I'm excited, I won't lie. I put a lot of work into this one, and it's starting to feel really viable. Of course it's only a second draft, and if my history homebrewing has taught me anything, it's that it usually takes a full five drafts to iron out the kinks.
Y'know? Let's see if we can't get it done in three. I'd love to see a full, balanced, unique necrolock, right here and now. So let's get to work!
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The Dead King or Queen is a powerful entity with sway over undeath like a dead god, lich, or death knight. Whatever the nature of this creature, it is willing to make pacts with mortals to imbue them with the ability to cast potent necromantic spells, creating warlocks in life that will serve them in death.
Mortals may make a pact with the Dead King in order to more fully master life and death, or to attain the reliable protection that only a handful of loyal undead can provide.
What I Changed:
- Redid much art (and thus art credits). Can't believe how hard it was to find a non-sex'd female necromancer to lead the front page, but I eventually emerged victorious.
- Overhaul on Gravesense, is now Accursed Retainers. No longer gives speak with dead, now gives an improved unseen servant once per short rest, with the drawback that it needs dead bodies to work.
- The "undead sense" portion of the ability remains intact, but now cannot penetrate total cover. Who really knows what's inside that spooky coffin, anyway?
- Master of Death has been overhauled and divorced from animate dead in two important ways:
- The ability costs one precious warlock spell slot, and continues to eat that slot through rests as long as you maintain the spell.
- The ability does not summon zombies and skeletons, but rather Skeleton Elites and Fire Skeletons (and occasionally Warhorse Skeletons). The stat blocks for these new creatures are found at the end of the pack.
- The new creatures are CR 1/2, whereas a zombie or a skeleton are CR 1/4. However, Master of Death summons half as many minions as a necromancer wizard's animate dead, so the overall CR has parity.
- Bone Armor now can only be used once per short rest, has had its overall verbage streamlined somewhat, and has added verbage to keep you from hugging on to one of your Skeletal Retainers as a body shield.
- Corpse Explosion remains mostly unchanged, but now grants creatures a save versus its poison effect on the end of each one of their turns.
- It's really, annoyingly hard to balance monsters. I glued a Hobgoblin, Orc, and an original skeleton together to make the Skeleton Elite, and a Magmin with that same skeleton for the Fire Skeleton. They seem fairly balanced to me (or I wouldn't release it), but maybe you see something I don't. I'm kinda hoping on it, people checking out my monsters helps.
- The verbage on Master of Death is clunky, but I had a lot of bases to cover so I'm not sure what else I could've done.
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It's a warlock that leans towards being complicated, but I've never met a necromancer that wasn't. Less, more powerful minions should make it easier, and should make resource management a more conscious choice.
Now, it's your turn. Do me a favor, and tell me why it's all terrible.
Link to the reddit thread.
Link to the reddit thread.