DylStur’s Necromancer Class

Necromancer

A gnome grins to himself as he produces a scalpel and carves out the bones from a fresh corpse amongst many on an old battlefield, handing them to a skeleton following at his heel, catering to his every whim. The skeleton delicately places the bones into a pile as the gnome waves his hand and the pile of bones floats into a full skeleton, ready to serve it’s new master.

A Half Drow dances around her foes, slashing them with her longsword to weaken them before raising her hand. Black tendrils shoot forth from her fingertips and latch onto one of the bandits as their skin begins to age rapidly while her own cuts close shut and her bruises fade away. The desiccated corpse flops to the floor and she smiles to herself as she continues to fight.

A hobgoblin flicks through his grimoire as a treant prepares to crush him beneath it’s hand. A small purple blob appears on the hobgoblin’s shoulder as the treant’s fist slams down on top of him. Feeling nothing, it lifts its hand to see the hobgoblin is now incorporeal. Continuing to flick through the pages, he finds what he’s looking for. The purple blob shines a bright violet light and the hobgoblin becomes corporeal once more, before he launches a fireball right into the treant’s chest.

Necromancer Hit Die: 1d6

Necromancer Proficiencies: 

Weapon Proficiencies: Simple weapons

Saving Throw Proficiencies: Intelligence, Wisdom

Skill Proficiencies: Choose two from the following; Arcana, Deception, History, Investigation, Medicine, and Religion.

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

(a) a quarterstaff or (b) a sickle

(a) a component pouch or (b) an arcane focus

(a) a priest’s pack or (b) a scholar’s pack

Alternatively, you can choose to start with 4d4 x 10 gp and opt to spend some or all of that money on starting equipment.

You can attune to magic items that have the wizard or cleric class in their exclusivity sections (such as the Robe of Archmagi)

You must have an intelligence score of 13 in order to multiclass into Necromancer.

Necromancer Table

Level

Proficiency Bonus

Features

Cantrips Known

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th

9th

1st

+2

Spellcasting, Vitality Shift

2

2

2nd

+2

Necromantic Creed

2

3

3rd

+2

2

3

2

4th

+2

Ability Score Improvement

3

4

3

5th

+3

3

4

3

2

6th

+3

Creed Feature

3

4

3

3

7th

+3

3

4

3

3

1

8th

+3

Ability Score Improvement

3

4

3

3

2

9th

+4

Eternal Youth

3

4

3

3

3

1

10th

+4

Creed Feature

4

4

3

3

3

2

11th

+4

4

4

3

3

3

2

1

12th

+4

Ability Score Improvement

4

4

3

3

3

2

1

13th

+5

4

4

3

3

3

2

1

1

14th

+5

Creed Feature

4

4

3

3

3

2

1

1

15th

+5

5

4

3

3

3

2

1

1

1

16th

+5

Ability Score Improvement

5

4

3

3

3

2

1

1

1

17th

+6

5

4

3

3

3

2

1

1

1

1

18th

+6

Grasp of Undeath

5

4

3

3

3

3

1

1

1

1

19th

+6

Ability Score Improvement

5

4

3

3

3

3

2

1

1

1

20th

+6

Creed Feature

5

4

3

3

3

3

2

2

1

1

Spellcasting: 

As a necromancer, you have learned an ancient magic that allows you to sacrifice your life essence to power magical abilities some might describe as unnatural. It can be used to extend your lifespan, bring people back to life or raise corpses into unlife. A lot of social stigma around necromancy comes from evil wizards abusing its power to create undead but there’s no such thing as evil magic. Every school of magic has the capacity for both good and evil, it’s the person using the magic that morality should be applied to. As such, your necromancer does not need to be evil.

See chapter 10 of the official player handbook for the general rules of spellcasting and scroll down for the necromancer spell list.

Cantrips

You know two cantrips of your choice from the necromancer spell list. You learn additional necromancer cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the necromancer table.

Spell Slots

The Necromancer table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these necromancer spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

For example, if you know the 1st-level spell False Life and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast False Life using either slot.

