D&D 5E Why is animate dead considered inherently evil?

I'm having a troublesome time understanding why the animate dead spell is considered evil. When I read the manual it states that the spall imbues the targeted corpse with a foul mimicry of life, implying that the soul is not a sentient being who is trapped in a decaying corpse. Rather, the spell does exactly what its title suggests, it only animates the corps. Now of course one could use the spell to create zombies that would hunt and kill humans, but by that same coin, they could create a labor force that needs no form of sustenance (other than for the spell to be recast of course). There have also been those who have said "the spell is associated with the negative realm which is evil", however when you ask someone why the negative realm is bad that will say "because it is used for necromancy", I'm sure you can see the fallacy in this argument.

However, I must take into account that I have only looked into the DnD magic system since yesterday so there are likely large gaps in my knowledge. PS(Apon further reflection I've decided that the animate dead spell doesn't fall into the school of necromancy, as life is not truly given to the corps, instead I believe this would most likely fall into the school of transmutation.) PPS(I apologize for my sloppy writing, I've decided I'm feeling too lazy to correct it.)
 

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TheSword

Legend
OK, next stupid question - which I-as-player would raise if no-one else did:

Does a lifeless corpse count as an "object" for purposes of Animate Object? If no, why not? If yes, then we're possibly right back in the same rabbit hole you thought you'd just escaped... :)
My answer to this question were it to come at my table, would be to look at the questioner silently, with a blank expression, and without blinking, until they withdrew it. If they didn’t withdraw it I would ask the party to roll initiative as Demogorgan walks around the corner.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
OK, next stupid question - which I-as-player would raise if no-one else did:

Does a lifeless corpse count as an "object" for purposes of Animate Object? If no, why not? If yes, then we're possibly right back in the same rabbit hole you thought you'd just escaped... :)
That's iffy in the rules. The rules say, "For the purpose of these rules, an object is a discrete, inanimate item like a window, door, sword, book, table, chair, or stone, not a building or a vehicle that is composed of many other objects."

A body is composed of lots of different things, so would not technically be an object under the 5e DMG rules. However, I can see an argument for it being an object, so... Rulings over rules!!!
 




tomBitonti

Adventurer
OK, next stupid question - which I-as-player would raise if no-one else did:

Does a lifeless corpse count as an "object" for purposes of Animate Object? If no, why not? If yes, then we're possibly right back in the same rabbit hole you thought you'd just escaped... :)
I’d say it’s an object. But gross and a bit fragile. You’ll have bits of rotting meat scattering all over. Maybe clumsy, too — all those tendons would not be pulling in a natural way, and muscles would not have any tone.

TomB
 



Iry

Hero
Yeah it's pretty weak. But I mean, what do we expect from Crawford anyways?
I honestly have tremendous respect for Crawford and what he's managed to accomplish, both mechanically and with representation. The amount of spreadsheet crunching he's done is pretty intense, and not something many game designers (who are also networked well enough to get assigned to bigger games) are willing to do.

But he is fallible, especially when he's answering questions away from his books. And in some cases, I outright disagree with him on issues like Passive Perception. So I call him the 20% Dubious Crawford. Because I 80% like him.
 

OK, next stupid question - which I-as-player would raise if no-one else did:

Does a lifeless corpse count as an "object" for purposes of Animate Object? If no, why not? If yes, then we're possibly right back in the same rabbit hole you thought you'd just escaped... :)
Sure. Animate object is fifth level compared to animate dead's third, and has an accordingly broader scope. It's also transmutation compared to necromancy, so your corruption concerns are addressed.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Sure. Animate object is fifth level compared to animate dead's third, and has an accordingly broader scope. It's also transmutation compared to necromancy, so your corruption concerns are addressed.
Plus it only lasts for 1 minute instead of 24 hours. Huge step up in cost and even bigger step down in power level duration.

So yeah, I'd allow it and there is no corruption issues (though still there are the issues of using a dead body which likely has in game taboo problems).
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I honestly have tremendous respect for Crawford and what he's managed to accomplish, both mechanically and with representation. The amount of spreadsheet crunching he's done is pretty intense, and not something many game designers (who are also networked well enough to get assigned to bigger games) are willing to do.

But he is fallible, especially when he's answering questions away from his books. And in some cases, I outright disagree with him on issues like Passive Perception. So I call him the 20% Dubious Crawford. Because I 80% like him.
I like the game he put out. I dislike the majority of his rulings, because he ignores sense and just goes with what is written. That's how you end up with See Invisibility not being able to see invisibility. That's how you end up with a paladin smiting someone with his fist not being able to use smite. That's how you end with with Magic and magic, and something that stops Magic, won't stop magic.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I prefer using objects you can carry around anyways. My Warforged Puppetmaster kept his pretty dolls in a backpack for rapid deployment. Though picking them all up again was a hassle.

After all, you don't want to be dependent on the environment to tell you if you can use your magic, that's a Druid problem!
 





Cadence

Legend
Supporter
He had some sort of video Q&A session where he said that.

I googled it and found some discussions of it, but couldn't bring myself to watch the video.

Glad to see A5e does the (I think) obvious and starts the description condition with " An invisible creature is impossible to see without the aid of magic or a special sense (it gains no benefits from this condition against creatures still able to see it)."
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Yeah, I've had people running up to me with Crawford's rulings a lot when I ran AL games. It got to be a little annoying- I'm told to make rulings to cover stuff not in the books, but then this fellow comes along and makes some truly ridiculous ones. Normally I'd ignore the guy, but people do like being able to appeal to authority (and in this case, the event organizer at the store felt we should adopt "official" rulings- until I finally heard one that made me go, "yeah, I'm done here".)

I'm used to this sort of thing, 4e Customer Service could answer a question differently to different people, and Skip's big "end of 3.5" Sage Advice included all kinds of bizarre things ("Nightsticks don't stack" is like saying you can't use more than one Pearl of Power. Thanks, Skip!).
 

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