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View Poll Results: What best classifies a necromancer?
Anti-healer 9 22.50%
Harmful/negative energy mage 13 32.50%
misunderstood scientist 10 25.00%
something else nefarious 16 40.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-16-2008, 03:31 PM   #21
KaVir
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Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

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Originally Posted by Kereth View Post
4. People who operate on cadavers are inherently bad and should shunned by society, except where most of society worships some evil divinity.
You mean like forensic pathologists, coroners, anatomists, medical researchers, morticians, taxidermists, etc?

By the way, the term "cadaver" usually refers to a dead body used in medical training or research. I've had the opportunity to operate on cavaders through my work, although I've avoided it so far - not because I think it would make me a bad person, or encourage me to worship evil deities, but because I feel a little queasy about the idea of working on dead bodies.
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:12 PM   #22
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Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

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1. Necromancers are not necessarily evil but are fascinated, sometimes obsessed, with the dead. Be that the spiritual plane of being dead, understanding the conciousness of those who are dead (like in Fringe, for instance), or by trying to understand the inner-workings of every part of the body (like a computer hacker).
Evil.. no.. Misunderstood by society at a whole.. yes Since Society is what decides what is evil and what is good i would say they would be considered evil
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2. Necromancers aren't healers, even though they may have subscribed to that thinking at some time. They are much more interested in making the body work for them, or do things it may not currently do, more than they are interested in keeping it maintained and in its original condition.
Correct.. even tho they would be as knowledgeable of anatomy as a Surgeon And not just the Human Body.. they would know All body structures from Insect to Fish to Humanoid.. they study all aspects of Life and death
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3. Necromancers aren't mages, though they may have some damage-dealing ability opened to them by their knowledge of how things work (or their connection to some of the darker arts). Their undead creations should augment their damage-dealing, not be replaced by it.
Correct. But their Damage dealing ability ability is do to their knowledge of the working of the body as a whole.. it's strengths and weaknesses
Quote:
4. Necromancer creations aren't viewed as hideous monsters (ig: frankenstein monster) by all communities. Some communities may rely heavily on them for labor or commerce (like mercenary work, not merchant work).
Well on planets like Perdow and crypt it would be normal.. Welstar would have a law against it
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5. Necromancer does soom moonlighting in ancient magic and dark arts, and should have the option to pursue these activities later - in lieu of concentrating on their creations.

Did I get that right?
Pretty much

But remember they need a Skill/spell that makes them useful in a party.. they can't heal near as well as a bio/cultist/templar.. they can't protect as good as a Abj/merchant and they can't blast as good as a Mage.. they need their own Nitch..
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Old 10-22-2008, 11:41 AM   #23
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Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

Good, I'm glad I've understood most of it so far. I think there's been a lot of interesting discussion so far and helpful things that can go into my rewrite of the guild.

Here's a different question then: How would YOU roleplay your necromancer character?

My necromancer would be somewhat "fallen from grace" perhaps a brilliant scientist at one point, or a promising prodigy at least, who became obsessed with the technical inner-workings of the body. He now uses all of his intelligence and knowledge to work at understanding every last detail of that which makes life - and how to control it. He is not evil, though his reputation has been tainted by the immoral view of failed human experimentation. His successes, too, are often maligned by the masses as monsters and abominations. A select group, however - who have themselves blurred the lines of acceptability - see the value in his work. He works closely with them and reciprocates their backing with support from his creations. He is also still active in the global scientific community, though his opinions are weighed much less important than they once were.

What about you? Apart from specific abilities, what would be (or has been) the story of your necromancer?
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:46 PM   #24
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Wink Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

My necromancer would be a sullen and determined elitist who got into necromancy for necromancy's sake, rather than being led to it from other fields, and throws his undead around like pokemon, just trying to make a name for himself among the more prodigious and well educated, if somewhat underground, necromantic community.

"Draugr, I choose you!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
You mean like forensic pathologists, coroners, anatomists, medical researchers, morticians, taxidermists, etc?

