After looking at a couple of necromancer playbooks out there on the web, I decided to start making my own. The idea of just being a summoner style character whose summons happen to be dead things is a little boring to my mind. I also hold the firm belief that doing magic in RPGs should be very costly, rare, and painful. Please give me your candid thoughts below to this work in progress. I’m especially interested in hearing thoughts on the Death’s Bargain section. Thanks!
The (much more interesting) Necromancer – a Dungeon World Playbook by Matt Hall
When you made a deal with death for power over life, you are a necromancer.
With a grim smile, you shook the hooded one’s hand…
Wizened beyond your years
Eyes like black embers
Self-serving: You do what’s in your best interest, regardless of the effect it has on others.
Neutral: You maintain the balance of life and death at all costs.
Power seeking: You do anything for more power.
When you call on Death to invigorate the dead, The dead thing is now animate and responds to your commands. Roll 2d6: On 10+, take 3 hold, on 7-9 take 2 hold, on 6- take 1 hold. Discuss with the GM a few possible moves for the dead thing. Spend one hold to command it, or spend all remaining hold to gain life equal to 2x hold spent. Once all hold is spent, the thing returns to death. If you spend all three hold to gain life, the thing turns to dust.
Passage through the Penumbra
Instead of taking a Perilous Journey, you may pass through the Penumbra. The Penumbra is that place between life and death, and traveling through it may allow one skilled and brave enough to do so to bypass obstacles, evade enemies, or shorten the time it takes to travel between two points in the physical realm. Roll 2d6: On 10+ make the passage with no difficulties, on 7-9 make the passage, but choose one of the following, on a 6- choose two:
You get lost in the Penumbra
A danger must be overcome
You bring something unwelcome back with you
When Discerning Realities by querying the dead, on a 10+ or 7-9, in addition to the normal questions, the necromancer may ask one additional question which only the dead thing would know. It must answer truthfully.
In exchange for power over life and death, you have agreed to (pick one):
Create a foothold for Death in the land of the living
Sacrifice the one you love the most
Bring about a catastrophe that claims thousands of lives
Reset the balance of life and death by killing a person of Death’s choosing
Other – discuss with GM. The deal should be the core driver of your characters’s behavior and could be is equivalent to a campaign level front.
When you wound another, gain life equal to the damage inflicted.
When you replace a part of your body with the part from a corpse, choose one:
Death’s eye – can see into the Penumbra without traveling there
Necrotic hand – when you animate the dead……something like a +1 tp the roll or more hold or something…
External ribs – gain 1 armor
Other – discuss and decide with the GM
When you guide a party through the Penumbra in lieu of a Perilous Journey….
By your touch, the creature gains one debility, choose one:
Chronic pain — details
Weak limb – details
Fouled mind – details
Something to do with foes being afraid of you, a -1 forward or something, based on a roll.
Transfer life from one character to another or from oneself from another.
Poisons…life potions…debility potions…something like that
When you form a bond with an undead animal of small size, it stays by your side and can follow simple commands. You maintain a mental and spiritual connection with the creature such that you understand its thoughts and feelings.
Death’s Best Friend
When you speak to Death on behalf of another character…