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View Full Version : How to use undead as a PC (What to Animate Dead/Summon Undead/Create Undead).



DracoDei
2010-11-06, 12:37 PM
Very simple question:
Can someone give me, or point me to a run-down on how to use Create Undead and/or the various Summon Undead spells across as much of the 5-20 level range as you can? Ideally, for Create Undead I would like to know both what mix of undead you create and how you deploy them relative to the rest of the party, and eachother... assume that getting the more exotic corpses isn't going to be trivially easy. For the Summon Undead line, what are the best general purpose and specific duty choices?

Does any of this vary noticeably between arcane and negative-channeling divine casters? Do dread necromancers need to make different choices than wizards/sorcerers?


This is actually background research for some ongoing homebrew work I am doing, but I don't want to confuse the issue by getting into that.

Urpriest
2010-11-06, 12:40 PM
Have you perused The Necromancer Handbook (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19872726/Revised_Necromancer_Handbook)?

DracoDei
2010-11-06, 12:47 PM
I had not.
I shall do so starting now and continuing at my leasure.
I will get back to you on how much or little it helps (suspect it might be very helpful).

Thank you.

DracoDei
2010-11-06, 01:55 PM
Ok, so far I have:
Skeletons > Zombies (unless using hydras, true dragons, or outsiders)
Humanoid Skeletons at low levels = Archers
Wizards don't actually DO undead creation much.
Dread Necromancers all take Tomb Tainted Soul at first level.



What I don't know, but the article probably contains:
What to get with Summon Undead if anything (for all I know it is a hilariously underpowered series of spells).


What I don't know, and the article probably doesn't say:
Is heal a class spell for Dread Necromancers? I assume Craft and Profession are... what sort of skill points to they get as a base, and are they INT based casters?

*Goes back to read at least a little more of the article.*

Coidzor
2010-11-06, 02:01 PM
What to get with Summon Undead if anything (for all I know it is a hilariously underpowered spell).


What I don't know, and the article probably doesn't say:
Is heal a class spell for Dread Necromancers? I assume Craft and Profession are... what sort of skill points to they get as a base, and are they INT based casters?

*Goes back to read at least a little more of the article.*

Incorporeal undead are always fun because most foes can't defend against them. And if they're summoned you won't have to deal with uncontrolled spawn, generally. Like, Summon Undead 4 gives the option to summon an allip. 7 or 8 rounds of wisdom drain will floor anything not immune to wisdom drain or capable of easily dispatching an incorporeal foe with spellcasting.

It can also be a method whereby you capture or transport dangerous individuals, because they'll only heal from it with a restoration spell.

Dread Necromancers are CHA based casters, sorry. Can't recall their class list right now.

Zombies can be good, but they have to have a nice bruiser chassis, like a T-Rex or Bloodstriker dinosaur or Rhino, something where they're not losing attacks. And they need a good base speed and reach if they're going to join battle in a timely manner with their partial charge style move. Also, they really soak up the HD from enemy clerics' turning attempts. But, because they're unintelligent, control undead is good for them, as they're basically cannon fodder or shock troops for the undead you actually care about, which can include skeletons as awakening those guys can be worth it.

But, they take up double HD, so it has to be worth it to do so.

Unless you have the azun gund which nets you 2 zombies that don't tax your control pool every time you use it, or some other form of cheap reanimate, it's going to be rare that a zombie is going to be worth your money or time to make yourself.

As mentioned though, control undead and stealing others' or wild zombies for trap/cannon fodder, good.

And skeletons can get a nice soldier template from Libris Mortis that makes humanoid-shaped ones that much more capable in a fight.

Orbin Dules
2010-11-06, 02:02 PM
Just out of curiosity, what edition is this? If it's 3.5 a 5th level Cleric with the evil domain can have a total of 24 1 HD skeletons following him around thanks to Animate Dead. If it's pathfinder or 4e, Kindly disregard that last statement.

Urpriest
2010-11-06, 02:09 PM
Dread Necromancers don't get Heal. Just guessing at your intent: you can't get into Fleshwarper with one unless you take a level or more of Blood Magus or use Glimmerskin Halfling or Aereni Focus. This has saddened me on more than one occasion.

DracoDei
2010-11-06, 02:45 PM
Well, the rest of the article turned out to be entertaining, but not useful for the specific things I am looking into.


Just out of curiosity, what edition is this? If it's 3.5 a 5th level Cleric with the evil domain can have a total of 24 1 HD skeletons following him around thanks to Animate Dead. If it's pathfinder or 4e, Kindly disregard that last statement.
3.X, might extend it into Pathfinder at some point (when I eventually get around to looking at the PF SRD).


Dread Necromancers don't get Heal. Just guessing at your intent: you can't get into Fleshwarper with one unless you take a level or more of Blood Magus or use Glimmerskin Halfling or Aereni Focus. This has saddened me on more than one occasion.

Nah, I am trying to figure out what sort of mix of forces and formations people would end up using when my organ based undead are added to the mix. Mindless (well... there are exceptions, but I don't think they are important for our purposes), undead that you can make with Animate Dead, PROVIDED you can get some crafting work done on the corpses... and heal can substitute (at a penalty) for all the butchering and tanning checks. Of course, these undead don't care WHAT you made them from except for size and maybe how many stomachs it has, and butchering your own cattle is hardly a suspicious activity. The bring Sonic, Acid, Grappling, AoE negative energy (yes, they are bottomless healing batteries in addition to other things), basic scouting, and some mental ability score damage to the table. Gets you about 7 undead out of a corpse (including a basic skeleton) if you make all the rolls. See my full homebrew list in my signature for links to all of them... ignore the skins and bladders, those are the specialty purpose ones, and the bladders aren't even finished yet (and won't be any time soon since the mechanics for them is going to be a trick and a half to work out).

hamishspence
2010-11-06, 03:26 PM
Zombies can be good, but they have to have a nice bruiser chassis, like a T-Rex or Bloodstriker dinosaur or Rhino, something where they're not losing attacks. And they need a good base speed and reach if they're going to join battle in a timely manner with their partial charge style move. Also, they really soak up the HD from enemy clerics' turning attempts. But, because they're unintelligent, control undead is good for them, as they're basically cannon fodder or shock troops for the undead you actually care about, which can include skeletons as awakening those guys can be worth it.

But, they take up double HD, so it has to be worth it to do so.


Unless you've got the Zombie Dragon template in Draconomicon.

