Most necromages keep out of the public’s eye as the practice of necromancy tends to be viewed by others, even spellcasters, as taboo. They possess a variety of expertise in necromantic magic. However, not every necromage pursues the same necromantic path. While they all possess the capacity to command or rebuke undead, generate special mutagens that allow them to temporarily assume the form of a specific undead creature, and even obtain a form of unlife, it is their approach that differs. As such, these varied methods have resulted in the development of three distinct necromantic paths–the dark, the white, and the grey. It is these paths that determine the specifics of a necromages power and spells. 

Role: Necromages are masters of light, dark, and grey forms of necromancy that harness necromantic energies to enhance their abilities. Their explorations of death, the afterlife, and unlife grant them great insights into necromancy and allows them to aid their allies or destroy their foes. With their undead servants at their side they are well protected, enabling them to support their companions in whatever way necessary.

Alignment: Any; but see chosen path ability.
Hit Dice: d8.
Starting Wealth: 4d6 × 10 gp (average 140 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills
The necromage’s class abilities are Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Fly (Dex), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all) (Int), Lingusitics (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: Necromage

Attack Bonus
Fort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecialSpells Per Day
1st+0+2+0+2Call of the grave I, chosen path, forbidden rites, undead minion1
Bonded senses, path ability
3rd+2+3+1+3Call of the grave II, path spell3
4th+3+4+1+4Anesthetic, necrogen31
5th+3+4+1+4Call of the grave III42
6th+4+5+2+5Path ability, path spell43
7th+5+5+2+5Call of the grave IV431
9th+6/+1+6+3+6Call of the grave V, path spell543
10th+7/+2+7+3+7Path ability5431
11th+8/+3+7+3+7Call of the grave VI5442
12th+9/+4+8+4+8Greater necrogen, path spell5543
13th+9/+4+8+4+8Call of the grave VII55431
14th+10/+5+9+4+9Path ability, persistent necrogen55442
15th+11/+6/+1+9+5+9Call of the grave VIII, path spell55543
16th+12/+7/+2+10+5+10Grand necromutagen555431
17th+12/+7/+2+10+5+10Call of the grave IX555442
18th+13/+8/+3+11+6+11Path ability, path spell555543
19th+14/+9/+4+11+6+11Grand necropolis555554

Table: Necromage Spells Prepared

LevelSpells Prepared

Class Features
The following are the class features of the necromage.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

The necromage is proficient with all simple weapons. A necromage is not proficient with armor or shields. Armor interferes with a necromage’s gestures, which can cause his spells with somatic components to fail.


A necromage casts arcane spells drawn from the necromage spell list. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time, assuming he has not yet used up his allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level.

To learn or cast a spell, a necromage must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a necromage’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the necromage’s Charisma modifier.

A necromage can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level each day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Necromage. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma.

A necromage’s selection of spells is extremely limited. A necromage begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of the necromage’s choice. At each new necromage level, he gains one or more new spells as indicated on Table: Necromage Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a necromage knows is not affected by his Charisma score. The numbers on Table: Necromage Spells Known are fixed.)

Upon reaching 5th level, and at every third necromage level thereafter (8th, 11th, and so on), a necromage can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the necromage “loses” the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least one level lower than the highest-level necromage spell he can cast. A necromage may swap out only a single spell at any given level and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level.

Call of the Grave I (Sp)

Starting at 1st level, a necromage can prepare a number of talismans made of either bone or teeth a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier. When he prepares a talisman, he actually stores a summon monster I spell within (as with a caster casting the spell, the necromage doesn’t have to choose the creature until he uses the talisman). When the necromage throws the talisman to the ground, the spell activates and summons the appropriate creature who then serves the necromage as per the spell and is otherwise treated as a summoned creature.

Drawing upon this ability uses up the same power as the necromage uses to call his undead minon. As a result, he can only use this ability when his minion is not summoned. He can prepare and use a talisman as a standard action and the creatures remain for 1 minute per level (instead of 1 round per level).

