written, and access to the ultimate power of "I have a minion for that" turns this into a T1 in short order, and it... could use a little bit of editing. It's also annoying just for its ability to be a better fighter than the fighter, just by animating and possessing an undead thing.
    Well in that case you must hate Druids too. Druids can take on animal companions that, out of the box, can be better than fighters at being fighters. But that's not right, I can't justify my class because a similar situation exists elsewhere. How about this: I disagree; the only way the minions could be better than a fighter is by going up against a fighter that has no idea what he's doing. There's an endless number of builds a fighter can utilize to beat up the "I swing at it..." minion. And don't forget, I'm not summoning undead, I'm raising them. There have to be corpses, first.

    I like the idea, it must be said, but my advice always consists of "This mechanical detail doesn't work" "This bit is wrong" "This can be abused horribly," so don't be too disheartened.
    The more I think about it, the more I think I want to remove spellcasting altogether and focus more on the minions. Make the reanimancer have a theme of the "Alchemical zombie maker" instead of the stereotype "magically raised from the dead" minions.

    Honestly there's nothing this class can do that the Animate Dead class can't almost do. Exmple:

    You (cleric with animate dead) can raise two 10HD ettins from the dead at level 5.
    I (reanimancer) can raise two 10HD ettins from the dead at level 5, or I can raise one 10HD ettin and increase its NA, STR, DEX, HD, TR, DR, Speed, Init, or weapon/armor proficiencies. But not all of them, only two. Or stack two. Now that I write this out, I think they might be too weak in the early levels. The primary class feature can be achieved by a single spell.

    Now we're level 12 and I've definitely started to pull ahead. I can control a max of 66 HD while you can control only 48. Sticking with ettins, you can raise 4 and almost have enough for a 5th, but the only thing you can do with the remaining 8HD is (coming straight out of the book, not applying the skeleton template to something) a troll skeleton 6HD and a wolf skeleton 2HD, but we'll stick with ettins. I can raise 6 and have leftovers if I want to, but I don't. I'll raise 4 (40 CP). Then I'll go about customizing them to fit specific jobs. I have about 8 points left to spend on each ettin, which means I can make them halfway decent at most roles.

    The class isn't about making every other class irrelevant, it's about making its minions capable of performing several jobs half-way decently. Need an archer? Give him some dex from Agile, proficiency with a bow from Armaments, and you have a makeshift archer. It's no Ranger, but it'll suffice. Need a brute? Give him some NA (or armor from armaments) or some DR, maybe some strength and/or extra HP. He won't be able to do anything fancy like a dedicated fighter, but he can smack stuff around. Again, a thing to remember is that they're not being summoned. You can't just change up your composition on the fly. It has to be thought out. Those 4 ettins you raise? Hope you picked good improvements because you can't change them unless you find and kill another ettin, then raise it.

    I'd call this class maybe a tier 2 if I restrict it to sorc/wiz spell list (which I have). A definite tier 3 if I remove spellcasting.

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