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Author Topic: New PrC: Necromancer (v. 2)  (Read 10186 times)
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Bihlbo
Insurgent Spy
**

Spell Energy / Taint +5/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 146



« on: October 09, 2006, 02:17:55 AM »

Undeath in the Last Age is a constant threat to those who live on.† In every culture of Eredane, the deceased are treated with dread and caution, for every creature capable of holding its own spirit is also capable of becoming trapped in its decaying shell, and of giving in to the madness of the life after life.† Some few study this process with a fascination that seems almost dangerous.† As they serve communities by reverently and safely disposing of corpses, or because of a twisted attraction to the power of the undead, some learn the universal cost of the Shattering that effects the termination of all life.† Through this understanding of the separation between life and death, these who call themselves necromancers practice a type of magic that draws upon their singular perspective of the natural process toward decay.† Some are twisted by their involvement with malevolent spirits and crazed fell, using this connection to undeath to tyrannize or to serve the Shadow.† Some instead serve the people of Eredane by ensuring dignified transitions for loved ones, and protection against those already lost to the madness of undeath.†

Hit Dice: d6

Requirements
To qualify to become a necromancer, a character must fulfill the following criteria:
Skills: Knowledge (spirits) 8 ranks, Spellcraft 8 ranks.
Feats: Magecraft (any tradition), Spell Focus (necromancy), Spellcasting (necromancy)
Special: Must have a living familiar with an Intelligence score of at least 8.

Class Skills
The necromancerís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (n/a), Spellcraft (Int).
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.


Level† †BAB† †Fort† Ref† Will† † Special
1† † † † † +0† † †+0† † †+0† † †+2† † †Fell familiar, improved spellcasting
2† † † † † +1† † †+0† † †+0† † †+3† † †Deathcraft, rebuke undead
3† † † † † +2† † †+1† † †+1† † †+3† † †Greater necromancy focus
4† † † † † +3† † †+1† † †+1† † †+4† † †Bonus feat
5† † † † † +3† † †+1† † †+1† † †+4† † †Mortal governance
6† † † † † +4† † †+2† † †+2† † †+5† † †Immortal coil
7† † † † † +5† † †+2† † †+2† † †+5† † †Inured to death, bonus feat
8† † † † † +6† † †+2† † †+2† † †+6† † †Shared repercussions
9† † † † † +6† † †+3† † †+3† † †+6† † †Resolute necromancy
10† † † † +7† † †+3† † †+3† † †+7† † †Bonus feat



Class Features
All of the following are features of the necromancer prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Necromancers are proficient with the dagger, light crossbow, quarterstaff, scythe, and sickle.† Necromancers gain no proficiency with any type of armor or with shields.

Improved Spellcasting: Necromancer levels grant similar benefits as channeler levels with regards to the art of magic, bonus spells, and bonus spell energy.† This means that necromancer levels stack with channeler levels for the purposes of determining the highest-level spells the character can cast.† A character with more channeler and necromancer levels than levels in other classes adds +1 to his character level to determine the highest-level spells he can cast.
† †Additionally, each time the character achieves a new necromancer level, he gains one new spell of the necromancy school of any level he can cast.
Finally, the characterís maximum spell energy increases by one point for every level of necromancer he gains.

Fell Familiar: The necromancer gains the ability to allow his familiar to become a fell, giving it abilities and advantages that other familiars lack, though at a cost of its life.
† †In order to perform this ritual, the necromancer must spend at least 5 days in preparation.† This time is spent gathering components and supplies, and securing solitude for the ritual, which is typically a single room or cave where disruptions are at a minimum.† The ritual does not require total concentration, but the necromancer cannot engage in anything more than menial tasks during the process.† Sleeping and eating are both important to the ritual, and the necromancer must be well-fed and rested during this enterprise.† The ritual takes two full days to complete, at the end of which the necromancerís familiar becomes an undead fell.
† †If a fell familiar is destroyed, the necromancer suffers the same penalties as he would if a living familiar had died.† Unlike normal familiars, slain fell familiars cannot be raised from the dead.† A destroyed fell familiar must first be replaced by a new living familiar, and then ritually killed and raised as fell.
† †A necromancer cannot benefit from the Improved Familiar feat and the Fell Familiar class ability at the same time.†

Deathcraft (Ex): At 2nd level, the necromancer learns to unlock the secrets of necromancy.† The spell energy cost for casting spells from the necromancy school is reduced by 1.† The character only gains this reduced spell energy cost on spells with a level equal to or less than his necromancer level, and the minimum cost is 1.†
† †The necromancerís focus on necromantic magic also allows him to learn inflict wounds spells (level 0: inflict minor wounds; level 1: inflict light wounds; level 2: inflict moderate wounds; level 3: inflict serious wounds; level 4: inflict critical wounds; level 5: inflict light wounds, mass; level 6: harm, inflict moderate wounds, mass; level 7: inflict serious wounds, mass; level 8: inflict critical wounds, mass).† These spells are all in the necromancy school of magic, and can be learned the same way other spells are learned.† Because these spells channel negative energy into the target, they are capable of healing undead creatures.

Rebuke Undead (Su):† At 2nd level a necromancer gains the supernatural ability to rebuke and command undead that are within his presence, as a legate would.† To do this, he makes a normal turning check as described in the PHB, with his caster level serving as his cleric levels.† A necromancer may rebuke undead a number of times per day equal to three plus his Charisma modifier.† The necromancer may take the Extra Turning feat in order to increase the number of times per day he may use this ability.
† †A necromancer does not use a holy symbol, or the power of any god, to rebuke undead.† Instead, he makes known the necromantic power he wields to the undead within his presence.† While this ability does not expend spell energy, the attempt to rebuke undead can be detected as though it were a minor channeled spell being cast, with the casterís necromancer levels determining his caster level for this effect.

Greater Necromancy Focus: † At 3rd level the necromancer adds +1 to the Difficulty Class for all saving throws against spells from the necromancy school of magic. This bonus stacks with the bonus from Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus.

Bonus Feat: † The necromancer gains a bonus feat at 4th, 7th, and 10th level.† The feat chosen must be either an item creation feat or a metamagic feat.† Extra Turning, Improved Turning, and Skill Focus (Knowledge [spirits]) may also be chosen.

Mortal Governance (Su):† Once per day, a necromancer may affect the fate of a creatureís spirit.† He may choose to either untether the spirit from the corpse, or bind the spirit to the body upon death.
† †If a necromancer attempts to untether the spirit from the body of a Fell creature or the recently deceased, he first makes a turning check and uses one of his daily turning attempts.† This causes the deceased to gain a second attempt to be released.† The DM then rolls a Will save check (DC 12) with half of the necromancerís turning check result as a bonus.† Success means the soul of the deceased may now depart her body.† Spirits unwilling to be released from their corporeal body may elect to simply fail the Will save, as determined by the DM.† Fell with an Intelligence score of less than 8 are almost always unable to conceive of being released from their state, and so usually opt to fail the Will save.† Fell that have only recently risen from death are the most likely to recognize the need to transition into death, even if they fail the DC 15 Will save to avoid insanity.
† †If a necromancer attempts to bind the spirit of a creature to its mortal form, he makes a turning attempt against the creature while it still lives, and uses four of his daily turning attempts.† If, during the next week, the affected creature dies, the DC to avoid becoming Fell is increased by an amount equal to half of the necromancerís turning check.† This effect functions as a curse, similar to the spell bestow curse, and thus can be removed with the spell remove curse.

