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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3068 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2011 :  16:27:10  Show Profile Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I need a bumper sticker that says: "Szass Tam for President: 2012!"

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

Be my friend on Goodreads.com: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6751111-brian
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2011 :  17:41:59  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

I must rectify my previous comment about Szass Tam's capabilities. Yes, he is a master of every school of wizardry--- except Divination. Otherwise, he would not have needed and forced Yaphyll to foresee the battle at the Keep of Sorrow.

Every beginning has an end.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6428 Posts

Posted - 08 Oct 2011 :  00:34:16  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yappy was an adequately skilled diviner who could be impelled to serve Szass Tam's disposable purposes well enough.

I would suggest that Szass used Yappy in that instance - along with a dangerously toxic dose of some potent magically hallucinogenic substance - to gain access to the most cryptic and forbidden foreknowledge without any personal risk. Besides, Szass may have been unable to ingest a necessary spell component for the divination he needed cast, or may have simply been unwilling to render himself half-comatose, defenseless, and mentally debilitated during the casting. There's also a bit of an arrogance factor in his confident belief that he would be qualified to correctly interpret the divinations, and he certainly seems to derive some small pleasure in being able to inflict demonstrations of sadism, cruelty, dominance, and control.

I'm not sure I can agree with your assertions about Szass's magical capabilities, Dennis. His published stats, in at least three D&D editions, seem to methodically summarize his capabilities well enough. Anything more is the domain of fiction, fluff, creative license, or perceptual bias. I like the character of Szass Tam quite a lot, but there's no need to assert exaggerations upon his capabilities; he does quite well enough without them. Not really a point worth arguing over anyhow, so I'll concede the possibility of Szass being a multidisciplinary magical specialist.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 08 Oct 2011 01:11:28
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6094 Posts

Posted - 08 Oct 2011 :  16:05:16  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

quote:
Originally posted by jordanz

Based on that classic battle in the Unholy book, one could argue that Szass Tam is as much as generalist s Vecna. I can't recall one necromatic spell used when he took on the Zulkirs in that last fight.

In fact, it was mentioned in Undead, which I'm currently re-reading, that Szass Tam is a master of all disciplines. Here are Dmitra Flass's words:

quote:

"You're right," [Dmitra] said, "that should suffice, but you don't know Szass Tam like I do. He's a genius, and a master of every school of wizardry. So can we really hide whole armies from him, or was that Rashemi griffon rider correct? Is this a feck­less plan?"


And given that no zulkir would dare fight him in a one on one battle, I say the other zulkirs would agree with Dmitra's estimation of the lich's power.



DAMN GOOD CATCH! However, if we go by this assumption that Dmitra was correct, then we have to basically go with he's not a member of the red wizard prestige class. Either that, or we have to adopt the idea that opposition schools are just harder to memorize like in PF rather than impossible like in the core books.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 09 Oct 2011 :  04:24:33  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

The source books follow the novels. So the author, in most cases, can include and explain whatever he deems necessary to further his story's plot. Most often than not, authors incorporate long established lore to observe consistency [and perhaps also to avoid the fans' outbursts].

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6428 Posts

Posted - 09 Oct 2011 :  05:53:19  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Isn't complete mastery of all fundamental magics what defines an archmage? If so, I note that all archmagi could (accurately but imprecisely) be called necromancers, at least insofar as having achieved "specialist" mastery of necromantic magics.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 09 Oct 2011 05:56:38
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 09 Oct 2011 :  06:09:55  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

It's just like in real life. You can be a graduate of Psychology, Architecture, Aeronautics, and Medicine, yet you are "called" and known as a pilot because you choose to practice only what you learned from Aeronautics. An archmage is someone who has mastered all schools of magic, but he can be labeled/categorized to a specific school that he prefers to focus on. Consider Yaphyll. While we don't know if she's mastered all schools, we do know that she's not only an expert Diviner. That last spell she cast on Szass Tam which obliterated the first layer of his defenses is indicative of Evocation.

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Xar Zarath
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
552 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2011 :  15:39:20  Show Profile Send Xar Zarath a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wow I cannot believe it! A topic dedicated to necromancers!!! Are there any more topics, can anyone please post links to them??

Thanks Dennis for mentioning me, and I have to say my vote was for Aumvor. I mean come on, i think he is the only one who created a spell that allows liches to split their phylacteries! A more famous feat of magic(well actually two) is Alasklerbanbastos in BOTG where he transfers his soul into the bones of another dragon, i mean it may seem little but it is quite powerful, another being Jaxanaedegor using that orb to summon the dead and turn day into night.(BTW does that orb remind you of Arklem Greeth's orb in the Pirate King?)

Thanks again Dennis for the thread!(Necromancers of the Art FTW)

Everything ends where it begins. Period.



