Top Mud Sites Forum Return to TopMudSites.com
Go Back   Top Mud Sites Forum > Mud Development and Administration > Advanced MUD Concepts
Click here to Register

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-07-2008, 09:35 AM   #1
ruckus
New Member
 
ruckus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: ruckusbringer.com
Home MUD: retromud.org:3000
Posts: 14
ruckus is on a distinguished road
Post What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

What is a necromancer?

I'm sure most minds go immediately to reanimated corpses. Crude, re-awakened corpse aggregates, chopped up bodies, and dark rituals.

But - outside of his or her reanimated creations - what IS a necromancer?

This is a question I am facing while rebuilding a new Necromancer class for my mud. I've seen the "animate skeleton" and "drain life" type of spells, but most of the time this is nothing unique. So I want to ask those of you out there with the capacity to think about such things to discuss it here. (For the sake of argument, let's assume they have the ability to create, animate, and control at least 1 undead "pet")

What does a necromancer do when he/she is not animating the undead? What is their secondary ability/spell?

Specifically for party-based play, what would their role(s) be?

You may describe/support your ideas with what you have seen elsewhere (mud, console, pen&paper, etc) but do not limit it to that only.

What would you _most like_ to see, or expect to see as a Necromancer player?
ruckus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2008, 10:47 AM   #2
Kereth
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Home MUD: www.retromud.org
Posts: 61
Kereth is on a distinguished road
Question Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

Depending on the game system, Necromancer, as the "anti-healer" category, could be anything from an inflicter of blight and disease, crippling and either slowly killing or just weakening an opponent, or even taking the "anti-heal" concept more literally, and performing some effects that prevent healing entirely in the target.

Now, interesting variants on necromancers I've seen in the past often include the negative energy aspect, which can be great or utterly silly, depending on how it's employed, and of course, there are tons which just rely on the classic "I have a huge hoard of undead" motif, so those aren't to be ruled out, but I find myself favoring the "master of disease/decay" approach whenever I've been involved in game design, with an occasional "death energy" mix-in, if you can make it creepy enough.

The only other idea that comes to mind is that necromancy originally stems from a practice of calling forth the spirits of the dead for purposes of communication, rather than as revenant-style entities to be used in combat. Perhaps some flavor could be drawn from that direction?

Just brain storming here, as the flavor itself is probably secondary to the way it's employed.
Kereth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2008, 04:30 PM   #3
KaVir
Legend
 
KaVir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Name: Richard
Home MUD: God Wars II
Posts: 2,052
KaVir will become famous soon enoughKaVir will become famous soon enough
Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruckus View Post
What is a necromancer?
The original meaning? Someone who summoned the spirits of the dead in order to ask them questions. Thus the word "necromancy", which derives from the Greek νεκρός (nekrós), "dead", and μαντεία (manteía), "divination" (see Wikipedia for more information).

Today you'd probably call such a person a "medium" or "spiritualist".

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruckus View Post
I'm sure most minds go immediately to reanimated corpses. Crude, re-awakened corpse aggregates, chopped up bodies, and dark rituals.
That's more of a modern definition, but I think the original spiritual aspect is something which has a lot of untapped potential within muds - and a lot of sources of inspiration. TV series such as "Medium", "Ghost Whisperer" and "Afterlife" might be a little cheesy, but they have some interesting ideas.

A couple of books worth checking out are "Necroscope" by Brian Lumley and "The Summoner" by Gail Z. Martin, both of which have a main character who can talk to the dead.

You could also check out "Guilty Pleasures" by Laurell K. Hamilton, where the main character is a necromancer who works for Animators Inc; she literally raises the dead for a living, usually for legal purposes (resolving contested wills, questioning murder victims, etc).

Necromancers don't have to be evil!
KaVir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2008, 01:26 AM   #4
StarStorm
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1
StarStorm is on a distinguished road
Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

What makes a necromancer? Well, you wanted thoughts:

First, I agree that necromancer is in and of itself not evil.

Second, I agree that undead pets should be part of it and if possible, useable for groups.

