Is Necromancy illegal in Waterdeep?

Nowhere in the Legal Code from Waterdeep: Dragon Heist does it say one way or the other, nor even is it implied within any other rule - not even those related to religion, temples or gods.

I do think that if you use a necromancy spell to raise a corpse, you're sort of "stealing" the body of somebody's relative. In Waterdeep, is that considered theft?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I tried to better align your bottom line question with the rest of the question. Please review the edit, and revise if necessary. Welcome to RPG.SE. Thanks for your question; please take the tour and visit the help center to see how to get the most out of an SE Q&A site. Thanks for joining in, and happy gaming. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Nov 18 '18 at 16:44

I'm assuming that you are referring to the Code Legal from "Waterdeep Dragon Heist". At least from the handout I could find online, there are two obvious legal ramifications with getting a dead body to raise:

  • If you produce the body by killing someone, this is obvious murder.
  • If the body is dead and buried, you'll have to engage in Tomb-robbing, which is listed as a crime against the gods. An obvious secondary charge would be "disorderly conduct within a temple", if you raid a crypt still considered as belonging to a temple.

This leaves you the technical option of raising some who recently died, but has not yet been buried. This one is a bit more difficult and I guess it will depend on the circumstances:

  • If the death wasn't natural causes, you are possibly hampering justice.

  • If the dead body didn't simply lie on the street, you are likely committing Burglary to get to it.

  • There is also the possibility you mentioned, of calling it a theft.

Finally necromancy itself might be problematic:

  • Some gods like their dead to stay dead. Raising some skeleton thus is an act of "public blasphemy".

  • The city officials do not like roving zombies in the streets, in other words, necromancy can be considered disturbing the peace.

  • There is also the "Using magic to influence a Lord/official/citizen" charge, which might be invoked, especially if you annoy someone important, as even a dead noble might still be considered a noble.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ If the big obstacle here is obtaining bodies without resorting to murder or grave robbery, what about voluntary donations? \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Nov 18 '18 at 21:36
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @MarkWells That's an amazing idea. I like the idea of the Watchful Order having a number of skeletons/zombies on hand to use as shock-troops thanks to people "donating their bodies to the service of Waterdeep". \$\endgroup\$ – syntheticbrain Jan 2 '19 at 16:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.