Resurrection Spells in D&D 5e: Comprehensive Guide

Table of Contents

What is Resurrection

The act of bringing a dead creature back to life is known as resurrection. It can be acquired using various tools, such as spells, items, or abilities. Resurrection's difficulty is influenced by multiple elements, including the accessibility of resources and the possibility of locating a spellcaster.

The necromancy spell True Resurrection, level 9, allows you to bring a dead creature back to life without them suffering consequences.

If this spell is used, the resurrected creature will lose one level and suffer from negative levels equal to its HD, which disappear after 24 hours.

The most potent of these spells, True Resurrection, can bring back a creature even after it has been killed or transformed into an undead.

What are Resurrection Spells

The most potent and desired spells in Dungeons and Dragons are resurrection spells.

Regardless of how long they have been gone, they can revive characters who have passed away.

Resurrection spells have a few limitations despite their incredible power. They are first and foremost very costly. Many explorers find resurrection spells out of their price range because they can cost as much as 500 gold pieces.

Second, casting them requires time. Typically, it takes an hour to cast a resurrection spell, making it impossible to use amid a battle.

And finally, until they take a lengthy rest, those that are resurrected frequently suffer a penalty to all rolls.

Despite these disadvantages, resurrection spells are still among the most well-liked and practical spells in the game. There is no better way than a resurrection spell to bring back a fallen comrade.

Meaning of Resurrection

In Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition, resurrection spells require the presence of the deceased's soul to function. The gatekeepers of the realms where the souls of the dead reside must permit the soul to return to its body for a resurrection spell to be effective.

Cloning and using a magic jar technically do not count as resurrections. A creature that has been dead for up to 200 years can be brought back to life using the potent back-to-life spell known as True Resurrection.

The creature is brought back to life with all of its hit points, levels, and gear. Even a creature that has been transformed into an undead creature can be brought back to life with that spell.

The clone spell is a type of resurrection spell that makes duplicates of the caster and enables them to enter one of these new bodies after passing away.

A cube of flesh from the caster, a diamond worth 1000 GP, and a container costing 2000GP are needed to prepare the clone in advance. The clone takes 120 days to develop after being cast. It will remain available after that for all time.

It is challenging for adventurers who use this Resurrection method to keep up with their party if they die while adventuring across the country because clones need to be kept in large containers and can frequently only be left in secure areas like castles. Clone is unique in that it is the only means of achieving true immortality, as opposed to spells like True Resurrection that only bring the recently deceased back to life.

How Does True Resurrection Work

A potent necromancy spell called True Resurrection can raise a dead object from the grave. The magic will work if the creature's soul is willing to return. The spell won't work unless the body is whole and the soul is unbound and ready to reappear.

In many cases, True Resurrection is misused.

First, it can revive strong creatures that have perished in battle. This can be used to summon a horde of undead creatures to the caster's command.

Second, it can be employed to revive strong creatures eliminated by other means. For instance, this might involve poisoning or assassinating victims. Once more, this would enable the person casting True Resurrection to gather a horde of controlled undead servants.

Last but not least, if a living creature fails its saving throw, True Resurrection could be used to turn someone into an undead enslaved person against their will.

True Resurrection is subject to some constraints.

The creature must be willing to reanimate, and its death must have occurred no more than 200 years ago. For the spell to work, the original body must also be available. True Resurrection can bring a creature back from the dead if all of these requirements are satisfied.

Who Can Use True Resurrection

True Resurrection is a potent spell that can revive deceased and non-player characters. It takes an hour to cast and can only be used by clerics and druids of the 17th level or higher. The spell can replace any lost body parts and does not require a body.

The spell costs 25000 GP, making it one of the most expensive resurrection spells. It also does not have a restriction on how long after death the corpse can be, making it perfect for bringing back significant NPCs or PCs.

