Level Up (A5E) Help me make a necromancer archetype


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xiphumor

Hero
I’ll be honest, as much as I love this model of create minion in principle, this kind of thing makes me nervous. Even if we find every weird interaction with undead abilities and close all the loopholes, there’s no guarantee the archetype will be future-proofed.
 



Pedantic

Adventurer
So there is already the spell slot to minion conversion available from the create undead and animate dead spells. Maybe you could turn that higher level minion control feature into an expansion of those spells?

As written, Create Undead works out to letting you create/control CR equal to Spell Level-3, with no creature higher than CR 3. Given the slot is the resource spent, because the archetypes gives you access to both Animate Dead/Create Dead, you could maybe weird it as an expansion to those?

Perhaps you could add a rider in to Army of Darkness that messes with that math, something like "You can create/control a greater variety of undead creatures using the Animate Dead and Create Undead spells. You can create or control any undead creatures of CR up to 1/2 your wizard level. Controlling or creating an undead requires a spell cast at a level equal to its CR-2. You may add the spell level of several animate or create dead cast directly after each other together, as long as you are uninstalled while casting them."


That's super poorly worded, but the idea is to allow a broad spell slots to minions trade-off, with more variety than the base spells allow.
 

xiphumor

Hero
Btw, as long as we’re closing loopholes, you need to note that you can’t use elite monsters.

Also, can you use the zombie/skeleton template to create undead? What about the draco-lich template? And I assume squads are out?
 

VenerableBede

Adventurer
I’ll be honest, as much as I love this model of create minion in principle, this kind of thing makes me nervous. Even if we find every weird interaction with undead abilities and close all the loopholes, there’s no guarantee the archetype will be future-proofed.
This makes me want to start a completely tangential conversation about the risks versus rewards of unexplored territory/pushing the boundaries in game design, as well as the responsibilities of the designer in making the game verses the responsibilities of the player in playing the game. For example, yes, the designer should try to think through an ability thoroughly and, if something problematic is discovered, try to iron it out. But not every ability needs to have lots of extra text trying to beat out how it works with every single other mechanic in the game, and not every problem can be thought of in advance (or even reasonably should be—really interesting abilities can be made cumbersome, bland, or completely lose focus by trying to prepare them for every eventuality). On the other hand, a player discovering an unintentionally broken mechanic (or intentionally left-in but very obscure fine detail) has the responsibility to not abuse that knowledge at tables where doing so would decrease the fun for everyone. This, of course, leaves in the potential for such things to still be used at tables where abusing powerful mechanics and finding loopholes is a major part of the fun. I've played at both tables and both only work when all players are "playing the game right" for that specific table.
Anyway, to try and keep this short, to me I think it's good to take well thought-out risks in design if it produces something genuinely fun and creative, even if it has hard-to-see rough edges.
 

VenerableBede

Adventurer
Btw, as long as we’re closing loopholes, you need to note that you can’t use elite monsters.

Also, can you use the zombie/skeleton template to create undead? What about the draco-lich template? And I assume squads are out?
IMO, no to elites, yes to templates, provided CR conditions are met.
 

VenerableBede

Adventurer
Also IMO, I think the Elites thing should be mentioned (even though we keep adding to word count) but templates don’t need to be mentioned. Individual Narrators can rule either way if there’s an issue at the table.
 




evildmguy

Explorer
In the fwiw category, I do like this. The only change from the base is that, after saying the necromancer uses their ability for good, the process of creating a minion is an unholy ritual?

To expand it, I agree that two paths are needed for this class. One that works with undead, and one that can heal. It seems like those two are exclusive. Then two spell lists for that as well. Or there needs to be a White Necromancer class and this one needs to firmly be on the unholy side of things. Just my two coppers.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
In the fwiw category, I do like this. The only change from the base is that, after saying the necromancer uses their ability for good, the process of creating a minion is an unholy ritual?

To expand it, I agree that two paths are needed for this class. One that works with undead, and one that can heal. It seems like those two are exclusive. Then two spell lists for that as well. Or there needs to be a White Necromancer class and this one needs to firmly be on the unholy side of things. Just my two coppers.
It's a wizard archetype, not a class. A "white necromancer" would be a different archetype.
 

lichmaster

Adventurer
One small thing I noticed when reading the published description (sorry for being late): is it acceptable that Touch of Death can grant temp HP even if the killed creature is not living or undead (like a construct)?

Also: the CR of the undead created by Create Minion scales with total character level instead of class level. Given that this class is quite front loaded in terms of abilities, this would make a 2 level dip extremely enticing (maybe too much). Shouldn't we restrict the Create Minion scaling to class level instead?

For the rest, this archetype is awesome, especially for multiclassing possibilities: I'm already thinking how to re-create a version of Arthas the Lich King!
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Also: the CR of the undead created by Create Minion scales with total character level instead of class level. Given that this class is quite front loaded in terms of abilities, this would make a 2 level dip extremely enticing (maybe too much). Shouldn't we restrict the Create Minion scaling to class level instead?
It was intended to be wizard level just like Army of Darkness.
 

Andvari

Adventurer
Might become rather time-consuming to have one character controlling both themselves and multiple minions in combat. Perhaps one could simulate it by creating a "horde" representing multiple creatures, like a group of skeletons, but acts as a single creature. Depending on its HP, it does less damage per attack. For example, 4d8 damage at full HP and 2d8 at half HP.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Might become rather time-consuming to have one character controlling both themselves and multiple minions in combat. Perhaps one could simulate it by creating a "horde" representing multiple creatures, like a group of skeletons, but acts as a single creature. Depending on its HP, it does less damage per attack. For example, 4d8 damage at full HP and 2d8 at half HP.
Hordes are already in the MoMe. There’s nothing in the archetype stopping you from using them. :)
 



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