This is for questions pertaining to entities who have attained 'unnatural' life after death.

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39
votes
11answers
7k views

Techniques for making undead scary again

Undead used to be scary things: dead, rotting bodies seeking to devour all life, outnumbering their foes, and replacing their fallen with slain enemies. But nowadays players see them and think ...
37
votes
8answers
7k views

Is summoning undead evil? Why?

My Question is: Where can I reference the RAW as to (1) that summoning undead is always an evil act, and (2) why summoning undead is always an evil act? The background is: Some of the players in my ...
34
votes
5answers
4k views

Can a lich be controlled by control undead?

If it is possible, which to me just does not seem at all fair to a lich, are there ways to avoid this silly little thing? If you have the feat or spell and the lich rolls badly, he is essentially ...
29
votes
6answers
4k views

How do I Raise the Dead and Look Good Doing it?

I am a LE cleric (No god, but in a order of LG/LN cleric, faking to praying to their god) and we are in a mass combat campaign (Darn you Drow), and I want to raise an elite troop of undead to protect ...
28
votes
4answers
1k views

If undead exist, why do cemeteries exist & cremation not a standard?

I have less fingers than the nr of cemeteries I cleared in campaigns of various scenarios and game mechanics. I find time and time again cemeteries crawling with undead. Either graves or crypts. I ...
28
votes
5answers
2k views

Can an undead cleric resurrect himself?

Inspired by the current OOTS story thread, I was trying to think my way around a resolution for the situation and wondered: Would it be valid for an undead cleric to cast resurrect on himself?
24
votes
5answers
2k views

Does an intelligent undead have a soul?

This is a question that arose when an evil cleric PC cast Create Undead on someone (who was dead at the time and was never an undead before) and then commanded (as in, he used his Command Undead class ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

Since when were demiliches weaker than regular liches?

In the D&D 5e Monster Manual, demiliches are explained as being liches who neglected to feed and were weakened. There is a more powerful variant that deliberately become demiliches in their ...
13
votes
3answers
545 views

Do PCs retain memories of undeath once resurrected?

If an NPC has been turned undead and later destroyed/resurrected, do they retain the memory of being undead? Specifically the actions they took part in against the PCs? But also any details to the ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

I want to have elite troop of undead, but which undead?

It's me again with more questions about undead. I was reading the cleric's animate dead spell, and I was a little bit disappointed after reading the skeleton's stats. 6 hp is kind of bad for an elite ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What happens when Zombies are Slowed?

I'm referring to the specific system of DnD 3.5 and to Zombies being slowed with the spell Slow. Zombies already have "Partial Action" in that they only have a standard action per round. I understand ...
12
votes
11answers
3k views

How do you make a vampire cleric stay dead?

In our current D&D 3.5 campaign we have made enemies with powerful drow vampire clerics. They have an annoying habit of resurrecting as their god is one who brings people back from the dead to ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I turn a NPC undead in a way that maintains all their abilities, feats, etc.?

I have an upper level NPC druid that I plan on killing and then making undead, along with his animal companion. Do the rules allow the undead animal companion in this situation? (If so does it ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

In Pathfinder, what happens if an undead creature's DR reduces damage to 0?

The combat section in the CRB says Minimum Damage: If penalties reduce the damage result to less than 1, a hit still deals 1 point of nonlethal damage. However, undead creatures are immune to ...
12
votes
1answer
418 views

In Pathfinder bloody skeletons are permanently destroyed in an area of a Bless?

The skeleton variant bloody skeleton has the special quality Deathless: Deathless (Su): A bloody skeleton is destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points, but it returns to unlife 1 hour later at 1 ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it possible to create undead with class levels?

This came from a conversation I had with a friend: is it possible for a PC necromancer to raise or create undead with class levels? The specific example that sparked this was the possibility of ...
12
votes
2answers
394 views

If I take a feat that allows Critical Hits on undead, can I make sneak attacks too?

Maybe this question has a very simple answer, but I'm not sure how this works. The SRD says about the Rogue's Sneak Attack: "Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to sneak ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Can the Create Water spell create “running water”?