Preparing and Casting Spells

The Necromancer table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your necromancer spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

You prepare the list of necromancer spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the necromancer spell list. When you do so, choose a number of necromancer spells equal to your intelligence modifier + your necromancer level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

For example, if you are a 3rd-level necromancer, you have four 1st-level and two 2nd-level spell slots. With an intelligence of 16, your list of prepared spells can include six spells of 1st or 2nd level, in any combination. If you prepare the 1st-level spell cure wounds, you can cast it using a 1st-level or 2nd-level slot. Casting the spell doesn’t remove it from your list of prepared spells.

You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of necromancer spells requires time spent in studying and meditating: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

 

 

Spellcasting Ability

Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your necromancer spells, for your magic draws upon your research into the forces of life, death and undeath. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a necromancer spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Ritual Casting

You can cast any necromancer spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag. 

 

Spellcasting Focus

You can use an arcane focus (found in PHB chapter 5) as a spellcasting focus for your necromancer spells.

 

Necromancer’s Spell List:

Cantrips (0 Level)
  • Acid Splash

  • Chill Touch

  • Dancing Lights

  • Fire Bolt

  • Frostbite 

  • Green-Flame Blade

  • Infestation

  • Mold Earth

  • Poison Spray

  • Ray of Frost

  • Sapping Sting

  • Shocking Grasp

  • Spare the Dying

  • Sword Burst

  • Thaumaturgy

  • Toll the Dead

  • True Strike

1st Level
  • Bane

  • Cause Fear

  • Ceremony

  • Command

  • Cure Wounds

  • Detect Evil and Good

  • Detect Poison and Disease

  • Detect Magic

  • Disguise Self

  • False Life

  • Healing Word

  • Identify

  • Inflict Wounds

  • Mage Armour

  • Protection from Evil and Good

  • Purify Food and Drink

  • Shield

  • Ray of Sickness

2nd level
  • Aid

  • Augury

  • Blindness/Deafness

  • Blur

  • Darkness

  • Find Steed

  • Gentle Repose

  • Healing Spirit

  • Lesser Restoration

  • Magic Mouth

  • Moonbeam

  • See Invisibility

  • Shadow Blade

  • Silence

  • Pass Without a Trace

  • Phantasmal Force

  • Prayer of Healing

  • Protection from Poison

  • Ray of Enfeeblement

3rd Level
  • Animate Dead

  • Beacon of Hope

  • Bestow Curse

  • Blink

  • Fear

  • Feign Death

  • Gaseous Form

  • Life Transference

  • Magic Circle

  • Mass Healing Word

  • Phantom Steed

  • Remove Curse

  • Revivify

  • Speak With Dead

  • Spirit Guardians

  • Spirit Shroud 

  • Summon Undead Spirit 

  • Vampiric Touch

4th Level
  • Arcane Eye

  • Aura of Life

  • Blight

  • Death Ward

  • Locate Creature

  • Mordenkainen’s Faithful Hound

  • Phantasmal Killer

  • Shadow of Moil

  • Sickening Radiance

5th Level
  • Antilife Shell

  • Awaken

  • Cloudkill

  • Contagion

  • Danse Macabre

  • Dawn

  • Dream

  • Enervation

  • Greater Restoration

  • Hallow

  • Insect Plague

  • Mass Cure Wounds

  • Negative Energy Flood

  • Raise Dead

  • Rary's Telepathic Bond

  • Reincarnate

6th Level
  • Circle of Death

  • Create Undead

  • Disintegrate

  • Eyebite

  • Forbiddance

  • Harm

  • Heal

  • Magic Jar

  • Move Earth

  • Soul Cage

  • True Seeing

7th Level
  • Divine Word

  • Etherealness

  • Finger of Death

  • Regenerate

  • Resurrection

  • Simulacrum

  • Symbol

  • Tether Essence

8th Level
  • Abi Dalzim’s Horrid Wilting

  • Clone

  • Demiplane

  • Feeblemind

  • Reality Break

9th Level
  • Astral Projection

  • Power Word Heal

  • Power Word Kill

  • Ravenous Void

  • True Resurrection

  • Time Ravage

Ability Score Improvements: 

ASI’s: You gain Ability Score Improvements at levels 4, 8, 12, 16 and 19

Hit dice:

Your vitality shift ability uses your hit dice as fuel. This signifies you sacrificing your own life essence in order to perform certain types of magic. Sacrificing your life essence takes its toll on your body, causing you to only regain half your level of hit dice +1 per long rest. 

