How many CR of undead can a character control with Animate Dead?

The Animate Dead spell allows you to raise and control zombies or skeletons. The number changes with spell level, and a character’s spell slots change as they level up too.

How can do I calculate the maximum number of undead controllable indefinitely with Animate Dead?

Not including items, feats, tricks, just the number/CR of undead per level that a character can control.

Can musical instruments under the effect of Animate Objects be used to make music?

Can Animate Objects be used to make musical instruments produce that instrument’s music?

The spell’s description is a bit vague as to how much control you have over animated objects for non-combat purposes.

Wind instruments probably wouldn’t work but I’d assume mechanical instruments could work, such as accordions or drums.

What’s the easiest way to animate a (non-player) mesh?

I made a coffin with some animations in Maya, exported it to Unreal, and I want to start the animation from a blueprint, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how.

I tried:

  • Play Animation
  • Get Anim Instance > Cast To AnimBlueprint > call custom event in AnimBlueprint (LiftCoffinInAir)
  • Get Anim Instance > Cast To AnimBlueprint > set boolean (which is what the event would do)
  • A blueprint interface called from here, and with an event in the animation blueprint

enter image description here

The only way I got the animation to play at all was by setting the boolean to true every blueprint update.

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This means that my animation graph works fine, but for some reason none of the events in the event graph work.

Any ideas?

Will casting Dispel Magic on one construct from Animate Objects end the animation of all the constructs?

Animate objects states a condition for ending the animation and control of the constructs:

Each target animates and becomes a creature under your control until the spell ends or until reduced to 0 hit points.

Dispel magic says:

Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends. For each spell of 4th level or higher on the target, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a successful check, the spell ends.

If a character casts dispel magic on one of ten tiny constructs animated by animate objects, does that end the animate objects spell, and thereby end the animation of the other 9 constructs as well?

Is this replacement for Animate Dead balanced?

I am building a Circle of Spores druid and do not feel like animate dead would fit well in the party that I am joining, so I am looking to re-flavour it to be more plant based.

I will probably add a follow up question on plant-based equivalents to zombies and skeletons, but for now I am just looking at the spell itself.

To replicate the requirement for corpses I created a cantrip which will create the materials for the new spell, and that cantrip requires bodies.

The cantrip:


Necromancy Cantrip

Casting time: 1 action

Range: Touch

Components: V, S

Duration: 1 minute

You reach out and touch the corpse of a creature. Over the next minute, the corpse begins to rapidly decompose, sprouting fungus and moss as it begins to decay into mulch.

At the end of the duration, you can use your action to extract a single seed from the corpse, which can be used as a component for the Animate Plants spell.

Applicable requirements for resurrection are not affected by this spell.

The spell itself:


3rd-level transmutation

Casting Time: 1 minute

Range: 10 feet

Components: V, S, M (a seed created by the decompose cantrip, a drop of water, and a pinch of dirt or soil)

Duration: Instantaneous

This spell creates a plant based servant.

You plant the seed in the ground and as it grows your spell imbues it with life, raising it as a creature. The target quickly grows into the shape of a humanoid with the stats of either a skeleton or zombie (you choose) over the casting time of the spell.

On each of your turns, you can use a bonus action to mentally command any creature you made with this spell if the creature is within 60 feet of you (if you control multiple creatures, you can command any or all of them at the same time, issuing the same command to each one).

You decide what action the creature will take and where it will move during its next turn, or you can issue a general command, such as to guard a particular chamber or corridor. If you issue no commands, the creature only defends itself against hostile creatures.

Once given an order, the creature continues to follow it until its task is complete. The creature is under your control for 24 hours, after which it stops obeying any command you’ve given it.

To maintain control of the creature for another 24 hours, you must cast this spell on the creature again before the current 24-hour period ends. This use of the spell reasserts your control over up to four creatures you have animated with this spell, rather than animating a new one.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you animate or reassert control over two additional undead creatures for each slot level above 3rd.

The majority of the text from animate plants is taken directly from the animate dead spell, so I think the crux of the matter is if there are any likely shenanigans I can pull with my version that the corpse requirement prevents on the normal version, plus anything else I have not thought about.

Can objects animated by the Animate Objects spell take psychic damage?

