Dread Necromancer


A specialist wizard who calls themselves a necromancer or a cleric with the Death domain has significant power over undead and the forces of negative energy, but a Dread Necromancer is their true master - a result of devoted study. A practitioner of vile and forbidden arts, the Dread Necromancer roots about in graveyards, searching out moldering components for their obscene spells. They call upon restless, tormented spirits of the dead, seeking their arcane secrets. They might be a consummate villain, or perhaps a tortured hero whose obsession with death leads them along questionable moral paths.

The source of the Dread Necromancer's spellcasting remains rooted in ambiguity. Due to The Longest Year, scholars have struggled to truly define the origin-source of Dread Necromancer spells. Some claim that the spellcasting is innate. Some believe it is divine. The more commonly accepted viewpoint is that the spellcasting is a learned practice, developed over countless hours of study and practice into morally-horrifying topics and actions. The practice of violently manipulating souls and reanimation of corpses to do the bidding of the Necromancer are considered Evil acts. Therefore, Spellcasters who choose to follow this path, choose to follow a path of evil.

NOTE: This class is universally treated as an undesirable and generally is likely to struggle within the setting of TDN. What this inherently entails is guaranteed permanent death through our death system. As such Dread Necromancer isn't recommended for new players or those that shy from hardship, confrontation, and conflict in storytelling.

Alignment Restriction:
Any Evil.

Hit Die: d8

Proficiencies: Simple and Martial weapons, Light and Medium armor. Shields.

Skill Points: 3 + INT Modifier

Class Skills: Bluff, Concentration, Diplomacy, Decipher Script, Heal, Intimidate, Knowledge (all), Sense Motive, Spellcraft, Stealth, Taunt, and Use Magic Device.

Primary Saving Throws: Will

Base Attack Bonus: +3/4 Levels

Spellcasting: A Dread Necromancer casts arcane spells (spell failure from armor is ignored), which are drawn from the Dread Necromancer's spell list. Like a Sorcerer, they can cast any spell they know without preparing it ahead of time. When a Dread Necromancer gains access to a new level of spells, they automatically know all the spells for that level given on the Dread Necromancer's spell list.
  • To cast a spell, a Dread Necromancer must have a Charisma score of 10 + the spell's level. The Difficulty Class for a Saving Throw against a Dread Necromancer's spell is 10 + the spell's level + Charisma modifier. Like other spellcasters, a Dread Necromancer can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Their base daily spell allotment is given in Table: The Dread Necromancer. In addition, they receive bonus spells per day for a high Charisma score.
  • In order to fulfill various Ability requirements, specific abilities must be used in order to keep the Dread Necromancer on their vile path. See Abilities denoted by: "Unique Conflict/Abilities" below.
  • Be Aware: Dread Necromancers do not benefit from Spell Sharing with their summons/familiars.

Level Progression / Spells per Day

Charnel Touch​
2nd+1+0+0+3Necromantic Body66
3rd+2+1+1+3Necromantic Burst (1x/day)67
4th+3+1+1+4Rebuke Undead654
Mental Bastion I​
8th+6/+1+2+2+6Necromantic Burst (2x/day)69753
9th+6/+1+3+3+6Negative Energy Resistance69764
Light Fortification I​
11th+8/+3+3+3+7Scabrous Touch (2x/day)698664
12th+8/+3+4+4+8Enervating Touch (1x/day)6986653
13th+8/+3+4+4+8Necromantic Burst (3x/day)6986664
14th+8/+3+4+4+9Mental Bastion II, Undead Mastery69866653
Scabrous Touch (3x/day)​
16th+8/+3+5+5+10Enervating Touch (2x/day)698666653
17th+8/+3+5+5+10Light Fortification II698666664
18th+8/+3+6+6+11Necromantic Burst (4x/day), Shroud of Undeath6986666753

  • Charnel Touch: Negative energy flows through a Dread Necromancer's body, concentrating in their hands. At will, but no more than once per round, they can make a melee touch attack against a living foe that deals 1d8 points of damage +1 for every class level. This damage increases by 1d4 for every 3 caster levels beyond first. If the target makes a successful Will save (DC 10 + ½ DN level + CHA modifier) it reduces the damage by half. This ability can be used to heal undead for 1 hit point per class level. Unlimited uses/day.