Immortal Coil (Ex):† At 6th level, the necromancer has the option to no longer age naturally.† Once he chooses to stop aging as a mortal he becomes immune to aging effects and can never die of old age.† At this point, his body begins to undergo a transformation that includes the formation of a bone capsule within his chest.† His spirit is now permanently bound to this capsule.† If the necromancer then dies, he automatically fails his Will save to resist becoming Fell, and there is a 50% chance that he rises again as a ghost, one of the Lost.
† †The only way for a necromancer to avoid becoming Fell is to undergo a similar transformation prior to death.† At the cost of 12,000 experience points, the necromancer performs a ceremony that ends with his death.† In 1d10 days, however, his spirit forms the body of a lich at the site of his corpse; the capsule that had grown in his chest is now his phylactery, and can be removed and protected as such.
† †This is a hard choice for some, who believe the rumors that nothing can be done to prevent becoming evil once turned into a lich.† Other rumors say that this is the only means by which any creature has become a lich after the Sundering.† When faced with immortality as a vile but powerful undead lord, or as a spirit bound to a decayed and eventually destroyed body, only the most daring or dastardly continue their necromancer training.

Inured to Death (Ex): † At 7th level a necromancer gains a bonus equal to his necromancer level to his saving throws against spells in the Necromancy school and versus supernatural abilities and spells used by undead (such as Draining Touch, Ghoul Fever, or a vampireís spells).†

Shared Repercussions (Su): † At 8th level a necromancer gains the ability to shunt off Constitution damage from the casting of spells to his fell familiar in the form of hit point damage.†
† †To use this ability, the necromancer must be in physical contact with his fell familiar, and the casting time for the spell increases to a full-round action.† When the necromancer would take more than 1 point of Constitution damage while sacrificing some of his life essence to power the casting of a single spell, he may choose to siphon off half (round down) of the Constitution damage to his familiar.† Rather than causing Constitution damage to the familiar, this injures the familiar, dealing hit point damage equal to the level of the spell for every point of Constitution damage siphoned.† Alternatively the necromancer may siphon off all Constitution damage, dealing (2d6 + spell level) hit point damage per Constitution damage siphoned to his fell familiar.†
† †The damage dealt by this ability cannot be healed by any means, other than by the familiar feeding on the blood of its necromancer master.† This damage causes violent, maddening pain to the familiar.† The fell familiar must succeed at a Will save (DC 10 + damage dealt) to avoid biting its master once.
† †A necromancer may not use this ability on a living familiar.
† †Example: A necromancer with 2 spell energy points remaining chooses to cast a chain lightning spell, which normally costs 8 spell energy.† Rather than take 6 points of Constitution damage, the necromancer summons his fell familiar to his side and casts the spell, siphoning off part of this damage.† He still takes 3 points of Constitution damage, but causes his undead familiar 18 points of damage (3 points of Constitution damage were siphoned, for a 6th-level spell).† His familiar must then succeed on a DC 28 Will save to avoid biting its master.

Resolute Necromancy:† At 9th level a necromancer with the Maximize Spell metamagic feat can maximize spells from the necromancy school as if they were only one level higher, rather than 3 levels higher.


The Fell Familiar
Once the ritual is complete, the necromancerís familiar becomes an altered ungral fell (see pgs. 343-347 in the Midnight 2nd Edition book) and gains certain bonuses.


Master† † † † † † Natural
Class Level† †Armor Adj.† † † † † Int† † † † Special

1stĖ2nd† † † † † † † +1† † † † † † † † † † 6† † † † † †Degenerative hunger, fell bonding, improved evasion, regenerative hunger, share spells, empathic link
3rdĖ4th† † † † † † † +2† † † † † † † † † † 7† † † † † †Deliver touch spells, damage reduction
5thĖ6th† † † † † † † +3† † † † † † † † † † 8† † † † † †Speak with master
7thĖ8th† † † † † † † +4† † † † † † † † † † 9† † † † † †Sense undeath, scare animals of its kind
9thĖ10th† † † † † † +5† † † † † † † † † † 10† † † † † Damage reduction
11thĖ12th† † † † † +6† † † † † † † † † † 11† † † † † Spell resistance
13thĖ14th† † † † † +7† † † † † † † † † † 12† † † † † Scry on familiar
15thĖ16th† † † † † +8† † † † † † † † † † 13† † † † † Ė
17thĖ18th† † † † † +9† † † † † † † † † † 14† † † † † Ė
19thĖ20th† † † † † +10† † † † † † † † † 15† † † † † Damage reduction



Fell Familiar Basics: Use the basic statistics for a creature of the familiarís kind, but make the following changes instead of the changes for standard familiars:
† †Size and Type: The creatureís type changes to undead.† Calculate all other aspects of the fell familiar using the following information, however.† Size is unchanged.
† †Note: Undead have no Constitution score and are therefore immune to any effect requiring a Fortitude save (unless it affects objects).† Undead are immune to poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and necromantic effects, and they ignore mind-influencing effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects).† Undead are not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, or energy drain.† Negative energy (such as an inflict wounds spell) can heal undead creatures, while positive energy harms them.† An undead creature is not at risk of death from massive damage, but when reduced to 0 hit points or less, it is immediately destroyed.† Undead have darkvision with a range of 60 feet.† Undead do not breathe, eat, or sleep.
† †Hit Dice: For the purpose of effects related to number of Hit Dice, use the necromancerís character level or the familiarís normal HD total, whichever is higher.
† †Hit Points: The familiar has one-half the masterís total hit points (not including temporary hit points), rounded down, regardless of its actual Hit Dice.†
† †Abilities: Same as the base creature, unless otherwise noted.† As undead, fell familiar have no Constitution score.
AC: Fell familiars gain an additional natural armor bonus, based on their size.† The number noted here is an improvement to the familiarís existing natural armor bonus gained due to master class level.
† † † †Size (Natural Armor Bonus)
† † † †Tiny (+1)
† † † †Small (+2)
† † † †Medium (+3)
† † † †Large (+4)
† †Attacks: Use the masterís base attack bonus, as calculated from all his classes.† Use the familiarís Dexterity or Strength modifier, whichever is greater, to get the familiarís melee attack bonus with natural weapons.† The fell familiar retains all the attacks of the base creature, and also gains a bite attack if it did not have one.†
† †Full Attack: Fell familiars use the bite attack in conjunction with any other attacks it has.†
Damage: Fell familiars have bite attacks.† If the base creature does not have this attack form, use the appropriate damage value from the table below according to the familiarís size.† Familiars that have other kinds of natural weapons retain their old damage values or use the appropriate value from the table below, whichever is better.
† † † †Size (Damage)
† † † †Tiny (1d3)
† † † †Small (1d4)
† † † †Medium (1d6)
† † † †Large (1d8)
† †Saving Throws: For each saving throw, use either the fell familiarís base save bonus (Fortitude and Reflex saves are good) or the masterís (as calculated from all his classes), whichever is better.† The familiar uses its own ability modifiers to saves, and it doesnít share any of the other bonuses that the master might have on saves.
† †Skills: For each skill in which either the master or the familiar has ranks, use either the normal skill ranks for an animal of that type or the masterís skill ranks, whichever are better.† In either case, the familiar uses its own ability modifiers.† Regardless of a familiarís total skill modifiers, some skills may remain beyond the familiarís ability to use.

