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are necromancers inherently evil? (D&D 5E)
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are necromancers inherently evil? (D&D 5E)
Perhaps a thin scraggly hermit who doesn't sleep much. If his entire goal is focused on learning ancient arcana and lore and he uses necromancy as a tool to get it, is he inherently evil? Perhaps his long term goal is resurrecting wizards of legend to learn lore from them. Maybe with a higher goal of trying to create cures for diseases etc using ancient knowledge? Could you swing that as CN or CG?
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>>44918174
Yes necromancers are always evil because popular culture demands it to be so, deal with it. As long as you play shit gamed like D&D there are no exceptions, no grey area allowed! Shut your whore mouth you are not supposed to ask INTELLIGENT QUESTIONS.
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>>44918174
How many times do books, shows, and theater have to say it before you necronominiggers finally understand that trying to beat death is a fucking bad idea that leads to suffering regardless of the end goal?
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Is the Evil spell descriptor still present in undead creation/summoning spells in 5E?

Does it exist anymore in general (now that classes aren't restricted by alignment anymore)?

Basically, OP, in any edition of D&D you can become an Evil magic user simply by casting spells that happen to be Evil.

A Good necromander in, say, 3.x could exist but wouldn't be using several spells that increment the amount of undead in his plane of existence. The fundamental principle being that negative energy is inherently bad an so is undeath, that is a crime against life and nature.

A Good Necromancer could freely use a number of Necromancy spells that do not have the Evil descriptor, but I do understand that they're not the coolest.
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>>44918249
Stop it with your christian education, mr. anon. There are many settings where beating death will not lead to any shit like that.

But still, yeah, in 5e liches are inherently evil, and there's no way around it. They're eating souls, for fuck's sake.
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>>44918274
>The fundamental principle being that negative energy is inherently bad an so is undeath, that is a crime against life and nature.
Before you reply to that post, let me add that I'm not trying to convince you, it's the explanation you would find in, say, BoVD and other sources.
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>>44918174
That depends on what you mean by "necromancer". A lot of people only associate necromancers with animating dead bodies these days, but there's a lot more to necromancy than the undead.

You can definitely have a non-evil (or even good) necromancer that focuses on things like communicating with spirits, using fear effects, or even manipulating life energy... but in D&D, animating the dead is specifically an evil act, because in the generic D&D cosmology, animating someone's dead body fucks with the soul or the person that originally inhabited that body. And fucking with somebody's soul is a Very Bad Thing in the base D&D cosmology.

You can have a setting where that's not the case, where animating a dead body is no different than animating a table lamp... you're using magic to make an object move, it just so happens that this object is a dead body. But that's not the baseline assumption for D&D.
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>>44918289
Fuck life and nature!

Undeath represent!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP_7nFldRtY
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>>44918283
>Attempting to beat death being a bad idea
>A christian value

No
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>>44918174
It depends on the setting you fucking flaming faggot!
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>>44918314
M8, there are stories about heroes beating/cheating/playing lyre to death all over the world. Some of the heroes even succeed.
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>>44918174
think of a wizard of any sort as a scientist

You can have scientists who know how to synthesize powerful poison or devise a gun from a few pieces of metal.

This knowledge doesn't make them evil. It's the application.

I'm only replying because you've phrased it in such a way which makes it seem like you started d&d with 5e
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>>44918174
No. Bodies are useless husks, might as well put them to some use. Messing with souls is probably evil though.
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>>44918174
>>44918235
The new DnD video game has a good necromancer in your party. So necromancers don't have to be evil.
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>>44918314
Wow, you sure showed that straw devil.
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>>44918352
And many fail. Regardless I don't see how its solely a christian value.
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>>44918314
time to get rid of all medicine and anything dedicated to prolonging human lifespans then
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>>44918174
I'm a human that was so obsessed with tales of heroes and epic quests, that he turned himself into a lich so he could as much time as he could reading about them before going out to write the greatest adventure novel in world. I don't think he's evil.
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>>44918400
>Prolonging lifespan and resisting disease
>The same as raising corpses.
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>>44918394
Can you point me to the part of my post where I said that it is an exclusively christian value? I just said that you sound like one, that's all.
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>>44918405
>before going out to write the greatest adventure novel in world

Your party has been contacted by a famous author, who wants you to act as his bodyguards while going on a book-signing tour of the kingdom. When you arrive at the Rendezvous, it turns out the author is a Lich that is being hunted by several holy orders. What do?
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>>44918411
Well, let me use necromancy to prolong my lifespan indefinitely then. Problems?
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>>44918405
>to become a lich he has to find ten babies, one of each gender of the human, elf, dwarven, halfling and orc races and slaughter them, gathering their blood in a cup, mixing it and drinking their combined blood.
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>>44918174

Yes, they're inherently evil. Negative energy, man. It's like how - In my setting - every half-orc is the product of the violent, bloody rape of screaming women who hated the rape-spawn that filled their bodies.

