Thursday, August 21, 2014

HMS Apollyon - Necromancer Subclass


The history of Sterntown and fear of the Ash Plague has made necromancy a forbidden art in Sterntown, and its practice is punishable by the most severe and gruesome of sentences.  Still the power over the dead and the lure of immortality that the dark art offers draws adherents who must conceal their research and take great efforts to disguise their creations.  Because of the fear of discovery that hangs over every necromancer they tend to be reclusive, at first skulking and scurry about and as they grow more accomplished learning to hide in plain sight through disguising their powers and adopting mannerisms that deflect suspicion.  Necromancers are rare, but the last two powerful ones ferreted out by the Church of the Queen’s witch smellers have been sorcerer with social grace, the most vibrant dress, and foppish manners, as far from the black-clad and cadaverous stereotype as possible. 

Tier 1
Lesser Reanimation – Necromancer may build and reanimate unintelligent and spiteful creations of ½ HD per level of spell slot dissipated.
Tier 2
Speak with Dead – The skilled necromancer can speak with the dead and undead, compelling corpses to talk and understand regardless of their age.  At least the skull of the creature is needed for this power to work, and the ability does not compel the dead to answer questions or behave in a friendly manner.
Legerdemain 2 in 6
Tier 3
Greater Reanimation – Necromancer may build and reanimate undead thralls of limited intelligence and will of up to 1 HD per level of spell slot dissipated. 
Banishment – The necromancer may drive off and hold hostile undead at bay with his will alone.  Necromancers turn undead as a cleric of ½ his or her level.  This ability will not destroy undead, only cause them to flee or cover defensively.
Tier 4
Raise Dead – Necromancer reach through the veil of death and return souls to their mortal bodies.  A person less than 5 days dead can be raised by the necromancer with this ability.  This action takes a session of downtime, and requires a roll under Constitution on the part of both the necromancer and subject.  A failure by the necromancer means a permanent 1 point Constitution loss to the necromancer, while a failure by the resurrection’s subject results in permanent death.  Individuals raised by necromancers are effectively undead, suffering the effects of turning and damage from holy water, as well as the inability to heal by non-magical means and a permanent loss of 1D6/2 Constitution.
Lich Process – A Necromancer may begin the process of transforming themselves into a Lich at this level of power.  This should be treated as spell research of the Maximum level,  with failure resulting in the Necromancer’s destruction/death and success transformation into to a near immortal undead creature.
Legerdemain 3 in 6

Legerdemain – The skill of fast talk and deception, an individual successfully using this skill may concoct disguises, take on fake accents and manipulate the emotions of their targets.  Successful use of the skill will allow a user to conceal their true identity or disguise themselves, avoiding potential reputation related penalties, and even calm a violent situation (unless combat has already begun) or mend a poor reaction roll.  If a character with legerdemain successfully attempts to manipulate or fast talk their target this causes another reaction roll with a bonus equal to ½ the manipulator’s legerdemain skill.   

Reanimation – By investing a greater or smaller portion of their magical energy a necromancer may create and command undead thralls.  By giving up one or more spell slots the Necromancer may empower undead servants, entirely loyal but very unintelligent and inclined towards evil and mayhem.  The basic undead thrall is something akin to a zombie or skeleton, but by investing greater or lesser amounts of power they may be given special abilities and intelligence.  A basic thrall will have AC 17, and one attack with a trained attack bonus structure for Hit Dice.

Thrall Special Abilities
Spell Level Cost
1 Spell Level
Basic Intelligence (INT 4) (Morale 12)
2 Spell Level
Moderate Intelligence (INT 11) (Morale 10)
1 Spell Level
Warrior Attack Bonus
1 Spell Level
Additional Attack
1 Spell Level
Dangerous Attack - Attack  does Damage as 2-Handed Weapon
2 Spell Level
Attack Drains Levels
2 Spell Level
Paralyzing Attack
1 Spell Level
Additional Armor (AC 15)
2 Spell Level
Heavy Armor (AC 18)
3 Spell Level
Normal Weapon Immunity

Skills and Abilities
A Necromancer’s first and most basic spell is Momento Mori, and in addition to this basic spell the Necromancer gains one of the following spells, determined randomly.

Momento Mori
Be performing a short ritual the Necromancer wraps herself in a lasting enchantment, which will endure until a single ‘dissipation’ result on the event die.  Suffused with the essence of death, the necromancer makes undead nearby accepting of her presence.  It is not clear if this is a form of invisibility or simply a charm that calms the angry dead, but undead creatures will generally ignore the Necromancer and any of her own undead thralls while the necromancer is under the effect of this spell, unless they attack or otherwise make efforts to make themselves known.  Sentient and powerful undead (Over 4 HD) may still detect the caster, as if she had a 5 in 6 stealth skill. 

In addition to Momento Mori a starting Necromancer will have one of the following spells scribed in her spellbook:

Introductory Necromantic Magics
Ghostly Presence – Magic User is shielded from harm by a ghostly presence.  This spirit creates a fairly ineffective shield in front of the caster, using it’s somewhat insubstantial form to swap aside blows and missiles, granting an AC of 15 for the 1D6+Level rounds that the spirit is summoned.  Additionally the ghostly presence will absorb any magic missile attack directed against the necromancer during this time
Charm Undead – Using this spell the  necromancer may charm or shift the allegiance of an undead creature that can understand the Necromancer.  Charmed creatures may save v. spells to resist the charm on it’s initial application and then upon every ‘dissipation’ roll on the encounter day.  A charmed undead may be made into a necromancer’s thrall if the necromancer has enough available spell slots to reanimate such a creature (in which case controlling it uses those spell slots as if the necromancer had reanimated the creature).
Magic Missile – The necromancer manifests a magical attack that will automatically strike a single target.  The attack has no physical force but will do 1D6 points of damage.  An additional missile can be created for every tier of Necromantic power possessed by the caster.  Necromancer’s magic missile can take many forms, though the most common are unerring ghostly birds, flying skulls or rays of necrotizing power.
Talking Skull - When this spell is cast, a necromancer can enchant a skull with jaw bone to move and speaks any message the caster desire up to three sentences in length over a 1 turn period from start to finish. It cannot speak magic spells. The spell can be triggered by any simple occurrence according to the command of the necromancer.  Once the skull speaks this enchantment will expire.
Darkness – The necromancer can create globe of darkness that obscures all light within a 10’ radius that will last for three rolls of the ‘dissipate’ result on the random encounter check.  This darkness is impervious to normal light sources, can will extinguish magic lights (both spells consuming one another).  The spell may be cast on the eyes of a living creature, and if they fail to save vs. spells will result in blindness.
Miasma of Fear – Pulling the vaguest reflections and whispers of existence from nearby spirits the necromancer creates a region around themselves (a 10’ square centered on the caster) that reeks of death and whispers with the agonies of the death.  Any living, natural creature entering the miasma (including the caster’s allies) must save vs. spells or flee for 1D6/2 rounds.  The miasma does not move with the caster but will persist for one dissipation roll.

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