The Definitive Guide to Revivify in D&D 5th Edition

01 - A female wood elf ranger lies unconscious atop a stone altar, blood staining her leather armor.
Table of Contents

Few spells inspire as much hope in the heat of battle as revivify. With the power to bring an expired ally back from the brink, revivify offers a critical second chance when luck turns ill and the unthinkable occurs. Though death lurks around every dungeon corner, devoted healers can act as fate's foil, defeating destiny with a touch and a few sparkling gems.

Yet revivify's astounding potential belies its limitations. Timing is everything when reversing death's grasp. Mastering this spell requires insight, preparation, and a bit of cunning.

This definitive guide will explore revivify's capacities and limits. You'll learn the spell inside and out, from its diamond dust components to the strict one minute time limit. Creative applications for revivify will be considered along with techniques for optimizing its use. Revivify's niche among resurrection spells will also be examined.

Once armed with this knowledge, you'll be poised to cheat death itself, snatching fallen comrades from the abyss when mere seconds separate life from loss. There is no greater ally than revivify when every round counts.

What is Revivify and How Does it Work?

In brief, revivify allows a caster to return life to someone recently deceased. The spell bears a few specific qualifications:

  • School: Necromancy
  • Level: 3rd
  • Casting Time: 1 action
  • Range: Touch
  • Duration: Instantaneous
  • Components: Verbal, somatic, material (diamonds worth 300 gp, consumed)

Available to clerics, paladins, and artificers, revivify functions as follows:

  • The caster touches a creature that has died within the past minute.
  • The target returns to life with 1 hit point.
  • Revivify cannot restore life to someone deceased from old age.
  • It also cannot regrow severed body parts or appendages.

So in practice, revivify essentially rewinds time 60 seconds or less for an expired creature, erasing their death and reinstating them at 1 HP. It's an efficient “undo button” for recent fatalities, collapsing a minute's worth of tragedy into a split second revival.

The sole material component is diamonds valued at no less than 300 gp. These are consumed when the spell is successfully cast. If revivify fails due to time constraints or a missing body part, the diamonds remain untouched.

The Complexities of Character Death in D&D

To fully appreciate revivify's lifesaving potential, it's important to understand character death and dying mechanics in D&D 5th edition.

When a PC or important NPC is reduced to 0 hit points, they fall unconscious. In later rounds they must begin making death saving throws. These are d20 rolls with the following outcomes:

  • 10 or higher: Succeed, one success accrued. 3 successes stabilize the character.
  • 9 or lower: Fail, one failure accrued. 3 failures result in death.
  • Nat 20: Regain 1 HP immediately.
  • Nat 1: 2 failures.

So typically a character isn't truly dead after reaching 0 HP. They enter a limbo state where allies can heal or stabilize them. Only after accruing 3 failed death saves do they perish for good.

Revivify renders these mechanics temporarily obsolete. If cast within 60 seconds, the target springs back to life, bypassing the death save countdown entirely. Those diamond components are imbued with enough magical defibrillation to reboot a spent comrade's vital processes.

The Risks of Permanent Death in D&D

While characters only truly expire after 3 failed death saves, plenty can go awry in those suspenseful rounds. Allies may be unable to intervene against ongoing threats. Enemies could hamper access to the body. And devastating attacks that exceed a target's maximum HP subtract additional failed death saves.

Without revivify as a safety net, characters risk permanent demise from:

  • Accumulating 3 failed death saves before allies can help.
  • Sustaining massive damage exceeding maximum HP.
  • Having their bodies destroyed or made inaccessible.

Losing a character forever can derail campaigns. Hours of play, gold, and magic items vanish in an instant. The party's cohesion weakens. And players feel justifiable frustration.

In most cases, revivify enables avoided catastrophe, redeeming an ally's bad luck or momentary lapse in judgement. It offers a second chance when characters would otherwise succumb to arbitrary calamity.

Of course, scarcity is revivify's counterbalance. Components must be conserved. The timing limitations impose dramatic tension. And higher-level spells eventually overtake it. Nonetheless, in the right circumstances, revivify earns its status as a literal lifesaver.

Obtaining and Casting Revivify

Revivify is highly accessible for a resurrection spell. Let's examine how most characters acquire and harness it.

Classes Capable of Learning Revivify

Only three classes have innate access to revivify within D&D 5th edition:

  • Clerics: Gain access to their entire spell list.
  • Paladins: Add revivify to their expanded list at 9th level.
  • Artificers: Can learn revivify starting at 9th level.

Two other classes can utilize revivify through special class features:

  • Bards: Can learn revivify via Magical Secrets at 10th level.
  • Druids: Optional class features allow revivify at 9th level.

Lastly, a few archetypes grant revivify through subclass spell lists:

  • Divine Soul Sorcerers: Gain cleric spells, including revivify.
  • Celestial Warlocks: Revivify appears on their expanded spell list.

So while not universally widespread, revivify appears on enough spell lists to make it readily accessible for most parties. The archetypes in particular ensure full spellcasting classes can utilize it.