Vitality Shift: 

At 1st level, as an action you may touch an ally to transfer vitality between yourself and your ally. You may use 1d6 + your intelligence modifier to heal a willing creature that isn’t yourself by the amount rolled, losing a hit dice in the process. 

You cannot increase a creature’s hit points above their maximum with this ability. 

Subclass at level 2:

At level 2, you can join a necromancer’s creed. There are currently 3 necromancer’s creeds; Creed of the Animator, Creed of Siphoning and Creed of the Grimoire. 

Eternal Youth: 

At 9th level, you have so much experience manipulating the essence of life that you are able to regain some of your childhood vigor. You revert to how you looked at the age of 21. If you are younger than 21 you stop visibly aging at 21. (or whatever age is equivalent if you are playing a species that has a different life span to a human)

You also gain proficiency in constitution saving throws and are immune to disease. You may also use up to your necromancer’s level of unused hit dice without expending them in order to heal on a short rest. You can do this once a day. 

Grasp of Undeath:

You grow accustomed to dealing with the dead. At 18th level, you gain resistance to necrotic and poison damage and cannot suffer the poisoned condition. 

Creed of the Animator: 

Creed of the Animator Spells

The Creed of the Animator focuses on the Body aspect of Necromancy. Their abilities focus on raising and manipulating undead creatures. 

These spells do not count against your number of prepared spells.

2nd level – Armor of Agathys, Find Familiar
3rd level – Gentle Repose, Misty Step
5th level – Animate Dead, Summon Undead Spirit
7th level – Death Ward, Faithful Hound
9th level – Danse Macabre, Negative Energy Flood
11th level – Create Undead, Soul Cage

Undead Minion: 

Starting at 2nd level your familiar summoned by the find familiar spell can be categorised as undead, and take the form of a pseudo-dracolich (pseudodragon stats), a skeletal or zombie variant of a normal animal applicable to becoming a familiar, or a floating skull whose eyes glow a colour of your choice.

Fortified Minions:

At 6th level, you improve your abilities to maintain your undead servants in a more solid condition. Your minions – including your familiar summoned by Undead Minion – are now resistant to non magical weapons and their unarmed attacks and weapon attacks now count as magical. 

Animator Tradition:

At 10th level, you may choose one animator tradition from the following;

Adept Animator: You have learned how to exert control over more minions from a single ritual. You can target one additional corpse when using spells like animate dead. Your minions also gain a multiattack and can attack twice with a weapon or an unarmed attack on their turn.

Giant Rouser: You are now able to create large and huge sized Undead Minions. You can now target ogres, giants, minotaurs and dinosaurs of large or huge size with spells like animate dead. You may also combine 12 skeletons into a skeletal juggernaut.

Minion Erudition: (Currently working on this, do not use it as it has not been balanced) You choose one medium sized undead that you have raised and perform a ritual to transfer a fragment of your soul into it. This will become your Erudite Minion and you can only have one active at a time. Your Erudite minion’s intelligence, wisdom and charisma scores will become equal to yours. 

Your minion is made into its own entity. It joins initiative on its own turn. It is an intelligent undead and can make its own decisions but will always follow your orders.

It has three attunement slots and it can also cast spells you have prepared, using your spell slots to do so, and it can cast spells as a ritual. 

If you are knocked unconscious, your Erudite Minion will remain active and will attempt to revive you or defend you from further harm until an ally can revive you. Your Erudite Minion will die if you die. 

Corpse Gas:

At 14th level, your undead minions gain an unnatural virulence. Whenever your familiar or a corpse you have raised through a spell such as animate dead is killed by a creature that isn’t you, you can choose if it explodes in a cloud of necrotic gas in a 10ft sphere which lingers for one minute, costing no actions. Any creatures in this sphere must make a constitution saving throw against your spell save DC or take 6d6 necrotic damage, taking half on a successful one. Anything that enters or starts it’s turn in this gas must repeat the saving throw.

Your minion’s unarmed melee attacks also deal poison damage and apply the poisoned condition to creatures on a constitution save against your spell save DC. 

