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So assuming our cleric casts desecrate and attempts to reanimate a Storm Giant (19HD) which starts below the 20HD threshold of not being animate-able but adds the skeletal champion template to that (which adds 2 HD making the total 21HD) prevent the Storm Giant from being reanimated as a Storm Giant Skeletal Champion?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What level is the cleric? \$\endgroup\$ – goodguy5 Dec 4 '18 at 19:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Our cleric is level 13. So with Desecrate she can create up to and control 52HD worth of undead with animate dead. and then can control up to an additional 13HD worth of undead from Command Undead channel energy ability \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Mundane Dec 4 '18 at 21:30
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The Skeletal Champion template is a separate and distinct template to the Skeleton template. It is the Skeleton template that has a maximum of 20 Hit Dice, not the Animate Dead spell or the Skeletal Champion template.

Having said that, without some other ability, I don't see any way to create a Skeletal Champion with Animate Dead, with or without Desecrate? Or any other variant Skeletons other than Burning and Bloody Skeletons, for that matter.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, Animate Dead allows you to create Burning Skeletons and Bloody Skeletons, at the cost of hit dice. \$\endgroup\$ – goodguy5 Dec 4 '18 at 20:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @goodguy5 OK, missed those. Good catch. (I don't play necromancers, I play heroes! :)) \$\endgroup\$ – YogoZuno Dec 4 '18 at 20:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ An animated skeleton is just a grumpy animated object. \$\endgroup\$ – goodguy5 Dec 4 '18 at 20:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh you are totally right, skeletal champion isn't one of the variants that can be used with animate dead. One way the caster can make a skeletal champion is through Create Undead d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/c/create-undead . But as it states, it's not automatically under the control of the user. They can use the Command Undead channel energy to try and command it, but that would require the caster to be at the same or higher level than the HD of the skeletal champion. Therefore: can be made, but not controlled. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Mundane Dec 4 '18 at 21:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ One more addendum: the caster must have a higher caster level than the HD of the created undead. Therefore: the caster must have an effective caster level of 21 to do so. Thank you for the reply! \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Mundane Dec 4 '18 at 21:36

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