All that said, I'm actually inclined to agree with Kereth that, for grouping, "death" damage as well as unique debuffs. There's also the possibility of unusual buffs: in the context of the mud you are working on, it could offer no unconciousness or a greater leeway of negative hit points.

Perhaps a blend of undead and blight/disease would be worthwhile?
StarStorm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2008, 03:10 AM   #5
Kereth
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Home MUD: www.retromud.org
Posts: 61
Kereth is on a distinguished road
Post Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

While I agree with KaVir that the implications of the original "necromancer" concept are fascinating, I would point out that origins of any term or concept are not necessarily a canon that needs be subscribed to. Very few fantasy concepts have survived into modern use with more than very slight resemblance to their original forms. Now, that said, I also think modern trends are similarly free to deviate from, although if you go so far from either that you end up with a clan of magical warriors wielding supernatural holy daisies, you might want to stretch into another term entirely.

Now, you've already said that undead will be involved, so let's take up this "not evil" concept in that context. You're playing with the bodies of dead people. This means at some point you've killed someone. Depending on whether or not you live in a world where random executions of large masses of evil beings are readily available, this may make it very difficult for your necromancer to practice their craft while still being a "good guy." I suppose there's taking death row inmates and turning them into zombies, but the fellow who slaughters everyone in the day care center is going to have a much easier time gathering pieces for his creation(s). Now, depending on theme, you may also want unspeakable rites or some other inherently dark magics be required for the animation. If the latter is the case, then yes, necromancers would necessarily be evil. Even without that, though, I think it's perfectly reasonable to assume that, for whatever reason, evil necromancers would be the standard, if not the rule.

You're welcome to disagree, of course, and context and precise details of theme can change a lot.
-Kereth Midknight
Kereth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2008, 05:25 AM   #6
KaVir
Legend
 
KaVir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Name: Richard
Home MUD: God Wars II
Posts: 2,052
KaVir will become famous soon enoughKaVir will become famous soon enough
Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

Quote:
While I agree with KaVir that the implications of the original "necromancer" concept are fascinating, I would point out that origins of any term or concept are not necessarily a canon that needs be subscribed to.
Oh I agree, and I hope you didn't think that that's what I was suggesting. I just think that the original meaning of "necromancer" is something which is often overlooked, but that it could provide an interesting avenue to explore - even if only as one aspect of the necromancer's powers.

Quote:
Now, you've already said that undead will be involved, so let's take up this "not evil" concept in that context. You're playing with the bodies of dead people. This means at some point you've killed someone.
Some of my colleagues "play" with dead bodies as well, but to the best of my knowledge they've certainly not killed anyone! Even the archtypical fantasy necromancer tends to be more of a graverobber than a mass-murderer - rather like many surgeons and anatomists in medieval and renaissance Europe (although they rarely stole the bodies themselves, they still paid other people to do so).

Animated skeletons and zombies are typically mindless and lack a soul - creating them might be irreverant and unhygienic, but IMO it's no more "evil" than building a robot.

Of course then there are the ethereal undead - ghosts, wraiths, spectres, etc. They lack physical bodies, which removes the whole "playing with corpses" thing from the equation.

In some settings the necromancer forces the still-aware souls of the dead to serve him, making him a sort of supernatural slaver. This would almost certainly be considered "evil" by todays standards, although the same attitute doesn't seem to extend to other sentient beings (eg it's usually considered perfectly fine to bind an elemental into eternal servitude).

Yet in other settings, the undead willingly serve the necromancer. For example in the Necroscope books I mentioned in my previous post, the dead willingly choose to reanimate their corpses in order to aid and protect the title character.

In one of the Anita Blake novels, a man had shot himself, and as a result his insurance company refused to pay anything to his widow - because they claimed it was a suicide. Serving in a legal capacity (with lawyers present), Anita temporarily animated the man, and he was able to confirm that it was a careless accident and not a suicide (in these books, the dead can't lie). The man said his goodbyes to his widow and children, and was then put back to rest. Was this evil? I would say no.