  • Unique/Conflict Abilities:
    • 1) "Trap Soul" - Targetted Living Body is marked for use by the Dread Necromancer after the living creature dies. The amount of souls that can be trapped are equal to 1 + ½ the Dread Necromancer's class levels.
    • 2) "Dread Gravesite" - The Dread Necromancer infuses a stored soul of a post-mortem creature into the targeted location. (This action is required for use of the "Necromantic Body" passive ability below.)
      • If a player (that is not a Dread Necromancer) should come within 6 meters of the site, the soul is reanimated. (summons a shambling zombie)
      • Cannot be done inside non-natural interior areas.
    • 3) "Deathly Reawakening" - The Dread Necromancer immediately awakens all marked Dread Gravesites.
      • Note: Reawakened Skeletons are not controlled by Dread Necro. They would be viewed as Hostile.
    • Note: All Undead summoned in the above ways are "Hostile" to everyone.
  • Rebuke Undead:Starting at level 4, the Dread Necromancer can rebuke or command undead creatures (similar to an evil Cleric) by channeling negative energy through their body. See the Cleric class feature.
    • A Dread Necromancer cannot use this ability to benefit from Divine Might or Divine Shield
  • Necromantic Body:Starting at 2nd level gains 2% damage immunity to all physical damage per caster level, up to a maximum of 20% at level 10. At level 10, they also gain 3/- damage reduction.
    • Per-every-other-level, the Dread Necromancer must have created a Dread Gravesite within the last 24 hours to benefit from this feat. (I.e. At level 10, to qualify for the 20% immunity, the Dread Necromancer will have needed to create 5 Dread Gravesites within the last 24 hours.)
  • Necromantic Burst: Beginning at 3rd level, a Dread Necromancer gains the ability to emit a burst of negative energy from her body, harming living creatures within 5 feet of them. This burst deals 1d4 points of damage per class level. A successful Will save (DC 10 + ½ DN level + CHA modifier) reduces damage by half. Undead creatures within this burst are healed the same amount of hit points as the damage they deal to living creatures. A Dread Necromancer can use this ability once per day at 3rd level, and one additional time per day for every five levels they attain beyond 3rd (2/day at 8th level, 3/day at 13th level, and 4/day at 18th level).
    • The Dread Necromancer needs to have completed a "Deathly Reawakening" within the last 24 hours in order to use this ability.
  • Mental Bastion: Starting at 4th level, a Dread Necromancer gains a +2 bonus on Saving Throws made to resist Sleep, Stunning, Paralysis, Poison, or Disease. This bonus increases to +4 at 14th level.
  • Dread: Beginning at 5th level, a Dread Necromancer can fill nearby creatures with dread. Enemies in the area must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + ½ DN level + CHA modifier) or become shaken (–2 penalty on Attack Rolls, Saving Throws, Skill Checks, and Ability Checks.). A creature who successfully saves cannot be affected by that Dread Necromancer's fear aura for 24 hours.
  • Scabrous Touch: Starting at 6th level, once per day a Dread Necromancer can use their Charnel Touch to inflict disease on a creature they touch. This ability works like the Contagion spell, inflicting the disease of their choice immediately, with no incubation period, unless the target makes a successful Fortitude save (DC 10 + ½ DN class level + CHA modifier). The DC for subsequent Saving Throws to resist the effects of the disease depends on the disease inflicted; see Disease for details.
  • Negative Energy Resistance: Beginning at 9th level, a Dread Necromancer gains a +4 bonus on Saving Throws made to resist Negative Energy effects, including Energy Drain, some Ability Drain, Death and Inflict spells.
  • Light Fortification: Starting at 10th level, a Dread Necromancer gains 25% fortification; this is the equivalent of the light fortification armor special ability. At 17th level, this fortification increases to 50%. On The Dragon’s Neck, players cannot be critically hit by NPCs, this ability still functions for anything else that could potentially critically hit the Dread Necromancer. Fortification is a chance for a critical hit to instead be a normal hit.
  • Undead Mastery: All summoned undead gain +4 STR, +4 DEX and +4 CON.
  • Enervating Touch: When a Dread Necromancer reaches 12th level, they gain the ability to bestow Negative Levels when they use their charnel touch attack. There is a second saving throw for this Negative Level.
  • Shroud of Undeath: While the secrets of greater undeath - such as lichdom - have been lost due to the Time of Troubles and the Longest Year, those devoted to achieving a pure state of unliving strive for alternatives. At level 18 a Dread Necromancer can shroud their form with necromantic energy in an attempt to emulate the traits of powerful undead creatures. The effects of these shrouds are permanent until turned off, or another shroud is taken. While in any shroud you are healed by Negative energy, but are only healed 50% from all other sources and are 100% vulnerable to Positive and Divine damage. In addition each form has unique benefits; these enhancement bonuses stack with the other bonuses gained from class abilities, but do not stack with other enhancement effects such as Protection from Alignment or the Endurance spell.
    • Shroud of the Vampire: While in this form you gain a +6 enhancement bonus to Strength, Dexterity and Charisma in addition to a +2 bonus to Reflex saves. All threat generated is reduced by 20%, and you gain a 10% bonus to move speed and a permanent Vampiric Regeneration 3. However you are sensitive to light, and will suffer 1d10 Divine damage per round while outside during the day.
    • Shroud of the Wraith: This form grants you 40% Concealment, an Aura of Unnatural (fears animals), and 100% damage immunity to all forms of physical damage. While in this form you cannot wield any items in your hands, but can still cast spells and abilities.
    • Shroud of the Lich: While in this form you gain a +2 enhancement bonus to Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma, but you suffer a -2 penalty to Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution. Additionally, your spells and abilities are cast as if your caster level is 2 levels higher.

