I have deemed the ignorant masses of several nearby regions to be unfit to rule themselves. Unfortunately, they've established a democracy to determine leadership of their region and continuously refuse to elect myself to rule over every aspect of their lives with an iron fist.

Given my loss in the most recent election was, "staggeringly lopsided," per most political analysts I've decided I need to deviate from my current tactics of calling the ignorant masses, "ignorant masses." While I have considered the possibility of simply gerrymandering the overall electorate via a well-placed meteor swarm, I think I would much prefer to have as much perceived legitimacy in the upcoming election as possible. I believe this will greatly reduce the likelihood of other regions interfering following my Great Ascension (Task #4D on my to-do list).

With that option off the table, I then needed to determine an alternative method to ensure an electoral victory and it finally dawned on me last night during my ritual cleansing. I could use the ballots of the recently deceased!

As a powerful 20th level Wizard specializing in the School of Necromancy, I can most definitely increase my electability by killing off members of the electorate and raising undead minions to have them vote for me!

With this in mind, what is the most number of previously humanoid undead that I can control (directly or indirectly) to ensure my victory during an election?

  • Metric: Total number of undead created from humanoid corpses that are under direct or indirect control within the specified time frame. Other types of undead are of no use to me as they won't be eligible to vote.
  • Time Frame: The election is 14 days away and no additional voters may register after today.
  • Assume a 20th Level Wizard specializing in Necromancy, no multiclassing, but any feats, race, or background is permissible.
  • Once an undead is created, it must remain controlled all the way through the election, including election day itself (don't want the Supervisor of Elections looking too closely because a zombie cast a vote and then ate the old lady in the next booth). After that, it's someone else's problem.
  • Legitimacy is important and thus I refuse to change my form to appease the ignorant masses, thus polymorphing is prohibited.
  • Wish may be used to duplicate a spell only.
  • Assume that any number of humanoid corpses can be created per day as necessary, but to be counted towards the total, the created undead must have been part of the currently living electorate (so no robbing graves for bodies).
  • Were I to use magical items, there are political opponents who might suggest my success were due to the creators of those magical items. Thus, to prove my doubters wrong, I shall not use any magical items.
  • 'Indirect control' as used above should be construed to mean undead which are created by other undead which I have direct control over. Thus, if I have dominion over a vampire and it creates a vampire spawn, said vampire spawn is an undead that I have indirect control over. However, if control of the vampire is lost then I'd lose all of those spawn as well.
  • I have managed to fund my campaign using a PAC to avoid tax liabilities. As such, I've a sum of 30,000 gold pieces which I may expend on costly material components consumed by any spells I cast. Components which are not consumed by a spell, I have already procured.
  • If it is relevant, assume an ability score of 20 for all abilities.
  • No limit on which or how many official sources are used, but no UA or homebrew.
  • \$\begingroup\$ My answer here is probably a decent starting point, although it will obviously need to be adjusted for the parameters of this question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 22:58
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Wouldn't it be easier to just use illusions to convince the election staff that most of the votes they count are for you? "It's not who votes that counts, it's who counts the votes." - Stalin \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Commented Oct 26, 2021 at 1:31
  • 20
    \$\begingroup\$ @ObliviousSage sir, I am running a legitimate voting fraud scheme here, if I can't hold up to a possible recount afterwards then what good is any of this? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 26, 2021 at 1:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ I still feel like the use of illusion magic to frame your opponents of disqualifying acts and/or swap legitimate votes for fraudulent ones might be more effective, but I can understand the psychological benefits (to yourself) of accomplishing your victory "on theme", as it were. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Commented Oct 26, 2021 at 1:44
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This Q&A seems like it'd be a fine addition to our cheese collection... \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 16:46

1 Answer 1


About 2.5 million (by delegating)

The plan is as follows: First (with much delight to your competitors) you must go to hell. Abyss to be specific. You can do that by using Plane Shift with the attuned tuning fork you have acquired beforehand.

