To become a necromancer, you can be a cleric, wizard or sorcerer, but if you wish to incarnate death itself, the latter is the way to go!
The Sorcerer, while lacking the spell variety of the cleric or the flexibility of the Wizard, offers in my opinion the deepest approach to necromancy. But enough talking and let’s head right into the character creation!
I recommend to go with Human, their race trait will come in handy during character creation.
We are going with pure Sorcerer as class, allowing us to select a Bloodline fit for our Necromancer.
Scroll down to the bottom of the list until you see Undead Bloodline, select it and enjoy the preview on the right panel, especially the last level 20 Special Ability One of Us, allowing us to embrace undeath itself.
Time to allocate our ability points. The sorcerer heavily relies on Charisma for his spells, so we are going to bring it up to 18 and then, under Racial Bonus, select Charisma (Cha) to boost the total value up to 20. It will also come extremely in handy during persuasion checks.
Then I recommend lowering Strenght down to 8 and investing the remaining points in Dexterity to increase our spell accuracy.
Now, for the skill points, put them in Persuasion, Use Magic Device and Knowledge (Arcana).
To maximize the effectiveness of our undead army, we are going with the following abilities:
First Ability: Select Spell Focus and then choose Conjuration, this will serve as prerequisite for the next abilities.
Second Ability: Scroll Down and search for Augment Summoning, select it. This will grant additional Strenght and Constitution to our summoned creatures and enable the next ability we are going to choose.
Third Ability: Scroll down again and “dulcis in fundo” select Superior Summoning. Thanks to this ability, each time we cast a summoning spell that conjures more than one creature, we add one to the total number of summoned creatures. Which translates in bigger army!
Here you can pretty much go wild, our Animate Dead spell to summon skeletons will only come after we reach level 8 with the sorcerer class, so any spell now will do trick. I’d recommend going with Burning Hands and Flare burst to better deal with the strongest early enemy in the game known as Spider Swarms.
I personally love playing as Chaotic Evil when tinkering with undead stuff myself, but really you can go with the alignment that works the most for you here.
The early game will be somewhat hard, since we have specialized our character around summons, but hang in there, because you are in for a treat as soon as you reach the right level. Also, i don’t recommend going with a prestige class, as you wouldn’t unlock the highest level magic skills having to develop in two different classes.
Now go out there and unleash your Army! Or go roleplay as an ordinary undead yourself…