Malbordeus
2010-11-06, 05:27 PM
have to say as a regular necro player - dont think a lot to the handbook. but anyway...

if you go DN - dont prc out. aside from being able to deliver negative levels, the energy burst ability is awsome as damage to enemies/healing to your minions.

zombies and skeletons are ok. but you dont want 1hd ones, go for big jobs. i've found that zombie trolls are good meat shields fairly low level and skeletal dragons of even medium sized are fun. second - zombie gryphons :D

and dont take tomb tainted. ask for necropolitan. making you immune to mind effects and fort saves (appart from disintegrate) is a good reason to push for it. but you may want improved resist turning.

on to control issues and create undead - ghouls are a bit pap for the level 6 spell with an expensive componant. you can make wights earlier by enervating people to death (wight template in savage species so you can apply it to more creatures than humans... wight hydra anyone?) and then manacle the corpses and wait for them to animate.
mummy's are the only real option on the create list (CL15th) - and purely for the mummified creature template in the LM. you might not be able to control the mummy if it has vast HD, but you can always reason with it - put that Cha score to good use!

feats-wise you could get massive giggles out of craft wonderous item. besides making your own gear - therres the ability to turn your undead into spell-stitched undead, well worth the cost.

DracoDei
2010-11-06, 05:53 PM
have to say as a regular necro player - dont think a lot to the handbook. but anyway...

if you go DN - dont prc out. aside from being able to deliver negative levels, the energy burst ability is awsome as damage to enemies/healing to your minions.
I strongly suspect that everyone sharing in this thread is interested to hear this... except me. I am very much focused on what to animate/create/summon, and what to do with it while you have it. Not saying you should cut it out (I don't own the thread, I merely started it), I am just trying to be clear about what I, personally, am going after.


zombies and skeletons are ok. but you dont want 1hd ones, go for big jobs. i've found that zombie trolls are good meat shields fairly low level and skeletal dragons of even medium sized are fun. second - zombie gryphons :D

One big is better than several little... a common principle in the d20 system, Fortunately for my work, everything I have comes in a variety of sizes, and the roles the can fullfill are varied enough I SUSPECT that people would be tempted into splitting their HD into a few more piles... plus they are great for re-arming back at base without having to swat off pesky torch-and-pitchfork mobs, or paladins in a righteous fury because you dug up their grandfather's second cousin twice removed.


and dont take tomb tainted. ask for necropolitan. making you immune to mind effects and fort saves (appart from disintegrate) is a good reason to push for it. but you may want improved resist turning.

For my specific purposes this isn't an important change... they both mean "Dark Hearts are good for out of battle healing for you AS WELL as your minions". I am sure that other people reading this nodding at your sage advice (and it does seem sage to me).


on to control issues and create undead - ghouls are a bit pap for the level 6 spell with an expensive componant. you can make wights earlier by enervating people to death (wight template in savage species so you can apply it to more creatures than humans... wight hydra anyone?) and then manacle the corpses and wait for them to animate.

Sounds like the spinal cords will be popular when it is done (they cause paralysis by touch, then try their best to strangle the victim when they fall over).


mummy's are the only real option on the create list (CL15th) - and purely for the mummified creature template in the LM. you might not be able to control the mummy if it has vast HD, but you can always reason with it - put that Cha score to good use!

Sounds good, unfortunately, the only ones that are intellegent of mine are also incredibly narrow purpose. Or rather the bladders will be, and the skins... aren't really useful in a straight-up fight, and require creative thinking to be anything other than servants/pets.


feats-wise you could get massive giggles out of craft wonderous item. besides making your own gear - therres the ability to turn your undead into spell-stitched undead, well worth the cost.
I would think that most of the point to spell-stitching any of my stuff would be that a lot of it is available in Fine size so you can get some easily hidden/transported, self-activating magic items of 1st level spells, that also have some secondary property (cat/rat hearts would be good candidates).... of course, putting True Strike on a really big hopping stomach has could also be relevant to one's interests.

Keld Denar
2010-11-06, 06:25 PM
You can start animating right away. If you are an illumian(Races of Destiny), the NaenHoon vigil combination gives you a mini divine metamagic. You can use this combined with the fell animate metamagic feat and a 1st level spell like chill touch to start animating minions with your rebuke undead class feature.

Lhurgyof
2010-11-06, 06:30 PM
Dread Necromancers all take Tomb Tainted Soul at first level.


I never got this. I mean, sure it means infinite healing, but why make every Dread Necromancer with the Tomb Tainted Soul feat?

Urpriest
2010-11-06, 07:26 PM
I never got this. I mean, sure it means infinite healing, but why make every Dread Necromancer with the Tomb Tainted Soul feat?

Because infinite healing is a nice thing to have, and there aren't that many other nice things to have at first level?

Anyway, @ the OP: since most high level undead have buckets of HD, rebuking rapidly falls off in utility. This means that most necromancers end up picking up a bunch of utility undead (slaymate being the best) rather than maxing out their pool, since even the biggest undead you can control is often not worth it in combat. This is good news for you if I'm reading you right, your animated organs sound like ideal utility-undead to round out a rebuking pool. They don't need to be slaymate good to be good, though it is a valid benchmark to consider.

DragonOfUndeath
2010-11-06, 07:37 PM
Dread Necro Handbook (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19872470/New_Dread_Necromancer_Handbook)

Lhurgyof
2010-11-06, 07:53 PM
Because infinite healing is a nice thing to have, and there aren't that many other nice things to have at first level?

Anyway, @ the OP: since most high level undead have buckets of HD, rebuking rapidly falls off in utility. This means that most necromancers end up picking up a bunch of utility undead (slaymate being the best) rather than maxing out their pool, since even the biggest undead you can control is often not worth it in combat. This is good news for you if I'm reading you right, your animated organs sound like ideal utility-undead to round out a rebuking pool. They don't need to be slaymate good to be good, though it is a valid benchmark to consider.

I know, it's just pretty dull if every dread necromancer in every campaign uses the same tactic.

But anyways, at the OP. Try making Bone and Corpse creatures to retain class abilities of those you raise.

Mando Knight
2010-11-06, 08:49 PM
assume that getting the more exotic corpses isn't going to be trivially easy.

If you need an exotic corpse, just kill a creature that happens to be using the body you need.

Urpriest
2010-11-06, 09:03 PM
If you need an exotic corpse, just kill a creature that happens to be using the body you need.

Off-topic, but the best ones are generally substantially higher level than the party.

DragonOfUndeath
2010-11-06, 09:16 PM
Off-topic, but the best ones are generally substantially higher level than the party.

you need a Druid and a Wizard Summoner to spam all their summons and have them charge :smalltongue: the fighter can join the summons and if above level6 so can the Druid in Bear form. the Ranger shoots whenever possible and the Wizard uses any attack spells (if any slots are left after the summon spam). the creature should go down in a round or two. more if it has back-up.

DracoDei
2010-11-06, 10:46 PM
Well, I am really out of it, so excuse me if I get a bit "Wall O' Text"...

But anyways, at the OP. Try making Bone and Corpse creatures to retain class abilities of those you raise.
Could be good advice in general, but is utterly irrelevant to what I PERSONALLY am trying to do.


