A player in my Rise of the Runelords campaign decided to play a Gravewalker Witch, and in order to make sure he doesn't abuse the class's ability to command undead, I was hoping for some clarifications.
The Bonethrall ability functions like the command undead spell and allows the Gravewalker to gain undead minions. My understanding of it is that because it references the spell, it has a duration of 1 day per level. What happens when the duration ends or the (intelligent) undead makes its save? Do the undead attack the nearest creature? Do they wander off?
When I confronted the player with this possibility, he just said that if the effect wore off, he'd just do it again. Is that allowed? Or are there limits to how many times an undead can be subject to the Bonethrall ability - many witch hexes have the stipulation that "Whether or not the save is successful, a creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day", so would that be appropriate here? There are no limits on how many times the same undead can be subject to command undead, but the spell is limited by virtue of being a spell.
The entry for the Bonethrall ability doesn't list what sort of action it is - it replaces a hex and acts like a spell, which both take standard actions, so is using the Bonethrall ability a standard action? What about activating the Aura of Desecration? Should these abilities be treated as hexes in all respects?
Lastly, the campaign is set mostly in Sandpoint and later Magnimar - how would people in these areas react to seeing seemingly tame undead walking around? How would he be able to keep his undead safe if the townsfolk think they're monsters?
1) How do undead (intelligent or mindless) behave after Bonethrall/command undead ends?
2) How many times can the same undead be subject to Bonethrall from the same caster? (Would it be appropriate to put a once per day limit on it?)
3) What sort of action is Bonethrall/Aura of Desecration? Are they hexes?
4) How would the people of Sandpoint/Magnimar react to undead minions?