At 3rd level, and every 2 levels thereafter, the power of this ability increases by one spell level, allowing him to summon more powerful creatures (to a maximum of summon monster IX at 17th level).

A necromage cannot have more than one summon monster active in this way at one time. If this ability is used again, any existing summon monster immediately ends. These summon spells are considered to be part of his spell list for the purposes of spell trigger and spell completion items. In addition, he can expend uses of this ability to fulfill the construction requirements of any magic item he creates, so long as he can use this ability to cast the required spell. The necromage can summon any monster listed on the Summon Monster tables (including the Alternatives tables) that have an asterisk, but instead of having the celestial or fiendish template, the creature gains the skeleton or zombie template, as chosen by the necromage at the time of casting. In addition, the necromage can summon any undead from the Summon Monster Options table below.

Table: Summon Monster Options                
1st Level
Bloody skeleton
AP 47
Burning skeleton
Quick zombie

2nd Level



Hollow helm
AP 47
Skull swarm
AP 43

3rd Level



Phantom armor
AP 47
Skeletal champion

4th Level



Crypt thing
Frost wight
Giant phantom armor
AP 47

5th Level




6th Level



Shadow, greater

7th Level





8th Level



AP 26

9th Level



Sources: AP (Adventure Path), B1 (Bestiary 1), B2 (Bestiary 2), B3 (Bestiary 3), CHR (Classic Horrors Revisited).


A necromage learns a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, as noted on Table: Necromage Spells Known under “Spells Known.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they may be cast any number of times per day. Cantrips prepared using other spell slots, due to metamagic feats, for example, consume spell slots as normally.

Chosen Path

At 1st level, a necromage must choose a specific path of necromancy (see Paths of Necromancy). This chosen path grants the necromage additional spells and a number of special abilities. A necromage cannot change his chosen path without undertaking a lengthy process that may require him to change his alignment. When this choice is made, he immediately loses all of the benefits from his previous chosen path. He must then pursue his newly chosen path for one entire level without gaining any benefits from that path. Once accomplished, he gains all of the bonuses from his new chosen path. The necromage may choose the path of Dark Necromancy (nongood necromages), White Necromancy (nonevil necromages), or the more middle ground Grey Necromancy (chaotic neutral, neutral, and lawful neutral necromages). Members of these chosen paths are not necessarily bound together, but some organizations do exist that are comprised of necromages that all belong to one specific path.

At 2nd level, and every four levels thereafter, a necromage gains an ability, derived from his chosen path, as shown on Table: Necromage.

At 3rd level, and every three levels thereafter, a necromage learns an additional spell, derived from his chosen path. These spells are in addition to the number of spells given on Table: Necromage Spells Known. These spells cannot be exchanged for different spells at higher levels.

Forbidden Rites (Ex) 

A necromage adds half his level to all Knowledge skill checks and Heal skill checks, including those made to torture* a living creature with physical or mental anguish. The necromage can make all Knowledge (religion) skill checks untrained. (*Villains: Rebirth. Copyright 2003, Bastion Press, Inc. Author: James Jacobs)

Undead Minion

A necromage begins play with the ability to summon to his side an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal servant called an undead minion. The undead minion forms a link with the necromage, who, forever after, summons the same creature from the dust of the earth. An undead minion has the same alignment as the necromage that summons it and can speak all of his languages. Undead minions are treated as summoned creatures, except that they are not sent back to into the dust until reduced to a number of negative hit points equal to or greater than their Charisma score. In addition, due to its tie to its necromage, an undead minion can touch and attack creatures warded by protection from evil and similar effects that prevent contact with summoned creatures.