Anyway, @ the OP: since most high level undead have buckets of HD, rebuking rapidly falls off in utility. This means that most necromancers end up picking up a bunch of utility undead (slaymate being the best) rather than maxing out their pool, since even the biggest undead you can control is often not worth it in combat. This is good news for you if I'm reading you right, your animated organs sound like ideal utility-undead to round out a rebuking pool. They don't need to be slaymate good to be good, though it is a valid benchmark to consider.
Well, the hearts, skins, eyes, and bladders (with attached kidneys) might all qualify as "utility"... The hearts heal your other undead, the skins are general purpose servants that don't attract unwanted attention, the eyes are (very stupid) surveillance drones/scouts, and the bladders... well the bladders will be cup and well poisoners (you can also maybe use them as automatic lock-picks and trap removers, depending on how I end up wording it). The main strength of the rest, other than being MUCH easier to get (especially at low levels) than humanoid or exotic corpses, is that they have VARIETY. Skeletons can use their claws, melee weapons, or bows... not a bad spread, but still leaves a lot of bases uncovered. Mine add at-will Acid Arrow and Shout equivalents (which reminds me... you will need those spells to make them, so you probably don't want to ban evocation... or you at least want an ally with that school, including if you are the cleric of the group), constriction with a secondary function of AoE nauseation. They ALSO happen to all fall under the Animate Dead HD pool (although the Empty Skins are really expensive... felt I had to since they are Int 6 and capable of independent thought in a WIDE range, rather than being purely aggressive), which means you get more options earlier and later on you can fill out your otherwise useless (?) Animate HD pool with oddball stuff.

If you need an exotic corpse, just kill a creature that happens to be using the body you need.
Until you get Polymorph Any Object, that would often require a troublesome side-trip, especially if your old one has lost a lot of HD from getting brought back over and over again (which I didn't even know was an option until I read that first article).

Coidzor
2010-11-06, 11:10 PM
Until you get Polymorph Any Object, that would often require a troublesome side-trip, especially if your old one has lost a lot of HD from getting brought back over and over again (which I didn't even know was an option until I read that first article).

If that's the case, you're doing it wrong by using something so easily outclassed in a fight as something you find valuable enough to bring out despite the diminished HP barrier. Rather than the things nasty enough to take 'em down despite them being at full or near full health.

Escheton
2010-11-07, 12:14 AM
You are pricing these things according to function I hope?
Sounds like you are making mobile magic items. Something a mere black gemstone won't cover.

DragonOfUndeath
2010-11-07, 12:36 AM
is your class going to use the traditional Create Undead Wizard spells or homebrew Raise Undead Organ {Class} spells?

DracoDei
2010-11-07, 01:09 AM
Escheton: They require skill checks, additional spells in many cases, and in a few cases additional material components... to my mind, individually (by type), they aren't any more useful than skeletons or zombies, they just add variety. Also, it is Animate Dead based, except for an option to do the skins one of two ways.


is your class going to use the traditional Create Undead Wizard spells or homebrew Raise Undead Organ {Class} spells?

No class involved... boy.... I should probably just post a few here for reference so y'all will know what I am talking about.

Here...
Have a few samples (the rest, as I said, can be accessed through the link to the full list of homebrew in my signature)...

Hopping Stomach
Open Spoiler below for main stat block.

{table="head"]~|Hopping Stomach, Fine|Hopping Stomach, Diminutive|Hopping Stomach, Tiny|Hopping Stomach, Small|Hopping Stomach, Medium|Hopping Stomach, Large|Hopping Stomach, Huge
Size and Type|Fine Undead|Diminutive Undead|Tiny Undead|Small Undead|Medium Undead|Large Undead|Huge Undead
Hit Dice|1/8d12 (1 hp)|1/4d12 (1 hp)|1/2d12 (3 hp)|1d12 (6 hp)|2d12 (13 hp)|4d12 (26 hp)|8d12 (52 hp)
Speed|10 ft. (2 squares)|15 ft. (3 squares)|15 ft. (3 squares)|20 ft. (4 squares)|30 ft. (6 squares)|40 ft. (8 squares)|50 ft. (10 squares)
Initiative|+6|+5|+4|+3|+3|+3|+3
AC|24 (+6 Dex, +8 size); touch 24; flat-footed 18|19 (+5 Dex, +4 size); touch 19; flat-footed 14|16 (+4 Dex, +2 size, +1 natural); touch 16; flat-footed 13|16 (+3 Dex, +1 size, +2 natural); touch 14; flat-footed 13|16 (+3 Dex, +3 natural); touch 13; flat-footed 13|15 (+3 Dex, -1 size, +3 natural); touch 12; flat-footed 12|15 (+2 Dex, -2 size, +5 natural); touch 10; flat-footed 13
BAB|+0|+0|+0|+0|+1|+2|+4
Grapple|-21|-17|-12|-6|+1|+10|+20
Attack|Spit +15 (Point Blank shot included) ranged touch (2 acid)|Spit +9 (or +10 if within 30 ft) ranged touch (1d3 Acid +1 if within 30 ft)|Spit +6 (or +7 if within 30 ft) ranged touch (1d6 Acid +1 if within 30')|Spit +4 (or +5 if within 30 ft) ranged touch(2d4 Acid +1 if within 30 ft, repeats next round)|Spit +4 (+5 if within 30 ft) ranged touch(3d4 Acid +1 if within 30 ft, repeats next 2 rounds)|Spit +4 (or +5 if within 30 ft) ranged touch(3d6 Acid +1 if within 30', repeats next 3 rounds)|Spit +5 (or +6 if within 30 ft) ranged touch(4d6 Acid +1 if within 30 ft, repeats next 4 rounds)
Full Attack|(As Above)|(As Above)|(As Above)|(As Above)|(As Above)|(As Above)|(As Above)
Space/Reach|1/2 ft./0 ft.|1 ft./0 ft.|2 1/2 ft./0 ft.|5 ft./0 ft.|5 ft./0 ft.|10 ft./0 ft.|15 ft./0 ft
Special Attacks|Jumping Shot|Jumping Shot|Jumping Shot|Jumping Shot|Jumping Shot|Jumping Shot|Jumping Shot
Special Qualities|Dark Vision 60 ft., D.R. 5/Slashing or Peircing, Acid Resistance 5, Undead Traits|Dark Vision 60 ft., D.R. 5/Slashing or Peircing, Acid Resistance 5, Undead Traits|Dark Vision 60 ft., D.R. 5/Slashing or Piercing, Acid Resistance 5, Undead Traits|Dark Vision 60 ft., D.R. 5/Slashing or Piercing, Acid Resistance 5, Undead Traits|Dark Vision 60 ft., D.R. 5/Slashing or Piercing, Acid Resistance 5, Undead Traits|Dark Vision 60 ft., D.R. 10/Slashing or Piercing, Acid Resistance 10, Undead Traits|Dark Vision 60 ft., D.R. 10/Slashing or Piercing, Acid Resistance 10, Undead Traits
Saves|Fort +0, Ref +6, Will +2|Fort +0, Ref +5, Will +2|Fort +0, Ref +4, Will +2|Fort +0, Ref +3, Will +2|Fort +0, Ref +3, Will +3|Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +4|Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +6
Abilities|Str 1, Dex 23, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1|Str 1, Dex 21, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1|Str 2, Dex 19, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1|Str 6, Dex 17, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1|Str 10, Dex 17, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1|Str 18, Dex 17, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1|Str 26, Dex 17, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1
Skills|*Jump -1|*Jump +1|*Jump +0|*Jump +2|*Jump+8|*Jump +13|*Jump+21
Feats|Point Blank Shot|Point Blank Shot|Point Blank Shot|Point Blank Shot|Point Blank Shot|Point Blank Shot|Point Blank Shot
Environment|Any|Any|Any|Any|Any|Any|Any
Organization|Any|Any|Any|Any|Any|Any|Any
Challenge Rating|1/4|1/3|1|2|4|5|6
Treasure|None|None|None|None|None|None|None
Alignment|Always Neutral Evil|Always Neutral Evil|Always Neutral Evil|Always Neutral Evil|Always Neutral Evil|Always Neutral Evil|Always Neutral Evil
Advancement|None|None|None|None|3 HD (Medium)|5-7 HD (Large)|9-17 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment|~|~|~|~|~|~|~[/table]