Ascendant Animator:

At 20th level your constant exposure to the undead offers an almost divine insight into how they work. You can use your action to force up to 6 undead of your choosing within a 60ft radius of you to make a wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC or be turned by you for 1 minute. You can do this an equal amount of times as your intelligence modifier, and you restore your uses of this ability on a long rest.

You can also siphon the last vestiges of life energy from your Undead Minions. If one of them is killed, you restore hit points equal to the blow that destroyed your minion. You may also dismiss your minion with an action to heal for half of the hit points it had at the time of being dismissed. Dismissing a minion cannot activate Corpse Gas, but you can benefit from this feature and use corpse gas if your minion is killed. 

Creed of Siphoning: 

Creed of Siphoning Spells:

The Creed of Siphoning focuses on the Soul aspect of necromancy, allowing them to manipulate the life force of living creatures. 

These spells do not count against your number of prepared spells.

2nd level – False Life, Inflict Wounds 

3rd level – Ray of Enfeeblement, Shadow Blade 

5th level – Vampiric Touch, Life Transference 

7th level – Blight, Shadow of Moil 

9th level – Enervation, Steel Wind Strike 

11th level – Circle of Death, Harm

Vitality Thief: 

At 2nd level, you have unlocked firmer control over the life force all necromancers manipulate, allowing you to tear it from others and heal yourself with it.

Whenever you deal necrotic damage, you can choose to regain hit points equal to half of the necrotic damage dealt, rounded down an equal amount of times to your intelligence modifier per long rest (with a minimum of 1).

Additionally, you gain proficiency in light and medium armor, shields, and one martial weapon of your choice.

Adept Siphoner: 

At 6th level, whenever you deal damage with a weapon attack or any necromancer spell, you can choose to change the damage dealt to be of the necrotic type. 

You can now make two attacks as part of your attack action with a weapon you are proficient in, and are now proficient in medicine. If you are already proficient, you gain expertise. 

You also learn the vampiric touch spell if you do not already know it, and it does not count against your spells known.

Additionally, you gain the following ability:

Unholy Smite:

While wielding a weapon you are proficient in, you can make a melee attack and choose to empower your attack with a burst of necrotic energy if it hits. You can expend a 1st level spell slot for 2d8 necrotic damage, plus 1d8 for every spell slot level above 1st to a maximum of 5th level. 

(uses the same rules as a paladin’s divine smite)

 

Death is not your Destiny Today:

At 10th level, your mastery over life-essence allows you to give your allies advantage on death saving throws if you can see them and they are within 15ft of you. This costs no action on your part.

 

Deadly Confusion:

At 14th level, you can spend a minute focusing on a target you can see within 30 feet in order to necrose their brain temporarily, causing the target to have disadvantage on all Intelligence and Wisdom saving throws and attack rolls it makes for the next minute. This does not require any action from you and it follows the same rules as a concentration spell.

The target will not know you are the source of this attack. 

 

Soul Thief: 

At 20th level, when you are reduced to 0 hit points, you instead drop to 1 and you force up to five creatures of your choosing within 30ft to make a constitution saving throw or take 4d12 necrotic damage or half of the damage on a success. You heal for the amount of damage you do. If nothing is within range, you remain at 1hp. You can do this once per long rest.

 

 

Creed of the Grimoire:

Initiate of the Grimoire: 

At 2nd level, you become an initiate in the Creed of the Grimoire and obtain a necromantic grimoire. As long as this grimoire is on your person, you gain the following benefits:

You learn two cantrips of your choice from the wizard spell list and they do not count against your spells known.

Whenever you cast a necromancer spell of up to 5th level, you may use your bonus action to make it a refined spell which adds your intelligence modifier to any attack rolls made as part of the spell, and to the DC of any saving throw prompted by it. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

You may use the grimoire as a spellcasting focus for your necromancer spells. The spells that you add to your grimoire as you gain levels reflect the arcane research you conduct in your own time, as well as experiments you conduct to learn more about the nature of life, death and undeath. You might find other spells during your adventures. You could find a spell scroll in the bowels of a mimic or a dusty spell tome in a wizard’s chest in their abandoned tower.

