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|Secondary Skillsets:||Lore, Magic|
|Tertiary Skillsets:||Armor, Weapon|
| Barbarian - Bard - Cleric - Commoner - Empath - Moon Mage|
Roiling, tenuous shadows pour from the very depths of the eternal abyss. Their aim is to consume all life, to reduce the very earth to ash and ruin. Few are those willing to stand in the face of such evil. Fewer still are bold enough, twisted enough, and ambitious enough to dare attempting to control it.
In this time when the Holy Church is screaming murder at the faintest hint of Necromancy, will you be able to keep your own dark secrets? Will you be able to bear the danger, the scorn, in return for the power? The table is being set, and the hour that the banquet will arrive is close at hand.
Will you be ready?
-GM Abasha (Necromancer Guild Advocate)
The Necromancer Guild is intended, by design, to be an advanced option. It is intended to be there for players who are already familiar with the game and want to try a profession that includes some novel and difficult permutations on the normal play experience.
Guildleaders and Affiliation
- note: only provinces are given, not cities or other locations
- P1 : Zamidren Book: Philosophers
- P2 : Nisheko,Faeylis: Philosophers
- P3 : : Philosophers
- P4 : : Perverse
- P5 : : Everyone
- Survival Primary
- Magic and Lore Secondary
- Armor and Weapons Tertiary
- Basically speaking, Necromancers will operate under current Consent policy.
- Necromancer Risen are fair game to attack by anyone, regardless of the status of the Necromancer.
- If you attack a Necromancer's Risen, the Necromancer has consent on you.
- If a Necromancer kills you for attacking their Risen, consent is ended between the two of you. You may not then go after the Necromancer. If you win the conflict when the Necromancer attacks you, it's also over. The Necromancer doesn't get another shot. C'est la vie.
- Some activities a Necromancer may partake in, in Town, can get them flagged Open for some period of time. These will be related to Social Outrage in some way, and smart Necromancers can avoid them. We like to punish stupid Necromancers.
- Additionally, Necromancers may not be PvP Closed. If you are squeamish about the prospect of player combat, apply elsewhere.
Both points 3 and 4 go into 1. Randomly ganking Necros isn't going to be an option for anyone, unless they want to allow that (Open stance). However, Necros are going to have slightly less leniency overall, by picking the Guild we are expecting that you acknowledge the potential for PvP interaction is higher than other guilds. However, you're still just being held at Guarded responsibility.
In following the social outrage that being a necromancer causes, numerous additions to the accuse system have been made to allow the populace to alert the town's authority of the presence of a necromancer. A successful accuse has various requirements on the necromancers part, and can provide certain rewards (such as in wealth or a bonus to a reputation).
- See accuse for more information.
Necromantic rituals used on corpses.
|Circle||Small Edged||First Armor||1st-2nd Survival||3rd-5th Survival||6th Survival||7th Survival||Thana- tology||1st Lore||2nd Lore||1st Magic||2nd Magic||3rd Magic||4th Magic||5th Magic||TM|
- Necromancers will have a certain mana type that they perceive as (pre-outrage getting to the point of them showing up corrupted). This will be static per the necro in question, and is determined randomly by character flag, sort of like the bard voice thing. Holy will not be one of the types a necro can show up as having, but everything else is possible. This mana type will be reflected in the character's default spell prep, as well as messaging for AP spells.
- ICly, a budding Necromancer probably wouldn't even know they can get away with pretending to be another type of caster (Lyras and company certainly don't), and certainly wouldn't make any long-term plans until after they attained attunement and figured out what was going on.
- Your "mana flavor" is with you and easily discernible right at 1st circle: toss an Energy Bolt at something and look at what color it is.
- As your Divine Outrage and the necromantic corruption of your body increases, this becomes pretty dodgy and eventually your attunement to the Arcane overwhelms any affinity you have to the conventional mana frequencies. The Perverse would argue that's the point you become a real Necromancer.