Fell Familiar Ability Descriptions: All fell familiars have special abilities (or impart abilities to their masters) depending on the masterís combined level in classes that grant familiars, as shown on the table below. The abilities given on the table are cumulative.
† †Natural Armor Adj.: The number noted here is an improvement to the familiarís existing natural armor bonus.
† †Int: The familiarís Intelligence score.
† †Degenerative Hunger (Ex): A fell familiar must feed on the still-warm flesh of a physical creature with Intelligence 5 or higher.† If it does not consume its own weight in such flesh each week, its mental ability scores each decrease by one.† If at any point the familiar has gone one week without eating this amount of flesh and its Intelligence is 7 or lower, it devolves into a faengral.† Ability scores cannot be decreased in this manner lower than 3.
A fell familiar that drinks a full dose of its masterís blood is considered to have consumed the required amount of flesh for the purposes of this ability.
† †Fell Bonding (Ex): As long as the familiar remains within one mile of the necromancer, its craving for the flesh of the living is little more than a slight hunger and it suffers no unusual discomfort in bright light.†
† †While the hunger for flesh may be sated by the normal means of eating a meal of the body of an intelligent creature (Int 5 or higher), the familiar may instead drink a dose of the blood of its necromancer master once per week.† Due to the bonding process, this blood not only counts as a full meal for purposes of quenching the familiarís hunger, but it also prevents the body of the familiar from rotting.† This can be all at once, or in doses.† A single dose causes 1d10 points of damage to the necromancer, while a half dose is 1d6, a quarter dose is 1d4, and a daily dose is 2 points of damage daily for six days.† This is normal physical damage that bypasses temporary hit points and can be healed naturally.†
† †The fell familiar must drink a full dose of its masterís blood per week for the rest of its existence, so if a weekís worth of blood is not imbibed, the following week the familiar will need two doses, or start to suffer ill effects.† However, fell familiars cannot be given advance doses of blood (3 doses in a week only applies to that week or previous weeks Ė next week the familiar will need another dose).†
† †Fell familiars who have gone long periods without its masterís blood, and have entered states of extreme decay, can still be restored to proper health with enough blood.† A necromancerís fell familiar begins to decay into the natural state of all fell if not fed in this manner.† This starts with a DC 15 Will save to keep from giving in to feelings of paranoia, violent rage, bloodlust, and the compelling magical craving for the flesh of the living.†
† †The process of bonding also imbues the fell familiar with a +4 bonus versus turning.† Additionally, this bonus is applied to the master's turn check result when attempting to use the Bolster Undead turning option on the fell familiar.
† †Improved Evasion (Ex): When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, a familiar takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage even if the saving throw fails.
† †Regenerative Hunger (Ex): For every 10 points of damage it inflicts with its bite attack (or every 10 lbs. of still-warm flesh it consumes), a fell familiar heals 1 point of damage.† A full dose of the familiarís masterís blood heals a quarter of the familiarís total hit points.
† †Share Spells: At the necromancerís option, he may have any spell (but not any spell-like ability) he casts on himself also affect his fell familiar. The familiar must be within 5 feet at the time of casting to receive the benefit. If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting the familiar if it moves farther than 5 feet away and will not affect the familiar again even if it returns to the master before the duration expires. Additionally, the master may cast a spell with a target of ďYouĒ on his familiar (as a touch range spell) instead of on himself. A master and his familiar can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the familiarís type (undead).
† †Empathic Link (Su): The master has an empathic link with his familiar out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The master cannot see through the familiarís eyes, but they can communicate empathically. Because of the limited nature of the link, only general emotional content can be communicated.
Because of this empathic link, the master has the same connection to an item or place that his familiar does.
† †Deliver Touch Spells (Su): If the master is 3rd level or higher, a familiar can deliver touch spells for him. If the master and the familiar are in contact at the time the master casts a touch spell, he can designate his familiar as the ďtoucher.Ē The familiar can then deliver the touch spell just as the master could. As usual, if the master casts another spell before the touch is delivered, the touch spell dissipates.
† †Damage Reduction (Ex): † If the master is 4th level or higher, the fell familiar gains DR 5/slashing.† If the master is 10th level or higher, the fell familiar also gains DR 5/magic.† If the master is 20th level, the fell familiar also gains DR 10/silver.
† †Speak with Master (Ex): If the master is 5th level or higher, a familiar and the master can communicate verbally as if they were using a common language. Other creatures do not understand the communication without magical help.
† †Sense Undeath (Ex): † If the master is 7th level or higher, the fell familiar gains the ability to sense the difference between life and death in other creatures.† When the fell familiar is within armís reach, the master gains this ability as well.
† †By spending a full round concentrating on a single subject within 20 feet, a necromancerís knowledge of mortal transition allows he and his fell familiar to determine the presence of a spirit, and whether the subject is dead or alive.† This requires a secretly-rolled Knowledge (spirits) check, with a DC of 15.† A successful roll when studying a corpse means the necromancer or familiar can tell if the recently deceased will or will not rise again as Fell, or he can tell if a seemingly alive creature is already Fell.† A successful roll for a subject that has not yet died only tells the necromancer or familiar that the subject is alive and there is a spirit present, but not the type of spirit.† If the roll fails, the necromancer gains no insight as to the fate of the spirit.
† †A necromancer or familiar can use this ability as a standard action by taking a +5 penalty to the DC.† For every extra 10 feet of distance from a subject, the DC also increases by +1.† If the subject has an Intelligence score of less than 5, the DC increases by +5.
† †Scare Animals of its Kind (Ex):† Because the fell familiar appears sickly and pale compared to other animals of its type, other animals of its type are frightened by its presence.† If the master is 7th level or higher, when other animals of approximately the same type as the fell familiar come within 30 feet of the familiar, they must make a DC 15 Will save or become frightened.
† †Spell Resistance (Ex): If the master is 11th level or higher, a familiar gains spell resistance equal to the masterís level + 5. To affect the familiar with a spell, another spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the familiarís spell resistance.
† †Scry on Familiar (Sp): If the master is 13th level or higher, he may scry on his familiar (as if casting the scrying spell) once per day.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2006, 05:51:16 PM by Bihlbo » Logged
Bihlbo
Insurgent Spy
**

Spell Energy / Taint +5/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 146



« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2006, 02:36:56 AM »

Hey all!† I've been working on this for a while, and just made some improvements today, after having a solid look at it from a balance angle again, this time with my friend Kevin.† (Thanks Kev!)

I'd appreciate some feedback, positive or negative.† Especially if you catch some errors for me.

