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D&D 5E Max Army of Darkness, Necromancer Math

FightKing

First Post
I have been working out the math for maximum undead from a RAW necromancer straight out of the PHB. The spell castings of Animate Dead below are considering the undead are already animated and the necromancer is just reasserting control.

At 20th Level:
3rd x 3 animate undead (4 each) = 12 skeletons/zombies
signature spell 1x animate undead = 4 skeletons/zombies
4th x 3 animate undead (6 each) = 18 skeletons/zombies
5th x 3 animate undead (8 each) = 24 skeletons/zombies
6th x 2 (3 each) = 6 ghouls
7th x 2, 1x finger of death = 1 zombie per day, 1x create undead = 4 ghouls
8th x 1 create undead = 2 wights (can control 12 zombies each) = 24 zombies
9th x 1 create undead = 3 wights (can control 12 zombies each) = 36 zombies

Command Undead Ability, Mummy Lord (only has 11 INT) his spells:
3rd x 3 animate undead (4 each) = 12 skeletons/zombies
4th x 3 animate undead (6 each) = 18 skeletons/zombies
5th x 2 animate undead (8 each) = 16 skeletons/zombies
6th x 1 animate undead (10 each) = 10 skeletons/zombie

Arcane Recovery:
5th x 2 animate undead (8 each) = 16 skeletons/zombies

For a grand total of:
1 mummy lord
5 wights
10 ghouls
60 zombies (controlled by wights)
146 skeletons or zombies (56 of which are controlled by the mummy lord)
plus 1 zombie per day as you cast finger of death over and over and over
plus if you have a cool DM you may have a Crawling Claw as your familiar and a Flaming Skull back at the library protecting your secrets.

How is my math?

-FightKing
 

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Good catch on the Mummy Lord, I hadn't realized their int was that low. Zombie Beholders and vampire spawn are good acquisitions too, although even a Wight that you make yourself with Create Undead isn't bad (can have 12 zombies).

I think you're underestimating Signature Spell. Since it's 1/short rest you could easily get an extra 24 skeletons/zombies out of it per day.

I would generally prefer to spend my high-level slots on my own skeletons than on wights who create zombies, because my skeletons can use missile weapons and get +6 to damage. 14 skeletons doing 1d8 (longbow) + 8 damage at range is more appealing than 24 zombies doing 1d6 + 1. But as far as absolute "max zombies" goes, your way does produce more zombies, so there's that.

In practice I find that necromancers at my table rarely generate anywhere near their full undead capacity. Usually I see between 4 and 26 skeletons depending on perceived threat level, which still leaves plenty of spell slots to be a wizard.
 

seebs

Adventurer
Hmm. You have to reassert control before the current control ends. I suppose you can just move a half-hour earlier every day or something. I also note that there's a sort of nested problem here. The mummy lord can in theory make a save against command undead, and if it doesn't make a point of reasserting control over its minions, they stop obeying it, and then even if you get it back you still don't have control of those.

On the other hand, it's possible that a ridiculously large pool of zombies who are not specifically controlled by you, but don't particularly want to attack you, is also useful.
 

Hmm. You have to reassert control before the current control ends. I suppose you can just move a half-hour earlier every day or something. I also note that there's a sort of nested problem here. The mummy lord can in theory make a save against command undead, and if it doesn't make a point of reasserting control over its minions, they stop obeying it, and then even if you get it back you still don't have control of those.

On the other hand, it's possible that a ridiculously large pool of zombies who are not specifically controlled by you, but don't particularly want to attack you, is also useful.

The mummy lord only gets one save, when you first acquire it, so losing control won't be an issue.

RE: "large pool of zombies", one hilarious thing to do with Demiplane is to load up a demiplane with hundreds of animated skeletons. Then when you need to destroy a target, you teleport in, cast Demiplane to release the zombies, and teleport back out. Zombiepocalypse ensues. There may be diplomatic repercussions...
 

Wolf118

Explorer
RE: "large pool of zombies", one hilarious thing to do with Demiplane is to load up a demiplane with hundreds of animated skeletons. Then when you need to destroy a target, you teleport in, cast Demiplane to release the zombies, and teleport back out. Zombiepocalypse ensues. There may be diplomatic repercussions...

TOTALLY stealing this idea for my current campaign!
 




You can't keep a good necromancy thread down!

How's this for a thread-killer:

A Sorcerer 9/Necromancer 6/Warlock 5 can accumulate 1443 5th level spell slots over the course of 70 days' straight short-resting with no long rests. He can then (1440 * 6) 8460 skeletons in one day. He can't animate any more in that day because it takes him 24 hours to cast 1440 Animate Dead V spells. (Or rather, he can't animate appreciably more. He could animate a few more by casting some Animate Dead IX, VIII, etc. in a few of the minutes, but that only adds 30 skeletons or so to the total.)

Theoretically you could get a bit more than 11,000 skeletons all under your control at once, but really, who would bother? 8000 super-skeletons is plenty.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
How's this for a thread-killer:

A Sorcerer 9/Necromancer 6/Warlock 5 can accumulate 1443 5th level spell slots over the course of 70 days' straight short-resting with no long rests. He can then (1440 * 6) 8460 skeletons in one day. He can't animate any more in that day because it takes him 24 hours to cast 1440 Animate Dead V spells. (Or rather, he can't animate appreciably more. He could animate a few more by casting some Animate Dead IX, VIII, etc. in a few of the minutes, but that only adds 30 skeletons or so to the total.)

Theoretically you could get a bit more than 11,000 skeletons all under your control at once, but really, who would bother? 8000 super-skeletons is plenty.
How are those spell slots banked? I assume you're burning warlock slots for spell points, but spell points are capped by the table, so....
 

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