Honestly, I was going to wait a while before releasing my revised necromancy spells ’cause one of my players started working on his own idea of a necromancy school over the weekend. But I didn’t have time to finish my ‘teleportation’ school, and I want to keep posting my revised schools.

So here’s the basic thought behind this school of necromancy: this magic blurs the line between life and death; step, by tantalizing step.

The first few levels’ worth of spells preserve life or protect a body from corruption, then enable communication with spirits of the dead.

These are important steps toward the later spells.

Create zombie actually goes against some of my own desires for a minion-master necromancer. I love skeletons, for example. But I think the body is an important part of this expression of necromancy. Because of what comes later.

So you get Raise Dead and Resurrection. Pretty standard.

But the new ones here are ‘Ghoul Transformation’ and ‘Lich Transformation.’ I wanted to make the lich transformation a spell. It’s basically a single-use spell, and it might be the only one of its kind.

Ghoul transformation though, that might take a little explaining.

It’s intended to be a long-lasting, taboo-ish buff spell. With a nasty side effect if you fail to dismiss it. Also, I don’t think ghouls should be undead. I think they should be necrophagus demihumans. Possibly fiends.

So I wrote the two spells to blur the line between life and death.

Then of course there’s Clone, which we all know and love. And finally Create mummy. Mummies are sacred undead, with basically all the perks of immortality… with all the things you loved about life. They are immune to turning because they’re divine undead. The gods ain’t got nothin’ on mummies.


INFUSE LIFE
Necromancy cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: touch
Components: verbal, somatic
Duration: instantaneous

Effect: This spell stabilizes an unconscious or dying creature that has at least 1 hit point remaining. There is no effect on constructs or the undead.


GENTLE REPOSE
1st-level necromancy
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: touch
Components: verbal, somatic
Duration: 10 days

Effect: Your touch preserves a corpse or other remains. For the duration, the target is protected from corruption and decay. The creature can’t become one of the undead. This spell also extends the time limit on raising a creature from the dead, since days spent under the influence of this spell don’t count against the time limit of spells like raise dead.


SPEAK WITH DEAD
2nd-level necromancy
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 10 feet
Components: verbal, somatic, material
Duration: 10 minutes

Effect: You grant a semblance of life and intelligence to a corpse you can see within range that has died within the last 10 days. The corpse must have a mouth and can’t be undead. Until the spell ends, you can ask the corpse up to five questions. The corpse only knows what it knew in life, including the languages it knew.

The answers received from a corpse in this fashion are usually brief, cryptic, or repetitive, and the corpse is under no compulsion to offer a truthful answer if you are hostile to it, or if it recognizes you as an enemy.

This spell doesn’t return the creature’s soul to its body, only an animating spirit. Thus, the corpse can’t learn new information, doesn’t comprehend anything that has happened since it died, and can’t speculate about future events.


CREATE ZOMBIE
3rd-level necromancy
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: 10 feet
Components: verbal, somatic, material
Duration: instantaneous

Effect: This spell creates an undead servant of a human or demihuman that has died within the last 10 days. Choose a corpse of a Medium human or demihuman you can see within range. The target must still be intact, with two arms, two legs, and a head. Your spell animates the corpse, creating a zombie (the Dungeon Master has the creature’s game statistics).

On each of your turns, you can use a bonus action to mentally command any zombie you have created with this spell while it is within 60 feet of you. If you control multiple zombies, you can command any or all of them at the same time, issuing the same command to each one. You decide what action the zombie will take and where it will move during its next turn, or you can issue a general command, such as guarding a particular chamber or hallway. If you issue no commands, the zombie only defends itself against hostile creatures. Once given an order, the zombie continues to follow it until its task is complete.

The zombie remains under your control for 24 hours, after which it stops obeying any command you’ve given it. To retain control of the zombie for another 24 hours, you must cast this spell on the zombie before the current 24-hour period ends. This use of the spell reasserts your control over any zombie you have created with this spell within a 100-foot radius burst.

Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you can create up to two additional zombies for each slot level above 3rd. Each zombie must come from a different corpse of a Medium human or demihuman.


GHOUL TRANSFORMATION
4th-level necromancy
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: 60 feet
Components: verbal, somatic, material
Duration: 10 days

Effect: This spell triggers a physical transformation in one or more willing humans. The target begins to undergo a feral transformation into a ghoul. For the duration of the spell, the target’s limbs elongate and strengthen, while its mind degenerates.

The target immediately gains two claw attacks that it can use with the Attack action. Each claw deals 1d4 + Strength modifier slashing damage. The target also gains a bite attack that delivers 1d6 + Strength modifier piercing damage. The target gains darkvision to a range of 60 feet.

The transformation has a deleterious effect on the human mind. The target loses 2 points from its Intelligence score for the duration. The target becomes faster and more agile. Its Dexterity score increases by 2, and its maximum Dexterity increases by 2.