There you will meet your eager volunteers: Nabassu (MToF p.135). They are of particular interest because of their ability:


Soul-Stealing Gaze. The nabassu targets one creature it can see within 30 feet of it. If the target can see the nabassu and isn't construct or undead, it must succeed on a DC 16 Charisma saving throw or reduce its hit point maximum by 13 (2d12) (...) The target dies if its hit point maximum is reduced to 0, and if the target is humanoid, it immediately rises as a ghoul under the nabassu's control

That means that a hard-working nabassu can convert a voter to your cause every 6 seconds with a 3/4 chance (DC16 vs +0 CHA and 4HP on commoner).

And the best thing about your new volunteers is that they should be eager to join your cause:

Demonic Infiltrators. Whenever magic pulls demons from Abyss to Material Plane, nabassus try to get summoned so that they can embark on a feast of souls there. If a nabassu is summoned, it tries to break free so that it can devour the soul of its summoner and then set out to feed on the souls of whatever creatures it can catch. One way a summoner can avoid this fate is by providing a steady supply of souls to the nabassu, which can cause the demon to be cooperative - for as long as the supply lasts.

But you wouldn't want your volunteers to be too eager and you need them to actually turn up for election, meaning you have to get them to enter a contract using Planar Binding. As your funds are limited only to 29 contractors + travel expenses you will need to focus on long term contracts\$^\dagger\$. That means you will be using your two 7th level spell slot as well as 8th or 9th level spell slots each day to cast recruit new volunteers. When there are only 10 days left to election you can start giving out shorter 10 day contracts using your two 6th level spell slots.

Not all of them will want to sign up though specifically it will only be 3/4 due to their +3 CHA bonus versus your DC19 spell save. (This factor as well as voter saves are added at the end)

As for getting the volunteers to the location of the potential voters you would use Teleportation Circle which for the 7 days it would be required would cost 350GP leaving 650GP of component budget mysteriously unaccounted for.

If all goes well and your volunteers work 24/7\$^{\dagger\dagger}\$ 7th level spell slot used for plane shift they can approach 14400 (24*60*60/6) voters per day. This gives us a following table:

Days to election Max voters approached by a nabassu until election Max volunteers recruited
14 201600 3\$^{\dagger\dagger\dagger}\$
13 187200 4
12 172800 4
11 158400 4
10 144000 6
9 129600 6
8 115200 2

In total that would ideally sum to 4'550'400 voters but as only 3/4 of volunteers would agree to contract that would mean only 3'412'800 voters approached. And as only 3/4 of voters would be successfully converted that would mean 2'559'600 votes. This doesn't account for some time lost each day to casting spells but I'm confident that the votes lost that way wouldn't amount to more than hundred thousand so that the result would be about two and a half million.

If we use use the Wish spell to bypass the cost requirements of spells we can stretch our funds and bind 6 nabassu on day E(election)-8, 4 nabassu on E-7 and a single one on each day onward resulting in about 3'215'700 or more than three million

\$^\dagger\$ With unlimited budget you could also use 5th level spell slot each day to command a single nabassu to work for a day and return to you so you could cast 1 day planar binding on it again.

\$^{\dagger\dagger}\$ If the demons need to sleep 8h a day, the result would drop to 1.7 million

\$^{\dagger\dagger\dagger}\$ 7th level spell slot used for plane shift

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ As with everything else, in politics, this costs money. Nice answer. 😊 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 26, 2021 at 17:01
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ A very interesting approach, but I must inquire. Could this number be improved if we were to use the Wish spell to bypass the cost requirements of spells with costly components? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 26, 2021 at 17:14
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Toddleson That's why we are using Planar binding which states: "The creature obeys the letter of your instructions". You might want to consult a lawyer beforehand for the appropriate wording and there is no guarantee that an angry mob of ex-citizens won't show up after the election day, but that is a problem for after you've won. \$\endgroup\$
    – SilentAxe
    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 14:56
  • 13
    \$\begingroup\$ I adore this answer, and I upvoted it. Tragically, however, planar binding isn't necromancy, so while you will undoubtedly win the election, I'm not sure you can live down the shame of owing your success to Conjuring. Old college pals are sure to point out the superiority of their own chosen school. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 0:43
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Send this to the cheese vaults for purveying! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 19, 2022 at 2:55

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