The Eberron campaign setting for D&D is set shortly after a great war. During the war, the nation of Karrnath was so short on soldiers that they started animating the corpses of those fallen in battle in order to defend their borders. Was this evil? Possibly, but it saved tens of thousands of lives, as fewer civilians needed to be drafted.

The necromancer is typically portrayed in fantasy literal as "evil", but personally I find such an overgeneralisation somewhat limiting. Like anyone else, a necromancer's abilities can be used for good or evil, and I think it makes them more interesting if you allow them to be judged as individuals, based on how they use those abilities.
KaVir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2008, 04:24 PM   #7
ruckus
New Member
 
ruckus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: ruckusbringer.com
Home MUD: retromud.org:3000
Posts: 14
ruckus is on a distinguished road
Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

Thanks for the intersting and constructive replies so far. It's insightful to hear what thoughts are conjured up by the name necromancer in relation to a playable class.

Quote:
I just think that the original meaning of "necromancer" is something which is often overlooked, but that it could provide an interesting avenue to explore - even if only as one aspect of the necromancer's powers.
I understood what KaVir had in mind here. It's exactly what I am looking for, also. A necromancer class will need to have a few of the modern stereotypes so that it gives us what we'd expect to see. But too often it's left at that and the Necromancer class ends up far from well-rounded.

I also agree that they don't need to be evil. I'd consider the act of re-animating something that shifts toward evil as it is morally objectionable in most circles. But I'd like to see other options available to the necromancer, perhaps even go as far as being able to be a productive necromancer who doesn't do animation at all. But that means they must have some other pursuits and I think we've started down the road of defining those.

So they have an interest in the spirits of those already dead. What about their knowledge of the body and its functions? Would you put them on par with a healer, perhaps a healer that made it half way through school and dropped out to start messing with stuff? Or do you consider the two schools (healing and necromancy) too unrelated to have intersected at all?
ruckus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2008, 08:28 AM   #8
Will
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 90
Will is on a distinguished road
Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

To me, necromancers are masters of mortality: that means death AND life. As such, they possess the capacity to destroy souls as well as resurrect the dead. Their magic makes them very useful in parties not only because of the latter, but also because of their ability to turn/dispatch or otherwise control the undead. There is definitely room for "evil," though it's not innate. Necromancers can choose the dark side of their craft.
Will is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2008, 07:15 PM   #9
prof1515
Senior Member
 
prof1515's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Illinois
Posts: 791
prof1515 will become famous soon enoughprof1515 will become famous soon enough
Send a message via AIM to prof1515 Send a message via Yahoo to prof1515
Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

Practice.

:-D
prof1515 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2008, 05:57 AM   #10
nasredin
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Name: Boris
Location: Moscow
Home MUD: ArcticMUD (mud.arctic.org 2700)
Posts: 38
nasredin is on a distinguished road
Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

ruckus> What is a necromancer?
KaVir> The original meaning? Someone who summoned the spirits of the dead in order to ask them questions. Today you'd probably call such a person a "medium" or "spiritualist".

ruckus> What does a necromancer do when he/she is not animating the undead? What is their secondary ability/spell?

IMHO, KaVir's definition is your best starting point.

Why would someone someone summon the dead and ask them questions, instead of asking the people (or Gods) around? Because the Ancients are better informed than the living (including the Gods), they are also smarter and more willing to answer. Or at least the necromancer must think so.

In other words, a necromancer is fascinated by the Dead - by their civilization, their moral and culture, their knowledge. A necromancer is willing to learn their way of living, to explore their world, even to live there - if it were at all possible. Not a surprise, the necromancer calls for his (or her) beloved Dead when in need of help of advice.

