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 Post subject: Dread Necromancer v1.13
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 2:52 pm 

Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 3:45 pm
Posts: 886

So over 5 years ago I released my first addon, Eternal Darkness. I thought it might be time to revisit Necromancer once more, with another version of the class.

General Overview
The Dread Necromancer is a complete reimagining of Necromancer - while it shares many of the themes and names, and has a few talents retained, it's effectively an entirely new take on the class.
It still uses mana and souls, but souls behave quite differently. You can store up to 5, and regenerate and can retain up to 3 out of combat. Damage dealt by you and your minions grant soul fragments, and you gain a soul when you obtain a sufficient amount. Souls are used both to summon minions, and for your more powerful spells.
Depending on your categories chosen you can have powerful, temporary minions, weaker mass minions that last indefinitely in combat, or a single minion with customization options.
Currently you cannot become a Lich - I've got some plans for that in the future, but they might wait until 1.6 when undead are in a better shape.


- Fixed an error if Skeletal Guardian becomes pinned.

- Small bugfixes.

- Fixed an error that occurs if you have no points in Master Necromancer
- Skeletons correctly grant a shield when Consumed
- Improved the error message when summoning Skeletal Deadeye

- Fixed a bug if you try to possess the minions spawned by Reanimation

- Fixed a bug where Corpse Explosion would cause lua errors

- Reduced the power of Death's Door.
- Death's Door now displays the remaining absorb on the buff icon.

- Fixed a bug where Spirit Feed would grant incorrect bonuses to Bone Giant.
- Sacrifice and Spirit Feed now grant bonuses to minions.
- Reduced the self damage dealt by Sacrifice.

- Dread Necromancer can no longer appear on NPCs.
- Switched the damage type of a few talents around.
- Grasping Dead now correctly breaks on damage.
- Skeleton Wizard damage improved.
- Skeleton Deadeye now correctly fires projectiles that bypass allies, and deals improved damage.
- Necrotic Shell interaction with armor altered, and effects improved.
- Death's Door now scales based off max life. Effects reduced.
- Reaper's Grasp should no longer be castable through walls, and correctly vanishes when the target dies.
- Assemble/Animate Dead recalls the Bone Giant to you on cast.
- Bone Giant life regen improved.
- Bone Giant gains Re-Assemble at TL4 rather than Bone Armour.
- Bone Scythes reworked.
- Gravestorm skeletons now count as basic ghouls.
- Spirit Feed now gives mana regeneration instead of spell speed, and grants all effects at 1+ souls.
- Master Necromancer now updates Bone Giant each turn to prevent 'snapshotting' of buffs.
- Consumption grants the correct buffs, and has a reduced effect if used for basic ghouls.

- Fixed tooltips for several minion abilities
- Fixed requirements for Essence of the Dead
- Spectral Sight correctly grants undead telepathy

- Runic Bone Giant grants inscription slots even if the bone giant has not been summoned.
- Bone Wave no longer inflicts friendly fire.

- Haunt now deals darkness damage.
- Spirit Feed no longer grants saves or penetration to your minions.

- Chill of the Tomb no longer autotargets.
- Surge of Undeath correctly expires from Bone Giant.
- Fixed Bone Giant stacking Master Necromancer bonuses.
- Fixed Wight's damage avoidance.
- Soulkeeper cannot be unlearned
- Sacrifice no longer increases minion damage

- Substantially reduced the damage dealt by all minions.
- Changed several direct damage spells to now deal cold damage.
- Corpse Explosion only functions while within line of sight.
- Clarified tooltips.

- Released

Class Categories

Deathknell: Curses enemies for darkness damage, and causes the next minion attack to trigger bonus lifesteal darkness damage.
Grasping Dead: Pins enemies in a cone. While grappled they take damage over time and suffer reduced defense/accuracy, until the undead limbs are destroyed.
Chill of the Tomb: Gives a minion a damaging cold aura that reduces their damage taken and gives negative effect immunity.
Rigor Mortis: Deals darkness damage + slow in an aoe, while increasing minion damage taken.

Skeletal Mastery
Skeletons are temporary summons that cost souls.
Skeletal Guardian: A stationary melee summon that blocks incoming melee/ranged attacks, and counterattacks when you or it are struck.
Skeletal Wizard: Casts aoe cold and darkness spells, and can blind and confuse.
Skeletal Deadeye: Focus fires a single target, applying a debuff that increases damage taken from other minions.
Lord of Skulls: Each minion gains an active ability you can command them to use.

