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    Grod_The_Giant's Avatar

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    Default Dread Necromancer class feature for commanding undead

    What's wrong with Dread Necromancers? Nothing, really. At least nothing major. But that's in the context of normal D&D. For me, on the other hand... well, I've tried to balance summoning and minionmancy by turning them into class features. So with spells like Animate Dead and Summon Undead gone, the archetypical necromancer gets no undead minions.

    Until now.

    Undead Horde (Sp): A Dread Necromancer's trademark power is his ability to raise the dead. Once per day per class level, your may perform an hour-long ritual to transform a corpse into an appropriate type of undead, under your complete control. You may raise any number of undead, as long as their total challenge rating does not exceed your Dread Necromancer level. Undead created in this way cannot create any sort of spawn.

    • At 1st level, you may only create skeletons and zombies.
    • At 3rd level, you may create ghouls.
    • At 5th level, you may create ghasts and wights.
    • At 7th level, you may create allips, shadows, and vampire spawn.
    • At 9th level, you may create mummies and wraiths.
    • At 11th level, you may create ghosts* and vampires*.
    • At 13th level, you may create greater shadows, mohrgs, and spectres.
    • At 15th level, you may create bodaks.
    • At 17th level, you may create devourers and dread wraiths.
    • At 19th level, you may create nightwings.


    At the DM's discretion, you can replace one of the undead types listed above with a different variety of undead with the same CR.

    *Note that these are templates. The adjusted CR of the creature must fit within your current CR cap.
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2014-05-08 at 12:04 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Grod's Law: You cannot and should not balance bad mechanics by making them annoying to use
    Major Works:
    • STaRS: The Simple Tabletop Roleplaying System; my attempt at a generic rules-light system.
    • Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 revisions-- houserules, class fixes, ban lists and more.
    • Chopping Down the Christmas Tree: Rules for low- or no-magic item games of 3.5.
    • D&D in M&M-- Balancing 3.5 by porting it lock, stock, and barrel into a more balanced system.

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    Amechra's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer class feature for commanding undead

    Why do you have to wait until 19th level to get Vampires?

    After Devourers, no less. I'd take Dread Wraiths and Devourers over Vampires any day of the week.

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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer class feature for commanding undead

    Mmm. I was able to extrapolate most things from the various undead creation/summoning spells, but for vampires and ghosts (as templates) I kind of had to throw them in where there was empty space. Where would you recommend?

    (I guess Nightwings could go in at 19th level. Batman might get kind of upset about it, though)
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Grod's Law: You cannot and should not balance bad mechanics by making them annoying to use
    Major Works:
    • STaRS: The Simple Tabletop Roleplaying System; my attempt at a generic rules-light system.
    • Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 revisions-- houserules, class fixes, ban lists and more.
    • Chopping Down the Christmas Tree: Rules for low- or no-magic item games of 3.5.
    • D&D in M&M-- Balancing 3.5 by porting it lock, stock, and barrel into a more balanced system.

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    Amechra's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer class feature for commanding undead

    Stick Vampires down with Ghosts and move Nightwings up to 19th level sounds good.

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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer class feature for commanding undead

    I'm always hesitent about balancing things by "challenge rating" considering the flawed history it has. However, this is a rather nice ability which seems to allow for both flavor and mechanics. Granted, it'd be pretty easy to optimize, but that's just through normal undead shenanigans. At least this gets rid of the control cap manipulation that goes on.
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    Default Re: Dread Necromancer class feature for commanding undead

    Quote Originally Posted by Madara View Post
    I'm always hesitent about balancing things by "challenge rating" considering the flawed history it has. However, this is a rather nice ability which seems to allow for both flavor and mechanics. Granted, it'd be pretty easy to optimize, but that's just through normal undead shenanigans. At least this gets rid of the control cap manipulation that goes on.
    Eh... especially with undead, I feel like HD are an even worse method. I mean, a Grey Render zombie has more hit die than a Nightwing, but I don't think anyone could argue that the zombie is more threatening.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Grod's Law: You cannot and should not balance bad mechanics by making them annoying to use
    Major Works:
    • STaRS: The Simple Tabletop Roleplaying System; my attempt at a generic rules-light system.
    • Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 revisions-- houserules, class fixes, ban lists and more.
    • Chopping Down the Christmas Tree: Rules for low- or no-magic item games of 3.5.
    • D&D in M&M-- Balancing 3.5 by porting it lock, stock, and barrel into a more balanced system.

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