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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2011 :  17:24:39  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Xar Zarath

Wow I cannot believe it! A topic dedicated to necromancers!!! Are there any more topics, can anyone please post links to them??

Thanks Dennis for mentioning me, and I have to say my vote was for Aumvor. I mean come on, i think he is the only one who created a spell that allows liches to split their phylacteries! A more famous feat of magic(well actually two) is Alasklerbanbastos in BOTG where he transfers his soul into the bones of another dragon, i mean it may seem little but it is quite powerful, another being Jaxanaedegor using that orb to summon the dead and turn day into night.(BTW does that orb remind you of Arklem Greeth's orb in the Pirate King?)

Thanks again Dennis for the thread!(Necromancers of the Art FTW)

You're welcome.

If not for his hideous appearance, I might be inclined to vote for him. Even among the undead [archmages and lesser beings alike] looks matter.

Every beginning has an end.
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Xar Zarath
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
552 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2011 :  05:40:28  Show Profile Send Xar Zarath a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think pertaining to Szass Tam and his ability to cast spells from different schools is a plot device by RLB if anything else. I mean he is a specialist wizard as well as a Red Wizard, effectively prohibiting three schools of magic, which ones thats up to a DM to houserule.

I mean he did cast illusion spells, like the one where in Undead, he gathered diviners and illusionists at the pier in Bezantur and crafted the shadow ships. Enchantment was also something he cast, the spells that chained the minds of his underlings for instance, as well as the use of the Death Moon Orb(if enchantment was a prohibited school, it means that he cant cast from it right?)

Personally a non-realms necromancer favourite of mine is Nagash, i mean there are many instances in the trilogy where his display of magic particularly necromancy is just jaw dropping, especially in the first book where he carves symbols onto the slave then slits his throat and drinks the slaves blood to gain magical vitality. If he had been born in Faerun i would say he would be a match for Szass Tam.

Everything ends where it begins. Period.



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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6428 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2011 :  05:57:00  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Even if Szass Tam has restricted spell options, he probably uses the same trick as every smart PC specialist wizard: he acquires or develops spells which can overlap or duplicate those effects he cannot use directly. Unlike most PCs, Szass has been around for a few centuries and he's installed himself into a position of preeminence over a strong school of wizards in a strong nation of wizards (and he's liched himself up) ... so he's probably managed to procure quite a versatile selection of spells.

I think that smart specialists would spend as much time researching spells in their specialty school as they would researching spells that can replace those that are "forbidden" to their specialty. A Zulkir would also be particularly interested in obtaining the spells created (or otherwise procured) by his apprentices, servitors, and magical underlings.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 14 Oct 2011 06:00:03
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Xar Zarath
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
552 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2011 :  14:03:27  Show Profile Send Xar Zarath a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not to mention pushing trade enclaves onto other nations allowing him to acquire spells by purchasing them.

Everything ends where it begins. Period.



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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 16 Oct 2011 :  09:17:34  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Szass Tam doesn't seem to care for the trade enclaves. Though in the near future he may see their uses. A few magical items in exchange for a couple of slaves he can kill and animate as zombies. Doesn't sound bad, does it?

Every beginning has an end.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 16 Oct 2011 :  09:39:04  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


Szass Tam doesn't seem to care for the trade enclaves.
I wouldn't say that's entirely the case. Lords of Darkness notes that while Tam doesn't necessarily provide open support for the enclave initiative, he hasn't actively worked against the concept either. In fact, it's even noted that he sponsors one particular enclave [through an intermediary {likely to be a low-level Red Wizard beholden to the Zulkir}] in an effort to keep an eye on its operations and, also, to ensure an opening should he need to bring his considerable force to bear as a check on the power of the other enclaves and their sponsors.

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Edited by - The Sage on 16 Oct 2011 09:40:13
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 16 Oct 2011 :  09:50:31  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

I either forgot that part in LoD or missed it entirely. I wonder though, why were the trade enclaves not mentioned in The Haunted Lands Trilogy? Could it be that Richard was unaware of them? I can see the zulkirs who opposed Tam making use of such enclaves to gather more resources for their campaigns.

Every beginning has an end.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30338 Posts

Posted - 16 Oct 2011 :  15:46:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


I either forgot that part in LoD or missed it entirely. I wonder though, why were the trade enclaves not mentioned in The Haunted Lands Trilogy? Could it be that Richard was unaware of them? I can see the zulkirs who opposed Tam making use of such enclaves to gather more resources for their campaigns.



I doubt he would have forgotten about them... Most likely, either mention of them was cut out during the editing process, or their input simply wasn't enough to warrant mention.

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2011 :  02:53:27  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


I either forgot that part in LoD or missed it entirely. I wonder though, why were the trade enclaves not mentioned in The Haunted Lands Trilogy? Could it be that Richard was unaware of them? I can see the zulkirs who opposed Tam making use of such enclaves to gather more resources for their campaigns.

