- Casting Time: 1 minute
- Classes: Cleric, Wizard
- Components: V S M
- Duration: Instantaneous
- Higher Spell Slot Desc: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you animate or reassert control over two additional Undead creatures for each slot above 3rd. Each of the creatures must come from a different corpse or pile of bones.
- Level: 3
- Material: A drop of blood, a piece of flesh, and a pinch of bone dust
- Name: Animate Dead
- Range: 10 feet
- School: Necromancy
- Target: A pile of bones or a corpse of a Medium or Small humanoid within range
This spell creates an undead servant. Choose a pile of bones or a corpse of a Medium or Small humanoid within range. Your spell imbues the target with a foul mimicry of life, raising it as an undead creature. The target becomes a skeleton if you chose bones or a zombie if you chose a corpse (the DM has the creature's game statistics).
On each of your turns, you can use a bonus action to mentally command any creature you made with this spell if the creature is within 60 feet of you (if you control multiple creatures, you can command any or all of them at the same time, issuing the same command to each one). You decide what action the creature will take and where it will move during its next turn, or you can issue a general command, such as to guard a particular chamber or corridor. If you issue no commands, the creature only defends itself against hostile creatures. Once given an order, the creature continues to follow it until its task is complete.
The creature is under your control for 24 hours, after which it stops obeying any command you've given it. To maintain the control of the creature for another 24 hours, you must cast this spell on the creature again before the current 24-hour period ends. This use of the spell reasserts your control over up to four creatures you have animated with this spell, rather than animating a new one.
At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you animate or reassert control over two additional undead creatures for each slot above 3rd. Each of the creatures must come from a different corpse or pile of bones.
The SendingStone review
The spell Animate Dead, available to Clerics and Wizards, allows the caster to bring a dead creature back to life as an undead servant. While some may view this spell as a useful tool for bolstering their combat abilities, it raises ethical concerns about the value of life and the dangers of playing with death. It can also be seen as a disturbing and disrespectful violation of the deceased's body, robbing them of their final rest. Furthermore, raising an undead army can have disastrous consequences, potentially causing harm to innocent individuals and leading to the spread of disease and rot. Overall, while Animate Dead may have its benefits in a practical sense, it is wise to consider the far-reaching implications and moral implications before utilizing such a powerful and potentially dangerous spell.
Animate Dead is D&D (Dungeons & Dragons) 5th edition content, but other TTRPGs may have their own version such as a Animate Dead Pathfinder edition. Want to use Animate Dead in a VTT (virtual tabletop)? Try out SendingStone for free today!