Undead vs. intelligent weapons


Rules Questions


In our last game session, the cleric created some undead, which, using the command undead feat, he ordered to arm themselves with weapons laying about. unknown to the cleric the weapons were intelligent and attempted to take control of the undead.

How do you go about determining who winds up in control of the undead?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

as for multiple charm : opposed charisma check ?


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TxSam88 wrote:
...the weapons were intelligent...

Weapons? Plural? Someone left multiple intelligent weapons laying around?

So, what the true question is, can the weapon overcome the magical control of the caster. I don't think there are any rules for this, and if there is, I don't have time to research it. So what I propose is a house rule.

I would have the undead make the Will save required to see if the weapon dominates it. If so, then I would give the undead a second save vs the caster's control undead, adding the weapon's Ego to the undead's Will save.

But that's just me.


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Tough one. Obviously if a weapon has a power pertaining to undead or you just give it the ability to attract and influence undead, that's perfectly fine.

In a general sense, I would say the mindless undead can't typically be controlled by the intelligent weapon, though the intelligent weapon would be able to still control its own actions. For instance, a sword couldn't force a zombie/skeleton to walk into town or to put it down, but it could give penalties to attacks (assuming you allow reluctant weapons to do that) or jump out of the creature's hand at an inopportune time. This may only seem semantic, but unless the weapon has the ability to control mindless creatures, I don't typically picture there being a power struggle. The undead might get a check to maintain their grip on the weapon, but I wouldn't allow a success to indicate any effective control in a way that would quell the intelligent weapon's actions.

Also, the weapon needs a way to communicate with mindless undead, and empathy or telepathy generally don't work and if it could speak, well, that's no different than any other speaking creature persuading the undead (it if they could speak the cleric would have probably figured out they were intelligent a while ago.)

So, while this is the Rules section, I don't see a specific interaction. I can only suggest that the situation is likely to be the undead wading into battle and the cleric just completed infuriated at them, believing it's their fault that they all seem to just be dropping their weapons (this is assuming the weapons don't want to be wielded by undead or against whatever target they are used against.)

The Exchange

If the weapons are Necromancers Yes.

In all other cases undead are immun to mind control so No.

Scarab Sages

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I suggest treating it as a personality conflict, and giving the undead a will save to avoid being subject one of the "harsher measures" as best suited for the intelligent item (or could roll a d5, since their are 5 choices listed).

This wouldn't disrupt the caster's control as the undead would still follow orders to best of their ability, but they also won't disobey the item should they fail their will save. Have them do nothing if the orders directly conflict.


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The OP didn't say what kind of undead they were, whether mindless or not. Since the command undead feat was mentioned, it seems that the undead were not simple skeletons or zombies made by animate dead (since command undead wouldn't be needed.)

Precisely what sort of undead we are dealing with would help narrow down the answer.


TxSam88 wrote:

In our last game session, the cleric created some undead, which, using the command undead feat, he ordered to arm themselves with weapons laying about. unknown to the cleric the weapons were intelligent and attempted to take control of the undead.

How do you go about determining who winds up in control of the undead?

Cursed weapons I presume? Anyway, I like what GM Hands of Fate posted.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Could have been a warrior cult trying to imbue their weapons with greater powers, or something like that, only to have their ritual go terribly wrong resulting in the destruction of the cult and the creation of the intelligent weapons the heroes later find (who are themselves the former cult members). :D

There is nothing in the intelligent item rules that indicate that items asserting control over characters is a mind-affecting effect, which makes me think it could work against undead just fine. However, it does use words such as dominant, and dominance, which could arguably be implying a compulsion effect, which would most definitely be mind-affecting.

Ultimately, expect table variance.


Dave Justus wrote:

The OP didn't say what kind of undead they were, whether mindless or not. Since the command undead feat was mentioned, it seems that the undead were not simple skeletons or zombies made by animate dead (since command undead wouldn't be needed.)

Precisely what sort of undead we are dealing with would help narrow down the answer.

Yes, they were undead created by the animate dead spell. Bloody skeletons to be precise.


GM Hands of Fate wrote:
TxSam88 wrote:
...the weapons were intelligent...

Weapons? Plural? Someone left multiple intelligent weapons laying around?

So, what the true question is, can the weapon overcome the magical control of the caster. I don't think there are any rules for this, and if there is, I don't have time to research it. So what I propose is a house rule.

I would have the undead make the Will save required to see if the weapon dominates it. If so, then I would give the undead a second save vs the caster's control undead, adding the weapon's Ego to the undead's Will save.

But that's just me.

yep, multiple intelligent weapons. it was part of the adventure path apparently..


Thanks for all the input, here is how we handled it.

Each undead got a will save to resist the control of the intelligent weapons, just like a character would.

then we did opposed charisma checks to see whether the cleric or the intelligent weapons maintained controls, just like you would if two clerics were trying to control the undead via the command undead feat.

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