Necromancer, Variant (5e Class)
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A pale and gaunt man approaches a village he called home, half rotten undead shambling after him. He will show those who doubted him his true might. A sickly dwarf lifts the lid on a sarcophagus, gold gleams, but the dark tome clutched in the mummy's hand is the true treasure to her. A barfight experiences terror as a dwarf grabs his opponent and visibly drains the life from him. A man chases an orc around the corner of an alley to start a fight, but soon realizes he can no longer see, or breathe for that matter. He slowly suffocates to death as the orc watches from shadows.
Masters of Life and Death
Necromancers are infamous for the manipulation of life and toying with death, finding many ways to cheat it. Some seek to revive their loved ones, others may seek everlasting life and others may fall to the dark arts seeking nigh infinite power. Whatever the case, they turned their backs on society, and are outcasts and hunted by those whom dare.
The Curse of Undeath
Necromancers often face seclusion or rejection from society, given they bring decay and death to those around them. They are usually alone, and convening with a necromancer is often seen as shady business. Many people are under the delusion that necromancers can simply bring back the dead, and others say they’re simply a scam. Necromancers do not become such simply on a whim, but because they seek power, extended life, or the ability to preserve the lives of the ones they love even at the cost of their own.
Creating a Necromancer
Making a Necromancer requires a little bit of backstory, or at least why the person turned to the most occult magic of them all. Were they tricked into it? Did they intend to resurrect a loved one? Or was it simply a hunger for power? How much rejection have they faced? Did they turn their back on a religious order, or turn to an occult one?
- Quick Build
You can make a Necromancer quickly by following these suggestions. First, prioritize your Intelligence score, since this is your spellcasting ability. Choose spare the dying and one other as your cantrips. Secondly, false life and inflict wounds would be good choices.
As a Necromancer you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Weapons: simple, shortswords, hand crossbows
Saving Throws: Intelligence, Constitution
Skills: choose two from Deception, Survival, Arcana, Religion, History, Stealth, and Medicine
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) explorer's pack or (b) scholar's pack
- one weapon you are proficient in
- (a) an arcane focus or (b) one uncommon magical item
|Features||Cantrips Known||—Spell Slots per Spell Level—|
|1st||+2||Necrotic Branch, Undead Affinity, Subclass Trait||3||2||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement, Subclass Trait||4||4||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+3||Turn To Undead||4||4||3||2||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||4||4||3||3||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|11th||+4||Subclass Trait, Turn To Undead(2)||5||4||3||3||3||2||1||—||—||—|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||5||4||3||3||3||2||1||—||—||—|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||5||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||1||—|
|18th||+6||Turn To Undead(3)||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|
You use both the negative energy in the world and arcane practices to fuel your spells.
As a student of undeath and necromantic magic, you have a spellbook containing spells that show the first glimmerings of your true power. Your spell book acts as a repository of your wizard spells, your cantrips are fixed in your mind. Necromancy spells do not count against your prepared spells, but must still be learnt conventionally.
At 1st level, you know 3 cantrips of your choice from the Wizard spell list.You learn additional cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Necromancer table.
- Preparing and Casting Spells
- Spell Slots
The Necromancer table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your wizard 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 wizard spells that are available for you to cast. To do so, choose a number of wizard spells from your spellbook 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’re 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, chosen from your spellbook. If you prepare the 1st-level spell magic missile, you can cast it using a 1st-level or a 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 wizard spells requires time spent studying your spellbook and memorizing the incantations and gestures you must make to cast the spell: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.
- Spellcasting Ability
Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your wizard and Necromancy spells, since you learn both your Wizard and Necromancy spells through dedicated study and memorization. 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 wizard 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 a wizard spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell in your spellbook. You don’t need to have the spell prepared.
- Spellcasting Focus
You can use an arcane focus as a spellcasting focus for your wizard spells.
- Learning Spells of 1st Level and Higher
Each time you gain a Necromancer level, you can add two wizard spells of your choice to your spellbook for free. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots, as shown on the Necromancer table. On your adventures, you might find other spells that you can add to your spellbook
When you begin Necromancy, your first choice must be determining your Necromancy Branch. This not only determines your role in the game, but what stats you should focus on and how you can interact with the undead.
Once per day when you finish a short rest you can use the bodies of the dead (animated/undead do not count) to recover health instead of using hit die, or spell levels with a one body to one spell level ratio. Each corpse of medium size counts as a hit die. When used the corpses dry out and wither to an almost unrecognisable husk an cannot be used again for this feature.
