Sunday, December 31, 2017

Top 8 Reasons the Necromancer is Best

All you need to become immortal is meditation and fresh air.
Inspirobot can get you started in your career as a lich.
Earlier this month I mentioned that one emergent quality of the mystical realms is that there's always someone playing with dead bodies in a way that is really distasteful.  In each realm, it's a varying amount of work to make a meat-marionette, but the effect is generally similar.  Skeletons and Zombies, Vampires and Liches.

I can't imagine how a person gets drawn down the path of this particularly vile magic.  I'll assume it's down to dark spirits whispering vile things in the night.  I'm sure there are more...indelicate...motivations, but in either case I find the general practice of motivating dead flesh to be rather distasteful.  Serendipitous, as most of the Iron Seer's battle magic generally leaves very little to motivate anyway.

In Frostgrave, Necromancers will have a lot of options.  Death Mages of all ilk have Witch, Chronomancer and Summoner as aligned schools.  Thaumaturge is the opposed school, but with some levels sunk into some of the more useful spells there's no reason our necromancers can't use healing magic proficiently.

Top 8 Reasons the Necromancer is Best!
  1. Bone Dart
    • Good shooting attack (+5), but doesn't count as magical.
  2. Bones of the Earth
    • A line-of-sight control spell that targets a single model, holding fast until the target successfully fights it off.  The hands have Fight +0, but that could still hold you up for more than one turn - and it can do damage.
  3. Control Undead
    • A utility spell for commandeering undead you meet, whether from the scenario or a rival warband.  You may only have one undead creature 'controlled'.
  4. Raise Zombie
    • A staple for Death Mages.  Adds a Zombie to your warband, and is quite versatile.  It can be cast both in and out of the game, and does not count against your warband limit.  However, you can only have one 'raised' zombie at a time - however, it doesn't count as 'controlled'.
  5. Reveal Death
    • This spell stuns a target by showing him a 'vision' of his 'own death', causing him to miss his activation.  The casting number is 12, and the spell is contested by the target's Will.  It's only one activation, but at a crucial time a high roll could stop the enemy's plans in their tracks.
  6. Spell Eater
    • If successfully cast, you take one point of damage and cancel any one spell in play.  Not as good as a hard 'dispel' with the drawback but the casting number is only 12.  Recommended only to use when your back is to the wall, otherwise the damage might start to add up faster than you'd like.
  7. Steal Health
    • With a casting number of 10, it seems easy enough.  However, the enemy saves against the casting roll, or loses 3 life.  The caster gains 3 life, but it can't take him above starting.  Powerful sauce, especially as a sustained attack by both spellcasters in you warband.  This should be in any Necromancers repertoire.
  8. Strike Dead
    • One of the most powerful spells in the game!  Literally - it requires an 18 just to cast and the target must save vs. the casting roll or be reduced to zero Health.  However, it probably won't be most Necromancers' go-to in most situations.  You lose 1 life every time you attempt it, and you'll most likely want to empower this casting - in fact everyone will.  Powerful, but not ubiquitous.
For the villainous and deviant Necromancer, I'd pick Bone Dart and Bones of the Earth to start.  You get a good ranged attack, and can create little monsters to interfere with the enemy warband.  That leaves one slot for Raise Zombie, which is the quintessential Death Magic spell.  Pile in some other combat support spells for your minions and you're golden.

Speaking of minions, Necromancers aren't usually considered the least dangerous of magical practitioners.  The range of acceptable minions runs the gamut of choice, as the basic abilities of the Necromancer actually serves to make them fairly well rounded.  For myself, I just want to make some bad guy models to go with our resident Death Mage.  To that end, I know we'll have a few sinister looking Infantrymen, a Crow Master and an Assassin.  We'll see how the first games go before we animate any more...

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