How would I explain a human, but noble necromancer? — Guild Wars 2 Forums

How would I explain a human, but noble necromancer?

Caro.2730Caro.2730 Member ✭✭

I'm trying to prepare before creating a human necromancer and I'm torn between backgrounds. Can a necromancer (lore wise) be noble or it's more a commoner type of profession? I mean, living among nobility is all about fitting into the society, yes? I believe necromancers can be viewed as disturbing by many people, thus not many nobles would pursue this kind of magic?

Comments

  • Taygus.4571Taygus.4571 Member ✭✭✭✭

    inherited nobility? Too rich to care?

  • Poormany.4507Poormany.4507 Member ✭✭✭

    Secret hobby, maybe?

  • Kalavier.1097Kalavier.1097 Member ✭✭✭

    @Caro.2730 said:
    I'm trying to prepare before creating a human necromancer and I'm torn between backgrounds. Can a necromancer (lore wise) be noble or it's more a commoner type of profession? I mean, living among nobility is all about fitting into the society, yes? I believe necromancers can be viewed as disturbing by many people, thus not many nobles would pursue this kind of magic?

    A necromancer noble (depending on how they dress and act) would be perfectly acceptable. If they dress a certain way or act a specific way, they may be viewed as weird and perhaps not invited to parties as much, but that'd be the limit of it.

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:
    Unlike most settings, necromancy isn't viewed as an evil thing. Creepy by some, sure, but not evil; and not all necromancers are viewed as being creepy or disturbing either - it depends on their day to day practices, really. Take Marjory - I don't think there's a single reference to her being viewed as creepy or disturbing by NPCs even when she was just a detective and not a member of a famous guild.

    Can a human noble be a necromancer? Yes. Will people bat an eye? Probably not. Will there be rumors about the necromancer noble? They're a noble, it's a given.

    Indeed, this is true. The most outright form of "Ew necro" I can recall in DR is a pair of people who are purely commenting on what some necromancers wear.

  • ugrakarma.9416ugrakarma.9416 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 4, 2019

    rich ppl do weird stuff on background too.

    main pvp: Khel the Undead(power reaper).

  • Danikat.8537Danikat.8537 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Like other people have said necromancy isn't viewed negatively in Tyria (except maybe by the charr, but they don't like magic of any kind), it's just another kind of magic and another field of study - in this case related to life force and death. For example Trahearne studied necromancy to help him understand Zhaitan and what was done to Orr so he could work out how to heal it, and the fact that he proved to be a very powerful necromancer is one of the reason the Orders were so willing to follow him.

    There are limits to what's acceptable for a necromancer to do - for example raising the corpses of the recently deceased in view of people who knew them ranges from distasteful to out-right offensive. (Not sure how that worked in GW1, where many necromancer skills required a fresh corpse, and your allies worked as well as your enemies, maybe it was viewed as one of those things which is acceptable in the heat of battle...or maybe it's only players who did that and in lore no one would give the party's necromancer a few seconds to exploit the corpse before the monk ressurected them?)

    But I think in general it's only considered a serious problem when a necromancer ventures into killing innocent people to provide material and energy for their magic. And in that respect it's no different to any other profession. An elementalist is fine, an elementalist who burns down houses is not. Some people might find it a bit odd that anyone would choose to study necromancy rather than other types of magic, but no more so for a noble than anyone else.

    Danielle Aurorel - Desolation EU. Mini Collector.

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  • ugrakarma.9416ugrakarma.9416 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 5, 2019

    @Danikat.8537 made good points.

    I guess necromancers very fit into "I would rather be feared than loved" kinda of personality. And basically something close to all of Tyria's powerful necromancers has a "very strong personality" type, like:

    https://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Verata_the_Necromancer
    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Livia
    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Palawa_Joko
    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Queen_Nahlah

    Jhavi Jorasdottir will be a necromancer too, i guess she would become a kind of "strong personality" too.

    The points outside the curve are Trehearne and in less extent the Marjory Delaqua.

    Notice that Queen Nahlah is "technically" a noble since shes come from a royal lineage and has a court.

    main pvp: Khel the Undead(power reaper).

