Animate Dead (730)

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Animate Dead (730)
Duration Special
Utility Magic  
Subtype Attack 
Components a gem, crimson salt crystals
Sorcerer Base Spells
Blood Burst (701) Attack
Mana Disruption (702) Attack
Corrupt Essence (703) Attack
Phase (704) Utility
Disintegrate (705) Attack
Mind Jolt (706) Attack
Eye Spy (707) Utility
Limb Disruption (708) Attack
Grasp of the Grave (709) Attack
Energy Maelstrom (710) Attack
Pain (711) Attack
Cloak of Shadows (712) Defensive
Balefire (713) Attack
Scroll Infusion (714) Utility
Curse (715) Attack
Pestilence (716) Attack
Evil Eye (717) Attack
Torment (718) Attack
Dark Catalyst (719) Attack
Implosion (720) Attack
Minor Summoning (725) Utility
Animate Dead (730) Utility
Ensorcell (735) Utility
Planar Shift (740) Utility

Animate Dead allows a sorcerer to animate the corpses of creatures or fellow characters, then maintain an amount of control over the reanimated body. Creature animates can attack, cast defensive magic, and hold items for their master. Player animates can only move.


Without crimson salt crystals, the initial duration of the spell is a flat 10 minutes. Each corpse may be treated with crimson salt crystals prior to casting to increase the initial duration to 20 minutes + 15 seconds per level of troll blood. Crystals consist of sea water, troll blood, and a moonflower, and must be prepared prior to using the spell. A cast of Dark Catalyst (719) at the homogenous solution will begin the crystallization process. Using level 63 massive troll king blood, an animate will have an initial duration of approximately 35 minutes and 45 seconds. Using level 100 grimswarm troll blood, the initial duration will cap at 45 minutes.

Successfully using SACRIFICE CHANNEL {target} on another appropriate creature will refresh an animate to the initial duration and heal all injuries on creature animates.

Note: Any massive troll king or grimswarm troll blood gathered (or crystals made) prior to the update made on 2016 Jan 12 (post #3449) will have the former maximum level 63 restriction still applied.


  • PREP 730 | CAST {target} to animate an appropriate creature or character for 10 minutes (refreshable).
  • SPREAD CRYSTALS ON {target} | PREP 730 | CAST {target} to animate an appropriate creature or character for 20 minutes + 15 seconds per level of troll blood (refreshable).
  • SPREAD CRYSTALS ON {target} (optional) | GET {gem} | PREP 730 | CAST {target} to raise the level of a creature animate +1 for every 400 value of the gem used, maxed at the caster's MAL (see above for applicable duration).


TELL ANIMATE TO... Action Creature-only Player-only
ATTACK Animate will attack any foe in sight. X
ATTACK {creature|player} Instructs animate to attack the specified target. X
GUARD Animate will attack any creatures that attack its master. Non-BCS animates are not able to guard. X
GO {direction|portal} Animate moves in the specified direction (must be in same room).
FOLLOW Animate will follow its master. Using this command again will stop the animate from following.
STOP Animate will cease most recent command. Will not stop the animate from following.
GET {item} Animate picks up specified item (maximum 2 items). X
DROP {item} Animate will drop specified item. X
MAGIC Instructs the animate to cast defensive/enhancive magic at its master (must be in same room). X
EXPLODE Animate will explode, injuring other near-by creatures in the process. (player-friendly, animate is lost) X
SIT Animate will sit. X
LIE Animate will lay down. X
STAND Animate will stand up. X
DIE Breaks the master's control over the animate. Body will return to its original dead state.

Maximum Animatable Level

MAL is used to determine the highest level of creature a sorcerer can animate. The following formula is used to determine a sorcerer's MAL (note: a sorcerer's MAL is capped at their level + 20):

MAL = (700s ranks, capped at level) - 10
+ (700s ranks over level ÷ 10, max of 5)
+ (WIS Bonus ÷ 5)
+ (Sorcerous Lore, Necromancy Ranks ÷ 10)

When animating other characters, add 20 to the creature MAL to get the character MAL.

Determining Target Level


Creature levels can be estimated using ASSESS (or APPRAISE). A message will be displayed of the creature's level in relation to the character's. Performing this action is typically good enough for normal use of the spell.


Corrupt Essence (703) has a TD pushdown that is partially based on creature level relative to the sorcerer's level. (BCS creatures will generate on a range of levels centered around the creature's base level. Example: Shan are a base level of 42, though you may find individual Shan to range from the high 30's to mid 40's.) When animating near one's MAL, it is important to keep track of the individual creature one is attempting to animate. Failure will result in injury. To determine the level of a creature using Corrupt Essence (703), use the following equation:

TD Pushdown = (WISDOM bonus − 1) + (Caster's level - Creature's level)

Creature Level = Caster level + (WISDOM bonus - 1) - TD Pushdown

First, one must determine the creature's normal TD vs. sorcerous magic. Mind Jolt (706) is generally the best choice for this purpose, because it will not damage the potential animate's body, and will also stun the target. Next, cast Corrupt Essence (703) at it. The TD pushdown is the original TD used against the first spell minus the corrected TD against Corrupt Essence (703). A character's level and Wisdom bonus values can be found in the INFO verb.