PrC Synopsis:
The necromancer is a class that deals with death, undeath, and the transition from life to death.† The focus of the class training is on using necromancy magic, and providing bonuses for dealing with undead creatures.† In play, good necromancers can function as a sort of mortician for a community, using his magic and abilities to ensure that the dead's spirit is released, or if it is not, that the dead don't harm anyone else.† Evil necromancers of course, function much like one would expect - they raise undead minions and do nasty evil with 'em, sometimes for the Shadow (I mean, why not?).† The class should be versitile enough to allow for both to function equally well.

The class is based on the other PrC's listed in the Midnight 2nd Ed. book.† It should be balanced with the druid, haunted one, and wizard.

Fell Familiar in Brief
What is above for the fell familiar is very wordy.† This is because the fell familiar listing included here is intended to stand alone, even though most of it is based on the standard familiar.† Those familiar (ahem) with the familiar should be able to read through this rather quickly.

From a balance standpoint, the fell familiar should be on par with a familiar granted through the Improved Familiar feat.† It being undead creates many problems, and a few bonuses.† The advantages of the fell familiar are intended to provide the necromancer with a reason to kill his familiar and raise it as a fell, and then bleed himself in order to keep it from eating his friends.† Yes, it's a bit of a hassle, but it's supposed to be a good thing, in the long run.
Logged
Bihlbo
Insurgent Spy
**

Spell Energy / Taint +5/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 146



« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2006, 02:47:59 AM »

This is the same information as above.† I'm just going to discolor the sections that are the same as the standard familiar.† This will show you what has been changed in order to make it a fell.† Hopefully this is faster to read.




The Fell Familiar
Once the ritual is complete, the necromancerís familiar becomes an altered ungral fell (see pgs. 343-347 in the Midnight 2nd Edition book) and gains certain bonuses.


Master† † † † † † Natural
Class Level† †Armor Adj.† † † † † Int† † † † Special

1stĖ2nd† † † † † † † +1† † † † † † † † † † 6† † † † † †Degenerative hunger, fell bonding, improved evasion, regenerative hunger, share spells, empathic link
3rdĖ4th† † † † † † † +2† † † † † † † † † † 7† † † † † †Deliver touch spells, damage reduction
5thĖ6th† † † † † † † +3† † † † † † † † † † 8† † † † † †Speak with master
7thĖ8th† † † † † † † +4† † † † † † † † † † 9† † † † † †Sense undeath, scare animals of its kind
9thĖ10th† † † † † † +5† † † † † † † † † † 10† † † † † Damage reduction
11thĖ12th† † † † † +6† † † † † † † † † † 11† † † † † Spell resistance
13thĖ14th† † † † † +7† † † † † † † † † † 12† † † † † Scry on familiar
15thĖ16th† † † † † +8† † † † † † † † † † 13† † † † † Ė
17thĖ18th† † † † † +9† † † † † † † † † † 14† † † † † Ė
19thĖ20th† † † † † +10† † † † † † † † † 15† † † † † Damage reduction



Fell Familiar Basics: Use the basic statistics for a creature of the familiarís kind, but make the following changes instead of the changes for standard familiars:
† †Size and Type: The creatureís type changes to undead.† Calculate all other aspects of the fell familiar using the following information, however.† Size is unchanged.† †
† †Note: Undead have no Constitution score and are therefore immune to any effect requiring a Fortitude save (unless it affects objects).† Undead are immune to poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and necromantic effects, and they ignore mind-influencing effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects).† Undead are not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, or energy drain.† Negative energy (such as an inflict wounds spell) can heal undead creatures, while positive energy harms them.† An undead creature is not at risk of death from massive damage, but when reduced to 0 hit points or less, it is immediately destroyed.† Undead have darkvision with a range of 60 feet.† Undead do not breathe, eat, or sleep.


† †Hit Dice: For the purpose of effects related to number of Hit Dice, use the necromancerís character level or the familiarís normal HD total, whichever is higher.


Hit Points: The familiar has one-half the masterís total hit points (not including temporary hit points), rounded down, regardless of its actual Hit Dice.†

† †Abilities: Same as the base creature, unless otherwise noted.
† As undead, fell familiar have no Constitution score.
AC: Fell familiars gain an additional natural armor bonus, based on their size.† The number noted here is an improvement to the familiarís existing natural armor bonus gained due to master class level.
† † † †Size (Natural Armor Bonus)
† † † †Tiny (+1)
† † † †Small (+2)
† † † †Medium (+3)
† † † †Large (+4)
Bihlbo's Note:† This is added because fell have this feature.

Attacks: Use the masterís base attack bonus, as calculated from all his classes.† Use the familiarís Dexterity or Strength modifier, whichever is greater, to get the familiarís melee attack bonus with natural weapons.† The fell familiar retains all the attacks of the base creature, and also gains a bite attack if it did not have one.†

† †Full Attack: Fell familiars use the bite attack in conjunction with any other attacks it has.†
Damage: Fell familiars have bite attacks.† If the base creature does not have this attack form, use the appropriate damage value from the table below according to the familiarís size.† Familiars that have other kinds of natural weapons retain their old damage values or use the appropriate value from the table below, whichever is better.
† † † †Size (Damage)
† † † †Tiny (1d3)
† † † †Small (1d4)
† † † †Medium (1d6)
† † † †Large (1d8)
Bihlbo's Note:† This is added because fell have this feature.

† †Saving Throws: For each saving throw, use either the fell familiarís base save bonus (Fortitude and Reflex saves are good) or the masterís (as calculated from all his classes), whichever is better.† The familiar uses its own ability modifiers to saves, and it doesnít share any of the other bonuses that the master might have on saves.

† †Skills: For each skill in which either the master or the familiar has ranks, use either the normal skill ranks for an animal of that type or the masterís skill ranks, whichever are better.† In either case, the familiar uses its own ability modifiers.† Regardless of a familiarís total skill modifiers, some skills may remain beyond the familiarís ability to use.


Fell Familiar Ability Descriptions: All fell familiars have special abilities (or impart abilities to their masters) depending on the masterís combined level in classes that grant familiars, as shown on the table below. The abilities given on the table are cumulative.

Natural Armor Adj.: The number noted here is an improvement to the familiarís existing natural armor bonus.
Int: The familiarís Intelligence score.
† †

† †Degenerative Hunger (Ex): A fell familiar must feed on the still-warm flesh of a physical creature with Intelligence 5 or higher.† If it does not consume its own weight in such flesh each week, its mental ability scores each decrease by one.† If at any point the familiar has gone one week without eating this amount of flesh and its Intelligence is 7 or lower, it devolves into a faengral.† Ability scores cannot be decreased in this manner lower than 3.
† †A fell familiar that drinks a full dose of its masterís blood is considered to have consumed the required amount of flesh for the purposes of this ability.
† †Bihlbo's Note:† This is added because fell have this feature.