  • Kalavier.1097Kalavier.1097 Member ✭✭✭

    I don't really agree with that "Feared then loved" personality thing. Verata went crazy and became an enemy of the Necromancer order for using fellow refugees for his expiraments (IIRC), Livia was all for Kryta, and mostly stayed out of focus (I haven't read Sea of Sorrow's, but that was my take on her in general), to the point of out-right disappearing entirely after Zhaitan rose and LA was refounded.

    Joko was about the fear, to a point. But he was also about being adored and revered by his subjects.

    The Queen doesn't really sound like a "feared then loved" either. They partied, lived for pleasure, but were kept in the dark until the scarab plague was too bad. They got blamed for it, were misled by advisors/enemies.

    Yes, the ones that go evil tend to go all out, but for the most part Necromancers follow the rules and are viewed as just fine, if sometimes creepy.

    @Danikat.8537 said:
    Like other people have said necromancy isn't viewed negatively in Tyria (except maybe by the charr, but they don't like magic of any kind), it's just another kind of magic and another field of study - in this case related to life force and death. For example Trahearne studied necromancy to help him understand Zhaitan and what was done to Orr so he could work out how to heal it, and the fact that he proved to be a very powerful necromancer is one of the reason the Orders were so willing to follow him.

    There are limits to what's acceptable for a necromancer to do - for example raising the corpses of the recently deceased in view of people who knew them ranges from distasteful to out-right offensive. (Not sure how that worked in GW1, where many necromancer skills required a fresh corpse, and your allies worked as well as your enemies, maybe it was viewed as one of those things which is acceptable in the heat of battle...or maybe it's only players who did that and in lore no one would give the party's necromancer a few seconds to exploit the corpse before the monk ressurected them?)

    But I think in general it's only considered a serious problem when a necromancer ventures into killing innocent people to provide material and energy for their magic. And in that respect it's no different to any other profession. An elementalist is fine, an elementalist who burns down houses is not. Some people might find it a bit odd that anyone would choose to study necromancy rather than other types of magic, but no more so for a noble than anyone else.

    In GW1 there was explicitly an order of necromancers who policed their ranks, outright calling for Verata's head (above) when he started using refugees and fellow Ascalonians/innocents as part of his experiments (The experiments/tests by themselves were fine, it was that he killed innocents for it was the bad part). They kill another necromancer in post-searing Ascalon when he goes insane and becomes a danger.

    The big part to remember is this: The necromancer serves many roles and tasks, and only part of them deal with actually raising undead minions. For example, a priest of grenth can be found during the day in Shaemoor, where he comments on trying to find and sooth a ghost that haunts the graveyard. Sadly, he must return to DR at night because of his family/other duties, and thus keeps missing the ghost (You can encounter her yourself at night, where she tries to kill you at one point).
    Directly raising minions tends to be an aspect of combat focused necromancers, and that case it's usually fine to raise the corpses of enemies. In GW1 during the assault on Gandara, the necromancer sunspear is outright asked to "Get us reinforcements" at which point she raises minions from the corpses of Kournans.

  • @Caro.2730 said:
    I'm trying to prepare before creating a human necromancer and I'm torn between backgrounds. Can a necromancer (lore wise) be noble or it's more a commoner type of profession? I mean, living among nobility is all about fitting into the society, yes? I believe necromancers can be viewed as disturbing by many people, thus not many nobles would pursue this kind of magic?

    Well, your doubts are generated by the way ANet used the "gods" until now. But, in the same time, you can have your answers from the same usage of the term. Let's see:

    • In the time of Dhuum, Necromancy was not considered as something disturbing or unusual. It has not existed. Because Dhuum did not allow any interference of the mortals in the Death realm. Calling a soul from this Realm was impossible (this is acceptable, taking into account Dhuum's .... behavior of devouring souls).
    • Time passed. The half-human Grenth sees the light of the day. His mummy (Dwayna) worried that his offspring will have no realm to lead, managed to create a very bad image for Dhuum. The "god" of death, her team-mate (in the gods team), leading the realm of death for centuries, became "bad" / "cruel" / "unappropriated to lead the realm" etc. And Dhuum has been replaced. The realm of the death has now another manager. A half-human / half-alien. And this manager decided that the Necromancy is allowed.

