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


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Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
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.
Presumably the change in Type is a mechanical representation of the latter, or of the body being too damaged now (being hacked to pieces to put it down, and/or the brain being destroyed, if we're talking Romero-inspired zombies), for the body to be animated a second time.

I could see it reasonably ruled either way, although I lean toward thinking there must be some limit, short of complete cremation or disintegration.
 
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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

Yes it does. It restores its status to 'dead' (what it was before it became undead). It is - quite literally - no longer undead. It is - quite literally now - dead.

That's the only interpretation that doesn't result in an absurdity of a 'dead undead'
 

Yes it does. It restores its status to 'dead' (what it was before it became undead). It is - quite literally - no longer undead. It is - quite literally now - dead.

That's the only interpretation that doesn't result in an absurdity of a 'dead undead'
AFAIK 'humanoid corpse' is not a thing that the rules recognise either. Technically only creatures can be humanoids, but corpses are objects. Thus for the spell to ever do anything at all, we must assume that 'humanoid corpse' is a colloquial reference corpse that used to be a humanoid, and thus by the same logic 'undead corpse' is a corpse that used to be an undead. There is nothing in the rules that would indicate that the creature type would change upon death, thus a slain zombie is 'undead corpse' just as a slain goblin is a 'humanoid corpse'.
 
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Yes it does. It restores its status to 'dead' (what it was before it became undead). It is - quite literally - no longer undead. It is - quite literally now - dead.

That's the only interpretation that doesn't result in an absurdity of a 'dead undead'
I've always used the term Destroy. You can't kill an undead because it's not alive. You can only kill something that is alive. You can destroy it, though. And, to me, Once it's destroyed, it's simply a corpse again.

Which, for the purpose of the OP makes me think, if the corpse is sufficiently destroyed, it'd be difficult to make another zombie, but you could still make a skeleton out of the pile of bones.
 

AFAIK 'humanoid corpse' is not a thing that the rules recognise either. Technically only creatures can be humanoids, but corpses are objects. Thus for the spell to ever do anything at all, we must assume that 'humanoid corpse' is a colloquial reference corpse that used to be a humanoid, and thus by the same logic 'undead corpse' is a corpse that used to be an undead. There is nothing in the rules that would indicate that the creature type would change upon death, thus a slain zombie is 'undead corpse' just as a slain goblin is a 'humanoid corpse'.
Is there no difference between a slain undead Ogre or a slain undead Dragon? They are no longer a former dragon or Ogre? They are just undead?

The interesting thing about this ruling is turning someone into an undead, 100% proofs them from being resurrected since that spell doesn't work on undead.

"You touch a dead creature that has been dead for no more than a century, that didn’t die of old age, and that isn’t Undead"

So, even if you destroy whatever animated the corpse, they can never come back. It's a good way to keep powerful enemies down.
 


Is there no difference between a slain undead Ogre or a slain undead Dragon? They are no longer a former dragon or Ogre? They are just undead?
Rules purposes I'd say that is indeed the case, yes. One can of course rule differently, but in pure game logic terms we have creature statblocks that have a listed creature type, and there is no indication that that creature type would change once they have been slain, except in a sense that objects shouldn't really have any creature types. But as creature types of corpses are referred to in the rules text, the most logical assumption is that it refers to the creature type the statblock of the creature had before becoming a corpse.

The interesting thing about this ruling is turning someone into an undead, 100% proofs them from being resurrected since that spell doesn't work on undead.

"You touch a dead creature that has been dead for no more than a century, that didn’t die of old age, and that isn’t Undead"

So, even if you destroy whatever animated the corpse, they can never come back. It's a good way to keep powerful enemies down.
Indeed. Making someone undead would prevent resurrection. And this was one of the things that was brought up against necromancy in the morality of necromancy thread a while back.
 

niklinna

my secret fighting dictionary is unbeatable
Erfworld. Wasn't that the extremely cool webcomic where the writer kept firing his artists?
My understanding was the artists kept having life/family emergencies and such. And then of course the creator himself got hit hardest of all and shut it down. 😢
 

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