If a Necromancer says he isn't evil, he's just lying to himself. Just working with Necromancy gradually corrupts you with the taint, and eventually you start cackling and raising an undead army to fuck over everyone.

Think of it as nuclear radiation. Except it's not just your body, it's your soul and mind that's being blighted too.
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>>44918415
It's a reoccurring theme for many stories across many cultures over millenia. How does pointing that out make me sound like a follower of a religion whose messiah is a zombie?
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>>44918426
I go with him, because a lich not obsessed with world domination and the like is cool
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>>44918427
Yes. You're dead and just relocating your soul into a different corpse or using your own like a puppet. If you were simply staying alive and preserving your health it wouldn't be Death Magic.
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>>44918468
I'm not killing anyone while doing it. Problems?
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>>44918436
I'm pretty sure that's not how it happened
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>>44918453
>Lich spreading his influence across the world with Literature
>Subverting the minds of the young and scholars alike

Anon no, your getting caught in the long con. Maybe this century he'll be cool, but by the next or the one after that who knows what he'll be capable of.
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>>44918300
>there's a lot more to necromancy than the undead.
Like healing spells.
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>>44918487
That's how it works in my setting.
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>>44918481
It's unnatural. Also you'll probably go insane or grow a god complex eventually.
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>>44918494
He'll be capable of writing kick-ass stories, that's what
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If your game doesn't use arbitrary alignment tables, you can be a good anything as long as you know how to roleplay it well.
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>>44918508
Homosexuality is unnatural too, and there's no risk if you use a condom. I don't see the problem here, to be honest.

Yes, I know, you gay fags, animals can be homosexual too, whatever.
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>>44918508
>or grow a god complex eventually.
that's called puberty, and is perfectly natural.
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>>44918174
The entry in the Necromancy specialisation in the 5th edition PHB mentions that not all necromancers are evil, although necromancy is considered a taboo in most societies.
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>>44918542
You are not wrong.
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>>44918572
>although necromancy is considered a taboo in most societies.
But society is, like, stupid, maaan. They are opressing, like, free thinkers and stuff.

Now I want to play a hipster necromancer.
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>>44918606
hermits were the original hipster
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>>44918542
Is it unnatural if all forms of higher animal life engage in it? The fact that reptiles, birds, and mammals, and such all engage in such acts on a fairly regular basis seems to point to it being completely natural.

Whereas the use of necromantic energies are actually unnatural considering they are artificial constructs of magical death/life energy used to alter and interrupt natural processes that are not found within nature or natural creatures.
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Depends on the setting
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>>44918274
I don't think there is such a thing as an Evil descriptor in 5e. Alignment itself is highly optional in that edition.

I think 3e and its derivatives are the only versions of D&D in which necromantic spells that animate the dead are inherently evil, although the idea of "black necromancy" (as opposed to the white and gray varieties) was introduced in 2e. Even in Ravenloft, where necromantic magic, even that of a benign nature, is extremely dangerous, it is not precisely because the magic is evil as such.

Even in 3e (from a design perspective) animate dead seems to have been given the Evil descriptor for the purpose of denying it to priests of inappropriate deities (what with the reworking of cleric spellcasting and the change from Spheres to Domains). It could indeed have been spurred by a writer's reconceptualization of the spells in question (I am aware of no documentation from that stage on the subject), but what it practically accomplishes in core is restricting good clerics' spell lists. The rest came after later.

Either way, it's easy to house rule. If the DM says raising the dead is evil in the setting it is until and unless he changes his mind. Likewise, it may be morally questionable or even accepted. Just be aware of how the choice affects the setting.
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>>44918174
Can't believe this wasn't the first reply.
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The thing is the necromancy school covers a lot of spells that aren't