    Morale? Don't worry about your Necromancer. Necromancy is allowed by "gods". No human (or other race) will consider a Necromancer to be something special. It is just another magical specialization - on pair (regarding honorability) with any other magical specializations.

    As a note: Because of the nature of the "gods" (aka - mortals, liars, cowards, stupids - with other words charlatans), GW2 is the only game I played where Necromancy is a honorable "job". In most of the other games, being a Necromancer means, indeed, what the OP feared. Sometimes, a Necromancer is (at best) tolerated in society. But In GW2 a Necromancer is OK.

  • James The Leper is a noble.

  • I am not huge on making up lore for my characters, because I don't think I am great at it, but I always enjoy reading others. That said, I have not infrequently had dreams after playing until late and one I had about my necro character was a total rip off from Siddhartha Gautama's early story of being a noble, not knowing suffering or death, and sneaking out of the palace (here in the Crystal Desert) and seeing suffering and someone die...and at that point, as a teen, discovering necromancy powers.....in quite a bad-PR-but-good-intent-Pet-Sematary-way.

  • Necromancy is a profession. Consider how you as a person fit into your chosen profession. Consider why other people do the jobs they do. From there you can build any number of story arcs for your character. Does your noble have an unhealthy and ghoulish fascination for corpses? Perhaps a number of noble vampiric practitioners exist within your family line? Maybe your noble does the job with reluctance, portraying the same attitude as some one in a “dead end” profession. Maybe your noble is a priest, or a mortician, or a pathologist, or a tomb raider. Build a story that resonates with you personally.

    "There is little love for those of my kind in this place, yet I am here to help save them all. To those who matter, actions speak louder than words and my actions shall echo across this city for eternity until all recognize the honor of the Tengu race." ~ Talon Silverwing

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Contrary to what people have said, there are references, both in Guild Wars 1 and in the books such as Ghosts of Ascalon, that necromancy is often distrusted by humans due to its tendency to be associated with evil acts. Part of the reason for the Order in GW1 was to limit this by making sure that any necromancer that went bad started getting taken down hard.

    However, it's more of a case of being suspicious of the potential that a necromancer might go bad rather than an assumption that any necromancer will go bad. A human necromancer will probably be watched more closely for signs that they're going bad than other human spellcasters, but they're still generally regarded as being on the level unless there are any indications otherwise. If anything, a noble necromancer would probably have less social problems than a necromancer from lower classes, because the people they interact with are likely to be better educated and less likely to jump to prejudiced conclusions, and because wealthy people are generally allowed to get away with more without social consequence (in part because someone who's already wealthy is seen as less likely to use their skills for criminal activity, even if in practice that doesn't seem to be the case, and in part... consider the cliche about how if you're rich you're not crazy, you're eccentric).

    One thing you could possibly consider using as a model, even if it's not a Krytan example, is House Durheim of the Kurzicks.

  • starlinvf.1358starlinvf.1358 Member ✭✭✭✭

    To build on whats been said in the thread so far, Necromancy's social standing falls into this purposeful blind spot shared with a modern Mortuary, or Undertaker in older times...... As in People don't like to think about, but their services are important to the flow of society.

    The day to day job of a Necromancer revolves around caring for grave sites and shrines, handling services and rituals involving the deceased, investigating super natural phenomena, and laying the smack down on those that would cleft the delicate order of the Cosmos in twain!!!!! Humans have long feared death, and the very subject makes most uneasy. Nobles in particular exist in a perpetual state of denial, actively avoiding conversations involving anything perceived as being uncomfortable or offensive to their sensibilities.... face to face. Behind people's back, Nobles gossip like its their job. For some, it probably is their job.

