13th Age Character Builds: Death Grip Necromancer

THE NECROMANCER

By ASH LAW

In this series by ASH LAW, we feature two different builds for every 13th Age character class, at all levels. ASH suggests how the builds might be used, and offers tips on playing each character. Stats are based on the point-buy method, and the characters have no non-standard elements.

The Necromancer: digging up old acquaintances and making new friends!

This class is for players who like things a little darker, and can handle a bit more complexity and decision-making than is found in most other classes. The necromancer has aspects of battlefield control (by deploying undead servants to engage enemies, and hindering enemies via spells), healer (via things like channel life and deathknell), and part buffer (via the various turn-into-undead spells). More than other classes, the necromancer helps to define the shape and terms of a battle.

DEATH GRIP NECROMANCER

 

Download the Death-Grip Necromancer character sheets here.

 

This necromancer build is all about maximizing the number and potency of your undead followers. I’ve called this build ‘death-grip’ because leader-of-undead-multitude is a bit of a mouthful.

The spells you have tend to focus around improving the abilities of your undead followers, or summoning even more of them. You’ll even end up with powers that kill enemies and bring them back as undead under your command. Meanwhile your feats focus on improving your loyal skeletal minion, and getting the most out of a negative constitution modifier via the wasting away class feature.

You can cast your spells as rituals, so look forward to ritually raising graveyards full of workers to build a tower for you. Like a wizard you can pick new spells at the start of each day (so this build has only ‘suggested’ spells, rather than an inviolable list). You also gain a benefit from the wasting away feature, giving you FIVE death saves to fail before you die, and an identical number of last gasp saves.

Necromancers aren’t known for being tough (quite the opposite), so avoid getting into situations where you are a target. Hang back, and flood the battlefield with undead. Your skeletal minion isn’t the most impressive of your array of undead friends, so use it more as a disposable bodyguard than as your main offensive ploy.

 

Talents

 

Death Priest

Perform seances to commune with the spirits of the dead, gaining useful information.

Redeemer

When your followers die, you release them to their afterlife—as a result they fight for you with greater potency.

Skeletal Minion

You have a loyal servant/bodyguard, and when it inevitably falls apart you just go dig up a new servant.

 

Race

Dragonics get a handy breath weapon, useful if an enemy gets too close. Our dragon will be bone-white, naturally.

 

Attributes

For necromancers Constitution is a dump stat—in fact it is beneficial for necromancers to have as low a constitution as possible. What we do want is lots of Intelligence and a touch of Charisma: Str 8 (-1) Con 8 (-1) Dex 8 (-1) Int 20 (+5) Wis 10 (0) Cha 18 (+4).

1st level

Attributes: Str 8 (-1) Con 8 (-1) Dex 8 (-1) Int 20 (+5) Wis 10 (0) Cha 18 (+4)

Racial Power: breath weapon

Talents: death priest, redeemer, skeletal minion

Feats: wasting away

Skeletal Minion Level: 1

Spells: summon undead, command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life

2nd level

New feat (skeletal minion (1st adventurer feat)), skeletal minion level (2), spells (1st level: summon undead, command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life, unholy blast).

3rd level

New feat (skeletal minion (2nd adventurer feat)), skeletal minion level (3), spells (1st level: command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life, 3rd level: summon undead, the bones beneath, summon horror).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma), new feat (skeletal minion (3rd adventurer feat)), skeletal minion level (4), spells (3rd level: summon undead, the bones beneath, summon horror, command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life).

5th level

New feat (wasting away), skeletal minion level (5), spells (3rd level: command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life, 5th level: summon undead, the bones beneath, summon horror, summon wraith).

6th level

New feat (skeletal minion (1st champion feat)), skeletal minion level (6), spells (5th level: summon undead, the bones beneath, summon horror, summon wraith, command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma), new feat (skeletal minion, (2nd champion feat)), skeletal minion level (7), spells (5th level: command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life, 7th level: summon undead, the bones beneath, summon horror, summon wraith, death’s call).

8th level

New feat (wasting away), skeletal minion level (8), spells (7th level: summon undead, the bones beneath, summon horror, summon wraith, command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life, death’s call).

9th level

New feat (skeletal minion (1st epic feat)), skeletal minion level (9), spells (7th level: command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life, 9th level: summon undead, the bones beneath, summon horror, summon wraith, finger of death, death’s call).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma), new feat (skeletal minion (2nd epic feat)), skeletal minion level (10), spells (9th level: summon undead, the bones beneath, summon horror, summon wraith, command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life, finger of death, death’s call).

 

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