† †Fell Bonding (Ex): As long as the familiar remains within one mile of the necromancer, its craving for the flesh of the living is little more than a slight hunger and it suffers no unusual discomfort in bright light.†
† †While the hunger for flesh may be sated by the normal means of eating a meal of the body of an intelligent creature (Int 5 or higher), the familiar may instead drink a dose of the blood of its necromancer master once per week.† Due to the bonding process, this blood not only counts as a full meal for purposes of quenching the familiarís hunger, but it also prevents the body of the familiar from rotting.† This can be all at once, or in doses.† A single dose causes 1d10 points of damage to the necromancer, while a half dose is 1d6, a quarter dose is 1d4, and a daily dose is 2 points of damage daily for six days.† This is normal physical damage that bypasses temporary hit points and can be healed naturally.†
† †The fell familiar must drink a full dose of its masterís blood per week for the rest of its existence, so if a weekís worth of blood is not imbibed, the following week the familiar will need two doses, or start to suffer ill effects.† However, fell familiars cannot be given advance doses of blood (3 doses in a week only applies to that week or previous weeks Ė next week the familiar will need another dose).†
† †Fell familiars who have gone long periods without its masterís blood, and have entered states of extreme decay, can still be restored to proper health with enough blood.† A necromancerís fell familiar begins to decay into the natural state of all fell if not fed in this manner.† This starts with a DC 15 Will save to keep from giving in to feelings of paranoia, violent rage, bloodlust, and the compelling magical craving for the flesh of the living.†
† †The process of bonding also imbues the fell familiar with a bonus versus turning equal to its Hit Dice + its masterís necromancer levels.

† †Improved Evasion (Ex): When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, a familiar takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage even if the saving throw fails.† †

† †Regenerative Hunger (Ex): For every 10 points of damage it inflicts with its bite attack (or every 10 lbs. of still-warm flesh it consumes), a fell familiar heals 1 point of damage.† A full dose of the familiarís masterís blood heals a quarter of the familiarís total hit points.
Bihlbo's Note:† This is added because fell have this feature.

† †Share Spells: At the necromancerís option, he may have any spell (but not any spell-like ability) he casts on himself also affect his fell familiar. The familiar must be within 5 feet at the time of casting to receive the benefit. If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting the familiar if it moves farther than 5 feet away and will not affect the familiar again even if it returns to the master before the duration expires. Additionally, the master may cast a spell with a target of ďYouĒ on his familiar (as a touch range spell) instead of on himself. A master and his familiar can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the familiarís type (undead).

† †Empathic Link (Su): The master has an empathic link with his familiar out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The master cannot see through the familiarís eyes, but they can communicate empathically. Because of the limited nature of the link, only general emotional content can be communicated.
Because of this empathic link, the master has the same connection to an item or place that his familiar does.

† †Deliver Touch Spells (Su): If the master is 3rd level or higher, a familiar can deliver touch spells for him. If the master and the familiar are in contact at the time the master casts a touch spell, he can designate his familiar as the ďtoucher.Ē The familiar can then deliver the touch spell just as the master could. As usual, if the master casts another spell before the touch is delivered, the touch spell dissipates.


† †Damage Reduction (Ex): † If the master is 4th level or higher, the fell familiar gains DR 5/slashing.† If the master is 10th level or higher, the fell familiar also gains DR 5/magic.† If the master is 20th level, the fell familiar also gains DR 10/+3.

Speak with Master (Ex): If the master is 5th level or higher, a familiar and the master can communicate verbally as if they were using a common language. Other creatures do not understand the communication without magical help.

† †Sense Undeath (Ex): † If the master is 7th level or higher, the fell familiar gains the ability to sense the difference between life and death in other creatures.† When the fell familiar is within armís reach, the master gains this ability as well.
† †By spending a full round concentrating on a single subject within 20 feet, a necromancerís knowledge of mortal transition allows he and his fell familiar to determine the presence of a spirit, and whether the subject is dead or alive.† This requires a secretly-rolled Knowledge (spirits) check, with a DC of 15.† A successful roll when studying a corpse means the necromancer or familiar can tell if the recently deceased will or will not rise again as Fell, or he can tell if a seemingly alive creature is already Fell.† A successful roll for a subject that has not yet died only tells the necromancer or familiar that the subject is alive and there is a spirit present, but not the type of spirit.† If the roll fails, the necromancer gains no insight as to the fate of the spirit.
† †A necromancer or familiar can use this ability as a standard action by taking a +5 penalty to the DC.† For every extra 20 feet of distance from a subject, the DC also increases by +2.† If the subject has an Intelligence score of less than 5, the DC increases by +5.

† †Scare Animals of its Kind (Ex):† Because the fell familiar appears sickly and pale compared to other animals of its type, other animals of its type are frightened by its presence.† If the master is 7th level or higher, when other animals of approximately the same type as the fell familiar come within 30 feet of the familiar, they must make a DC 15 Will save or become frightened.
Bihlbo's Note:† This replaces speak with animals of its kind.

Spell Resistance (Ex): If the master is 11th level or higher, a familiar gains spell resistance equal to the masterís level + 5. To affect the familiar with a spell, another spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the familiarís spell resistance.

† †Scry on Familiar (Sp): If the master is 13th level or higher, he may scry on his familiar (as if casting the scrying spell) once per day.
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2006, 04:30:08 AM »

Deathcraft: What about harm? It's essentially an inflict spell.

I like Mortal Governance. I've always had a soft spot for spells that modify the chance to become Fell post-mortem. I think, perhaps, the ability is a bit more complex than it needs to be; why not just 'spend a rebuke point to give a creature -X on saves to avoid becoming Fell for one week'.

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If the master is 20th level, the fell familiar also gains DR 10/+3.

I don't have a problem with this, but 3.5ed steers away from requiring specific bonuses to breach DR.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2006, 04:44:43 AM by Dirigible » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2006, 08:15:13 AM »

Deathcraft: What about harm? It's essentially an inflict spell.


I assume you're suggesting that harm be added to the list of inflict spells?† I totally agree, if so - thanks!

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I like Mortal Governance. I've always had a soft spot for spells that modify the chance to become Fell post-mortem. I think, perhaps, the ability is a bit more complex than it needs to be; why not just 'spend a rebuke point to give a creature -X on saves to avoid becoming Fell for one week'.

Well, I don't want to get rid of the untether option.† This was one of the first abilities that I gave the class, because I thought it appropriate that a necromancer should have the ability to free someone from being a fell in a peaceful way.† You don't get asked to help deal with someone's undead grampa if people know you're just going to force him into servitude, or hack him to pieces.† It's much better to walk into the room, hold out your hand, and the body slumps to the ground, no longer animated because the spirit has left to join the maelstrom that circles Aryth.

As for the second part that attempts to bind the spirit, let me re-print it here:

Quote from: originalpost
If a necromancer attempts to bind the spirit of a creature to its mortal form, he makes a turning attempt against the creature while it still lives, and uses four of his daily turning attempts.† If, during the next week, the affected creature dies, the DC to avoid becoming fell is increased by an amount equal to half of the necromancerís turning check.† This effect functions as a curse, similar to the spell bestow curse, and thus can be removed with the spell remove curse.