Copying a Spell into the grimoire. 

When you find a necromancer spell of 1st level or higher, you can add it to your grimoire if it is of a level for which you have spell slots and if you can spare the time to decipher and copy it. Copying a spell into your grimoire involves reproducing the basic form of the spell, then deciphering the unique system of notation used by the necromancer who wrote it. You must practice the spell until you understand the sounds or gestures required, then transcribe it into your grimoire using your own notation. For each level of the spell, the process takes 2 hours and costs 50 gp. The cost represents material components you expend as you experiment with the spell to master it, as well as the fine inks you need to record it. Once you have spent this time and money, you can prepare the spell just like your other spells. 

Should your necromantic grimoire be lost or destroyed, you are able to create a new one. This process costs 20 gp and 2 hours of time for each necromancer level you possess.

Copying spells of the Necromancy school into your grimoire takes half the time and gold.

 

Arcane Shift:

Also starting at 2nd level, you can use the Vitality Shift feature on yourself to regain a single spell slot of 5th level or lower. This uses one hit dice per level of spell slot regained – for example a 5th level spell slot will use 5 hit dice. You can only do this once per long rest. 

Soul Sense: 

At 6th level you become adept at identifying the magical energies of souls, allowing you to sense the living and the lingering soul energy within any undead nearby.

You can sense creatures within a 30ft radius of you. Constructs are not detected by this ability. Any Undead entering this range makes a wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC. On a successful save you don't detect them and they can't be detected by this feature again for the next 24 hours. Magical silence, 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood blocks the ability. The feature doesn’t have to follow a straight line and can travel freely around corners or through openings.

You also gain proficiency in Intelligence (Arcana) checks, or expertise if you are already proficient. 

You also learn Speak with Dead if you do not already know it, and it does not count against your spells known.

Spirit Helper:

At 10th level you gain the ability to call forth a spirit from the ethereal plane. The spirit will manifest as a fist sized blob, usually purple, blue, grey or iridescent in colour although it can be any colour you want it to be. It’s an hour long ritual to summon the spirit.

This spirit joins combat on the end of your initiative and can use it’s action to deliver a touch based spell from range, also using your action for casting the spell. 

The Spirit can protect your allies (up to your intelligence modifier) from any of your area of effect spells, causing them to automatically succeed saving throws caused by your spells. It can only do this once per day.

When you are attacked, it can use it’s reaction to bring both you and itself into the ethereal plane but must use it’s action to bring you both back on it’s next turn. It can only do this once a day and must be within 5ft of you in order to do this. While you are on the ethereal plane, you are still visible on the material plane, but you are incorporeal and appear transparent. You cannot be heard by anyone on the material plane, nor can you physically interact with them.

Spirit’s Stats:

Tiny undead (Any Alignment)

HP: 1   AC: 13 

Speed: 0ft, Fly 40ft

STR      DEX      CON      INT      WIS      CHA

1 (-5)    16 (+3)  10 (+0)  12 (+1) 14 (+2)   1 (-5)

Damage Immunities: Cold, Necrotic, Poison, non magical weapons. 

Evasion: If the spirit succeeds on a dexterity save to take half damage, it instead takes no damage. 

Incorporeal movement: The spirit can pass through solid surfaces as if they were difficult terrain. If they end their turn inside a physical object they will dissipate and you will need to summon a new spirit.

Arch Necromancer: 

By 14th level you have become so proficient at raising corpses that the ritual you cast to raise a creature to unlife only takes you seconds. When you cast the animate dead spell, you can use your bonus action to complete the spell in just one turn. Your movement speed is reduced to 0ft on the turn that you use this ability so make sure you are already in position at least one turn before you attempt this. 

You can also use electricity to empower your undead minions. Being hit by a spell that does shock damage no longer damages your undead minion, but instead heals them for the damage done.

 

Eternal Erudite:

At 20th level, your understanding of the arcane reaches its peak. You learn three wizard spells of up to 5th level and they don’t count against your spells known. You also regain three spell slots of 5th level or lower when taking a short rest. You can do this once per day. You also learn how to use necromancy to slow aging. For every 10 years that pass, you age only 1. You cannot be aged magically. 

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