This yellowish bag has two tubes sticking out of it. One of the tubes lays limp, but the other turns and twists as if seeking something.

Hopping Stomachs are the stomachs of corpses reanimated through dark and sinister magic. (See "Creation" below)

Combat
Because of their utter lack of intelligence, the instructions given to a newly created Hopping Stomach must be very simple. They are generally end up simply attempting to Spit acid at whichever foe is nearest until it dies before moving on to a new target. If they are within the threatened area of an opponent they may (depending on their range and how carefully they were instructed) 5 foot hop directly away from it before launching their attack for that round.


Spit Acid(Sn): The hopping stomach spits a glob of acid which functions in many ways like Acid Arrow. It may be spat up to 5 range increments and takes the usual penalties for range. On a successful hit it from a Hopping Stomach of at least Small size the acid also deals damage on one or more following rounds as described on the following table, unless somehow neutralized.
{table="head"]Size|Range Increment|Damage (1)|Additional Duration
Fine|5 feet|2 (2)|None
Diminutive|10 feet|1d3|None
Tiny|30 feet|1d6|None
Small|100 feet|2d4|1 round
Medium|150 feet|3d4|2 rounds
Large|200 feet|3d6|3 rounds
Huge|300 feet|4d6|4 rounds
[/table]
(1) If the target was within 30 feet when struck then increase this damage by 1 point for the Point Blank Shot feat (including on later rounds of damage, if any).
(2) Includes the bonus since maximum range is 25' therefor all shots will be within 30' so Point Blank Shot bonus damage always applies.

Jumping Shot(Ex): As a full round action a hopping stomach may make a vertical leap, to attempt gain line of sight over some obstacle separating it from a clear shot at a target. If it jumps high enough to clear the obstruction then it spits acid, albeit with a -2 penalty to the attack roll. This is most commonly used (by order of their instructions) to gain a clear shot over other undead screening them against attackers closing to melee with the stomach.

*Skills: Hopping Stomachs receive a +5 racial bonus to jump checks and use their dexterity instead of their strength on jump checks if this is better and always count as having a running start. They may always choose to take 10 on jump checks even if stress or distractions would otherwise prevent them.

Usage:
Use them alone or mixed in with other mindless undead. They will often be stationed on an elevated area, often behind other mindless undead (so they will have a clear line of fire despite their smaller size. A somewhat common tactic is to put them behind holes in the manner of arrow slits(except generally more circular rather than elongated) or murder holes. The medium and larger ones have also been known to be used as (un)living siege weapons due to the large (if delayed) damage and significant range. There is also a rumor that at least one evil cleric had a suit of Greater Acid Resistance Full-Plate, that could animate itself to allow him to put it on or take it off in only 1 round without any other assistance, which he attached several Fine and Diminutive Hopping Stomachs to, plus one Tiny one in the middle of the back-plate, all with orders to attack anything that came close.

Creating a Hopping Stomach
First the stomachs of one or more creatures must be harvested each requiring a Heal or Profession(Butcher) check with a DC of 10 (a successful removal of the intestines of a creature to create a gut snake makes this check unnecessary, however if the check to remove the intestine failed, a separate check to remove the stomach may still be made). Note that ruminants have more than one stomach, each may be harvested and animated separately. The stomachs must be reasonably undecayed and mostly whole and the creature must have had a digestive tract that included one or more stomach. Then Resist Elements must be cast once over each stomach to be animated and Melf's Acid Arrow must be cast over each stomach a number of times equal to the hit-dice of the hopping stomach that will result (minimum once per stomach). Finally, either Animate Dead (provided the caster level is at least 10) or Create Undead, Lesser must be cast. The material components for the spell must be be placed inside each stomach to be animated. Each such casting (regardless of which spell is used) may create up to 2 HD worth of Hopping Stomachs per caster level (The desecrate spell doubles this limit). Animate Dead can not create a Hopping Stomach of over 20 HD. The size of the Hopping Stomach is 2 size classes smaller than the size of the creature the stomachs were taken from. (((Make it 3 for ruminants???))) Hopping Stomachs have hit dice equal to the minimum listed for a Hopping Stomach of that size, pull extra hit dice equal to 1/2 the number of extra hit dice above the minimum that the creature it was harvested from needed to achieve its size class (up to the maximum listed HD a Hopping Stomach of the particular size category it is at may be advanced to).
The remaining corpse is still suitable for animation into most types of undead. Especially note that with the right skill checks, spells, etc it is possible to generate a Skeleton, a Hopping Stomach, a pair of Floating Lungs (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62115), an Empty Skin (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44544), a pair of Rolling Eyeballs (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=6178899#post6178899), a Gut Snake (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3295643&postcount=8), and a contribution towards a Fat Glob (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=128873) from a single corpse. Still to come are paralyzing spinal cords, slithering livers (Poison spell based), and skulking bladders that poison food and drink.




As is usually the case the CR's are pretty much just guesses. Decided that the Small one was a little bit less of a threat than a 3rd level Specialist Wizard with a 14+ INT and 14 DEX who cast Mage Armor way before the battle started and had Acid Arrow prepared in all 3 of his 2nd level slots (and it is very unlikely it will get off more than one or two shots). Half the HP (magic missile has a 50/50 chance of splatting it), same AC, bit better to hit...





Three Quarters straight creature, and One Quarter Template, rolling eyeballs are the mindless scouts, spies, and watch-things of necromancers who take the time to do things right.

