Requisites: Intelligence 9+, Charisma 9+, Magical aptitude.

Level   HD  Experience  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9  Abilities

  1    1D4           0  1 - - - - - - - -  Resistance & Control
  2    2D4       2,500  2 - - - - - - - -
  3    3D4       5,000  3 1 - - - - - - -  Die at Will
  4    4D4      10,000  4 2 - - - - - - -
  5    5D4      20,000  4 2 1 - - - - - -  Return as Undead
  6    6D4      35,000  4 2 2 - - - - - -
  7    7D4      50,000  4 3 2 1 - - - - -  Summon
  8    8D4      75,000  4 3 3 2 - - - - -
  9    9D4     100,000  4 3 3 2 1 - - - -  Regeneration
 10   10D4     200,000  4 4 3 3 2 - - - -
 11   11D4     300,000  4 4 4 3 3 - - - -  Immortality
 12   11D4+1   600,000  4 4 4 4 4 1 - - -
 13   11D4+2   900,000  5 5 5 4 4 2 - - -  Fear Aura
 14   11D4+3 1,200,000  5 5 5 4 4 3 1 - -
 15   11D4+4 1,500,000  5 5 5 4 4 4 2 - -  Deadly Touch
 16   11D4+5 1,800,000  5 5 5 5 5 5 2 1 -
 17   11D4+6 2,100,000  6 6 6 5 5 5 2 2 -  Astral Travel
 18   11D4+7 2,400,000  6 6 6 6 6 6 2 2 1

Necromancers are a magic-user sub-class whoes power is based on power over the dead and the destruction of life. They are as magic-users in most respects except that they may use swords and have saving throws as (anti-)clerics. They have some of the strengths of the undead and some knowledge of summoning. They are not necessarily evil and are rarely good. Once at 5th (or higher) level a necromancer may choose to permanently sacrifice the ability to cast two 1st, one 2nd and one 3rd level spells and gain a Reverse spell (7th level) usable once per day.

Spell Table

 1 Cause Light Wounds
 2 Touch of Disease
 3 Feign Death
 1 Cause Disease
 2 Speak with Dead
 3 Animate Dead I
 4 Unnatural Strength

 1 Cause Serious Wounds
 2 Touch of Ill
 3 Animate Dead II

 1 Cause Critical Wounds
 2 Touch of Death
 3 Animate Dead III

 1 Cause Plague
 2 Finger of Death
 3 Animate Dead IV

 1 Harm
 2 Reincarnation
 3 Animate Dead V

 1 Decay
 2 Reverse
 3 Wall of Bone

 1 Blight
 2 Word of Death
 3 Hall of Bone

 1 Bind Death
 2 Death Gate
 3 Castle of Bone

Explanation of Abilities

Spell Use: is as magic-users except that the spells are chosen at the point of casting and not preselected. All spells are automatically learned. Spell casting requires necromantic material components or the inflicting of injury, at least 1HP per spell level; this can be on the necromancer below 8th level.

At 11th level a necromancer functions as an equivalent Wizard for the construction of necromantic magical items. Magic items including the 'Reverse' spell are particularly popular.

Resistance and Control: gives immunity to disease and ghoul paralysis, +2 saving throws against 'necromancy' and influence/control over undead as an anti-cleric.

Die at Will: gives the ability to die instantly by a simple act of will with no preparation, gestures, material components, or incantations required. It is impossible for anyone who is less than a greater god to force a necromancer to do this, and not even a greater god at 11th+ level. Further after death the necromancer's spirit may 'pass on' immediately if desired (thus being un-raisable etc), or wait around indefinately ignoring normal restrictions on maximum time dead for raising, refusing or accepting attempts to Raise Dead (etc) as desired. If desired when are restored to life then become mortal, i.e. the powers Immortality, Fear Aura, and Deadly Touch are lost never to be regained, or, if haven't got them yet, are never gained.

Return as Undead: causes the necromancer to become an undead of same hit dice on death, if wish to. At 5th-6th level this will be a Wight, at 7th-8th a Wraith, at 9th-10th a Spectre. This power is usually irrelevant at 11th+ level but if necessary becomes a Spectre Lord.

