D&D 5E Can I use animate dead to reanimate a zombie that has been killed?


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Stormonu

Legend
I remember there being both Animate Dead Animals and Create Crawling Claw spells in earlier editions and would not be adverse to bringing them back.

If the zombie had simply de-animated for some reason (a specialized anti-magic field, cleric ability or somesuch) and hadn't been reduced to 0 hp, I would allow reanimation. But if the zombie/skeleton had been reduced to 0 hp via damage, no I would not.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Really? The Animate Undead spell says nothing about healing or heads and body parts stitching themselves back together and while I’d be ok with a weirdly articulated pile of animated bone, actually allowing corpses to repair themselves I think is beyond the spell RAW.

And if any pile of body parts can make a zombie, whats the point of Flesh golems etc?
Well in most cases PCs are going to use this spell on humanoids they violently killed a few minutes earlier. So they are typically going to be burned, chopped, stabbed etc. You hacked them to death when you killed them the first time,

So how does it do this when you cast it on the human guards you just slaughtered .... or do you have to go to the morgue to find pristine corpses to use?
 
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Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Well in most cases PCs are going to use this spell on humanoids they violently killed a few minutes earlier. So they are typically going to be burned, chopped, stabbed etc. You hacked them to death when you killed them the first time,

So how does it do this when you cast it on the human guards you just slaughtered .... or do you have to go to the morgue to find pristine corpses to use?
People die easy, a persons skin suffers 40% burns they die from pain trauma, a stab wound bleeds out and they die but the corpse stays intact.
Undead arent stopped so easily- the fiction says they need to be destroyed by having brains destroyed or chopping into peices etc etc.

So thats the first difference - a dead humanoid is not a destroyed corpse. When fighting zombies a dagger wound to the gut isnt stopping it, MORE is needed but is subsumed as HP

secondly if I can pile up any collection of body parts and not bother to have them intact then why bother making crawling claws etc indeed can a flesh golems corpse be re-animated as a zombie?

Moreover how much of a corpse is required? If I just have a torso and an arm and cast animate dead will it rise? If I just have a clavicle and severed thumb is it bam Zombie
- then if I slice that zombie to little slivers of dead flesh and put them in different piles is it bam zombie horde?
 

Since by RAW there seems to be nothing short of their utter annihilation that would keep a pile of bones from being reanimated infinite time, nor even a requirement they actually be a set of bones suitable to create a humanoid's skeleton, I'm inclined to be lenient towards what counts as a corpse.

Ultimately necromancy is something that requires some rules negotiation at the table if it is going to become a substantial part of your campaign.
 

Can you cite any rules to support this interpretation?

You cant be an undead if you are either;

1) Alive, or
2) Dead.

If I animate Timmys (a human) corpse, I create an undead monster using Timmys body (and arguably soul or spirit) that is neither alive, nor dead, while it exists.

His corpse doesn't remain undead, once it is no longer undead (and is back to being just dead Timmy).

You cant have a 'dead undead', anymore than you can have a 'living undead'. An undead that is either alive, or dead, is not (by definition), undead.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
You cant be an undead if you are either;

1) Alive, or
2) Dead.

If I animate Timmys (a human) corpse, I create an undead monster using Timmys body (and arguably soul or spirit) that is neither alive, nor dead, while it exists.

His corpse doesn't remain undead, once it is no longer undead (and is back to being just dead Timmy).

You cant have a 'dead undead', anymore than you can have a 'living undead'. An undead that is either alive, or dead, is not (by definition), undead.

MM page 7 TYPE: Undead are once-living creatures brought to a horrifying state of undeath through the practice of necromantic magic or some unholy curse.

State of Undeath is where the GM intepretation kicks in for me, the once humanoid corpse changes its State to ‘Undeath’ and is thus reanimated as Undead - it is no longer humanoid and destroying it doesnt revert its State of Undeath to something else
 
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A zombie, now being undead, is no longer a humanoid and therefore does not meet the requirements of the spell. So, no, that won’t work at our table.
It’s no longer undead. It’s an object. It’s a corpse. That’s my opinion. I find JCs interpretation of monster types very weird.

The argument that you can’t Resurrection on a corpse because it was once an undead and now the corpses ‘type’ changed from humanoid to ‘undead’ boggles the mind.

If you told me the corpse had been fouled by necromantic energies and can no longer be resurrected, it’s much easier for me to accept.

In any case, I’m on the side that corpse might be too damaged to be brought back as a zombie but could probably be brought back as a skeleton
 
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