Originally, this was "spend a turning point and add your check to the DC to avoid being fell."† Kevin pointed out that baddy necros are going to use this on just about everyone, just so he can have another fell creature to control.† In fact, he's probably going to find a big, bad cave troll with a +2 Will, bind the spirit, and then kill the thing just so he has a fell troll to dominate.† And it only cost him one of many turning attempts that he had one day.† It was too cheap a cost.

So I beefed it up.† Binding costs 4 turning attempts (most, if not all, for the day), and using this ability in either fashion can only be done once/day.† The penalty to the Will save is halved from the original design also.† And, because I don't like abilities that can inflict a penalty on someone without them having a chance to avoid it at all, and without a chance to get rid of it, I added that remove curse can get rid of it.

You're right, it's complex.† I'm not sure that it's "more complex" than it needs to be, though.† After reading my thoughts on it, do you still think so?† I'd like to hear some more details, if you have time.† I'm glad you like it!† †Grin

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I don't have a problem with [DR 10/+3], but 3.5ed steers away from requiring specific bonuses to breach DR.

Thanks for the reminder.† I think DR 10/silver is probably more appropriate.† I wanted it to be a large number, since that's what you get at level 20 (!), but not overpowering like DR 10/-.
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« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2006, 02:45:26 PM »

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Well, I don't want to get rid of the untether option.
I wasn't suggesting you did.

Though, wait. The untethering option can be used as a "will-save-or-die" attack on Fell? That's pretty overpowered. I thought it was a precautionary effect, where you blessed a dead or about to die body to help it resist rising as Fell?
Edit: Nevermind, it doesn't work on unwilling Fell. You should also reread the bit on page 343 about Fell needing to make a Will 30 save to engage in any self-destructive behaviour.

If this ability is meant to be used on dead but pre-Fell corpses, you should be more specific in the write up. It confuses the hell out of me - nothing says it's only for use on inanimate bodies.

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The DM then rolls a Will save check (DC 12)

Why? The save to avoid becoming Fell is 15; why is this not the same?

 - - -

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Immortal Coil: The capsule in his chest serves is his phylactery.

What're the odds of it being destroyed if the lich is killed? On a critical hit? What's the DC of the Knowledge (arcana or spirits) sheck to recognise it as a phylactery.

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Inured to Death (Ex):   At 7th level a necromancer gains a bonus equal to his necromancer level to his saving throws against spells in the Necromancy school and versus supernatural abilities and spells used by undead.

I'm not keen on the format of this. Normally, when a class gets an escalating bonus to saves, they start off with a small bonus at low levels and it increases as you progress in the class (usually +2/+4/+6...). It's a little odd that the necro hits seventh level and ALL OF A SUDDEN is virtually immune to necromancy and undead powers.

 - - -

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Sense Undeath (Ex): 

Why not use detect undead as a model? I can't recall which book that spell is in, but it works exactly like other detection effects.

+2 to the DC per 20ft is also a little weird. Normally, sensory checks have -1 per 10ft - exact same effect, so I can't see why you didn't use the normal rules.

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The process of bonding also imbues the fell familiar with a bonus versus turning equal to its Hit Dice + its masterís necromancer levels.

Um. So fell familiars are the most turn-resistant creatures in the game. Why not just make them immune to turning? The bonus is prodigiously large, so they're going to be virtually immune anyway.
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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2006, 02:54:57 PM »

Quote
Quote
The DM then rolls a Will save check (DC 12)
Why? The save to avoid becoming Fell is 15; why is this not the same?
I don't have the book right in front of me, but I'm pretty sure the dc is 12 in MN2, I remember I thought it was too low when I first read it.

Quote
Um. So fell familiars are the most turn-resistant creatures in the game. Why not just make them immune to turning? The bonus is prodigiously large, so they're going to be virtually immune anyway.
Or, say they can be turned or rebuke but not destroyed commanded, since a fell familiar running away isn't that much of a blow, but having one turned to dust or becoming slave to a legate is a bit horrid, especially since the death of it costs you xp.
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« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2006, 03:06:40 PM »

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I don't have the book right in front of me, but I'm pretty sure the dc is 12 in MN2, I remember I thought it was too low when I first read it.

Bah, right you are. I keep getting mixed up with the save to resist cannibalistic urges.
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2006, 05:28:54 PM »

If [untethering] is meant to be used on dead but pre-Fell corpses, you should be more specific in the write up. It confuses the hell out of me - nothing says it's only for use on inanimate bodies.

It's not meant to have that restriction.†

You probably already know this, but for the sake of being thorough, I'll detail what I'm thinking.
When someone dies, they might become fell instantly.† Or, they might get up again at some random time over the next few days, if the spirit doesn't leave the body.† When this happens, they are essentially, the exact same person as they were before.† The difference is that now, their body is in rebellion to the spirit being there at all, and madness becomes a very real threat.† Also, they crave flesh.† But, it's still good old uncle Horace (with a couple dozen arrows sticking out of his hide) walking around, it's not yet a mindless undead horror.

So, this is what the ability is meant to accomplish:† "Hi Horace.† I'm sorry, but you're dead now.† See your family over there?† Yeah, pretty soon you're going to want to eat them.† That's bad, and it only gets worse.† Ready to join your parents in the afterlife?† Okay, just relax, I'll help you with that."

It's also meant to accomplish this:† "Come here, Fluffy (the fell familiar).† Tisk tisk, looks like the recently dead town elder's spirit didn't transition properly (sense undeath).† Here, I'll just help her with that."

The GM should be able to adjudicate when a fell creature does or does not want to be unteathered.† I figured that it was a no-brainer (pun intended) that the faengral might be smart enough to want to break loose, and that maelgral will never consider the option, seeing as how they are of animal intelligence.† But hey, sounds like it should be included.

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What're the odds of it being destroyed if the lich is killed? On a critical hit? What's the DC of the Knowledge (arcana or spirits) sheck to recognise it as a phylactery.

Really good question.† I wasn't sure if this was something that needed to be expounded, however.† If by some strange quirk, someone actually wants to become a lich, it's probably a bad guy, so the GM can do whatever he wants with that.† If not, the GM can pretty easily make this up on the fly, I'd think.† Should answers to those questions be included?† If so, I'm thinking that the answer is this:

Immortal Coil (Ex):† At 6th level, the necromancer has the option to no longer age naturally.† Once he chooses to stop aging as a mortal he becomes immune to aging effects and can never die of old age.† At this point, his body begins to undergo a transformation that includes the formation of a bone capsule within his chest.† His spirit is now permanently bound to this capsule.† If the necromancer then dies, he automatically fails his Will save to resist becoming fell, and there is a 50% chance that he rises again as a ghost, one of the Lost.† †The only way for a necromancer to avoid becoming fell is to undergo a similar transformation prior to death.† At the cost of 12,000 experience points, the necromancer performs a ceremony that ends with his death.† In 1d10 days, however, his spirit forms the body of a lich at the site of his corpse; the capsule that had grown in his chest is now his phylactery, and can be removed and protected as such.
† †This is a hard choice for some, who believe the rumors that nothing can be done to prevent becoming evil once turned into a lich.† Other rumors say that this is the only means by which any creature has become a lich after the Sundering.† When faced with immortality as a vile but powerful undead lord, or as a spirit bound to a decayed and eventually destroyed body, only the most daring or dastardly continue their necromancer training.


