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Animate Dead and Animals


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

Grand Lodge

This is sort of a morbid question, but I figured I'd ask, anyway.

So there are a few rules in PFS that currently pertain to companions/followers:

-You cannot have more than one animal companion / Eidolon following you, or similar, during a scenario
-Animate Dead wears off between scenarios
-You can buy animals listed in Ultimate Equipment

...

So.

Could one, erm... buy and then kill some animals, then cast Animate Dead, and bring them along for the scenario and use them in combat?

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

Sounds like it breaks the "No Evil" policy of PFS.

***

what if you use the meat to feed needy families? then animate the bones? thats like recycling, which is what good aligned characters like, right? i'm pretty needy, and i really like bacon. pigs are only 10g!

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Sounds like it breaks the "No Evil" policy of PFS.

Killing an animal to use parts of its body is evil now?

Liberty's Edge ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
zean wrote:
Could one, erm... buy and then kill some animals, then cast Animate Dead, and bring them along for the scenario and use them in combat?

Apart from the impact on NPCs, etc. I wouldn't have an issue with it as a GM. Of course, the 'one combat animal' rule would still apply, whether they're alive or dead.

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Also consider cost: a dog would be 50 go (25 for the animal, 25 for the reagents), and it only has 4 hp.

A heavy horse may be viable if you made it a bloody skeleton, but that will set you back 250 gp for a 13 hp creature. A riding dog would be 200 total.

Do you think such a creature would allow riding with an exotic saddle?

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber
Mergy wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Sounds like it breaks the "No Evil" policy of PFS.
Killing an animal to use parts of its body is evil now?

I notice you aren't from the UK.

The UK has a long history for animal welfare with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals being the oldest animal welfare charity.

There are splinter groups in this country who regard you as evil if you work in the pharmaceutical industry as this means you condone animal testing.

As always with evil vs non-evil discussions a lot depends on how it is done and for what purpose. Unfortunately you can't go to the slaugtherhouse to collect bones of animals as RAW these aren't available items.

The Exchange ****

Yes, but I could probably do this without an evil mark.

Huggles the fighter wrote:
Hey Zephir, where did you get that spooky skeleton horse?
Zephir the oracle wrote:
Oh, Fluffy here? I walked down to the Pathfinder Stables. This beast had one of its tendons severed in a skirmish, and you know a regeneration spell isn't worth the brute's life, so they were going to put him down.
Huggles wrote:
And you just walked off with the corpse?
Zephir wrote:
Abaddon, no; the stablemaster knew my aim as soon as I went down to look at the animals. He gouged me for full price, although I wanted only the bones. Still, I made sure it felt no pain. It's very well trained now as well.

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Anyway, what do people think are good animals for skelefying or zombifying?

Heavy horse - 200 gp + 100 gp for reagents

As a bloody skeleton:
AC 16
hp 13 (2d8+4), fast healing 1, deathless
Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +3
Speed 50 ft.
Melee bite +6 (1d4+5) and 2 hooves +1 (1d6+2)
Str 20, Dex 20, Con –, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 14

As a fast zombie:
AC 17
hp 22 (4d8+4)
Fort +1, Ref +6, Will +4
Speed 60 ft.
Melee bite +9 (1d4+6) and 2 slams +9 (1d8+6) and 2 hooves +4 (1d6+3)
Str 22, Dex 20, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 10

Riding dog - 150 gp + 75/100 gp for reagents

As a bloody skeleton:
AC 15
hp 13 (2d8+4), fast healing 1, deathless
Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +3
Speed 40 ft.
Melee bite +3 (1d6+3 plus trip);
Str 15, Dex 17, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 14

As a fast zombie:
AC 15
hp 17 (3d8+3)
Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +3
Speed 50 ft.
Melee bite +5 (1d6+4 plus trip)
Str 17, Dex 17, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 10

I would say not bad as a mount, and the heavy horse fast zombie packs a surprising punch for a 250 gp expenditure, although the necromancer would need both animate dead and remove paralysis/haste. The bloody skeleton makes the best mount because it will pick itself back up an hour later.

Liberty's Edge *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Thod wrote:
Mergy wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Sounds like it breaks the "No Evil" policy of PFS.
Killing an animal to use parts of its body is evil now?

I notice you aren't from the UK.

The UK has a long history for animal welfare with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals being the oldest animal welfare charity.

There are splinter groups in this country who regard you as evil if you work in the pharmaceutical industry as this means you condone animal testing.

As always with evil vs non-evil discussions a lot depends on how it is done and for what purpose. Unfortunately you can't go to the slaugtherhouse to collect bones of animals as RAW these aren't available items.

That may be, but we aren't in the UK, we are in Golarion. Real World morals really have no place, and are completely redefined in a fantasy world setting that is more medieval burgeoning on renaissance. Lets not confuse the two please.

Liberty's Edge *****

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Sounds like it breaks the "No Evil" policy of PFS.

How? Casting a spell with an evil descriptor is not in, and of itself, evil in PFS.

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Andrew Christian wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Sounds like it breaks the "No Evil" policy of PFS.
How? Casting a spell with an evil descriptor is not in, and of itself, evil in PFS.

