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Undead Anatomy I for my Magus: can I cast if I choose the proper undead?


Advice


Hello everybody.

I have a doubt about the spell Undead Anatomy I.
Here's the entire description:

--------------------------------
When you cast this spell, you can assume the form of any Small or Medium corporeal creature of the undead type, which must be vaguely humanoid-shaped (like a ghoul, skeleton, or zombie). You gain a bite attack (1d6 for Medium forms, 1d4 for Small forms), two claw or slam attacks (1d6 for Medium forms, 1d4 for Small forms), and darkvision 60 feet. If the form you assume has any of the following abilities, you gain the listed ability: climb 30 feet, fly 30 feet (average maneuverability), swim 30 feet, low-light vision, and scent.

In this form, you detect as an undead creature (such as with detect undead, but not with magic that reveals your true form, such as true seeing) and are treated as undead for the purposes of channeled energy, cure spells, and inflict spells, but not for other effects that specifically target or react differently to undead (such as searing light).

Small undead: If the form you take is that of a Small undead, you gain a +2 size bonus to your Dexterity and a +1 natural armor bonus.

Medium undead: If the form you take is that of a Medium undead, you gain a +2 size bonus to your Strength and a +2 natural armor bonus.
--------------------------------

If I choose to transform myself in an undead such a Skeleton, I think I cannot cast while in that form because a Skeleton doesn't have a tongue and cannot speak (unless with a magical aid?).
But what about an undead with all the body still whole?
Unfortunately the spell description doesn't explain this, (nor it states if you can use an undead template like a vampire, even if the 2 examples, skeleton and zombies, are templates too...) but I was thinking, especially for a Magus, a 3d spell level with so few buffs like this seems to be useless preventing to cast, especially comparing to spells like Shield, Haste, Mirror Images and so on...

What do you think about all of this?
My DM even asked me if it is correct to transform myself in another undead besides those 3 (Skeleton, ghoul or zombie).
Also...the description says that if the undead has a fly or swim movement, you retain it. So I think I may choose any Undead, because these 3 kind doesn't have such abilities (unless you make a template of something else).

Thank you all for your time
=: )
Namárie


just because a skeleton doesn't have a tongue doesn't mean it can't speak. it is magic, after all. quite a few liches are described a skeletal and they obviously have the ability to cast spells.

if you turn into a human sized undead i don't see why you would lose spellcasting ability if it doesn't specifically take it away(eg druid wild shape)

Dedicated Voter 2015

Actually, be careful, because without a houserule or errata or something, you can't turn into a skeleton anyway, since that's a template.

The undead anatomy spells are actually pretty bad because of that limitation (that almost certainly shouldn't be, and almost certainly is not RAI).


Thank you very much for your answers =: )

asthyril wrote:

just because a skeleton doesn't have a tongue doesn't mean it can't speak. it is magic, after all. quite a few liches are described a skeletal and they obviously have the ability to cast spells.

if you turn into a human sized undead i don't see why you would lose spellcasting ability if it doesn't specifically take it away(eg druid wild shape)

Actually, I've got the same opinion about this =: )

But since the spell doesn't explain this, my DM asked me to search or ask in some official forum

mplindustries wrote:

Actually, be careful, because without a houserule or errata or something, you can't turn into a skeleton anyway, since that's a template.

Why not? The description itself speaks about the skeleton in the example


Akasha80 wrote:
[i]When you cast this spell, you can assume the form of any Small or Medium corporeal creature of the undead type, which must be vaguely humanoid-shaped (like a ghoul, skeleton, or zombie). You gain a bite attack (1d6 for Medium forms, 1d4 for Small forms), two claw or slam attacks (1d6 for Medium forms, 1d4 for Small forms), and darkvision 60 feet. If the form you assume has any of the following abilities, you gain the listed ability: climb 30 feet, fly 30 feet (average maneuverability), swim 30 feet, low-light vision, and scent.

Emphasis in bold. Ghoul, skeleton and zombie are only a few examples given. So you can take the form of any small or medium corporeal undead humanoid.


also remember you do no gain ANY ABILITIES the undead you turn into will have unless the spell specifically says so.

"" wrote:
You gain a bite attack (1d6 for Medium forms, 1d4 for Small forms), two claw or slam attacks (1d6 for Medium forms, 1d4 for Small forms), and darkvision 60 feet. If the form you assume has any of the following abilities, you gain the listed ability: climb 30 feet, fly 30 feet (average maneuverability), swim 30 feet, low-light vision, and scent.

Dedicated Voter 2015

Akasha80 wrote:
Why not? The description itself speaks about the skeleton in the example

Because polymorph effects can't turn you into a templated creature.

"Polymorph spells cannot be used to assume the form of a creature with a template or an advanced version of a creature."

As for why the spell talks about Skeletons? Well, obviously, the writer of the spell intended to allow skeletons, but was one or more of the following:

1) writing the spell before a last minute change to the polymorph rules that invalidated templated forms

2) writing the spell before a last minute change to the skeleton/zombie/etc. rules that turned those creatures entirely into templates

3) totally unaware of the rule because it's kind of buried in the description of Transmutation polymorph effects.

These books were writtemn by people and people make mistakes. I only say you should be aware of this because if you play with a GM that is strict by the rules as written, or for PFS where houseruling is a no-no, you could be screwed trying to use this spell. I believe most GMs would houserule it to allow the creatures the spell actually mentions, however, but I do still think they should be made aware that doing so is , in fact, a houserule.

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