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

And that's a very good reason to rule in certain way. But I was trying to outline what the rules actually say. And rules do not use these terms in plain English sense. Plain English meaning and D&D rules definition of 'humanoid' don't align either.

The whole point of 5E was to use plain English and move away from that kind of thing though
Also, if you think that a slain zombie becomes 'a humanoid corpse' what happens if one casts revivify or raise dead on it?

It comes back to life as a Human (presuming the other preconditions for the spell are met).

If you cast Raise Dead on Timmy (a formerly Human) but now undead Zombie, nothing happens. If you cast it on Timmys corpse (a former Undead) it works just fine, because that Corpse is not undead. It's just... dead.
 

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Question for the people who argue for the existence of 'dead but also still somehow undead' creatures.

Raise dead explicitly does not work on undead

Is it your arguments that to inflict perma death all you need to do is animate someone as a zombie, thus permantly making them 'undead' and making raising them impossible?

Or does ending their state of undeath (and rendering them simply a dead corpse again) make them valid targets for raise dead?

I certainly side with the latter. You can't raise an animated human zombie (it's undead and not dead) but you can destroy it (ending its state of undeath, and restoring its state of death) and then raise it from the dead as the original humanoid creature.
 

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I certainly side with the latter. You can't raise an animated human zombie (it's undead and not dead) but you can destroy it (ending its state of undeath, and restoring its state of death) and then raise it from the dead as the original humanoid creature.
where do you get that interpretation?

that means PCs can stake and kill Vlad the Undead Vampire so he’s now a destroyed undead - by your logic he becomes a humanoid corpse that I can now happily cast raise dead On?

If a zombie in undeath is destroyed, it is a destroyed object it cant be raised nor reanimated
 

where do you get that interpretation?

that means PCs can stake and kill Vlad the Undead Vampire so he’s now a destroyed undead - by your logic he becomes a humanoid corpse that I can now happily cast raise dead On?

If a zombie in undeath is destroyed, it is a destroyed object it cant be raised nor reanimated

Yeah, Vlad can be raised (as a human) in his non Vampire form if destroyed. When destroyed, he is no longer undead (quite literally) and his remains are a valid target for Raise dead (barring the time restriction seeing as he died aeons ago).

There are canonical examples of this happening (undead creatures being killed and then raised as their original selves).
 


Be cool if you can cite such an example

From the Zombie entry specifically for starters:

Once turned into a zombie, a creature can't be restored to life except by powerful magic, such as a resurrection spell. - MM pg. 315

Vlad is likely not a valid target as his soul must be willing (it likely wouldn't be) and not blocked from returning (and the Dark Powers would likely not allow it) but thats a special circumstance really.

Clearly though Ressurection expressly restores a dead Zombie to Life (and not to Undeath).
 


By my understanding of the rules, a corpse is classed as an object.

Crawford confused the issue with a tweet on revivify cast on a dead Zombie bringing back a Zombie.

Hes wrong for the record. A Zombie dropped to 0HP is destroyed (so not a valid target for revivify) unless it's also a creature that died in the last minute (so a valid target for revivify) on account of dying, being animated and then destroyed and then being targeted with revivify all inside 1 minute, revivify simply won't work at all on one
 

Crawford confused the issue with a tweet on revivify cast on a dead Zombie bringing back a Zombie.

Hes wrong for the record. A Zombie dropped to 0HP is destroyed (so not a valid target for revivify) unless it's also a creature that died in the last minute (so a valid target for revivify) on account of dying, being animated and then destroyed and then being targeted with revivify all inside 1 minute, revivify simply won't work at all on one
Crawford's rulings can be a bit silly sometimes*.


*= frequently
 

Question for the people who argue for the existence of 'dead but also still somehow undead' creatures.

Raise dead explicitly does not work on undead

Is it your arguments that to inflict perma death all you need to do is animate someone as a zombie, thus permantly making them 'undead' and making raising them impossible?
Yes. It would be weird if a necromancer raised their fallen comrades as zombies so they could walk back to temple to be raised from the dead. Once the corpse has become undead, that's forever and it is 'spoiled' for bringing back to live purposes. (Methods that do not rely on the corpse in the first place could still work.)

But yeah the rules regarding this are muddy and Crawford's "clarifications" are contradictory, so I can't really argue that any of us are on terribly solid ground RAW-wise... It seems to be one of those "sort it yourself" issues. 🤷
 
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that means PCs can stake and kill Vlad the Undead Vampire so he’s now a destroyed undead - by your logic he becomes a humanoid corpse that I can now happily cast raise dead On?
We've been running it that way for decades. More than one noble knight has brought the King's Daughter back from being a vampire bride! It's the (expensive) happy ending to stories involving innocent people cursed to undeath.
 

We've been running it that way for decades. More than one noble knight has brought the King's Daughter back from being a vampire bride! It's the (expensive) happy ending to stories involving innocent people cursed to undeath.
I guess I prefer tragic endings! :ROFLMAO: My 'happy ending' version would be the vampire princess overcoming the influence of the vampire lord and turning against him, but she definitely would remain a vampire! (And now the characters have a new morally grey ally, so that's great!)
 

