Hi everyone

Hi everyone

Hi everyone,

One of my players (a mage) has asked me about the possibility of becoming some kind of necromancer. I like the ideas as he has been playing a bit with some dark powers so I’d like to give him the opportunity to change his class. I’ve been looking for some class or compendium class that he could use but haven’t find anything, but I’m quite sure some time ago a saw a thread about it. Can any of you help me with this? Thanks!

18 thoughts on “Hi everyone”

  1. I’m not sure about what you’ve seen before but this is a great opportunity to tailor your game to suit your player. Compendium classes are not very hard to build. Talk to your player about what a necromancer would do and think about what they would need to sacrifice or risk to delve into the world of the dead. You only need to come up with a few moves to begin with. You can add more as the game progresses and tinker with the class as you go.

  2. By Mage, do you mean Wizard, or one of the player classes called Mage?

    Either way, you can tailor the fictional effects of the spells to sound all necro pretty simply. And, for sure, they should be able to start raising the dead using the Ritual move.

    For example on fictional changes: Magic Missile is usually some sort of missile, right? Instead, it can be a skull summoned from the fallen, screeching in torment. Fireball can be fire from the nine hells.

    And voila, necromancer!

  3. That was my first thought, but this is my first campaig with DW and I’m not very good creating moves from zero. That’s why I wanted to check if there was something someone has done before (to use it or to get inspired by it). 🙂

  4. We had a Wizard in one campaign who took moves from the Boldly Games Necromancer (from Grim World) as a compendium class. This was after they explored Death Frost Doom, so it worked very well in the fiction.

    Grim World also has death moves for the heroes, and we used them in that campaign. So in the end, he had to choose between going out as a Wizard or as a Necromancer, which became a defining event for the character.

  5. William Nichols, I mean Wizard. I am Spanish and we play using the Spanish translation of the book, so I’m not used to the English names.

    Deep Six Delver, I’ll check the Bodly Games necromancer in order to see what can I use.

    Thanks to all!

  6. The cool thing about this community is that you can run ideas by the group and get help adjusting your work. I would be happy to help you build a compendium class and I’m sure others would have great input too. Let me ask some questions:

    1. What is the player’s nature? Is this an interest in the classic dark and creepy necromancer or is it possible that they want to interact with the dead for altruistic reasons?

    2. Is there anything in your game that already represents this kind of power? Is there a place or character they can turn to that will start them down that road?

    3. How far have they come as a wizard so far? What is their character like?

    (I’m going to a meeting but will check back on this during my lunch period.)

  7. Thanks for the offer Logan Howard! Here’s a bit of an explanation of the wizard and the game so far.

    The wizard described himself as someone interested in the death and chose to have the “Speak with the death” (I think the spell is called like this in English) as an extra cleric spell (he is human). He has used it a couple of times to discover more information about what happened in the old times in the continent. I don’t think he want to go all creepy, but he is not exactly described as a “good and nice guy”. For what we have talked he wants to stay a bit in the grey areas, at least for now. He is level 3 right now.

    We haven’t played much yet (4 sessions) The group is exploring a continent that was “rediscover” a few years ago. For what they know it was inhabited some centuries ago but something happened and people fled (or get killed/dissapeared, etc…).

    The group have discovered a few remains of old cultures: one old elven city with a temple dedicated to a god of travel and lately they have discovered an ancient crypt dedicated to a dwarven god of destruction/conquest.

    In this crypt they found some undead they fought against and the air was filled with necromantic energies. As the wizard had some issues casting his spells (lots of results of 7-9) he chose a few times to disturb the energies of the place and receive a -1 to his results and I described the “-1” as part of the necromantic energies that were permeating his skin and that he felt the cold of death in his own bones. Also he chose to to attrack the attention of “something” so I though it could be interesting if the almost forgotten god get attracted to him by the use of magic next to one of his shrines.

  8. I’m sure Logan’s advice will be worth much more, but just in case you haven’t seen it, there’s a nice reddit thread w/ links to many playbooks: reddit.com – Complete List of Dungeon World Classes • r/DungeonWorld Ofc, many of them are from sources you’d have to pay for, and I wouldn’t recommend doing that unless someone you trust can personally vouch for it. Interesting that all “the necromancer” ones are under Cleric… I guess it makes sense.

  9. Right from the start, it looks like you could simply use a lot of Cleric spells. Most of the ideas I had from the start were already in the Cleric spellbook. You can easily put a wizardly spin on them. Here are some ideas for you:

    The Necromancer

    When you surrender to the cold touch of death in your bones the next time you level up add “Bloodless pallor” to your looks, automatically treat all Last Breath rolls as 7-9 and you may choose to gain this move:

    Raw Materials – You may sever and bind flesh (both dead and living).