A necromage can summon forth his undead minion from the dust in a ritual that takes 1 minute to perform. When summoned in this way, the undead minion’s hit points are unchanged from the last time it was dismissed or banished. The only exception to this is if the undead minion was slain, in which case it returns with half its normal hit points. The undead minion does not heal naturally. The undead minion remains until dismissed by the necromage (a standard action). If the undead minion is returned to the dust from whence it came due to death, it cannot be summoned again until the following day. The undead minion cannot be returned to the dust by means of dispel magic, but spells such as dismissal and banishment work normally. If the necromage is unconscious, asleep, or killed, his undead minion is immediately returns to dust. The undead minion is always a corporeal undead of either the skeleton or zombie type, as chosen by the necromage.

Unlike normal creatures of its kind, a necromage’s undead minion are sentient and have an Intelligence of at least 6, and its Hit Dice, abilities, skills, and feats advance as the necromage advances in level. As the necromage gains levels, his undead minion improves as well, in addition to the standard bonuses noted on Table: Undead Minion Base Statistics. At 7th level, the undead minion improves to one of the skeleton or zombie variants listed on Table: Undead Minion Advancement. At 11th level, the undead minion gains the skeletal champion (if a skeleton) or the zombie lord template (if a zombie).

If a character receives an undead minion from more than one source, his effective necromage levels stack for the purposes of determining the statistics and abilities of the minion. If a necromage releases his undead minion from service, he may gain a new one by performing a ceremony requiring 24 uninterrupted hours of meditation in the environment where the new minion typically lives, such as an ancient tomb, a defiled graveyard, and so forth. This new minion does not gain the link, evasion, devotion, or improved evasion special abilities until the next time the necromage gains a level. This ceremony can also replace an undead minion that has been destroyed.

The undead minion also bears a glowing rune that is identical to a rune that appears on the necromage’s forehead as long as the undead minion is summoned. While this rune can be hidden through mundane means, it cannot be concealed through magic that changes appearance, such as alter self or polymorph (although invisibility does conceal it as long as the spell lasts).

Bond Senses (Su)

Starting at 2nd level, a necromage can, as a standard action, share the senses of his bonded minion, hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and touching everything the bonded minion does. He can use this ability a number of rounds per day equal to his necromage level. There is no range to this effect, but the minion and the necromage must be on the same plane. The necromage can end this effect as a free action.

Anesthetic (Ex)

At 4th level, a necromage learns how to supplement uses of the Heal skill with pain-killing drugs. He gains Skill Focus (Heal) as a bonus feat. Any use of the Heal skill that has a risk of harming the patient (such as extracting a barb) only deals the minimum damage when performed by a necromage.

Necrogen (Su)

At 4th level, an necromage discovers how to create a necrogen that he can imbibe in order to gain the qualities of certain undead creatures. It takes 1 hour to brew a dose of necrogen, and once brewed, it remains potent until used. A necromage can only maintain one dose of necrogen at a time—if he brews a second dose, any existing necrogen becomes inert. Also, a necrogen that is not in a necromage’s possession becomes inert until a necromage picks it up again.

When an necromage brews a necrogen, he selects one of the following undead types—either skeleton or zombie. It’s a standard action to drink a necrogen. Upon being imbibed, the necrogen causes the necromage to grow gaunt and deathly pale, and granting him darkvision 60 feet and DR 5/— to nonlethal damage for 10 minutes. In addition, the necromage gains the following additional qualities according to the specific necrogen’s type.

  • Skeleton: A skeleton necrogen grants the necromage a +2 natural armor bonus and DR 5/bludgeoning. While the skeleton necrogen is in effect, the necromage takes a –2 penalty to his Intelligence ability score.
  • Zombie: A zombie necrogen grants the necromage a +2 natural armor bonus and 1 slam attack (1d6). While the zombie necrogen is in effect, the necromage takes a –2 penalty to his Wisdom ability score.