Thus, here is a brief list of typical necromancer activities:
- any Ancient studies (ancient languages, history, mythology, archeology, petrifactology)
- religion. death and afterlife. undeath. probably no resurrection (unless that's the word the necromancer uses for animation). any other interactions with the Gods who supervise the contacts between the living and the Dead.
- spiritualism. any types of direct contact with the Dead for information exchange.
- medicine. mummy studies. animating corpses and summoning spirits. plane travels. any types of physical contacts with the Dead.
- medicine. vivisection. eugenics. attempts to "improve" the living (i.e. to make them more like the Dead)
- any practical activities in their everyday life (like any other human, a necromancer needs money. or at least, food, closing, housing and materials for their research and experiments). mercenary or advisor services. in any case, the necromancer is likely to rely on using their knowledge and any available powers of the Dead.

HTH,
Nasredin
nasredin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2008, 01:59 PM   #11
Syndic
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2
Syndic is on a distinguished road
Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

/pre-submit edit: holy sh...oelaces, I've written another novel. Short summary for the tl/dr crowd and those with little time:

"EVERY game has necromancers who can animate the dead but don't have to (if they have necros at all). A necromancer who needs his undead for almost everything would be new and interesting, and not yet_another_diablo2_necro."

----------------------begin novel-size rant/brainstorm/hopefully source of inspiration------------



Well, while I don't have a lot to add anymore about the historical background, I'd like to add my 2 cent about a necromancer's secondary abilities...

I'm a bit bored by them, actually.

I start a game as necromancer, and find that animating corpses is a "can", not a "must". This bothers me a bit since imho animating corpses is the defining characteristic of a necromancer, but as long as I can still choose to play a pet-focused necromancer I won't complain.

But then there's the next stage of this... necromancer classes/guilds in some games can animate undead servants to help them... but are better off NOT doing this because their "secondary" abilities are actually stronger. Necromancers who don't bring their pets to parties because they aren't worth the loss of experience for the group or because they'd just fall over and die on the first mob big enough to warrant bringing a party. Necromancers who don't put skill points (or training, or whatever) into their pets because blood magic, curses, spirit chants or whatever the game in question has benefits the party more and thus is a more efficient use of mana/spell points/whatnot. Basically they take the weaker half of the spells a mage and abjurer would get, rename them to have a loose connection to necromancy, and give that class a pet with a "you can use it for soloing and RP but don't bother bringing it if you team up with other people" power level. That's just wrong.


Now I don't want to come across as all negative, so here's what _I_ would love to see:

A necromancer class/guild that actually focuses on the animated undead. Maybe uses ONLY them.

Can this work? Maybe it requires some tweaks, depending on what game you want to implement it in.

The starting levels are the first hurdle. "but a new player at level 1 won't have any animated undead, what is HE supposed to do then?" - Take this dagger/staff/scythe (depending on what feeling you want to give your necromancer), kill that goblin over there ->, animate it. go from there. You'll soon notice that it's better to let others do the dirty work.
Balancing... a VERY hard task with any class, even more so for necromancers. You don't want the pets to be useless, but because the player doesn't put himself into as much risk sending the undead into the fray as he would if he'd fight himself, the pet can't be as powerful as a fighter. I'm not sure if this CAN be done without either side complaining at all. You can give the pet *almost* as much power as a fighter if you implement harsh penalties for dying pets, but you don't want the necromancer to become unplayable when his pet dies, either.

And last (for now) but not least, would a necromancer even be useful in a party? Maybe your game prevents too many people from joining into melee, or maybe small rooms in your game do this. Maybe melee damage isn't enough to be worth a slot in a party unless it comes with a meat-shield attached. Maybe a caster-type NEEDS some utility (paralyze, status effects, direct damage to ANY target rather than only those in melee range...) to be useful for a party... That's where a "real" pets-only necromancer class becomes a nice dream only, never to be implemented in that game. However, you can get pretty close if you tie all that utility to abilities of the pets - possibly abilities that require the necromancer to persuade the undead to perform them. Think of this as spells or skills with the pet as material component.

