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The Pale Master

The Pale Master is a magic user obsessed with the study of life and death. They specialize in spells and incantations that allow them to harness the very life-force that flows through all creatures. Where a life-force is not present, they are able to instill a mimicry of foul life, rising these dead creatures from their once peaceful earthen resting places.

Contents

Obsession with the Dark Arts

Most practitioners of the necromantic arts share one overwhelming commonality; a lifelong search for the secrets of undeath. This search becomes an obsession for the Pale Master, who forsake any sort of social life to study endlessly and try to quench their endless thirst for mastery of the dark arts. Those who truly wish to embrace these arts can choose a dangerous way to connect with the undead, completing an ancient and forbidden ritual hidden in the darkest tomes that mortal eyes may happen upon. They must leave the dark rooms of their studies, conquer real foes, and attain the experience necessary to truly understand a mastery of Necromancy. With that mastery, they can construct undead servants to serve along side them.

Masters of the Necrotic Magic

Pale Masters are arcane casters who draw on necromantic lore that provides a macabre power all its own. Some aspire to live forever, effectively becoming immortal. Others are fascinated with death and what happens to souls that are unable to pass into the afterlife. Some pale masters seek to gain power through raising an army of once fallen soldiers to continue the battle once more. With this obsession to learn everything there is to know about the necromantic arts, a sacrifice happens as the pale master becomes uninterested in other types of magic, except for a select few spells they feel can help them reach their goals faster. As a result, pale masters have a very small subset of arcane spells to draw upon. This lack of breadth is offset by the unique abilities they gain while studying their undead subjects.

Table: The Pale Master
Level Proficiency Bonus Features Cantrips Known 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +2 Bulwark of the undead, spellcasting, requiem of souls 3 2
2nd +2 Dark mending, death’s whisper 3 3
3rd +2 Requiem feature 3 4 2
4th +2 Ability score improvement 4 4 3
5th +3 4 4 3 2
6th +3 Deathless vigor, requiem feature 4 4 3 3
7th +3 4 4 3 3 1
8th +3 Ability score improvement 4 4 3 3 2
9th +4 4 4 3 3 3 1
10th +4 Thrall’s boon, requiem feature 5 4 3 3 3 2
11th +4 5 4 3 3 3 2 1
12th +4 Ability score improvement 5 4 3 3 3 2 1
13th +5 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
14th +5 Requiem feature 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
15th +5 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
16th +5 Ability score improvement 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
17th +6 Undead acclimation 5 4 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 1
18th +6 Necromastery 5 4 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 1
19th +6 Ability score improvement 5 4 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
20th +6 Rebuke the grave 5 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1

Creating a Pale Master

Creating a pale master character benefits from a backstory involving an encounter with an undead creature. How did your character first come into contact with the undead? Why did you become fascinated with them? Why have you devoted large amounts of time to studying them?

What then drew you forth from this life of study? Do you want to find that a specific undead creature? Maybe you want to gain a better understanding of necromantic magic? Have you received word of a sealed crypt not yet plundered?

Perhaps you seek immortality and learning about the undead will help you uncover the answer to this secret.

Quick Build

You can make a pale master quickly by following these suggestions. First, Intelligence should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Second, choose the sage background. Third, choose the blood siphon, corruption, and spare the dying cantrips, along with the following 1stlevel spells from your grimoire: death’s grasp, inflict wounds, and rot.

Class Features

As a pale master, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per pale master level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per pale master level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: None; Weapons: Daggers, light hammers, sickles, quarterstaffs
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Constitution, Intelligence
Skills: Choose two from Arcana, Deception, History, Intimidation, Investigation, Medicine, and Religion

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a quarterstaff or (b) a dagger
  • (a) a component pouch or (b) an arcane focus
  • (a) a scholar’s pack or (b) a priest’s pack
  • A grimoire

Bulwark of the Undead

At 1st level, you learn to harness the gifts possessed by the undead creatures in your company. You gain immunity to disease and while you are wearing no armor and are not wielding a shield, your AC equals 13 + your Constitution modifier as your skin becomes as hard as bone.

Spellcasting

As a student of necromantic magic, you have obtained a grimoire containing spells dealing with the dark arts. At first, your ability to understand the scripture in this tome is limited.

However, you are told that through devoted study and practice you will be able to decipher more of the pages, and the potency of the spells available to you will become formidable. Unlike more traditional arcane casters, you are unable to learn spells from schools of magic other than necromancy unless they are granted by your chosen requiem.

Cantrips

At 1st level, you know three cantrips of your choice from the pale master spell list. You learn additional pale master cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Pale Master table.