A non-necromage who drinks a necrogen must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the necromage’s level + the necromage’s Charisma modifier) or become nauseated for 1 hour—a non-necromage can never gain the benefit of a necrogen, but an necromage can gain the effects of another necromage’s necrogen if he drinks it. (Although if the other necromage creates a different necrogen, the effects of the “stolen” necrogen immediately cease.) The effects of a necrogen do not stack. Whenever an necromage drinks a necrogen, the effects of any previous necrogen immediately end. A necromage cannot create spawn if a creature is slain while a necrogen is in effect.

Life Sight (Su)

At 8th level, a necromage gains blindsight to a range of 10 feet for a number of rounds per day equal to his necromage level. This ability only allows him to detect living creatures and undead creatures. This sight also tells you whether a creature is living or undead. Constructs and other creatures that are neither living nor undead cannot be seen with this ability. The range of this ability increases by 10 feet at 12th level, and by an additional 10 feet for every four levels beyond 12th. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.

Greater Necrogen (Su)

At 12th level, a necromage’s necrogen now grants darkvision 60 feet, DR 10/— nonlethal damage, and resist cold 5. In addition, a necromage adds the following necrogen types to the list of those that can be selected.
  • Ghoul: A ghoul necrogen grants the necromage a +2 natural armor bonus and 2 claw attacks (1d6 plus paralysis for 1d4 rounds; Fort save DC 10 + 1/2 the necromage’s level + the necromage’s Constitution modifier). While the ghoul necrogen is in effect, the necromage takes a –2 penalty to his Wisdom ability score.
  • Wight: A wight necrogen grants the necromage a +4 natural armor bonus and 1 slam attack (1d4 plus 1 negative level through energy drain; Fort save DC 10 + 1/2 the necromage’s level + the necromage’s Charisma modifier). While the wight necrogen is in effect, the necromage takes a –2 penalty to his Intelligence ability scores.

Persistent Necrogen (Su)

At 14th level, the effects of a necromage’s necrogen last for 1 hour (10 minutes for a wraith necrogen).

Grand Necrogen (Su)

At 16th level, a necromage’s necrogen now grants darkvision 60 feet, immunity to nonlethal damage, and resist cold 10. In addition, a necromage adds the following necrogen type to the list of those that can be selected.

  • Wraith: A wraith necrogen grants the necromage a +4 deflection bonus, the incorporeal special quality, and an incorporeal touch attack (1d6 negative energy plus 1d6 Con damage). While the wraith necrogen is in effect, the necromage takes a –2 penalty to his Strength and Intelligence ability scores. Using a wraith necrogen reduces its duration to only 1 minute

Grand Necropolis (Su)

At 19th level, a necromage can create an zone of energy in a 60-foot area for 1 hour per two necromage levels. The specific effect of this zone varies according to the necromage’s chosen path. If the zone is created by a dark path necromage, any living creatures of Small size or larger that are killed in the area while it’s in effect rise as uncontrolled zombies 24 hours after their death, as do corpses buried in the area. Burning or dismembering the corpses prevents them from rising as zombies.

Likewise, if the zone is created by a white path necromage, any undead of Small size or larger that are destroyed in the area while it is in effect never rise again. Any corpses buried within the area are infused with positive energy and subject to the permanent effects of a sanctify corpse spell, preventing them from ever being turned into undead creatures.

The necromage can cast consecration (white path) or desecration (dark path) into the area, which remains until the grand necropolis has expired, regardless of the spell’s duration. A necromage can use grand necropolis once per day as a full-round action.

Dreadmaster (Su)

At 20th level, a necromage’s necrogen now grants darkvision 60 feet, immunity to bleed and nonlethal damage, a +4 resistance bonus to death, disease, mind-affecting (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms), paralysis, poison, and sleep effects, and resist cold 15. In addition, undead cannot add their channel resistance to the save against a dark path necromage’s Command Undead or a white path necromage’s Turn Undead.

Necromages gain access to the following spells.

0-Level Necromage Spells—acid splash, bleed, create water, detect magic, disrupt undead, ghost sound, guidance, haunted fey aspect, mage hand, penumbra, read magic, stabilize, touch of fatigue, virtue.