A: Inherent evil

and

B: Don't make undead

EX: Deathwatch


We need a term for mages who raise the undead that isn't Necromancer
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>>44918400
This is what Christian Scientists actually believe.
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>>44918752
No we need a new name for those spells. The fundamental part of necromancy is raising the dead
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>>44918500
Depends on the edition. In 3.x they're conjuration. Most of them, anyway. In 5e, evocation.
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>>44918814
Pre-3.X, they were Necromancy.
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>>44918174
DAZED, REELING, ABOUT TO BREAK
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>>44918818
Correct. I'm sorry. I thought that was was implicit to what I said, but reading it now I can see how it would be ambiguous.
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>>44918389
>D&D video games
>relevant D&D tabletop discussion
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>>44918750
>Evil Undead suddenly aren't Evil just so I can shoehorn my special snowflake character in

That's why that garbage wasn't the first reply.
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>>44919011
>Evil Undead
wew lad

how about you stop playing PF?
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>>44918235
>As long as you play shit gamed like D&D

The D&D haters are the most annoying scum on this board. They really think that they might be able to make D&D less popular just by bitching about it at every opportunity.
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>>44919029
>non-Evil unintelligent Undead and Good Necromancers

wew lad

how about you stop being a hipster?
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>>44919053
>stop having fun
Admit it, you never played with actual people.
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>>44919053
>Mufasa is hipster tier
>Casper is hipster-tier
>Centuries of ancient storytelling tradition is hipster tier
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>>44918389
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>>44919048
What's funny is that necromancy is usually considered worse in other settings than D&D because in them it's solely geared toward undead creation.

>>44919058
>shitty special snowflake
>fun for anyone but yourself

>>44919067
>Mufasa
Not Undead. And who cites Disney movies as a justification for anything?

>Casper
Not hipster-tier but shit-tier. Also a childrens' cartoon/movie.

>Centuries of ancient storytelling tradition
[citation needed] because most stories of undead involve them being horrible assholes who come back to kill their families for improper burials.
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>>44918300
>in D&D, animating the dead is specifically an evil act

>>44918274
>in any edition of D&D you can become an Evil magic user simply by casting spells that happen to be Evil.

That is simply not the case. Prior to 2e I am unaware of any spell that is inherently moral, though please correct me if I you know of something earlier. In 2e, Animate Dead is specifically listed as a neutral spell. As far as I know, Animate Dead being evil is a quirk of 3e and the controversial idea of it corrupting the caster appears to have been added later (although the idea of negative energy and its unsavory connotations were introduced in 1e, generally, though not always, being portrayed as a dangerous but neutral elemental force often used for evil).

The 4e necromantic powers, such as they are, do not seem to have any alignment.

I can find no mention whatsoever of aligned spells in the 5e materials I have consulted, though I am still looking.

You are essentially correct with regards to 3e (although even the extent of this can be debated depending on how seriously you take the honestly pretty shitty BoVD, etc.) but your point does not hold as strongly outside that family of games.
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>>44919159
>In 2e, Animate Dead is specifically listed as a neutral spell

http://www.lomion.de/cmm/skeleton.php

>All skeletons are magically animated undead monsters, created as guardians or warriors by powerful evil wizards and priests.
>Skeletons appear to have no ligaments or musculature which would allow movement. Instead, the bones are magically joined together during the casting of an animate dead spell. Skeletons have no eyes or internal organs.
>Good clerics can make skeletons only if the dead being has granted permission (either before or after death) and if the cleric’s deity has given express permission to do so. Otherwise, violating the eternal rest of any being or animal is something most good deities disapprove of highly.
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>>44919159
>>44919203
From 2e's Complete Book of Necromancers

>[...]the majority of necromantic spells fall into a gray category of moral uncertainty. These spells are not intrinsically evil per se, but they certainly can be put to inherently wicked uses. Take animate dead, for instance. Raising up a zombie to carry one's luggage is not considered an evil act, but animating the dead for the purpose of attacking a merchant caravan is another matter entirely. While appropriate for neutral wizards, animation of the dead should be distasteful and perhaps even forbidden to chaotic good and lawful good wizards. Spells of gray necromancy rarely advance the cause of good. While casting spells of black necromancy always requires the wizard to make a powers check, neutral or gray necromancy only requires a powers check when it employed for an evil purpose. Gray necromancy thus carries an element of risk and uncertainty: depending upon the caster's intent, the spell may or may not have a chance of attracting the attention of an evil god. It is left for the DM to decide which spells belong to the category of neutral necromancy. It is suggested that all divination/disguise magics and certain special use spells (such as animate dead animals [...]) fall into this largest grouping of necromancy. Of course, the DM may decide that certain spells (such as animate dead and magic jar) have too much potential for evil. The DM should feel free to augment Table 10 as necessary for the campaign.
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>>44919225
In short, it's certainly not good and is definitely shady and distasteful, but it is nowhere near the evil that has been suggested.
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>>44918174
>>44919203
This.
Unless the bodies were donated to science, it's called grave robbing for a reason. I mean, in a world where people can be ressurected, knowing where your body was laid to rest is a pretty big deal.
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>>44918174
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>>44918900
>Fifth edition video game
>Overseen by the game designers.
>Not relevant
>Sucking this much dick.
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>>44918174
I take the Guild Wars route with my necromancers. Distrusted in general, not but evil.
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>>44918300
Though in more recent editions, it has more to do with, you're in essence using magic to make a slave, the soul (at least for unintelligent undead) has no manipulation, and almost everything involving intelligent undead usually involves willful acts on their part (ghouls, liches, some vamps, etc), or basically oh fuckballs this thing won't let its own soul go. For an example of non-evil undead just look at fucking ghosts.