    In the case of a Noble being a Necromancer, the default state of uneasiness is high just because small talk would be difficult when Family, Work and Weather are the 3 things the conversation gravitates toward. But given the Noble's culture in DR, and how it revolves around status, propaganda and political maneuvering... its entirely reasonable for a Noble to pursue Necromancy, while avoid being a social pariah, by way of charm and conversational skills. Avoiding topics that make people uncomfortable or depressed, while also spinning the nature of their work as something they'd find endearing if not inspiring- such as bravely facing off against spooky ghosts, enacting justice on any who would disturb the peaceful rest of those who've passed on, and selectively softening details while embellishing the heroics. Dressing nice is also not mutually exclusive for the profession. One can also play the allure of a secretive life; outwardly sparing others from the gory details, but also becoming intriguing due to how little is known about it. A simple offer to join you on your routine would be enough to disarm most who had entertained the thought of prying further.

    Such a person would have to be very careful about how they navigate conversations.... But one could still realistically operate in noble society. After all- with all the power and fear that surrounds evil necromancers, who better to restore order then one who wields that power to protect life from the darkness? And as a bonus, no one would ever ask you to do party tricks with your magic.

  • Ashantara.8731Ashantara.8731 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Caro.2730 said:
    I'm trying to prepare before creating a human necromancer and I'm torn between backgrounds. Can a necromancer (lore wise) be noble or it's more a commoner type of profession?

    Mine are both noble. You know, nobility gets bored easily, so they delve into bizarre hobbies. ;)

  • Kalavier.1097Kalavier.1097 Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 13, 2019

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    Contrary to what people have said, there are references, both in Guild Wars 1 and in the books such as Ghosts of Ascalon, that necromancy is often distrusted by humans due to its tendency to be associated with evil acts. Part of the reason for the Order in GW1 was to limit this by making sure that any necromancer that went bad started getting taken down hard.

    However, it's more of a case of being suspicious of the potential that a necromancer might go bad rather than an assumption that any necromancer will go bad. A human necromancer will probably be watched more closely for signs that they're going bad than other human spellcasters, but they're still generally regarded as being on the level unless there are any indications otherwise. If anything, a noble necromancer would probably have less social problems than a necromancer from lower classes, because the people they interact with are likely to be better educated and less likely to jump to prejudiced conclusions, and because wealthy people are generally allowed to get away with more without social consequence (in part because someone who's already wealthy is seen as less likely to use their skills for criminal activity, even if in practice that doesn't seem to be the case, and in part... consider the cliche about how if you're rich you're not crazy, you're eccentric).

    One thing you could possibly consider using as a model, even if it's not a Krytan example, is House Durheim of the Kurzicks.

    It's distrusted, but it's not shunned or hated.

    I still find it amusing how necromancers are sometimes viewed as evil, but mesmers, who are widely known to be able to produce incredibly realistic illusions, are perfectly fine and not feared. A mesmer can make the illusion of a bridge that doesn't exist, causing you to fall to your death. but nah, let's be afraid of the priest who gets rid of the hostile ghosts in the graveyard! :p

    Also, while necromancers do sometimes go evil, the number that do vs the number that don't is small.

    Also, IIRC the necromancer distrust in Ghosts of Ascalon was because you had a very young sylvari necromancer with zero social sense outright asking companions "If you die, can I use your body as a minion?" because she didn't know that was an awkward, and just outright kitten question to ask a co-worker/travel companion/guildmate.

    Distrust is there, but not to a level of necromancers being shunned/hated in general. You can find commoners talking about being necromancers openly in DR. Dislike does not mean they aren't accepted as part of society.

  • Brycar.2651Brycar.2651 Member ✭✭✭

    The nobles could afford the luxury of scholarly pursuits. My human nobles are the three scholar professions and engineering.

  • Kalavier.1097Kalavier.1097 Member ✭✭✭

    @Brycar.2651 said:
    The nobles could afford the luxury of scholarly pursuits. My human nobles are the three scholar professions and engineering.

    TBH, most Krytan and Ebonhawke kids seem to get a basic, but decent education. Hell, the PC's origin can literally be a street rat with no real home and they still know some necromancy/ele/mesmer stuff.

    While a noble can definitely afford top of the line schooling and mentoring, it's not like the middle or lower class is excluded from being able to learn or become specific classes.

