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Old 12-02-2016, 08:57 AM   #1
Anders
 
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Default Using the Zombie spell on a fossil

Would you allow a caster to use the Zombie spell (or something similar) on a fossil, to create a skeletal T-Rex? Because that would be awesome.
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:04 AM   #2
johndallman
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Default Re: Using the Zombie spell on a fossil

I think fossils have been dead too long. The Animation spell should work, though, and would look pretty similar in practice.
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:11 AM   #3
Gnome
 
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Default Re: Using the Zombie spell on a fossil

The spell specifies the need for a "relatively complete dead body." My (very limited) understanding of fossils is that they usually include very little tissue from the original dead creature, those tissues having undergone some kind of mineralization process.
So it would have to be a very rare sort of fossil indeed in order to be a valid Zombie subject. For example, I don't think we have original dinosaur tissue from any known fossil (paleontologists please refute everything I've said with actual knowledge about this subject).
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: Using the Zombie spell on a fossil

Scientists have occasionally found soft tissue surviving from dinosaurs, but it's pretty rare. Certainly not whole-zombie-bodies amounts.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Using the Zombie spell on a fossil

Technical answer:

I think it would depend on the exact form of petrifaction. From a quick wiki search, Silicifaction destroys most of the original organic matter, while Pyritization seems to contain more of the original body. If the body has undergone replacement, then it has been... replaced.

Personal GM answer:

Absolutely, because it's just too cool to pass up. If I put fossils in a campaign where one of the PCs has the Zombie spell, then it's my own fault when the PCs try to make zombie dinosaurs. I think putting dinosaur bodies there and then disallowing the spell would just be setting the players up for unnecessary disappointment. Because what do you expect a necromancer to do when you show him a dinosaur corpse?

The energy cost would be high for bigger fossils, like Sue, but still possible - might involve a lot of ceremonial magic or other hard work to make it viable, but still.

Spells like Stone to Flesh (technically the description says it only fails against "a statue that was never alive"), or Cleansing might help... However this is all because my approach is that I generally prefer to say "how can the PCs make it work?" than say "No."

Last edited by Railstar; 12-02-2016 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Using the Zombie spell on a fossil

No Harry. Not in this universe. Your zombies work differently.
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Using the Zombie spell on a fossil

If you have enough of the skeleton to count as "relatively intact," sure, you can use Zombie to turn a t-rex into a skeleton. Not really going to have enough flesh for a zombie instead, though.
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Old 12-02-2016, 03:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: Using the Zombie spell on a fossil

I would allow it under The Rule Of Cool, but not plaster casts and such. (Those are stretching things waaay to far. Make Golems out of them instead!)

Absent rule of cool, my answer would be "no way" for pretty much all fossils, but frozen mammoths are on the board.
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Old 12-02-2016, 04:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: Using the Zombie spell on a fossil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
I would allow it under The Rule Of Cool, but not plaster casts and such. (Those are stretching things waaay to far. Make Golems out of them instead!)

Absent rule of cool, my answer would be "no way" for pretty much all fossils, but frozen mammoths are on the board.
And let's not forget the Tar Pit Zombies. :)

As it is, I'm of much the same mindset: if it fits the game, let it happen. Skeletal tyrant lizards, tri-horns, and spiketails for the win, baby! :)
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Old 12-02-2016, 06:29 PM   #10
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Using the Zombie spell on a fossil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
I would allow it under The Rule Of Cool, but not plaster casts and such. (Those are stretching things waaay to far. Make Golems out of them instead!)

Absent rule of cool, my answer would be "no way" for pretty much all fossils, but frozen mammoths are on the board.
Hey, one of my favorite optional interpretations of the Zombie spell is from 3rd editions Gurps Undead. It allows anatomically accurate skeletons to work with adjusted energy costs. Cheap plaster to insanely expensive golem-like iron.

But the vast majority of museum exhibits are plaster not bone. So rule of cool would either allow those animated or not really apply to scenes I'd most want them to anyway.

I wonder what spell would be required to repair fossils to allow a more complete T Rex skeleton.
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