Grimoire

At 1st level, you obtain a tome containing all of the currently known necromancy spells in the realm. There are a few blank pages at the back of the grimoire, allowing you to inscribe any requiem spells you learn during your travels when you choose which requiem path to follow.

The spells that you decipher in your grimoire as you gain levels reflect the research you conduct on your own, as well as intellectual breakthroughs you have had while dealing with undead.

Preparing and Casting Spells

The Pale Master table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher.

You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

You prepare the list of necromancy spells that are available for you to cast. To do so, choose a number of pale master spells from your grimoire equal to your Intelligence modifier + your pale master level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

For example, if you’re a 3rd-level pale master you have four 1st-level and two 2nd-level spell slots. With an Intelligence of 16, your list of prepared spells can include six spells of 1st or 2nd level, in any combination, chosen from your grimoire. If you prepare the 1st-level spell inflict wounds, you can cast it using a 1st-level or a 2nd-level slot. Casting the spell doesn’t remove it from your list of prepared spells.

You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of pale master spells requires time spent studying your grimoire and memorizing the incantations and gestures you must make to cast the spell: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

Spellcasting Ability

Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your pale master spells, since you learn your spells through dedicated study and memorization. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability.

In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a pale master spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Ritual Casting

You can cast a necromancy spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag, as the spell is in your grimoire. You don’t need to have the spell prepared.

Spellcasting Focus

You can use an arcane focus (found in chapter 5) as a spellcasting focus for your pale master spells. Your Undead Graft, obtained at 3rd level, becomes your spellcasting focus.

Learning Spells of 1st Level and Higher Each time you gain a pale master level, you are able to decipher more of your grimoire. When you gain a new spell slot level, you are able to understand and cast the corresponding level of spells if you have them prepared.

Replacing a Grimoire

Your grimoire is an ancient tome that was given to you and is thus practically irreplaceable.

However, you are able to copy a spell from your own grimoire into another tome – for example, if you want to make a backup copy of your grimoire. This is a lengthy and painstaking process, particularly for the spells you have not yet deciphered and used.

For spells you are able to cast, coping the spell is just like scribing onto a scroll, but faster and easier, since you understand the notation and already know how to cast the spell. You need spend only 1 hour and 10 gp. for each level of the copied spell.

For spells you cannot yet cast, the process is much more difficult. To retain the incantation’s meaning, you must copy it exactly. To do so, you may make an arcana check against a DC 15 for second levels spells. This DC further increases by 2 for every additional spell level you wish to transcribe.

For this reason, it is very rare for a pale master to make copies of their grimoire; rather choosing to value it above all their other material possessions.

The Grimoire’s Appearance

A pale master’s grimoire tends to don runes inlaid into a black leather cover, which symbolize the dark magic contained within.

Requiem of Souls

The study of the dark arts is ancient, stretching back to the earliest discoveries of magic. It is firmly established in the realm.

At 1st level, choose which requiem you will follow; shaping your understanding of dark magic through their practice.

These requiems are called: Requiem of the Ash, Requiem of the Frigid, Requiem of the Haunt, and Requiem of the Torpor.

Each is detailed at the end of the class description.

Your choice grants you requiem spells and other features when you choose it at 1st level. It also grants you an undead graft feature specific to your requiem at 3rd level, and additional benefits at 6th, 10th, and 14th levels.

Dark Mending

Beginning at 2nd level, you are able heal your wounds and the wounds of undead creations you have created by channeling forbidden necromantic energies. When you or an undead creature under your control that you can see within 60 feet of you is hit with an attack but before the damage is rolled, you can use your reaction to heal the target for an amount equal to one Dark Mending die, a d6. If the target creature is your undead servant, it is healed for double the amount.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier (a minimum of once). You regain any expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Your Dark Mending die changes when you reach certain levels in this class. The die becomes a d8 at 5th level, a d10 at 10th level, and a d12 at 15th level.

Death’s Whisper

Starting at 2nd level, you gain the ability to cast speak with dead as a ritual. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Also, the undead who lurk in the dark begin to lose their mystery. You gain darkvision out to 60 feet (if you already have darkvision, its effective distance is increased by 30 feet), you become proficient with the Religion skill if you are not already and you have advantage on all Religion skill checks if they are related to the undead.

Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Deathless Vigor

At 6th level, your body becomes more akin to the undead you keep in your cohort. You become resistant to necrotic damage.

Additionally, you are able to reroll a failed Constitution saving throw but must take the second result. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Constitution modifier (a minimum of once). You regain expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Thrall’s Boon

At 10th level, the bond you share with your undead servant strengthens. Using your action, you are able to command your servant to use its reaction to touch a creature within 5 feet of it, delivering any of your spells or abilities with a range of touch.