Summon: allows the summoning of the Powers of the Undead by means of long, difficult and dangerous ritual. They can be dealt with to do the following things:

-Grant Necromantic Power: makes one who has the potential for magic-use into a full necromancer of between 1st and 6th level, depending on the Power summoned. Magic scrolls containing any necromantic spells may be provided, and necromantic magic-items, either healing or injuring, constructible as if by a necromancer of 8th-12th level (lesser Power), or 13th-20th level (named Power), depending on how great the Power is. The greatest Powers can provide almost any necromantic magic-item.

-Return Dead: animates a body to a semblance of life, with the full pre-death intelligence, levels and skills, but no emotions bar an imposed loyalty. This is not true undead and may not be turned, etc, and has triple basic body hit points (e.g. 3HD for humans; no hit points are gained for any levels), with a minimum of 7HP and no feeling of pain. This body has no soul but cannot normally be possessed, or controlled in any way. Food, water and air is used as normal but lack of these can never quite kill; an immortal of sorts as they also do not age or suffer from disease. There is no longer any connection between this body and it's soul, which goes to whatever reward was appropriate. In some kingdoms this is what is secretly done to the body of the ruler after death, the imposed loyalty being to the kingdom, so that future rulers can be advised by past ones.

-Animate the Dead: animation of any number of skeletons/bodies as skeletons/zombies and may 'program' them to allow any one other to give them orders, wights may be created from at least 2nd level humans, wraiths from at least 4th level humans and the greatest Powers may create spectres from at least 7th level human fighters and 8th level others or spectre lords from Lords (9th level fighters). The human must be willing except for skeletons and zombies (either alive or could check with Speak with Dead). A Power may also grant the ability to Animate Dead as if a 9th level magic-user were using the spell, usable up to thrice per month; this ability may be hereditary.

-Control Undead: the Power may control 3D6 skeletons/zombies, or 2D4 ghouls, or 1D4 wights all with no saving throw no matter who (bar another Power) is controlling or protecting them, or 1 wraith which gets a saving throw. This power is limited as it must be done though the circle of summoning. Range 12".

Regenerate: causes regeneration at 1HP/turn from any damage no matter how badly the body is damaged unless in a holy place opposed to necromancy (starts again when leave) or the body is treated as in destroying a vampire. Gaining this power reverses all normal healing/wounding magics (including FOD) and means that lack of food, water and air will not kill, though they will weaken to near helplessness. Poison now only causes paralysis at most and paralysis of any form has no effect.

Immortality: causes death by almost any means to become impossible (including Disintegrate) and removes the need for any form of food, air, water or even sleep. Also gives immunity to most things that might change the body including level drain and aging. Normal emotions fade except curiosity, loyalty, lust and hate. Causing harm now gives pleasure. The skin becomes immune to non-magical weapons and becomes a base AC 2. Most natural animals will want to have nothing to do with the necromancer. There is always a way of killing a necromancer but it varies from one to the next; even the necromancer might not know.

Fear Aura: the necromancer has an aura of fear as a liche, this may be 'turned off' if desired.

Deadly Touch: the necromancer's touch may cause paralysis as a liche and/or act as a Touch of Disease and/or act as a 'Touch of Ill: poison' spell at will. Further thrice a day may acts as a 'Touch of Ill: level drain', and once per day act as a Touch of Death spell. All touches may be combined as required and 'turned off' if desired.

Astral Travel: allows the necromancer to leave her/his body after a one turn ceremony with the body warded so it may not be possessed while the spirit is away. The wards may be interfered with while the necromancer is away but only by free-willed naturally living creatures. No matter how far the spirit goes the link to the body cannot be lost though the spirit may be delayed in returning; there is no 'silver cord' as there would be with normal Astral Travel. The necromancer's body is just as resistant to destruction while the spirit is away as while it is present, unless this is the secret way to destroy her/his Immortality.

Explanation of Spells


Cause Light Wounds: does 1D6+1 damage by inflicting a wound with a range of 12" and a saving throw V magic for half damage if the target's initial HP were 7 or less; there is no saving throw if touch.

Touch of Disease: causes a random disease by touch with the normal incubation period unless a save V magic is made. At 6th and higher level there is no incubation period, and at 10th and higher level a disease may be selected from those known/encountered.

