(D&D) Thoughts on Undead and Necromancy in 5th Edition

Control of the undead in 5th edition is–like many things–quite simplified. The Create Undead spell is effectively synonymous with command undead spell. You would use create undead to animate remains and control them. Finger of Death is a spell available at higher level that kills living creatures and enslaves them permanently as zombies to your character.

Notions of contol undead, rebuke undead, command undead are lost at a glance, but Oathbraaker Paladins and some Socerer spells can command undead. The notion of rebuke undead on many forums is ridiculed as too subtle, by some–but there may be a point to that.

Overall–the notions of undead in 5e seem to have reviewed previous rules about creating undead from mostly remains of civilian corpses, whereas most necromancers are really on the lookout to find the remains of great warriors and turn them into death knights–by the score. This notion of creating armies of the undead appears to have some rules for necromancers, but all the remains need to be treated as unskilled plow hands no better than first level fighers.

Other techniques discussed are charming mid-level undead, namely a Shadow, and letting the Shadow loose in a warren of weak evil creatures–like goblins–and if the Shadow remains charmed, it will return to you with a thousand undead goblins! This is the most entertaining method of raising an undead army I read.

(D&D) Close Enough to Shave a Ghoul

This session, our adventurers began in a bind: surrounded by the orcs and undead of the drow. Whirling around, the party began to sense that this fight was going downhill, and as Vino, the vile necromancer above them, waved his hand and whispered to the void, things got even worse when he shouted, “Purge the outsiders!” And the sky grew darker…

First skeletons rose from the five graves before them….then a putrid stench rolled across pavilion asĀ  bugbear ghouls followed from four of the graves. Our party, cut off the easiest route of escape–was clearly outnumbered. As the dirt fell from the bones of the skeletons, it became clear they were thicker of bone and clearly battle scarred, rattled forward quickly with their swords drawn.

Lothric began to feel his palms sweat. Just when we thought all was lost, Wiri piped up, and everyone turned towards him. “Wait.. They ‘elped me,” Wiri said, stepping in front of the drow. Wiri then raised a staff, and with it saved us from the undead, just as they approached us–they suddenly stood still: Wiri had restrained them.

0-Bear_skull“They are my sacrifice to Lolth!” Vino responded, and pushed Wiri aside and pointed his finged and whispered upon us words of the nether, sending hero and orc alike running in fear. We quickly regrouped and rallied, and rejoiced at the arrival of Ville the Toad, only to remember our situation, and then we ran.

After spending a night of paranoid watching around the campfire, awaiting pursuit, we decided that, even we couldn’t conquer the camp yet, we could still take action and disrupt supply caravans.

In the morning, Lammanon led the party to a road that carved a path through a rocky outcrop. Lammanon climbed to the edge of the road, and cast an illusion of a boulder. We snuk into bushes and behind boulders…and lay in wait for our prey.

Sure enough, within the hour we heard word from Lammanon, who had gone forward to scout, that there was an orc caravan on its way towards us. As the orcs and their wagon rattled towards us, we lept out; they had walked right into the trap. Four orcs were lead by a large and confident half orc woman in bright chain mail.

One battle and several dead orcs later, we were tying up their horse, and picking the trinkets off their bodies.

(D&D) Drums and Undead

barrel-headThe party rested in Botilo after they dropped off the captured renegades to Wiri Bentspear. These cairn towns lacked anything such as an inn, so they had to sleep wrapped in their cloaks outside town. With the late rising moon, about an two hours from dawn, the sound of a drum woke the party. Then a second drum added a counterpoint to the beat. Then some cheering and chanting.

Our party gathered their weapons and walked in the south road. As they walked into town, they watched a party of six dark figureson horses, two with banners, ride in on a trail from the east. The only thing from the east was the huge gravel pit of Galentaspar. This probably meant drow.

Behind the crowd near the casino in at the town pavilion, Wiri Bentspear stood before the cairn with a black staff. Wiri then bowed formally, “Lieutenant Webcross, you and your drow are welcome in Bilito. It has been a long time, Vino.” They did not meet each other with friendly eyes, and Wiri was clearly not enthusiastic about this visit.

Quickly, the riders unmounted and a moment the tall drow commander tossed back the hood of his dark grey robe, showing his purple hair and blazing purple eyes was raising his left hand to the sky. The crowd quieted. When he raised his right hand, in it was a terrible mace made from silvered bones and the now silent crowd stepped back. In abyssal, he shouted: All hail thee, Lolth!

Lolth! The crowd answered. Some of our party didn’t understand what was being said, and when the crowd started to kneel, some of them didn’t. This could not have been more conspicuous…hiding in shadows or not.

“I am Vino Webwright, priest of Lolth. The priests of Lolth congradulate you on your fine trade topside! However, we hear of outsiders infiltrating our outposts, and are here to help rid you of your infiltrators. We’ve heard of the elven attack, but there has been too much trouble of late…

“Who here among you does not belong? Bring them forth!” Reaching into his saddle bag, he produces a huge helping of gold coin in loose sack, and jingles it. “This for those who bring them forth!”

Lotheric is turned on by a huge half orc, one of the many anti-paladin soldiers occupying the cairn towns, and is pushed forward. Lotheric swings repeatedly and the half orc deftly dodges. They are not surrounded by orcs and half orcs. More creeping in around them.

A battle starts when one of the orcs staggers back with a sword sticking out of him, A hail of daggers wounds a half orc, and Lotheric swings again. But they are surrounded and pushed forward again…to see six exhumed graves in the pavilion with skeletons staring up out of them.

“Oh, this will be easy…why are they even bothering?” mutters Lotheric, confident that skeletons will cleave like paper under his attacks.

Wiri raised his black staff, and the slowly brightening sky instantly grew inky clouds that boiled from directly above the cairn. A purple glow issued from the black pyramid atop the cairin. The skeletons started shaking and rolling in the graves. But then the smell hits them as the skeletons start to move in their graves….graves too large for the … multiple…human skeletons in each shallow pit…