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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:24 pm 
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Alright! Time for a long story.

I've just recently decided that I would like to try out D&D. yeah, I know, how could I have gone this long without doing so? Well I've just never had the resources nor the group to do so with; however- with the amazing invention of the internet, I can play with people from all around the world! (Just kidding, I've just been too busy to start trying to play.)

Now that I have significant motivation to play, however, I'd like to start with 3.5e (which is what most people I know play, and seems to be cast in a much more positive light than 4.0.)

So you know what I'm doing here now- my difficulty lies in the core of the game- character creation.

While I understand the character creation (and have done a good deal of researching on the subject, including peering into the 3.5 handbook and feasting on the words of the Libris Mortis, I have decided to roll a cleric (necromancy has been my main goal all along).

So. I have all that down. I want to have a few strong deaders by my side, and I want to be able to heal them or tear my enemies apart with negative energy magic (and possibly resurrect them as undead to serve me! Muahaha!)

Apart from this, I do have some basic character creation readied.

Human - Cleric - Some Evil Alignment, lawful if at all possible but will change for better necromancy

My Ability scores are (currently as rolled):
STR: 10
DEX:12
CON: 15
INT: 15
WIS: 18
CHA: 16


I have also taken skills that I believed (and different sources told me) would be good for a Necromancer Cleric:

Concentration - 4
Heal - 4
Knowledge (Religion) - 4
Knowledge (History) - 4 (I actually specced into this one because I wasn't sure what else to go into!)
Diplomacy - 4

All of these are easily changeable if I get some feedback- part of the reason I'm posting here is because I'm new!

Feats are where I'm a bit stumped. I know I'd like to use the "Corpsecrafter" feats from Libris Mortis, along with other necromancy feats that that book came with, but the program I'm using to make my character (Redblade) does not have said feats therefore that section is blank. I tried looking at character sheets but they seem... really confusing to someone who knows only the basics of the game.

As for languages, I currently have all of the 'religious' ones listed. Abyssal, Infernal, and Celestial (with common being given).

Beginning items, I have no idea where to start. Any advice here would be amazing.

My domains are another place I'm sort of lost at. I -want- to use Undeath as a domain, with whatever else the god I end up choosing will have. I have consistently read that the actual Death domain is a poor choice for a Necromancer despite the additional hit die allowance (I'm really not looking at having a horde of undead following me- that would just be a pain to do)

And lastly, I think I can handle spells. Of course I'll want the raise dead as soon as possible, and several negative energy spells for offense and healing my minions.






So! Sorry for the novel, but do you guys have any advice for a noobie looking for this kind of character?

EDIT: And as a synopsis...

1.) Is human a good choice for this type of character?
2.) What diety is best (or at least recommended) for this type of necro?
3.) Any feedback on the stats?
4.) Should the skills I chose suffice? Are there others more relevant?
5.) Is the Corpsecrafter feat line a good way to go?
6.) Are those languages generally revelant?
7.) Can I get a link or something to info about 'buying' items for a starting character?
8.) Any recommended spells?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:51 am 
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Just to let you know - expect disappointment; the Necromaster build doesn't really get going until around level 5 (when you can start actually raising undead) so your probably going to be falling behind a little near the beginning.

Now to knock out a couple of these before I have to go to work (I'll help with the rest when I return);

1) Human is a good choice for any class really. If the DM is allowing non-standard races you might want to look into Aasimar - while the +1 ECL is annoying for a primary caster the +2 to both Wisdom and Charisma is very nice. Though looking at your attribute scores your already pretty solid so yeah no real reason not to just run with human.

2) Any that allows Death/Undeath really. I'd have to know what campaign setting your running in.

3) Absolutely solid. Best you can hope for really.

4) Unless it's for role-playing purposes switch Knowledge (History) with Knowledge (Arcana). Arcana let's you track down and engage magical beasts (which is something you want to be doing so very much).

5) Depends what your attempting to raise. Deadly Chill is good for certain undead that manage to get multiple attacks per round, Nimble Bones is good if you want to drown the enemy in fast evasion buggers (or just ensure they go first so you can set them up as a defensive line).

6) Languages are generally not relevant for undead because who talks to their minions? Seriously though the divine languages are a good a choice as any.

7) As a Cleric you will receive '5d4 x 10gp' as your starting monies. You'll receive a bigger pile if you are starting at a higher level then first.

8) Animate Dead? Some things of note - a lot of cleric buffs are 'mind-affecting' (such as Bless and Heroism). These spells will *not* work on undead as they are mindless. Be careful when prepping spells like that to ensure your actually able to buff your guys. Don't bother prepping 'Inflict' spell as you can sponty cast them for purposes of healing your undead. Generally because of that annoying 'undead are mindless' thing you're probably going to be running disruption (such as Command and Bane) over support spells.

As I said before I'll do a more in depth guide to being a necromancer when I get back from work. Suffice to say it comes down to knowing where to get the best corpses and how to get the most out of them.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:09 pm 
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Just to let you know - expect disappointment; the Necromaster build doesn't really get going until around level 5 (when you can start actually raising undead) so your probably going to be falling behind a little near the beginning.

Now to knock out a couple of these before I have to go to work (I'll help with the rest when I return);

1) Human is a good choice for any class really. If the DM is allowing non-standard races you might want to look into Aasimar - while the +1 ECL is annoying for a primary caster the +2 to both Wisdom and Charisma is very nice. Though looking at your attribute scores your already pretty solid so yeah no real reason not to just run with human.

2) Any that allows Death/Undeath really. I'd have to know what campaign setting your running in.

3) Absolutely solid. Best you can hope for really.

4) Unless it's for role-playing purposes switch Knowledge (History) with Knowledge (Arcana). Arcana let's you track down and engage magical beasts (which is something you want to be doing so very much).

5) Depends what your attempting to raise. Deadly Chill is good for certain undead that manage to get multiple attacks per round, Nimble Bones is good if you want to drown the enemy in fast evasion buggers (or just ensure they go first so you can set them up as a defensive line).

6) Languages are generally not relevant for undead because who talks to their minions? Seriously though the divine languages are a good a choice as any.

7) As a Cleric you will receive '5d4 x 10gp' as your starting monies. You'll receive a bigger pile if you are starting at a higher level then first.

8) Animate Dead? Some things of note - a lot of cleric buffs are 'mind-affecting' (such as Bless and Heroism). These spells will *not* work on undead as they are mindless. Be careful when prepping spells like that to ensure your actually able to buff your guys. Don't bother prepping 'Inflict' spell as you can sponty cast them for purposes of healing your undead. Generally because of that annoying 'undead are mindless' thing you're probably going to be running disruption (such as Command and Bane) over support spells.

As I said before I'll do a more in depth guide to being a necromancer when I get back from work. Suffice to say it comes down to knowing where to get the best corpses and how to get the most out of them.


Thank you! Since writing this up I've gotten feedback from several others and after some deliberation have decided that I'll probably end up going with a Dread Necromancer (From the Heroes of Horror book) which offer what I'm looking for and are significantly more simple for a new player to play. Regardless, tips on choosing undead and finding nice corpses to use will still be very useful info, so I do look forward to any info you have on that!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:17 pm 
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Okay let's do some general undead tactics. First thing you need to know is this; individually most undead suck. It's a sad truth but one that must be accepted. A skeleton or zombie will forever be worst then a Summoned Creature of equivalent CR - they will generally deal far less damage per hit then a celestial badger or whatever it is the conjurer just pulled out of his hat. So your going to have to play to your strengths here and your greatest strength are numbers and duration.

A single skeleton on his lonesome isn't all that useful but you can control far more skeletons then a summoner can summoned dudes and your guys stick around forever once created. If you willing to take risks you can also massively increase you control limit as well. This here is a trade secret so don't go spreading it around; Wand of Command Undead. Get one as soon as your possibly can and go nuts. A single casting of this spell at it's earliest level grants you unquestioning control over an unintelligent undead creature for three days. This is above and beyond your 'I can control X creatures' limit as well so feel free to take full advantage of that. Generally speaking you'll want to keep your 'special' guys under your normal control limit while using the Command Undead method to gather a group of skeletal meat shields to take blows for you.

Now you may have noticed I said skeletons a lot there rather then the skeleton/zombie I should have been using. That's because, being frank, zombies suck undead ass. Their 'single action only' rule makes them awful at anything other then standing around and taking hits. The only real exception to this is if you manage to kill like a giant eagle or griffon or something and want to use it as a flying mount - skeletons can't fly so yeah. Score 1 for zombies I guess.

Now on the list of things you can get as an undead minion there are a couple that stand out. Anything particularly strong (such as a ogre or giant) is always a nice choice as their strength remains after reanimation while they will generally become much more resilient - plus ogres are easy enough to find. Remember that undead lost most of the living creatures special attacks and abilities (such as a medusa's stoney gaze) so your generally going to want to look for something strong - preferably with reach - or anything that has multiple attacks per round (such as a panther or troll). The pièce de résistance as far as undead minions go however if without doubt a Hydra! Though they are terrible to kill they retain all there attacks per round upon death (including any additional attacks they got for severed heads) an can use them all even if they move or charge during the turn - you could even make a zombie out of one since this sidesteps the whole 'can only do standard actions' thing. There obviously much harder to find then ogres (like a couple adventures could be built around just finding a hydra to reanimate hard) and take a lot more effort to bring down but they are probably the best undead minions you can ever get - plus they have deceptively low Hit Die for creatures of their power level.

Anyway that's about all I can recall of the top of my head.

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