Rolling Eyeball
Fine Undead
HD 1/16d12 (1 hp)
Speed 20 ft. (4 squares); Swim 15 ft
Init: +5
AC 23; touch 23; flat-footed 18
(+8 size, +5 Dex)
BAB +0; Grp -21
Attack None
Full-Attack None
Space 1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft
Special Attacks Residual Gaze Attack(s)/Eye Ray(s)
Special Qualities Evasion, Report Mode, Limited Undead Traits, Residual sensory qualities, One sense, Square-Cube Law, Hardy Turning
Saves Fort +0 Ref +5 Will +4
Abilities Str 1, Dex 20, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1
Skills Hide +31, Jump +9, Move Silently +15, Spot +15, Swim +13
Feats Dodge(B), Iron Will (B)
Environment Any
Organization Any, but usually solitary (otherwise however many the master thinks are necessary to make sure one escapes to report)
Challenge Rating 1 + 1/5 CR of source creature if the source creature had a gaze attack or eye-rays (Development Note: this needs work, the gaze attack of a medusa should count more than that of a beholder since the beholder gets many more, but in either case the rolling eye only gets one)
Treasure None
Alignment Always Neutral Evil
Advancement 1/8 to 1/2 HD Diminutive (Giant Squid, Central Beholder, and such Eyes only)

Limited Undead Traits: Many Rolling Eyeballs lack the Darkvision of most undead, they only have this quality if the creature they came from had it, but they also retain low-light vision, "See in Darkness", and any perminant Divination spells from a racial or template source effecting vision that the creature had in effect on it such as Detect Magic, True Seeing, and Detect Evil. The traits that are not already contained in the statistic block above are as follows:

Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects).
Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, and death effects.
Not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain. Immune to damage to its physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), as well as to fatigue and exhaustion effects.
Cannot heal damage on its own, although it can be healed. Negative energy (such as an inflict spell) can heal undead creatures.
Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless).
Uses its Charisma modifier for Concentration checks.
Not at risk of death from massive damage, but when reduced to 0 hit points or less, it is immediately destroyed.
Not affected by raise dead and reincarnate spells or abilities. Resurrection and true resurrection can affect undead creatures. These spells turn undead creatures back into the living creatures they were before becoming undead.
Proficient with its eye rays, if any.
Not proficient with armor or shields.
Undead do not breathe, eat, or sleep.


Hardy Turning (Ex): For determining how many undead may be turned, rebuked or controlled a rolling eyeball counts as its actual HD, HOWEVER, for determining if it is turned, rebuked, destroyed, or commanded in the first place (including the difference between rebuked and commanded, and the difference between turning and destroying) a rolling eyeball counts as having the same HD as the creature from which it was taken.

Example: John, a 2nd level cleric who channels positive energy comes across 15 skeletons, each of 1 HD, and a 1/16 HD rolling eyeball that was taken from a 4 HD cow. He rolls his turning check and gets enough to affect undead of up to 3 HD. He effects some of the skeletons, but the rolling eyeball counts as having 4 HD for that purpose, and thus remains steadfastly observing the battle as it was commanded. He rolls a total of 10 for his turning damage and 10 of the skeletons flee before him. The next round he tries again, and rolls high enough on his turning damage that he effects 4HD creatures. He rolls a total of 6 for the turning damage, and turns the remaining 5 skeletons and the rolling eyeball. The rolling eyeball is not destroyed because it counts as having 4 HD for determining if it is turned vs destroyed.

Evasion (Ex): A rolling eyeball can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If it makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the rolling eyeball is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless rolling eyeball does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Residual Gaze Attack(s)/Eye Ray(s) (Su): A rolling eyeball retains a weakened version of any gaze attack or eye-ray the creature it was taken from could use that eye to perform as a Supernatural ability unless that attack is SPECIFICALLY described as requiring more than one eye to perform. Reduce all save DCs and caster levels by 3. SPECIAL: The central anti-magic eye of a beholder still projects an anti-magic cone, but its range is halved. This cone can not be negated without destroying the eye.

One Sense (Ex): Rolling Eyeballs are totally deaf and can't smell or taste. They can read one language their creator speaks, and can be telepathically commanded by whoever controls them at a range of 5' or less. Despite the name of this ability rolling eyeballs have a normal sense of touch, as well as balance and kinesthetic sense.

Residual Sensory Qualities (Ex): Rolling Eyeballs retain, Darkvision, low-light vision, "See in Darkness", and any permanent Divination spells from a racial or template source effecting vision that the creature had in effect on it such as Detect Magic, True Seeing, and Detect Evil. Rolling Eyeballs never have All-Around Vision.

Square-Cube Law (Ex): Rolling Eyeballs are immune to falling damage.

Report Mode(Su): While in Report Mode, a Rolling eyeball is considered flat-footed with a a dexterity of 1 and loses all movement speeds and its Evasion special quality. It reports back via a 2-D dimensional Silent Image (DC 1) which looks the same no matter what angle it is viewed from projected above it. This image shows exactly what it saw since the last time it was in this mode. Note that when rolling along it has to see where it is going, so it can't point its pupil to the side. This means that a lot of the time the image will show the ground, the floor, or the ceiling rather than anything in front of the eyeball. In can be ordered to jump forward or backward a stated amount of time, but can not otherwise vary the speed (No "pause" or "slo-mo" functions). When the images reach the end, the image temporarily vanishes, but the mode is not exited, and the eye may be commanded to start again from the beginning. Once report mode is ended the information in obtained prior to that point can never be accessed via it in that way short of a {i]Limited Wish[/i], Bend Reality or greater magic/psionics.
The controller may designate up to his caster level in individual who can command a given rolling eyeball while it is in report mode. To add or remove an individual for a given rolling eyeball, all three of them (the eyeball the controller and the designated reviewer) must be within 5' of eachother.

Skills: A rolling eyeball uses its Dexterity modifier in place of strength for Jump and Swim Checks. They also get +10 racial bonuses to Hide, Jump, and Move Silently, and a +15 racial bonus to Spot. A rolling eyeball has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Creating a Rolling Eyeball
First the eyes of one or more creatures must be harvested, each requiring a Heal check with a DC of 18. The eyes must be reasonably undecayed and mostly whole and the creature must (obviously) had spherical (rather than compound eyes or simply photo-sensitive skin-patches). Then Silent Image (or a more powerful spell that can duplicate the effects of that spell) must be cast once over each eye. Finally, either Animate Dead or Create Undead, Lesser must be cast. The material components for the spell must be ground to a powder and sprinkled over the eyes. Each such casting (regardless of which spell is used) may create up to 2 HD worth of rolling eyeballs per caster level (The desecrate spell doubles this limit).
The remaining corpse is still suitable for animation into most types of undead. Especially note that with the right skill checks, spells, etc it is possible to generate a Skeleton, a Dark Heart (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64187), two Rolling Eyeballs, Hopping Stomach (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3301315),an Empty Skin (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44544), a Gut Snake (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3295643&postcount=8), and a set of Floating Lungs (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62115) from a single corpse.

