A Varag from MM4 p.168 is a 3HD/LA+2 humanoid creature with 60 ft. base land speed.
Afterwards you can add features to increase move speed and make it undead under whatever constraints you need. For example the Shadow Creature template applies a 1.5x modifier on move speed for +2 LA. Dark creature is +1 LA and grants flat +10 to all movement moves. These can ...
The SRD doesn't actually say that
The 5.1 version (updated 4th of May, '16) of the SRD does not include the language entry as quoted. For both skeletons (SRD 346) and zombies (SRD 356) it reads:
Languages Understands all languages it knew in life but can't speak
Which is consistent with specters and many other monsters. The change you've found is ...
The vampire's Misty Escape section in the stat block links up with the Chained to the Grave feature
Chained to the Grave states:
Chained to the Grave. Every vampire remains bound to its coffin, crypt, or grave site, where it must rest by day. If a vampire didn’t receive a formal burial, it must lie beneath a foot of earth at the place of its transition to ...
Two examples would be the spells Negative Energy Flood (XGtE, p. 163) and Danse Macabre (XGtE, p. 153).
If a creature is killed by the damage from Negative Energy Flood, the target will rise as a zombie. Danse Macabre will raise up to 5 Small or Medium corpses as either zombies or skeletons (your choice).
Note that in both cases, the stats of the undead ...
A tiny animated object with wheels has 80 feet of land speed.
The Corrupted Creature template can make it an aberation.
The Corpse Creature template can then turn it into an undead.
I'd love a simpler solution than this, if it's relatively on par.
Straight level 20 Wizard baseline
A level 20 wizard can control 83 skeletons without using any class features, items, or tricks.
Simply wait until there is 9 hours left on the count down, summon 83 skeletons, then long rest, wake up, summon 83 more.
Total: 83 + 83 = 166
A more legit way of getting actually controlled undead:
20th level necromancy wizard - 158 beefy skeletons
Level 20 wizard with the necromancy specialization is going to be your best way of getting the strongest and most numerous undead horde, without relying on dubious coffeelock cheese that no sane DM will ever allow.
With necromancy specialization, every ...
I was going to suggest a quickling . . . But I can't find it anywhere for 3.x in official WOTC content. It is in the Tome of Horrors by Necromancer Games, but i don't have that book. Back in AD&D 2nd ed., they had a movement of i believe 240. They are a cursed subrace of brownie, if memory serves.
True dragons frequently have a 60 ft land speed. They can be commanded by a character with the appropriate domain on account of their having elemental subtypes (I.e. Water, fire, earth, air). Some Very Young dragons and all Wyrmlings have 8 or less HD. I mention these because 60' is very fast-- besides the option presented below, I think there isn't ...
Let's start with the obvious one.
9th level Divine Soul sorcerer (5th level spell slot, animate dead, font of magic)
11th level Warlock (3 5th level spell slots, recharging on short rest)
Day 1, Midnight Divine Soul casts Animate Dead (1 minute) - giving 5 skeletons, then uses Font of Magic to convert all the Warlock slots to ...
I believe that you cannot, as Animate Dead ruling (PHB p.212) stipulates that you need to "Choose a pile of bones or a corpse of a Medium or Small humanoid within range". Using the stat block, as proposed by Jeremy Crawford's tweet (see below), the animated corpse becomes a zombie, a undead type creature. It ceases to be a humanoid and won't ever ...
The rules for the monsters tell how they work in combat. Do they work in the same way outside of combat? This is up to the game master; it might be that this is a defense mechanism of the lair and beyond the direct control of the lich, and such is not active except when the lich is under direct attack, but it is at least equally plausible ...
RAW No (under a very strict reading)
The Lich's legendary actions have the following description:
On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the lich can take a lair action
Out of combat there is no "initiative count 20" so from a very strict reading of the rules the Lich cannot use lair actions.
It should be allowed for consistency's sake
Lair actions use the magic of the lair
Creatures use lair actions to "harness the ambient magic in [their] lair." There isn't any reason to believe that they can only do this while fighting.
Actions only exist when acting in initiative order
Actions codify things that can be done when characters are acting in initiative order. You can't take an ...
Possibly immediately, but at the very least he will figure it out sooner or later, how sooner or later is up to the DM.
The Monster Manual entry for liches says:
A lich must periodically feed souls to its phylactery to sustain the magic preserving its body and consciousness. [...] A lich that fails or forgets to maintain its body with sacrificed souls ...
Greater Restoration can un-curse a creature, but has no specific effect on undead.
Part of the greater restoration spell text says the following:
You imbue a creature you touch with positive energy to undo a debilitating effect. You can reduce the target's exhaustion level by one, or end one of the following effects on the target:
One curse, including the ...