Intelligence | Endurance
Delvebound Class | Full Spellcaster
Class Overview. The Necromancer is a spellcasting class specializing in raising the undead and manipulating the energies released from death itself in their magic.
Dressed in his distinctive black robes, an Imperial soldier crouches down low on the battlefield, surrounded by fallen enemies. Sliding a lithe finger across a nearby blade, he collects a drop of blood and combines it with a fine dust from one of his many grim pouches. After completing his dark ritual, an army of fallen soldiers rises around him as he sets his eyes on the invaders ahead.
Calling out in pain, an adventurer clenches his chest and shoulder after taking a barrage of arrows from the goblin attackers. A tall Breton woman places her pale hand on the gaping wounds and begins to recite a sombre melody. She feels a part of her life force momentarily withdraw as the grievous wounds magically stitch closed.
Moving through the gloomy alley, a cloud of pestilence follows an Orc as he approaches an unmarked door. Checking over his shoulder, he knocks with a unique pattern until the door opens. As the shop keep recognizes his guest, the Orc smiles as the man before him keels over in pain.
Necromancers have a unique outlook regarding life, as their specific power comes from exploiting the life energies that exist in all mortal beings. These magic-users are dedicated to the study of the dark arts, learning their spells through focused study, ensuring they've selected the right tools to hone their craft.
The Balance of Life and Death
Necromancy is about the creative manipulation of the soul, or animus, one of the basic building blocks of life on Tamriel. Necromancers use this power to cast spells, bind souls into service, and use lesser Daedric spirits to reanimate corpses. While the Mage's Guild may consider necromancy to be its own distinct school of magic, other scholars have put into question this categorization.
Many necromancers will argue that the magic they practice is nearly indistinguishable from other schools, arguing that it's just an offshoot of mysticism, conjuration, and enchantment—no more dangerous than fireballs and scrying spells. How a necromancer chooses to wield their power over the animus makes a significant different in how their individual art is perceived. In some cases, the magic is nearly a mirror of the restoration spells used by priests in a temple.
Practiced in Secret
The practice of necromancy is frowned upon in most cultures and is often seen as a taboo subject throughout much of Tamriel. Certain cultures view necromancy as the ultimate blasphemy, especially the Redguard, who find the entire practice to be utterly abhorrent. The Dunmer see necromancy as profane, yet their tradition of ancestral conjuration might be seen as hypocritical by outsiders. Even those that are willing to embrace it often do so with trepidation.
Necromantic acts are illegal in many places, and there might be repercussions if the wrong person discovers the truth behind a necromancers magic. While there are many spells from this school of magic that are indiscernible from restoration, there are also many acts that are blatantly necromantic, such as raising bodies out of the ground. Unless a necromancer is certain that the people they are around will accept their magical gift, they are likely to keep the true nature of their magic hidden.
Creating a Necromancer
Creating a necromancer requires you to consider your character’s moral outlook on necromancy. How does your character view necromancy as a school of magic? Do you have any objections to reanimating the dead or do you view a corpse simply as a vessel that can be utilized? Do you prefer to avoid the more controversial magic or do you embrace the school fully?
What was the lure that brought you into the dark arts? Did you have a teacher in your college that introduced you to the prohibited magic, or was its banned nature what led you to seek out the knowledge in secret? Perhaps you felt wronged by the relentless circle of life and you have sought out the means to defy it.
|1||+2||Spellcasting, Death Gleaning||3||4||4||1st|
|2||+2||Necromantic Art, Soul Harvest||3||5||6||1st|
|4||+2||Attribute Score Improvement||4||7||17||2nd|
|6||+3||Necromantic Art Feature||4||9||32||3rd|
|8||+3||Attribute Score Improvement||4||11||44||4th|
|10||+4||Inured to Undeath||5||13||64||5th|
|12||+4||Attribute Score Improvement||5||15||73||6th|
|14||+5||Necromantic Art Feature||5||16||83||7th|
|16||+5||Attribute Score Improvement||5||17||94||8th|
|18||+6||Necromantic Art Feature||5||18||114||9th|
|19||+6||Attribute Score Improvement||5||18||123||9th|
Attribute Score Minimum. As a multiclass character, you must have at least an Intelligence score of 13 to take a level in this class, or to take a level in another class if you are already a necromancer.
Proficiencies Gained. If necromancer isn’t your initial class, here are the proficiencies you gain when you take your first level as a necromancer: light armor, polearms, short blades, and quarterstaffs.
Magicka Points. Add all your levels in the necromancer class to the appropriate levels from other classes to determine your available magicka.
You can make a necromancer quickly by following these suggestions. First, Intelligence should be your highest attribute score, followed by Endurance or Agility. If you plan on learning the necromantic art of the undying warrior, make Strength your next-best score. Second, choose the acolyte or sage background. Third, choose the flame skull, spare the dying, and thaumaturgy cantrips, along with the 1st-level spells detect evil and good, false life, hex, and inflict wounds.
|Hit Dice||1d8 per Necromancer level|
|HP at 1st Level||8 + your Endurance modifier|
|HP at Higher Levels||1d8 (or 5) + your Endurance modifier per Necromancer level after 1st|
|Weapons||Short blades, marksman, polearms, and quarterstaffs|
|Saving Throws||Endurance, Intelligence|
|Skills||Choose two from Arcana, Deception, History, Intimidation, Medicine, Nature, and Religion.|
|You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background: |
As a necromancer, you gain the following class features.