Feign Death: allows a death-like trance in which there is no need for food, water or air and bleeding does not take place. This last until either of up to three clues occur set by the necromancer, these are often things like 'healing magic used on body', 'body touched (by living creature)', a certain name, word or phrase; these clues may not be based on sight.


Cause Disease: causes a random disease with the normal incubation period unless a save V magic is made at a range of 12"; the saving throw is at -2 if touch. At 6th and higher level there is no incubation period, and at 10th and higher level a disease may be selected from those known/encountered.

Speak with Dead: as the clerical spell but the necromancer functions as a cleric of twice level.

Animate Dead I: similar to spell may animate a third of level in D6 of skeletons or zombies which are under mental control, i.e. 1D6 at 3rd level. For higher hit dice skeletons/zombies the number rolled is the number of hit dice that may be animated, e.g. roll 4 so may animate an Ogre as a 4HD skeleton or 5HD zombie. Range: up to 3"rad.


Cause Serious Wounds: does 2D6+2 damage by inflicting a wound with a range of 12" and a saving throw V magic for half damage if the target's initial HP were 14 or less; there is no saving throw if touch.

Touch of Ill: does level dice of poison damage on touch for one turn, or one life energy level drain (two if 11th+ level) on touch once, or paralysis as a liche on touch for one turn; choose on casting. (This is effectively three spells: 'Touch of Ill: poison', 'Touch of Ill: level drain', and 'Touch of Ill: paralysis'.)

Animate Dead II: as ~ I but two thirds of level in D6 of skeletons or zombies, or one third of level in D6 HD of wights may be created from willing at least 2nd level humans. Range: up to 3"rad.

Unnatural Strength: gives a necromancer the strength of a vampire. Range: touch. Duration: 8hrs.


Cause Critical Wounds: does 3D6+3 damage by inflicting a wound with a range of 12" and a saving throw V magic for half damage if the target's initial HP were 21 or less; there is no saving throw if touch.

Touch of Death: kill by touch unless save V magic.

Animate Dead III: as ~ I but level in D6 of skeletons or zombies, two thirds of level in D6 HD of wights, or one third of level in D6 HD of wraiths may be created from willing at least 4th level humans. Range: up to 3"rad.


Cause Plague: as a Cause Disease spell in all respects but may be used any number of times within the caster's level turns; all the diseases will automatically be the same even if the caster allows the choice of the first one to be random.

Finger of Death: as anti-clerical spell but with a save V magic at -2.

Animate Dead IV: as ~ I but level in D6 of skeletons or zombies in double radius, or level in D6 HD of wights, or two thirds of level in D6 HD of wraiths, or one third of level in D6 spectres may be created from willing at least 7th level human fighters or 8th level others. Range: up to 3"rad/6"rad for skeletons or zombies.


Harm: as AD&D anti-clerical spell but with range 12".

Reincarnation: as the magic-user spell except that something must be killed in casting the spell of at least the HD of the being being reincarnated. If have (part of) the body of the reincarnatee then there is a necromancers's levelx5% of restoring them as before they died, having (finger) nail, hair and blood taken before death gives a levelx7% chance (both maximum 99%). If they return as the same then Resurection Survival must be checked and treat as a Raise Dead.

Animate Dead V: as ~ I but level in D6 of skeletons or zombies in triple radius, or level in D6 HD of wights in double radius, or level in D6 HD of wraiths, or two thirds of level in D6 spectres may be created from willing at least 7th level human fighters or 8th level others, or one third of level in D6 spectre lords may be created from at least 9th level human fighters. Range: up to 3"rad/6"rad for wights/9"rad for skeletons or zombies.


Decay: causes loss of 1HP/round until a Remove Curse and a Cure Disease spell, or the caster temporarily or permanently stops the effect. Alternativly causes ten times ageing, or stops any regenerative powers or items, or makes any healing half effect and forces a saving throw against magic to see if healing has any effect at all. This spell instantly destroys the bodies of any Demon, Devil or other creature which is not in a living body; this includes Wights, Mummies, Vampires and Liches but not elementals or constructs. Note the use of the Reverse spell with this spell to create Mummies, Vampires and Liches or restore them from dust in addition to the healing effects. Range: 12" with saving throw, touch no saving throw.

