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Suppose there's a necromancer who usually raises their dead from a cemetery or similar. Suppose that this necromancer decides to go on a holiday/vacation with their significant other and isn't around a bunch of dead bodies. Suppose that this necromancer gets attacked and needs to defend themself and their significant other.

Are there any items that allow necromancers to use their control undead ability without the convenience of dead bodies at hand? (Presumably they could carry a dead rat on their belt at all times, and animate that. Undead rats don't tend to be great at defending humans, however, and carrying dead humanoids around is rather unwieldy.)

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closed as unclear what you're asking by fectin, Oblivious Sage, Tritium21, DuckTapeAl, daze413 Mar 25 '17 at 8:16

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure what you're getting at here. Necromancers, like all characters have a multitudinous variety of defenses they could use. If you're asking about whether they can use a specific ability, which ability? And why do you care about that ability specifically? If you're asking about self-defense generally, you should describe your character better. There are many amusing answers below, but none of them address what's being asked, because what's being asked is unclear. \$\endgroup\$ – fectin Mar 25 '17 at 2:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @fectin: Sorry if I was unclear! I'm not interested in other abilities, as several have focused on. I know what other defensive abilities necromancers have. I don't know the items as well, which is why I asked about those. The answer I selected mentions the Robe of Bones, which in itself was exactly what I was looking for. It goes beyond, however, to suggest other ways as well. They understood. \$\endgroup\$ – jvriesem Mar 25 '17 at 14:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ What level and resources? The answer for level 20 is a lot of options, for level 5 it's pretty constrained. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Mar 27 '17 at 19:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk Any level, any resources, but preferably rules-as-written. The accepted answer below answers my question perfectly. \$\endgroup\$ – jvriesem Mar 29 '17 at 13:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ The SX community really frustrates me sometimes. Here, for instance: why was this simple question put on hold -- especially after an answer was accepted? The original question statement was sufficient, even. @Fectin voted to close it for being unclear, yet his questions were entirely off-topic because they are about abilities, not items. People are misreading the question -- probably because it wasn't what they were expecting. Still, no excuses for putting on hold without an explanation. Thanks to Fectin for attempting to explain. \$\endgroup\$ – jvriesem Mar 29 '17 at 13:47
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  1. Relatively cheap Robe of Bones, 2400 gold. It has embroidered figures that turn into undead when detached. The figures can only be seen by person wearing the robe until detached.

  2. There are temporary measures (like Summon Monster spells) that can be used to summon monsters for a limited time. If I remember correctly, there are a few spells that specifically summon undead creatures, or allow Summon Monster spells to summon undead instead. Specifically, if Spell Compendium is authorized, there are Summon Undead spells available on page 215.

  3. For exceptionally powerful undead, measures like Trap the Soul could be used to 'store' powerful undead creatures in a gem. Due to expenses, these particular measures would be rare, and restricted to powerful necromancers. Weaker alternatives to Trap the Soul may exist (a level 8 arcane spell), but I'm not currently aware of any.

  4. Necromancers tend to be rather cautious, everybody hates them after all, so it would not be unusual for a necromancer that appeared to be undefended to have taken other measures. For instance, disguising some intelligent/animal undead as living creatures and having them travel with him at a distance. Alternatively, he could have some incorporeal undead hiding underneath the ground beneath his feet, with instructions to attack them under certain conditions. Arranging the how they would know to defend could be difficult, unless the necromancer had arranged for a telepathic bond with the creatures, or some other means of communication.

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The traditional necromancer answer to this is "mass murder." That's why the other necromancy spells that don't animate undead tend to commit murder.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Also part of the reason why necromancers are stigmatised as being evil, and unwise to live near. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 24 '17 at 23:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yep, the proper answer is this. How? They create the bodies. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Mar 25 '17 at 1:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Great answer to the wrong question. \$\endgroup\$ – jvriesem Mar 29 '17 at 13:48
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Any extradimensional space like a bag of holding will nicely hold basically as many corpses as you would need. Plus they dont need fresh air so the smell of the undead remains fresh until you release them.

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If the necromancer can plan ahead, he can book a place or a cabin or hotel where it's near places that could have dead bodies but just not buried. Like a beach, there's bound to be someone who drowned. Or a cliff or a hill or any type of high ground, someone could have fallen off. A place with snow, maybe someone was buried under it. And the necromancer knows that there people die daily from these kind of places, so he picks places where it is most likely to find a dead body.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Great ideas, but I'm assuming the necromancer isn't near a place where they know bodies lay. \$\endgroup\$ – jvriesem Mar 25 '17 at 14:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was just assuming the necromancer could specifically choose a place like that. For example, if a person could control water, then isn't it most probable that they will choose (especially if it's a holiday as mentioned in the question) a place where they can get almost direct access to water like a beach or a lake?? \$\endgroup\$ – J. Roberts Mar 25 '17 at 14:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sure, that makes sense to me. \$\endgroup\$ – jvriesem Mar 25 '17 at 14:49
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Necromancers don't need dead bodies in pathfinder. A 'necromancer' is a particular build for a Wizard or Cleric and any Wizard or Cleric can do a whole lot more than just necromance, even if necromancy is their forte. They aren't the T1 classes for no reason! Your vacationing necromancer's passive defenses (Contingency and/or Greater Glyph of Warding, most likely) will deal with most problems without them having to waste actions on trivial matters like an assassination attempt by plane-travelling demons. If they are forced to act, effects capable of being used as immediate actions are most relevant, such as Emergency Force Sphere. If that fails, their familiar or other relevant slave should use a scroll of Paladin's Sacrifice on the Master. If the Master gets a turn, in combat abilities like Time Stop, Wish, and Miracle will make sure that's the only turn (if they're lower level, things like Plane Shift, Teleport, Feast on Fear, or Greater Peacebond will let them fight or flee instead).

If the necromancer isn't opposed to bringing sneaky undead with him, the Flesh Puppet Horde spell may be of use to him, as may more combat-ready undead like ghosts and vampires.

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