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61

Rules citations: Animate Dead has the [evil] descriptor. "This is an evil act" is right there in the spell descriptor: Evil: Spells that draw upon evil powers or conjure creatures from evil-aligned planes or with the evil subtype should have the evil descriptor. Good Clerics can't cast [evil] spells: A cleric can't cast spells of an alignment ...


52

Yes, this spell will control a lich. Control Undead states: This spell enables you to control undead creatures for a short period of time. You command them by voice and they understand you, no matter what language you speak. Even if vocal communication is impossible, the controlled undead do not attack you. At the end of the spell, the subjects revert ...


46

I believe it is a matter of story, and less a matter of mechanics. Mechanically, any monster, any NPC, any curse, any trap, anything the players encounter will have a solution, a stat to beat, and you as the GM would have calculated their chances and deemed it possible for them to defeat (speaking in generalities) The way to make the Undead scary is not to ...


45

This isn't a matter of setting – it's simply because it's an over-used trope. It's a form of lazy writing / lazy scenario design. In a D&D-genre game where the DM is not trying too hard to present a believable world, they might rely on stereotypes and stock situations with regularity: every cemetery is full of risen dead, every peasant town has sacks of ...


26

Protection against Spells Disguise Undead does just what it says - hides undead. Unfortunately Clerics can't cast it, so you'll either need an Arcane casting lackey to do it for you, or an item that can do it (Wands with Use Magic Device, or some other use per day item). Undetectable Alignment can hide the alignment of one creature per casting for 24 hours ...


26

Damage Reduction is not a penalty. Penalties are negative bonuses applied to a roll, e.g. for having low Strength. As such, your quote has nothing to do with the situation where you deal one-or-more damage, but the enemy has DR in excess of that damage (and you don’t overcome it). In that case, you do not deal any damage at all, nonlethal or otherwise. This ...


23

tl;dr The weakness that prevents vampires crossing running water is derived from Bram Stoker's Dracula, but found only in D&D 3.0 and 3.5. Advice from AD&D suggests that vampires should charm people and use them to circumvent weaknesses. What is the history of the D&D Vampire's "running water" weakness? The D&D vampire seems to be ...


22

Without adventurer intervention, cemeteries are a kind of black swan bet. That is, when a cemetery goes horribly wrong, there tends not to be anyone left to learn from the experience. There are, after all, essentially three kinds of towns: Those who burn or otherwise destroy the dead, those who bury the dead but whose dead do not return, and those who bury ...


20

This answer depends a lot upon the method you use to animate him. Your options are basically these: animate dead – Core and lowest-level, but applies the very-weak Skeleton or Zombie templates. Ritual of Crucimigration – From Libris Mortis, this applies the quite good Necropolitan template. On the other hand, it’s a voluntary ritual that ...


20

There's no fictional reason why the blinding effect wouldn't be effective on zombies and skeletons: they have to visually sense you somehow, and there's nothing in their descriptions that indicates that they have the power to see through barriers and obscuring effects. Rule-wise, glitterdust doesn't make any special exceptions for undead of any kind, and ...


18

You are the GM. There are some important rules to go by before you consider the rules of the game. Will the players enjoy facing against the villain? Will you enjoy playing this villain? If the answer to both the above is yes, you can go ahead with this. The only problem is if adding all the stuff on will make the NPC more powerful than you expected. ...


18

Tim's answer is great, but I want to expand on it. This especially applies if you're thinking "NPC villain" and not just "powerful monster." Liches are people, too Start by remembering that a lich was a person... human or not, it was an intelligent creature that, for some reason, went to great lengths to cheat death. When you think of your lich as ...


18

If the zombie is still 'alive', then Resurrection does nothing. From the spell description: You can resurrect someone killed by a death effect or someone who has been turned into an undead creature and then destroyed. You cannot resurrect someone who has died of old age. Constructs, elementals, outsiders, and undead creatures can’t be resurrected. ...


17

By the rules, becoming a lich is a willful and voluntary action on the part of the would-be lich. You can’t do it for someone, and you can’t have it done to you. You cannot even be forced or tricked or mind-controlled into it: The process of becoming a lich is unspeakably evil and can be undertaken only by a willing character. Furthermore, the rules ...


16

The Rules Are Contradictory The 7th-level Clr spell resurrection [conj] (PH 272-3) and the 9th-level Clr spell true resurrection [conj] (PH 296) say that You can [bring back from the dead] someone killed by a death effect or someone who has been turned into an undead creature and then destroyed. (emphasis mine), but the spells inherit the entry ...


