Reincarnate creates a new body for a creature who has died.

True Resurrection is able to create a new body for a creature when the original no longer exists. What happens when a reincarnated creature dies and True Resurrection is used to bring them back?

For example, Bob is born a Human. He dies and his reincarnated as a Rock Gnome. He falls into a volcano at some point in his adventures and is extremely dead as a result.

His Cleric friend casts True Resurrection, says 'Bob' is whom they seek to resurrect and Bob should appear within 10' of the Cleric.

Does the Human form of Bob appear or the more recent Rock Gnome version?


Bob will come back human

Reincarnate implies that Bob, although inhabiting a rock gnome's body, is still human:

The magic fashions a new body for the creature to inhabit...

In this case, Bob is the creature, and he's been allowed through the use of reincarnate to inhabit another body.


Bob comes back as a Rock Gnome, because that's what he was when he died. Once reincarnated, the fact that he used to be a Human is no longer relevant.

Te spell says, "The spell can even provide a new body if the original no longer exists," which I take means the new body is an undamaged copy of the old one at the time of death.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Use of the word "original" is contrary to your point. The character was born as a human, that sounds more "original" than the Rock Gnome they were reincarnated as. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Nov 9 '17 at 21:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. The spell doesn't say anything about the new body matching that of the original, just that it can create a new one if the old is no more. \$\endgroup\$ – inthemanual Nov 9 '17 at 22:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Couldn't you also take it to mean that the new body need not be the same race or gender as the last one? Both Reincarnate and True Resurrection contain the phrase "new body", although only Reincarnate forces the DM to roll randomly for the race. \$\endgroup\$ – eyecosahedron Nov 14 '17 at 22:01

In both cases the spell reads that the person may not want to come back, that implies that there is some "choice" involved. If it were a PC I would let them chose especially if they are having a hard time with the new form or really like their new form.


I suppose the answer would lie in how you interpret the game's metaphysics, wherein "rez" spells are described as returning a willing soul from the Outer Planes to a body in the Prime Material. If you think that these souls are intrinsically imbued with a consistent racial identity, then True Resurrection would return that creature to its embryonic race. But if you interpret it more akin to reincarnation (the theory, not the spell), then the bodies are merely vessels for the souls with no original racial affiliation.

As an aside, the former interpretation would align with either a linear cosmic timeline (where mortals get only one life and then spend eternity disembodied in the Outer Planes) or a cyclical one (where the same souls are born again and again into identical bodies and spend eternity struggling against their predestined fates); the latter would align with a karmic timeline where souls are recycled into different bodies as reward/punishment for past deeds.


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