You may use your combat statistics in place of your servant’s if they are greater.

Undead Acclimation

By 17th level, you have spent so much time dealing with undead and the powers of animation that you gain prowess over some of their most predominant effects.

When you are hit with an attack that deals critical damage, the attack does normal damage instead. Additionally, you are immune to necrotic damage and your hit point maximum cannot be reduced.

Necromastery

At 18th level, you have gained mastery over certain necromancy spells, allowing you to cast them at will.

Choose a 1st-level pale master spell and a 2nd-level pale master spell that are in your grimoire and belong to the necromancy school of magic. You can cast those spells at their lowest level without expending a spell slot when you have them prepared. If you want to cast either spell at a higher level, you must expend a spell slot as normal.

By spending 8 hours in study, you can exchange one or both of the spells you chose for different spells of the same levels.

Rebuke the Grave

At 20th level, when you take a single source of damage that would knock you unconscious or kill you outright, you may use this feature as a reation to take no damage instead.

You can choose to allow your servant to use this ability with its reaction instead of yourself. Once you use this feature, you cannot do so again until you complete a long rest.

Requiem of Souls

“Everything that grows will wither and die” is the essence of all creation as understood by pale masters, but their methods for acting upon this ideal differs greatly. Pale Masters are able to focus their studies into different specializations, called requiems. While all pale masters can summon the dead to fight for them, some are able to draw on life force and use it to strengthen or heal themselves and their allies, some harness winter’s fury or blend in and even control the shadows and the horrifying creatures that cast light aside, while others spread decay and undeath upon their foes and effortlessly raise them as undead abominations.

Requiem of the Ash

Requiem of the Ash Pale Masters focus on the ebbs and flows of life and death. They feel most comfortable surrounded by armies made of bone, and have expanded their prowess to utilize rudimentary flame magic to aid in the process of turning creatures to ash, feeding the regrowth process.

Expanded Spell List (ash)

This requiem lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a new spell. The following spells are added to the Pale Master spell list for you.

Spell Level Spell Name
Cantrip fire bolt, mending, resistance
1st bless, burning hands, cure wounds
2nd lesser restoration, scorching ray
3rd mass healing word, tongues
4th banishment, freedom of movement
5th creation, reincarnate
6th disintegrate
7th regenerate
8th power word stun

Undead Servant (Dust Skeleton)

At 1st level, you forge an Ashen Bond with the undead, allowing you to use your magic to animate an undead servant in the form of a dust skeleton.

With 8 hours of work, a pile of bones and a small sacrifice of your own blood, you complete a ritual that imbues the bones with a foul mimicry of life, raising it as an undead creature to become your faithful servant.

If your servant is ever slain, the magical bond you share allows you to return it to life. With 8 hours of work and the expenditure of 25 gp. worth of rare bone dust, you again enchant the pile of bones with magic to restore it to sentience. You can return the skeleton to undeath in this manner even if you do not possess all the remaining parts of its body.

Ashen Bond

Undead Servant. Your skeleton obeys your commands as best it can. It rolls for initiative like any other creature, but you determine its actions, decisions, attitudes, and so on. If you are incapacitated or absent, your servant acts on its own.

Your skeleton has abilities and game statistics determined in part by your level. Your servant uses your proficiency bonus rather than its own. The proficiency bonus applies to the areas where it would normally.

Keeping Track of Proficiency. When you gain your servant at 1st level, its proficiency bonus matches yours at +2. As you gain levels and increase your proficiency bonus, remember that your servant’s proficiency bonus improves as well, and is applied to the following areas: ability saving throw DC, proficient skills, proficient saving throws, and attack bonus.

Hit Points, Ability Scores & Skill Proficiency. For each pale master level you gain after 1st, your servant gains an additional hit die and increases its hit points accordingly.

Whenever you gain the Ability Score Improvement class feature, your servant’s abilities also improve. Your servant can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or it can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, your servant can’t increase an ability score above 20.

Alignment & Personality Traits. Your servant shares your alignment and ideal. Its bond, trait, and flaw are decided by you upon its creation. Here is an example:

Bond. I would gladly give my life for my beloved master.

Trait. I’m dauntless in the face of adversity.

Flaw. I tend to lose some of the bones that were used to create me, forcing my master to always search for more.

Undead Graft (Skeletal)

Upon reaching 3rd level, you graft a necrotic rune into your arm. After 24 hours, the flesh dissolves from your arm, leaving behind a skeletal appendage.

Your undead graft becomes a spellcasting focus for your magic, allowing you to cast spells with it and ignore material components that do not have a cost. Also, your graft is considered to be a simple weapon that you are proficient with, which deals 1d8 necrotic damage. When attacking with the graft, you can use your Strength or Intelligence modifier for the attack and damage rolls.