You may also recover spell slots equal to half your Necromancer level on a short rest once per day.
When you reach 2nd level, you may learn necromancy spells from any spell list, learning necromancy spells from tomes takes half as long as normal.
Undead see you as one of their own, and will not attack you unless you’ve attacked them first. Additionally, any radiant damage you deal becomes necrotic damage.
Ability Score Increase
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Turn To Undead
Starting at Level 5, if you find a humanoid corpse that has not begun decaying, you can take an action and summon that person as an undead minion. Its stats and un-weaponed attacks will be the same as a Ghoul in the Monster's Handbook. It knows what it knew in life, and can understand and speak whatever languages it knew in life, and keeps whatever injuries it had suffered. You must finish a long rest before you may use this feature again. Undead minions last until exposed to daylight, which they will take 1d10 radiant damage per turn. This damage is reduced to 1d8 at level 12, and to 1d6 at level 18. You may only have one creature
Starting at level 9, each round at the start of your turn, you gain temporary hit points equal to half your Intelligence modifier rounded up. These hit points can be transferred to undead under your power.
Starting at level 14, once per every five turns, you can attempt to bring an undead to your side. This will require a Intelligence check. Additionally, you share a telepathic link with your undead and they have their own separate turn. Undead under your power last for a minimum of 6 days or until re-death. Undead with CR 11 or higher will last until they drop to 0 hit points.
Starting at level 20, undead under your power cannot die due to radiant damage, daylight, fire, psychic damage, be incapacitated, or be unconscious. Their minimum AC is now 16.
Starting from 3rd level, your body begins to rot and decay as the power of undeath channels through you. At first you might just appear very pale, but as you level up and use more magic your body become to be noticeably different such as your skin begining to necrotise and rot, you maybe begin to smell of decay. At higher level your body maybe be little more then withered flesh stretched over your thin frame. (this is more of roleplaying trait, the drawbacks this has is entirely decided by you and the DM, it might give you massive penalties to charisma, or lead to lynch mobs in some towns, or make you just look like another wacky adventurer)
Renowned for their ability to raise legions, Wight Kings are most known and feared for fighting foes and taking lands by sheer force and numbers. At first they appear human but as their power grows they begin to take one the appearance of an undead, many would be necromancers are ousted when the physical manifestation of their corruption is noticed by others. If they go unnoticed they may eventual become wight kings, able to command hordes of undead. Wight Kings are masters of raising and turning the undead to their will.
- Wrest Afterlife
Starting at 3rd Level,If you kill a humanoid with necrotic damage, you can choose to resurrect them as an undead minion at a maximum of 10 HP. They now have the stats of a Zombie, regardless of what stats they had in life. The horde acquired with this ability may not exceed a size equal to your Necromancer levels + your Intelligence modifier.
- Rotten Affinity
Starting at 4th level, you have mastered yourself in the dark arts so much that you become akin to your minions. You gain vulnerability to radiant damage, resistance to necrotic damage and become immune to poison, your hit point max cannot be lowered and do not need to eat or sleep. However, you can still be put to sleep by magic(unless stated otherwise by racial feats), and gain the benefits of a long rest after 2 hours of inactivity instead of 8.
- Deadly Minions
When you reach 7th level, your minions gain an extra attack, stacking on top of existing ones e.g. if they had 2, they will now have 3.
- Extra Summons
Starting at 11th level, when you cast a spell that raises or animates the dead, you gain an extra zombie or skeleton. The size of your horde acquired with Wrest Afterlife is doubled. You no longer need to recast Animate Dead or Create undead to maintain control over your existing undead. Animate dead may now be cast as a ritual.
- War Zombies
Starting at 17th level, your undead add your Intelligence modifier to their AC, attack and damage rolls.
Obsessed with death and how to cause it, these practitioners of necromancy focus on draining life force from foes and using it to strengthen themselves
- Bonus Proficiencies
You gain proficiency in light armor, and can choose between Sleight of Hand and Stealth to gain proficiency in.
- Dark Aura
Almost immediately, your shadow becomes thick with cruel power. Creatures within 15 feet of you are under the Darkness effect for as long as they are within that area. Light spells below level 5 cannot pierce this darkness, and you have darkvision for 30 feet. The ranges increase by 5 feet at 6th level, 13th level, and 18th level.
