Content of the article: "How to make necromancy suck less"
I personally know how much Necromancy Wizard sucks in 5E. Most subclasses are tied to certain narratives and themes that were a core part of making it. Evocation wizard can be a fire ball slinging madman, but also a meteorologist who wields the power of the storms, or some sort of ice mage.
However Necromancy falls flat as a school and as an arcane tradition for a number of reasons. Firstly, it's very specific in what it wants you to do. A War Mage could love war, hate conflicts, trained because he wanted to fight for his country but abjor violence, or be yet another fire ball slinging mad man. However a Necromancer Wizard is a very specific thing. It feels like they had one specific necromancer that did a very specific thing and the design team were like "This is all necromancy is and shall ever be". You kill things, raise their bodies, make those raised bodies kill more things and repeat and that. Is. It.
Playing a white necromancer, a hemomancer, someone who wants to save lives (god forbid), bring their beloved back from death, basically anyone who isn't an aspiring lich who loves murder and hates the living is going to be hard.
So here is my extremely simple bandaid fix that while not fixing everything, does make the class feel a bit better. That bandaid fix is…
Let other schools of magic be necromancy.
I mean, look at the existing spells. Find Familiar? Sounds like a little skeleton dog. Maximillian's Earthen Grasp? A giant skeletal hand rises from the earth. Various divination spells could be the dead sharing their secrets with you.
This does NOT fix all of my issues with necromancy. However I don't want to approach a DM with a six page homebrew list of new spells, so something like this helps a lot.
What does this do mechanically though? Well, as a Necromancy Wizard, surprisingly little. Necromancy Savant can now be used on spells outside the School of Necromancy so long as you can adequetly explain how this spell is being done through necromancy. It saves you a couple gold pieces and some long nights jotting down notes. However the feel it gives you is awesome. Now you can be a spirit wizard, or a necromancer with a huge obsession with skeletons rather than the murder, raise, repeat loop. Heck, I could picture how you could play some sort of Haitian Vodou style character who is using necromancy to help spirits that have lost their way.
Thank you for joining my ted talk. Ignore the zombies at the door on your way out.
- Interest/Advice on Mod
- (Mechanics) Character Duo Concept (and a purposfuo attempt to ruin combat)
- An uninteresting title about a death/undeath themed party
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