Ghoul Mastery
Animate Dead: Passively raises a weak ghoul every few turns. Activate to consume a number of souls, summoning more powerful ghasts that last until combat ends or they die.
Surge of Undeath: Animate Dead also gives all minions increased global speed and lifesteal.
Corpse Explosion: Ghouls explode on death for darkness damage that heals friendly minions.
Touch of Rot: Ghouls inflict a disease that reduces str/dex/con and inflicts stacking darkness damage.

Spirit Mastery
Haunt: Consumes 1 soul to possess the lowest life target in range, dealing cold damage over a brief duration and inflicting talent failure. If the target dies, the spirit jumps to another enemy.
Grave Mist: Long lasting AoE that heavily reduces saves and resistances.
Corpselight: A cold damage AoE that expands in power and size each time you cast a spell, as well as summoning a wisp.
Wail of Doom: Knocks back targets in a wide AoE, inflicting silence and a powerful panic effect.

Blurred Mortality: Reduces your maximum life rating and life from Con by 50%, converting it into die_at as well as granting a large amount of die_at. While at or below 1 life, you take reduced damage.
Necrotic Shell: Increases armor, and while at or below 1 life you retaliate with lifestealing darkness.
Death's Door: Gives a powerful shield and prevents attacks from doing more than a % of maximum life - but sets your life to 1, and prevents you from going above 1 life until the effect ends.
Antilife Field: While at or below 1 life projects a darkness damage aura that reduces damage dealt by enemies.

Death (Locked)
Death's Embrace: Sustain, chance on dealing damage to deal bonus darkness lifedrain damage. Chance to deal damage scales with their missing life, amount healed scales with your missing life.
Circle of Death: Consumes a soul to deal high cold damage in a wide aoe, as well as baning enemies. Has no cooldown.
Reaper's Grasp: Dispels sustains and creates a soul shard of the target nearby. The soul shard echoes any damage taken to their source, and if killed the target suffers cold damage and is stunned.
Extinguish: Costs many souls, but instantly kills weaker enemies and raises them as a ghoul. Elite+ enemies instead take massive darkness damage based on their missing life, and may still be slain if their life drops below a threshold.

High Necromancy (Locked)
Empty the Crypts: Your Animate Dead has a chance to create powerful wights, vampires or ghoulkings.
Ossuary: Each of your Skeletal Mastery summons gives a buff while active.
Essence of the Dead: Each minion that dies gives a stacking charge that can be consumed to summon a dread, which has a debuff aura and powerful melee attacks.
Demilich: Destroys all your minions, converting them into a lich with power based on the minions killed. The lich has many necromancy spells and can summon undead.

Boneshaper (Locked)
Assemble: While sustained, Animate Dead instead creates a single bone giant, a very powerful permanent melee minion.
Corpse Graft: Elite+ enemies slain have a chance to drop body parts, which can be attached to your bone giant to give it new talents. (at the moment there's only about 10 parts, in the future there will be a lot more as well as unique parts for certain enemies)
Gravestorm: Destroys your bone giant to convert it into a whirling storm of bones that moves towards a targeted location. The storm damages enemies and leaves behind skeletal minions, and your bone giant reforms when it ends.
Runic Bone Giant: Gives your bone giant rune slots.

Generic Categories

Soulkeeper: Increases soul shards gained.
Reaper's Shroud: Each soul gained gives a damage shield.
Sacrifice: Inflicts a self damage over time to increase damage and gain soul shards.
Spirit Feed: Gives cold/darkness pen, and saves/spell speed for each soul you have.

Master Necromancer: Allows minions to inherit a % of many of your attributes.
Consumption: Destroys a minion to heal, and gives a buff for certain minions.
Reanimation: On death, minions have a chance to spawn a bone horror.
Undeath Link: Redirects damage and debuffs to your minions for a time.

Ghost Walk: Teleport to a tile. Can reactivate to instantly teleport back for a few turns after.
Spectral Sight: While under the effect of Ghost Walk, gain tracking. Also gives undead telepathy and shares vision with minions.
Intangibility: While under the effect of Ghost Walk, gain a chance to avoid damage/debuffs.
Path to Beyond: Ghost Walk's return creates taunting ghosts around you.

