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D&D 3E
Death and Undeath, but not evil... 
25th-Jan-2006 10:30 pm
DrG Don't know me
I'm woking on a concept for a character in an upcoming DnD game, and I'm hoping some of you can help me out. What I'm looking to create is a character obsessed with death - a thanatologist, essentially. Not at all a bad person, some her ideas would more than likely not at all be socially acceptable. The inspiration came from the Dustmen in the highly underrated "Planescape: Torment" game: magical morticians, if you may. I want her to have magical abilities, without actually being a stereotypical "evil life-hating necromancer" that is so often portrayed when dealing with Death and Undeath.

Currently, what I'm seeing as the best class progression is the Cloistered Cleric variant in Unearthed Arcana, but without a specific deity, as I just don't see her worshipping any god enough to actually draw power from them.

26th-Jan-2006 08:35 am (UTC)
Check out Deathless from Eberron.

Basically Deathless are the exact reverse of Undead. They are infused with positive energy allowing the soul to continue to function in a body beyond the normal scope of death in order to protect and advise the living.
26th-Jan-2006 08:38 am (UTC)
Which book?
26th-Jan-2006 09:42 am (UTC)
Eberron Campaign Setting.

Actually, I'm thinking Archivist with the Death Delver PrC. Both from Heroes of Horror. Archivist gets your divine spells, but he studies them like a wizard would. He specializes in knowing weaknesses of monsters and he helps the party with that, and the Death Delver works on mastry of the barrier between life and death.
26th-Jan-2006 09:43 am (UTC)
Yeah, the archivist is looking pretty damn groovy for exactly that purpose.
26th-Jan-2006 09:54 am (UTC)
uh.. Eberron Campaign Setting.
26th-Jan-2006 07:47 pm (UTC)
Deathless were originally introduced in the Book of Exalted Deeds, if you don't want to go with the ECS. Though Eberron explains them better and makes them more attractive, and less stupid sounding.
26th-Jan-2006 12:24 pm (UTC)
I believe there is also a Sacred Necromancer PrC (unless I have the name wrong, and if so then sorry for the totally useless reply *grin*). One of my fellow players had her wizard take up that PrC, and it worked well with her concept (which mirrors yours).

And Archivist, as you've already seen, is cool.
26th-Jan-2006 12:28 pm (UTC)
Wow. I just have to say that I can relate.

My past two characters (mother and daughter) have a belief that jsut because one is undead does not make them evil. A ghost or spectre, for example, should be a reflection of what the people were like when they were alive, shouldn't they be? And a shadow is a reflection of the person who made the shadow, even if the shadow is given it's own existance. The first character was a shadowpriestess of Taldoth and was determined that shadows were not evil. Not in the literal sense and not in the figurative sense. Shadows represented what people didn't understand and what society didn't want to accept. I'm still of the fond belief that just because you've passed from life to undead does not mean that you've signed a contract for evilness. But that's just me. :)
26th-Jan-2006 01:54 pm (UTC)
I played a necromancer in second edition that went with the idea of being a surgeon, thus his interest in how the body works (and his occasional need to steal bodies or even animate them to see how muscles moved, ect).

It could be argued that there isn't much difference between animating the dead and summoning elementals. You end up controlling both of them, so if controlling the dead is evil then isn't also being an elementalist?
26th-Jan-2006 05:43 pm (UTC)
As I understand it the evil part is the effect it has on relatives etc when they see "uncle Fred" as a zombie etc.
26th-Jan-2006 07:32 pm (UTC)
Yet another reason that I think DnD should ditch alignments, as they are entirely subjective.
27th-Jan-2006 12:02 am (UTC)
As I understood it, it was the mucking about with an unresting tormented soul.
31st-Jan-2006 06:56 pm (UTC)
In Arcanis, by Paradigm Concepts, not all necromancers are evil; evil acts are based on intent, and that includes raising undead.

In addition, gods have no alignement, only churches do, so following the god of undead (and disease and death of the body in general) doesn't mean you're evil. You're just as likely to be someone dedicated to putting undead to rest.

Oh, and undead aren't automatically evil, either.

There's a Death Lord prestige class in their Magic of Arcanis book.
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