- There's four reasons why they did it this way.
- The fiction around Arcane mana and how Necromancers are doing what they do strongly encourages it.
- There's far less technical overhead.
- Being able to choose "flavors" would just lead to people wanting backsies on any choice, which generally annoys me and is contrary to the fiction of how attunement works.
- Even if you had the ability to switch "flavors," it would do nothing but hurt your chances to pass yourself off as Not a Necromancer.
- This is not part of an elaborate Necromancer disguise system or a meaningful statement about your character's Ultimate Magical Destiny -- it's an incidental form of misdirection that's merely meant to allow you to walk around the street and get some TM ranks without screaming out you're a Necromancer (Outrage notwithstanding).
Attunement to Arcane mana involves some pretty substantial changes to how a Necromancer's nervous system works (in ye olde days, the Imperial Healers' Guild hypothesized that the social deviance of sorcerers was somehow linked to these changes to the brain -- fortunately, no one knows or cares about their pesudo-magical theories anymore). The goal of the procedure is to produce a magician that can see and operate with multiple types of mana at once.
It... doesn't quite work. Perhaps their method is still too crude and faulty, or perhaps the prohibition is wired even deeper into how the brain works than even they can manipulate, but the attempt always goes wrong. Even attuned to multiple mana types, in the Necromancer's perceptual sphere they superimpose upon each other into this freakish, aggregate, other kind of mana that does not really exist.
Necromantic spells are written to account for deranged movements of this "fifth frequency," but the lack of true multi-attunement perception means they can suffer like other people when casting outside their normal environment.
- Necromancy is a subset of Sorcery. Sorcery is dangerous and unstable magic that society abhors and that may or may not have some intrinsic evilness about it. Blackfire is an example of this. Necromancers are as free to dabble in Sorcery as any other guild, but they will not have any special access to the non-Necromatic parts of it.
- Necromancy is created by mixing Life mana with either Elemental or Lunar mana. Life mana is always used in the mix, by definition.
- While AP spells are legal according to society, a Necromancer's AP spells are still considered sorcery for purposes of spells that defend against it, such as Protection from Evil.
Casting Backlash from scrolls
Because Necromancers utilize a complex mixture of various mana types, they have certain reactions to scrolls that contain spells that use one particular mana.
- Arcane spells = Necromancers may (temporarily) learn arcane spells, and cast them with greater ease than other guilds, avoiding risk of physical harm entirely. This, however, does not include Teleological or Blackfire sorceries.
- Lunar, Elemental, Life = Low risk, equivalent to any other guild's best combination.
- Holy = Considered extremely dangerous on the Necromancer's behalf.
Necromancer Guild Lore
Why PC Necromancers are always Philosophers
Many of these posts have been excellent and have delved into the question in a very specific manner. So in my response I'll take the opportunity to dwell on the issue in a broader fashion. I'll bring up four points, starting with the most glib one and working backward toward seriousness.
1: It takes a serious dedication to postmodernism to invoke The Death of the Author in a conversation with the author.
2: There is, in fact, a certain level of arbitrariness inherent in the role of worldbuilding. Why is a mountain here but not there? Why is Kssarh angry and not nice? Why not space vampires from Neptune? While one of those might be an intuitive 'no,' consider that all three questions differ in scale rather than kind.
3: There is a stark difference between Necromancers and PC Necromancers. Necromancers in the broadest term can do any sort of random act of evil that the plot demands; Necromancers summon wailing spirits, create poisons that permanently kill the innocent and sometimes even fight the avatar of Meraud Himself and come out on top.
PCs cannot - must not - do any of these things. As a basic explanation to why PC Necromancers are so limited while NPC Necromancers can still murder you with enchanted textiles, we fall back to a simple but effective DR trope that the guild structure prevents you from learning it. You are specifically a Necromancer from the tradition of the Philosophers, whether your character sticks with them or not, and the Philosophers' bag of tricks was specifically designed to be PC compatible.