By the way, the term "cadaver" usually refers to a dead body used in medical training or research. I've had the opportunity to operate on cavaders through my work, although I've avoided it so far - not because I think it would make me a bad person, or encourage me to worship evil deities, but because I feel a little queasy about the idea of working on dead bodies.
On a side note, I've actually worked with cadavers myself, through my grandfather, who was an anatomy professor at a medical school. Please don't take my wisecracks too seriously. Anything that comes after "I like shinies" in my posts should not be usually worth making a fuss over ^^

Last edited by Kereth : 10-22-2008 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 10-23-2008, 03:48 AM   #25
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Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

It took long enough for my account to get accepted... Well, here's what I wrote when this first went up:

What is a necromancer? Someone who studies the kind of things that nobody else studies. They ought to have unique abilities. To me, that says "utility class".

My first thought, when I hear 'necromancer', is 'anti-druid'. I think of them as a support role. While druids have utility spells that help their party, blasts based on life, vigor and energy, and eventually skills that make their own party more effective in unusual ways, it seems that necromancers should have utility spells, blasts based on death, negativity and cold, and eventually skills that make their enemies less effective in unusual ways.

Though I could go either way on their ultimate support-type stuffs. I could see necromancers hindering an enemy's healing and thus hastening their demise and I could see necromancers reducing the enemy's damage output, but I guess I could also see necromancers reducing their own party's damage intake or increasing their own party's damage output.

Unfortunately I don't know many utility-type powers that I'd want to give to necromancers offhand. When you use druid as an example you get flight, water breathing, minor crafting... When you look at necromancer, you get...darkvision I guess? Disguises? It might be kind of cool if necromancer got a spell that, I don't know, let everyone in the party see perfectly in any light condition (but thematically only in black-and-white). You know, a low powered out-of-combat utility type thing that newbies will think is awesome. I could see some kind of poison-resistant ability... I could see a way to scare living monsters out of aggroing for the first few rounds, letting the party get the first attack or run back out the first time they go somewhere bad. An expensive tert spell way off in the distance that gave 25-50% chance of escape death while active... That's the kind of thing I want from necromancer utility spells.

I do like the old idea of building up undead out of bones and parts, similar to how some few other guilds build up a signature weapon. It might be neat if that could be revived in a more balanced way, like if the undead was midrow and ranged or something.

I think it's important that necromancers can get into some heavy blasting, within the alignments they find appropriate... stone, disintegration, poison, cold, etc. I think that's going to be one of the main interesting necromancer paths: Your choice of damage type, built on a solid foundation of weird utility spells.

Honestly, while it would be cool to have necromancers debuff enemies, that seems REALLY hard to balance, and very hard for the players to see the effects of that balancing act in some cases. (Like, okay, you cast this spell every run, and the boss with ten million hit points won't heal while you're regenning. Who can tell if it's working?) It might be kind of neat if necromancers could reduce the enemy damage output by 5-10%, but that starts to overlap into other classes' territory. Still...if it stacks, and it's not too huge, then taking necromancer starts to be a great CHOICE. You can reduce damage a fair amount with two PCs, but do you really want to take up those spots in your party if those characters can't do anything else? Maybe it would be better to take a second healer? That's a choice that sounds fun to make. (Possible problem here, if people dprime necromancer and abjurer, but that sounds like a great 'restricted from joining'. Druids shouldn't be allowed into abjurer or druid IMO.) Of course, reducing enemy damage output should only happen a little unless you specialize in that.

There could be other options for a necromancer who wants to stand in the front row of the party, dishing out and taking in damage. I don't know, maybe some of their spells are touch-range? Maybe that idea is a flop but it could be entertaining to call "Prot up the necro so he can touch the scary thing".

Other things. Umm... Monks are traditionally better against humanoids. Necros should be better at fighting the living. If they reduce enemy damage, well, I could see that only working on living foes, and maybe not even on cthulhoid monsters from another dimension. It would be neat if a tert down the road could overcome that. It would be neat if necros DID have access to a path that lets them blow up undead though, because hey, some necros study it because they love undead and would never hurt them, some necros are different.

