Animate dead is one of the few spells which has a variable cost to its casting, as it's based entirely on the amount of HD you are going to raise with the casting, which is partly dependent on the CL.

When you scribe a scroll, all its costs are paid up front, both for the scribing and if there are expensive material components.

So a cleric/wizard base animate dead scroll costs 375 plus x25.

How would one who finds or buys such a scroll determine how many HD it's able to produce? If one was to create it themselves at the lowest cost (400), does the scroll restrict the amount of undead HD it can raise?


1 Answer 1


Your final presumption is correct.

Because the cost of Animate Dead is variable, the scroll must be created for a target HD (I would venture to believe most GM's would allow the target HD or less, but that's something that should be asked at the table).

My reasoning is that a larger number of HD would make it so the "characteristics of the spell cannot be made to conform"; your target(s) are invalid, so the spell cannot be cast as written. Obviously there are alternative ways to fairly adjudicate attempting to cast the spell at too many HD of creature(s), but RAW the spell (and therefore scroll) would be lost.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I was hoping there was a way to game the scroll to bypass more of the cost for more undead. Granted at the starting cost of the scroll your needing to animate 16 HD of undead. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Aug 17, 2019 at 12:36

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