Good Necromancy Spells?

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Zettonsperson
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Good Necromancy Spells?

Post by Zettonsperson » Sat Oct 31, 2020 3:39 am

I'm trying to (Solo) play a Good Necromancer. This is defined as a Necromancer devoted to laying-down the unquiet dead and respecting life, rather than raising the dead and hating life. There are, however, few spells in the Necromancy Magical Style in the Hero's Companion that can be considered useable by a Good Necromancer. These are Minor Skeleton, Spectral Blade, Corpse Talk, Eye of the Ghoul and the undead dispelling Call of the Underworld. Minor Skeleton only counts because the cantrip is defined as one that animates a body with magic rather than raising a dead spirit to occupy it.

Now, a Good Necromancer is great against undead and in dungeons. In the wilderness and against non-undead monsters, I'm doomed.
So, I need more spells.

Can anyone offer more Necromancy spells or transform spells from other Magical Styles to be Necromantic? Example: Flames of Cremation (2)- One hand is covered in flame for 1 minute and will burn ANYTHING touched. Physical Undead will be consumed totally if touched in 2 consecutive Attack Rounds.

Rule: If a spell causes harm specifically to living beings, a Good Necromancer can't use it.
Rule: If a spell uses Dark Power, a Good Necromancer can't use it.
Rule: If a spell is likely to cause fear, hatred, disgust or outrage in the general human populace, a Good Necromancer can't use it.
Rule: Evil Necromancers aren't bound by the above rules.

Slloyd14
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Re: Good Necromancy Spells?

Post by Slloyd14 » Sat Oct 31, 2020 6:06 am

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HedgeWizard
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Re: Good Necromancy Spells?

Post by HedgeWizard » Sat Oct 31, 2020 10:06 am

In the priestly spells you have Banish which seems to fit the bill exactly, Priests of Usrel (Godess of peace) get it. Also priests of Filash (God of fire) have Smite vs Undead.

Does that help?

Another question is how long can anyone play around with necromancy before going to the dark side? An interesting thing to explore when playing solo.

Chompy
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Re: Good Necromancy Spells?

Post by Chompy » Sun Nov 01, 2020 1:14 am

Depending on your perspective, raising the dead can be seen as a good thing if it's for a noble cause... and not against the wishes of the person being raised. Such as raising a hero or valiant warrior to defend their homeland or defeat an evil they also fought against in life. Feels like there's plenty of instances in fiction, but right now I can only think or Aragorn's army of ghosts. Though they were only ghosts as the result of a curse, they willingly fought for him.
Or perhaps a loyal bodyguard (or fellow party member) who is willing to return to defend your necromancer even after death?

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Re: Good Necromancy Spells?

Post by Slloyd14 » Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:25 am

On the note of good vs evil, necromancy spells are mentioned under the TVTrope informed wrongness - something everyone in the work thinks is wrong but the watchers/players can't see what the problem is. After all, it doesn't seem inherently evil to blow someone up with a fireball, but draining their life is. How about the emperor from Star Wars? Why is it evil to use force lightning but not evil to use a blaster?

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/ ... dWrongness
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HedgeWizard
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Re: Good Necromancy Spells?

Post by HedgeWizard » Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:34 pm

Good point, then it becomes a question of what you do with the tool rather than if the tool in question is inherently evil. Even among the wizard spells for players there are some “Evil” spells: Raise skeleton obviously but also Death or Assassin’s dagger.

In the Hero’s Compendium it does say that “most people” see it as evil without saying it is (as it does with some other magic). That said I like to keep it on the evil end of the spectrum. Call me a stuffy old traditionalist but I like my imaginary fantasy world to be a bit black and white so as to make the hero’s even more heroic :-)

Zettonsperson
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Re: Good Necromancy Spells?

Post by Zettonsperson » Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:25 pm

Thankyou for the responses so far!

The whole "Necromancy is bad to the general public" is the reason why I was seeking Necromancy spells that would at least seem Good to use.

I haven't previously considered for my Good Necromancer character the implications of using a power that is largely evil. I just wanted to try something different from the usual axe-swinging warriors I've been doing.

However, on reflection, having morally chosen to only use the powers of Necromancy for Good, this is a slippery slope. After all, Necromantic magic, in theory, derives from the power of Death, the Great Evil, and from the Spectral/Ethereal Planes. And Death would greatly oppose His power being used for Good purposes to preserve, rather than destroy, life.

Therefore, I think I'm going to impose an Evil/Corruption scale of sorts on my Good Necromancer. Every spell, aside from the usual MP cost, will also add half the MP cost to the Evil/Corruption scale. If that scale tops 50 in a month, which is a plausible, dooming, figure of two spells a day, then the Good Necromancer's spirit will be sucked into the Spectral/Ethereal Plane by Death's power. Only some serious LUCK, like 3 successful Tests, or powerful magic, like using the Transcend Death Necromantic spell, will avoid this fate. Transcend Death, however, imposes 4 points (half the MP cost) to the Evil/Corruption scale.

Chompy
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Re: Good Necromancy Spells?

Post by Chompy » Mon Nov 02, 2020 7:21 pm

Therefore, I think I'm going to impose an Evil/Corruption scale of sorts on my Good Necromancer. Every spell, aside from the usual MP cost, will also add half the MP cost to the Evil/Corruption scale. If that scale tops 50 in a month, which is a plausible, dooming, figure of two spells a day, then the Good Necromancer's spirit will be sucked into the Spectral/Ethereal Plane by Death's power.
There is, if I remember correctly, an alternative necromancy-specific Oops! table in whichever of the books introduces Necromancy proper. It does quite well at representing the corruption that occurs. Perhaps you could roll on it more often than usual, due to effectively having to fight your powers to use them for Good? One idea might be having to roll after every single failed spell. Or, if you're tracking corruption as you said, perhaps every time a threshold is reached - every 10 points of Corruption/Evil.

Just me tinkering / train of thought here but I might suggest that a direct "nothing happens until 50 corruption points" could feel like it doesn't have too much impact on your game? You could just use spells as normal and stop when you hit 49 until it resets. That might totally be what you want! But if you're after something that would have a more frequent influence and be a bit more unpredictable you could turn every spell into a risk.... roll one die each time you cast a necromancy spell and if the result is not greater than the spell cost, roll on the necromancy Oops! table. You have gained a corruption effect. Have these effects last a week or month and keep track of how many you have. Because, after every time you rolled on the Oops! table, roll one one die... if you roll less than your new current number of corruption effects then your spirit is about to be sucked into the Spectral/Etheral Plane as you said. ;P

HedgeWizard
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Re: Good Necromancy Spells?

Post by HedgeWizard » Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:03 pm

You are correct Chompy, there is a specific Oops! table in the Hero’s Companion.

I would use a combination of this Oops! Table and the standard wizard one, using the necromancy version when using those types of spells (including raise skeleton from the standard rules) and then the usual one at all other times. Perhaps you could even say that because the character is only dabbling they have less control over the forces of death and in it they risk an Oops! On any double which is a failure. This is similar to the Chaos magic rules which have an Oops! result on any double (Success and failure in that case).

That way you still get the risk of slipping into damnation but without it being a simple linear path.

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