If undead exist, why do cemeteries exist & cremation not a standard?

I have less fingers than the nr of cemeteries I cleared in campaigns of various scenarios and game mechanics. I find time and time again cemeteries crawling with undead. Either graves or crypts.

I understand the exotic/horror nature of a cemetery but if it happens once, twice, a million times, surely some peasants can get the hint and burn their dead?

A friend said that improper burial through fire angers the god who wants xyz ritual, that some undead are ghosts & other incorporeal undead BECAUSE they can’t find their body so they throw a major ragequit.

Surely there must be a better reason.

What happens to a corporeal undead creature when it is destroyed?

An undead creature is:

Not at risk of death from massive damage, but when reduced to 0 hit points or less, it is immediately destroyed.

What does "destroyed" mean exactly here? Do they just become an inanimate corpse? Do they turn to dust?

My players will soon encounter a curst, a type of undead that, after reaching 0hp, instead of being destroyed it becomes paralyzed until it regenerates later. Since my players could fail the Knowledge (religion) check to identify the creature, I’m wondering if they could realize something is amiss when the curst drops paralyzed (because he isn’t being "destroyed" like normal undead).

I’m specifically looking for something official, not advice on how to house-rule it.

What are all the spells that target undead? Or in a case does anyone know a site that can filter that

I’ve looked at the new gothic lineages and I wanted to personally look at the pros and cons of being dual as a Humanoid and an Undead/Construct or etc… and wanted to weigh out if it was worth the being an undead and being unaffected by poison and such, but vulnerable to turn undead and other targeting spells that focus on undead.

What is the strongest minion a necromancers Command undead ability can control?

I am currently a lv13 Necromancer and my 14th lv ability lets me control 1 undead. I want to know what the strongest official undead creature is with an int of 11 or less so I can start tracking 1 down now. I’ve seen this question asked before but I haven’t found an answer that doesn’t include using the spell feeblemind which is something I don’t have access to. Just to clarify by strongest I mean I’m just looking for the highest CR

Can undead created by Animate Dead use magic wands?

One of my players learned the Animate Dead spell. He asked me if he could equip his zombies and skeletons with weapons (Which is possible) or wands.

I’m pretty sure that undead can’t use any magic item that requires attunement as there is no mentioning of skeletons/zombies being able to attune to magic items, but I’m not sure wether they can use wands or other magic items that don’t require attunement.

In the description of the skeleton in the MM it states

Obedient Servants … A skeleton can fight with weapons and wear armor, can load and fire a catapult or trebuchet, scale a siege ladder, form a shield wall, or dump boiling oil. However, it must receive careful instructions explaining how such tasks are accomplished. …

The description of the zombie states:

Mindless Soldiers … A zombie armed with a weapon uses it, but the zombie won’t retrieve a dropped weapon or other tool until told to do so.

Based on this I’d deduce that those undead can only fight using weapons and not magic wands. On the other hand I didn’t find anything that explicitly states that it’s not possible.

Is there any other source that explicitly states that it’s possible/not possible

In D&D 3.5, how does Awaken Undead interact with Bloodhulks?

D&D 3.5’s Monster Manual 4 introduced "Bloodhulks", three new kinds of mindless undead which are not templated from a base creature.

The Spell Compendium has the most updated version of the spell "Awaken Undead", which adds intelligence to an undead creature, "subject to the limitation that an undead cannot be more intelligent than is typical of a living creature of the same kind." It also gives it a bunch of feats and abilities, based on what it had when alive.

How does this spell interact with mindless undead that don’t have a base creature? I’m looking specifically at bloodhulks, but there are other mindless undead that this could apply to as well.

What can an Animated Undead do to Defend Itself? [duplicate]

From the spell Animate Undead,

If you issue no commands, the creature only defends itself against hostile creatures.

A zombie is as smart as a mastiff while a skeleton is as smart as an ape.

What are some actions the animated undead might take in order to defend itself? Does it ready an attack? Does it move towards the hostiles to engage? I suggest these actions because animals of similar intelligence might do the same.

How does an Animated Undead Determine Hostility, and how does it Defend Itself?

From the spell Animate Undead,

If you issue no commands, the creature only defends itself against hostile creatures.

There are two troubling terms here, for me. One is defends, and the other is hostile.

Defends is not to my knowledge a keyword. Does the undead only take the Dodge action against hostile creatures, or does it also attempt to eliminate the threat?

Hostile is a keyword, but I’m not positive it is being used as a keyword in this situation. The keyword states

A hostile creature opposes the adventurers and their goals but doesn’t necessarily attack them on sight.

Is this the definition the animated undead is using? Must the hostility be directed towards the undead itself? Must the hostility involve an attack for the undead to take action?

The implications: An undead frequently may not need to receive a command if it plays loosely with the definitions of defends and hostile.

Can the Necromancy wizard’s Command Undead feature be used on the Nightwalker from Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes?

The School of Necromancy wizard has the Command Undead feature (PHB, p. 119):

Starting at 14th level, you can use magic to bring undead under your control, even those created by other wizards. As an action, you can choose one undead that you can see within 60 feet of you. That creature must make a Charisma saving throw against your wizard spell save DC. If it succeeds, you can’t use this feature on it again. If it fails, it becomes friendly to you and obeys your commands until you use this feature again.

Intelligent undead are harder to control in this way. If the target has an Intelligence of 8 or higher, it has advantage on the saving throw. If it fails the saving throw and has an Intelligence of 12 or higher, it can repeat the saving throw at the end of every hour until it succeeds and breaks free.

The Nightwalker from Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes (p. 216) has 8 charisma, 6 intelligence and a CR of 20.

Isn’t it a bit crazy? Outside of simply not putting this thing in the game if you have a necromancy wizard in it, what else can happen (or can the DM do) that is gonna prevent the game from breaking?