D&D 5E "classic" Necromancers - does it still "work"?

Necromancer is still very potent, if not more so if you include the create magen spell, and works with the Tasha summons spells rather than an and/or situation.
Same issues are in play but it hasn't lost any ground with just destroying the action economy.

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It's a lot easier to manage endless hordes of minions in a computer game.
Jein. The issue with "endless hordes of minions in a computer game" is frame rates and lag. As it turned out, skeletal hordes also slow up computer games. A lot of games with necromancers have backed off the idea of "endless hordes of minions" in favor of more managable summons and thematic powers (e.g., blood, life, death, shadow, curses, etc.). One could summon tons of minions as a necromancer in Guild Wars 1 and Diablo 2, for example, but the necromancers in subsequent games generally have (if any at all) 1-6 minions, including golems. That said, I also have these later games in mind when I say that I have found that players coming into D&D expecting to play a video game style necromancer are often disappointed with D&D's typical version.


Heretic of The Seventh Circle
A PC class who summons loads of expendable minions has always been a logistical pain in the tabletop game. I'm in favour of necromancers being NPCs, for purely practical reasons.

The one strong pet approach seems the most viable way to make a PC summoning class.
I mean it's just action economy.

Just make the horde of critters resolve their singular group turn as a group singular group action, at the end of their controller's turn.

A cool high level ability might be to give a class based on summoning critters legendary actions that can only be used controlling their summoned critters.

Just don't give each one it's own individual action.

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