In our current Pathfinder campaign, my party is (probably) dealing with a Vampire; one of the vampire weaknesses is to take damage in "running water". We have multiple Clerics and a Druid in the ...
11
votes
2answers
357 views

Bringing undead back to life

In previous editions of D&D, you couldn't bring undead back to life. You had to "re-kill" them and then resurrect their corpse. In 5e, Resurrection states that it can't bring undead back, but ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

What happens when Resurrection is cast on a zombie?

I know the Resurrection spell brings something back to life, but what happens when casting it on a zombie? A zombie is already dead, but now undead—does it "die" and is brought back to life, or does ...
10
votes
3answers
608 views

What other undead paths are there for immortality?

I am developing a campaign were the party is tracking down a group of ancient powerful mages. These mages would have undoubtedly sought undeath to extend their existence and I didn't just want them to ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How to raise the largest possible zombie (undead) army

Okay, it's time for the Zombie Apocalypse. Or at least, the raising of a rather unpleasant Zombie Army. Well, zombies are nice, but hey, other undead are welcome as well. So... an let's make it an ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Touch Attack Spells vs Incorporeal Creatures

Is it possible to hit an incorporeal creature with a spell that requires a melee touch attack without the use of any magical ability that allows one to make contact with incorporeal beings? Put ...
10
votes
4answers
352 views
+50

Must the body remain on the Material Plane during astral projection?

The spell 9th-level Sor/Wiz spell astral projection [necro] (PH 201) is one of those high-level legacy spells dating back to at least Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (1978), likely included in Dungeons ...
10
votes
1answer
319 views

Does a character keep their class levels when changing in to a ghoul/ghast?

When someone dies from Ghoul fever, and they are a 6th level fighter, do they turn in to a Ghast with 6 levels of fighter? Or do they just become a 6HD ghast? I know the answer to this in D&D 3.5, ...
10
votes
1answer
293 views

Does an Undead with Wild Shape gain a Constitution score during Wild Shape?

Build Race: Half Drow Template: Necropolitan Classes: Drow Transition Template Class 2 / Wizard 5 / Arachnomancer 2 References Spider Shape (Su): This ability functions as wild shape. Wild ...
9
votes
2answers
825 views

Is the blinding effect of Glitterdust effective on mindless undead?

We have just started a new pure Pathfinder campaign and I'm playing a Witch, one of only two arcane casters in the party (the other is a knowledge-based Bard). It looks like the campaign might involve ...
9
votes
4answers
645 views

Can a cleric turn an undead swarm?

I ran into a monster that I'm thinking of using next session. It's the scarab swarm from the Sandstorm Book. The creature's entry reads the following type: SCARAB SWARM, DEATH Diminutive Undead ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Will I lose my undead traits when I'm resurrected?

I have a ghost template in our new horror adventure. If I die (as a ghost) and after that am resurrected, I will return to being human (my race before becoming a ghost). Will I also lose all of the ...
9
votes
2answers
273 views

Is there any information on cities where most of the citizens are undead?

In Open Grave it says: Other places, such as the city of Eredu, take a more proactive approach. In Eredu, undead that want to be citizens must submit to a process of authorization to gain ...
9
votes
1answer
981 views

Does a potion of healing hurt undead?

The other night one of my players thought it a good idea to throw a potion of healing at the undead skeletal mage. Her idea was that the potion would harm undead. A creative idea and I said go ahead, ...
9
votes
5answers
938 views

How can a Paladin create an Army of Undead?

I'm a Dungeon Master in D&D 4e. We've played since the first adventure. Now my players are level 21 and plots are very deep. A character started with a Vriloka paladin, his father killed his ...
9
votes
1answer
345 views

If an attack that has different effects for living and undead creatures is used on a revenant, what would happen?

I'm talking specifically about spirit rend which for a hit goes: 3d6+ intelligence modifier damage(save ends). If the target is undead, it takes no damage and is not immobilized. Instead, the target ...
8
votes
1answer
743 views

Constitution drain, energy drain, dominating gaze - but incapable of crossing running water?

