Friday, 31 March 2017

Necromancer Priests and the Undead Life God

Gerag, Knight of the Oath, and defender of the common people, stood ready as the hoards of undead assailed him. He laughed as their claws failed to penetrate his armour, and the power of his words kept his strikes true and strong. His companions, his dearest friends, stood arrayed on either side of him, equally at home in the combat.

 Gerag charged, cutting through the mob, and smashing his shoulder into the doors beyond. They shook in their hinges, and Gerag knew his quest to find the necromancer was almost done. They were prepared, with potions to protect them from foul magic, and spells to protect them from the ungodly fear that the man would summon against them.

He smashed one last time against the door, and it gave. The adventurers, true to their cause, charged through the door, ready to put an end to the cackling villain. But that is not what they found.

The man kneeling on the ground was old, yes, and the undead still lurked in the corners of the room. But he held the distinctive sun sign of the True God, and wore the robes of a priest.

"What trickery is this!?" Gerag yelled, his eyes running over the room. "Black mage! Reveal yourself! Do not cower on this holy ground!"

The priest stood, facing the adventurers. "Very well." he said, smiling sadly. "Here I am."

"Illusions!?" Gerag roared, advancing. "Begone from that heathenous guise!"

"No tricks." the man said. "Just truth. Die, in the name of the True God." Light blasted from his hands, blinding the adventurers as the undead closed in.

There are two types of necromancers. Pirate necromancers and priests.

The undead are weak to one thing, almost universally: holy magic. The undead are also notorious for going rogue at inconvenient times. A normal necromancer casts death magic spells, which undead are immune or resistant to. If their minions go rogue, a normal necromancer will have trouble containing them. Not so for priests.

A necromancer priest has enormous support, both from otherworldly forces, and from their own church. They often travel hidden, as pilgrims, disguising their undead with large robes.

More powerful necromancer priests can summon the ghosts of the dead to fight alongside them. The most powerful ones can resurrect angels, and even gods. There has only been one instance of a god being resurrected.

Jivix, the Undead God
All gods are alive, however much it seems they might not be. Even the Drowned God, patron of undead, is alive. Not so with Jivix.

Jivix was a god of life. He had followers all across the world, and they often went on crusades against undead and necromancers. The Church of the True God, still in it's infancy, was attacked. A pair of women, their names lost to history, stood their ground. A paladin, and a necromancer priestess.

Together, these friends (some say lovers) fought their way through hordes of well meaning men and women, towards the back ranks. There, the high priest of jivix stood. They took him hostage, and shouted towards the sky, daring Jivix to come down and face them.

No god would let that stand. He came down, ready to smite the insolent humans. But they were ready, and had the blessing of the True God with them. His powers were useless against them. But he was still a diety of life.

It is said Jivix fought for seven days and nights before finally being killed, the paladin's sword embedded in his skull. The priestess cast a spell, prepared just for this moment. And Jivix, god of life, rose as one of the dead.

He threw himself against his former followers, and they refused to fight him, weeping as they were cut down by their own god.

Jivix now wanders the world, helping people with what is left of his godly powers. He hates the church, but they keep him doing what he loves, and he cannot disobey them. 
If you want your PCs to encounter Jivix, go ahead. He is a HD 10 skeleton, who can choose to have his attacks cause a save vs. death. He has unlimited castings of cure wounds and cure affliction at 5 dice, but cannot use them on himself.

He can bring 1 creature back from the dead every day, as long as they did not die from old age. If killed, he comes back in one year.

He is very kind and helpful, but does not condone killing. He will not fight except to save a life. He is not alive, and so will flee or disable his attackers if they threaten only him. 

He wants to continue helping people, and to be free of the Church. However, he recognizes that being free is probably not an option, and that he can help more people in their power.