Animus (Locked)
Dark Binding: Mark a target for increased damage. If they are undead and fall below a % of life, turns them into a husk under your control.
Possession: Possess a necrotic minion for a duration, increasing their damage and duration. When the effect ends or they die, you reform at their location.
Twist Essence: Dark Binding also reduces powers, and can husk living targets and rares at higher ranks.
Spirit Parasite: On death, you can expend a soul to possess a necrotic minion and will resurrect if you can survive in their body for enough time. If destroyed, you can keep repeating this effect until you have no souls, or no minions.

Last edited by Razakai on Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:15 pm, edited 13 times in total.

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 4:21 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:45 pm
Posts: 869
Location: Middle of Nowhere
Looks excellent! Not sure what I want to try first, and that's awesome. Custom bone daddy looks really fun, but horde of ghouls is also pretty tempting, especially with a ghoul toon. Ghoul obviously already synergizes well with army of undead, plus then you have the double damage cap (If they are not mutually exclusive, anyway). Kind of wish Skeleton somehow synergized with skeletons and/or bonegiant, but I'm not sure what might work there. A fun Easter egg might be to have special body part drop from the player if and only if they die and res with the skeleton racial. Or maybe skeletons could share a portion of your bone shield or healing from reconstruction, or inherit your detrimental effects reduction or something. Just a random idea that popped into my head. Anyway, I'll try them out a bit and try to give you some constructive feedback.

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 10:28 pm 
Perspiring Physicist

Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:43 am
Posts: 6099
I've always found it weird that the easiest way to kill a Necromancer is with Undead.
Why, when they surely know more about Undead than anyone else, are they stuck with damage types that Undead strongly resist, and no anti Undead abilities?

My feedback meter decays into coding. Give me feedback and I make mods.

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 10:45 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:45 pm
Posts: 869
Location: Middle of Nowhere
Ran into my first LUA error (s). It's not always exactly the same, but it's always very vauge and just refrefences some lines in Actor.lua, with no reference to the add-on at all. But, it only started happening when I got Wights, and observation makes me suspect it has to do with their damage avoidance talent. Seems to mostly happen when they are in combat, and once a throwing knife caused cascading errors. Wight may have spawned on it? I'm not sure. Sorry I can't be more specific.

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 11:25 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:45 pm
Posts: 869
Location: Middle of Nowhere
Not quite a bug, but sort of: Chill of the Tomb auto-targets enemies, so if you have auto-target and auto-accept target enabled, it does absolutely nothing when you try to cast it, because an enemy is not a valid target. I had to turn off auto-accept to be able to use it.

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 12:07 am 
Perspiring Physicist

Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:43 am
Posts: 6099
nsrr wrote:
Ran into my first LUA error (s). Sorry I can't be more specific.

Get the error message out of the log file and post it here. That is quite specific.

My feedback meter decays into coding. Give me feedback and I make mods.

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 1:30 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:45 pm
Posts: 869
Location: Middle of Nowhere
I had started a new run to take a different advanced category and lost the logs, but fair enough. Loaded up the save and played til I got some errors again.

Some look like this:
##Use Talent Lua Error##   T_ATTACK   Actor:   37943   wight
Lua Error: /engine/interface/ActorTalents.lua:322: /engine/interface/ActorTalents.lua:295: /engine/interface/ActorTalents.lua:162: /mod/class/Actor.lua:2165: bad argument #1 to 'percent' (number expected, got table)
stack traceback:
   [C]: in function 'percent'
   /mod/class/Actor.lua:2165: in function 'onTakeHit'
   /mod/class/NPC.lua:332: in function 'onTakeHit'
   /mod/class/interface/ActorLife.lua:42: in function 'takeHit'
   /mod/class/Actor.lua:2870: in function 'takeHit'
   /data/damage_types.lua:491: in function 'projector'
   /mod/class/interface/Combat.lua:864: in function 'attackTargetHitProcs'
   /mod/class/interface/Combat.lua:641: in function 'attackTargetWith'
   /mod/addons/cults/superload/mod/class/interface/Combat.lua:30: in function 'attackTargetWith'
   /mod/class/interface/Combat.lua:225: in function 'attackTarget'
   /data/talents/misc/misc.lua:75: in function </data/talents/misc/misc.lua:54>
   [C]: in function 'xpcall'
   /engine/interface/ActorTalents.lua:160: in function </engine/interface/ActorTalents.lua:149>
   At [C]:-1
   At [C]:-1 error
   At /engine/interface/ActorTalents.lua:322 useTalent
   At /mod/ai//tactical.lua:418 runAI
   At /mod/ai//tactical.lua:446 runAI
   At /mod/ai//party.lua:36 doAI
   At /mod/class/NPC.lua:75 act
   At /engine/GameEnergyBased.lua:129 tickLevel
   At /engine/GameEnergyBased.lua:64 tick
   At /engine/GameTurnBased.lua:51 tick
   At /mod/class/Game.lua:1489

