Animate Dead

School necromancy [evil]; Level antipaladin 3, cleric/oracle 3, shaman 3, sorcerer/wizard 4; Domain death 3; Subdomain souls 3; Mystery bones 3


Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (an onyx gem worth at least 25 gp per Hit Die of the undead)


Range touch
Targets one or more corpses touched
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no


This spell turns corpses into undead skeletons or zombies that obey your spoken commands.

The undead can be made to follow you, or they can be made to remain in an area and attack any creature (or just a specific kind of creature) entering the place. They remain animated until they are destroyed. A destroyed skeleton or zombie can’t be animated again.

Regardless of the type of undead you create with this spell, you can’t create more HD of undead than twice your caster level with a single casting of animate dead. The desecrate spell doubles this limit.

The undead you create remain under your control indefinitely. No matter how many times you use this spell, however, you can control only 4 HD worth of undead creatures per caster level. If you exceed this number, all the newly created creatures fall under your control, and any excess undead from previous castings become uncontrolled. You choose which creatures are released. Undead you control through the Command Undead feat do not count toward this limit.

Skeletons: A skeleton can be created only from a mostly intact corpse or skeleton. The corpse must have bones. If a skeleton is made from a corpse, the flesh falls off the bones.

Zombies: A zombie can be created only from a mostly intact corpse. The corpse must be that of a creature with a physical anatomy. Editor’s Note: The rule regarding costing double HD for creating variant bloody skeleton and burning skeleton variants was not included in the fast zombie and plague zombie variant zombie template details. It is left to the GMs discretion if that rule would apply to creating variant zombies.

Editor’s Note

The bloody skeleton and burning skeleton variants are created by use of the animate dead spell but count as double their normal HD when doing so.

Note: This spell can be used on any mostly intact dead vermin that has an exoskeleton. When this is done the creature gains the exoskeleton template. The template does not indicate any additional costs or requirements (see Exoskeleton template.) Source: AP91

Animate Dead, Lesser

Source PRG:UM

School necromancy [evil]; Level cleric/oracle 2, shaman 2, sorcerer/wizard 3


Target one corpse
Duration instantaneous


This spell functions as animate dead, except you can only create a single Small or Medium skeleton or zombie. You cannot create variant skeletons or zombies with this spell.

Mythic Animate Dead

Add your tier to your caster level when determining how many Hit Dice of undead you can animate with a single casting of this spell. This doesn’t increase the total number of Hit Dice worth of undead you can control. By expending a second use of mythic power, you can ignore the spell’s material component cost.

Augmented (6th): If you expend two uses of mythic power, any skeletons or zombies you create gain either the agile or savage mythic template. This template lasts for a number of days equal to your tier. Alternatively, if you’re 8th tier and expend 10 uses of mythic power, any skeletons you create permanently gain the mythic skeleton template.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook. © 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Magic. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Jason Bulmahn, Tim Hitchcock, Colin McComb, Rob McCreary, Jason Nelson, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Sean K Reynolds, Owen K.C. Stephens, and Russ Taylor.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Mythic Adventures © 2013, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Jason Bulmahn, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Sean K Reynolds, Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Ben Bruck, Jim Groves, Tim Hitchcock, Tracy Hurley, Jonathan Keith, Jason Nelson, Tom Phillips, Ryan Macklin, F. Wesley Schneider, Amber Scott, Tork Shaw, Russ Taylor, and Ray Vallese.

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