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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Voadam

Legend
But if you are creating or commanding undead through it, that is an evil act. its desecration of the dead. Something I think just about every real life culture has taboo against.
Commanding undead can be "do my evil will" or "OK vampire spawn, tell me how to save my friend who was charmed and bitten by the master vampire" or "stop attacking us and turn against the other evil undead."

It is generally no more inherently morally evil than other magical charms that command people.

In 3e I would be completely comfortable if commanding undead using necromancy required tapping into supernatural cosmic evil, if that was how necromantic control of undead worked. However in 3e control undead did not have the [Evil] descriptor the way all the creating undead spells did.

Generally in D&D it is the creation of undead that is connected to evil, either narratively or mechanically.
 




Vaalingrade

Legend
Where is that adding an evil creature to the world that will eventually murder people?
Do golems still berserk? It might not be 'bag of hit points' enough for the current game, so I have to ask.
It's certainly not a good act, but it's not like creating undead.
.... Which is described as 'not a good act', but people keep insisting it's 'evil' despite it not being described in that way.
 

Voadam

Legend
Do golems still berserk? It might not be 'bag of hit points' enough for the current game, so I have to ask.
5e MM page 167:

"A flesh golem lurches with a stiff-jointed gait, as if not in complete control of its body. Its dead flesh isn't an ideal container for an elemental spirit, which sometimes howls incoherently to vent its outrage. If the spirit breaks free of its creator's will, the golem goes berserk until calmed, or until its shell of flesh is destroyed or completely healed."

Page 169:

Berserk. Whenever the golem starts its turn with 40 hit points or fewer, roll a d6. On a 6, the golem goes berserk. On each of its turns while berserk, the golem attacks the nearest creature it can see. If no creature is near enough to move to and attack, the golem attacks an object, with preference for an object smaller than itself. Once the golem goes berserk, it continues to do so until it is destroyed or regains all its hit points.
The golem's creator, if within 60 feet of the berserk golem, can try to calm it by speaking firmly and persuasively. The golem must be able to hear its creator, who must take an action to make a DC 15 Charisma (Persuasion) check. If the check succeeds, the goIem ceases being berserk. If it takes damage while still at 40 hit points or fewer, the golem might go berserk again.
 


Voadam

Legend
Thank you.

Perfectly neutral murdergeist, ladies and gents! Just add slavery!

And it only kills if low on HP, not when the caster makes a concerted effort to fail to control it!

Again, go home, D&D, you're drunk.
I do like that the flavor text quote above the 5e flesh golem stats is talking about a necromancer.

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Some OSR games make flesh golems undead.
 




Vaalingrade

Legend
Evil descriptor was to interact with class abilities and feats, not an alignment action. Deathwatch was an [Evil] spell too.

That's how this whole thing got started because I smarted off to a designer (without knowing they were a designer) about that and the fact Animate Dead at that point created Neutral skeletons and zombies.

Then in 3.5, they were changed to Neutral Evil, becomes like a PC if uncontrolled BS.
 




Voadam

Legend
We could give that another name. If only there was a term for divination via the dead...
A classical language translation could give it that esoteric occult feel.

Dead talking. "Mortui loquentes" to turn it into Latin. Or "divinatio per mortuos." A super sub category of necromancy. Probably not worth coming up with a term for the one spell in D&D that can do that, which necromancers cannot even cast.

:)
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Do golems still berserk? It might not be 'bag of hit points' enough for the current game, so I have to ask.
Yes they do.
.... Which is described as 'not a good act', but people keep insisting it's 'evil' despite it not being described in that way.
It is described as an evil act. They use non-good, but the rest of the sentence rules out neutral. If it wasn't evil, the phrase "and only evil casters use such spells frequently." wouldn't be part of the sentence, since no amount of casting non-evil spells can make you evil.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
It is described as an evil act.
It's described as 'Not a Good Act'. We've seen it said many time.
If it wasn't evil, the phrase "and only evil casters use such spells frequently." wouldn't be part of the sentence,
If it WAS evil, they would have said evil instead o wasting words for no good reason.
since no amount of casting non-evil spells can make you evil.
It also doesn't say it makes you evil. It Proscribes casting it frequently to evil people in the same way the game nonsensically proscribes 'will not wear metal armor' to druids.

It's a poorly written game.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It's described as 'Not a Good Act'. We've seen it said many time.

If it WAS evil, they would have said evil instead o wasting words for no good reason.

It also doesn't say it makes you evil. It Proscribes casting it frequently to evil people in the same way the game nonsensically proscribes 'will not wear metal armor' to druids.

It's a poorly written game.
So you're theory is that it's poorly written because druids, but cannot be poorly written because evil?
 

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