How to Play a Necromancer in DnD 5e


The Necromancer (not to be confused with a Neck-Romancer) is a playstyle in DnD 5e. The reason that it is only a playstyle, and not an actual class is. Well…

There’s really no reason. The developers just haven’t included it yet. Some players have taken to the wiki over the years to develop their own description for the Necromancer class. Although, it has to be said that this is just homebrew material. It isn’t anything official.

DnD 5e offers you a lot of liberty in the way in which you can play it. Any character that you can imagine – you can create in DnD. Though a problem arises when that character requires a certain playstyle.

I can only guess that the reason that the creators have not included a Necromancer class yet is because of its niche playstyle. Unlike other classes which can work together in a symbiotic relationship. The Necromancer requires a lot of time spent alone and preparing.
Sure, the end result is terrifying. But where’s the fun in having only one of the players in a group have all the fun for a year, while all the other players just twiddle their thumbs for that time.

Still, It’s up to each individual player. And more importantly – if the DM allows you to play a Necromancer. My job today is to show you how to do it.
There are multiple ways to go about it, so let’s get right into it.

How to Play a Necromancer in DnD 5e

Multiple classes can go about this. So instead, we’ll take a different approach today. We’ll go from least recommended, to most recommended methods. Eliminating them as we go.

Circle of Spores Druid

I’m only mentioning the Circle of Spores Druid first because it’s the only class I’m antipathic about. Plus, it’s the furthest away you can get from a “stereotypical Necromancer.” Sure, you get the ability to infest people with brain-controlling fungus; but where’s the fun in that?

While this does sound similar to old witch-doctor tales from Africa or South America – gaining the ability to control the mind of another being. It really offers no advantages past that that the other classes don’t do better.

Death Domain Cleric

This is one for the edgelords out there. The Death Domain Cleric can perform the duties of a Necromancer per se. But they are sorely lacking in the “feel” of a Necromancer. In fact, they’re mainly a frontline damage dealing unit. Not the stereotypical “stay in the back and let your minions do all the work” kind of necromancer.
So, it’s up to you if you want to take this route. It’s more hands-on than the others, but hey; some people prefer that.

School of Necromancy Wizard

Here’s where it gets fun.

The School of Necromancy Wizard is probably the closes you can get to a stereotypical Necromancer in DnD 5e. That being said, it’s gonna cost a lot of time; and a lot of money.

How much exactly you may ask? Well, Taking20 did the math in this video. And it turns out that for about the low low price of 5,000 gold coins and a year of your time; you can become the proud owner of an undead horde of about 1,700 undead.

How did he go about this? Well, here’s how.

For starters, you’re gonna have to cast Animate Dead multiple times per day. On top of that, you should also cast Create Undead and specifically create Wights. The reason for this is that Wights can go out and create a further 12 undead for you (yay for military organization I guess?).
Oh, and you should also cast Finger of Death on two victims of your choice every day.
Command Undead is also essential because it lets you take control of a creature permanently without the need to recast Animate Dead again.
And lastly, you’ll save a hell of a lot of time if you also use the level 7 spell Simulacrum to create a copy of you who is doing the exact same process as you.
After a year of doing this process over and over, you should end up with the results mentioned above.

Oooooone final thing to mention here. You should start this process at level 20 – as that is the only time where you can actually do the whole process optimally.

That basically covers how you can be a Necromancer in DnD 5e. Yeah, it’s a long and arduous journey, but think about it.
Do you like being woken up from a good sleep? No? Well, neither does an army of the dead.

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