True Resurrection vs. Other Back-to-Life Spells

In video games, dying can be a moving experience. When it isn't used in a game carefully, it becomes tedious. Like many other topics in the fifth edition, Resurrection needs more precise guidelines to make it more exciting. Even though the events of death and Resurrection can be difficult to deal with, they lose their significance if they are dismissed with a wave of the hand.

True Resurrection is most useful when you need a party member to come back immediately after a battle in which several members are expected to die. True Resurrection can bring them back to life no matter how long a creature has been dead. If you want someone to die during your adventure, this is crucial.

The cost of true Resurrection is 300 gold, making it more expensive than other spells. However, it might prevent your entire group from certain death. The DM must decide whether or not this expense is worthwhile. True Resurrection may be something your party needs to invest in if you're playing an evil campaign where death is frequent. True Resurrection, on the other hand, might not be as necessary if you're playing a good campaign where death is less common.

Whereas other spells will result in a level loss for the character, True Resurrection can bring a person back to life without doing so. When deciding whether to use True Resurrection, this is yet another crucial aspect to take into account.

True Resurrection might be worthwhile if your party consists of high-level characters who can't afford to lose a level. The need for True Resurrection might be less great, however, if your party consists of low-level characters who can easily afford to lose one or two levels.

The 9th level spell slot and 25,000 gold worth of diamonds are needed for True Resurrection, but other spells only need materials that are much more affordable and/or accessible. At first glance, this price might appear prohibitive, but keep in mind that diamonds are typically accessible in DandD campaigns. True Resurrection might not be as expensive as it first seems if your campaign is set in a region with abundant diamonds.

Other spells like Resurrection can only bring a creature back to life 100 years after death, whereas True Resurrection can do so up to 200 years after death. Because of this, True Resurrection is much more flexible than other spells and has the power to revive people who have been dead for a very long time.

Keep in mind, though, that this also implies that True Resurrection has the potential to bring back creatures who were turned into undead creatures during that time.

Make careful use of this power!

While other spells do not, True Resurrection also cures the creature of any spells or diseases it may have suffered from while alive.

Because of this, True Resurrection is much more potent than its imitators and has the potential to treat diseases that would otherwise be fatal. Remember this when resurrecting high-level characters who may have contracted fatal diseases during their adventures using True Resurrection.

Reincarnation vs. Other Back-to-Life Spells

The use of spells that bring back the dead characters is a topic of discussion in the D&D community.

Some contend that players can avoid emotional pain or unheroic deaths by using these spells.

Others claim that since characters can simply be brought back to life, resurrection spells prevent players from developing strong emotional connections with their characters.

Whether or not to include resurrection spells in their games is a topic of discussion among DMs.

Resurrection spells can be completely eliminated by some DMs, while others make them extremely challenging to use or punish resurrected characters with debuffs. This is frequently done to elicit a stronger response from the audience or highlight how cruel the world is.

D&D has three primary resurrection spells.

Bards, clerics, and paladins with a level of 9 or higher have the ability to cast “Raise Dead.” A body is necessary, and it costs 500 GP. It can only be utilized for a maximum of 10 days following death. There are no body parts that can be replaced by raise dead.

Reincarnate can only be cast by druids and doesn't require a body or any additional materials beyond the standard material components for spellcasting (components worth at least 25 GP). It also has no time limit on how long after death it can be used as long as some portion of the creature's soul is still within its range, which usually means within a year unless their soul was trapped in some way or destroyed upon death(unlikely).

Reincarnation changes the creature's type to an elemental beast with Hit Dice equal to its former HD – 2(minimum 1), gives them random physical characteristics based on what beast they become and keeps their mental scores from the previous life.

Despite the fact that this option enables you to return them to a completely different person or thing. There is also always a chance that something could go wrong during the transformation process and leave them weaker than before or utterly different from what/who they were in a previous life. (Not ideal if your goal is to return them to how they were.)

Similar to raising the dead, Resurrection can bring someone back even if they have been turned into the undead and fully reconstructs all amputated limbs.