On that note I don't think necromancers should be restricted to evil. Maybe that's just me. Maybe I've just been reading too much of the webcomic Dominic Deegan for the last month or so, which has a remarkably well-adjusted necromancer... In any case, some necromancer paths would totally be hardcore evil, as would some of their base spells, but certainly not ALL of them!

Now, full disclosure. A lot of this I'm writing because MY character on Retro has just started thematically sliding towards necromancy, I just realised yesterday. So it's kind of "this is what would make me so happy for my character" and "this is what would fit my personal theme". I think that some necromancers are more like mages who happen to study this kind of art, and some necromancers are total deathhounds who revel in negative energy. I think the first is more interesting, while still giving credit to the second. I also think it is TOTALLY important that plain old mages should be able to take some necro stuff!


Getting to the end here, I'm finding that I don't even need the necromancer to raise very many undead. That's, like, the LEAST important part of the theme for me! Wow. I mean, sure, necromancers raise undead. But fighters also train armies and priests also have congregations. And players don't do THAT, so why worry about raising undead?
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:59 PM   #26
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Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

I guess I'm not directly answering the question, but I've often thought that something I read in a Neil Gaiman "Sandman" graphic novel was a concept really worthy of exploration, related to this topic.

In it, the main city was "Necropolis", and the highest calling was to the extremely elaborate mortuary sciences. The characters were not precisely necromancers, but they were far more than shrouded undertakers. Their knowledge of post-mortem burial customs for any and all cultures of their world was encyclopedic, and with only a tiny creative nudge, some of their philosophies, if applied to retro-mortality, would make for interesting necromancers.

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of these characters was that whatever culture's funerary customs they were performing, they were also susceptible to, or the beneficiaries thereof.
Example:
One form of burial for a certain culture was "Air Burial", in which the cadaver was dissected on a high cliff, and fed to the carrion birds. Custom held that the mortician's hands were not to be washed afterward, as it would be a dishonor to the dead, and in order to demonstrate the honor to the dead, the mortician was to prepare his next meal on the cliff with selfsame unwashed hands, which was then rumored to enhance the flavor of the meal. And for the morticians of that world, it was so. Death became not a revulsion, but ... well...a culinary element.

I recommend looking it over for ideas, although the title escapes me at the moment.
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Old 11-04-2008, 03:54 PM   #27
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Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

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Originally Posted by ruckus View Post
Here's a different question then: How would YOU roleplay your necromancer character?

What about you? Apart from specific abilities, what would be (or has been) the story of your necromancer?
Well my necromancer has always been the Lone Socialpath, who was a prodigy in the Biomancer guild, tossed from the guild for illegal Experimentation on LIVING patients... Studying Life and Death and how easy someone can go from one to the other..

As a Necromancer he always built 1 of each of the Undead.. and Studied how to use them best to bring about the quickest death to his enemies

IS it RP.. i don't know.. as other people Shun him.. (he is alot like Dexter on Showtime)
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:18 AM   #28
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Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

Necromancers, to be perfectly simple, should mance necro. They should have a kind of fixation with death- probably based on a fascination with the difference between things that are alive and things that are not. What -exactly- it is that leaves the body, etc. As such, when they're not raising spirits or animating corpses, they are probably best at using negative energy.

I think necromancy has picked up the connotations of inherent evil because it deals with death, which, as the purest manifestation of the unknown, would probably attract fear and stigma. If the particular setting in question leans towards a negative energy-wielding necromancer, that would lend even more weight towards the "evil" side of the scale.
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:55 AM   #29
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Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

Well, I'm several months late to this party, but if ever there were a thread suitable for "thread necromancy", surely it must be this one!

