8
\$\begingroup\$

I just started learning D&D and my Dwarven Healer (Cleric of the Revered mother) has to pick from among a list of spells. These include necromantic spells, such as Inflict Wounds, which I don't intend to pick.

However, I noticed D&D does not have any kind of "evil" tag for spells. Furthermore the Player's Handbook states necromancy is not evil, though taboo in many societies.

So I ask myself, which Lawful Good gods would allow their servants to use necromancy for a noble end? Such as raising noble comrades with their prior consent, to crush an ork army. Which (neutral or chaotic) Good gods would?

The Question gains further urgency by the fact, that I will automatically learn the spell "Raise Dead" at level 9 as a Life Domain Spell!

\$\endgroup\$
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The question you linked was closed for being too broad, as the status of necromancy has changed between editions. This question is more related. \$\endgroup\$ – Adeptus Jun 6 '16 at 7:23
  • 3
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Since it affects the gods who are relevant to the answers, are you playing in a particular setting (e.g., the Forgotten Realms), or is your DM using any/all gods that are mentioned in the PHB's Appendix B? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 6 '16 at 8:02
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Ludi note that "evocation" is one of the eight schools of magic ("necromancy" is another). So the 5e PHB has classed those healing spells as not being necromancy. \$\endgroup\$ – Dan B Jun 6 '16 at 15:47
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In some of the older settings, such as DragonLance, there are a few good or neutral undead. (Oathsworn who guard their liege beyond death, ancestor spirits, etc.) The act of creating these is certainly not obviously evil. Don't know 5e or FR well enough to actually answer, though. \$\endgroup\$ – The Nate Jun 8 '16 at 20:05
16
\$\begingroup\$

The fact that a spell is marked "necromantic" doesn't mean that it's evil or that it has to do with undead; there's an important difference between necromancy-the-school-of-magic and necromancy-the-actual-act-of-creating-undead.

The book doesn't explicitly say that any god will ban you from using any spell, but it's true that the use of certain spells might violate your god's principles. You (or your DM) will ultimately have to be the judge of this.

I think a good line to draw is this: the actual creation or use of undead is an evil act, so any good-aligned gods would disapprove of your use of the animate dead spell. But other spells such as spare the dying and raise dead don't involve the undead and are fine regardless of your alignment.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the line you draw pure personal preference, or can you base that opinion in something in the books? \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jun 6 '16 at 19:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Most editions explicitly forbid clerics who are Good or/and worship Good deities from rebuking/commanding undead, without any exceptions in the class description. Also, in 3.5e, they introduced the Repose domain for clerics to allow Good clerics access to more death-related magic, but even that domain wouldn't allow a cleric to create/use undead; in fact, the only undead spell in that domain destroyed undead. It's hard to say authoritatively that there's no exception anywhere without literally reading everything, but it seems contrary to the design intent across editions. \$\endgroup\$ – Nat Mar 5 '17 at 5:22
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Nat The point of the question was to encourage Dan to update his answer to either cite where he’s getting something or else clarify that it is his own opinion and not stated in the books. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Mar 5 '17 at 13:53
6
\$\begingroup\$

Any god will allow the use of any spell if it advances their interests.

In D&D 5e, good means putting others before yourself and evil means putting yourself before others if you read the descriptions carefully. A spell can no more be good or evil than a hammer can. The specific usage of a spell can have good or evil intent.

For example a god of the dead may abhor spells that both animate or raise the dead as an interference with their interests: the natural transition of the living into death. This could be true irrespective of if the god is good, evil or neutral.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Though if I were to follow the god of the dead and raise dead away from his domain, to kill others who would go to his domain along with those I raised that would be good for them. I always ask a DM before on these issues as it can always be swung both ways and if playing a cleric you would always always know the course of action that would not piss off your god. (I had a DM telling me I had to roll knowledge with my lv 18 cleric to know basic tenants of my god before....) \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Morris Jun 6 '16 at 11:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ A good god of the dead (like Osiris) would not support murder (probably); an evil god of the dead (like Set) might. \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M Jun 6 '16 at 11:12
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I suppose it always depends on your DMs knowledge of the god in question and the reasoning behind the event. A cleric of Osiris raising the dead to fight off an army attacking the innocent who are not yet to die I could see being allowed. Raising the dead to attack the innocent not yet to die would be frowned upon. Osiris is an interesting one as they were a god of rejuvenation and resurrection as well as being generally afterlifey. So I can see a good or evil act being very subjective. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Morris Jun 6 '16 at 11:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.