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If I am playing a NG Cleric with a NG deity, can I use spells of school necromancy? In the CRB, it notes this:

Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells: A cleric can't cast spells of an alignment opposed to her own or her deity's (if she has one). Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaotic, evil, good, and lawful descriptors in their spell descriptions.

and this:

Channel Energy (Su): Regardless of alignment, any cleric can release a wave of energy by channeling the power of her faith through her holy (or unholy) symbol. This energy can be used to cause or heal damage, depending on the type of energy channeled and the creatures targeted.

A good cleric (or one who worships a good deity) channels positive energy and can choose to deal damage to undead creatures or to heal living creatures. An evil cleric (or one who worships an evil deity) channels negative energy and can choose to deal damage to living creatures or to heal undead creatures. A neutral cleric who worships a neutral deity (or one who is not devoted to a particular deity) must choose whether she channels positive or negative energy. Once this choice is made, it cannot be reversed. This decision also determines whether the cleric casts spontaneous cure or inflict spells (see spontaneous casting).

Channeling energy causes a burst that affects all creatures of one type (either undead or living) in a 30-foot radius centered on the cleric. The amount of damage dealt or healed is equal to 1d6 points of damage plus 1d6 points of damage for every two cleric levels beyond 1st (2d6 at 3rd, 3d6 at 5th, and so on). Creatures that take damage from channeled energy receive a Will save to halve the damage. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the cleric's level + the cleric's Charisma modifier. Creatures healed by channeled energy cannot exceed their maximum hit point total—all excess healing is lost. A cleric may channel energy a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier. This is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. A cleric can choose whether or not to include herself in this effect. A cleric must be able to present her holy symbol to use this ability.

Would that also expand to include necromancy spells?

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The short answer is yes, you can. I'm getting the feeling that this isn't all there is to the question though; consider editing it to add more detail. –  shatterspike1 Dec 27 '13 at 22:44
The same question for D&D: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/16655/… –  Flamma Dec 28 '13 at 0:47

3 Answers 3

up vote 22 down vote accepted

Necromancy is not inherently evil

Necromancy spells are only characterized by their use of negative energy; negative energy is entropic in nature but is not a moral force. The inflict line of spells, for example, aren't evil.


Necromancy does have some evil spells. Thankfully, they'll helpfully be labeled [Evil] in the spell descriptions!

Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaotic, evil, good, and lawful descriptors in their spell descriptions.

Per the Cleric class description, the Cleric cannot use spells with an alignment component opposed to their own; Good Clerics can't use [Evil] spells, Evil Clerics can't use [Good] ones. When in doubt, just check the spell's description!

Further, Channel Energy does not affect non-spontaneous spellcasting. While Channel Energy determines what spells a Cleric may cast without preparing, it doesn't affect spells that the Cleric memorizes ahead of time and does not otherwise restrict their casting list, though their alignment may do so (see above).

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Although this is Pathfinder and not D&D, I do believe that pre-3rd edition, Cure spells were indeed Necromancy spells along with Inflict spells. Necromancy was labelled back then as "magic which involves the manipulation of life," not just edgy hardcore death spells. WotC "wimped out" when they changed Cure spells to Conjuration in 3rd edition, although honestly I think they should have just renamed Necromancy to Thaumaturgy or something. –  Lucas Leblanc Nov 5 '14 at 22:16

Pharasma is not evil, but she hates undead. Despite this, it is said that some necromancers serve her: they are forbidden to create undead, but as long as they do not object to this restriction, nothing else about their chosen path prevents them from entering her service.

I'd argue that this creates some precedent flavor-wise for the possibility of Good necromancers. The goddess of death understands that necromancy isn't all about the undead, and so she allows those who divorce necromancy from undeath to serve her. Similarly, although necromancy is often considered evil-flavored (and switching healing spells from Necromancy to Conjuration during the 2e/3e changeover did not help matters here), only certain spells from the school are explicitly tagged as such. A Good necromancer would have to refrain from casting such spells, but nothing else prevents them from choosing that path.

I do miss healing-as-necromancy, though.

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Wouldn't logic of what your using neceomancy on dictate this. If you use a freshly killed townsperson that you slayed to raise. As opposed to an evil bandit that you slayed to save the town and now are enslaving in the gods name for good to repay his debt. Really its a grey area and needs to be entwined into the charcters story the book can be your answer but a far out story is better.

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You probably need to read our help center and learn a bit more about our site before posting answers. This isn't a discussion forum - we expect full backed-up answers to questions, not related thoughts or vague opinions. –  mxyzplk Jul 24 at 3:08
Sure i could back answers up from the rule book if you like. But it is stated already. Unless a spell is stated as good, neutral, or evil. It is considered to be open on all three (or 9 to the chart) characteristics of there above. However it does state in the core that "all necromancy is considedered to be unlawful and against nature." However when the book is solely running a game you might as well turn on an xbox and play final fantasy. This is rpg. Let the damn character run his game and see where the story takes you. Its not only more fun to them but to dm as well . –  user81620 Jul 24 at 6:55
The point of including references is that our readers and voters expect answers to justify their existence by including reasons that back up their assertions. Book citations can do that, but so can just taking the time to explain why you think your answer is the best answer. Right now this seems to be a passing thought put in words rather than a complete, stand-alone solution to the problem in the question. –  SevenSidedDie Jul 24 at 19:16
A charachter doesn't justify his exsistance through a book. Character is being justified through the player and allowing them to be what yhey want to be. If yhey need to be justified somely thru the rule book then you might as well read a campeign word for word and give them three choices for each encounter. A tabletop RPG is to allow each PC to choose whatever he wants to do. –  user81620 Jul 25 at 18:57
And not have a full linear style game. I wouldn't appreciate having a dm guide me thru each area with his hand. I might want to blow up a castle wall instead of fighting the ogre. Maybe i'll torch a town instead of killing bandits. Thats whats great about it. Its open. And as long as a gm can stay ahead of you its brilliant. –  user81620 Jul 25 at 19:00

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