EDIT (August 24 2009): Someone has pointed me to a similar concept taken in a very different direction: I am posting it here for cross-referencing purposes. I, ball (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29677).

Spellcasting:
Add a standard Rolling Eyeball to the Summon Undead I list, however the base duration of the spell is doubled if only standard rolling eyeballs are summoned with a given casting (and multiple rolling eyeballs for later levels).
Add a Beholder Eyestalk Rolling Eyeball to the Summon Undead ??? list (and multiple for later levels).



Dark Heart
Open Spoiler below for main stat block for Fine, Diminutive, and Tiny Dark Hearts.
{table="head"]~| Dark Heart, Fine | Dark Heart, Diminutive | Dark Heart, Tiny
Size and Type |
Fine Undead |
Diminutive Undead |
Tiny Undead | Size and Type
Hit Dice |
2d12 (13 hp) |
4d12 (26 hp) |
8d12 (52 hp) | Hit Dice
Speed |
Fly 10 ft. (Perfect) |
Fly 15 ft. (Perfect) |
Fly 20 ft. (Good) | Speed
Initiative |
+5 |
+4 |
+3 | Initiative
AC |23 (+5 Dex, +8 size); touch 23; flat-footed 18|18 (+4 Dex, +4 size); touch 18; flat-footed 14|15 (+3 Dex, +2 size); touch 15; flat-footed 12| AC
BAB |
+1 |
+2 |
+4 | Base Attack Bonus
Grapple |
-18 |
-11 |
-5 | Grapple
Attack |
None |
None |
None | Attacks
Space/Reach |
1/2 ft./0 ft. |
1 ft./0 ft. |
2 1/2 ft./0 ft. | Space/Reach
Special Attacks | Negative Energy Pulse | Negative Energy Pulse | Negative Energy Pulse | Special Abilities
Special Qualities| Dark Vision 60 ft., Undead Traits | Dark Vision 60 ft., Undead Traits | Dark Vision 60 ft., Undead Traits | Special Qualities
Saves | Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +3 | Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +4 | Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +6 |
Abilities |Str 4, Dex 21, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1|Str 8, Dex 19, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1|Str 10, Dex 17, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1|
Skills | Move Silently +15 | Move Silently +14 | Move Silently +13 |
Feats | Great Fortitude(B), Endurance(B) | Great Fortitude(B), Endurance(B) | Great Fortitude(B), Endurance(B) |
Environment |
Any |
Any |
Any |
Organization |
Any |
Any |
Any |
Challenge Rating |
2 |
3 |
5 |
Treasure |
None |
None |
None |
Alignment | Always Neutral Evil | Always Neutral Evil | Always Neutral Evil | Alignment
Advancement |
3 HD (Fine) |
5-7 HD (Diminutive) |
9-15 HD (Tiny) |
Level Adjustment | ~ | ~ | ~ |[/table]
Open Spoiler below for main stat block for Small, Medium, and Large Dark Hearts.
{table="head"]~| Dark Heart, Small | Dark Heart, Medium | Dark Heart, Large
Size and Type |
Small Undead |
Medium Undead |
Large Undead | Size and Type
Hit Dice |
16d12 (104 hp) |
32d12 (208 hp) |
64d12 (408 hp) | Hit-Dice (Hitpoints)
Speed |
Fly 30 ft. (Good) |
Fly 40 ft. (Good) |
Fly 50 ft. (Good) | Speed
Initiative |
+2 |
+1 |
+0 | Initiative
AC|15 (+2 Dex, +1 size, +1 natural); touch 14; flat-footed 12|13 (+1 Dex, +2 natural); touch 11; flat-footed 12|11 (-1 size, +2 natural); touch 9; flat-footed 11
BAB |
+8 |
+16 |
+32 | Base Attack Bonus
Grapple |
+5 |
+19 |
+43 | Grapple
Attack |
None |
None |
None | Attack
Space/Reach |
5 ft./0 ft. |
5 ft./0 ft. |
10 ft/0 ft. | Space/Reach
Special Attacks | Negative Energy Pulse | Negative Energy Pulse | Negative Energy Pulse | Special Attacks
Special Qualities| Dark Vision 60 ft., Undead Traits | Dark Vision 60 ft., Undead Traits | Dark Vision 60 ft., Undead Traits | Special Qualities
Saves | Fort +9, Ref +8, Will +10 | Fort +14, Ref +13, Will +18 | Fort +23, Ref +21, Will +34 | Saves
Abilities |Str 12, Dex 15, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1|Str 16, Dex 13, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1|STR 24, Dex 10, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1| Abilities
Skills | Move Silently +12 | Move Silently +11 | Move Silently +10 | Skills
Feats | Great Fortitude(B), Endurance(B) | Great Fortitude(B), Endurance(B) | Great Fortitude(B), Endurance(B) | Feats
Environment |
Any |
Any |
Any |
Organization |
Any |
Any |
Any |
Challenge Rating |
7 |
12 |
20 | Challenge Rating
Treasure |
None |
None |
None |
Alignment | Always Neutral Evil | Always Neutral Evil | Always Neutral Evil |
Advancement |
17-31 HD (Small) |
33-63 HD (Medium) |
64+ HD (Large) |
Level Adjustment | ~ | ~ | ~ |[/table]

A strawberry shaped peice of flesh, the color of clotted blood, hangs in the air.

Dark Hearts are the hearts of corpses reanimated through dark and sinister magic. (See "Creation" below)

Combat
Because of their utter lack of intelligence, the instructions given to a newly created Dark Heart must be very simple. They are generally end up simply moving into the center of the melee about 15 feet up (lower for the smaller ones) and blasting away with their Negative Energy Pulse as often as possible. If they are within the threatened area of an opponent they may (depending on how carefully they were instructed) take a 5 foot float (or for the ones that can do so and still release their pulse) making withdraw action directly away from it before launching their attack for that round.

Negative Energy Pulse(Sn): The Dark Heart can release negative energy once per round which functions in many ways like Inflict Light Wounds, Mass. It affects the closest living and/or undead targets with the radius and up to the maximium number of targets listed on the following table. Its Deathwatch ability allows it to skip over constructs. A Will save is allowed for half damage.
{table="head"]Size|Radius|Damage (DC)|
Action | Max. Targets|Size of Source Creature
Fine | 25 feet | 1d2 (11) |Full Round Action |
2 | Small or Medium
Diminutive| 30 feet | 1d4 (12) |Full Round Action |
4 | Large
Tiny | 35 feet | 1d8+1(14) |Standard Action |
6 | Huge
Small | 45 feet | 2d8+3(18) |Swift Action |
9 | Gargantuan
Medium | 55 feet | 3d8+5(26) |Free Action |
12| Collossal
Large | 70 feet | 4d8+7(42) |Free Action |
20| Collossal+
[/table]

Special: Dark Hearts are often returned to the chests from which they came (tied in place with a network of string or rope in the case of skeletal undead). In such a case the larger undead becomes somewhat subject to critical hits, sneak attack, and other precision based damage provided that they are dealt in the form of peircing damage. In such a case a confirmed critical hit may be elected by the attacker to deal its NORMAL (NOT critical hit!) damage to the Dark Heart instead of dealing any damage what-so-ever to the larger undead.