Between clerics natively learning revivify and paladins, druids, and bards accessing it through class features, most parties should have a member capable of reviving fallen allies.

Spell Slots Required for Revivify

As a 3rd-level spell, revivify requires a 3rd-level spell slot to cast. The only way to prepare revivify is to have access to 3rd-level slots.

Full spellcasting classes like clerics gain access to 3rd-level slots starting at 5th level. So parties will realistically need to be 5th level or higher for revivify to be available.

Half and one-third spellcasters must reach even higher levels to harness revivify. Paladins and rangers don't get 3rd-level slots until 9th level. The same applies to artificers. And bards must be 10th level to learn revivify via Magical Secrets, since they don't natively have 3rd-level slots until then.

So ideally, each party should contain at least one full spellcaster who can prepare revivify daily starting at 5th level. But even if lacking a cleric, druid, or bard, half casters like paladins can fill the void later on.

Diamond Dust Material Component

The lone material component for revivify is a handful of diamonds worth at least 300 gp. These diamonds are consumed when successfully casting revivify.

Ideally each caster capable of preparing revivify should keep 150-200 gp of diamond dust on their person. This provides a safety buffer for multiple revivals per day if needed. Parcels can be divided into pinches worth about 50 gp each.

For wealthy parties, stocking up on diamond supplies can ensure readiness to handle an unlucky day. But for low level casters or groups strapped for gold, accumulating enough diamonds may require planning and sacrifice. Searching jewel markets in cities, investigating mines, or questing to obtain a large diamond are potential solutions. If access to diamonds is limited, reserve revivify only for emergencies until finances improve.

When acquiring diamond supplies, search for imperfections that drive down value without reducing utility. Even flawed diamonds work perfectly for revivify's components. Just keep accurate appraisals certifying they meet the 300 gp threshold.

Using Revivify Effectively and Creatively

Mastering revivify requires foresight, communication, and creativity. Let's explore guidelines for optimizing this lifesaving spell in play.

Ideal Circumstances to Use Revivify

  • During battle when an ally suddenly drops.
  • To quickly revive fallen NPCs before moving on.
  • Any scenario where someone perished very recently.

Revivify shines when used immediately in response to an accidental or arbitrary death. It invalidates bad luck, rewarding boldness in combat.

The spell also prevents nuisance TPKs from a single fight gone awry. One failed save doesn't need to derail an entire campaign. Revivify enables pushing on; the diamonds and spell slot a small price to pay to defy an untimely end.

For NPCs, revivify introduces helpful figures, witnesses, and informants who can augment adventures. Don't let valuable allies perish permanently when their lives can be readily prolonged.

Tracking Revivify's One Minute Time Limit

Timing is everything when revivifying. The caster must touch the target within 60 seconds of their demise. This requires fast action and situational awareness.

In combat, keep exact track of the round a companion drops. D&D rounds equate to six seconds each. So ten rounds equals one minute. Never guess; note the specifics.

If overwhelmed tracking each round, appoint a player as timekeeper. They can log the battle's timeline for reference should revivify become necessary.

Use spells like spare the dying to stabilize dying allies. This prevents death saves from progressing, buying additional time to cast revivify after threats are neutralized.

When exploring dangerous locations, be ready to cast revivify at a moment's notice. Keep those diamond pinches within easy reach rather than buried in packs. Saving seconds locating components could make the difference.

Preparing and Conserving Spell Slots

A party's spellcasting resources are finite. Managing usage to ensure revivify is available when required involves some strategy and discipline.

Ideally the party should finish deadly encounters with revivify ready for use, as a security blanket against ill luck. Here are some techniques to help preserve a revivify slot during an adventure day:

  • Optimize choices when preparing spells: Avoid selecting too many spells requiring 3rd-level slots. Balance utility and power with availability.
  • Reserve one 3rd-level slot exclusively for revivify: Even if tempted to smite, counterspell, or cast a signature damage spell, exercise restraint to keep revivify available.
  • Short rest judiciously: Converting lower level slots to a single 3rd level slot once before a final deadly battle can guarantee revivify is prepped.
  • Consider spell selection and use carefully: Don't blow high level slots on non-essential purposes. Stick to lower leveled spells for general needs.
  • Designate a revivify user for the day: Ensure at least one caster holds a 3rd-level slot in reserve as a contingeny.
  • Use spell recovery items: Potions like superior restoration can recover spent 3rd level slots to get revivify back.

With practice, balancing revivify availability against a party's typical magical needs becomes easier. Don't squander high level slots frivolously when lives hang in the balance.

Stocking Diamond Material Components

Running out of diamond dust mid-dungeon can render revivify useless. Keep adequate supplies on hand through smart planning and money management.

  • Purchase diamonds in bulk whenever possible. Big parcels offer bulk savings over single gem purchases. Search for wholesale suppliers in large cities.
  • Pool money with other PCs capable of casting revivify. Split diamond stocks evenly for shared access.
  • Invest coin windfalls into extra supplies. Diamonds hold value indefinitely, so they remain a liquid asset.
  • Avoid using the last pinch of diamond dust frivolously. Conserve at least one revivify's worth for security.
  • Consider keeping backup diamonds in a storage vault rather than risk losing your entire supply in the field.