Yeah, you know what?† I like that better anyway (how's it look to you all?).† Thanks for bringing that up, that was very helpful.

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I'm not keen on the format of [Innured to Death]. Normally, when a class gets an escalating bonus to saves, they start off with a small bonus at low levels and it increases as you progress in the class (usually +2/+4/+6...). It's a little odd that the necro hits seventh level and ALL OF A SUDDEN is virtually immune to necromancy and undead powers.

Yeah, this was recently changed to what you see here.† I justified it by comparing it to the druid's poison immunity, but that's not necessarily a good comparison.

You mentioned two things: it's too sudden, and the bonus is high.† It could be changed to "... a bonus equal to half his necromancer levels" and given at level 4, at which point it would be a +2 bonus, and at later levels it would be on-par with similar bonuses granted to other classes.† I'm torn about whether the bonus should be applied to Necromancy spells, or to undead abilities and spells, or to both.† My primary concern is balance (I think the two options are pretty much balanced to one another), but I also want to stay true to the theme of the class.

Another option is to grant the bonus to both types (Necromancy spells, and undead stuff), and give it at levels 4, 7, and 10 at +2 each time.† Then, get rid of the Bonus Feats.†
I agree that the way it is now is too powerful, but I'm not sure if the class is going to be weakened too much by backing it off like this.

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Why not use detect undead as a model [for Sense Undeath]? I can't recall which book that spell is in, but it works exactly like other detection effects.† +2 to the DC per 20ft is also a little weird. Normally, sensory checks have -1 per 10ft - exact same effect, so I can't see why you didn't use the normal rules.

The reason why I did not is because detect undead would be a supernatural ability.† This is meant to be an extention of the necromancer's training in Knowledge (spirits) and with dead people.† Essentially, it's a feat, it's not a spell-like ability.

Thanks for pointing out the sensory rules, I had forgotten about that when I wrote this.† That's why I didn't use the normal rules.† Smiley

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Um. So fell familiars are the most turn-resistant creatures in the game. Why not just make them immune to turning? The bonus is prodigiously large, so they're going to be virtually immune anyway.

Woo!!† Good catch there.† I hadn't meant for it to add both the HD (which is the same as the master's) and the master's necro levels.† That is large.
I'm going to change it.† Because this is Midnight, I prefer to avoid immunities.† There should be a very real fear in facing a powerful legate, who will have a chance to Command the fell familiar if the necromancer is less than character level 10.† (Unless a GM house-rules it something fierce, legates cannot destroy undead with a Turn check, because they don't turn like good clerics.)

I just re-read the Rebuke rules, and based on that, I'm changing the ability thus:

The process of bonding also imbues the fell familiar with a +4 bonus versus turning.† Additionally, this bonus is applied to the master's turn check result when attempting to use the Bolster Undead turning option on his fell familiar.

This will mean the fell familiar is considered 4 HD higher when being Rebuked, which increases the DC to Command it by +8 (sort of).† And, if the necromancer uses his Rebuke Undead ability to Bolster, the bonus will boost his roll enough that it will add another 2 HD to the result, imposing another +4 to the Command DC (sort of).

Not too overpowering (like it was before), but flexible without making it impossible for the GM to really screw you up.† Kevin will like that last part.† †twisted
« Last Edit: October 09, 2006, 06:08:34 PM by Bihlbo » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2006, 06:15:30 PM »

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But, it's still good old uncle Horace (with a couple dozen arrows sticking out of his hide) walking around, it's not yet a mindless undead horror.

I disagree. Even barring those Fell that died of obvious physical wounds, how long does it take to figure out you're not breathing?

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I don't want to add something to the class that's going to grant a listed ability at 3 more of the levels, mostly because of how that looks on the chart (maybe a stupid reason).

Yep Smiley I've designed a few PrCs myself, and I know that sometimes you want a nice, tidy class with goodies at every level. More recently, though, I've found I prefer a logical and even progression of each individual ability, even if that means that the class as a whole has a few gap-levels. (See the Deathwielder; I based its abilities on a steady rpogression - Respect of the Blade +1/3 levels, Ultimate Warrior Training +1/5 levels, Wielded Death 1/2 levels.

I guess it's just a matter of taste.

Good clean-up of the turn resistance thing. My only further suggestion there is you might want to note "Turn Resistance +4" in the chart, becasue as is it's a little bit hidden inside another ability - might be overlooked.
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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2006, 06:52:53 PM »

Hehe, I really didn't expect anyone to read my last post so quickly, so I'd made some changes to it.

After thinking about it some more, I have nothing against the progression thing for Innured to Death.† In fact, I added this:

Another option is to grant the bonus to both types (Necromancy spells, and undead stuff), and give it at levels 4, 7, and 10 at +2 each time.† Then, get rid of the Bonus Feats.†
I agree that the way it is now is too powerful, but I'm not sure if the class is going to be weakened too much by backing it off like this.


What do you think of that idea?
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« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2006, 07:26:28 PM »

"But, it's still good old uncle Horace (with a couple dozen arrows sticking out of his hide) walking around, it's not yet a mindless undead horror."

I disagree. Even barring those Fell that died of obvious physical wounds, how long does it take to figure out you're not breathing?

Okay, he is undead, and some would consider that the same as being "a horror."† I should have been more clear.† He's undead, but he's not mindless - his personality, memories, and mind are all still intact, according to the book.† The difference is that now, he has a hunger for flesh that doesn't go away, according to the book.† And, if he fails the DC 15 Will save, he goes nuts because of it.† He's still him, but he's bugs in the head.† If he doesn't fail that Will save, then there's nothing in the rules that says we can't still sit around and have a conversation with the guy.† (The rules don't state how often the Will save needs to be made, but my assumption is that it's once a week, since that's how long it takes to degenerate.† Then again, once a day makes more sense to me.)

You're right, it should be obvious that you're walking around and not alive.† Most people know of the Fell as a fact of life, so you know you're now one of the Fell.† And you probably don't like it.† So, the point is, you're not just willing - you're eager - to make that durn Will save again, to get out of this.† It's once you've lost so much of your mind that you've become faengral that you can no longer grasp the difference between this undead existance and your former life, and at that point your spirit just isn't capable of being willing to let go.

I wouldn't equate this to the suicidal notation on p. 343.† We can assume that the Will save that allows your spirit to leave the body is a natural process, because it's automatic.† We can also assume that being undead is something that a thinking person (like an ungral Fell) would not want to be, because the book gives mechanics for forcing personal destruction.† And as we all know, lighting yourself on fire is not natural, and might even need to be something higher than DC 30.

So, we can assume that when it comes to Fell, either it wants to be freed from this painful existance in a natural way (like letting the spirit leave the body), or it doesn't understand existance at all beyond eating flesh (due to a decaying mind) and so is unwilling to make the save.

