Acererak has a legendary action to cast any of his at-will spells (any spell he has prepared of level 3 or lower). One of the spells in that list is

Animate Dead,

which normally has a casting time of 1 minute. Can he use that legendary action to cast it, accelerating its casting speed to "1 legendary action" instead of "1 minute", in the same way "1 action" is accelerated to "1 legendary action" normally?


2 Answers 2


TL;DR: NPCs do not have to follow the rules for PCs. They follow the rules on their statistic blocks. (Also, PCs should not hope to be able to do everything an NPC can). So yes, he can cast the longest-casting spell using his legendary action.

And we are not talking about any tavern brawl NPC. This is Acererak, arguably
The Most Famous Lick(sic) Ever in All D&D History !!!!!!!

Copyright Wizards of the Coast. Picture of Acereak, released as promotional material on a Press Release.

(Drool, Larlock. You'll never be this cool)

It is a Legendary Foe, a BBEG in all his splendor. He was the floating skull that sucked the soul of your grandpa's paladin back in the 1980's.

So yes, he can cast in a single legendary action if the adventure says he does.
Too bad he can't use a Gibson as his focus.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Sucking souls as far back as the 1970's, even, when you consider when ToH was first published...and made its debut at a Con in 1975. (Origins). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 21, 2017 at 2:42
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ This answer seems a little short for a TL;DR... \$\endgroup\$
    – Weckar E.
    Commented Sep 21, 2017 at 10:14
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Vecna's probably the most famous lich, but Acereak's a close second. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 7:39
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer vecna is a deity. Doesn't count. :P \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 9:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Vecna was a Lich for about 1000 years before he became a deity though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Commented Aug 5, 2019 at 1:08

Animate Dead would still take 1 minute to cast, he can just cast it as many times per long rest that he wants instead of having a limited number of 3rd level slots.

The Legendary action allows him to cast one of his At Will spells. It doesn't say anything about changing the cast time. So it would act the same way as if it were his turn and he decided to cast Raise Dead (Cast time 1 minute).

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ Pretty sure this is incorrect..."As a Legendary Action, he may cast one of his At Will spells." Animate Dead is one of his At Will spells. And a Legendary Action is a very specific thing. It is functionally identical to an Action (happens within a single turn), except the monster can use it at the end of someone else's turn. This is a case of Specific beats General. The same way that a goblin can Hide or Disengage on a Bonus Action, Acererak can cast any At-Will spell as a Legendary Action. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 21:57

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