At 6th level, your graft counts as magical and gains a +1 bonus to melee attacks and damage. This increases to a +2 bonus at 12th level and a +3 bonus at 16th level.

Paralyzing Touch

At 6th level, when you make a melee attack using your undead graft against a target, it can cause paralysis. On a successful attack, the target takes an additional 2d8 necrotic damage and must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against your spell save DC or become paralyzed for 1 minute.

The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

You can use this feature once per long rest at 6th level. You gain an additional use at 14th level. Expended uses are regained when you finish a long rest.

Greater Undead Servant

At 10th level, your understanding of necromantic magic allows you strengthen your servant’s power. Your servant gains two feats of your choosing from the following list: Alert, Charger, Moderately Armored, Resilient, Savage Attacker, or Skulker.

Reanimation

At 10th level, you gain the ability to focus your energy and reanimate your servant, forgoing the typical process. As a reaction, if your dust skeleton servant is within 120 feet of you and dies, you are able to return a foul mimicry of life, raising it with half of its total hit points.

Once you have used this feature, you cannot do so again until you finish a long rest.

Ossien Armor

At 14th level, a touch from your skeletal graft can momentarily encase a target in bone to mitigate damage from an incoming attack. As a reaction, you can half the damage from a single source for a willing creature or target that you can see within 5 feet.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier (a minimum of once). You regain expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Requiem of the Frigid

Requiem of the Frigid Pale Masters bring a cold gripping death to their foes. Harnessing the chill of winter, they are able conjure ice and snow on a whim.

Expanded Spell List (Frigid)

This requiem lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a new spell. The following spells are added to the Pale Master spell list for you.

Spell Level Spell Name
Cantrip ray of frost, resistance, thaumaturgy
1st armor of agathys, ice knife, sleep
2nd gust of wind, hold person
3rd sleet storm, slow
4th control water, ice storm
5th cone of cold, conjure elemental (water)
6th freezing sphere
7th simulacrum
8th control weather

Undead Servant (Frozen Ghost)

At 1st level, you forge an Glacial Bond with the undead, allowing you to use your magic to animate one undead servant in the form of a frozen ghost.

With 8 hours of work, a handful of ice and a small sacrifice of your own blood, you complete a ritual that pulls a soul back from the afterlife and binds it into servitude as your faithful servant.

If your servant is ever slain, the magical bond you share allows you to return it to life. With 8 hours of work and the expenditure of 25 gp. worth of rare bone dust, you can again preform a ritual to pull your servant back to the material plane.

Glacial Bond

Undead Servant. Your ghost obeys your commands as best it can. It rolls for initiative like any other creature, but you determine its actions, decisions, attitudes, and so on. If you are incapacitated or absent, your companion acts on its own.

Your ghost has abilities and game statistics determined in part by your level. Your servant uses your proficiency bonus rather than its own. The proficiency bonus applies to the areas where it would normally.

Keeping Track of Proficiency. When you gain your servant at 1st level, its proficiency bonus matches yours at +2. As you gain levels and increase your proficiency bonus, remember that your servant’s proficiency bonus improves as well, and is applied to the following areas: ability saving throw DC, proficient skills, proficient saving throws, and attack bonus.

Hit Points, Ability Scores & Skill Proficiency. For each pale master level you gain after 1st, your servant gains an additional hit die and increases its hit points accordingly.

Whenever you gain the Ability Score Improvement class feature, your servant’s abilities also improve. Your servant can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or it can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, your servant can’t increase an ability score above 20.

Alignment & Personality Traits. Your servant shares your alignment and ideal. Its bond, trait, and flaw are decided by you upon its creation. Here is an example:

Bond: I would gladly give my life for my beloved master.

Trait: I actively seek out snowly places.

Flaw: A dislike the warmth and resist if my master forces me to leave the cold.

Undead Graft (Frostbite)

Upon reaching 3rd level, you graft a necrotic rune into your arm. After 24 hours, your arm succumbs to deep frostbite, leaving behind a dead deep purple appendage.

Your undead graft becomes a spellcasting focus for your magic, allowing you to cast spells with it and ignore material components that do not have a cost. Also, your graft is considered to be a simple weapon that you are proficient with, which deals 1d8 necrotic damage. When attacking with the graft, you can use your Strength or Intelligence modifier for the attack and damage rolls.

At 6th level, your graft counts as magical and gains a +1 bonus to melee attacks and damage. This increases to a +2 bonus at 12th level and a +3 bonus at 16th level.