As an action, you can dismiss the spell to reverse its effects. Otherwise, when the duration ends, the transformation becomes permanent. The target additionally gains resistance to necrotic damage, and ceases to age. It retains its alignment and personality, but henceforth becomes a fiend and can be affected by spells and other effects that target fiends.


RAISE DEAD
5th-level necromancy
Casting Time: 1 hour
Range: touch
Components: verbal, somatic, material
Duration: instantaneous

Effect: Your touch restores life to a creature that has died within the last 10 days. If the creature’s soul is both willing and able to rejoin the body, the target returns to life with 1 hit point. This spell neutralizes any poisons and cures nonmagical diseases that afflicted the target at the time of its death. The spell doesn’t remove curses, magical diseases, or similar effects. If these aren’t removed prior to casting the spell, they take effect when the creature is revived.

This spell closes all mortal wounds, but it doesn’t restore missing body parts. If the creature is lacking organs or body parts necessary for survival, the spell fails. The spell cannot be used to restore an undead creature to life, and cannot revive a creature that died of old age. Returning to life is an ordeal. The target suffers a -4 penalty to attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. Each time the creature finishes a long rest, the penalty is reduced by 1.


LICH TRANSFORMATION
6th-level necromancy
Casting Time: 24 hours
Range: 60 feet
Components: verbal, somatic, material (phylactery)
Duration: instantaneous

Effect: This spell preserves your life force in a specially-prepared receptacle. When you finish casting the spell, you die and your life force is transferred to your phylactery. 1d10 days after your death, you return to life as a lich with full hit points. Your living processes cease–you no longer need to eat, sleep, or breath–you cease aging and become an undead creature.

As a lich, you gain resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons. You also gain resistance to necrotic damage and immunity to poison damage. Finally, you gain immunity to the charmed, exhausted, frightened, paralyzed, and poisoned conditions.

Each time you die, your life force returns to your phylactery. 1d10 days after your death, you form a new body within 5 feet of your phylactery and return to life with full hit points. If your phylactery is destroyed, you must replace it or you risk permanent death. If you die and you have no phylactery, you are destroyed and do not rejuvenate.


RESURRECTION
7th-level necromancy
Casting Time: 1 hour
Range: touch
Components: verbal, somatic, material
Duration: instantaneous

Effect: Your touch restores life to a creature that has died within the last 100 years. If the creature’s soul is both willing and able to rejoin the body, the target returns to life with full hit points. This spell neutralizes any poisons and cures nonmagical diseases that afflicted the target at the time of its death. The spell doesn’t remove curses, magical diseases, or similar effects. If these aren’t removed prior to casting the spell, they take effect when the creature is revived.

This spell closes all mortal wounds and restores any missing body parts. The spell cannot be used to restore an undead creature to life, and cannot revive a creature that died of old age. Returning to life is an ordeal. The target suffers a -4 penalty to attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. Each time the creature finishes a long rest, the penalty is reduced by 1.

Casting this spell to restore life to a creature that has been dead for longer than one year taxes you greatly. Until you finish a long rest, you have disadvantage on all attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws, and you can’t cast spells.


CLONE
8th-level necromancy
Casting Time: 1 hour
Range: touch
Components: verbal, somatic, material
Duration: instantaneous

Effect: This spell creates an inert duplicate of a living creature as a safeguard against death. This clone forms inside a sealed vessel and grows to full size and maturity after 120 days; you can also choose to have the clone be a younger version of the same creature. It remains inert and endures indefinitely, as long as its vessel remains undisturbed.

At any time after the clone matures, if the original creature dies, its life force transfers to the clone, provided the soul is free and willing to return. The clone is physically identical to the original and has the same personality, memories, and abilities, though none of the equipment. The original creature’s physical remains, if they still exist, become inert and can’t thereafter be restored to life, as the creature’s soul is elsewhere (within the clone)


CREATE MUMMY
9th-level necromancy
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: 10 feet
Components: verbal, somatic, material
Duration: instantaneous

Effect: This spell creates a powerful, free-willed undead of a human or demihuman that has died within the last 10 days. Choose a corpse of a Medium human or demihuman you can see within range. The target must still be intact, with two arms, two legs, and a head. Additionally, the target corpse must be embalmed, with its heart ritually-prepared to receive the creature’s original soul.

Your spell transforms the corpse, imbuing it with divine power to create a mummy. The creature’s soul must be willing and able to return to its body, though this spell can be used to restore life to a creature that has died of old age. Unlike most undead, a mummy can eat, breathe, sleep, and enjoy all the pleasures of a living creature without aging or corruption.

A mummy created with this spell gains immunity to both necrotic and radiant damage, as well as complete immunity to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage. The mummy also gains immunity to the charmed, exhausted, frightened, paralyzed, and poisoned conditions.

As an immortal undead, a mummy is theoretical indestructible. At the Dungeon Master’s discretion, a mummy might be destroyed through the undertaking of an epic quest.