How does a character create a skeleton, or for that matter, any other undead in 4th edition?

I've checked the rituals in the compendium and the closest match for "Create Skeleton" was "Create Scarecrow"

UPDATE: along with the ritual Undead Servitor[DDI] gives you at most 1 non-combatant

UPDATE: checked and the Monster Manual says ... "created by means of necromantic rituals"

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Why do you want a skeleton? What problem are you trying to solve? We already have a question on creating a necromancer in 4e that may be helpful. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pat Ludwig
    Apr 6, 2012 at 17:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was looking to put together the next adventure for the party and thought I'd do the old classic "the evil necromancer and his/her horde of skeletons" ... but I can't find anything like Create Skeleton \$\endgroup\$
    – SteveC
    Apr 6, 2012 at 19:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ So you aren't looking for PC options, just monster/NPC? \$\endgroup\$
    – Pat Ludwig
    Apr 6, 2012 at 20:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @SteveC Ah! That's a different story. You won't find that ritual, because NPCs don't use the game mechanics in the same way that PCs do in dnd-4e. You can feel free to posit any kind of Undead Creation technique you choose for your necromancer monster. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Apr 6, 2012 at 20:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SteveC you should probably edit your question to clarify. To be honest, we should probably close this and try again, because the answers don't match your real question. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 6, 2012 at 22:17

2 Answers 2


Player's Option: Heroes of Shadow offers clerics "Servitude in Death" (p.83), a level-5 Daily Attack power that causes a slain target to rise as an undead creature allied with you and your allies. It's considered dominated by you until it dies again. (There's a level-19 version, "Shackles of the Grave," that does the same thing as a zone.)

In the same book, the level-20 Necromancy Power "Nulathoe's Undead Army" summons 5 undead soldier minions to aid your necromancy school wizard.


4ed is constantly stingy with action budget (i.e. most summons require you to use your actions to power their attacks) so I've not seen any rules about being able to create undead that fight along side of you, at least for PCs. They could potentially be very unbalancing for a player character. However, with a little reflavoring, you could make a wizard into a pretty cool necromancer along with many summoned creatures. For example, who says a flaming sphere can't be a flaming skeleton? Rule wise it will work the same, but with the right flavor... Then build a summoning focused wizard and you have a nice necromancer.

I can't say I thought of all this myself, but I recently read the following forum entry which gave me some of the ideas. He fleshing out the reskinning to a greater extent so do check it out about eight posts down in the thread:

Example of a Summoner Wizard Reskinned as a Necromancer


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