Consecutive casting of Raise up the Dead


How do you interpret the consecutive casting of raise up the dead?

Lets say there is an ongoing fight between the PCs and 2 mobs of NPCs.

As minions start to fall, the PC’S necromancer starts casting rise up the dead on a basic difficulty.

Would that mean that he can raise up 2 minions / turn if there are enough dead bodies around and keep controlling them for the duration of the scene or there can be only “one active spell rolling” at a given time?

Based on a necromancer top talent which name I can’t remember atm, allows the necromancer to maintain control over his undeads as long as they stay close range which tells me that the system is not against the idea to hoard a “legion of undeads”.

Also, I can’t remember if the spell were to require a continuous concentration.

Looking for your feedback and ideas.

As the Necromancer only can raise Skeletal Warriors, that implies the dead to have been dead for a while. Those “freshly fallen” are probably too fresh to qualify as the material part of a Skeletal Warrior - unless you somehow remove the flesh and entrails etc. before casting the spell. The spell description and the Momentum spends only talk about Skeletal Warriors.

At least I would raise the required amount of Momentum to even reanimate a single newly dead corpse significantly, maybe 2 Momentum for a Minion or 4 Momentum for a Toughened.

Other than that, unless it is explicitly described in the spell description, there is not limit on how often you can cast a spell, there is no “concentration” limit or such - but there is a Momentum limit, so you need to put all the Momentum you need, for specific Momentum spend options as well as to prolong the duration of a spell, into the spell at the moment of casting.

I’m aware of the extra momentum spend options, the only thing I have concerns about is the repeated cast of the base spell.

With other words, can several raise up the dead spell be running parallel or not.
(It costs resolve to cast so there is a blocker here…)

Regarding the skeletal warrior requirement:

“By reaching into the night and calling to the angry dead,
you can bind them into the shackles of their former bodies,
or bodies of others. Little does it matter how familiar these
feckless spirits will be in their new mortal cages:…”

As I read it, the skeletal warrior is just an example, what happens here is that, you summon dead spirits and bind them to an unhabituated body.


I agree with Bence that Skeletal Warriors is merely an example of what a necromancer may attempt. This is Conan after all and limiting it to such is just a limit to the imagination going into the spells use.

Yes, I see the Skeletal Warrior as examples, too. That does not mean that other “materials” don’t require more Momentum, as the freshly dead might be a bit more resilient than old skeletons.

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Well, I wouldn’t punish the players with additional difficulty, the spell on its own is not that strong any ways.

From the spell mechanic’s point of view, one soul leaves the body, and another one enters it…yes the original soul is around for a while, but the body is habitable.

(It’s kinda like evil dead if you know the movie or the series.)

My only concern is that, if I should allow the PC to potentially raise 2 minions / round if there are enough dead bodies around or say that, by casting the spell, you create an invisible connection between you and your minions and there could be only one connection maintained at a time (its not stated in the spell’s description, just wondering).

The spell itself allows to raise of more minions or even elites with a single cast with the spend of additional momentum, but doesn’t says that you can’t simply keep casting it on a basic D.

Yes, it will cost more resolve to cast it multiple times but there is a greater chance of success (we are playing shadows of the past, so in general the max TN the PCs have is around 15), or a smaller chance to fail.

Combat is usually fast in this game, so most of the time there will be 6-8 minions summoned by the necro, minus the ones which were slain by the time, which doesn’t seems to be game breaking as specially, since combat oriented PCs will do much more dmg at the early stages of the combat.

Just wondering if we play it as intended or not.

You could and you should allow that. Why not? The risks of casting a spell every round are significant, and a Complication that is rolled could be that you lost control over the already re-animated undead and they are now uncontrolled, bound to kill the sorcerer. That is what Complications are for.

If a sorcerer PC casts this spell in three consecutive rounds, he or she cannot leave the current zone, if they spend the Minor Action to prepare the spell, else they would cast at +1 Difficulty.
That means they are a stationary target for everyone who, after the very first spell, knows they are sorcerers.

And engaging in obvious spell casting, that makes it clear - even for your party members! - that your are one of those evil, depraved, untrustworthy, traitorous, backstabbing, friend and family sacrificing sorcerers! - And other PCs might react on that accordingly.

“Normal” Sorcerers in a Conan PC group are usually of untrustworthy reputation - well deservedly. But a Necromancer? What kind of Hyborian hero would associate themselves with those, other evil, depraved, morally corrupt sorcerers look down upon, because even they cannot bear the atrocious, blasphemous way necromancers abuse their powers?

Of course, your player group might be well OK with playing the “abysmally evil” group of non-heroes, then this kind of re-animating the fallen foes and making their comrades fight the bodies of their friends, brothers, sisters, spouses, might be alright with them.
And that would lead to a much more efficient way of using the sorcery skill:
Don’t cast Sorcery every round to re-animate some puny minions. Re-animate a few, then, next round, use the Display of Sorcerous Might on the group of foes.
5[CD] plus Personality bonus damage at Medium Range, Area quality, Intense quality!
That will take out more opponents in a single action than dozens of minion-type NPC undead might be able to.


Well written @FrankF, and I like your approach, and do agree with the points, I just wanted to see if others share the same idea or I’ve missed something.

Regarding the necro’s “reputation”, well that’s a big elephant in the room, the players haven’t decided yet, how to digest/role play it. We don’t want to punish the PC who tends to play intelligent yet evil characters, on the other hand, we like to play the game in a “realistic” way (according to the game’s standards).

So yes, it’s still a question, why the necro is still alive… :slight_smile: