Signup
Welcome to... Canonfire! World of GreyhawK
Features
Touring the Flanaess
Cities of
Oerth
Deadly Denizens
Greyhawk Wiki
#greytalk
JOIN THE CHAT
ON DISCORD
    Canonfire :: View topic - Animate Dead (spell)- input sought
    Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- AD&D 1st Edition
    Animate Dead (spell)- input sought
    Author Message
    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
    Posts: 2440
    From: SW WA state (Highvale)

    Send private message
    Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:55 am  
    Animate Dead (spell)- input sought

    Greetings Fellows,

    Although I primarily use the 2nd edition system, I also make use of many 1st edition materials. I posted this same inquiry on the 2nd edition board (if this is not 'permissible' please accept my apologies), but I wanted to inquire from those of you who use 1st edition, as there is much cross-over, esp. regarding spells, magical items, etc. This question focuses on the Animate Dead spell. Thank you for your response in advance!

    I was wondering if there is a limit to the number of times that a priest (or necromancer wizard) can animate the bodies (corpses or skeleton remains) of the dead with the "Animate Dead" spell. The mage spell description implies that this can be achieved but once, but there seems to be nothing stated definitively.

    In short, is it possible for a mage or priest to 're-animate' the bodies once more after they fall in combat? If so, are these skeletons/zombies reduced in power (1/2 original HD, etc), or does the magic of the spell restore them to full power anew?

    If not, can the 5th lvl priest spell "Undead Regeneration" from the Necromancer's Book (I have come to use that tome rather often these days, much to the dismay of my PCs!), be used to mend the corpses/bones for functional use again?

    appreciatively,

    -Lanthorn
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 10, 2003
    Posts: 1234
    From: New Jersey

    Send private message
    Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:34 pm  

    Lanthorn,

    Skip Williams would love these questions. So I'll do my best sage advice impression for you.

    I would say that the Animate dead spell can only animate dead once, after such a creature is defeated it cannot be reanimated.

    However the Undead regeneration spell you mention can be used to make a corpse intact therefore enabling it to be reanimated. This would make an exception to the Animate dead spell rule.

    I hope this helps.

    Thanks Skip err.. I mean Argon! Laughing
    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
    Posts: 2440
    From: SW WA state (Highvale)

    Send private message
    Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:00 am  

    Hello,

    Thank you, Argon, for your contribution. I LOVE the Sage Advice columns and am honored by your comments. This is good, b/c I have more questions like this that I would like to field!

    I would assume that only one Undead Regeneration casting would be needed per undead to 'mend' it sufficiently for a subsequent animation to be utilized (the description mentions healing damage, but this is to an already existing creature). After all, a FIFTH level spell is not minor!

    Please, keep your answers coming! I look forward to hearing more.

    much appreciation,

    -Lanthorn
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 10, 2003
    Posts: 1234
    From: New Jersey

    Send private message
    Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:24 am  

    Lanthorn,

    I would assume the same one undead regeneration spell to mend the undead. Although if the undead creature was disintegrated or otherwise reduced to ash, I would rule that the corpse could not be regenerated.

    Later Argon!
    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
    Posts: 2531
    From: LG Dyvers

    Send private message
    Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:14 pm  

    In my own campaign, I would rule that no special Undead Regeneration spell is necessary as the magic of the Animate Dead spell is all that is needed to hold the bones together in the form of a skeleton. This is because the spell itself doesn't say what condition the bones must be in. I believe this is deliberate because most bones available for animating would be old enough to begin decomposing (very little of the flesh is left) and many of them have likely been seriously damaged by monstrous teeth and claws or blades and clubs.

    However, I think it would be a fun house rule to say that each time a skeleton is re-animated after being 'killed' in combat, the new skeleton receives a cumulative -1 hit point. Thus, necromancers are encouraged to find 'fresh' bodies to animate and the repeat damage suffered by a skeleton is represented.

    SirXaris
    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
    Posts: 2440
    From: SW WA state (Highvale)

    Send private message
    Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:37 pm  

    Ahhhh...what a great debate we have. Happy I am assuming that is the point of these posts, yes? Hope so, b/c I intend to bring such discourse forth frequently!

    My long-time main PC and DM and I have such...."discussions"....often, much to our mutual dismay at times. Not that I don't mind a good, rousing debate, mind ye, but... At any rate, I see why the 5th lvl mage description implies but one use for this spell. So that it is not abused, wherein a priest or mage can animate, then re-animate, and animate again, countless times, the mutilated bodies of their undead minions.

    I once thought, as SirXaris mentioned, that the Animate Dead spell's magick binds the ruined remains together enough for the skeleton or zombie to be use-able once more. However, I can see how that can be unbalancing in game terms. At the very least, a reduction in hp seems fair, with a concurrent loss of AC, MV, THACO, and damage over the long term, too, as the bodies are constantly being destroyed.

    On this one, I may have to lean towards the former case, just so that necromancers don't have an unlimited number of uses (barring the use of the powerful Undead Regeneration spell), and need to "appropriate" more corpses to bolster their undead ranks (insert deep laughter here).

    As a final point, I would agree that there must be enough of the body left to bother to regenerate/re-animate. Incineration, disintegration (a la Boba Fett), or blasting out of existence (D on the Turning table), etc... would make it a pretty moot point.

    THANKS!

    enjoying the discussion,

    -Lanthorn
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 07, 2008
    Posts: 377


    Send private message
    Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:13 am  
    Con

    My initial thought was have a limitation based on Constitution. But that might not be practical.
    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
    Posts: 2440
    From: SW WA state (Highvale)

    Send private message
    Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:15 pm  

    You'd have to know the Constitutions of creatures, too, which may prove tricky (though I think some sourcebooks give approximate stats). Nonetheless, thank you for your contribution to the thread!
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 64
    From: Stockholm, Sweden

    Send private message
    Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:46 pm  

    IMO it all boils down to what animation means.

    If a group of corpses is animated what is happening? Is it a dark force of negative energy that "possesses" the corpses and provide the energy for their movements? If so, I suppose that the only way to stop a zombie is to render its strong, cold flesh inert by dismemberment or possibly a disconnection of nerves/muscles/bones, exemplified by the reduction of hit points to 0. It then follows that such bodies cannot be animated again.

    Another DM might have a totally different rationalization to describe the way in which the motivational force that animates the dead can be "defeated", a way which possibly leaves an "animateable" corpse behind.
    _________________
    Never say blip-blip to a kuo-tua
    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
    Posts: 2440
    From: SW WA state (Highvale)

    Send private message
    Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:32 am  

    Gilban, well-met. My own interpretation is that the magick employed uses some type of spirit-binding energy to power the corpse. Maybe from the Negative Material Plane, especially in the case of the greater (energy-draining) undead (I hate those guys as a player, but they are fun to use as a DM).

    -Lanthorn
    Display posts from previous:   
       Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- AD&D 1st Edition All times are GMT - 8 Hours
    Page 1 of 1

    Jump to:  

    You cannot post new topics in this forum
    You cannot reply to topics in this forum
    You cannot edit your posts in this forum
    You cannot delete your posts in this forum
    You cannot vote in polls in this forum


    Forums ©


    Canonfire! is a production of the Thursday Group in assocation with GREYtalk and Canonfire! Enterprises

    Contact the Webmaster.  Long Live Spidasa!


    Greyhawk Gothic Font by Darlene Pekul is used under the Creative Commons License.

    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 0.32 Seconds