I'm interested in when this constraint from vampire lore was first integrated into Dungeons and Dragons mechanics: has it been there since the first D&D vampire? Vampires are... unable to ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Are undead immune to intimidate/demoralize

I wanted to confirm this I've heard tell they are but there seems to be much debate. Can you use intimidate to demoralize undead? This seems like the sort of thing that they would have made clear in ...
8
votes
2answers
376 views

How can my undead reattach his arm?

My character is a necropolitan, and he just lost his arm. Regenerate doesn't work on undead, and I don't have the regeneration special ability. How could I reattach my arm? My character lost his arm ...
8
votes
2answers
400 views

Is a touch spell's charge sufficient to hit an incorporeal creature?

Abel wants to affect a shadow (MM 221-2) with the 3rd-level Clr spell spark of life [necro] (SpC 196). The shadow has the subtype incorporeal, and the spell spark of life is Range: Touch and doesn't ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

How is HD determined in Animate Dead?

I have a dread necromancer playing in my game and I've been wondering if we're interpreting the Animate Dead spell correctly. Since the player isn't one to review the rules of spells herself, I've ...
8
votes
1answer
405 views

Does a Dracolich possessing a new corpse reform as its original type or as the corpse's type?

In the 5th Edition Monster Manual, it states the following under the Dracolich Phylacteries section: If a dracolich's physical form is ever destroyed, its spirit returns to the gem as long as the ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

How do the rules that govern a Cleric's Turn Undead ability vary among D&D editions?

I would like to know how the rules for the Cleric's Turn Undead ability have changed between D&D editions. I don't own or have access to all the rule books for the various editions, so I'm curious ...
8
votes
0answers
249 views

How should I handle the rest of my party, who believe all Necromancy must be evil? [closed]

I'm playing a 9th level wizard, and playing him as a necromancer. He is nice and very outgoing, and has plans to build a city in which he will have a church for every alignment, as well as an ...
7
votes
5answers
540 views

Can a wizard who has been dead for 100 years be raised as a Lich?

Okay, so I have this big sexy hook for my D&D story, and I want to know if there is a way that I can do this while still following the rules. The history for this is that 100 years ago in my ...
7
votes
2answers
579 views

Day-to-day life of a Lich [closed]

How can a Lich NPC be made more believable? Things like... How do you suppose a lich spends his un-life? Assuming he has an evil crypt or evil tower to live in... What are his day-to-day ...
7
votes
4answers
440 views

Is it possible for a LG paladin to adventure with a N wizard that practices necromancy, using the undead for good?

I was playing with the idea of my N wizard starting to dabble in animating dead, but there is a conflict because of my LG paladin. I'm in the school of thought that mindless undead such as skeletons ...
7
votes
1answer
482 views

Can one use detect magic to detect undead?

As lesser undeads like skeletons or zombies are mostly made by magic I'm wondering if detect magic can be used as sorts of "detect undead in your view". Thus you see a pile of bones ahead of you and ...
7
votes
1answer
259 views

What happens when an undead character is “Taken Out”

I tried finding this in the books, but I couldn't figure anything out. If you have an undead character, what happens when their physical stress track is filled and they don't take a consequence? Are ...
7
votes
1answer
328 views

How can I let undead stirges keep blood drain?

In a campaign I'm currently running, a vampire will seek a way to collect his daily dose of blood. He's planning to do that by collecting stirges, animating them as undead, and sending them to suck ...
6
votes
2answers
767 views

Is Sunbeam's beam considered sunlight, for the purposes of Sunlight Hypersensitivity?

Compare Sunbeam's opening line: "A beam of brilliant light flashes out from your hand in a 5-foot-wide, 60-foot-line." to Sunburst's opening line: "Brilliant sunlight flashes in a 60-foot ...
6
votes
2answers
335 views

How does resurrecting destroyed undead affect their level progression?

While answering this question it brought up this current situation. I thought I had seen this answered here before but I can't find it anywhere. How does casting "Resurrection" on a destroyed ...
6
votes
1answer
337 views

Do undead benefit from magic items?

Could an undead in 3.5e D&D such as a skeleton benefit from wearing magic items like rings of protection?