We have to ask whether getting a hamburger is an evil action in PFS though.

Liberty's Edge ****

Mergy wrote:

Also consider cost: a dog would be 50 go (25 for the animal, 25 for the reagents), and it only has 4 hp.

A heavy horse may be viable if you made it a bloody skeleton, but that will set you back 250 gp for a 13 hp creature. A riding dog would be 200 total.

Do you think such a creature would allow riding with an exotic saddle?

Not sure about the riding, but you just gave me a new thought for my already weird Razmiran Priest.

Up to creating a 4 HD undead, you can actually get away for free by buying a gold holy symbol, worth 100 gp, and having the False Focus feat.

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
kinevon wrote:
Mergy wrote:

Also consider cost: a dog would be 50 go (25 for the animal, 25 for the reagents), and it only has 4 hp.

A heavy horse may be viable if you made it a bloody skeleton, but that will set you back 250 gp for a 13 hp creature. A riding dog would be 200 total.

Do you think such a creature would allow riding with an exotic saddle?

Not sure about the riding, but you just gave me a new thought for my already weird Razmiran Priest.

Up to creating a 4 HD undead, you can actually get away for free by buying a gold holy symbol, worth 100 gp, and having the False Focus feat.

True... that's not a bad idea if you want a mount. It will certainly reduce your costs.

I got a few of the costs wrong, by the way. A bloody riding dog would actually cost 250 (150 for the dog, 100 for the reagents). On the other hand, for a small necromancer, having a relatively immortal pet for a scenario is probably worth 250 gp at higher levels.

Silver Crusade **** Venture-Lieutenant, Nebraska—Omaha aka Belarias

250 gp a scenario kinda hurts... though you could go with the Undead Lord Cleric archetype and do something similar for free... permanently.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Amsterdam aka Seraphimpunk

undead lord isn't pfs legal anymore ?

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

By the time you get animate dead, 250 gp for select scenarios doesn't hurt as much anymore. Especially if you go with a bloody skeleton, which will reform if not killed under specific conditions. Then it's 250 gp for a mount for the entire scenario that doesn't require Handle Animal and will follow all instructions to the very best of its ability.

In other news, how about a fast zombie dire bat? Only 450 gp! :D

Silver Crusade **** Venture-Lieutenant, Nebraska—Omaha aka Belarias

Seraphimpunk wrote:
undead lord isn't pfs legal anymore ?

*checks additional resources* that sucks :( wonder what te reasoning behind that was

*****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Belarias wrote:
Seraphimpunk wrote:
undead lord isn't pfs legal anymore ?
*checks additional resources* that sucks :( wonder what te reasoning behind that was

Dead horses.

***

depriving me of bacon is an evil act.

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
asthyril wrote:
depriving me of bacon is an evil act.

When making a skeletal pig, the meat just falls off the bone. How do you think they create ribwiches?

*****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mergy wrote:
asthyril wrote:
depriving me of bacon is an evil act.
When making a skeletal pig, the meat just falls off the bone. How do you think they create ribwiches?

Oink?

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

Killing an animal for the sole purpose of casting a spell with the [evil] descriptor is evil.

Liberty's Edge ****

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Killing an animal for the sole purpose of casting a spell with the [evil] descriptor is evil.

Make it a pig, turn it into trail rations and skeleton. That better?

At least they aren't discussing hitting it down to negatives but not yet dead, using Death Knell on it, and then Animating it. Meh.

Spoiler:
dho, please don't do this. Thank you.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

That's equivocation and justification, which is just a way of rationalising the evil act. It's an evil act and repeatedly doing so consciously breaks the "No Evil" policy of the Pathfinder Society.

Liberty's Edge ****

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
That's equivocation and justification, which is just a way of rationalising the evil act. It's an evil act and repeatedly doing so consciously breaks the "No Evil" policy of the Pathfinder Society.

But it's okay to Animate the first opponent your party kills, but not to make a skeleton or zombie out of something specific?

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

Nope, [evil] descriptor is evil.

Shadow Lodge **

I'd argue that a spellcaster who animates dead and then uses the undead for good (or at least non-evil) means may offset alignment repercussions.

Otherwise, we have nonsensical situations like this:

Spoiler:

If casting [evil] spells turns your alignment to evil, does that mean repeatedly casting a [good] spell turns your alignment to good?

Step 1: Summon celestial creature
Step 2: Collect good kudos
Step 3: Kill celestial creature*
Step 4: Repeat steps until alignment changes to good :D

* As far as I can tell, killing a good creature is not an evil act in itself, any more than killing an evil creature is an inherently good act. (Alternatively, just skip Step 3 entirely)

Rhetoric aside though, best thing to do is check with your GM just before the game starts.

***

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Nope, [evil] descriptor is evil.

not in PFS it isn't as long as you're not committing an evil act in the casting of it. casting infernal healing to save the life of a dying innocent is in no way evil, although you are casting a spell with the evil descriptor. casting a merciful acid splash over and over to torture someone is evil, although the descriptor has no alignment at all.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

2 people marked this as a favorite.

