Buy Encyclopaedia Arcane: Necromancy – Beyond the Grave by Matthew Sprange, Anne Stokes (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday. Encyclopaedia Arcane: Necromancy is presented under the Open Game and D20 Licences. See page 62 for there is indeed life, of a sort, beyond the grave. Necromancy: Beyond the Grave is the second book in Mongoose Publishing’s Encyclopaedia Arcane series. Unlike the Slayer’s Guides, this particular line is.

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Results 1 to 6 of 6. Unlike the Slayer’s Guidesthis particular line is considerably more ‘meaty’ when it comes to rules content, something that many felt that Mongoose’s previous work lacked. I’ll start with a quick look at the presentation of the book.

It’s a 64 page book with a full colour cover and back and white interior art. I find the cover a tad cartoony myself, not the same style as the covers of the Slayer’s Guides although drawn by the same artistbut certainly of high quality.

The interior art is not as good – with the exception of one or two pieces, I was not overly impressed. That said, artwork is far from the be-all and end-all of an RPG supplement.

And so on to the important stuff. The Dark Road before it, this book maintains that Necromancy, in itself, is not inherently evil. The book begins with an Overviewwhich introduces us to Necromancy, beynod paractitioners, the concepts of Negative Energy and a look at the ‘creatures of undeath’.

It’s interesting reading, if a bit discussive, but it serves to set the scene well. Fhe bit that most people are looking for, of course, is the rules.

I imagine that many people already have a Knowledge: Undead skill in their games already, so it is nice to see it presented in print. Unfortunately, I don’t feel that these skills go into quite enough detail – a slightly more comprehensive list of DCs for each would have been more useful than the three levels of difficulty presented. The prestige classes come next, and we are presented with The Spectral Loremaster a spellcaster who gains knowledge via communion with spiritsThe Deathseeker a necromancer who taps into the rush of negative energy that floods into a dying body and The Necrophage an obsessive anatomist who grafts the limbs and organs of the dead to his own nightmarish creations.

Other than the first of these, I can’t see them being used by PCs at least not in my game! The Necrophageof course, instantly brings to mind images of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and I have no doubt that that was the intent here.

We then move on to the spells section. Always the poorer cousin of the Evoker, the Necromancer’s spell list has been boosted with 34 new spells. They are spread throughout all nine levels, from the 0-level Identify Undead to the 9th-level Raise City – the latter allowing the caster to bring an entire civilisation back as skeletons! Many of the spells fill in the expected gaps – necromantic divinations, a greater range of animation spells, some much needed offensve and defensive spells, along with some interesting new ideas.

This section, above all others, is likely to be the most useful in the average game. Each time a necromantic feat is used, the practitioner is required to make a Negative Energy check, failure causing a randomly determined side-effect to be inflicted on the character. There are 20 such side-effects, varying in strength from Aura of Uneasethough Holy AversionGlowing Eyes and Disfigurement to the somewhat unpleasant Undeath presented as a non-specific ‘Undead’ template as opposed to a particular type of undead.

This is vaguely reminiscent of the ‘Dark powers’ checks from Ravenloft 2E, although I feel that Mongoose have come up with a more elegant system.

The feats themselves immediately follow this section.

This is one problem that I have with this book – it’s not a major issue, but the feats follow on immediately from the side-effects with no break distinguishing the two sections. So we go stright from the side effect Undeath to the feat Animation by Touch with no introduction.

I found it a trifle confusing. Then comes a section on lichdom – three pages describing how how becomes a lich, detailing the lich’s phylactery and so on. Although this is something that would never be used in my game players as liches – no chance! I can see how it might be attractive to some and may help provide background for NPC villains.


I would have liked to see the Death Knight detailed as a monster later in the book given the same treatment as I have always regarded that particular undead beastie to be the ‘warrior’ version of the lich. A section on Magical Items presents several new items. These are fairly imaginative, although there aren’t many there. It does include one very powerful artifact, however. Minions of Undeath is the title for the obligatory monster section.

These monsters are all fairly unpleasant, especially the Skull Child which is downright creepy! Very useful overall, especially when it comes to those long-time players who know the Monster Manual inside and out. Interestingly, and somewhat controversially, the Death Knight has lost his 20 HD fireball.

Encyclopaedia Arcane: Necromancy – Beyond the Grave : Matthew Sprange :

It also lists the necromantic feats and prerequisites. I’m not sure if this is the first example of OGC content being used by another publisher although I am certainly aware of plans for various publishers to use each others’ materialsbut it is good to see the Open Gaming License being used to its fullest extent.

In Summary A solid book, with plenty of useful material. Join Date Apr Posts 2, One thing that I really like about the Mongoose books is that they make fantasy feel… well, fantastic. Too frequently when playing DnD magical spells and items start feeling, after a while, just like so much technology. With their total predictability and uninteresting prerequisites spells start to feel like every day gadgets, not mysterious and dangerous energies they largely are in most of the fantasy fiction, not to mention mythology.

By making its spells relatively powerful and then introducing the hard-to-come-by and evocative components it enriches a game by making each casting somewhat of a special and memorable event.

Digging out the graves of dead Clerics and Paladins to obtain material components does tend to give a encycloaedia flavor to what would otherwise be a rather bland 1st level protection from undead spell. Furthermore, such much needed high level necromantic practices as raising an undead hulk of a ship and making an old deserted city into a necropolis of living dead are all covered, filling many holes in d20 corpus of rules.