CantripsSpell Level 1Spell Level 2Spell Level 3Spell Level 4Spell Level 5Spell Level 6Spell Level 7Spell Level 8Spell Level 9
Inflict Minor WoundsBaneBull’s StrengthAnimate LegionSinsabur’s Baleful BoltBeltyn’s Burning BloodAshen UnionCreate Greater UndeadBlackfireEnergy Drain
LightBestow WoundGhoul GlyphHorrid SicknessKyristian’s Black TentaclesGrimwald’s GreymantleCircle of DeathDestructionHorrid WiltingGreater Spell Mantle
Ray of FrostCause FearCommand UndeadWall of PainEbon Ray of DoomSpirit WallContagion, MassPulse of HatePulse of Hate, greater(3d6)Mordenkainen's disjunction
ResistanceChill TouchCurse of Impending BladesDeath WardFearLesser Spell MantleEthereal VisageNecrotic CurseSymbol of DeathGutwrench
Touch of FatigueDeath’s CallWither LimbGreater Magic WeaponDoom ScarabsCryptwarden’s GraspEyebiteProtection from SpellsBestow Curse, GreaterPlague of Undead
Inflict Light WoundsEagle’s SplendorUndead TorchMummifyChanneled LifetheftGreater StoneskinAvasculateLeech Undeath
Magic WeaponFalse LifeHalt UndeadSpell Breach, LesserCirclet of EnervationFleshiverSpell Mantle
Negative Energy RayGhostly VisageMagic Circle Against AlignmentStoneskinGelid BloodPulse of Hate, lesser(1d6)Retributive Enervation
Protection from AlignmentGhoul TouchMind PoisonFinger of AgonySymbol of PainSpell Breach, GreaterAwaken Undead
Ray of EnfeeblementDessicateVampiric TouchMindfrostNight’s CaressGreater DispellingEnergy Ebb
Shivering Touch, LesserLesser DispelCurse of Impending Blades, MassWrackControl UndeadEvil Glare
Seed of UndeathKelgore’s Grave MistDispel MagicCreate Undead
Stone BonesShivering Touch
UltravisionNegative Energy Burst