A paladin just joined the group. I'm a necromancer.

Fauchard1520

Explorer
I know it's an old cliche, but this mess happened to me. I was all set to go with a necromancer. My guy was raising dead, the campaign was running smoothly, and then a buddy joined up at level 6. He wanted to roll a paladin.

What's the best way to make the two play nice in the same party? Is there a mechanical solution to the problem? Alternatively, how can I circumnavigate his ire?

Relevant comic.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Adventurer
By default in 5e, raising undead is an Evil act. Check with your DM to see if it is in their setting.
Not all Paladins are Good in 5e. Check with the player to see if their character would have an issue with undead. If so, ask them why they want to start a character with that attitude.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
By default in 5e, raising undead is an Evil act. Check with your DM to see if it is in their setting.
Not all Paladins are Good in 5e. Check with the player to see if their character would have an issue with undead. If so, ask them why they want to start a character with that attitude.
Can you provide something that says raising undead is an evil act in 5e? I've got a culture where you will your body to your family, church, liege, or whatever on death to act as a everliving servitor. I had not seen anything in the rules that it was inherently evil in 5e.

There's more than one subclass that is around it, some that even give it to you as class features like the Spores Druid.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Adventurer
Even outside of the setting-specific detail, you're bringing into the world evil creatures that will default to killing living beings whenever they can. A lapse in the wording of instructions or just being in a situation where you cannot reassert control can lead to them murdering their way through anything they can find.
 
What's the best way to make the two play nice in the same party?
Can't say which is best, but there are various possible ideas:

  • the Paladin is dumb
  • the Paladin is forced to work with the Necromancer by a higher power and cannot refuse
  • the Necromancer has creative ways to hide or disguise her work
  • the Necromancer doesn't necessarily use the most offending necromancy spells
  • dire circumstances force them to work together against a greater evil
  • they are relatives, very close friends, or in love with each other
  • they just manage to tolerate each other or make a deal about not taking it too far
  • they beat the cr4p out of each other, but it happens off-camera

The ultimate point is that the PCs are supposed to be allies. Players accept a compromise, or make different characters. But the point here is that he joined later, so do not let the others pretend it's your fault. Your PC was there first, so it's him who should have thought twice before making a PC that doesn't fit with the existing party, and now it's his job to justify why did he join at all, and how did he manage to be let in.

That said, are you sure that this player will really be after your character? Lots of players just don't care about these things, and maybe he won't bother you at all.
 
L

lowkey13

Guest
I know it's an old cliche, but this mess happened to me. I was all set to go with a necromancer. My guy was raising dead, the campaign was running smoothly, and then a buddy joined up at level 6. He wanted to roll a paladin.

.... Is there a mechanical solution to the problem?
There is a mechanical solution.

Kill the Paladin.

Then raise him from the dead.

You have now solved two problems.

1. No more Paladin.

2. You got to ... what ... necromance.
 

bedir than

Adventurer
What are the party's goals?
Do the Paladin and Necromancer share those goals? If they don't, they aren't in the same party. If they do there is plenty of reality and fiction about those opposed to certain aspects of the other still working together.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Can you provide something that says raising undead is an evil act in 5e? I've got a culture where you will your body to your family, church, liege, or whatever on death to act as a everliving servitor. I had not seen anything in the rules that it was inherently evil in 5e.
I thought I had seen that stated in 5E, but after digging through the rulebooks, I have not found it; neither the text of the animate dead spell, nor create undead, nor the Necromancy tradition, nor the monster descriptions for skeletons and zombies, say anything about it being an evil act to raise undead. Maybe it was in the D&D Next playtest and got removed before release? Anyway, I guess that's another relic of previous editions to consign to the mental dustbin. Good deal.

That said, skeletons and zombies themselves are evil, driven by a hunger to kill the living; that's stated explicitly in the Monster Manual. Those who raise such minions are wielding dangerous weapons. If the necromancer dies or is prevented from renewing their control, the undead become free-willed and they will slaughter any living person they see. So, while it may not be a simple as "Necromancy evil!", a good-aligned necromancer should refrain from raising undead when not necessary, and should take precautions to keep them from getting loose.

To the OP: I would talk with the would-be paladin player and work out a way for the two PCs to coexist, keeping in mind that it's mainly on him to adapt his concept to the existing group--you should not have to retool your PC for his sake. Many paladin oaths are perfectly compatible with necromancy; the Oath of Vengeance, for example, is generally fine with using weapons of darkness against darkness. But even a more traditional knight-in-shining-armor paladin could be okay as long as the player doesn't act like the Alignment Police. Periodic debates between the paladin and the necromancer can be fun to roleplay if the conflict doesn't escalate to actual combat.
 