    When you attach a lead limb to a living body roll+INT

    On a 10+ the new appendage is filled with life and acts as if it were always part of the new body. Depending on the source, it may change the abilities of the owner.

    On a 7-9 as above only the appendage may rebel from time to time.

    Each time you level up, Defy Danger INT as your connection with the dead becomes deeper.

    The following Cleric spells (Level 3) are added to your spellbook:

    Speak with Dead

    The Scales of Life and Death

    Animate Dead


    (Level 5)

    Trap Soul

    Negotiate with the Dead – You may attempt to recruit undead creatures as hirelings.

    Tread the Beyond – When you step from our world into the kingdom of the dead, roll+INT

    On a 10+ you may walk your level in body-lengths undisturbed through solid objects.

    On a 7-9 the GM may choose 1

    • Something horrible takes notice

    • There is an immediate danger on the other side

    • The way becomes open to travel for beings from the other side.

    (Level 7)


    Mark of Death

    Imbue with Soul – You may attach a trapped soul to an item to make it intelligent.

    (Level 9)

    Consume Unlife

    I hope others will chime in with ideas. I mostly just pulled over spells. Are there better moves? Better ways to kick the class off?

  10. I should mention that the approach I took would suck if you have a Cleric in your party. If so, I think we can still find a way to keep off their toes.

  11. Rather than making a class of it, you could simply have the character find a spellbook full of death and corpse related spells. Here are some that wouldn’t conflict too much with the Cleric’s role (some are repeated from my earlier post):

    When you touch the gauzy Book of Manfred Ashencloak, you have the sensation of falling backward into the earth. Your heart races and you can hear the blood course through your veins. Then… there is only silence. When you awaken, you have bonded with the book and it is filled with all your familiar spells as well as some that are new and strange. You soon realize that you need less food, air and sleep. You can sense the location of corpses within half a day’s walking distance. If you listen carefully, you can hear the rustling of spirits and the hiss of decay.

    (Level 1)

    Carrion Eater

    Transform corpses into edible rations regardless of how decomposed they are.

    (Level 3)

    Raw Materials

    You may sever and bind flesh (both dead and living).

    When you attach a dead limb to a living body roll+INT

    On a 10+ the new appendage is filled with life and acts as if it were always part of the new body. Depending on the source, it may change the abilities of the owner.

    On a 7-9 as above only the appendage may rebel from time to time.

    Remains of the Day

    If there are any corpses in the area, this spell will cause them to rise as zombies. It does not guarantee control.

    Bone Sculptor

    You can fashion mundane items and weapons out of the bones of the dead.

    (Level 5)

    Negotiate with the Dead

    Undead creatures will refrain from attacking long enough for you to Parley with them or employ them as hirelings.

    Pocket Full of Souls

    You can hold the soul of any dying creature or person in your pocket. This even applies to those who have passed beyond the Black Gate.

    (Level 7)

    Flesh Golem

    You can craft a golem out of any combination of corpses. This will take several days but when it is complete, the golem will accept any soul held by the castor.

    (Level 9)

    Imbue with Soul

    You may attach a Soul Gem to an item to make it intelligent.

  12. Logan Howard Your altruistic effort here is amazing (even if a lot of it is copypasta). you had one “cool point” in my book after watching Ray Otus’s zine hangout, when you mentioned trying to stick to FOSS for tools, and this post is icing on the cake. I searched for you on Patreon, but it appears you’re going the more “FOSS” way of PWYW on DTRPG (even more awesome!) you’ve earned a few extra sales, and I’ll be sure to bump up the average, even if only a bit.

  13. Thank you Charles Gatz! I really like it when people come to the community for answers. DW Tavern and the Gauntlet have both been very good to me. I want to continue that trend.

  14. Wow! thank you very much for all your ideas Logan Howard! That’s much more than I expected when asked the community! 🙂

    I’ll take a look to all your suggestion and all the created classes that Charles Gatz linked and I’ll try to create my own Necromancer class adapted to my player & campaign.

    I’ll let you know what I came up with in order to have your thoughts 😀

  15. That’s great Vanessa Wed Carballo! You will know better than any of us what will most appeal to your player. I think Dungeon World is incredibly flexible. Game Masters can keep the pace up at the table but can spend time between games thinking about what happened, what is useful and what they can build into the game to customize the experience for their specific players.

    I really hope you’ll share your ideas with us and follow up with how it worked out. This is a great learning opportunity for all of us.

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