- Shadow Pool
Starting at 4th level, you have a pool of umbramancy abilities, the points of which equals 2/3 your Necromancer level rounded up. All Umbra points are regained during a long rest, and half the maximum rounded down after a short rest. You can expend 2 Umbra points to add 1d8 necrotic damage to an attack. This changes to 1d10 at 8th level, 2d6 at 13th level, and 2d8 at 18th level.
- Shadow Minions
Starting at 7th level , Undead that you summon or turn will be converted to Shadow Minions, which are effectively Wraiths. These minions are stored in your shadow, safe from harm unless the owner of the shadow is killed. Additionally, they have no damage resistances. When casting Create Undead, you can spend 6 Umbra points to summon a Shadow with a maximum of 20 HP, which also has no damage resistances.
- Shadow Blade
Starting at 11th level, you can cast Spiritual weapon as a bonus action at the cost of 2 Umbra points and an additional 2 for every spell level higher it is cast at. The weapon deals necrotic damage. When you gain this feat, necrotic damage you deal overrides resistance, and does half instead of none against creatures with immunity to necrotic damage.
- Zone of Shadows
Starting at 17th level, your Dark Aura begins to deal 2d4 necrotic damage to creatures on every turn they end while in that area. You can expend 7 Umbra points and a bonus action to extend this area to a 40 foot radius for two turns, dealing 6d8 necrotic damage on a failed Constitution saving throw against your spellcasting ability to creatures within that area every turn, and half damage upon success.
Some turn to the necromancy and other dark magic for power, Apostates however do it for life ever lasting. They reject their gods and seek to stay alive by any means necessary, lichdom being the ultimate goal for these individuals. Mayhaps they turned to these practices to saved a loved one, or simply driven to it by fear of death, whatever the case these people will get no aid from the gods or those who serve them.
- Durable Body
You gain +1 hit point per Necromancer level you have. you become immune to poison and resistant to necrotic damage.
Instead of sleeping, you go into a state exactly as if you were under the effects of the feign death spell. You are somewhat capable of determining your surroundings, but not to your normal level. Whilst in this “coma,” you have disadvantage on Perception checks, and cannot open your eyes unless you choose to wake up. You can go under these effects for 1 hour at a time, which will give the benefits of a long rest. However, you must return to this sleep within 7 hours, or take 1d20 necrotic damage per hour past. For all spells and effects, you are considered an undead.
- Cadaverous Resilience
Beginning at level 4, you gain an otherworldly level of perseverance in even the harshest environments. You do not require eating or drinking, and cannot die from exhaustion. A number of times per long rest equivalent to your Constitution modifier, you can choose to bolster yourself. When you do so, your movement speed is 0 for that turn, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Spell Attack Modifier, and you gain resistance to one chosen type of damage until your next turn. Instead of resistance, you can alternatively give yourself a +6 to any of your ability scores until your next turn.
- Adrenaline Rush
Beginning at level 7, your comatose state reverses and your blood pumps furiously, sending you into frenzies during battle. As a bonus action a number of times per short rest equal to your Constitution modifier(minimum of 1), you can go into an Adrenaline Rush. You are effectively under the Haste spell's effect, and gain +10 to movement speed of all types, effectively gaining a minimum swim speed of 10 and a minimum flight speed of 10. Your jump distance is doubled, and you can take an extra Attack action. You also add your Dexterity, Charisma, and Wisdom modifiers to your damage rolls for the duration, so long as they are not already added. However, you can only make unarmed strikes. This lasts for a number of rounds equal to your Charisma modifier.
- Madman's Downfall
At 11th level, your mind has become just as resilient as your body. You have resistance to both necrotic and psychic damage, and immunity to poison damage. You also have advantage on either Intelligence or Wisdom throws, which you can switch between after a Comatose rest.
- Invulnerable Pallor
At 17th level, your inner necrotic energies have turned you into nothing short of a monster. Instead of casting a spell against an enemy that deals necrotic damage, you can cast it upon yourself. Doing so will, instead of damaging you, provide you with temporary hit points equal to half the damage rolled that decrease by 4 on each of your turns. Additionally, your Constitution score increases by 8.
Necromancer Spell List
you know and learn spells from the wizard spell list, after level 2 you can also learn necromancy spells from any other spell list, these do not effect your prepared spells.
Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Necromancer class, you must meet these prerequisites: Intelligence of 15, and Constitution of 13.
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the <!-class name-> class, you gain the following proficiencies: simple weapons, shortswords