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8:51 PM
So you want to design a post-combat encounter with resurrected soldiers. There are three options I can think of:
Danse Macabre is a spell from Xanathar's Guide to Everything which gives temporary zombies (which you could modify for flavour without changing CR)
Animate Dead/modified Create Dead for slightly higher CR and permanent zombies
Fully homebrewed spell (which is harder)
@Vylix Which option appeals to you the most?
I'm also currently working on an undead template similar to the half-dragon template at the moment
danse macabre is very neat!
basically it's Animate Dead cast at 2 higher level. Even the stats are the same, I think
@Vylix you get more zmobie but only for an hour
oooh... i didn't see animate dead needs a full minute to casst
How about a 4th option: Partial homebrew. Take an existing method, and then add a homebrew ability to beef up the zombies.
sounds good
9:01 PM
Ok. So the only template we have in 5e is the half-dragon one, so let's work from there (whatever spell you decide on can be modified for spell level after we figure out what creature were animating)
Here is half-dragon:
A beast, humanoid, giant, or monstrosity can become a half-dragon. It keeps its Statistics, except as follow.

Challenge. To avoid recalculating the creature's challenge rating, apply the template only to a creature that meets the options prerequisite in the Breath Weapon table below. Otherwise, recalculate the rating after you apply the template.

Senses. The half-dragon gains blindsight with a radius of 10 feet and Darkvision with a radius of 60 feet.

Resistances. The half-dragon gains Resistance to a type of damage based on its color.
Or here
So it seems like adding actions requires certain CRs but otherwise most CR factors are the same
Giving resitance to poison is comparable to the half-dragon resistance. Adjusting Ability Scores can be done easily, and are comparable to adding Undead Fortitude. Since you aren't adding new actions, everything should be fine CR-wise
i see
Regarding the "expected" CR: How many PCs do you expect to be in this fight, and what are their levels?
4 PCs of lvl 4
What necromancers are you using? The necromacner in Volo's Guide is CR 9
@Vylix Ok, and if I understood correctly, this encounter will occur after another encounter? Will the PCs have the chance to heal/recover in between, or does the necromancers begin immediately?
9:10 PM
@MikeQ no, they will arrive after a battle has ended. When suddenly they found the necromancers raising the dead
@Vylix Oh! I thought you meant back-to-back encounters for the PCs. Ok then, that's important.
@DavidCoffron 's question is important, because the PCs will be up against a team of spellcasters and a team of (at least as many) zombies
@DavidCoffron most likely will be modified Necromancer from Volo
For example, Raise Dead is a level 3 spell (something your PCs don't even have access to). The CR of the necromancers may be relevant
for lesser CR
@Vylix I would recommend modifying a low CR caster rather than trying to shrink down a high CR caster. This has worked better for me in the past
To give you an idea of what your PCs will be able to face, 6 CR 1/2 monsters are a hard encounter for your party (which could be 3 battle-worn CR 1 necromancers and a zombie for each of them)
9:17 PM
i'm looking for lower CR caster right now
This is assuming that the necromancers actually attack, rather than wait for the zombie to do everything (which is how necromancers are "supposed" to work)
hmm, concentration
Volo's Guide has a few good ones (the MM does not): pg. 143 for Firenewt Warlock of Imix
@MikeQ What necromancers just stand by and wait for zombies to do things. That seems silly. At least cast chill touch from a distance
Although warlock's are hard to modify into wizards since Pact Magic works weird
pg. 167 has Kobold Scale Sorcerer which would be easier
just remove the racial trait and replace Sorcery Points with Grim Harvest (wizard Necromancy School feature)
that's CR 1 though...
3 of those necromancers would be closer to a deadly encounter
(with the 3 zombies from Raise Dead)
maybe remove the sorcery, will that enough to drop it to 1/2?
Not quite. You would also have to reduce HP (which would make sense for battle-worn) and possibly the number of spell slots (there are no CR 1/2 class casters anywhere iirc)
9:25 PM
the ability to raise dead is not considered?
I'd remove all the spells and only leave the cantrip
Animate Dead is level 3 though
That's why a "battle-worn necromancer" could be CR 1 and their level 3 slots have been used (in addition to a couple others)
You'd only need to reduce HP a little bit, because the necromancers can (try to) flee if they get hit too much
and they should hide behind their zombies for half-cover as well
and the zombies would use the modified statblock from orc :)
Orc Zombies could just be regular zombies with the Aggressive trait...
9:33 PM
thanks for the help! :) I really appreciate it. Although the question might not leave on-hold, I've found the answer. Again thank you both of you for helping me creating the encounter
@Vylix Here's my take on how to do this (would be somewhere between hard and deadly with this version of the necromancers)
Oh wait. That is with my houserule that negative modifiers don't affect attack and damage rolls (the quarterstaff attack would be weaker RAW)
(without mage armor, AC is 11)
Then 3 of these necromancers who have already used some of their slots including to animate one of the Orcs as zombies (I would just add aggressive to a regular zombie).
Give you an 1800 XP encounter (hard is 1500, deadly is 2000)
Could maybe give a bit more HP and still be within that XP range
and it should be save 12, spell attack +4; my bad
It almost might be worth it to note that Grim Harvest could heal the presumably damaged necromancers to higher than their battle-worn state... Maybe let it give them temporary hit points if it heals them past because of this. Idk...
@DavidCoffron Did you find that statblock or did you generate it?
@MikeQ I generated it based on the Kobold Scale Sorcerer and the spell list for Necromancer (although I threw in Toll the Dead from XGtE to add some diversity)
@DavidCoffron How'd you generate it?

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