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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
Anaraxes
 
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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
Railstar
 
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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 12-04-2016, 05:18 PM   #7
roguebfl
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Default Re: Using the Zombie spell on a fossil

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
No Harry. Not in this universe. Your zombies work differently.
But ridding Sue into battle is so much fun!

But yes it comes down what the underling Thaumatology of the system. But I'm sure there is so ways of animating the skeleton called the end result, and Undead, Golem or what not 8)
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Old 12-05-2016, 07:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: Using the Zombie spell on a fossil

I would allow it, because it's a dead thing and it's magic. And if they only have a head, Skull Spirit that T-rex skull!
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Old 12-05-2016, 07:11 PM   #9
dripton
 
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Default Re: Using the Zombie spell on a fossil

As a kid, I went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in DC a lot, and I assumed that those big complete dinosaur skeletons were all fossil.

As an adult, I went to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, which had little pictures next to the dinosaur skeletons showing how much of each was actual fossil versus how much was sculpture. And it was pretty disappointing how few were anywhere near complete. (A couple of the "fossils" were actually 0% fossil.)

What I'm saying is that if someone tries this on the "dinosaur skeleton" in the museum, the GM has other options between "it works, you have an animated T-Rex skeleton" and "it doesn't work." Choose your target carefully!
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:01 PM   #10
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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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