Chilling Touch

At 6th level, when you make a melee attack using your undead graft against a target, it can cause paralysis. On a successful attack, the target takes an additional 2d8 necrotic damage and must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against your spell save DC or suffer two levels of exhaustion.

If the target failed its save by 10 or more, it suffers three levels of exhaustion instead.

You can use this feature once per long rest at 6th level. You gain an additional use at 14th level. Expended uses are regained when you finish a long rest.

Greater Undead Servant

At 10th level, your understanding of necromantic magic allows you strengthen your servant’s power. Your servant gains two feats of your choosing from the following list: Alert, Dungeon Delver, Mobile, Observant, Resilient, or Skulker.

Splinter the Ice

Starting at 10th level, if your frozen ghost servant deals damage to a creature, you may use your reaction to deal 2d6 cold damage to the target if it is within 30 feet of you.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier (a minimum of once). You regain expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Chilled to the Bone

At 14th level, whenever you deal cold damage to a target, it must make a Constitution saving throw or have its movement speed halved until the end of its next turn. This feature happens after other movement impairing effects have been applied.

Requiem of the Haunt

Requiem of the Haunt Pale Masters live in the shadows. They are able to spread their influence to snuff out light and enjoy terrifying their foes with thoughts of the unknown.

Expanded Spell List (Haunt)

This requiem lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a new spell. The following spells are added to the Pale Master spell list for you.

Spell Level Spell Name
Cantrip dancing lights, minor illusion, thaumaturgy
1st bane, silent image, unseen servant
2nd darkness, misty step
3rd blink, fear
4th hallucinatory terrain, phantasmal killer
5th mislead, telekinesis
6th wind walk
7th etherealness
8th feeblemind

Undead Servant (Tenebrous Shadow)

At 1st level, you forge a Penumbra Bond with the undead, allowing you to use your magic to animate one undead servant in the form of a tenebrous shadow.

With 8 hours of work, a burning incense and a small sacrifice of your own blood, you complete a ritual that pulls a soul back from the afterlife and binds it into servitude as your faithful servant.

If your servant is ever slain, the magical bond you share allows you to return it to life. With 8 hours of work and the expenditure of 25 gp. worth of rare bone dust, you can again preform a ritual to pull your servant back to the material plane.

Penumbra Bond

Undead Servant. Your shadow obeys your commands as best it can. It rolls for initiative like any other creature, but you determine its actions, decisions, attitudes, and so on. If you are incapacitated or absent, your companion acts on its own.

Your shadow has abilities and game statistics determined in part by your level. Your servant uses your proficiency bonus rather than its own. The proficiency bonus applies to the areas where it would normally.

Keeping Track of Proficiency. When you gain your servant at 1st level, its proficiency bonus matches yours at +2. As you gain levels and increase your proficiency bonus, remember that your servant’s proficiency bonus improves as well, and is applied to the following areas: ability saving throw DC, proficient skills, proficient saving throws, and attack bonus.

Hit Points, Ability Scores & Skill Proficiency. For each pale master level you gain after 1st, your servant gains an additional hit die and increases its hit points accordingly.

Whenever you gain the Ability Score Improvement class feature, your servant’s abilities also improve. Your servant can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or it can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, your servant can’t increase an ability score above 20.

Alignment & Personality Traits. Your servant shares your alignment and ideal. Its bond, trait, and flaw are decided by you upon its creation. Here is an example:

Bond: I would gladly give my life for my beloved master.

Trait: I prefer dark and chilly places.

Flaw: A strong wind can blow me away, forcing my master to spend time searching for me.

Undead Graft (Mist)

Upon reaching 3rd level, you graft a necrotic rune into your arm. After 24 hours, dark strands of mist seep out of the pours in your arm, lingering in the air around the appendage.

Your undead graft becomes a spellcasting focus for your magic, allowing you to cast spells with it and ignore material components that do not have a cost. Also, your graft is considered to be a simple weapon that you are proficient with, which deals 1d8 necrotic damage. When attacking with the graft, you can use your Strength or Intelligence modifier for the attack and damage rolls.

At 6th level, your graft counts as magical and gains a +1 bonus to melee attacks and damage. This increases to a +2 bonus at 12th level and a +3 bonus at 16th level.

Dreadful Touch

At 6th level, when you make a melee attack using your undead graft against a target, it can cause profound trepidation. On a successful attack, the target takes an additional 2d8 necrotic damage and must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against your spell save DC or its Wisdom Ability Score is reduced by 2d4 and it is blinded until the target completes a short or long rest.

You can use this feature once per long rest at 6th level. You gain an additional use at 14th level. Expended uses are regained when you finish a long rest.

