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Reanimator Alchemist


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

Grand Lodge

So, I had a question about the Reanimator.

They get an ability at 7th level where they add "Lesser Animate Dead" to their extract list. This allows them to create an extract to inject into a body, raising it as a Zombie under their control 1 hour later. This ability also allows them to create variant zombies (unlike the spell of the same name).

But here is the thing. There seems to be no HD cap, creature type or even a control cap listed with these creatures.

"At 7th level, a reanimator adds lesser animate dead to his formula book as a 3rd-level extract. When he uses that extract, rather than drinking it, he injects it into the corpse he intends to animate, which rises as an undead creature under his control 1 hour later. The extract can only create zombies (including variant zombies). "

But, if we look at the Alchemical Zombie discovery for Alchemists ...

"The alchemist gains the ability to animate a relatively complete corpse as an alchemy-powered zombie. This process takes 1 hour and costs 100 gp in alchemical reagents per HD of the corpse being animated; the dead creature gains the zombie template. Zombies that are created in this manner count as undead created by animate dead for the purposes of determining how many undead the alchemist can control. The created zombie is a creature, not a supernatural effect."

This ability specifically states the the undead created are counted towards the control cap. Where "Simple Reanimation" (the Reanimator ability) does not list this as a negative.

So ... wouldn't this ability allow a reanimator the ability to create as many Zombies (only zombies, but hey) of any HD or creature type, without ever worrying about his control Cap?


Doesn't the Animate Dead spell referenced include the text about how many undead you can control?

Grand Lodge

The second one does indeed. But the first does not. I listed the second one (Alchemical Zombie) to show that it specifically states that they count against the cap, where as the first one listed (Simple Animation) does not list it. This comparison is there to show that they are similar abilities, but clearly operate differently than each other. I'm showing the precedence in similar abilities that if "Simple Animation" counted against the control cap, then it would have been listed in the ability, the same way it is listed in the Alchemical Zombie feat.

At first I even considered that it just worked like Lesser Animate Dead. But even that isn't true, considering that with the actual spell you cannot create Variant Zombies, but with the "Simple Animation" power, it says that you can.


The Alchemical Zombie discovery counts against the cap from the animate dead spell because it explicitly says it does. Since it doesn't otherwise use the animate dead spell, this is necessary.

Simple Reanimation uses the lesser animate dead spell, which says it's the same as animate dead except for some changes. You're effectively just casting animate dead, so it doesn't have to say anything about the HD limit - it's part of the spell you're casting. The ability to create variant zombies with the Simple Reanimation power is a change to the lesser animate dead spell. Other abilities are unchanged.

Grand Lodge

Normally when changes are made to things like this, they include the text "This ability otherwise functions like the X spell" or at least "This ability functions like X spell except where noted here" and the Reanimator ability doesn't include either of those.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure thats the intent behind the ability but there is specific way these things are written, and it was not used here.

Is it not possible the ability just shares a name with a spell? Pretty sure that exists in other circumstances as well, although none I could cite at the moment.


They shouldn't have to--it's not an ability like lesser animate dead. It's lesser animate dead with slight changes outlined in the text. Anything not explicitely changed in the ability description should be assumed to operate as per the spell.

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