Thursday, February 28, 2013

Blue Collar Necromancy: Things That Go Bump

The gods are dead. This is what the Church says. They died to save all of man from The Great Unchanged. Two thousand years ago the skies grew dark and the earth shook and The Unchanged have troubled man directly no longer. Occasionally they shift in their endless sleep and the horrors rise for a brief time. The gods have not been heard from since the time of the Shadowing. The Church Says the gods are dead.

The world,though no longer troubled by The Great Unchanged, is still troubled by forces from outside the universe. The dead, undead, and the half dead hunger for the flesh of the living. Horrors, fragments of the dreams of The Unchanged, seek bodies to inhabit. They hope to wake the sleeping Unchanged, to return the world to its proper state. This is what the necromancers face, the dark tide rising evermore each year since the end of the Final War.

The Restless Dead: When Aether becomes unbalanced with the world around it it tends to focus on points of great human emotion. Negative emotions draw it more than others, no one is sure why, though most people in the know have an opinion. This means that funerals, murders, and suicides tend to be lightning rods for Aether imbalance. When all that emotion builds up it can draw a piece of the soul off and create a ghost. The greater the emotion(the more people feeling it) the more powerful and unbalanced the ghost or spirit. Is the ghost the actual soul of the dead? The Church's position is that they are not. Though there has been quite a bit of debate on the subject.

The Hungry Dead: Sometimes a burial goes wrong. Sometimes a body is not properly destroyed in fire and salt. Sometimes the subtle humors of the body remain after the soul has passed. When this happens the hungry dead rise. Their is nothing left of the soul, only the desires of the flesh remain. The simplest of the hungry dead are the Zombi. They seek out the flesh of the living. No one really knows why, but it is always thus. Those few that survive(if that is the correct term) long enough go through a transformation. They become a Guhl. Faster, stronger, and more cunning, the Guhls hunt actively for prey. Should there be enough Aether around to draw it in, a spirit or Horror can inhabit the Guhl, granting it powers and intelligence and enhancing its appetites. These flesh eaters are often able to interact with the world and even gain access to the halls of power. Beware the Horror infested Guhl.

The Great Unchanged:  Before Man was, before the gods were, before the world was...something. Beings so old and powerful that their very nature altered the universe around them. The story is that they created the gods, who in turn created the world of man. The story goes that the gods fought an endless war with The Great Unchanged. Two thousand years ago the gods sacrificed themselves to put the Great Unchanged to eternal sleep. That is what the Church says. No one knows for sure.

The Half Dead: When a mortal Alchemist or Sorcerer tries to gain life eternal, only bad things can come of it. No one has successfully created The philosopher's stone or Ambrosia, the two suspected ways to immortality. When they try, something else happens. A change is wrought in the practitioner. An exchange must be made, A life for a life. At least at first. As time goes by the now damned person must kill more and more to continue their existence. The magics involved are so alien that they will slowly drive the users mad, shatter their soul. Shatter it enough for something else to inhabit the body. This is where Vampires, Werewolves, Mummies, and the like come from. Experiments in immortality always fail. When they fail, people die.

Necromancy is a skill. All you need to have access to it is study and place it in your skill pyramid. Oddly enough some of the best monster hunters, while part of a necromancer family, do not have the necromancy skill. Necromancy is, at heart, the ability to deal with horrible things from outside the normal universe. Primarily the undead and the restless dead. Dead is dead and should remain so. Other things reside outside the universe, some will trade information with the necromancers, and some are just pests to be kept out.

Overcome obstacle: Used primarily for gathering information. either through folk knowledge of the undead and the outsiders, as well as interacting with the strange contracts of spirits and demons.
Create advantage: When one needs to figure out the weakness of a monster or to set up a ritual circle or implement that will aid in dealing with a spirit, demon, undead, or tear in the universe.
Attack: Cannot be used to attack directly.
Defend: Cannot defend directly.


  1. Holy crap that's good! I really wish I had thought of a bunch of this myself. I'm in the middle of writing an adventure that I'm wanting to publish on Drivethru that includes a lot of the undead types you've mentioned, but in a different way than they're usually depicted. This nails it perfectly for me, but you got in there first...

    1. Not a problem. I liked it so much, I had to share. You're currently the most popular thing on the RPG sub reddit. Turns out I'm not the only one who likes this...

    2. I saw that, It blows my mind. i have had more hits today than in the previous month. thanks for sharing.

    3. Happy to do it. If I find something I like, I want to share. Someone's done it for my blog in the past, I know the difference it can make.

  2. Glad I decided to drop by the reddit today. What a cracking read!

  3. Absolutely Fantastic! I am just another Redditor that managed to find his way here. I am actually starting up my own blog, most of the topics I will discuss will be gaming and my various experiences/creations.