and others like this:
Lua Error: /mod/class/Actor.lua:2165: bad argument #1 to 'percent' (number expected, got table)
   At [C]:-1
   At [C]:-1 percent
   At /mod/class/Actor.lua:2165 onTakeHit
   At /mod/class/NPC.lua:332 onTakeHit
   At /mod/class/interface/ActorLife.lua:42 takeHit
   At /mod/class/Actor.lua:2870 takeHit
   At /data/damage_types.lua:491 defaultProjector
   At /data/damage_types.lua:703 projector
   At /mod/class/interface/Archery.lua:432 damtype
   At /engine/interface/ActorProject.lua:419 projectDoAct
   At /engine/interface/ActorProject.lua:508 projectDoStop
   At /engine/Projectile.lua:230 act
   At /engine/GameEnergyBased.lua:129 tickLevel
   At /engine/GameEnergyBased.lua:64 tick
   At /engine/GameTurnBased.lua:51 tick
   At /mod/class/Game.lua:1489

It's definitely related to Wights, as you can see in the top error, but aside from that there's no direct reference to the add-on. Hopefully that's enough of a lead for you. Whenever a Wight spawns it makes things pretty unplayable.

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 3:26 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:43 pm
Posts: 628
Since I have a fondness for necromancers (and think they're highly underrated as a class) I always enjoy tweaks to idea. One of the main problems with necros is that their undead summoning/controlling abilities don't really scale well at the endgame, or at higher levels of difficulty than "Normal" (or maybe Nightmare, which is workable but tedious.) As an undead summoner Necro, they're one of the few classes that are strongest at mid-game rather than early or late. So I'm interested in a Necro variant that focuses on summoning as a primary weapon. One question, as relates to scaling -- have you tested it in higher levels of difficulty? Looking at the fact that the souls, and soul count, don't go up and are extremely limited in the number of actions you can take before they're depleted, I'm concerned that the sort of prolonged fights you'll be getting into past mid-game will result in you just running out of power. Level 50 Dread Necros have the same constraints as their level 1 counterparts. Incremental soul regain is nice when you can kill lots of weaker enemies or do severe and/or constant damage to stronger ones, but when you're fighting a few Uniques, Elites, and Bosses all over a level, watching them shrug off damage with their high saves, defenses, and resistances, it would seem that you run a very real chance of basically tossing up cannon fodder and hoping you can buy enough time to toss up more cannon fodder with the mechanics of how souls operate with this class. I could be wrong -- and it'll take a while to discover whether I am -- but that's kind of what it looks like at first glance.

One thing I have already noticed: since you get 10 souls without Soulkeeper and 3-5 with it, there might be a temptation to keep those talents at the end of any training so you can return to town between levels or before a tough fight and unlearn it to get those 10 souls back, then relearning it once you've used it to all the advantage you can.

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 9:17 am 

Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 3:45 pm
Posts: 886
New release out, just bugfixes this time.

that's a bug with the Wight racial's avoid damage chance, is fixed in this update.

Dread Necromancer addresses this in a few ways. Note that I haven't playtested past mid levels, but that was on Insane difficulty.
Minions get +all stats for each point of Magic you have, and Master Necromancer lets them inherit your resists, immunities, +darkness damage/penetration as alldam/penetration, and a portion of your spellpower/crit as various other stats.
The free ghouls resummon quite quickly, so even without other minions you can carry on dealing acceptable damage with Grave spells.
If your minions are being killed quickly, you'll be triggering Corpse Explosion and Reanimation as well to punish your attackers.
If you've taken High Necromancy dead minions also means you'll be able to summon more dreads. And the Bone Giant is very durable and easy to resummon if you've gone that route.
You'll also likely have Sacrifice, which at higher ranks can refill your entire soul bar several times over it's duration.
And even without minions, you're still capable of tanking quite a lot of damage thanks to Necrosis.
And good point with Soulkeeper, it should really be an unlearnable talent - the -souls on it is a hack for addon purposes as if this was part of the 'real' game I'd have souls default to 5.

