Death Knell

Necromancy [Death, Evil]
Level: Blackguard 2, Death 2
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: Living creature touched
Duration: Instantaneous/10 minutes per HD of subject; see text
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
Spell Points: 3

You draw forth the ebbing life force of a creature and use it to fuel your own power.

Upon casting this spell, you touch a living creature that has -1 or fewer hit points. If the subject fails its saving throw, it dies, and you gain 1d8 temporary hit points and a +2 morale bonus to Strength. Additionally, you gain a +2 morale bonus on your key ability modifier with respect to spellcasting for the spell’s duration, the most notable effect of which is an increase on your spells’ save DCs. (You do not gain additional spell points for this increase unless it is in effect during your daily spell point acquisition. See Daily Spell Point Acquisition:). These effects last for 10 minutes per HD of the subject creature.

The life force of creatures with less than one full HD (such as rats, cats, and most nonmonstrous vermin) is not strong enough to grant any bonuses to you when they die, but they can still be killed by this spell if they are otherwise valid targets.

Augment: You can Augment this spell in one or both of the following ways:

  1. If you spend one additional spell point, this spell’s range changes to Close.

  2. If you spend four additional spell points, this spell affects all applicable targets within range. Bonuses from killing multiple creatures do not stack, as is normal. However, they do increase non-linearly for multiple creatures killed simultaneously, as outlined here:

    • 2-5 creatures: As for one creature, but you gain 2d8 temporary hit points rather than 1d8.

    • 6-10 creatures: As for 2-5 creatures, but you gain a +4 morale bonus to Strength rather than +2.

    • 11 creatures or more: As for 6-10 creatures, but you also gain a +2 morale bonus to Constitution.

    In all cases, the spell’s duration is determined by the HD of the strongest creature killed.