Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Dungeons and Dragons: The Necromancer Class

"All but one wizard remained - burned and scarred but driven mad by the deaths of his friends and family...he had grown dark and powerful, a Necromancer who turned their very forces against them. I had never seen such raw power - their hordes were destroyed and the orcs and wraiths fled in terror, lest they be crushed by the power of the Necromancer" - Eladrin: The Gathering of the Wardens

While pursuing resources for my Druid character, I happened across Wuley's build for a Necromancer which, ironically, was going to be the next class I planned on pursuing. The Undead Necromancer with his ability to summon minions was always the sort of character that I felt would fit in line with our D&D party and tied in nicely with our current Nimbar campaign.
There are a few abilities that I felt were a bit OP (overpowered) and we house-ruled to make them more accommodating. However, I have presented them here in their original form for your pleasure.
Let's have a peek:

(Please note that all the artwork and content for the Necromancer class are not my own and may not be used for any commercial interests. I have just included a listing of the cards. For the full artwork and card backs, head on over to boardgamegeek.com)

Necromancer Character Card Side 1
Okay, so Loth's stats are putrid. a low defence, low hit points, low surge and he is slower than a zombie after a buffet of brains but, just bear with me as Loth's Power Cards are exceptional.
Skeletal Minion: The Necromancer's speciality is of course in summoning an undead ally so that you can creep about and do your spooky business while your minion runs off to do all the hard work. Given, it does require you to first defeat a monster before you can summon a minion but this fits the necromancer theme quite nicely: Loth kills monster, Loth raises bones of monster to fight at his side, Loth thus mocks said monster in death, un-death and resurrection muuahahahahahaha!


So your summoned minion's a bit of a pansy at up-close combat and the +4 Attack to 1 Damage probably would not do more than clang a rusty sword against some armour but there are cards-a-coming that auto-amplifies the minion's attack and makes him a hardier contender in the dungeon dance-off.   The charging strike is a worthwhile attack for non-adjacent monsters and the fact that your minion also counts as a Hero will, for all intents and purposes, serve as a welcome decoy against initial attacks.

At-Wills:
Necromancer At-Will: Command Minion
Command Minion:
Right. So remember when we said the summoned minion had a pansy of an attack? Well, suck it because Command Minion is At-Will any self respecting Necromancer would not leave home without. Again, you are required to at least have a minion (or minions) in play but the +10 attack practically guarantees a 1 Damage on a monster and the best part is you can still use old rusty to clang afterwards with its +4 sword. Alternatively, the scope of this attack would allow your minion to move a tile, attack an adjacent monster and probably murder it and then move a tile again for +8 strike. Pretty neat for a pile of bones!

Necromancer At-Will: Soul Burst
Soul Burst: (OP)
This is the only At-Will that I find is waaaay OP for the class. The 2 tile ranged 'attack all' seems more inline with a Daily Power than an At-Will. Our house-ruled version thus states: Attack two Monsters up to two tiles away. I had a similar ranged attack with the Druid build but with a +7 attack and dealing 1 extra Damage on a roll of 18+.

Necromancer At-Will: Life Touch
Life Touch:
Loth's a bit of a wimp as far as his HP goes so any card that allows for life gain is a worthy addition to your starting At-Wills. In fact, it's a must-have. Very reminiscent of Artemis's Vampiric Dagger from The Legend of Drizzt but still keeping in with the Necromancer theme.

Daily Powers:
Necromancer Daily: Undead Horde
Undead Horde:
A daily power that augments the Necromancer's base summoning spell. This once comes at a bit of a cost in that 5 tiles needed to have been explored before your 'horde' may be summoned but is a worthy power that could have easily allow you up to 3 minions under your command (one with Loth's base ability). If you feel this is slightly OP then only allow the summoning of an additional minion (not 2) and see. For our campaigns, and because we tend to play longer custom adventures, Undead Horde was fine to use as is.

Necromancer Daily: Mass Life Steal
Mass Life Steal: (OP)
So while a ranged attack that attacks ALL monsters up to 2 tiles away with a whopping +10 attack yielding 2 Damage and a 1 Damage miss seems like a regular, albeit slightly biased Daily, like with Soul Burst this card was waaaaay waaaay overpowered.  Not only do you potentially wipe out all enemies but you gain HP over your max HP? Our house-ruled variant was thus: Attack each monster on a tile up to 2 tiles away. For each Monster you hit regain 1 HP up to your maximum HP. Attack: +7.


Necromancer Daily: Undead Explosion
Undead Explosion:
Now this Daily me likey. Lots. It's so cunning and so utterly devious that only a necromancer could concoct such a foul plan. So you have a minion in play and then send him off for one final suicide bomb blast against enemies. It's all about placement with this one so make sure your minion is adjacent to a big bad when you set him off. Infidels, I kill you!

Utility Powers:

Necromancer Utility: Personal Pet
Personal Pet:
Loth's signature ability and my favourite power of the lot. The minions you summon are all 1 HP weaklings but Personal Pet allows you to select your most impressive spawnling, amp him up to 3 HP, 14 AC and +1 Damage on a roll of 15 or more AND you can couple this with your Command Minion At-Will AND you can ramp him even further with a treasure item. If said item is an armour amplifier, your child of darkness goes from pile of bones to Ghost Rider glory and can deal out damage without too much fear. Of course, on being destroyed, you do lose 3 HP...so there is that small problem. Kinda like a horcrux in a way.

Necromancer Utility: Bone Armor
Bone Armor: (OP)
Meh. A 5HP rejuvenate over your max HP seems stupidly over powered, even for Loth's low stats. Our modified version of Bone Armor read: Destroy a Minion on your tile and gain 4 HP up to your Max HP.

Necromancer Utility: Soothe The Undead
Soothe The Undead:
Useful in that it can be played at any time. So activation of any wraiths and blazing skeletons in this turn can be mitigated and dealt with later for any player. Not only that but there is the added benefit of an Undead Villain also not activating this turn.

Necromancer Utility: Choice Pickings
Choice Pickings:
This card you play at the start of the game and it remains in play for the duration of the game and gives the necromancer a useful mechanism for scrying through treasure decks. The one down side is having to discard the returned treasure as other party members might have benefited from whatever it was you just trashed but, you are Loth and don't really care.

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