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jgsugden

Adventurer
Wait - there might be conflict between main characters in a story based game? Well, we can't have conflict in a story.

We can suggest stories, but you'll have more fun coming up with one you want to play.
 
The way I see it, a little verbal sparring and RP friction can work well in a game, provided both players are on-board with it. But it is on both players to make sure that their characters still work together and don't create a headache for the DM and other players. The moment it starts draining the fun out of the game, that's a situation.

The paladin doesn't have to like the necromancer, but they can't go smiting away at the first casting of Chill Touch.
 

Tonguez

Hero
Quote: The School of Necromancy explores the cosmic forces of life, death, and undeath. As you focus your studies in this tradition, you learn to manipulate the energy that animates all living things. As you progress, you learn to sap the life force from a creature as your magic destroys its body, transforming that vital energy into magical power you can manipulate.

Most people see necromancers as menacing, or even villainous, due to the close association with death. Not all necromancers are evil, but the forces they manipulate are considered taboo by many societies.


In Forgotten Realms there is also Jergal The Lord of the End of Everything, Seneschal of the god of death, who keeps records accounting for every death and their final destination. Jergal is Lawful Neutral, cold and inhumane and cares only to record the death of everything.

Jergal also sanctions the use and creation of undead by his followers, provided they serve the cause of advancing death in the world. Some of his clerics multiclass as necromancers to command crews of skeleton and zombie workers while others seek church-sponsored undeath to allow them to continue their service.

Maybe the new guy could be a Paladin of Jergal
 
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Dausuul

Legend
Wait - there might be conflict between main characters in a story based game? Well, we can't have conflict in a story.
The point of D&D is to be fun. A D&D game that is a miserable experience for the people playing it is a failed game. If it produces an incredible story, it is still a failed game. Conversely, a game that everyone enjoys is successful, even if the story is nothing but "And then we went here and fought a monster and got loot," repeated several dozen times.

Conflict between PCs can be fun, but it requires that all players and the DM are on the same page as to the level of conflict they find enjoyable. Some groups are totally cool with PvP combat to the death on a regular basis. However, I infer from the OP that this is not the case here. So everyone needs to get on the same page, and as a general rule, it is the new person joining the group who should expect to do most of the adapting.
 

Quartz

Adventurer
Oh yes, there was a story hour where one of the PCs channelled negative energy. The Doomed Bastards, maybe?
 

Todd Roybark

Adventurer
That said, skeletons and zombies themselves are evil, driven by a hunger to kill the living;
To be frank, a hunger to kill the living is a feature of most creatures’ sustenance practices. Outside of symbiotic relations, thing A tends to kill thing B and sometimes eat it.

Cats and Killer Whales kill for fun, for example.

Elementals can go berserk, and elementals do not need sustenance. Angels can smite entire cities.

Jelly Fish just float around waiting to bump into something, and eat it
Like Homer Simpson

Animate Dead is just an efficient recycling system.🔄
 
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Marandahir

Explorer
Here's a look in a particular game setting for hints of how this could be handled:

In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, undead spirits are used to guard family tombs from would-be graverobbers, fuel the sacred Ghostfence which holds back the worst of the evil demons and diseases of the Ash Blight of Dagoth Ur on Red Mountain, and serve as living memory in the necropolis city of Necrom (where the ghost of the legendary hero Indoril Nerevar still haunts – despite blasphemous rumours of his reincarnation).

While Necromancy is still legal in the Septim Empire at large in 3E 427, it has been banned by the Imperial Guild of Mages and is illegal within the independent Province of Morrowind. But the native Dunmer seem to practice their own form of ancestor worship and manipulation that looks a LOT like Necromancy. Their translation of the word Necromancy instead refers to acts seeking to defile the dead and summon them for nefarious purposes. And the Dunmer Wizards of House Telvanni don't care at all about the law or religious mores: amongst many abominations, they actively engage in necromantic experiments. To them, you're either strong enough to enforce your authority, or you never were worthy of that power to begin with.

So a Dunmer House Redoran (warrior clan) Bouyant Armiger (Paladin Oath of Heroism) devoted to the Tribunal Temple may be publicly and personally opposed to acts of Necromancy, and yet enlist the services of a Telvanni Wizard who practices Necromancy (Wizard, School of Necromancy) to face a much greater evil, such as the Blight of Dagoth Ur, or outlander raiders, or House Hlaalu (thief clan) or even Sixth House smugglers defiling her family crypt. Maybe she needs the Necromancer to speak with her dead ancestors to gain insight into her enemies, or to awaken the spirits of her dead ancestors to rout out the smugglers defiling her family crypt.

This is just one setting idea, but the possibilities are endless if you both work together and with your DM to make sure this party, their purposes, and the setting details align.
 
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