Greater Undead Servant

At 10th level, your understanding of necromantic magic allows you strengthen your servant’s power. Your servant gains two feats of your choosing from the following list: Alert, Mage Slayer, Mobile, Skilled or Skulker.

Terror in the Night

Starting at 10th level, if your tenebrous shadow servant deals damage to a creature, you may use your reaction to force the target to succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or become frightened of you until the end of its next turn if it is within 30 feet of you.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier (a minimum of once). You regain expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Secrecy of Shadow

Starting at 14th level, if you are hidden from a creature when you cast a spell on it, the creature has disadvantage on any saving throw it makes against the spell this turn. If the spell is cast using your Thrall’s Boon feature, only you need to be hidden from the target, not your servant.

Requiem of the Torpor

Requiem of the Torpor Pale Masters drain the very energy out of their victims while spreading death and decay upon the battle field.

Expanded Spell List (torpor)

This requiem lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a new spell. The following spells are added to the Pale Master spell list for you.

Spell Level Spell Name
Cantrip
acid splash, poison spray, thaumaturgy
1st create or destroy water, fog cloud, grease
2nd acid arrow, protection from poison
3rd stinking cloud, water breathing
4th death ward, giant insect
5th cloudkill, hallow
6th disintegrate
7th regenerate
8th incendiary cloud

Undead Servant (Rotting Zombie)

At 1st level, you forge a Perishing Bond with the undead, allowing you to use your magic to animate one undead servant in the form of a rotting zombie (stats on pg. 17).

With 8 hours of work, a corpse and a small sacrifice of your own blood, you complete a ritual that enchants the corpse with dark magic, raising it as an undead creature to become as your faithful servant.

If your servant is ever slain, the magical bond you share allows you to return it to life. With 8 hours of work and the expenditure of 25 gp. worth of rare bone dust, you again enchant a corpse with magic to restore it to sentience. You can return the zombie to undeath in this manner even if you do not possess all the remaining parts of its body.

Perishing Bond

Undead Servant. Your zombie obeys your commands as best it can. It rolls for initiative like any other creature, but you determine its actions, decisions, attitudes, and so on. If you are incapacitated or absent, your servant acts on its own.

Your zombie has abilities and game statistics determined in part by your level. Your servant uses your proficiency bonus rather than its own. The proficiency bonus applies to the areas where it would normally.

Keeping Track of Proficiency. When you gain your servant at 1st level, its proficiency bonus matches yours at +2. As you gain levels and increase your proficiency bonus, remember that your servant’s proficiency bonus improves as well, and is applied to the following areas: ability saving throw DC, proficient skills, proficient saving throws, and attack bonus.

Hit Points, Ability Scores & Skill Proficiency. For each pale master level you gain after 1st, your servant gains an additional hit die and increases its hit points accordingly.

Whenever you gain the Ability Score Improvement class feature, your servant’s abilities also improve. Your servant can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or it can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, your servant can’t increase an ability score above 20.

Alignment & Personality Traits. Your servant shares your alignment and ideal. Its bond, trait, and flaw are decided by you upon its creation. Here is an example:

Bond: I would gladly give my life for my beloved master.

Trait: I don’t find life outside the graveyard appealing.

Flaw: My master walks too quickly, leaving me behind.

Undead Graft (Decay)

Upon reaching 3rd level, you graft a necrotic rune into your arm. After 24 hours, the flesh on your arm begins to rot, forming pustules on the appendage.

Your undead graft becomes a spellcasting focus for your magic, allowing you to cast spells with it and ignore material components that do not have a cost. Also, your graft is considered to be a simple weapon that you are proficient with, which deals 1d8 necrotic damage. When attacking with the graft, you can use your Strength or Intelligence modifier for the attack and damage rolls.

At 6th level, your graft counts as magical and gains a +1 bonus to melee attacks and damage. This increases to a +2 bonus at 12th level and a +3 bonus at 16th level.

Weakening Touch

At 6th level, when you make a melee attack using your undead graft against a target, it can cripple a foe. On a successful attack, the target takes an additional 2d8 necrotic damage and must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against your spell save DC or its Strength Ability Score is reduced by 2d4 and it is poisoned until the target completes a short or long rest.

You can use this feature once per long rest at 6th level. You gain an additional use at 14th level. Expended uses are regained when you finish a long rest.

Greater Undead Servant Starting at 10th level, your servant can make two attacks when you command it to use the Attack action and its attacks now count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.

Additionally, it gains two feats of your choosing from the following list: Athlete, Durable, Grappler, Heavily Armored, Heavy Armor Master, Resilient, or Tough (PHB pg.165).

Undead Cohort

Starting at 10th level, any zombie that you create with a necromancy spell has 10 temporary hit points upon creation.