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 5:54 pm 

Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 3:45 pm
Posts: 886
Another small fix - Spirit Feed's bonuses had weird interactions with minions so I've disabled that. And DoctorNull pointed out that having both Haunt and Deathknell doing cold damage early game was painful for stuff like alt Norgos, so Haunt now deals darkness.

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 6:40 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:43 pm
Posts: 628
Okay. It does seem likely that most of my apprehension is based on the fact that powerful late-game enemies can wipe the floor with even the strongest minions in just a few short turns. More powerful minions, and what appears to be a cascading effect (new minions rising from the destruction of old minions, which, with the traditional necro, was underwhelming in late game because those wisps were mostly just distraction by then) Also, I probably wasn't giving enough shrift to the incremental soul factor -- I haven't raised Soulkeeper to 5 yet but the scaling does look like you'll eventually get two souls per dead enemy. After work, I'll do some more testing and try to offer actual informed feedback rather than wild speculation next time. :D

Yeah, I think you should just tag the Soulkeeper as a permanent-changetheworld talent. Even if you take time to fix the starting souls later, just by making it a permanent non-unlearnable talent, you will ensure that people will only have those 10 souls once, at the start of the game, and if that's the difference between surviving or dying at the start of the game, they have bigger issues they need to address anyway. I would suggest a lowkey midgame (maybe level 30 or so) opportunity to maybe add just a single soul to a player's permanent reservoir, i.e. can get it to 4 out of 5, just so they can cast two powerful summons in succession. Possibly make it part of Soulkeeper as a benefit for 6th or 7th level (I can't check the multiplier here, but whatever level you'd have to spend an extra category point to gain)?

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 7:33 pm 
Low Yeek

Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 7:24 pm
Posts: 6
Played a couple hours, fulfilled all my necromantic needs.
Just one thing: Trying to check the vampire's talents give me a LUA error. Doesn't actually cause any harm, though, far as I can tell.
Looks like this. Tried it a few times, and the log seems identical each time.
Lua Error: /data-dreadnecromancer/talents/spells/ghoul-mastery-raz.lua:67: attempt to call field 'getAvoid' (a nil value)
At [C]:-1 getAvoid
At /data-dreadnecromancer/talents/spells/ghoul-mastery-raz.lua:67 info
At /engine/interface/ActorTalents.lua:82 info
At /mod/class/Actor.lua:5833 getTalentFullDescription
At /mod/dialogs/CharacterSheet.lua:1358 sort_talents
At /mod/dialogs/CharacterSheet.lua:1442 drawDialog
At /mod/dialogs/CharacterSheet.lua:222 switchTo
At /mod/dialogs/CharacterSheet.lua:57 on_change
At /engine/ui/Tab.lua:93 select
At /engine/ui/Tab.lua:54 fct
At /engine/Mouse.lua:58 receiveMouse
At /engine/Mouse.lua:98 delegate
At /engine/ui/Dialog.lua:765 mouseEvent
At /engine/ui/Dialog.lua:485 fct
At /engine/Mouse.lua:58

Apparently it takes a couple days to get one's first post approved, so this is now grossly irrelevant and can be safely ignored.

Last edited by Mathnygard on Wed May 08, 2019 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 7:54 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:43 pm
Posts: 191
So, after some quick attempts to break this class, I found two things I consider to be bugs.

The Bone Wave talent granted by the Splintered Bones (from Corpse Graft) can harm you (despite only saying "enemies").

If you level the Runic Bone Giant skill without ever having summoned your Bone Giant, it will not gain an inscription slot from the talent and the point is basically wasted.

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 8:05 pm 

Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 3:45 pm
Posts: 886
Both fixed, thanks.

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 10:19 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:12 pm
Posts: 228
Are the minions compatible with Blighted Summoning, or are there any plans to flesh it out further? It doesn't seem like it should be an issue, but I noticed that BS grants Bone Giants a Bone Shield, which my bone giant already has. Since I have the giant I'm not using Ghasts, but those aren't mentioned in BS, nor are Dreads.

Let slip the toast of war.

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