After a couple years away, my thoughts have been on RPGs again, and that, combined with a slow period of Vassal-gaming leads me to my eleventh spell compendium for GURPS Dungeons & Sorcery. There’s no coheseive theme, but October has suggested a number of spells dealing with the undead, and some illusions.

Animate Dead (SC)
Necromancy, Somatic, Verbal
13 points
Casting Time: 5 seconds
Casting Roll: None
Range: 10 yards
Duration: Permanent

This spell allows the magic-user to create a skeleton or zombie, who will follow the commands of the caster (which must be kept simple: protect me, guard this door, etc.; conditional and multi-step orders will not work). The created undead are permanent, and neither dispel magic nor remove curse will have any effect. However, the creature can be killed/destroyed normally, and does not heal. As many such undead can be animated as the magic-user desires, subject to available corpses, time, and fatigue. In all cases, the caster must have four times the CP of the animated dead, or the spell will fail.

It should be noted that this isn’t quite “bringing someone back from the dead”, and the animated dead will have no memories, abilities, or mental traits of the person whose corpse is used, nor is their soul involved in any way. In many respects, it is a simpler and formulaic version of a “create golem” spell, using the Laws of Similarity and Contagion as shortcuts to describe how the golem can move and act; however, as this spell uses the body’s previous status as a living being for this shortcut, it is necromancy, and usually considered the first step down a dangerous path.

Keep in mind that nearly any complete deceased living creature can be used (and it must be a complete single creature), and will have its racial default ST & HP, but DX 10 and HT 10, with one or two appropriate weapon skills at DX, decided by the nearest functional weapon(s) (which could be a length of wood—or bone—used as club, or nothing at all, if there’s nothing the undead can hold handy, limiting them to default punch). If the body has decomposed (or had the flesh stripped off), it will be animated as a skeleton, while a more recently deceased body will become a zombie.

Ally (25% Power, Constantly Available; Accessibility, Must Have Appropriate Remains Handy, -20%; Extended Duration, Permanent, +300%; Minion, +0%; Requires Gestures, -10%; Requires Magic Words, -10%; Sorcery, -15%; Takes Extra Time, x4, ‑20%) [3.25×4] The Ally will have the racial (not individual) ST, HP, and SM of the original creature (with modification for physical traits such as Gigantism and Dwarfism), Unhealing (Total) [-30], Automaton (B263) [-85] and apply either the Skeletal Undead meta-trait (F133) without the Basic Speed increase [48] or the Rotting Undead meta-trait [59]. [-67 or -56]
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