Usage:
Use them alone or mixed in with other mindless undead. For especially nasty effect cram the chest cavity of a skeletal undead with them, put magical Full-Plate on it, give it a magical Tower Sheild, and have it take full Defense (If it is intellegent throwing in the Dodge feat and/or 5 ranks in Tumble is just downright the cruel icing on the cake of cruelty). Put the resulting negative energy source in the middle of a group of beefy undead or just have it move up to targets and let the hearts do the work.

Creating a Dark Heart
First the hearts of one or more creatures of at least small size must be harvested, each requiring a Heal or Profession(Butcher) check with a DC of 15?. The hearts must be reasonably undecayed and mostly whole and the creature must have had a circulatory system that included a heart. Then Inflict Light Wounds, Mass (for Dark Hearts up to Tiny Size) or Inflict Moderate Wounds, Mass (for Small Dark Hearts), Inflict Serious Wounds, Mass (for Medium Dark Hearts), or Inflict Critical Wounds, Mass (for Large Dark Hearts), Deathwatch, and either Fly, or Overland Flight must be cast once over each heart to be animated. Alternatively Wind Walk may substitute for Fly and may fulfill that part of the requirements for an many hearts as targets it could normally effect. Finally, either Animate Dead or Create Undead, Lesser must be cast. The material components for the spell must be be placed inside each heart to be animated via the valves. Each such casting (regardless of which spell is used) may create up to 2 HD worth of Dark Hearts per caster level (The desecrate spell doubles this limit). Animate Dead can not create a Dark Heart of over 20 HD. The size of the Dark Heart is 4 size classes smaller than the size of the creature the Hearts were taken from (Minimum Fine Size). Dark Hearts have hit dice equal to the minimum listed for a Dark Heart of that size, pull extra hit dice equal to 1/2 the number of extra hit dice above the minimum that the creature it was harvested from needed to achieve its size class (up to the maximum listed HD a Dark Heart of the particular size category may be advanced to).
The remaining corpse is still suitable for animation into most types of undead. Especially note that with the right skill checks, spells, etc it is possible to generate a Skeleton, a Dark Heart, Hopping Stomach (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3301315),an Empty Skin (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44544), a Gut Snake (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3295643&postcount=8), and a set of Floating Lungs (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62115) from a single corpse.

As is usually the case the CR's are pretty much just guesses.

Spellcasting:
Add 1 Fine Dark-Heart to the list of things that may be summoned with Summon Undead II (and multiples for later spells).
Add 1 Diminutive Dark-Heart to the list of things that may be summoned with Summon Undead III (and multiples for later spells).
Add 1 Tiny Dark-Heart to the list of things that may be summoned with Summon Undead V (and multiples for later spells).

Draconi Redfir
2010-11-07, 03:04 AM
i made a bunch of basic undead races (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7984495#post7984495) you could try. nothing difficult, just a missing con score, some benefits and negatives, one or two having a bonus ability. thatís really about it.

DracoDei
2010-11-07, 10:09 AM
i made a bunch of basic undead races (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7984495#post7984495) you could try. nothing difficult, just a missing con score, some benefits and negatives, one or two having a bonus ability. thatís really about it.

That's nice, but there are three problems with this:

The thread title is (or maybe was, since I may change it now) slightly ambiguous, but this isn't about using undead as PCs themselves, it is about how a PC can use undead they create.
This is 3.X not Pathfinder (a minor problem in comparison).
I am not looking for new ideas. Or, at least, not unless people are struck with inspiration for how a Unholy Gallbladder could be statted out in an interesting way, or wish to wax informative on the previous statting out of the Crawling Spleen that someone CALLED The Crawling Spleen is rumored to have done on the Wizard's boards, but which I was unable to locate due to Wizard's IMHO Sabotaging them to try to kill the 3.X community so people would move on to 4E updating them. In other words, if I wanted advice on how to make these monsters, I would have posted a general inquiry thread in the homebrew forums. As it is, I am looking for insight into how people would use them, given how they currently work. Which ones are worth the HD to Animate? Which aren't, but are extremely good to summon (the Lungs come to mind, since they are "glass cannons")? Is keeping a Spell-Stitched Dark-Heart in your pocket with low level utility spells on it something that every discerning necropolitan dread necromancer would be doing? Should you be trying to get your Empty Skin persian cat to have levels in Emaciated Spawn, so that you can Diplomacy it back into your service, and have it take further levels in rogue such that it may leap onto your enemies' backs and severe their jugulars with the adamintine teeth and claws you have riveted into place of the ones that were lost due to the particulars of the animation process? These are the sorts of questions I, personally, am interested in (although many of the rabbit-trails I have spawned have been gratifying to see in a "well, SOMEONE is going to get a lot of benefit out of this, even if it isn't me" sort of way.).

Godskook
2010-11-07, 10:28 AM
Dread Necromancers don't get Heal. Just guessing at your intent: you can't get into Fleshwarper with one unless you take a level or more of Blood Magus or use Glimmerskin Halfling or Aereni Focus. This has saddened me on more than one occasion.

Anyone can buy 4 ranks in heal by level 5(the level it takes to get 8 ranks in Know(Arcana)) by cross-class learning. It doesn't even slow the Dread Necro down.:smallconfused:

Urpriest
2010-11-07, 10:39 AM
Anyone can buy 4 ranks in heal by level 5(the level it takes to get 8 ranks in Know(Arcana)) by cross-class learning. It doesn't even slow the Dread Necro down.:smallconfused:

The Graft Flesh feat requires 10 ranks of Heal.

Malbordeus
2010-11-07, 10:53 AM
hmm. ok, more tailored to your needs then...
and tagging the question about summons.

Summon Undead spells are very solid - Ogre zombies dropped right in on top of your enemies are pretty good despite limited numbers of attacks. they deal one attack with horrible damage and have the hp to stick for a while. and then have a 10ft threatened area in the middle of the battleground.
the skeletal summon options i tend to use as a wall. summon undead 4 gives you 4 owlbear skeletons the reach and damage isnt great, but its an impressive number of attacks. and you can drop them directly into flanking positions for full attacks. very party friendly.

summon undead 4 and 5 also give you zombie wyvern, ghasts, wights, alips and vampire spawn. given the level you will be at before dropping these spells, and the inherrent weakness of an undeads BAB, i tend to avoid ghasts and wights where the lower level summons to a better job.
however alips... these arnt funny by any means. and if you drop a haste on them the round they turn up they put dragons into a coma quite happily.
shadows are really good too (probably why they are a level 5 summon) as taking strength away from melee-monsters is outright funny (i used to abuse the master of shrouds prc, small armies of shadows deal enough str damage to kill some of the more dangerous giants.) creating a few of these when you get Greater Create Undead is a must. also its very funny to posess an incorporeal viamagic jar and go for a wander. well the strain on your dm's face is worth it anyhow... :P

back to Create Undead
the corpse crafter feats are pretty handy if you can spare the feat slots for them. also, was just considering the applications of create undead on some of the scarier animals that druids usually take as companions - can you imagine how harsh a Ghast Direlion would be? or a fleshraker?
or a Mumified Giant... they make creatures that are more than expendable meat shields.