1st-level necromancer feature
Cantrips (0-Level Spells)
You know three cantrips of your choice from the necromancer spell list. You learn additional necromancer cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Necromancer table.
MagickaThe Necromancer table shows how much magicka you have to cast your necromancer spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend magicka, as noted in the spell's description and the Magicka Cost table found in chapter 10 of the Basic Rules. You regain all expended magicka when you finish a long rest. For example, if you know the 1st-level spell false life and have a spell level of 2nd, you can use magicka to cast false life at either level.
Spells Known of 1st Level and Higher
You know four 1st-level spells of your choice from the necromancer spell list.
The Spells Known column of the Necromancer table shows when you learn more necromancer spells of your choice. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you can cast, as shown on the table's Spell Level column for your necromancer level. For instance, when you reach 3rd level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level.
Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the necromancer spells you know and replace it with another spell from the necromancer spell list, which also must be of a level that you can cast.
Whenever you finish a long rest, you can replace one spell you learned from this Spellcasting feature with another spell from the necromancer spell list. The new spell must be the same level as the spell you replace.
Intelligence is your spellcasting attribute for your necromancer spells, as you learn your spells through an academic passion for the dark arts. You use your Intelligence whenever a necromancer spell refers to your spellcasting attribute. In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a necromancer spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
You can cast any necromancer spell you know as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag.
1st-level necromancer feature
You gain the ability to absorb some of the residual magical energy when a soul is released. Once per turn, when one or more creatures die within 30 feet of you, you regain magicka points equal to the creatures Challenge Rating (CR), to a maximum of one quarter of your necromancer level (rounded up). If more than one creature dies, you only regain magicka points from the creature with the highest CR. If the creature has a CR of less than 1, they do not produce enough magical energy to absorb. You don't gain this benefit for killing constructs or undead.
2nd-level necromancer feature
Your continued pursuit of the dark arts begins to express itself in a necromantic art of your choice. Your choice grants you features at 2nd, 6th, 14th, and 18th level.
|Baleful Summoner||Enemies of Elsweyr|
|Deathbringer||Enemies of Elsweyr|
|Flesh Sculptor||Enemies of Elsweyr|
|Undying Warrior||Enemies of Elsweyr|
|Corpse Whisperer||Legionnaire's Guide to Cyrodiil|
|Sanguine Puppetry||Legionnaire's Guide to Cyrodiil|
|Voidkeeper||Legionnaire's Guide to Cyrodiil|
2nd-level necromancer feature
Each necromantic art has a list of associated spells. You learn these spells at the levels specified in the necromantic art description. Art spells don't count against the number of spells known. If you gain an art spell that doesn't appear on the necromancer spell list, the spell is nonetheless a necromancer spell for you.
2nd-level necromancer feature
Whenever you gain magicka from your Death Gleaning feature, you also absorb a fragment of the creatures soul, allowing you to power your spells. Once per turn, when a creature with a Challenge Rating of 1 or higher dies within 30 feet of you, you gain one Soul Point. You can collect a maximum amount of Soul Points equal to your Intelligence modifier.
As an action on your turn, you can expend one or more Soul Points to regain 1d8 hit points for each Soul Point used.
3rd-level necromancer feature
You can use the soul energy you've siphoned to assault your enemies. When you deal damage from a weapon attack or a spell you cast, you can expend one Soul Point to deal an additional 1d6 necrotic damage.
Attribute Score Improvement
4th-level necromancer feature
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one attribute score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two attribute scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an attribute score above 20 using this feature.
Inured to Undeath
10th-level necromancer feature
You have resistance to necrotic damage, and your hit point maximum can't be reduced. You have spent so much time dealing with undead and the forces that animate them that you have become inured to some of their worst effects.
17th-level necromancer feature
You learn how to endure against the slow embrace of death. You are immune to disease, as well as poison and necrotic damage. Additionally, you need to eat and drink only once each week, and for every 20 years that pass, your body only ages 1 year.
20th-level necromancer feature
You are able to bring your allies back from the brink of death. When an ally that you can see dies, you can use your reaction to return their soul back to their bodies and undo any damage dealt to them from their killing blow. The ally is returned to life with 1 hit point.
Additionally, you can expend Soul Points as part of this reaction to restore an additional amount of hit points to the ally equal to 1d6 for each Soul Point used. Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.
Necromancy is often referred to as a dark art, as it is centered around the manipulation of souls, soul energies, or corpses. How a necromancer chooses to claim power over such forces is highly personalized and often based on their culture’s understanding and outlook on this particular school of magic. The way you choose to wield your art is a reflection on your sense of morality and your views on soul magic.
Not all societies fear the manipulation of these forces, however. Most cultures are generally amenable to the reanimation of beasts, and calling upon ones ancestors for protection is a valuable skill to many Nords and Dunmer. In the call of battle, Imperial armies are well known to utilize the corpses of fallen enemies, which can be used to intimidate the remaining adversaries and bolster their own assault.
A necromancer that seeks the art of the Deathbringer becomes accustomed to persisting around illness and learns how to manifest diseases of their own creation. They see epidemics as a form of macabre beauty that can be harnessed to create a balance in the cycle of life.
Optional: Community Subclasses
For those that seek to expand upon the available possibilities for this class, there exist several options among the community subclasses. The existing community creations may surprise you and can add a new perspective to your adventures in Tamriel. The community subclasses have yet to be playtested and will require permission to use from your GM.