Although it would not be able to stand on its own ike the one from Demonology, this system of magic does supplement the Necromantic magic and gives this kind of wizard a specific unsavory feel that it was always supposed to have. Once again, a great product from Mongoose no I am not on their payroll, I just encycllopaedia to have very similar taste to Mr.

Join Date Jan Location Co. Wexford, Ireland Posts This review contains major spoilers. This is a softback book with a page count of ehcyclopaedia The front cover has a piece of colour artwork showing zombies and skeletons rising from their graves, summoned by a necromancer on a hill.

The back cover beyon information on the book, on a black background. The inside front cover portrays a crypt with its doors half split from its hinges, and the back cover shows a lich penning a letter – a hard job with his eyes rolled up into his head like that. The first page contains credits and contents and the antipenultimate page shows the OGL and D20 Licence. Though the Encyclopaedia Arcane series has improved in its use of space compared with the Slayers Guides, the wide margin still remains and they could still pare down some of the white space around art and between paragraphs as well as reducing the length of some of the flavour text.

The internal black and white artwork is generally poorer than in prevoius Mongoose modules – a couple of pieces are good but most is average with a few mediocre pieces. After the mandatory introduction and page of flavour text, there is a five page overview of necromancy including detail arfane negative energy, the consequences of channeling negative energy regularly coming to look like undeadcreatures of undeath, a comparison between arcane and divine powers over undead, and some guidelines for using the book.

The next 10 page section, To Pass Beyond The Grave, deals with the Spectral Loremaster researches forbidden knowledge from spiritsThe Necgomancy uses the negative energy of dying creatures to fuel spells and the Necrophage grafts body parts onto undead, and undead body parts onto live subjects prestige classes.

This section also introduces three new Knowledge-based skills – Anatomy, Necrology material undead lore and Spirit Lore.

There follows 15 pages of new necromantic spells from the 0-level Animate Animal to the 9th level Raise Death Fleet, though most spells are fairly low-level and 8 pages of negative energy side effects such as Stench of Death and Eater of the Dead and new necromantic feats such as Animation By Touch and Empower Undead. The next section, Lichdom 3 pagesdetails the process of becoming a lich.


There are then 3 pages of magic items linked with necromancy. A four page section, Help For Games Masters, deals with the PCs sending undead minions to test traps, allowing very powerful necromancers in your campaign, including necromantic feats and side effects, a PC becoming a lich, and introduces the next section, Minions of Undeath 8 pages of undead.

The designers notes explain why there is a preponderance of low-level spells in the spells section playtesters told them that was where the necromancer was weakest and why they used necromantic feats to attempt to balance out the power difference with clerics when raising and controlling undead. The module ends with a page of lavour text and two pages of rules and spells summary. In a seeming mirror image to the Slayers Guides, Necromancy – Beyond The Grave has a wealth of rules-orientated information – new spells, new feats, new skills, new monsters, new prestige classes.

This book is tightly packed with information to expand the role and power of the necromancer in a campaign setting. I particularly liked the negative energy side effects.

Encyclopaedia Arcane: Necromancy Beyond the Grave

Unlike Demonology, Necromancy suffers a little from too much rules-orientated information for my tastes. I’m not a huge fan unlike most people out there seemingly of prestige classes or new spells and, despite their creativity, these sections left me a little cold and at 25 pages thats nearly half the book. This is not a comment on the quality of the content, just the subject matter.

What I would like to have seen was an expansion of the idea of the necromancer in a similar way to the demonologist. Whilst the rules included definitely make a necromancer a more attractive proposition for a PC if used in a campaign, and they also enable a necromancer to stand on an even par with a cleric who commands undead, Necromancy did not manage to take its prime concept into another dimension figuratively speaking in the way Demonology did.

I was tempted to give the book an Average rating because of this and my feelings about the glut of rules-orientated information backed this up not to mention the price increase. However, the book is full of creativity within the confines of its subject matter and I can definitely use some of its ideas such as the negative energy side effects, and the Undead in the Minions of Undeath section.

So it just scrapes a Good rating. For those of you who feast on new spells, feats and prestige classes, I’d recommend it. Beyond the Grave Mongoose Publishing is one of the first d20 vendors to focus primarily on supplemental rules material rather than adventures.

Encyclopaedia Arcane: Necromancy – Beyond the Grave

Their first line of books was the Slayer’s Guide series, and the second is their Encyclopedia Arcane series, detailing different methodologies of magic. Beyond the Necromanch is the second book in the Encyclopedia Arcane line, following Demonology: As the title implies, Necromancy: Beyond the Grave focuses on the necromancy school of magic, and more specifically, the arcane spellcasters who use it.

As with many publishers, Mongoose has noticed the deficiency in the ability of the d20 system to replicate the popular archetype of a “master of the undead” type character.

Their solution, however, is modestly encylopaedia than any that I have seen to date. A First Look Necromancy: Beyond the Grave is a page, perfect-bound, softcover book. The cover is dominated by a color picture of a horde of zombies emerging from a graveyard, with a female necromancer in the distance. The interior of the book is black and white.

The interior artwork is generally poor, a step down from Demonology: The best art is by Chris Quillaims, who is underused here just as he is in other Mongoose products. Quilliams does great work on the inside covers, but most of the art that is between the covers looks rather amateur and unattractive. Additionally, one illustration struck me encclopaedia rather lewd.