D&D 5E Building a couple new Necromancer spells

Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
As the title says, thinking of making a couple interesting spells for my Necromancer Wizard player.

We had a long talk the other day, and at least one thing came up that I think sounds kind of cool. Basically, where you raise a Skeleton from maybe a more prominent deceased person. Our example in the conversation was the ancient warrior King, King Sassafras. He had wondered if raising that pile of bones would differ from just the other run of the mill piles. While with RAW, that seems the case, it to me is way too interesting of a concept to just pass up. Instead you get this slightly beefed up Skeleton of some long dead hero or some such. While obviously there is the typical taboo associated with raising dead loved ones, let's hand wave that for now.

What I am unsure of, would be limitations on the spell, as well as frankly, the spells name. I just can't think of one I like. Was thinking it could be another 3rd level spell but would only be able to raise one such Skeleton, with options of up casting later to either raise another or pump the stats somewhat.

The other spell, I had in mind before our conversation. A stronger animate dead, that would enable you to raise up a large creatures' skeleton or corpse. Something that I kind of feel is missing.

Obviously I want to make sure these spells would not be so strong as to over shadow the other players, but still be interesting and seem like a power jump. I think another cool use that my player could get out of the "Greater Animate Dead" spell I was toying with, would be like an undead mount.

Should I go with some Large Skeleton (that takes the form of the creature it was risen from) or limit out the CR and just use the monster entry for that creature? I think creating a stock Large Skeleton would work, and could even try using something like the Minotaur Skeleton entry as well as the Warhorse Skeleton if a mount is sought after. Though, the straight monster entry seems more interesting and tactical. Raising the right tool for the job.

For this, the spell level would have to be higher, maybe like a 4th or 5th level, and limited to only being able to raise and sustain two such creatures.

As you can see I have some thoughts in mind, but nothing concrete for either. Thought I would ask you fine fellows/gals for any ideas. Spell creation and balance is not one of my strong suits.
 

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Satyrn

First Post
For the second spell, if I get your intention, I'd refluff phantom steed into something necromantic.


For the first one, I'd call it "reanimate" and let it create a skeleton with essentially the same stats the individual but undead. But, as a third level spell, it couldn't reanimate anyone with more than 5 hit dice (or whatever number makes sense to you). Upcasting would let you reanimate someone with more hit dice, like 1 or 2 hit dice per level increase.
 

Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
For the second spell, if I get your intention, I'd refluff phantom steed into something necromantic.


For the first one, I'd call it "reanimate" and let it create a skeleton with essentially the same stats the individual but undead. But, as a third level spell, it couldn't reanimate anyone with more than 5 hit dice (or whatever number makes sense to you). Upcasting would let you reanimate someone with more hit dice, like 1 or 2 hit dice per level increase.

I like the idea of using and scaling up with Hit dice. Thanks for that.
 

aco175

Legend
I have some skeletal warriors and skeletal knights that I made to compete with raising abilities of the PCs. A few more HD and attack bonus. I think the upper tier were not vulnerable to bludgeoning anymore. They can have armor and cool powers like multiattack and close burst 1 attacks from 4e.

You could also reskin the druid cantrip where you have a servant do your chores for you. A bag of bones can take on may forms to get the deed done.
 

Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
I have some skeletal warriors and skeletal knights that I made to compete with raising abilities of the PCs. A few more HD and attack bonus. I think the upper tier were not vulnerable to bludgeoning anymore. They can have armor and cool powers like multiattack and close burst 1 attacks from 4e.

You could also reskin the druid cantrip where you have a servant do your chores for you. A bag of bones can take on may forms to get the deed done.

Yeah essentially, that is what I am hoping for. An 'army' of regular Skeletons, and 1-3 tough 'leader' like Skeletons. Probably starting with one, and having to up-cast to get more with better HP and minor boosts to other stats. Like you say, probably hit bonus slightly, and perhaps a small boost to damage, or just use something off his character to help it scale more steady. I think Necromancers already get their proficiency as bonus damage on summons.
 


I would add some of the skeleton's abilities to one of the lower-level non-spellcasting NPC classes in the MM/Volo's (and change the type to undead). Alternatively adding a feat to the skeleton would make it stand out from other skeleton.
 

Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
I would add some of the skeleton's abilities to one of the lower-level non-spellcasting NPC classes in the MM/Volo's (and change the type to undead). Alternatively adding a feat to the skeleton would make it stand out from other skeleton.

Oh man! How did I not think of this before. Thank you.
 

Oh man! How did I not think of this before. Thank you.

Glad to help. I got the idea from the DMG where they mentioned there were a bunch of celestial elves (presumably they are eladrin) and dwarves running around, and I figured they should be able to use the NPC classes....
 

aco175

Legend
You can up-armor the skeletons as well, like in Walking Dead where they poured molten metal on the zombies to make them harder to kill. A skeleton with metal bones must be an AC 18 or such and I would take away the vulnerable to bludgeoning ability.

Mithral?
 

Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
You can up-armor the skeletons as well, like in Walking Dead where they poured molten metal on the zombies to make them harder to kill. A skeleton with metal bones must be an AC 18 or such and I would take away the vulnerable to bludgeoning ability.

Mithral?

Yeah, I actually had a similar thought. That over time the player can fit the raised champion skeleton with different weapons or some better armor, if found (what does the skeleton care about that damaged chainmail?). Which is part of the reason I wanted to come here and get ideas as well, because I am worried somewhat about the power of this spell. I want to make sure it doesn't overshadow the fighter in the group.

I have so far, tweaked the stats on the Thug, from the DMG, and am using that as the base stats for the raised skeleton. Also changed it to a 10 minute cast time, as you are calling up a more powerful undead.
 

aco175

Legend
The longer casting time is not a factor if used out of combat on something that has a long duration. You can make the casting time a week to make it more valuable. If you are in a dungeon and the skeleton dies, it makes it so the PCs need to get by until they can get out of the dungeon.

If you do not want to overshadow the fighter, you can make it scale slower. The to hit can go up and if you leave the HP low, it can die during encounters. It becomes more of a 1/rest power.
 

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