Yes. It would be weird if a necromancer raised their fallen comrades as zombies so they could walk back to temple to be raised from the dead.

The entry for Zombies expressly and clearly states they can be raised from the dead (and restored to life, not undeath) with Resurrection.

There have been canonical examples of creatures who were made undead, being destroyed and then raised (coming back as the non undead, living versions of their former selves) as well. Not sure if any exist post 5E, but certainly in earlier editions of the gmae.

JC did post a contradictory tweet, but that tweet doesn't make sense (a Zombie that is destroyed is not a valid target for Revivify as it's not 'a creature that has died in the last 1 minute', unless - in addition to being a Zombie that was destroyed, it is ALSO a creature that died in the last minute (by virtue of dying, being reanimated as a zombie, being destroyed and then being targeted with the spell.... all in the space of a minute).

Personally I'll take the RAW on Zombies (they can be restored to life by being destroyed, and then Resurrected) and the literal, plain English definition of undead (a creature that is neither alive, nor dead) as my guide.
 

Found it.

It's canon in 5e (You can kill a Vampire, and Raise the corpse from the dead, where it returns as the former living person):

Curse of Strahd (pg. 47):

The shape is Doru, a vampire spawn [...] If the characters restrain Doru and either promise him blood or threaten to destroy him, or if they kill him and then raise him from the dead, he recounts the events that led to his downfall [...]
 


I guess I prefer tragic endings! :ROFLMAO: My 'happy ending' version would be the vampire princess overcoming the influence of the vampire lord and turning against him, but she definitely would remain a vampire! (And now the characters have a new morally grey ally, so that's great!)
My favorite was Snow White as a vampire, eventually defeated and sealed away by dwarven champions in a cottage in the darkest wood. I later discovered Neil Gaiman wrote a similar short story, so I was happy as a clam.
 

For the avoidance of any doubt, there is also true resurrection:

This spell closes all wounds, neutralizes any poison, cures all diseases, and lifts any curses affecting the creature when it died. The spell replaces damaged or missing organs and limbs. If the creature was undead, it is restored to its non-undead form.

That's about as explicit as it gets right there.

Of course the implication here is that due to that explicitness, ONLY true resurrection restores a former undead to it's living form (resurrection, raise dead and revivify are not enough).
 

The entry for Zombies expressly and clearly states they can be raised from the dead (and restored to life, not undeath) with Resurrection.
Which is weird. Why talk about 'powerful magic' and Resurrection if Raise Dead or even Revivify would suffice? I suspect it might be a mistake and they meant to say True Resurrection. Also, this is in the fluff section, so I wouldn't treat it as rules, though it can certainly give an insight to the intent.

There have been canonical examples of creatures who were made undead, being destroyed and then raised (coming back as the non undead, living versions of their former selves) as well. Not sure if any exist post 5E, but certainly in earlier editions of the gmae.
Well, that really doesn't matter. There often are things in the fluff that doesn't strictly follow the rules and even more so if we talk about stuff produced under a different edition.

JC did post a contradictory tweet, but that tweet doesn't make sense (a Zombie that is destroyed is not a valid target for Revivify as it's not 'a creature that has died in the last 1 minute', unless - in addition to being a Zombie that was destroyed, it is ALSO a creature that died in the last minute (by virtue of dying, being reanimated as a zombie, being destroyed and then being targeted with the spell.... all in the space of a minute).
Mechanically it is a zombie that died. The rules do not differentiate between destroyed and dead for creatures. Mechanically constructs and undead 'die' when they run out of hit points. I agree that Crawford's ruling is intuitively weird, but it seems to be in accordance with RAW.

Personally I'll take the RAW on Zombies (they can be restored to life by being destroyed, and then Resurrected) and the literal, plain English definition of undead (a creature that is neither alive, nor dead) as my guide.
What I feel is confusing that you seem to be vacillating between plain English and rules definitions of things. I assume the rule text refers to rules concepts, thus when rules refer to 'dead' creature they mean a creature that has become permanently inactive due running out hit points regardless of creature type and when they refer to corpse of a given creature type they refer to a corpse left by a creature of that creature type.

Found it.

It's canon in 5e (You can kill a Vampire, and Raise the corpse from the dead, where it returns as the former living person):

Curse of Strahd (pg. 47):
Ok, so according to this Raise Dead is sufficient...

(Also, am I expected to search every adventure module to learn how the rules in PHB are supposed to work?)


For the avoidance of any doubt, there is also true resurrection:

This spell closes all wounds, neutralizes any poison, cures all diseases, and lifts any curses affecting the creature when it died. The spell replaces damaged or missing organs and limbs. If the creature was undead, it is restored to its non-undead form.

That's about as explicit as it gets right there.

Of course the implication here is that due to that explicitness, ONLY true resurrection restores a former undead to it's living form (resurrection, raise dead and revivify are not enough).
But according to this, it is not and you need True Resurrection... o_O This is a mess!

I knew that True Resurrection can do it, which to me pretty strongly imply that other spells cannot!
 

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