Reverse: allows any one of the harming spells to be converted to a healing spell but a cost must be 'paid'. A life of a creature of at least the same HD as the healee will reverse any spell, the effect healed may be transfered to another, range and saving throws as harming version of spell, or a 1/2HD creature may be killed for Cure Light Wounds, 1HD for Cure Serious, 2HD for Cure Critical and 3HD for Heal. This spell allows the construction of necromantic items of healing.

Wall of Bone: converts a bone into a Wall which causes Fear as the spell if try to look through it, prevents creatures from under four hit dice from entering/passing through and does 1D6 damage to those passing through and requires a save V Fear or acts as a random Cause Disease (normal incubation), choose Fear or Disease on casting. The Wall lasts until dispeled and is either 6"wide x 2"high or 3"dia x 2"high. Range: 6".


Blight: destroys or diseases an area up to level in miles radius. This will drive out most (wild) life and disease or distort any which chooses to remain. If the Reverse spell is used then someone of the original caster's level must sacrifice themselves to purify the area, or the necromancer may 'carry' the effect within her/himself for up to level days and release it somewhere else.

Word of Death: kills a single creature that can hear the word unless save V magic at -2. If possess (finger) nail, hair and blood of the person and the Word is whispered in the ear then there is no saving throw. The Word may alternativly be used to age any creature to the point of death in a similar way, or show any creature what will (probably) happen to it after death. The caster and victim will always see a representation of Death (e.g. cowled figure with scythe) whether the spell succeeds or not. Note the effects of the Reverse spell on this spell.

Hall of Bone: converts a complete skeleton and a ruined building into a large Hall which is invisible (unknowing people will walk around it ignoring it) or has any required external appearance, even as the original building if required. The inside has the bones as roof-beams and an inner chamber (the skull); it may have alcoves if required. The Hall is permanent and can't be dispeled if the caster is in it. While within the Hall non-necromancers have only a third of their normal level in ability to turn/control undead, and necromancers other than the caster half their level. While the caster is within the Hall s/he will know the location of all living creatures within the Hall, and will know if a living creature has entered or left the Hall no matter where s/he is. Those within the Hall do not need food, drink or even air and do not age; they may not be level drained or catch diseases; any illness or injury will not get worse (or recover). Healing magics have half effect or half chance of success. Given the skeleton of a drowned sailor and a wrecked ship (no larger than medium sized) a Boat of Bone with similar powers may be produced. Note that no soul or spirit associated with the skeleton is bound into the Hall, and any such is in fact freed from any curse or binding to the remains of their body, so that they can pass on to whatever reward is due to them.


Bind Death: prevents anything dying or being born in an area up to the caster's level in miles radius. This includes the creation and destruction of undead. A major ritual is required to cast this and it may only be cast on the midnight of the shortest day of the year. It may only be dispeled on the midnight of the shortest day of the year and normally only by use of a Reverse spell and Bind Death also requiring the destruction of the dispeler. Misuse of this spell upsets most Gods and a good number of Devils and Demons, though it is a good way to preserve fallen heros for the next time they are needed.

Death Gate: Minor Deaths, Deaths, Greater Deaths or the Lord Death her/himself may be called through the Gate as a Gate spell and asked favours (which they may ignore) but this requires the willing sacrifice of a creature to open the Gate. The spirit of anyone who has ever died may be called to the Gate and asked questions for the caster's level in rounds (which they may answer as they will) without any sacrifice. The Gate may be opened for the caster's level in rounds and anything that passes through dies and enters the lands of the dead, any of the dead that pass the other way are restored to life but a death must occur for each new life. This may be used for mass executions and/or resurections (e.g. captured enemy soldiers for your dead). Necromancers of at least 11th level may not pass through the Gate (unless they are mortal).

Castle of Bone: is identical to Hall of Bone except the ruined building must be a castle and it may not be destroyed while the caster exists, except by the caster. The insides have any appearance the caster desires at the point of casting, and the spell may be used to modify this later. If someone caries the finger bones from the skeleton the front gate of the castle may be opened and passed through from anywhere for two turns, consuming a finger bone, and the front gate may be opened to pass through to anywhere there is one of the finger bones, consuming that bone. Given the skeleton of a drowned sailor and a wrecked great ship (no less than medium sized) a Ship of Bone with similar powers may be produced.

(c) Rory O. McLean, 1980 - Jun. 2004
    Permission granted to use for non-profit making purposes