Necromancy Flavor Question


4th Edition


Forgive the brevity of this post - trying to do this on my smart phone, which does not make it easy.

But just out of curiosity, since 5E removed the "evil/good" descriptions from spells and one of the major Wizard schools' abilities are seriously gimped by banning undead, I am just curious how other DM's handle Necromancy in their games.

Do you still tag it as always evil even though it's not mandated in the mechanics any longer? Do you allow players to roll up necromancers in nonevil games? Do you slam down raising undead?


My default answer is that very few intelligent species appreciate necromancers. The primary reason is most people would prefer not to have their bodies reanimated and used as puppets by someone else. Certain species/cultures/individuals will break from this for their specific reasons, but that's when I know what those reasons are.

In general I consider necromancy to be a defilement of the body and/or soul. Raising something as undead is the ultimate defilement that you can do in this regards. In general, most people don't appreciate that.


I always liked the Necromancers of Hollowfaust in the Scarred Lands Campaign. A (mostly) non-evil group of animaters-of-the-dead, who have more of a waste-not want-not kind of attitude towards the dead. The people of their City-State are protected by an army of both Undead and Golems, as well as one of the most powerful and organised Guilds of Spellcasters on the planet! And they DO look after their people. After all, where is the army of the future going to come from.....?


I always quite liked criminals being turned into undead as punishment for their crimes.
Can't recall any 5e issues with necromancy just yet

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We haven't really seen a lot of necromancy in our 5th Ed. campaigns.

The closest thing to necromancy to occur is when my NG cleric of Life dedicated Desna got resurrected by a succubus-balor and came back all dark and emo. I started using bane, bestow curse, contagion, inflict wounds and "dark" spells like those.


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Belulzebub wrote:

Forgive the brevity of this post - trying to do this on my smart phone, which does not make it easy.

But just out of curiosity, since 5E removed the "evil/good" descriptions from spells and one of the major Wizard schools' abilities are seriously gimped by banning undead, I am just curious how other DM's handle Necromancy in their games.

Do you still tag it as always evil even though it's not mandated in the mechanics any longer? Do you allow players to roll up necromancers in nonevil games? Do you slam down raising undead?

I do. My games don't really change regardless of system - necromancy is fundamentally evil at our table, largely because it always has been.


I've never considered Necromancy evil, though most practioners use it as such. Even in 3.PF, I remove the alignment tags because I don't need some rules governing how I decide morality in my games


If you read the descriptions in the MM, the kinds of undead that a necromancer can create all turn into murderbots if the creator loses control for any reason. That doesn't necessarily make creating undead an unambiguously evil act in every circumstance whatsoever, but in most cases it does indicate a severe lack of concern for the well being of others. Do it very often, and your alignment is going to be heading toward evil.

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