16

You will no longer have the template at all. That is, none of its features, whether from type (Undead), subtype (incorporeal), or the specifics of the template. You also no longer count its LA against your effective character level. Specifically, under the Undead traits in the Monster Manual: Resurrection and true resurrection can affect undead ...


15

Undead can benefit from magic items like any other creature. The only exceptions would be items that have conditions they don't meet or do things that don't apply..like CON bonuses. They could technically wear items boost their immunities but it would be a waste in most circumstances (poison/disease/etc). Turn/Rebuke resistance would obviously be a ...


15

You don't mention a setting, and that could make a big difference. For AD&D 2e (Ravenloft specifically) there was a sourcebook entirely on Liches that at least touched on this. I believe it was Van Richten's Guide to the Lich. But let's look at what we might call a "stereotypical lich". Stereotypically, Liches are obsessive. You tend to need an ...


15

The same thing that happens to everything else, they're slowed. Unfortunately it doesn't stack. Slow notes that: Multiple slow effects don’t stack. Zombies, specifically have Single Actions Only (Ex) Zombies have poor reflexes and can perform only a single move action or attack action each round. Contrast with slow: A slowed creature can ...


14

"Doctor, it hurts when I do that." "Well then, don't do that." It sounds like whatever's going on goes way beyond normal resurrection rules (RAW you can't rez aa vampire, they're already dead). Consider not killing them! If you get them to retreat to their coffins, seal them in and put them into an infinite prison of your choice (You know, like you see in ...


14

Create undead does not specifically state that the soul/undead/etc is of the original creature; it just states that a dead body is required. This leaves it a little open to interpretation as to where that hapless soul is going to come from to fill that corpse that's being filled. However, more powerful undead, eg Mohrg are the "animated bodies of mass ...


14

I'm sure I'll be corrected if someone can find an official source, but I don't think this is defined anywhere rules-wise. My initial reaction is that there'd be memories, but they are probably incomplete. As a DM, I'd probably look for what'd make the best story based on what happened and what I'm working on for my PC storyline. If I had to punt on a ...


14

I have never seen anything official, but if I were a DM in that situation I would say it would depend on the type of undead. Something like a vampire or other form of sentient undead would probably retain full memories. If they spent time as something that was non-sentient or barely-sentient like a skeleton then I would say they would probably have only ...


14

This seems to be a case of the creature description being based on a development version of a spell that was changed before publication, but the bloody skeleton's ability wasn't updated to match. Or the design notes for the bloody skeleton read something like "or 0 hp on blessed ground" and the developer that actually wrote the text didn't do due diligence ...


14

Only with a Lot of Planning The description of the vampire reads, "Each round of immersion in running water inflicts damage on a vampire equal to one-third of its maximum hit points—a vampire reduced to 0 hit points in this manner is destroyed." Emphasis mine. I'll admit 12 gallons per person per round is a lot, but immersing--that is, submerging or ...


14

I agree with Hey I Can Chan, this really depends on the campaign - and on the specific city in question. That's something you should ask your DM. Note however that on the Pathfinder SRD entry for undead, the list of "Five Things Almost Everyone Knows About Undead" contains the following: The following are a few facts that are considered common knowledge ...


14

Raise Dead — No. The spell description, at the end of the second paragraph, states: The spell can't return an undead creature to life. (PHB, p. 270) Revivify — Probably Not. "[A] creature that has died within the last minute ... returns to life with 1 hit point." (PHB, p. 272) Both Animate Dead and Create Undead have a casting time of 1 minute, so ...


13

No, potions of healing don't hurt undead (unless you hit them really really hard with the vial). Monsters and NPC usually have 1 healing surge per tier, and potions are one of the few ways they are able to tap on them. Some humanoid monsters from early monster manuals have the Second Wind power explicitly listed in their stat block (most template-created ...


13

“Always” alignment does not actually mean always Always: The creature is born with the indicated alignment. The creature may have a hereditary predisposition to the alignment or come from a plane that predetermines it. It is possible for individuals to change alignment, but such individuals are either unique or rare exceptions. Note that creatures with ...


13

In 3.5, you gain experience for overcoming challenges, not for individual things you do. So a fighter doesn’t get XP for successfully attacking, a wizard doesn’t get XP for successfully casting a spell, and a cleric doesn’t get XP for successfully turning an undead creature. Rather, they get XP when their attack, spell, or turn undead ...



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