Need some help with Controlling Undead

Combat & Magic

Here's the situation. I recently added on the Pathfinder rules to my game. Before that I wasn't even using the Control Undead rules because I wanted to avoid this.

One of my players is a Necromancer - speciality wizard using the Unearthed Arcana option to get a Skeletal Minion. Basically a buffed skeleton with hit dice equal to his level. Well, during the final battle this weekend the Evil Cleric they were fighting took control of "Bones" and had him start attacking the party.

According to the rules, the Necromancer has no way of getting control back - maybe via the Control Undead spell, but that's not permanent cause this guy is Intelligent. Well, I guess it would end with the death of the BBEG.

Now this is where it becomes even stickier. The party Cleric, also Evil then took control of the skeleton from the BBEG.

Bones only gets one save? Any intelligent undead (wights, etc) would only get one save - not one save a day? And basically he's a permanent cohort now (okay doesn't gain levels, but still). So the party's evil cleric now has control over the party's necromancer's minion permanently unless he give him up?

I'm just trying to get the rules for creating and controlling undead straight in my mind. I don't want the Necromancer to be creating lots of undead only to have the cleric take them away from him (though I am sure they may try that to get their own little army).

And I also want to avoid the situation where The necromancer is creating fairly powerful skeletal minions only to have the cleric steal them.


Aha, it seems that you have stumbled upon a problem that has faced many a Wizard-Necromancer. This is one of the issues with 3.5, in that Necromancers were not nearly as good as Evil Clerics at their own job. I'll agree, it's an issue. The new PRPG has helped a little, by making a Wizzy-Nec able to control more (8/HD, I believe?), but that still can't match the permantent, no-limit control of the evil Cleric!

To fix it, I either propose the Evil Cleric's amount is limited in number or time, or that Control Undead is permanent for mindless undead. This last part would solve A LOT, and would make a Wizzy-Nec actually better (or at least that same) at his job than a Cleric. I think the Control Undead spell just needs to be altered, and much would be solved.

I can't see any Intelligent undead permanently being CONTROLLED by an cleric. Especially when you talk about high level undead such as a Vampire or a Lich. Under the current rules, it is possible to gain control over high level, powerful undead.

They meet a lich, the cleric gains a new follower. Oh geeze, battle over.

For intelligent undead I was thinking of it being more along the lines of a permanent charm (after the battle, during they can have control). So that while the vampire may not view you as a meal, your companions are another story. It's so complicated, it's hard to say what to do. Will saves per day to break the effect? Argh! I hate control undead!

Hey, maybe give the Necromancer the ability to control undead as a cleric. :D


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