Greater undead has applications too. but again, some of the options are very limited. shadows are fun and good, but wraiths - witht their touch requiring a fort save are a little weak especially at the high levels you'll be making them at. devourers are the best high level choice, but before making one i'd be sure to pick up the corpsecrafter feat that gives your undead increased turn resistance. its not something you want the enemy to control!

DracoDei
2010-11-07, 11:46 AM
hmm. ok, more tailored to your needs then...
and tagging the question about summons.

Summon Undead spells are very solid - Ogre zombies dropped right in on top of your enemies are pretty good despite limited numbers of attacks. they deal one attack with horrible damage and have the hp to stick for a while. and then have a 10ft threatened area in the middle of the battleground.
the skeletal summon options i tend to use as a wall. summon undead 4 gives you 4 owlbear skeletons the reach and damage isnt great, but its an impressive number of attacks. and you can drop them directly into flanking positions for full attacks. very party friendly.

summon undead 4 and 5 also give you zombie wyvern, ghasts, wights, alips and vampire spawn. given the level you will be at before dropping these spells, and the inherrent weakness of an undeads BAB, i tend to avoid ghasts and wights where the lower level summons to a better job.
however alips... these arnt funny by any means. and if you drop a haste on them the round they turn up they put dragons into a coma quite happily.
shadows are really good too (probably why they are a level 5 summon) as taking strength away from melee-monsters is outright funny (i used to abuse the master of shrouds prc, small armies of shadows deal enough str damage to kill some of the more dangerous giants.) creating a few of these when you get Greater Create Undead is a must. also its very funny to posess an incorporeal viamagic jar and go for a wander. well the strain on your dm's face is worth it anyhow... :P

back to Create Undead
the corpse crafter feats are pretty handy if you can spare the feat slots for them. also, was just considering the applications of create undead on some of the scarier animals that druids usually take as companions - can you imagine how harsh a Ghast Direlion would be? or a fleshraker?
or a Mumified Giant... they make creatures that are more than expendable meat shields.

Greater undead has applications too. but again, some of the options are very limited. shadows are fun and good, but wraiths - witht their touch requiring a fort save are a little weak especially at the high levels you'll be making them at. devourers are the best high level choice, but before making one i'd be sure to pick up the corpsecrafter feat that gives your undead increased turn resistance. its not something you want the enemy to control!

Thank you very much... anyone else have anything to add to this?

Lhurgyof
2010-11-07, 09:57 PM
Thank you very much... anyone else have anything to add to this?

Other than raising enemies that had class levels as Corpse and Bone creatures, nah.

Imagine, taking out the big bad evil wizard, then shazzam. He's now yours.

Draconi Redfir
2010-11-07, 10:09 PM
The thread title is (or maybe was, since I may change it now) slightly ambiguous, but this isn't about using undead as PCs themselves, it is about how a PC can use undead they create.
my bad.


This is 3.X not Pathfinder (a minor problem in comparison).

not that much difference. really, pathfinder just gives you a few less skill points mostly.

Escheton
2010-11-07, 10:16 PM
yeah, creating magic items takes the spells that are needed for making it and you actually cast it for that day.
You also need ranks in a craftskill to actually craft the (enchanted) item.

As such, your homebrew should require a feat and goldinvestment greater then that of basic zombies.
It is just an opinion, but I am sure a few other dm's will agree.

DracoDei
2010-11-08, 01:05 AM
yeah, creating magic items takes the spells that are needed for making it and you actually cast it for that day.
Same here actually...


You also need ranks in a craftskill to actually craft the (enchanted) item.
Most magic item creation doesn't require any skill checks, just a feat.


As such, your homebrew should require a feat and goldinvestment greater then that of basic zombies.
It is just an opinion, but I am sure a few other dm's will agree.
Well, a lot of zombies are useful for a lot of things just by virtue of having opposable thumbs.... these aren't(Well, 2 of them can do things that would generally require thumbs, but neither of them can fight well). I COULD raise the material component cost, but nobody has ever suggested such a thing before, and requiring a feat for it... well, I GUESS you could have one feat to get access to the entire series, but, again, you are the first to ever suggest such a thing, and these things have been being built over a course of years over in the homebrew forums. I suppose that, despite the detailed "Making a X" section I included, people may not have considered them very much from a player character necromancer until this point.

Aotrs Commander
2010-11-08, 11:43 AM
If you're an arcane necromancer, I think, the first two levels of Pale Master are well worth it because of the second level ability to cast Animate Dead 1/day as and SLA. Which means you get FREE skeletons (when you can find the corpses), which makes them eminently more disposable because you're not haemoharging gold to make new ones.

Fouredged Sword
2010-11-08, 12:31 PM
Remember the spell control undead. I don't know if it has been mentioned, but large, high HD zombies become more useful when you don't spend control pool to boss them around.

Consider a great wyrm zombie used for meat shield and transport. Good fly speed and high strength carry lots of stuff and hit hard. Problem is the HD are a hard hit. One aplication of control undead can keep it yours for 20 days, no control cap, no save. Cost - one casting of a level 2 spell. This is why high HD mindless undead are viable later in the game even as purely utility.

DracoDei
2010-11-08, 01:31 PM
Remember the spell control undead. I don't know if it has been mentioned, but large, high HD zombies become more useful when you don't spend control pool to boss them around.

Consider a great wyrm zombie used for meat shield and transport. Good fly speed and high strength carry lots of stuff and hit hard. Problem is the HD are a hard hit. One aplication of control undead can keep it yours for 20 days, no control cap, no save. Cost - one casting of a level 2 spell. This is why high HD mindless undead are viable later in the game even as purely utility.

And all but two of mine are mindless.

I am pondering the issue of if the material component cost is too much, but I was under the impression that the HD-per-creature limits would keep things so much under control that it wouldn't matter. Certainly Grappling (the Gut Snake's specialty) isn't going to be a big deal (although the Nauseation/Sickening abilities might be worthwhile).

A minor point is that they are much harder to disguise, although can just put them in jars of liquid, have them go limp and pretend they are biological samples or spell components (which, if you happen to get a hopping stomach from a venomous snake for some reason could almost be the truth). Then again, you could do that with Animal/Magical Beast skeletons.