A High Elf necromancer and their baleful summons
Intelligence | Endurance
Necromancer class symbol
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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.
Death Gleaning. Allows you to replenish your magicka reservoir.
Soul Harvest. Increases your survivability with self-heals.

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.

The Necromancer

Level Proficiency
Class Features Cantrips
1 +2 Spellcasting, Death Gleaning 3 4 4 1st
2 +2 Necromantic Art, Soul Harvest 3 5 6 1st
3 +2 Soul Strike 3 6 14 2nd
4 +2 Attribute Score Improvement 4 7 17 2nd
5 +3 - 4 8 27 3rd
6 +3 Necromantic Art Feature 4 9 32 3rd
7 +3 - 4 10 38 4th
8 +3 Attribute Score Improvement 4 11 44 4th
9 +4 - 5 12 57 5th
10 +4 Inured to Undeath 5 13 64 5th
11 +4 - 5 14 73 6th
12 +4 Attribute Score Improvement 5 15 73 6th
13 +5 - 5 15 83 7th
14 +5 Necromantic Art Feature 5 16 83 7th
15 +5 - 5 16 94 8th
16 +5 Attribute Score Improvement 5 17 94 8th
17 +6 Transcendence 5 17 107 9th
18 +6 Necromantic Art Feature 5 18 114 9th
19 +6 Attribute Score Improvement 5 18 123 9th
20 +6 Reanimate 5 19 133 9th
If your group uses the optional rules on multiclassing in the 5e Core Rules and the Basic Rules, here’s what you need to know if you choose necromancer as one of your classes.

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.

Quick Build

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.

Class Features

Hit Points
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
Armor Light armor
Weapons Short blades, marksman, polearms, and quarterstaffs
Tools None
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:
  • leather armor
  • (a) 2 daggers or (b) a scythe
  • (a) a component pouch or (b) an arcane focus
  • (a) a dungeoneer's pack or (b) a priest's pack

As a necromancer, you gain the following class features.


1st-level necromancer feature

As a student of the dark arts, you have learned to weave together lingering energies to cast necromantic spells.

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.


The 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.

Spellcasting Attribute

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

Ritual Casting

You can cast any necromancer spell you know as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag.

Spellcasting Focus

You can use an arcane focus (see chapter 5, “Equipment” of the 5e Core Rules) as a spellcasting focus for your necromancer spells.

Death Gleaning

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.

Necromantic Art

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.

Art Source
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

Art Spells

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.

Soul Harvest

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.

Soul Strike

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.

Necromantic Arts

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.

With a strong focus on conjuration, reanimation, and controlling the undead, necromancers who study the art of the Baleful Summoner often find themselves surrounded by undeath. These necromancers are often seen as outcasts, as most people view the act of reanimating corpses or summoning spirits as reprehensible.

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.
Deathbringers are those who have surrounded themselves with the effects of sickness and death. They spread disease to those around them and have mastered the consequences of decay. Necromancers who study this art become so accomplished with their understanding of decomposition that they are capable of forcing the effects of death onto living flesh.
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.
Not all necromancers use their art for the destruction of life and the creation of undeath. Flesh Sculptors use the residual soul energies of the dead to restore the living. Blending restoration magic with necromancy, these necromancers often have experience working alongside healers and clerics in temples and on battlefields.
Unlike other necromancers who focus on control over undeath or the destruction of life's vitality, the Undying Warrior chooses to concentrate on ones own resilience. This art takes a specific interest in the tenacity and durability of bone and expanding the individuals survivability.
In the pursuit of lost and ancient arcane secrets, necromancers of the Corpse Whisper arts have excelled at manipulating both the living and the dead in order to unlock the mysteries of the Aetherius. As a Corpse Whisperer, you might have learned your gift through ancestral worship practices, a deep desire to tell the stories of the past, or through simple morbid curiosity. You might find your skills welcomed in the Dark Brotherhood or College of Whispers, as your inclinations of the necromantic arts are encouraged to flourish in these places.
The ancient practice of bloodletting and exsanguination has led to an esoteric art of necromancy known as Sanguine Puppetry, which grants powers over the very essence of life itself. Within blood, comes control over those who would defy the very whims of these necromancers. Practitioners of this art lean either towards a vampiric sadomasochism, or in rare cases, towards the healing arts of expunging blood of sickness.
By reaching into the realms outside of the Aurbis, Voidkeepers use this esoteric magic to straddle between the planes. This art breaches the world that most inhabitants of Tamriel are familiar with, through calling upon the dark energies to bring the destruction of the void through, or by crossing between the two to hide in the shadows. These necromancers are often worshipers of the Dread Father, Sithis, but they could also be followers of the Old Gods, as those of Reach.