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Kalavier.1097 said:

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    Contrary to what people have said, there are references, both in Guild Wars 1 and in the books such as Ghosts of Ascalon, that necromancy is often distrusted by humans due to its tendency to be associated with evil acts. Part of the reason for the Order in GW1 was to limit this by making sure that any necromancer that went bad started getting taken down hard.

    However, it's more of a case of being suspicious of the potential that a necromancer might go bad rather than an assumption that any necromancer will go bad. A human necromancer will probably be watched more closely for signs that they're going bad than other human spellcasters, but they're still generally regarded as being on the level unless there are any indications otherwise. If anything, a noble necromancer would probably have less social problems than a necromancer from lower classes, because the people they interact with are likely to be better educated and less likely to jump to prejudiced conclusions, and because wealthy people are generally allowed to get away with more without social consequence (in part because someone who's already wealthy is seen as less likely to use their skills for criminal activity, even if in practice that doesn't seem to be the case, and in part... consider the cliche about how if you're rich you're not crazy, you're eccentric).

    One thing you could possibly consider using as a model, even if it's not a Krytan example, is House Durheim of the Kurzicks.

    It's distrusted, but it's not shunned or hated.

    I still find it amusing how necromancers are sometimes viewed as evil, but mesmers, who are widely known to be able to produce incredibly realistic illusions, are perfectly fine and not feared. A mesmer can make the illusion of a bridge that doesn't exist, causing you to fall to your death. but nah, let's be afraid of the priest who gets rid of the hostile ghosts in the graveyard! :p

    Also, while necromancers do sometimes go evil, the number that do vs the number that don't is small.

    Also, IIRC the necromancer distrust in Ghosts of Ascalon was because you had a very young sylvari necromancer with zero outright asking companions "If you die, can I use your body as a minion?" because she didn't know that was an awkward, and just outright kitten question to ask a co-worker/travel companion/guildmate.

    Distrust is there, but not to a level of necromancers being shunned/hated in general. You can find commoners talking about being necromancers openly in DR. Dislike does not mean they aren't accepted as part of society.

    It wasn't just that alone - there was a bit of further discussion in Ghosts of Ascalon about the wider context, such as the association of death magic with Zhaitan, which comes a little after they get out of Ebonhawke and the characters have the opportunity to explain to her just why it was a problem.

    Even before Zhaitan arose, we were shown several times in Guild Wars 1 that most humans are superstitious and distrustful of necromancy.

    With regards to the distinction between attitudes towards mesmers and necromancers, I think it's a combination of two things:

    First, mesmers just have better PR.

    Second, while GW2 mechanics don't spell it out as explicitly as GW1 mechanics do, necromancy explicitly gains power out of death and draining the life out of living things. It doesn't have to, but the fact that it it can is well enough known that the average citizen is going to be aware that at any given moment, a necromancer might decide to kill or drain them in order to augment their own power. Sure, they'll probably generally trust that a specific necromancer that they already know isn't going to spontaneously start murdering civilians for their experiments (although it has happened) but some random necromancer they don't know is something entirely different.

    Mesmer, elementalist, even monk/guardian magic can be used to kill, but they don't have that inherent incentive to do so that necromancers have.

  • Brycar.2651Brycar.2651 Member ✭✭✭

    @Kalavier.1097 said:

    @Brycar.2651 said:
    The nobles could afford the luxury of scholarly pursuits. My human nobles are the three scholar professions and engineering.

    TBH, most Krytan and Ebonhawke kids seem to get a basic, but decent education. Hell, the PC's origin can literally be a street rat with no real home and they still know some necromancy/ele/mesmer stuff.

    While a noble can definitely afford top of the line schooling and mentoring, it's not like the middle or lower class is excluded from being able to learn or become specific classes.

    You’re right any social status can be any profession. My role play is that the nobility learn via formal schooling from private tutors.

    The middle class learn via apprenticeships or from working in their family business. Perhaps they are the children of those hired professors. Or a warrior kid learns from her weapon smith mother.

    And the lower class learn at the orphanage or street rules. Maybe they run errands for the spooky necro witch who lives at the scary hut in the woods to barter for training.

    That’s how I explain my noble necro. How do you explain a noble necro?

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