You take what nobody wants or needs anymore (bits of dead bodies), weld them to what has never lived, and create something functional, something greater than the sum of its parts. You may call yourself as a necromancer inventor, or a deadhead, or an osso-mechanic, but people in your occupation are mostly referred to as re-animators.
Technically speaking, you are a kind of wizard, though you and the wizards would both prefer to ignore this. Wizards blow themselves up or get turned into a frog too often for your liking, and wizards are
horrified by your monstrosities jealous that you have never even come close to blowing up or getting turned into a frog.
There is another kind of necromancer, the sort that raises spirits and commands the dead and explodes corpses (what is it with wizards and explosions?!?). This is not what you do, though some historian of magic has surely traced the relationship between your schools and who it was that first dispensed with spirit-calling in favor of necro-engineering.
Nowadays, re-animators are more common than necromancers, at least in the Lake Countries. In Quillsylvania, their art is distrusted but not outright banned (the necromancers cannot claim as much), and they occupy a place of prestige in Buckeye, which has long been sympathetic to those whose clever minds are called by others “mad.” As yet, there has been no ‘mortechnological revolution,’ but the re-animators are continuing to refine their art and some of them see, however distant it may be, the glimmer of a day when their work has revolutionized the world.
Starting Equipment: ink & quill, light weapon, 10gp of Inorganic Odds & Ends, 2 Re-Animator Components, sketchbook
Starting Skill: Roll 1d4 or choose one—1 Farmer, 2 History, 3 Medicine, 4 Poison
- Emergency Invention, 1 Masterwork Invention
- Overclock, +1 Masterwork Invention
- Repurpose, +1 Masterwork Invention
- Masterwork Upgrade or +1 Masterwork Invention
Inorganic Odds & Ends: Whenever you are in a settlement with at least a couple dozen people, you can spend any amount of money to purchase Inorganic Odds & Ends: bits of wire, string, sharp serrated blades, salt, etc. 50gp worth of Inorganic Odds & Ends takes up 1 Inventory Slot.
Re-Animator Components: You can harvest Re-Animator Components from any corpse: pickled eyeballs, sheets of dried skin, strings of teeth, etc. Each Re-Animator Component takes up 1 Inventory Slot.
A human-sized corpse has 1d4-1 Re-Animator Components, and if you harvest only half of the body, or harvest a smaller body (e.g. a goblin’s) then downgrade the die. It takes ten minutes to fully harvest a human-sized body, and doing so will leave a lot of messy gunk that isn’t very useful for most other purposes.
You can create a device to solve one particular problem. It uses 5gp of Inorganic Odds & Ends and 1 Re-Animator Component. The device can imitate any existing mundane tool or item, and lasts 1 hour per Re-Animator Level. Examples include:
- 30 ft of intestinal rope
- Acid to dissolve a lock
- Bomb that deals 1d4 damage with a 10 ft radius (Save vs Breath for half damage)
- Dagger made of bone
- Fatty soap
- Lantern made of bone with a core of phosphorescent rot
- Rations x4 made of…you don’t want to know
- Salve that heals 1d4 damage
- Scroll of tanned skin suitable for capturing a spell
For each additional Re-Animator Component that you spend, you can apply one of the following effects to your Emergency Invention:
- Double how much time you have before the invention falls apart
- Double the length, radius of effect, etc
- Upgrade the die rolled (e.g. from d4 to d6)
You may apply a number of total upgrades to a single Emergency Invention equal to twice your Re-Animator Levels. If the same upgrade is applied multiple times then the effect is cumulative (e.g. if you spend 2 Re-Animator Components to increase the blast radius of a bomb then the radius will go from 10 ft to 20 ft to 40 ft).
You can create
hideous abominations brilliant devices. Whatever you build is probably unique to you, though other Re-Animators may build things which work on similar principles or have similar effects.
Your brilliant devices are built from a precarious interweaving of iron and sinew (or other such materials), so they need constant repairs and are too confusing for anyone who isn’t you to use them. Because of this
and their innate reprehensibility you cannot sell them to anyone, even another Re-Animator.
The creation of one of these brilliant devices is a major undertaking, and requires 300gp of Inorganic Odds & Ends, 20 Re-Animator Components, and 72 hours of work (spread over several days if necessary). If your brilliant device is destroyed then you’ll have to build a new one, obviously, but you can do so for half the cost and in half the time (you’ve worked the kinks out). If it was “merely” severely damaged (probably through your Overclock or Repurpose abilities), then your brilliant device can be rebuilt with 100gp of Inorganic Odds & Ends, at least 5 Re-Animator Components, and 24 hours of work.
If you work on a specific project then you can either deliberately create one of the inventions below when you gain a new level or work with your GM to build something new. Items, tools, and corpses you find in your travels may provide useful inspiration and components. Want goggles that use wizard eyes to to have 360 degree vision in several new colors? Sure! Use the items below to calibrate your invention’s power and utility. If you don’t have a specific project when you level up, roll randomly.
You may also find inspiration by looking at wizard spell lists.
|1||Artificial Life Engine||Insect-like construct made of what appears to be a wild haggis’ stomach and several silver hooks. If attached to a dying creature (e.g. possessing at least one Fatal Wound), then the Artificial Life Engine restores them to their maximum HP. It is a gray half-life, however: They lose 1d3 from all stats (roll individually), and if they are ever detached from the Artificial Life Engine then they will die.
1 point of blood or one small living creature (e.g. bird, rat) must be placed inside the Artificial Life Engine each day or it will cease functioning and the creature it is attached to will die. Creatures supported by the Artificial Life Engine do not age and, instead of healing normally, they heal 1 point of damage per day.