With time, gold, and prudence, a healthy stockpile of revivify diamonds can be accrued. Never leave town utterly broke and diamondless!

Protecting Bodies in Combat

The biggest barrier to revivifying in battle is losing access to bodies. Enemies may claim or destroy corpses to prevent raising allies against them.

  • Use battlefield control spells like wall of stone to block access to fallen allies.
  • Have the bard or rogue utilize charisma or cunning to convince foes the bodies are diseased.
  • The fighter and barbarian can grapple troublesome enemies away from corpses.
  • Final resorts include stuffing bodies in bags of holding or having the wizard teleport them away.

Coordinate as a team, play to your strengths, and get creative! Don't allow the deceased to fall into irretrievable situations.

Emergency Contingencies

No matter the preparation, circumstances can conspire to make revivify impossible. A backup plan or two never hurts.

  • Have a NPC companion like a sidekick capable of casting revivify at need.
  • Entrust someone with a casting ring or scroll holding revivify as insurance.
  • Research contingencies like the reincarnation spell, which returns characters to life albeit changed.
  • Hold a seance with a spirit medium to contact slain allies beyond the revivify timeframe. Their souls may consent to return under the right circumstances.
  • Travel to the afterlife's outer planes to request an ally's soul back from petitioners. Deities may show mercy, for a price.

With ingenuity, even death's doorstep can be circumvented. Fortune favors the bold who plan for the unthinkable.

Creative Applications for Revivify

While revivify's utility for rescuing dead companions is obvious, creative Dungeon Masters and players can find some intriguing applications:

Obtain testimonies from the deceased. Criminals and spies commit suicide to avoid interrogation. Revivify grants 60 fleeting seconds to compel them to talk through zone of truth.

Gather eyewitness accounts. Revivifying deceased witnesses and victims provides firsthand perspectives. The revived can share invaluable insights before their souls move on.

Utilize particular skills. Need expertise only the dead possess? Revivify briefly returns their abilities to the living. Have them pick locks, identify magic items, or appraise treasures beyond the grave.

Buy time against death curses. When facing lethal death curses, revivify can temporarily halt their activation, allowing time to seek solutions. Just be sure to keep diamonds handy!

Take a mulligan. Accidentally revivify the big bad or your arch nemesis? No worries, they're only at 1 HP. Just strike them down again before they cause any trouble.

Enhance interrogations. Creatures may resist torture or divulging secrets while alive. But promises of a quick painless death and instant revivification may persuade them to reconsider.

Second chance romance. Did your true love die abruptly? Revivify grants 60 fleeting seconds for one final message, kiss, or goodbye. Just mind the diamond dust on their lips.

With creativity, revivify offers exciting storytelling potential beyond its obvious combat utility. Don't let preconceptions limit imagination!

How Revivify Compares to Other Resurrection Magic

Revivify occupies a unique niche among resurrection spells, offering the fastest revival but only within a limited timeframe. Let's examine how it compares and contrasts with other options.

Raise Dead

  • 5th level, requires touch, consumes 500 gp diamond
  • Revives target dead up to 10 days
  • Target returns with 1 HP and gains one level of exhaustion

Raise dead acts as revivify's slower but more versatile cousin. For eight times the diamond cost, it extends the viable resurrection window from one minute to ten days.

The tradeoff is the exhaustion level, which imposes disadvantages on everything the revived target attempts. Multiple castings remove multiple exhaustion levels, so the penalties can be erased with time.

In a pinch, raise dead gives more flexibility. But if revivify is an option, it's by far the superior choice. Avoiding any exhaustion drawback is a significant advantage.


  • 5th level, range of touch, consumes 1000 gp of rare oils and unguents
  • Revives a body dead up to 10 days, returning them in an entirely new form
  • The revived creature recalls their former life and experiences

Reincarnation provides an intriguing alternative when revivify is impossible. By transforming the target into a new random race, it skirts the “body must be intact” limitation.

The recipient may be none too thrilled at their new identity however. Elves may find themselves goblins, dwarves might return as gnomes, and regal dragonborn could awaken kobolds. It takes an open minded party to accept reincarnation's unpredictable outcomes.

When revivify is unavailable though, reincarnation preventsHaving revivify prepared enhances a party's endurance against the deadliest foes. The spell enables daring tactical maneuvers, confident that an unlucky dice roll won't transform a bold gambit into tragedy.

With foresight, preparation, and tactical coordination, revivify's potential shines bright. A party capable of quickly reviving its fallen members can explore the most lethal dungeons and confront the mightiest evils the GM dares pit against them.

Just be sure to pack those diamond dust components! While money can be regained, a companion's life is truly priceless. For what wealth could replace the hole left in comrades' hearts by permanent loss?

So master revivify, and laugh in death's face when she comes knocking too soon for your allies. Turn the tables on fate, and let your party's tales fill tavern halls with stories of triumph snatched from disaster's jaws!


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