Animate Dead

Level: 5   Schools: Necromancy
Range: 10 yds.   Components: V, S, M
Duration: Permanent   Casting Time: 5 rds.
Area of Effect: Special   Saving Throw: None

This spell creates the lowest of the undead monsters--skeletons or zombies--usually from the bones or bodies of dead humans, demihumans, or humanoids. The spell causes existing remains to become animated and obey the simple verbal commands of the caster. The skeletons or zombies can follow the caster, remain in an area and attack any creature (or just a specific type of creature) entering the place, etc. The undead remain animated until they are destroyed in combat or are turned; the magic cannot be dispelled. The following types of dead creatures can be animated:

A) Humans, demihumans, and humanoids with 1 Hit Die. The wizard can animate one skeleton for each experience level he has attained, or one zombie for every two levels. The experience levels, if any, of the slain are ignored; the body of a newly dead 9th-level fighter is animated as a zombie with 2 Hit Dice, without special class or racial abilities.

B) Creatures with more than 1 Hit Die. The number of undead animated is determined by the monster Hit Dice (the total Hit Dice cannot exceed the wizard's level). Skeletal forms have the Hit Dice of the original creature, while zombie forms have one more Hit Die. Thus, a 12th-level wizard could animate four zombie gnolls (4 x [2+1 Hit Dice] = 12), or a single fire giant skeleton. Such undead have none of the special abilities they had in life.

C) Creatures with less than 1 Hit Die. The caster can animate two skeletons per level or one zombie per level. The creatures have their normal Hit Dice as skeletons and an additional Hit Die as zombies. Clerics receive a +1 bonus when trying to turn these.

This spell assumes that the bodies or bones are available and are reasonably intact (those of skeletons or zombies destroyed in combat won't be!).

It requires a drop of blood and a pinch of bone powder or a bone shard to complete the spell. The casting of this spell is not a good act, and only evil wizards use it frequently.

Last modified: May 3rd, 2000