I don't believe Richard would've forgotten something like that. My thought is that with so much to reveal of the state of post-Spellplague Thay, some of the more ingrained 3e aspects, had to be set aside for the time being. Perhaps if and when Thay is elaborated further upon through the DDI, we'll be told what became of the enclaves.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2011 :  05:08:32  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


I either forgot that part in LoD or missed it entirely. I wonder though, why were the trade enclaves not mentioned in The Haunted Lands Trilogy? Could it be that Richard was unaware of them? I can see the zulkirs who opposed Tam making use of such enclaves to gather more resources for their campaigns.



I doubt he would have forgotten about them... Most likely, either mention of them was cut out during the editing process, or their input simply wasn't enough to warrant mention.

I would not say the enclaves were not that important. The sheer amount of resources the zulkirs could have amassed for their campaigns against Szass Tam would have helped them tremendously. Given that almost each of them owned an enclave or two, the resources they could have gathered would have exceeded whatever Szass Tam managed to.

Every beginning has an end.
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Alruane
Senior Scribe

USA
434 Posts

Posted - 17 Nov 2013 :  22:10:38  Show Profile Send Alruane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sidi, aka Leso Varen

" I wonder if you are destined to be forgotten. Will your life fade in the shadow of greater beings?"
~Joneleth Irenicus

"Wisdom? My dear boy, wisdom is knowing that you do not know everything. Wisdom is realizing, a wise man ALWAYS has questions. Not answer."

~Alruane
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Entromancer
Senior Scribe

USA
388 Posts

Posted - 17 Nov 2013 :  23:01:05  Show Profile Send Entromancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Bauchelain and Korbal Broach: They were a nice bit of brevity in an otherwise grim novel (Memories of Ice).


Corum Jhaelen Irsei: I'm not sure if he's considered a necromancer or not. He has a gauntlet that lets him summon the dead he's vanquished in combat to fight for him.

Kleitus: A necromancer from Weis's and Hickman's Death Gate Cycle. I remember being really impressed with him as a villain in Fire Sea.

Jarad, from the Ravnica novels by Cory Herndon was a goodly necromancer. Goodly in the sense of he went against the gross brutality of the Rakdos Cult. He wasn't one of those "lawful stupid" types who'd engage in a dry debate on the morals of necromancy.

"...the will is everything. The will to act."--Ra's Al Ghul

"Suffering builds character."--Talia Al Ghul
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The Arcanamach
Master of Realmslore

1589 Posts

Posted - 17 Nov 2013 :  23:25:43  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't know of any of these necromancers (I will strive to remedy that) but I voted for Nagash simply because he seemed the most interesting. My reasons for liking any character stems from their particular story (especially when you see things like 'redeeming' qualities in evil beings or vice versa or get detailed information as to how/why they became the people they are) not because of how powerful they are.

I have a dream that one day, all game worlds will exist as one.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 18 Nov 2013 :  13:56:35  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alruane

Sidi, aka Leso Varen
Some say his being a "necromancer" is arguable. Necromancy isn't really that well-defined in Midekemia. Heck, there are basically only two "major schools" of magic: lesser and greater--until Pug discovered such division is immaterial to someone who's learned to utilize both.

I don't even know where shamanism, illusion, galamancy, and conjuration belong to.

Every beginning has an end.
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Firestorm
Senior Scribe

Canada
801 Posts

Posted - 18 Nov 2013 :  18:12:35  Show Profile Send Firestorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Based on Novels, Szass Tam was well fleshed out in the Haunted lands trilogy. The unique undead portrayed were fun and imaginative and he was a true mastermind.

Based on sourcebooks and tidbits dropped by Ed through the years, I was very fond of both Hodkamset, chosen of set and leader of the fangs of set, and of Qysar Shoon VII, who was ruler of the Shoon imperium.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 04 Dec 2013 :  14:01:20  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

What's the official class of Dyrr the lichdrow? Is he a necromancer or a generalist? In his battle with Gromph in Annihilation, he pretty much displayed a variety of spells (evocation, transfiguration, etc.). But then Szass also displayed mastery of the different schools of magic in his fight with the zulkirs, yet he is a necromancer (always has been). So what does this say about Dyrr?

Every beginning has an end.
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Mapolq
Senior Scribe

Brazil
465 Posts

Posted - 04 Dec 2013 :  17:16:03  Show Profile Send Mapolq a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Necroqysar Shoon VII is definitely one of my favourites, though there can be some debate whether he's male or female right now (as of the late 1300s anyhow).

Never sleep under the jackfruit tree.

Tales of Moonsea - A Neverwinter Nights 2 Persistent World. Check out our website at http://www.talesofmoonsea.com and our video trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am304WqOAAo&feature=youtu.be, as well as our thread here at Candlekeep: http://www.forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=12955

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