Additionally, your rotting zombie servant gains 10 temporary hit points whenever it makes an initiative roll.

Billowing Decay

At 14th level, if a humanoid dies while standing in a cloudkill spell that you cast, they become a zombie under your control at the end of your next turn and obey your mental commands.

The only action they can take is the Attack action, making one melee attack. The zombies last for 1 minute, after which time they collapse and die.

Pale Master Spells

Pale Masters forgo studying or training in other arcane schools, preferring to specialize in necromancy. It is intended for all other necromancy spells to be added to the Pale Master’s spell list.

Multiclassing

Multiclassing allows you to gain levels in multiple classes.

Multiclassing Prerequisites

To qualify for the Pale Master class, you are required to have a minimum Intelligence of 13.

Multiclassing Proficiencies

When multiclassing into a Pale Master, you do not gain any additional proficiencies in armor or weapons.

New Character Options

Listed below are two new feats. A feat is a talent or an area of specialization that give characters new abilities.

Rally the Dead

Undead creatures under your control have advantage on their attacks rolls against a target if at least one of their allies is within 5 feet of the creature, is not incapacitated and is also an undead creature.

Siphon Life

Prerequisite: The ability to cast at least one spell

When you deal the killing blow to a foe using a necromancy spell, you gain a number of temporary Hit Points equal to your pale master level + your constitution modifier. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Constitution modifier per long rest.

Pale Master Spell List

Cantrips (0 Level)

Chill Touch

Spare the Dying

1st Level

False Life Inflict Wounds Ray of Sickness

2nd Level

Blindness/Deafness Gentle Repose Ray of Enfeeblement

3rd Level

Animate Dead

Bestow Curse Feign Death

Speak with Dead Vampiric Touch

4th Level

Blight

5th Level

Contagion Raise Dead

6th Level

Circle of Death

Create Undead

Eyebite

Harm

Magic Jar

7th Level

Finger of Death

Resurrection

8th Level

Horrid Wilting

Clone

9th Level

Astral Projection

True Resurrection*

Ash Servant

The Ash Pale Master servant is a dust skeleton. Its skeletal form makes it unable to benefit from certain equipment or engage in two weapon fighting. It may use weapons or armor granted by its proficiencies, even if they are magical in nature so long as they do not require attunement. It cannot use any other magical equipment. The dust skeleton has the following features:

Hit Points

Hit Points at 1st Level: 5 (1d8 + 1).
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 4) + its Constitution modifier per level.

Proficiencies

Armor: Light; Weapons: Simple weapons, shortswords
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Constitution
Skills: Acrobatics, Stealth
Dredged Breath DC: 8 + its Constitution modifier + its master’s proficiency bonus

Dust Skeleton

Medium undead, shares master’s alignment

Armor Class 13 (leather)
Hit Points 5 (1d8 + 1)
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
9 (-1) 15 (+2) 13 (+1) 7 (-2) 8 (-1) 6 (-2)

Saving Throws Dexterity +4, Constitution +3
Skills Acrobatics +4, Stealth +4
Damage Vulnerabilities bludgeoning
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 9
Languages Understands the languages of its master but can’t speak

Special Traits

  • Beguiling Appearance. While the skeleton remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a humanoid’s dusty remains.

Actions

  • Shortsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage.
  • Shortbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage.
  • Dredged Breath (1/Day). The skeleton exhales a 15- foot cone of blinding dust. Each creature in that area must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or be Blinded for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Reactions

  • Ashen Shawl (Recharge 6). When targeted with an attack, the skeleton can create a small dust storm around itself that lasts until the start of its next turn. While active, the dust storm imposes disadvantage on attacks made against the skeleton for the duration.

Frigid Servant

The Frigid Pale Master servant is a frozen ghost. Its incorporeal nature makes it unable to benefit from using equipment. The frozen ghost has the following features:

Hit Points

Hit Points at 1st Level: 4 (1d8).
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 4) + its Constitution modifier per level.

Proficiencies

Armor: None; Weapons: None
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Charisma
Skills: Intimidation, Stealth
Tendancy DC: 8 + its Charisma modifier + its master’s proficiency bonus

Frozen Ghost

Medium undead, shares master’s alignment

Armor Class 12
Hit Points 4 (1d8)
Speed 0 ft., fly 40 ft. (hover)

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
1 (-5) 15 (+2) 11 (0) 10 (0) 12 (+1) 14 (+2)

Saving Throws Dexterity +4, Charisma +4
Skills Intimidation +4, Stealth +4
Damage Vulnerabilities fire
Damage Resistances acid, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities cold, necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Any languages it knew in life

Special Traits

  • Chilling Presence. As a bonus action, the ghost can chill the air around it within 10 feet for 1 round. Small non-magical flames are extinguished in its presence and water begins to freeze.
  • Harmony in Winter. In snowy terrain, the ghost can cast invisibility at will as a bonus action. It can also see perfectly in snowy conditions.
  • Soul Phasing. The ghost can pass through enemy spaces as though they were difficult terrain, but cannot end its turn in a space occupied by another creature.
  • Warmth Sensitivity. While in areas above above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the ghost has disadvantage on attack rolls, saving throws and skill checks.