The first thing to say is that I think people underestimate the possibilities inherent in animating the dead. Think about the variety of creatures that could be turned into zombies, and think about all the different abilities they might have once under the necromancer's control. What capabilities would a zombie giant possess? Or a zombie pigeon? A zombie flea might make a superb spy. Or what about a zombie dragon? If a corpse of any sort can be zombified, that opens up all sorts of possibilities.

Second thing is that I imagine an advanced necromancer would practise his art on his own body. The ultimate goal of some branches of necromancy would probably be to achieve immortality - to put it in D&D terms, to become a lich. As a necromancer becomes more powerul one can imagine him acquiring a host of different abilities as he gradually becomes closer to being an undead creature himself. At lower levels he might be immune to poison or cold or paralysis. At higher levels he would become less of a living being, more a disesmbodied spirit in control of its own zombie; so the spirit could roam free as a wraith or spectre, with energy draining abilities, able to walk through walls, immune to non-magical weapons, etc. while the body remains safely hidden.

I would expect that a necromancer would be able to confer temporary undead-like abilities on his allies, too (e.g. even at low level he might be able to slow the progression of disease or poison).

He would certainly have the ability to turn (or even control) undead enemies.

Finally there might be some abilities connected to decay and entropy; a necromancer might(for example) be able to destroy a wooden door by accelerating its decomposition to the point where it crumbles away in seconds.
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Old 03-07-2009, 10:00 PM   #30
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Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

I'd say there has to be a good system of raising dead monsters to be your undead minions. I can never get enough of that kind of stuff in RPGs. =D
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Old 09-13-2009, 04:39 PM   #31
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Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

Our MUD's Necromancer class has no direct-damage spells.

The skills they do have deal not only with turning dead monsters into mindless minions, but also with RE-KILL ING those minions for an extra affect (such as area-damage or healing the whole group)

Since they can have up to four minions at once, Necromancers are obligated to carry around giant stacks of dead bodies as cannon fodder.
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:48 AM   #32
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Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

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I'd say there has to be a good system of raising dead monsters to be your undead minions. I can never get enough of that kind of stuff in RPGs. =D
There is a class in NWA that does this, but you will have to join the game to find out.
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:18 AM   #33
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Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

Thanks to those of you who have contributed to this thread. I have been working on a rewrite of the Necromancer guild for RetroMUD and have tried to incorporate many of the ideas here in hopes of creating the most diverse and appealing necromancer guild to date! Hopefully I've hit that mark

RetroMUD recently announced the return of the Necromancer guild and I'd like to invite any players subscribed to this thread to come check it out. The guild abilties are available on the RetroMUD website but that's just the surface of things. More indepth help files are available in game, some of which are also on the website in the help section.

To highlight some of the main features:

- Build your own pets! You are in complete control over the animation process. By amputating parts from corpses of the slain, assembling them to your liking, and using your magic to animate them - you can command healer, blaster, ranged, and melee creations. By utilizing your collection of Negative Energy you can advance them through 4 tiers of power, each unlocking new skills that can be trained to increase their power. Simple skeletons are a thing of the past as you can combine animal, aquatic, dragon, humanoid, nonhuman, and avian parts to create unique minions!

- Master control over the lifeforces of others. While minions are a great tool to the necromancer, they could not be a complete guild without powers of their own. By collecting the departing lifeforce of victims as they are damaged, and distributing this energy to yourself or your allies, a necromancer is a versatile member of any party. With proper training, the necromancer can augment many areas vital to party-based combat. Feed the healer sps, add hps to a meleer, or help an underpowered mage keep up in the battle. If that doesn't suit your style then simply add all of the lifeforce to your own sps so that you are an unstoppable force!

- More! Shadowgates, phantom shards, phylacteries, brain extraction, minor animation of organs and body parts, harmful magic attacks, deathmasters, puppet masters and more are open to you as a Necromancer at RetroMUD.org!!

Please, come check out our new Necromancer - or some of our hundreds of other guilds - and let us know what you think! Also, continue this thread with concepts that appeal to you or maybe things that are still missing from your ideas of the ultimate necromancer.
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