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Necromancer + Inspiring Leader

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I'm thinking Variant human with inspiring leader feat:

8 str
14 dex
10 con
16 int
8 wis
16 cha

At level 6 I can have 5-6 skeletons with 25hp and 9 temp hp. Total of 34 hp (additional skeletons will lack temp hp). That's enough hp to actually live through a fireball type effect!

I'll list out the spells in a bit. Thoughts, suggestions?
 

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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Thoughts on changing stats to

8 str
12 dex
13 con
16 int
8 wis
16 cha

Leaves open the possibility of resilient con in the future?
 

Esker

Hero
Wizard, I'm assuming. Feels like that investment in CHA is pretty steep on a class that doesn't otherwise use it for much for a few more HP per skeleton. You're essentially giving up 6 of your own HP by having a +1 CON, and distributing one each to your minions. Their boost refreshes on a short rest, granted, but still.

I'd leave CHA at 14 tops so you can start with 14 DEX and 13 CON, and then probably take a Hexblade level for medium armor and shields (then I'd take Magic Missile to abuse Hexblade's Curse).

Arguably you could even start with low INT without feeling it too much, since Animate Dead doesn't care about your DC, and you could pick other spells that don't care either. For example, the following list is entirely composed of spells that are good spells, and either don't use your DC at all or use it only for a secondary use/effect:

1st:

Find Familiar (r)
Detect Magic (r,c)
Comprehend Languages (r)
Shield
Absorb Elements
Sleep
Magic Missile
Feather Fall

2nd:

Invisibility (c)
Misty Step
Mirror Image
Shadow Blade (c)

3rd:

Animate Dead
Counterspell
Dispel Magic
Fly/Haste (c)

4th:

Polymorph (c)
Dimension Door
Arcane Eye
Fire Shield

5th:

Animate Objects (c)
Wall of Force (c)
Rary's Telepathic Bond (r)
Seeming

6th:

Create Undead
Contingency
Soul Cage
Scatter

7th:

Forcecage
Simulacrum
Teleport

8th:

Maze (c)
Mind Blank
Clone
Antimagic Field

9th:

Wish
Foresight
True Polymorph (c)
Shapechange (c)
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Wizard, I'm assuming. Feels like that investment in CHA is pretty steep on a class that doesn't otherwise use it for much for a few more HP per skeleton. You're essentially giving up 6 of your own HP by having a +1 CON, and distributing one each to your minions. Their boost refreshes on a short rest, granted, but still.
Options seem to be:
+1 hp per target per short rest (about 18 hp per day, level 1+ potential impact)
+1 hp per level (1.5x level hp per day [including hit dice], +1 Con saves)
+1 AC, +1 Initiative, +1 Dex Saves

I think those options are fairly balanced. I also think that for this character the charisma skills will be more useful than the dex skills. IMO

Also, keep in mind skeletons will help deter most attack style damage on me, limiting the usefulness of AC. IMO

I'd leave CHA at 14 tops so you can start with 14 DEX and 13 CON,
If I was choosing to drop cha to 14 I would go for 12 dex and 15 con.

and then probably take a Hexblade level for medium armor and shields (then I'd take Magic Missile to abuse Hexblade's Curse).
High AC is of limited usefulness for this build IMO. Hexblade's curse is okay - but not worth slowing down wizard spell progression.

Arguably you could even start with low INT without feeling it too much, since Animate Dead doesn't care about your DC, and you could pick other spells that don't care either.
Idea is to keep 6 elite skeletons summoned and still be a wizard. I'm not trying to build for tons of undead.

For example, the following list is entirely composed of spells that are good spells, and either don't use your DC at all or use it only for a secondary use/effect:

1st:

Find Familiar (r)
Detect Magic (r,c)
Comprehend Languages (r)
Shield
Absorb Elements
Sleep
Magic Missile
Feather Fall
I would probably find a way to include fog cloud in this - seems like it could provide great tactical opportunities. Disguise Self seems very useful as well - can potentially hide that I'm the necromancer. Mage armor would be nice as well.

2nd:

Invisibility (c)
Misty Step
Mirror Image
Shadow Blade (c)
Not sure why Shadow Blade?

I love invisibility for this as it can serve as a defacto defensive spell for me and the skillies

Mirror Image just provides AC help. I'm not convinced it's needed. I can use invisibility on myself and run away/hide if in danger.

I'm thinking replace those with some combo of rope trick/suggestion/hold person/(blindness/deafness)

I'm also not sold on misty step. Good spell but interferes in controlling undead and means I'm going somewhere they can't follow.

3rd:

Animate Dead
Counterspell
Dispel Magic
Fly/Haste (c)
Animate Dead and Counterspell I think are musts
I'm a big fan of having some aoe - so either hypnotic pattern or fireball

I'm thinking leomunds tiny hut instead of fly or dispel magic.

I'm not a fan of haste for this character.


I will look at higher level spells later.
 
Last edited:

Esker

Hero
The specific spell list was just a proof-of-concept that there are a lot of good wizard spells that don't need INT.

Shadow Blade was there predicated on you getting good defenses, to give another potential damage option. But if not boosting AC, don't take it, obviously (and do take Mage Armor).

I would want either Misty Step or Mirror Image, personally, but rope trick would be a good alternative as a low-INT option. Fair point about Misty Step competing for your BA.

Leomund's is always a solid pick; actually you get Animate Dead for free from your subclass, so you get a fifth 3rd level pick. I think whether Haste is any good depends on the rest of the party. You're not going to cast it on yourself, but if there's a rogue, for instance, it gives a lot of value. Otherwise, it might make sense to take another ritual, since I would expect you're going to be using most of your 3rd level slots on Animate Dead. Phantom Steed would be thematic, and also useful (mobility is good). Water Breathing is great for some campaigns.

If going the low-INT route, I might do:

8 STR
14 DEX
15 CON
12 INT
10 WIS
16 CHA

taking Inspiring Leader at 1st, Magic Initiate (Warlock) at 4th, and Resilient at 8th. I'd take EB, Toll the Dead and Hex with Magic Initiate (Hex combos really well with Magic Missile). Until I get EB, I'm just using a Light Crossbow, which is better damage in tier 1 than firebolt anyway.

Cantrips:

Minor Illusion
Mage Hand
Light
Message or Prestidigitation
Eldritch Blast (MI)
Toll the Dead (MI)

1st:

Find Familiar (r)
Detect Magic (r)
Comprehend Languages (r)
Tenser's Floating Disk (r) --- cart around dead bodies until you can animate them
*Shield
*Mage Armor
*Disguise Self
Hex (MI)
Absorb Elements


2nd:

*Invisibility
Mirror Image
Rope Trick
*Cloud of Daggers -- you can have your minions shove enemies into it

3rd:

Leomund's (r)
Phantom Steed (r)
*Animate Dead
*Counterspell
Dispel Magic
 

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