Necromancer Priest 
Stats. +1 save vs death and +1 spell dice for every Necromancer Priest level you have.
Level 1: Turn undead, spellcasting, +1 spell dice
Level 2: Gravespeaker
Level 3: Wake the hidden dead, +1 spell dice
Level 4: Dust to dust
Level 5: Holy dead, +1 spell dice
Turn Undead
Once per day, you can target all undead within 10x your level feet. Each one must make a save vs fear (this works even if they are normally immune to fear). If they fail, they become frightened of you for 1 minute. If the undead's HD is equal to half your level or less (rounded down) they instead take 1d10 holy damage/level. Undead you created always fail their saves, and always count as half your level or less.
You know 1 random spell from the Necromancer Priest 1-6 spell list, as well as raise zombie or raise skeleton. At level 2, you may choose one spell from the 1-8 list. At level 3, you choose two spells from the 1-10 list. At level 4, you may choose one spell from the 1-11 list. At level 5, you may choose a spell from the 1-12 list. Your spellcasting ability is Wisdom. You do not suffer mishaps, but your dice always expend.
As an action, you can cast speak with dead once on any corpse you have raised as a zombie or skeleton, to make it answer one question of your choice.
Wake the Hidden Dead
Your undead always have a burrowing speed equal to their walking speed. In addition, you may cast a raise spell without choosing a target. If you do, there is a 75% chance that a undead under your control will arise from the earth, as though you had cast the spell on a corpse buried under you.
Dust to Dust
Any attack or spell you make against undead deals double damage. In addition, you gain +1 damage against living enemies. Creatures killed by you disintegrate into a dust pile, which can be reanimated as an undead like a normal corpse.
Holy Dead
Your undead become immune to the powers of other priests, and to holy magic not used by you. In addition, when they die, they let out a burst of holy light, healing any creature you choose within 10 feet of them 1d4 hit points.
1. Raise Zombie
2. Raise Skeleton
3. Cure Wounds
4. Inflict Wounds
5. Gravewalk
6. Speak with Dead
7. Holy Ghost
8. Hallow
9. Flight of the Angels
10. Ray of the Holy Dead
11. Transfer Life
12. Undead Angel

Raise Zombie
R: touch T: one humanoid corpse with HD no more than [circle]*2 D: 24 hours (*permation)
You create a zombie under your command. HD as base creature, HP +50%, slam 1d6, int 0. If the original creature could fly, so can the zombie.
Raise Skeleton
R: touch T: one humanoid corpse with HD no more than [circle]*2 D: 24 hours (*permation)
You create a skeleton under your command. HD as base creature, defence 14, claw or weapon 1d6, int 5. Double damage from bludgeoning, half damage from piercing.
Cure Wounds
R: touch T: one creature D:0
Target creature heals HP equal to [power]+[circle]. Undead take damage equal to [power]+[circle] on a successful attack roll.
Inflict Wounds
R: self T: self D:0
For the next minute, you have a melee attack, based on your Wisdom, that deals [power] damage. Every round you do not hit with it, you take damage equal to [circle] from the necrotic energy flinging itself back at you.
R: touch T: a corpse or grave D: 0
Touch a grave. You sink into it, and may instantaneously teleport to any other grave within [circle] miles.
Speak With Dead
R: 10 feet T: a corpse D: [circle] minutes.
The corpse animates for the duration, and has to answer truthfully any questions you ask of it. This does not mean it has to obey your orders, or be helpful with it's answers. For every time this is used on a corpse after the first, there is a cumulative 10% chance*[circle] that the corpse is free to lie. It knows everything it knew in life.
Holy Ghost
R: 50 feet T: a corpse with a holy symbol and HD no more than [circle]*2 D: [power] rounds
The creature's ghost arises as a minion of yours, and will follow your orders. It has the stats of the base creature, plus walking through walls and flight.
R: 30 feet*[circle] T: the area within range D: 1 week (permation). This spell takes 1*[circle] to cast.
You make the area within range sacred to your god. Fiends and undead cannot come inside the hallowed area, unless they make a saving throw (they get 1 try every week). However, undead you control can come and go freely, and heal 1 hit point per minute while inside the hallowed area.
Flight of the Angels
R: 100 feet T: [circle]*2 creatures D: 7 hours.
All target creatures gain flight equal to twice their walking speed for the duration, as black, rotted wings grow from their backs. While they have these wings, undead cannot attack them unless they have attacked the undead or cast a spell on them. Anyone with the wings automatically fails all stealth checks, because of the glowing and angelic singing coming from their direction at all times.
Ray of the Holy Dead
R: 60 feet T: one creature D: 0
Target creature must save or take [power]  light damage. If this kills the creature, you may immediately cast raise zombie, raise skeleton, or holy ghost on the creature, regardless of range, using the same number of dice you used for this spell.
Transfer Life (4th circle)
R: 50 feet T: all creatures in range D: 0
Each creature must make a save (they can choose to automatically fail this save). You can transfer up to half the health of any creature that failed their save to any other creatures who failed their save in range. You cannot transfer health to a creature if they already have full health.
Undead Angels
R: touch T: one dead celestial creature with HD no more than [circle]*3 D: permanent
Target creature reanimates under your control, exactly the same, except it is undead. You can only have 1 creature animated under your control like this at any 1 time.

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