4: Necromancers in the broad term occupy a different ecological niche than the PC Necromancers. "Necromancer" is a code word for Bad Guy in the most fundamental sense. Necromancers in the past have done wildly misanthropic stuff simply because They're Evil. Nobody cares about the feasibility of Sidhlot's portrayal of evil. That's not the point. He's older than dragons and so metal he poops viking helmets.
But the Necromancer's Guild is by necessity a look at the bad guys' side, and Sauron only works as villain as an archetypal role rather than a meaningful character. A Pure Evil character ran by a PC for entertainment would either be a masterful RP experiment or uncomfortably suggestive of the psychological issues being worked out. For this to work, there had to be sympathy for the devil, so my very first problem to solve was 'How do I make Necromancers sympathetic enough that we could imagine a real, live individual doing this?'
The Philosophers were my answer. The Philosophy promises you reprieve from death (note that I started inserting more real-life features of death into DR at this time), freedom from the contingencies of the world, the ability to be your own man. I designed the spiel appeal to most of our basic anxieties about life and touch on the dream of posthumanism and the glorification of mankind through his skill and technology. In not always subtle ways, the Philosophers came to embody 20th century philosophy and scientism. The Philosophers are doing, in a fantasy parody, what Western society enshrines as good and proper goals.
So the stage was set. All that stands between you and glorifying mankind is the evil you will do in its name.
This is, once again, a remarkably different role than what Sidhlot or Velmix brought to the table. The Old Man doesn't talk to Sidhlot, nor did the Hounds of Rutilor burn entire villages to root out a single Bone Elf. In a direct sense because the Bone Elves are not connected with the Great Work, but also because their portrayal of evil is outside the portrayal of evil we're using. The drama of the PC Necromancer -- the pogroms, the murmurs of conspiring otherworldly forces, the entwining moral evils from both sides, and the hints of transcendental glory -- is set in the foundation that the Philosophers bring to the setting.
So it is a requirement that, while your PC can love them or hate them, stay or leave, be a blubbering sycophant to Book or try to manipulate him for your own ends, you cannot be disconnected from them.
Brief Sketch of the History of the Philosophers
To perhaps help, let's go over a Brief Sketch of the History of the Philosophers.
About a hundred-odd years ago, some idiot (name unknown) wrote Investigations Toward an Alchemy of Flesh, and then was killed by a bunch of other idiots (random Zoluren adventurers). The Alchemy of Flesh wound up in the hands of some idiot Cleric (named Kigot), with the idiotic idea that he'd known what to do with it.
Kigot had this idiotic notion that by exposing Necromancy to the light of day the good people of Elanthia would be better able to fight against it, so he made copies and sent it to some other idiots he knew (random Zoluren and Therengian scholars). They, being idiots, also made copies and began distributing them. Cue sudden increase in Necromancers.
The Temple at some point realized what was going on and started yelling profanity through the corridors. Cue lots and lots and lots of murder.
This is what Markat calls the first generation of Philosophers -- scholars who had direct access to the Alchemy of Flesh and began to pursue necro-alchemy. Most of them are at this point very dead.
Kigot gets very upset about the Temple trying to murder him and had a moral break. He devoted the rest of his short life to crafting an ethical system to support Necromancy, which he called the Philosophy of the Knife. Then he got murdered.
This is where the second generation comes in -- Necromancers who "converted" the Philosophy and the promise of necro-alchemy, or their direct apprentices. There are a few dozen of these people walking around today.
Among the many, many, many pages that Kigot wrote (really, you could use his collective works as a weapon in a pinch), he had the rather arrogant assumption that there'd be no greater breakthrough in the field until a group of necro-alchemists could put aside their differences and work together. He was smart enough to understand this could only be achieved in terms of dominance and submission, so referred to this theoretical leader among Philosophers as the Triumphant; the guy who beat or conned everyone else into submission.
