A 280-year-old gnome is reincarnated into a human. Does the formerly-a-gnome-but-now-a-human promptly die of old age? Has the gnome/human just reached maturity? Could the gnome/human instead have a child's body? Could a dead baby be reincarnated into an adult body? Is there official word clarifying this?

In short, what biological age is a reincarnated body?


1 Answer 1


Reincarnate causes the new body to be an adult body for that race

...the spell forms a new adult body for it and then calls the soul to enter that body

So, whatever adult means for that race will be what body you get.

Any additional refinement or details on top of that (such as, what precise age the body is) must come from a DM.

Does the human immediately die of old age? - No

It is a body's age that determines when something dies, not the age of its soul. In this case there is a difference between the two.

Jeremy Crawford, lead rules designer for D&D, agrees:

If your soul and your body have different ages, bodily death is tied to your body's age, not your soul's.

Have they just reached maturity? Could they be a child? Could a dead baby get reincarnated into an adult body?

Regardless of the age of the dead creature, the spell says:

the spell forms a new adult body for it

So, it seems that RAW would indicate that a dead baby or child would be reincarnated into an adult body just the same as an elderly creature is.

The soul is always the same age/maturity as it was when it died.

DM can always overrule and have the body be younger if it makes sense

There may be cases where a DM would consider altering the effect slightly to allow for a new baby/child/infant body if that makes sense for their game. And that is perfectly within the rights and power of the DM.

Honestly, the idea of a baby reincarnated in an adult body is pretty terrifying/horrifying in general. At my table, I would houserule that babies come back as babies in an instant unless there was some compelling story/fun-based reason not to.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Of note: Reincarnate is one of the Paths to Immortality available in 5E. Because it resets your body to an 'adult,' just in a different species. Clone is the other option for this. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 1, 2018 at 15:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thinking on it; Reincarnating a baby into an adult body would be horrible... \$\endgroup\$
    – Aviose
    Feb 1, 2018 at 15:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @guildsbounty Being a high level Oath of the Ancients Paladin is another option. Honorable mentions go to high level Druids and Undying Warlocks which age at 1/10th the speed. That'll let you live for thousands of years if you're an elf. \$\endgroup\$
    – Doval
    Feb 1, 2018 at 16:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Aviose thinking on it: Caring for a baby in an adult's body would be horrible... \$\endgroup\$ Feb 1, 2018 at 19:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Aviose Reason #1 why I believe most DMs would(and probably should) allow a baby to be reincarnated as a baby. Nothing fun would (probably) come of the alternative. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 1, 2018 at 19:48

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