At this point you guys are arguing for the argument's sake. Unless your table GM says "it's evil, you can't do it here" then game on*. You could have every poster on this thread say "Evil! No! Forbidden!" and none of it holds water. There are two guys who make the rules for this campaign and everything else is an opinion until we're rolling dice at your table. Animate dead is a legal option in the game, and cruelty to animals is a relative moral judgment. Any further discussion is academic.

*Unless the campaign rules are explicitly against it, which in the case of animate dead they are not.

***

honestly, in all seriousness, if you, instead of buying live animals from the UE, just go to the local slaughterhouse to purchase some remains of animals slaughtered. while not exactly good, i don't think that would be evil, imo.

Dark Archive ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Nope, [evil] descriptor is evil.

The people who run the campaign disagree with you. What matters is context, and people kill animals without becoming Lords of the Sith all the time.

***

Mergy wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Nope, [evil] descriptor is evil.
The people who run the campaign disagree with you. What matters is context, and people kill animals without becoming Lords of the Sith all the time.
Darth Bacon wrote:
Porky, obiwon never told you what happened to your father. I am your father!
Porky Pig wrote:
N..N...N..NOOOOOOOOOOO!

Liberty's Edge *

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Nope, [evil] descriptor is evil.

I thought the exact thing when I joined up. Apparently this is not the case. There are many threads out there that explain that just because the spell has an evil descriptor does not make the actions of casting the spell evil.

If an evil necromancer cast "Protection from Evil" which has the good descriptor - it doesn't make him a good guy.

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Dibs on Porky's hoof.

*****

Doug Miles wrote:

At this point you guys are arguing for the argument's sake. Unless your table GM says "it's evil, you can't do it here" then game on*. You could have every poster on this thread say "Evil! No! Forbidden!" and none of it holds water. There are two guys who make the rules for this campaign and everything else is an opinion until we're rolling dice at your table. Animate dead is a legal option in the game, and cruelty to animals is a relative moral judgment. Any further discussion is academic.

*Unless the campaign rules are explicitly against it, which in the case of animate dead they are not.

I have to agree... with a few minor changes this could be posted in almost ANY thread on the forums

*****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kyle Baird wrote:
Belarias wrote:
Seraphimpunk wrote:
undead lord isn't pfs legal anymore ?
*checks additional resources* that sucks :( wonder what te reasoning behind that was
Dead horses.

I'm really disappointed in all of you.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, California—San Diego

Doug Miles wrote:

At this point you guys are arguing for the argument's sake. Unless your table GM says "it's evil, you can't do it here" then game on*. You could have every poster on this thread say "Evil! No! Forbidden!" and none of it holds water. There are two guys who make the rules for this campaign and everything else is an opinion until we're rolling dice at your table. Animate dead is a legal option in the game, and cruelty to animals is a relative moral judgment. Any further discussion is academic.

*Unless the campaign rules are explicitly against it, which in the case of animate dead they are not.

What Doug said.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Amsterdam aka Seraphimpunk

Kyle Baird wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
Belarias wrote:
Seraphimpunk wrote:
undead lord isn't pfs legal anymore ?
*checks additional resources* that sucks :( wonder what te reasoning behind that was
Dead horses.
I'm really disappointed in all of you.

I'm sorry we didn't continue to beat your dead horses.

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's really in a dead horse's nature to rise up again. Zombie horses even resist your attempts to beat them.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Amsterdam aka Seraphimpunk

bloody skeletal horses...

Sczarni ***

Mergy wrote:

Anyway, what do people think are good animals for skelefying or zombifying?

Heavy horse - 200 gp + 100 gp for reagents

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

Riding dog - 150 gp + 75/100 gp for reagents

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

I would say not bad as a mount, and the heavy horse fast zombie packs a surprising punch for a 250 gp expenditure, although the necromancer would need both animate dead and remove paralysis/haste. The bloody skeleton makes the best mount because it will pick itself back up an hour later.

I believe Cha drops to 10, so hp is lower.

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Bloody skeletons have charisma scores of 14. My stat blocks are slightly off however, as I neglected to take size bonuses into account at times.

Sczarni ***

Ah, good point. Didn't know they get more Cha. Interesting.

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Are mules or donkeys statted out in any bestiary?

Silver Crusade ****

Doug Miles wrote:
At this point you guys are arguing for the argument's sake. Unless your table GM says "it's evil, you can't do it here" then game on*.

Mergy is a good player who tries to proactively handle any potential problems before the game. I'm GMing Mergys character tomorrow. An Oracle of Bones going into You Only Die Twice.

He made sure that I have no problem with the undead animal and made sure that I was aware ahead of time of ways where his character could potentially be problematic (ie, grossly overpowered) in that scenario.

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks Paul.

I'm probably not gonna have a skeletal horse for this particular adventure. On the other hand, I've got a bag of holding, so perhaps I could carry around a bag of horse bones. Since most of an animal's weight comes from muscle and tissue, I'm pretty sure a bag of bones won't be too heavy for my bag. :D

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