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Resurrection (spell)

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Resurrection was a conjuration or necromancy spell that could restore life and full vigorous health to one dead creature.[2][3][4][7] Earlier versions of this spell were reversible, called destruction, and could turn a victim to dust.[3][4][7]


The application of this spell was limited to creatures that had been dead for no longer than ten years per level of the caster.[2][3][4][7] The creature could not be undead, a construct, an elemental, or an outsider.[2][3][4][7] The oldest necromantic version of this spell was further restricted to only resurrect humans, half-elves, dwarves, gnomes, and halflings.[8] This spell did not work on creatures that died of old age but did work on creatures killed by a death effect.[2][3][4][7]

Resurrection required at least a piece of the deceased that was part of the body at the time of death;[2][3][4][7] even the remains of a disintegrated victim were sufficient.[2] The deceased had to have enough constitution (at the time of death) to survive the process, but the body was fully restored, poisons removed, and diseases cured by this spell.[2][3][4][7] Even memorized spells were restored.[2] All versions of resurrection required the priest to touch the remains in order to cast the spell.[2][3][4][7]

Upon completion of this spell, there was a price to be paid. For the necromantic versions, the caster aged three years and was mentally and physically exhausted, requiring one or more days of bedrest before being able to cast spells or engage in combat again, but the recipient was made whole.[3][4][7] For the conjuration version, the newly raised creature lost a level of experience, or their constitution was significantly weakened if they had no more experience to lose.[2]

Undead creatures that had been destroyed and had some remains left could be resurrected back to life.[3]

When cast in reverse, destruction instantly killed the victim and turned them to dust such that only a wish or equally powerful magics could bring them back. If the target managed to overcome this death magic, they were instead subjected to a large amount of damage (which could also have been fatal). The priest had to successfully touch the target in order to cast the spell but did not age three years.[3][4][7]


In addition to a verbal component, the conjuration spell required the caster to touch the remains, sprinkle them with holy water, and provide at least 10,000 gp worth of diamonds.[9] The necromancy version only required holy water for resurrection and unholy water for destruction in addition to the verbal and somatic components, including touching the remains.[3][4][7]


See AlsoEdit


  1. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 207–208.272. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 272. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 235. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 298. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  5. Cook, Findley, Herring, Kubasik, Sargent, Swan (1991). Tome of Magic 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 153. ISBN 1-56076-107-5.
  6. Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), p. 187. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 53. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  8. Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 50, 53. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  9. Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 273. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.

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