Mini Review: Necromancy Can Be Good :)

Do you love necromancy? Do you wish that necromancy wasn’t viewed as an evil school of magic? Well, you and the body of Errol Grim have a bit in common then! Errol, a zombie, has found a host of new necromancy spells and is eager to share their findings with you in Necromancy Can be Good out now on the DMs Guild!

The premise of this supplement is that the school of necromancy is not an inherently evil school of magic. There are many long-forgotten spells and applications of necromancy that prove otherwise.

I don’t typically write up three articles in a week, but when I received a copy of Necromancy Can Be Good from the creator of The Book of House, Willy Abeel, I knew I had to go the extra mile and do a quick write-up on this excellent supplement!

In addition to Willy; Leon Barillaro, Steve Barret, and Max Churak were also designers for Necromancy Can Be Good! Chelsea Livingstone (and Willy) supplied artwork and illustrations for this supplement as well.

the cover artwork for necromancy can be good
Cover art! Credit: Willy Abeel.

What’s in Necromancy Can Be Good?

Necromancy Can Be Good has 21 new necromancy spells for you to add to your D&D 5e games, some fun lore about good necromancy, a new creature, and a brand new player option to bring a character back to life temporarily. All of this for $1.99, what a steal!

There is a spell list table included in the supplement as well which dictates which classes get access to which spells in their spell list. Unsurprisingly, the wizard is the king here, but I will say that there’s a very healthy mix of spells. There is at least one spell for every spell level; including two cantrips.

Necromancy Lore; The Good Kind!

I’ll admit that good necromancy does seem like a bit of a stretch, especially with how it’s generally used in D&D. However, there’s an entire page full of necromancy lore in this 11-page supplement that goes over what necromancy is as well as what necromancy has lost to become the “evil” school of magic that we all know today.

It’s a fun read, even if you’re not typically interested in lore. Also, it’s only a page so it won’t kill you to read it. But if it does, don’t worry! You can be resurrected via necromancy like Errol :)!

Errol also has plenty of notes scribbled in the margins of their spellbook that contains some more information about good necromancy or their thoughts about certain spells.

The Spells: A Necromancer’s Playground

The design team has done an exceptional job with these spells. They all touch upon unique concepts that necromancy in the published books doesn’t, and they’re all well-balanced in my opinion.

There are spells that reattach missing limbs, allow you to see your deceased loved ones for a short visit, temporarily reverse the aging process, and so much more! While other schools of magic may be able to accomplish similar feats, they don’t do it in quite the same way as necromancy does.

From a design standpoint, I love that the team ensured that there’s at least one spell for every playstyle out there. There is at least something for dealing damage, role-playing, utility, etc. so I’m confident that everyone can find a spell or two that they love in Necromancy Can Be Good!

hauntling artwork, they look like cute multi-colored ethereal blobs
Hauntlings are just adorable! Credit: Chelsea Livingstone.

My Personal Favorites

While my martial character builds showcase my love for playing hardcore damage-dealers, my preference for playing spellcasters is to be more of a support/utility character. I swear this is true, check out my sorcerer build for proof!

With that in mind, my favorite from Necromancy Can Be Good is the spell Heart Link which everyone gains access to except druids, rangers, and sorcerers. This spell allows you to pool together two separate creatures’ hit points. These creatures are then linked together and must stay within 30 ft. of each other or take a bit of necrotic damage each turn.

You can certainly see how this could be useful for AoEing or cleaving down two beefy creatures. However, Heart Link also has a few potentially beneficial properties to it. Therefore, depending on the situation, Heart Link could be used as a buff or a debuff. It’s a very cool spell.

Another one of my favorites was the 9th-level spell, Death of the Author which allows you to permanently rewrite properties of magical items. The components for this powerful, very serious, spell are “a magic item and a strong opinion” which is just fantastic.

Extras: Echo Race Rules and a Hauntling Statblock, Oh My!

The appendix also contains a couple of goodies, namely a creature statblock for the hauntling from Call Hauntling and a racial modifier called the echo.

The hauntling is a CR 1/8 creature that can be summoned to do a few minor actions for a magic-user. They’re cute, have a ton of damage resistances and immunities, and can possess a beast once a day. What’s not to love?

The echo racial modifier is specifically designed for someone who wants to jump into a campaign as a guest for a couple of sessions. It includes a few fun features and a couple of ability score adjustments, but it’s well suited for its use case.

Final Thoughts on Necromancy Can Be Good

Necromancy Can Be Good is, in fact, very good and 100% worth the price of $1.99 on the DMs Guild! It comes with a ton of new options to spice up your favorite class’s spell list which essentially creates a brand new way to play a necromancer.

It is, yet another one of Willy’s character options that I cannot wait to get a chance to play, or realistically, let my players play.

If you enjoyed what you read be sure to check out my ongoing review for all of the official D&D 5e books!

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