Bug: My undead lose levels

Yesterday I was in the cave below Lepers Smile.
You have to fight some undead to get a wand ( I think it is needed for the lich quest)
You have to fight several normal undead and a boss (sorry, name forgotten)

Sosiel cast animate dead to get some summons as meat shields (well, bone shields) for my characters.
The boss attacked my summons.
On hit they lost 2 levels and they were destroyed at once.

I guess this is a bug:

  • Undead should be immune to level drain, including the ones from animate dead.
  • The loss of 2 levels killed them at once.
    This lets me guess they are lv 1 or 2 creatures. In that case they are very powerful for a low level creature.
    Given that you can get them from lv 5 - 8 ( depending on if you are arcane or divine and prepared or spontanous caster) I would assume my summons are in the same lv range.


1st point, true, that’s a bug. Energy Drain should not affect Undead.

2nd point, here’s how Animate Dead works in pnp.

First concerning Skeletons : Hit Dice: A skeleton drops any HD gained from class levels and changes racial HD to d8s. Creatures without racial HD are treated as if they have 1 racial HD. If the creature has more than 20 Hit Dice, it can’t be made into a skeleton by the animate dead spell. A skeleton uses its Cha modifier (instead of its Con modifier) to determine bonus hit points.

And as for Zombies :
Hit Dice: Drop HD gained from class levels (minimum of 1) and change racial HD to d8s. Zombies gain a number of additional HD as noted on the following table.

Zombie Size Bonus Hit Dice
Tiny or smaller
Small or Medium +1 HD
Large +2 HD
Huge +4 HD
Gargantuan +6 HD
Colossal +10 HD

Zombies use their Charisma modifiers to determine bonus hit points (instead of Constitution).

So, all in all, yeah, it’s normal that they only have 1 or 2 HD. Animate Dead has never been really that powerful to begin with (Create Undead is better since you can create more powerful undead, but you get it around level 11 or 12), and has not been usefully implemented with other spells and Feats that can help a bit make a Necromancer viable, as far as I know. That said, I’m not a Necromancer fan, so I may very well have missed some stuff.


I do not play PnP but I like this spell in the computer game.

  • You get more creatures than the summon monster or animal spells of the same level
  • The summons are immune to many effects, at least they should be.