1st-Level Necromage Spells—bane, bed of iron, bless, blood money, carrion compass, cause fear, chill touch, comprehend languages, corrosive touch, cure light wounds, deathwatch, decompose corpse, detect undead, diagnose disease, expeditious retreat, hide from undead, infernal healing, inflict light wounds, interrogation, mage armor, magic weapon, murderous command, phantom blood, protection from chaos/evil/good, law, ray of enfeeblement, ray of sickening, remove fear, repair undead, restore corpse, sanctify corpse, sculpt corpse, see alignment, shadow weapon, summon monster I, sundering shards.

2nd-Level Necromage Spells—adhesive blood, aid, align weapon, blindness/deafness, blood armor, blood blaze, blood of the martyr, brow gasher, command undead, companion life link, consecrate, cure moderate wounds, darkvision, death knell, deathwine, defending bone, defoliate, delay pain, desecrate, disfiguring touch, disrupt link, enemy’s heart, false life, gentle repose, ghostbane dirge, ghostly disguise, ghoul touch, haunting mists, hideous laughter, holy ice weapon, inflict moderate wounds, life link, life pact, martyr’s bargain, path of glory, protective penumbra, restoration (lesser), scare, sentry skull, shatter, sonic scream, spectral hand, spiritual weapon, status, steal breath, steal voice, stricken heart, summon monster II, touch of bloodletting, umbral weapon, unholy ice weapon, unshakable chill.

3rd-Level Necromage Spells—accursed glare, animate dead (lesser), aura of cannibalism, blood biography, contagion, cure serious wounds, dispel magic, eldritch fever, eruptive pustules, gloomblind bolts, halt undead, healing thief, howling agony, inflict serious wounds, life shield, loathsome veil, magic weapon (greater), pain strike, phantom steed, ray of exhaustion, sands of time, shield companion, skeleton crew, speak with dead, summon monster IV, undead anatomy I, unliving rage, vampiric touch.

4th-Level Necromage Spells—age resistance (lesser), aggravate affliction, agonize, animate dead, bestow curse, anti-incorporeal shell, bloatbomb, blood crow strike, bloody arrow, boneshatter, calcific touch, control summoned creature, crushing despair, cure critical wounds, curse of magic negation, darkvision (greater), death ward, debilitating portent, enervation, false life (greater), fear, fleshworm infestation, ghost wolf, infernal healing (greater), inflict critical wounds, locate creature, path of glory (greater), plague carrier, remove curse, rest eternal, sadomasochism, shadow barbs, shadow conjuration, shadow projection, shadow step, speak with haunt, summon monster V, undead anatomy II, wall of blindness/deafness.

5th-Level Necromage Spells—absorb toxicity, astral projection (lesser), black spot, blight, blood boil, breath of life, caustic blood, contagion (greater), cure light wounds (mass), day walker, disrupting weapon, empathy conduit, feast on fear, ghostbane dirge (greater), ghoul army, hallow, holy ice, inflict light wounds (mass), magic jar, pain strike (mass), possess object, raise dead, repair undead (mass), shadow evocation, siphon magic, slay living, soulswitch, spellsteal, suffocation, summon monster VII, symbol of pain, symbol of striking, symbol of weakness, undead anatomy III, undeath ward, unhallow, unholy ice, vampiric shadow shield, waves of fatigue.

6th-Level Necromage Spells—age resistance, astral projection, banshee blast, circle of death, control undead, create undead (greater), cure moderate wounds (mass), curse (major), cursed earth, dispel magic (greater), energy drain, eyebite, finger of death, hellfire ray, horrid wilting, impart mind, inflict moderate wounds (mass), orb of the void, plague storm, shadow walk, soul bind, summon monster VIII, symbol of death, symbol of fear, temporary resurrection, undeath to death, unwilling shield, wail of the banshee, waves of exhaustion.