The Animate Objects spell description reads:

An animated object is a construct with AC, hit points, attacks, Strength, and Dexterity determined by its size. Its Constitution is 10 and its Intelligence and Wisdom are 3, and its Charisma is 1. Its speed is 30 feet; if the object lacks legs or other appendages it can use for locomotion, it instead has a flying speed of 30 feet and can hover. If the object is securely attached to a surface or a larger object, such as a chain bolted to a wall, its speed is 0. It has blindsight with a radius of 30 feet and is blind beyond that distance. When the animated object drops to 0 hit points, it reverts to its original object form, and any remaining damage carries over to its original object form.

According to the description, it seems like objects animated by the Animate Object spell aren’t immune to psychic or poison damage. This is in contrast to every other animated object in game, from animated armors to tiny servants created by the XGE spell. Are objects animated by the Animate Objects spell an exception to general rule? Are they susceptible to poison and psychic damage, as well as conditions like charmed or frightened?

Can you use animate dead on something that was previously animated by the same spell?

If a zombie or skeleton that you have animated with Animate Dead is reduced to 0 hit points, can you reanimate it using Animate dead?

The spell description only says:

Choose a pile of bones or a corpse of a Medium or Small humanoid within range.

Well presumably when a skeleton reduces to 0 hit points it becomes a pile of bones. Even if the bones are damaged, the spell does not require ‘unbroken bones’.

As a dungeon master I might require using the Mending cantrip to restore broken bones to some degree, however I can’t find any specific ruling.

I’m looking for a rules focused answer rather than a fluffy home rule answer 🙂

Why Does Necromancer’s Undead Thralls grant Animate Dead?

So Undead Thralls adds Animate Dead to your spellbook if it isn’t already there, at level 6. You can get a free spell by holding off on Animate Dead until level 6, but why would the Necromancy school of all schools encourage a Wizard to use this spell later than all other classes? Or you take it at level 5 like any other Wizard could, and miss out on the free addition to your spellbook.

Both of those seem more like a punishment than a benefit. I was considering homebrewing this to grant an additional Necromancy spell (of level 3 or lower), but I want to make sure I’m not missing some strong benefit of this first.

How to animate two or more unrelated properties on a sprite GameObject using animation layers?

I have a sprite in Unity 2019.3. It is animated like so (with provided mockups):

  • Its base animation is just one frame; i.e. it has the same Sprite whether idle or moving.
  • When the player is invincible, the ship flashes in and out. This is implemented by setting the alpha to 0 and 1 and back.
  • The player can acquire up to three levels of shields. The is implemented as a child GameObject with its own Sprite (but not its own Animator).
  • When a player acquires a power-up, they briefly flash colors. This can happen while they’re shielded, invincible, or both. This is implemented with a custom palette-swap shader, not by replacing the Sprite.

These animations are all independent of one another, and can all occur at any time. For example, when a shielded player takes a hit their shield downgrades but they also gain brief invincibility. It would look like this:

A single state machine to account for these possibilities (and others, depending on whether or not I add other power-ups or mechanics) would be prohibitively complex. So I’m going with animation layers.

I was hoping that it would be as simple as adding separate animation layers with their own state machines, then marking each layer as additive. Nope. I have no idea what I’m doing.

How can I use Mecanim to animate my sprite as I have previously described?

Are lower level illusion spells capable of producing illusions that animate passively?

Can lower level illusion spells, specifically minor illusion, silent image and major image, create an illusion that can passively animate itself without requiring any further input on your part?

There have been a couple of other Q&As about this but they don’t seem conclusive.

  • Can Minor Illusion create animated illusion to Follow a creature? – I answered this, but wasn’t able to find anything that specifically suggested that minor illusion or silent image can be passively animated, so I assumed they can’t be.
  • Is Silent Image animated if an action is not used to move it? – the top answer suggests that silent image at least needs your action to be able to do, but there are comments arguing the lack of RAW support:

    The phrasing in major image is almost identical. It says nothing about the image moving “passively”. – Szega Jun 22 ’18 at 8:50

I’m guessing the answer will be definitely no for minor illusion, probably no for silent image, but I’m not sure about major image, and in all 3 cases, I wouldn’t know how to prove these assertions from their respective spell descriptions.