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My players killed a few saber-tooth tigers and the necromancer wanted to use Animate Undead on them. Also on an ogre, on wolves and so on...

...how to deal with it? I'm really not so sure. Should I just say his undead is a "large tiger" and use the zombie on the 5e MM for statistics?

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The spell animate dead says

Choose a pile of bones or a corpse of a medium or small humanoid within range. [...] The target becomes a skeleton if you choose bones or a zombie if you choose corpse.

So you only need to describe how humanoids transform into skeletons or zombies.

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As @limsup points out, animate dead specifies that the bones/corpse come from a medium or small humanoid. However, if you wish to allow it, simply use the medium humanoid skeleton/zombie stats as is, while describing them as having animal form.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer needs sprucing up: you recommend a houserule, but you don’t justify that houserule. Have you used it in your games? How has that worked out? You don’t need much, even just literally saying “this is what I do in my games, and it’s never caused a problem” is good enough, we just need something so this isn’t just something you made up on the spot. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 28 '15 at 19:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I didn't actually recommend a house rule. I simply pointed out that the clean thing to do if the asker wanted to allow raising dead animals in his game is to use the existing stats that a raised humanoid would have. \$\endgroup\$ – Theo Brinkman Jan 28 '15 at 22:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TheoBrinkman What you are stating isn't what the rules-as-written say, and is something clearly defined in the text of the spell, thus anything that is contrary to the rules when they are explicitly stated is a house rule. As you were offering it up as a solution, you are recommending a house rule. It seems semantic, but it is important. \$\endgroup\$ – Aviose Jan 29 '15 at 16:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Aviose Yes, semantics, "the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning". As I pointed out to KRyan, I did NOT recommend a house rule. Do you see the following text in my post: "if you wish to allow it". That's not a recommendation of a house rule. \$\endgroup\$ – Theo Brinkman Jan 29 '15 at 17:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TheoBrinkman without that portion of your answer, your answer has no substance that isn't covered in previous answers at all. I was merely adding input that would help you understand better why KRyan stated as he did, and why the upvotes on that comment and downvotes on your answers corroborate it. I'll leave the situation alone from here. \$\endgroup\$ – Aviose Jan 29 '15 at 18:01

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