Enter Zamidren Book, who used Lyras's self-destructive crusade and the reactionary anti-Necro sentiment as an excuse to murder some of his rivals and browbeat a significant fraction of the Philosophers into doing things his way.
He was successful and has cultivated a relatively impressive powerbase, but spends most of his time at the moment split between trying very, very hard to keep the Temple and the Hounds from murdering everybody and playing politics among his knife-wielding degenerate peers.
To clear things up -- According to the Philosophy of the Knife, demonic necromancy is something to be avoided as much as dealing with the gods. That's the realm of perversion, the backwards and ignorant ways practiced by necromancers of old, and inevitably leads to a situation such as what happened with Lyras.
Science and the careful study of death, not contracts with nether entities, is the forte and the key to the Great Work. Now, if a Necromancer wants to go and learn such practices from an entity outside the philosophers, it may be a possibility, but the official guild won't support it and you could get in really big trouble with them for going that route.
All this will be somewhat clearer when we manage to get the library finished.
Let's step OOC for a moment, and discuss this in terms no character should ever use (though inevitably will, since I now just said it).
The attunement process for Arcane mana involves substantial changes to your character's neurobiology in a setting so far removed from modern science and medicine that this is completely not understood or remotely accounted for. You are seeing what Man Mustn't See not because of occult hoodoo but because your character's brain is no longer firing like it used to.
The madness of the Necromancer is, first and foremost, neurological. Schizophrenia, affect disorders, clinical depression, etc. Cthulhu-analog certainly plays a part in how deeply boned Necromancers are, but at the front lines of the Necromancer's soul, his major demons are all personal.
In practice, these are not going to be balls-to-the-walls-mad people. The Philosophers aim at creating functional sociopaths (though they'd never think of themselves in those terms), and anyone who exhibits outrageously broken cognition after the attunement will be used for parts as a failed attunement. The intention is a creeping fear that the Necromancer's ego (you, basically) isn't in full control of the vehicle.
And if Lyras is any indication, sometimes he isn't.
Moving toward the supernatural, we arrive at a point where I want to keep a certain level of mystery in the story. Hallucinations certainly fit (bearing in mind that someone who's constantly seeing purple skyway Nevada is going to find his spleen appropriated), but there is the Hunger sitting somewhere within the Necromancer's frame of reference.
Sometimes a Necromancer might catch a glimpse of... something, just as in real life sometimes our pattern recognition will turn the shadows in the corner of our eyes into something else. It's probably "innocent" madness. Sometimes, though, that seems very unlikely.
Ultimately, one of the intentions is that Necromancers and their PCs have no particularly reliable frame of reference to know at any given time whether whatever is screwing with them is spiritual/magical, psychological, or physical.
For example, take paranoia. A Necromancer may at any time be actually hunted and persecuted, attacked by gods and demons, or due to his Attunement fall to disorders that feature it floridly. Or this may be happening all at the same time.
The Old Man, likewise, is intentionally written in a way that makes it kind of hard to figure out where the line is getting drawn.
Related Forum Posts
- The Necromancy Issue - 04/24/2013 - 22:27
- If i was necro GM for a day... - 03/25/2013 - 09:50
- Question for the Necromancer community? - 03/20/2013 - 13:47
- Zombie and Mudman PSA - 12/30/2012 - 00:41
- Moved Discussion - Good Necromancers - 12/09/2012 - 02:18
- Social Outrage from Stealing - 12/08/2012 - 00:05
- Moved Discussion - Good Necromancers - 12/06/2012 - 10:19
- Empathic Sensitivity vs. Necromantic Corruption: Fight! - 11/22/2012 - 09:18
- Empathic Sensitivity vs. Necromantic Corruption: Fight! - 11/22/2012 - 09L18
- Empathic Sensitivity vs. Necromantic Corruption: Fight! - 11/22/2012 - 07:59
- … further results