I am going to be a necromancer and not feeling like having to pay for my undead. The following are methods I know about.
- Blood money spell - banned in current game
- Cauldron of the dead magic item - its 30k (1200 HD of undead) and heavy, plus could be easily stolen or destroyed, also cant make until later in career
- Mythic animate dead spell - requires mythic power but more important, have to gain the mythic spell
- Archmage - Component Freedom (3rd tier)- only works for arcane animate dead
- Hierophant - Symbol of the Holy (1st tier) - only works for divine animate dead
- False Focus feat - only works for arcane animate dead
So of the six ways I know of, the preferred is banned in my game, one costs more than I would save, three are specific for arcane/divine (I'm a cleric/wizard so less attractive), and the last one requires a fair amount of investment.
Are there better/cheaper ways to cast animate dead than these? As I am both cleric/wizard, the best method would work for both classes.