Actions

  • Ice Shard. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 30/120 ft., one creature. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) cold damage.
  • Freezing Drain (Recharge 6). Melee Spell Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d6) cold damage. The ghost regains hit points equal to half the amount of cold damage dealt.

Reactions

  • Tendancy (1/Day). When targeted with an attack, the ghost can briefly possess the target’s mind. The attacker must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be unable to attack the ghost for this round; the attacker must choose a new target or else lose the attack.

Haunt Servant

The Haunt Pale Master servant is a tenebrous shadow. Its amorphous nature makes it unable to benefit from using equipment. The tenebrous shadow has the following features:

Hit Points

Hit Points at 1st Level: 3 (1d8 – 1).
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 4) + its Constitution modifier per level.

Proficiencies

Armor: None; Weapons: None
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Wisdom
Skills: Insight, Stealth
Siphon Courage DC: 8 + its Wisdom modifier + it’s master’s proficiency bonus

Tenebrous Shadow

Medium undead, shares master’s alignment

Armor Class 12
Hit Points 3 (1d8 – 1)
Speed 0 ft., fly 40 ft. (hover)

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
4 (-3) 15 (+2) 8 (-1) 8 (-1) 13 (+1) 7 (-2)

Saving Throws Dexterity +4, Wisdom +3
Skills Insight +3, Stealth +4
Damage Vulnerabilities radiant
Damage Resistances acid, cold, fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Understands the languages of its master but can’t speak

Special Traits

  • Amorphous. The shadow can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.
  • Shadow Stealth. The shadow can take the Hide action as a bonus action.
  • Sunlight Weakness. While in sunlight, the shadow has disadvantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws.

Actions

  • Dark Embrace. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, +4 to hit, reach 5 ft. one target. Hit 4 (1d4 + 2) necrotic damage.
  • Siphon Courage (Recharge 6). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 7 (2d6) necrotic damage. If the attack hits by 5 or more, the target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or become frightened until the end of its next turn.

Reactions

  • Shadow Stride (1/Day). When the shadow is hit by an attack that deals damage, it can engulf itself in darkness and teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space that it can see.

Torpor Servant

The Torpor Pale Master servant is a rotting zombie. Its decayed form makes it unable to benefit from certain equipment or wield any weapons. It may use armor granted by its proficiencies, even if they are magical in nature so long as they do not require attunment. It cannot use any other magical equipment. The rotting zombie has the following features:

Hit Points

Hit Points at 1st Level: 7 (1d8 + 3).
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 4) + its Constitution modifier per level.

Proficiencies

Armor: Light armor, medium; Weapons: None
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution
Skills: Athletics, Survival
Odor of Death DC: 8 + its Consitution modifier + its master’s proficiency bonus

Rotting Zombie

Medium undead, shares master’s alignment

Armor Class 11 (tattered hide)
Hit Points 7 (1d8 + 3)
Speed 20 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
14 (+2) 8 (-1) 17 (+3) 6 (-2) 9 (-1) 7 (-2)

Saving Throws Strength +4, Constitution +5
Skills Athletics +4, Survival +1
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 9
Languages Understands the languages of its master but can’t speak

Special Traits

  • Odor of Death (1/Day). As a bonus action on its turn, the zombie can rupture some of the pustules on its skin to exude a noxious odor. Each creature within 5 feet of the zombie must succeed a Constitution saving throw or become poisoned until the end of the creature’s next turn.
  • Undead Fortitude. If damage reduces the zombie to 0 hit points, it must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 5+the damage taken, unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit. On a success, the zombie drops to 1 hit point instead.

Actions

  • Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) bludgeoning damage.
  • Vile Smash (Recharge 6). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d6) poison damage. If the attack hits by 5 or more, the target becomes poisoned until the end of its next turn. Targets resistant or immune to poison damage or immune to the poisoned condition are not poisoned by this ability.

Reactions

  • Disparaging Retaliation. When the zombie is hit by an attack from a creature that deals critical damage, it can make a slam attack against the creature if it is within 5 feet of the zombie.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Pale Master Copyright 2018, Grimlore Entertainment; Trevor Armstrong. Art assets used with permission, Copyright 2018.