You can make a number of such engines equal to your Re-Animator Levels.
|2||Emergency Phylactery||Tiny shrunken head, coated in gold leaf and hung on a string. Give it to someone. If you die while they are wearing it, Save with a bonus equal to your Re-Animator levels and a penalty equal to the HD of the person or creature wearing the pendant. If you pass, your spirit takes over their body, no matter where it is. If you fail, good luck in Hell.|
||Several bladders attached to a dark glass chamber. Various fluids are combined in the glass chamber before they are sprayed from a leathery hose and nozzle on one end of the device. By carefully controlling the mixture, you can determine the exact nature of the output. The evil bagpipe deals 1d4 damage in a 30 ft cone (Save vs Breath for half damage). Damage may be acid, fire, or poison, or a combination of two of these.
Each attack burns 1 charge, and the evil bagpipe has a number of charges equal to twice your Re-Animator Levels. You may spend 1 Re-Animator Component to recharge it (whether it has 7 charges or none).
|4||Grave Gas||Metal box full of gears, twitching organs, and bubbling alchemical flasks, which, when triggered, releases a slow-moving, hideously-tinged gas. Any living creature who is not you must take 1d4 damage (Save vs Poison to take half damage) every round that they are in contact with the grave gas.
The gas immediately fills your square this turn and, starting on your next turn, expands by 5 ft in every direction. It expands for a number of turns equal to 1+ your Re-Animator levels, at which point it dissipates (if there is room left for it to expand) or remains for a number of minutes equal to 1 + the number of turns remaining for expansion (e.g. if you have 3 Re-Animator Levels and it expands for 1 turn before running out of empty space, then it will dissipate in 2 minutes).
It takes 6 hours for the gas to re-accumulate after it has been used.
|5||Memory Pipe||Elaborate hookah pipe connected to a length of windpipe and a sharp steel needle. Stab it into the forehead of a corpse and smoke its memories.
For a number of hours equal to your Re-Animator Levels, gain all the skills (including languages) and memories of the corpse. If the creature was magical or particularly strong-willed, Save vs Memory or gain some aspect of the creature’s personality for the duration of the effect.
The corpse must be fresh (within two hours of death unless preserved) to gain the full benefit. If you smoke an old corpse, you gain a few random glimpses or skills.
|6||Obedient Servants||Create a number of obedient undead servants equal to your Re-Animator Levels. Servants have a skill related to their type (e.g. dancing skeletons, lab assistants, philosopher zombies, scout skeletons, warrior constructs). All servants must be of the same type, but you may retrofit them with 50gp of Inorganic Odds & Ends, 4 Re-Animator Components, and 24 hours of work.
HD 1 HP 4 Morale 12 Defense: +0 Move normal Save +0
|7||Recorder Crow||Electrically-animated and preternaturally intelligent crow. Can record a number of hours of audio equal to your Re-Animator Levels and replay any bit of it on command. When not recording or replaying, the crow spends its time thinking about what it has recorded, and snatches may accidentally replay at odd times unless it has been specifically ordered to be silent.|
|8||Undead Gladiator||Skeleton clad in iron, with chainsaw hands. Or a zombie in shrieking iron, crude and vicious. Or a six-legged beast with toothed hands and cruel spikes. Whatever it is, it’s deadly, hardy, and single-minded. It can climb but not swim.
HD 1 * Re-Animator Levels HP 5 * Re-Animator Levels Armour +6 (plate) Move normal Save +0
|9||Unliving Armor||Suit of bone, sinew, and flesh. Step inside, seal it around you. The suit has armor as chain and 4 HP (which are consumed before you take damage). You can spend 1 hour to repair 1 HP (Overlock and Repurpose reduce it to 0 HP). While wearing the suit, your Strength is +9, and it does not cause Encumbrance.
When not in use, the suit lumbers or slithers behind you.
|10||Unnatural Healing Oils||Made from alchemically reduced marrow, essential salts, powdered memories, and vital fluids. You can create 3 doses from a human-sized corpse and can only carry 3 doses at any given time. Each dose heals 1d4 HP per Re-Animator Level.
Healed flesh appears gray and bloodless until/unless later treated by magic. Fatal Wounds are sealed with wire and crude staples.
As an action, you can overclock a mechanical or bio-mechanical object (including one of your Masterwork Inventions) by spending 2 Re-Animator Components. This doubles its capabilities for d6 rounds, after which it falls to pieces. If it is a Masterwork Invention then it is severely damaged and must be repaired as described above. Otherwise, it is totally destroyed.
Whenever you are able to harvest 3 Re-Animator Components from one corpse, you can instead harvest 1 Re-Animator Component (Creature), where “Creature” is the type of creature it was, e.g. Re-Animator Component (Medusa).
Thereafter, you may spend 1 hour in order to integrate 1 Re-Animator Component (Creature) with a mechanical or bio-mechanical object (including one of your Masterwork Inventions) in order to imbue it with one of the qualities of that creature (e.g. the petrifying face of the Medusa). The new device works for a number of minutes equal to your Re-Animator Levels, at which point it is destroyed (or seriously damaged, if it was originally a Masterwork Invention).
Choose a Masterwork Invention you already own. Work with the GM to increase its effects. For example, your Obedient Servants may be intelligent enough to hold a halfway decent conversation, your Memory Pipe may be able to permanently install one skill (at the cost of overwriting a previously existing one if you don’t have an empty slot), or your Unliving Armor may shoot bone projectiles.
Some abilities and Masterwork Inventions come from Bugbear Slug’s Inventor class. Some Emergency Inventions were taken from Velexiraptor’s Chemist class. Some text was taken from Betty Bacontime’s Arcane Inventor class.
Yes, there are haggises in Thaumerica. They’re an invasive pest from the country of Pistola, beyond the Atlantean Sea.
This hasn’t been playtested yet.