Raise Dead is a 5th-level party buffering spell available for the Bard, Cleric, and Paladin spell lists.
Being able to aid your party and spawn in a helping hand is always a benefit in the long run.
Players should, however, study the target they wish to reanimate quite carefully.
The Player’s Handbook specifics are as follows:
Raise Dead 5e
Casting Time: 1 hour
Components: V, S, M (diamond worth at least 500GP, which the spell will consume)
You resurrect a target you touch, provided it has been dead for no longer than 10 days.
If the target’s soul is willing and at its liberty to rejoin the body, it will return to life with 1 HP.
Raise Dead neutralizes any poison and cures nonmagical diseases that had affected the target before it died.
However, this spell doesn’t remove magical diseases, curses, or other similar effects. If these aren’t first removed before casting the spell, they take effect as the creature returns to life.
Note: The spell can’t return an undead creature to life.
This spell closes all mortal wounds but doesn’t restore missing body parts. If the target lacks body parts or organs integral to its survival – like its head, for instance – the spell fails automatically.
Coming back from the dead is quite the ordeal. The target will take a -4 penalty to all its attack rolls, saving rolls, and ability checks.
However, every time the target takes a long rest, the penalty will be reduced by 1 until it disappears completely.
What Does Raise Dead Do 5e?
Raise Dead is a 5th-level Necromancy spell that raises dead creatures willing to serve a master in their afterlife.
The creature mustn’t have been dead for more than ten days when cast. Most importantly, it must be willing to rejoin its decaying flesh.
Note: A caster wanting to raise a creature badly affected by physical wounds should carefully consider resurrecting them, as their injuries will not heal naturally.
Freshly resurrected creatures are at a disadvantage, so keeping them out of combat is wise. However, keep in mind the spell does neutralize poisons and nonmagical diseases that affected the creature at the time of death.
Classes Able To Use Raise Dead
Traditional classes, such as Bards, Clerics, and Paladins, can use Raise Dead since it is a part of their spell lists.
Subclasses such as a Theurgy (Wizard) can use Raise Dead when swapped out for a Cleric spell.
Note: This subclass is part of the Unearthed Arcana (UA) expansion of D&D 5e.
Is Raise Dead Good?
Raise Dead can come in exceptionally handy, especially when the creature that has been raised is thoroughly equipped for any situation.
Advantages of Raise Dead
Overall low requirements: Casting uses no concentration; it is also not an offensive spell meaning its low range isn’t accounted for, and it takes only one hour to bring back a dead target.
Extremely long duration: Raising the dead means they remain resurrected until they die once more.
Not only that but bodies last up to ten days before not being able to cast Raise Dead on them anymore.
Players can easily find a necromancer able to cast this spell if nobody in the party has unlocked it yet.
No noteworthy side effects: Raised followers have no significant side effects after resting four times.
The only lasting marks are magical and physical damage done to the target before death.
Resurrect fallen allies: Allies who have died can easily be resurrected if they have not been dead for more than ten days.
Drawbacks of Raise Dead
Expensive material component: Casting Raise Dead uses a 500GP diamond each time the spell is cast.
Enrages the DM: After unlocking Raise Dead, the DM will likely nerf it or start crying because nobody can die anymore.
Optimizing Raise Dead
Take Advantage of Vengeful Spirits
Within the D&D universe, many vengeful spirits seek revenge on the ones who wronged them.
If they are capable of returning and willing to be resurrected, the caster can use them to their advantage.
If the party were to aid the newly risen spirit, it would surely show them loyalty and assist them on their adventures.
Note: The body of the vengeful spirit may not be older than ten days.
Build Your Own Frankenstein’s Monster
Resurrecting a target can be an ordeal if they have lost a limb. Luckily for you, D&D offers great limb replacement spells that players can use.
Magical prostheses include Simple, Advanced, Morphic, Elemental, and Energy.
Players can start using Simple prosthetics, gradually replacing them if more powerful alternatives are unlocked as they level up.
When the late game rolls around, a party can have a fully-fledged zombie modified with the best prosthetics fighting for them on the frontline.
Commonly Asked Questions
What Is the Cost of Raise Dead?
Raising the dead can be quite costly the more players use it. With every use of the spell, players must buy an additional diamond costing 500GP.
Players constantly using Raise Dead can quickly become a financial issue for the whole party.
Can You Raise a Zombie?
Undead creatures are already dead; they cannot be brought back even if slayed because they were never alive in the first place.
However, as stated by Jeremy Crawford, even though Raise Dead cannot resurrect the undead, Revivify revives any type of creature that is slain.
Can Druids Use Raise Dead?
Druids cannot use Raise Dead; however, they can cast True Resurrection, which is an extension of Reincarnation.
On the other hand, Clerics also use Resurrection, an extension of Raise Dead.
The only difference between these spells is the spiritual implications for the class casting them.
Raise Dead is an incredibly entertaining spell. It provides infinite situations where it could be helpful, with almost no drawbacks.
Supportive classes, especially Clerics, will find Raise Dead a welcome addition to their active spell list.
Even though this spell is extremely valuable, be mindful of your DM. DMs often know the power Raise Dead holds in the hands of a seasoned adventurer, so they will try their best to balance the campaign accordingly!