Yes, I know. Yet another undead+paladin thread.
So, we have the Skeleton Crew spell, which creates multiple undead creatures, but the spell doesn't have the 'evil' descriptor. So immediately, straight to gray area.
* creates undead, which is generally an evil act.
* lacks the evil descriptor.
* desecrates corpses and uses their skeletons for a purpose that the person(s) may not have wanted it used for.
* follows typical undead rules by allowing a Desecrate spell to double limits.
So is the use of this spell an evil act? Let's say for instance you have the following:
* a large number of civilians that were ruthlessly killed by an evil empire for evil purposes and their bodies flung into the ocean
* a group of PC's fighting said empire and needing a way to combat the empire's naval forces without endangering or coercing more people into fighting a dangerous battle
* said group of PC's contains... you guessed it, a Paladin.
* a group member that proposes using the bodies with this spell to crew warships that they commandeer/steal from the evil empire
In theory, you could argue that the act isn't inherently evil, as you're giving the bodies of the slain citizens 'purpose' by using/allowing them to help battle the ones that killed them. On the other hand... you're taking bodies that should probably just be laid to rest and enslaving them to do your bidding for a cause that you can only assume they would follow. Either way, creating undead.
So, at what point is the creation of undead "OK"? Is there ever a point when this falls enough into a gray area to not be considered an evil act? For example, would you need to use Speak with Dead with each body to see if they want to volunteer?
P.S. I'm aware that there is another similar spell, Unseen Crew, but as the question of an undead-creating spell not marked as evil came up, I figured I should look into this now...