Also, bear in mind that, regardless of whether or not the person who was raised from the undead retains control over themselves, many people view undeath as an abomination, so don't expect your party members to be grateful if you raise them from undeath. (which could become a problem in the future, especially since the majority of powerful undead are created through evil necromancy rather than straightforward resurrections, making them more challenging and dangerous.

Wish vs. Other Back-to-Life Spells

Resurrection can be performed using the Wish spell without the use of any physical objects, but a body is still necessary. Two wishes, one for the body and the other for the actual Resurrection, are allegedly required to bring a character back to life.

Wish is a wizard spell, which sets it apart from the other back-to-life spells, including true Resurrection. While wizard spells work magic without divine intervention by manipulating the weave, the very fabric of reality, cleric spells bring the dead back to life through divine intervention.

Wish spells actually alter the course of events. That tampering is with fate itself and DM's can use this as an opportunity to screw with players by taking things very literal.

Wish is an expensive and ineffective resurrection spell, so in most situations, it is preferable to use another one.

An exception established by Vox Machina of Critical Role would be using a Wish spell to make arrangements with god.

The following classes have spells that can bring back the dead: sorcerer, wizard, (arcana) cleric, (arcane trickster) rogue, (eldritch knight) fighter, and (genie) warlock.

Other Ways of Resurrection

Other techniques are available in D&D 5e, although spells are the most typical way to bring the dead back to life. Using a phylactery is one such approach. A phylactery is a magical item that can be used to resurrect a creature.

It typically takes the form of an amulet. The soul of the creature is tied to the phylactery, through which it can enter a new body in the event that the original one is destroyed.

Magic Jar is an alternative method of Resurrection. This spell enables the possession of creatures, making it a form of Resurrection.

Although the caster controls the possessed creature's body, the creature is not alive.

This indicates that Magic Jar traps the soul in an object rather than allowing for True Resurrection.

However, it can still be used to revive strong creatures that would be difficult or impossible to revive otherwise.

The most potent resurrection spell, True Resurrection, can even raise undead creatures.

When True Resurrection is used, casters do not incur the same penalties as they do with Resurrection.

All illnesses, curses, and poisons can be banished by True Resurrection, which can also bring the undead back to life. True Resurrection requires 25,000 GP worth of diamonds to cast.

Another possibility for Resurrection is reincarnation. A dead creature that has been dead for no more than one year per caster level is needed for this spell.

After that, the creature is given a new body and brought back to life. The creature can have a new body that is of any race it previously belonged to, but it adopts the physical traits of the new race. The creature also loses all memories of its previous life. Strong creatures that might otherwise be challenging or impossible to resurrect using other techniques can sometimes be brought back using reincarnate.

Last but not least, Wish is a spell that, in the hands of a skilled practitioner, has the potential to bring the dead back to life. Wish can pretty much do anything, so it makes sense that it could be used to revive a corpse.

Wish should only be attempted by skilled spellcasters who are confident in their capacity to use this potent spell safely because it carries a high risk of failure and potential adverse effects if cast incorrectly.

How to Incorporate Resurrection When Looking to Challenge Your Players?

Resurrection is one of the most divisive subjects in Dungeons and Dragons.

Some players and dungeon masters believe it lowers the game's stakes, while others see it as an integral component. Resurrection can be a great way to challenge your players in your game.

When including Resurrection in your game, there are a few things to consider. First, be sure to communicate your expectations to your players early on. During session zero, talk about how you'll handle death and Resurrection in your game. By doing this, confusion and frustration, later on will be reduced.

Second, avoid trying to make your group fail so they can “learn something” to make a point. The conflict between players and the Dungeon Master can frequently result from this. There are other approaches you can take if you want to challenge your players instead of eliminating them.

Last but not least, keep in mind that there is no assurance that players will respond as you desire when they die. Changing approaches can sometimes aid the roleplaying process. Be ready for anything if you decide to use Resurrection in your game.


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