Example: 'Sorcerer A' casts Pain (711) at the creature whose level is to be determined, resulting in a TD of 189. 'Sorcerer B' then immediately casts Corrupt Essence (703) at the same creature, and the resulting TD is 156. Sorcerer B is level 44 and their Wisdom bonus is 30. Solve for 'C' which is the value of the creature's level. (189-156)=(30-1)+(44-C); 33 = 29 + 44 - C; C = 40. This tells us that the creature in question is level 40, or 4 levels below Sorcerer B. Now the sorcerer may determine, based on their MAL, whether or not they will be able to animate that particular creature.

Character Animates

All player characters can be animated. Animate Dead is primarily used as an alternative to dragging fallen comrades, and rescuing people from places where dragging is not possible. The success of player character animation also has an MAL check based on the target. If a sorcerer's MAL is lower then the character's level, it will NOT make it impossible for the player to animate the corpse, but it will make it more difficult to successfully animate it.

The target must have their group open or the spell will fail. An animated character may UNLINK ANIMATION to release themselves from the caster's control, causing their body to return to a dead state. Using either a white flask or Symbol of Preservation on the corpse prior to casting is recommended to prevent the character from decaying.

Note: Crimson salt crystals no longer preserve corpses.

Creature Animates

Creature animates can make highly effective hunting partners and can be broken down into three distinct types:

  • Animal
These are generally quadrupeds, they use natural attacks (bite, claw, etc.) and may also attack with maneuvers. This type is the least effective animate overall because their attacks do poor damage and cannot be bolstered by the use of a weapon, and they know no magic to be of defensive use either.
  • Magical
Creatures which rely primarily on magic as their means of attack. These are generally the least effective attacking animates, though they may know certain defensive spells which can be quite useful to their master. It is important to note that only creatures on the BCS system cast defensive magic upon their masters.
  • Warrior
These are creatures which wield weapons and shields. Generally bipedal and often even intelligent these are the best choices for offensive animates. The faster the creature, the better animate it will make. Once animated they may also be instructed to wield a weapon of their masters choice (commonly claidhmores or flaring weapons) to drastically increase their damage potential.

Constructs, golems, elementals, and most non-corporeal undead creatures cannot be animated by this magic. Other dead creatures are suitable so long as the sorcerer's Maximum Animatable Level (MAL) is equal to or higher then the creature's level, preferably not wounded ones. If a creature's suitability for animation is in question, ASSESS may be used prior to casting.

Raising the Level of an Animate

If a gem is used for the animation process it will raise the level of the animated creature by +1 for every 400 value of the gem used, maxed at the caster's MAL. This will include the appropriate combat stats for the creature. The gem must be held in hand when casting to obtain this benefit, though the spell can be cast without a gem if desired.

Exploding an Animate - Lore Benefits

TELL ANIMATE TO EXPLODE will cause a creature animate to explode. This explosion is player character friendly, and will affect a number of targets up to 2 + (Sorcerous Lore, Necromancy ranks ÷ 20). The explosions are elementally themed based on the caster's attunement, and Elemental Lore training in the element of the explosion will increase the damage of the explosion. The explosion uses the standard maneuver roll and training in Necromancy Lore increases the chances for the explosion to hit its targets.

Sorcerous Lore, Necromancy ranks 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240
Possible # of explosion targets 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Addition to MAL 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 19 20 22 24
Not all thresholds shown in relation to MAL, which adds Necromancy ranks ÷ 10.

Useful Animates

As the level of creature animates can now be raised by using a gem, the following chart is somewhat obsolete, but remains here since what was previously a good animate is still a good animate. Readers should keep in mind, however, that the number of possible usable animates has increased considerably, and that some animates with certain skills will do well in one hunting ground, but might not be as successful in another.

Per Querthose's Guide, the most useful animates tend to be warriors - those that swing a weapon and do little else. Such animates can usually swing a claidhmore (provided by their animator), which can be very effective. Here are some examples of creatures that fit this mold:

Creature Average Level Notes
Bandit Varies If you can afford to take a few swings, look for a fast swinger, and not one with a bow.
Shan warrior 42 Physical attacks, disarm
Shan ranger 42 Only slightly lower AS than a shan warrior, and can be told to cast mobility on you
Tomb troll 52 Rapidly regenerates from any wounds received
Decaying Citadel guardsman 58 Undead animates can hit other undead animates without a blessed weapon
Massive pyrothag 58
Black forest ogre 60 Make sure to pick out a rogue rather than a wizard
Muscular supplicant 67 Ideal animate. Does nothing but swing. If you look around, you can find ones with 3 second attack RT.
Raving lunatic 77 This is one option for hitting vvrael witches/warlocks (though their DS is usually too high to make it practical). Be sure to tell your animate to stop following before you leave the rift, or else you'll lose it on the way out.
Ithzir scout/Ithzir janissary 89/92 Some of the other ithzir has high DS, but these are still fairly useful. They'll frequently hurl their weapon, though - keep an eye on it.
Triton executioner/Triton combatant/Triton radical 96/98/98/100 All reasonable choices.

Ranged hunted can also be useful (e.g. Rotting Citadel arbalester). They will swing a claidhmore at 0 AS, so let them keep the bow. They do not run out of arrows. They will do considerably less damage per attack, but generally attack very quickly.


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