You want your necromancer to be able to paralyze an opponent? "cast undead tackle at <petname> target <monster>" (or some variation of that), the pet will try to hold said monster. This kind of trick could be VERY interesting if your necromancer class allows for pets with widely varying attributes, since you'd want to have a big, strong undead for stuff like this tackle but would rather go with a faster skeleton-type undead for better attack rating and damage if you wanted more damage. Or you could put your effort into creating a more mystical undead (ghost? grim reaper?) who wouldn't do much damage in melee but would give the most damage output when using "soul strike" or something like that (causing the undead to use its connection to <negative plane of your choice, or whatever your game uses to explain undead> to <drain away the life force of the living opponent, absorb the negative energy of the undead opponent, or taint the magical energy animating the construct opponent - these could actually be three different spells/abilities>.
This would again be a necromancer who uses damage blasts, (de)buffs and/or status effects, but the necromancer would have to actually behave like a necromancer and animate the dead. And for RP/flavor/immersion it's just SO much nicer to have the frankenstein's monster grab and squeeze the bad guy than create some nondescript magical tentacle or soulcage or whatever, or to have the festering giant zombie stand between the squishy members of your party and the enemies' archers than to create <yet another glowing shield-like effect thingie>.

Last edited by Syndic : 10-10-2008 at 02:12 PM.
Syndic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2008, 02:35 PM   #12
Syndic
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2
Syndic is on a distinguished road
Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

Just to clear two things up that I think didn't get across very well in my post...

a) my comment about the newbie levels: What I wanted to say is, let the necromancer start dealing with animated undead at low levels. Too many games let newbie necromancers run around beating and/or blasting stuff because they won't get any efficient undead until level <way too high, at least several days of playing before you reach this>.

b) Ruckus said: "But I'd like to see other options available to the necromancer, perhaps even go as far as being able to be a productive necromancer who doesn't do animation at all."

- "go as far as..."? Have a look at... oh, which games to choose. I'll limit myself to two, to avoid another novel. So, Take diablo 2. Old game, but a classic - the necromancer there had a fairly powerful number of undead pets (at least after patch 1.10), but could easily play without them using the bones and poison skills he got, augmented by his curses. And for a newer example, take guild wars. The necromancer there CAN summon undead (though it's the sucky kind that decay over time, even if they're just standing around). But they also get lots of direct damage (both single-target and multi-target), life-draining abilities, curses (debuffs), blood-well style thingies (buffs for allies in a radius around a corpse used for this ability), and and and... there's dozends of playable necro builds with no summoning involved at all, and maybe one or two builds that use summons... but aren't useable in all areas, since the necromancer there has to constantly refresh his supply of pets.

I can't even think of a game where the necromancer CAN'T live without his undead pets right now - I'm sure there are a few, but the games where necromancers are "mage plus pet" by far outnumber the ones where necromancers truly rely on their pets, I think. "Mage plus pet" isn't new. Not at all.
Syndic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2008, 03:20 PM   #13
Kereth
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Home MUD: www.retromud.org
Posts: 61
Kereth is on a distinguished road
Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

I actually like Syndic's idea about miscellaneous abilities that work through the pet, rather than work instead of it. Certain key advantages could be given to a necromancer by virtue of a pet that other casters might not enjoy. I'll hit a few brainstormed options right here, then I might come back with more later.

To start with, let's break the box. Standard concept of a necro pet is a melee fighter. What about a pet that is a mage itself? Maybe you can't have the extra creature in melee range in your game, but you can easily keep it safe while it hangs behind the fighters and fires ranged weapons or spells.

Let's take that a step farther. What if your undead pet acts more as a channel than an actual companion? Traditional ideas about the use of familiars in roleplaying environments could be applied to a necromancer's undead. Spells could be developed that could give an affect to the area surrounding an undead that could be toggled and adjusted tactically, such as an icy aura that makes the ground just a tad slick at all times (increased chance whenever someone tries to knock someone else down?) some sort of necromantic taint to the environs (increased damage for all parties from certain evil damage types?) some sort of anti-healing or anti-death field (decreased or increased potency to all healing spells in the area?) or just intense heat/cold/whatever (steady damage to all present, friend and foe, as with others). These abilities would allow the necromancer to focus on casting spells of their own, perhaps with the undead doing basic melee, ranged, or other combat at the time, while perhaps slowly draining the necromancer's magic energy to fuel the effect. Similarly, the necromancer's pet could be used as a channel for actual spellcasting by the necromancer, as it proceeds to cast either spells the necromancer knows or to "hold" spells that they have cast, prolonging their effects.

Anyway, at the fear of leaving a novel for you all, I'll stop at that for now. More brainstorms to come later.
-Kereth Midknight
Kereth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2008, 09:05 PM   #14
ruckus
New Member
 
ruckus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: ruckusbringer.com
Home MUD: retromud.org:3000
Posts: 14
ruckus is on a distinguished road
Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

I like the idea of active minion giving a boon/bane to the necromancer in certain ways. It would definitely introduce some extra strategy on top of what the minion can do alone. As a scientific type of theme it would make sense that the abilities of the guild were varied and complex.

So it sounds like ties to healers aren't that deep since no one has really mentioned that at all. I've heard disease and curse come up in talking, is that something desirable or just expected at this time? I've never been too interested, personally, in a class that is focused on status effects. Not sure what I think about DoT though. Does anyone find a DoT/status focus for necromancer desirable at all?

And two themes seem to be at odds here also. Are necromancers shunned and secretive, or have they become accepted and powerful in certain circles?
ruckus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2008, 07:13 AM   #15
Kereth
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Home MUD: www.retromud.org
Posts: 61
Kereth is on a distinguished road
Thumbs down Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

Well, speaking strictly in terms of theme, the use of undead or related necromantic abilities probably bears a close tie to healing, in terms of knowledge of the anatomy and general use of dead bodies, etc, but I'd personally join those who seem to be saying that necromancy itself probably isn't going to involve a great deal of actual healing, no.
Kereth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2008, 01:04 PM   #16
Burrytar
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 23
Burrytar is on a distinguished road
Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

The most interesting "play with corpses"-style necromancers aren't shunted into a necromancy class; they are doctors/healers who go too far and funerary officials who don't go far enough.

Necromancers become stale when society expects them to do necromancy.

Regarding the broader spectrum of necromancers, anything that requires human sacrifice is made more interesting. Human sacrifice to contact the already dead, human sacrifice to make unkillable soldiers, human sacrifice to satisfy a hunger, etc., etc., etc.

Last edited by Burrytar : 10-13-2008 at 01:15 PM.
Burrytar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2008, 11:08 PM   #17
Madrados
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1
Madrados is on a distinguished road
Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

Just some rather random thoughts:

(It occurs to me that I might be stating the obvious here, especially the balance/pathing stuff. Also, I'm a sucker for converging theme. For that reason, I might be sticking to Retro a little too closely. Oh well.)

In the Retroverse, necromancy was invented by the Darklord in his quest to take over Welstar. It seems to be a mixture of his own biomantic experiments in creating chimeric monsters and Hekau, while using the Nameless One's power to do the "heavy lifting" of the animation of new, undead monsters. In my mind, this amply explains its similarities to biomancy while not actually involving any healing (other than maybe undead healing), as well as why it is generally considered evil (Nameless One's taint). Necromancers who animate undead would have to be secretive in societies hostile to the Nameless One (especially Welstar), while on Crypt (where undead labor is an important part of the economy) they could work and collaborate openly.

As far as necromancer's being valuable in parties, all that's really needed is a couple of the "right" spells. Prots like paralyze resist are prime candidates for party-focused (maybe thematically secondary) spells. These could be presented as a necromancer's ability to grant the qualities of the undead to the target (maybe through Hekau-style magic), while pets are used to do more active role in combat, through either melee or magic (A few other ideas for prots that come to mind are disease immunity, a reverse-iceblood (i.e. fire vuln, cold resist) prot, and those that Starstorm suggested, like temporary no uncon).

I'm in full agreement with the undead pet being an enhancement/focus of the necro powers idea... for necropets to be a viable path, they're going to have to be significantly different than the current in-game pets, and ideally necros that chose to make pets their focus would become rather dependant on them, while pets would offer abilities other potential necropaths wouldn't.