For the DM dealing with a necromancer in the party, this isn't that hard to deal with.† The group encounters someone who just rose as a Fell and they have to deal with it.† This is one of the ways, and according to my intent anyway, the most humane.† If the DM doesn't want this ability to succeed at peacefully neutralizing a Fell creature, all he has to do is say, "It's decayed to faengral and wasn't smart to begin with, so it doesn't understand its existance enough to want to be released.† It didn't work sucka!† Roll initiative!"
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« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2006, 10:29:01 PM »

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If he doesn't fail that Will save, then there's nothing in the rules that says we can't still sit around and have a conversation with the guy.

Y'know, in some ways that's a lot more horrific than the traditional 'die and turn into a flesh-eating zombie with normal smarts' motif. The idea of sitting around a campfire with someone who's dead... and knows he's dead.... and whom you know is dead... in order to discuss something with him, but every now and then he looks up and you can see the hunger he's fighting to supress...

Yeesh.

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I wouldn't equate this to the suicidal notation on p. 343.  We can assume that the Will save that allows your spirit to leave the body is a natural process, because it's automatic.  We can also assume that being undead is something that a thinking person (like an ungral Fell) would not want to be, because the book gives mechanics for forcing personal destruction.  And as we all know, lighting yourself on fire is not natural, and might even need to be something higher than DC 30.

I don't buy it. I read it as the Will save is required for anything that would endanger the Fell's continued existence. Also think that the spirit leaving the body is unnatural - after all, you need to succeed a check to leave, not to stay. That makes it sound like being stuck to your body is as natural as falling off a log.

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So, we can assume that when it comes to Fell, either it wants to be freed from this painful existance in a natural way (like letting the spirit leave the body), or it doesn't understand existance at all beyond eating flesh (due to a decaying mind) and so is unwilling to make the save.

You can assume that, sure. My fell are deathless, ever-hungering abominations wrought by Izrador's fall that have to struggle every damned instant of their existances to recall even a sliver of their humanity - and often fail -  however, not angst-ridden undead suicide dolls.
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Bihlbo
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« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2006, 10:34:59 PM »

You can assume that, sure. My fell are deathless, ever-hungering abominations wrought by Izrador's fall that have to struggle every damned instant of their existances to recall even a sliver of their humanity - and often fail -† however, not angst-ridden undead suicide dolls.

I really thought I was going by the rules with those assumptions.  Do you think there's a fundamental flaw with the idea that Fell are going to want to be released?  I honestly assumed that if you die and then you later wake back up in a painful existance of undeath that having another chance to painlessly get out of it, in the way that nature intends, would be a good thing.
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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2006, 10:45:03 PM »

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I really thought I was going by the rules with those assumptions.  Do you think there's a fundamental flaw with the idea that Fell are going to want to be released?  I honestly assumed that if you die and then you later wake back up in a painful existance of undeath that having another chance to painlessly get out of it, in the way that nature intends, would be a good thing.

I do think there's a flaw in your assumptions, yes.

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Despite their horrific state, the madness of the Fell typically imbues them with a powerful survival instinct.

"The want to unlive. Oh, why won't you let them unlive?" (paraphrasing Homer Simpson) Smiley

Now, I suppose that if yo encountered one of those Fell that had just made a save to tave off the hunger-madness, you might be able to talk it into accepting the necromancer's 'peaceful way out' - with a fairly stiff Diplomacy check and the will save vs. suicide previously mentioned (note the penalties for attempting and failing the suicide-save, however).

I think it's quite possible there might be some Fell willing to truly die as you detail, but not many...

And any PCs that go around thinking there are many are liable to get their faces eaten off  twisted
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Bihlbo
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« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2006, 11:04:02 PM »

I do think there's a flaw in your assumptions, yes.

So what's the solution?


Yeah, never mind that.  Bah, I was posting in my sleep.  I already know what I can do to clarify things.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2006, 08:29:19 AM by Bihlbo » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2006, 02:04:08 AM »

Solution? Buzwaaaaah?

I'm just saying that I have a different interpretation of the setting than you.
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Bihlbo
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« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2006, 08:41:42 AM »

Thank you all for pointing out something I hadn't noticed.  The book leaves lots of room for creativity and interpretation in some areas of the nature of Fell.  Parts of it support the "instant monster" view, and parts support the "eventually a monster" view that I have.  I like the room for different uses of Fell, and the thing that needs to be fixed about the necromancer's Mortal Governance ability is how it forces people to use Fell "my way."  Now that I recognize this about the original way I wrote it, I really hate that it does that.

So, I'm going to change it to this:

Mortal Governance (Su):  Once per day, a necromancer may affect the fate of a creatureís spirit.  He may choose to either untether the spirit from the corpse, or bind the spirit to the body upon death.
   If a necromancer attempts to untether the spirit from the body of a Fell creature or the recently deceased, he first makes a turning check and uses one of his daily turning attempts.  The deceased are then forced to make another attempt to be released.  The DM then rolls a Will save check (DC 12) with half of the necromancerís turning check result as a bonus.  Success means the soul of the deceased is forced out of her body.  Fell with an Intelligence score of less than 8 have degenerated to the point of being incapable of being released in this fashion.  Therefore, this ability can only be used on the recently dead - that is, ungral Fell and those who have died without releasing their spirit who have not yet risen as a Fell.
   If a necromancer attempts to bind the spirit of a creature to its mortal form, he makes a turning attempt against the creature while it still lives, and uses four of his daily turning attempts.  If, during the next week, the affected creature dies, the DC to avoid becoming Fell is increased by an amount equal to half of the necromancerís turning check.  This effect functions as a curse, similar to the spell bestow curse, and thus can be removed with the spell remove curse.
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kevperrine
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« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2006, 03:38:23 PM »

Thank you all for pointing out something I hadn't noticed.  The book leaves lots of room for creativity and interpretation in some areas of the nature of Fell.  Parts of it support the "instant monster" view, and parts support the "eventually a monster" view that I have.  I like the room for different uses of Fell, and the thing that needs to be fixed about the necromancer's Mortal Governance ability is how it forces people to use Fell "my way."  Now that I recognize this about the original way I wrote it, I really hate that it does that.




I am agreeing with Bill on this one.
In fact THIS idea solidifies it in my mind...

[RE: Fell]   ...in some ways that's a lot more horrific than the traditional 'die and turn into a flesh-eating zombie with normal smarts' motif. The idea of sitting around a campfire with someone who's dead... and knows he's dead.... and whom you know is dead... in order to discuss something with him, but every now and then he looks up and you can see the hunger he's fighting to supress...

Yeesh.


wow... just wow...
Now THAT is the essence of MIDNIGHT to me.

-kev-
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best,
-kev-
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« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2006, 11:24:31 PM »

Sounds like someone at wizards.com agrees with your 'ability every level' philosophy, Bilhbo Smiley
« Last Edit: October 13, 2006, 11:26:41 PM by Dirigible » Logged
Bihlbo
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« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2006, 12:25:10 PM »

Hey everyone, thank you very much for all your help with this, even if all you did was read it.  I know it's a lot to read, and I extremely appreciate your time and efforts to help the rest of us on the boards.

Right now I'm working on a re-work of the Necromancer PrC, attempting to streamline some things and take everyone's feedback into consideration.  I'll have a version 3 up pretty soon!
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