Basically yes you can, they won't be raising the dead since it's an evil act, not due to soul fuckery (which past 3e means intelligence of some sort), but because you're very much enforcing repressive and uncaring slavery.
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Spells that give you zombie minions in 5e do so by binding spirits of negative energy to the corpse, much like elementals are bound to golems. The issue is that the negative energy beings want to create more, and by extension extinguish positive energy, so as soon as your commands or lack thereof allow, they're going to go doing evil to the best capability their 6 skeleton Int allows.
Desecration is less important but also present.
So yes, in default FR 5e, raising undead is evil. Not other necromancy like talking to them, though.
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>>44918174
In 5e, raising the dead is an evil act by default, yes.
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>>44918174
I'd say no, but if we're going off of DnD, where necromancy (to my knowledge, I've only played Druid on the caster side) is tied to Negative energy, which at the least "isn't good". I'd say it's completely possible to have a neutral Necromancer
This is almost definitely a bait thread, but I've got nothing better to do. Might as well take it
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>>44918235
>ISM NECROMANS EBIL??! #2456325
>INTELLIGENT QUESTION
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>>44918653
All magic is unnatural. Are all wizards evil?
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>>44918750
my sides, I'm reminded of the ancestral ghosts from Mulan
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Just wanted to say this wasn't meant to be a bait thread, I'm just super fucking new. s-sorry
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>>44918174
Nah, they can be cool too. The kind that bargain with the dead are alright in my book of vile darkness.
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>>44929689
>Not lurking more.
Kids these days, they're just like kids back in those days!
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>>44929689
Were you the guy confused about the setting in the Imperial Knight thread?
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>>44929847
Nop, I only play D&D 5E. (Just recently, at that.)
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>>44925599
Well if you put it like a strawman of course it's going to be a stupid question, stupid.
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>>44918836
...did you just make an Ironclaw reference?
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Off the top of my head:
-Dustmen in planescape only raised bodies that had been lawfully sold to them before the previous owner's death and only used them for menial tasks, burying or cremating other bodies respectfully
-Golgari in Ravnica basically acted like the city's recycling service, and doing stuff like the poor mushrooms grown from their corpsefields.
-Necromancers in Diablo weren't necessarily evil
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>>44930209
Giving the poor mushrooms, must have had a stroke.
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>>44918174
>Setting Question
>Specifics Mechanical System
>No Setting Specified
Wut?
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>>44930167
Darkest Dungeon

Traditionally necromancers could simply summon the dead to answer questions, no necessarily evil, so long as you're nice and respectful.
And I don't see any harm in raising mindless bones or zombies to do simple tasks or to protect ones-self.
Based off that, a necromancer could travel from place to place, coax the truth of things from the dead, right wrongs and be on their way. They probably wouldn't be much trusted by common folk, because that's spooky bullshit.
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>>44918481
>I'm not killing anyone while doing it. Problems?

>>44918508
>It's unnatural

Sorry, I think you're confused. He was asking if you had any ethical judgements, not a random, ethically neutral adjective like orange, sugary, or aromatic.
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>>44918174
I prefer Necros being evil, or at the very least neutral. Sick of this stupid "I enslave the bodies and souls of the dead but I'm actually good!" bullshit, a misguided attempt at originality
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>>44918174
TECHNICALLY, and I'm saying this as someone with limited experience in D&D, necromancy is evil inherently because good and evil are tangible properties in D&D, not just concepts.

However, if you talk to your DM I'm sure he'd make an exception, because good necromancers are neat.
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>>44918174
>D&D 5E
Pg. 118 of the player's handbook explicitly says that "not all necromancers are evil." I don't know why so many people are arguing about this, given the context.
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>>44918320

But he specified a setting in the OP.
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