Status effects are, in my opinion, probably overdone in necro implementations. They also tend to be underpowered in retro, probably because it is hard to draw the line at which point they are overpowered. A few might be useful and appropriate, but I personally don't think they should be a focus of the guild.

There is definitely a balance that needs to be made between necro primary and it's secondaries and tert paths, as well as between necro and other guilds. I think one of the major hard-to-address problems in a number of retro's guilds is the lack of balance between the abilities granted in the primary and the actual enhancement of those abilities through pathing. If done right, you could build the foundation for some sort of blasting (maybe harm (attacking the life-force, i.e. Ka)?), prots, and pets in the primary, then pathing could allow an individual to specialize in one of those fields, or maybe a two of three approach, allowing individuals to go blast+prots or prots+undead or blast+undead paths. This would would hopefully allow necros to be well-rounded without being too unbalanced, especially if pathing requires some trade off. Also, those who want to play "good" necro to be a protter/blaster sorta in the strain of bard but without the tankish stuff.

In retrospect, taking the pets out of necro seems like it would make it just an improved Hekau. Maybe this is desirable. It would still be death/unlife related.

~ Madrados, Keeper of the Lore, Student of the Hermetic Arts, etc, etc.
Madrados is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2008, 08:45 AM   #18
rauul
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3
rauul is on a distinguished road
Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

After reading All the posts i felt i should add a few things..

In the Retroverse there is Paths for all classes, based off their secondary guild.. For necromancer that has Always been Deathmaster (who deals with Neg Energies and Undead pets) and Hekau (who deals with the Ancient Arts of Magic lost to the mages)

So basicly the primary Guild of necromancer is or Should basic.. So they Are allowed to take a Path the Player wishes...

Having a few Spells that Lower ac's and Resistances would be nice.. but unless it lowered it by several % (25% or more) it would be basicly worthless vs monsters and Retro isn't a Pk mud...

Having them make an Undead minion that Does wierd things like Lowering resistances, Causing DoT damage or paralizing foes... Dependant on what necromancer programs it to do.. depending on the Brain put into the Minion...

But Madrados is correct.. for a Necro to be useful in a party.. it needs only needs a couple of Spells.. Mass Antidrain Shield, Vampiric Mass Shield (a spell that takes some of the incoming damage and converts it to healing for the party), Knock down and interrupt spells..

Just my 2.5 cents

Rauul the Former Necromancer leader/Champ/mentor of retro
rauul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2008, 11:02 AM   #19
ruckus
New Member
 
ruckus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: ruckusbringer.com
Home MUD: retromud.org:3000
Posts: 14
ruckus is on a distinguished road
Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

While pathing in RetroMud does help add flavor to the concept of and choices available to Necromancer, I'd like to focus on the core of Necromancer itself. I've been getting some very good replies here and I'm actually quite surprised at the wide variety of concepts in peoples' minds. It's clear to me that Necromancer needs to have a variety of flavors, while maintaining the ability to have powerful and useful undead creations.

To recap, here's what I've understood so far:

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).

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.

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.

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).

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?

Last edited by ruckus : 10-16-2008 at 11:03 AM. Reason: fixed typo
ruckus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2008, 03:02 PM   #20
Kereth
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Home MUD: www.retromud.org
Posts: 61
Kereth is on a distinguished road
Cool Re: What makes the perfect _Necromancer_?

You forgot:

1. Necromancers may communicate with the spirits of the dead, whether in a benign sense, as a socially accepted phenomena, or in a malicious sense, whether involving human sacrifice, intervention of evil Gods, or simply inherently forbidden on account of how it distrurbs those who have come to their proper rest.

2. Necromancy may entail several party central abilities or specialized prots (listed in previous posts that I won't bother summarizing here), which may add to the partying ability of the class.

3. I like shinies.

4. People who operate on cadavers are inherently bad and should shunned by society, except where most of society worships some evil divinity.
Kereth is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Style based on a design by Essilor
Copyright Top Mud Sites.com 2014