When you kill a humanoid with Finger of Death, it creates a zombie that is permanently under your command. If you then True Polymorph that zombie, replacing its statistics with another creature's, does the creature remain under your control?


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    \$\begingroup\$ The accepted answer to How to get a permanent skeleton companion seems to also answer this question. Can you explain how it is different or what issue you have with it? \$\endgroup\$
    – Sdjz
    Mar 12, 2018 at 14:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you wanting to maintain the Humanoid type or switch to a different type? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Mar 12, 2018 at 15:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ This question is basically asking "is the accepted answer to that other question correct?", which is not a type of question we accept here. I've closed the question. If there is a more specific detail that is at issue, such that it's not just asking if another answer on the site is right, you can edit to focus on that unique question. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 12, 2018 at 15:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Yeah, I misread the other answer as covering only the case of undead followers, but you're right that it entirely covers this answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – noneuklid
    Mar 12, 2018 at 20:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's an understandable series of events. Thanks for clearing that up. :) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 12, 2018 at 22:24

2 Answers 2


Yes, it remains under your control

Finger of Death

A humanoid killed by this spell rises at the start of your next turn as a zombie that is permanently under your command, following your verbal orders to the best of its ability.

After using finger of death on a humanoid you have a zombie permanently under your control. However, the spell's duration is "instantaneous" which means that this control is not a continued spell effect, it is in fact an inherent part of this creature.

Nothing about true polymorph would remove this permanent control. If you consider permanent control to be part of the zombie's personality, then, in fact, true polymorph explicitly allows it to be kept.

The target's game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the new form. It retains its alignment and personality.

Even if the control is not part of personality, true polymorph has no means of removing the control effect from the zombie.

Jeremy Crawford has said:

One effect doesn't turn off another unless a rule says it does.

The new polymorphed form doesn't matter

It does not matter if the form given by true polymorph is humanoid or not, because the zombie is no longer under the effects of a spell the instant after finger of death is cast. Because there is no spell effect, there are no conditions that can be violated. If finger of death said that it lasted "until dispelled" or for a certain amount of time then this would be entirely different. However, it does not, so no form you can give the zombie would break it subservient state.

Note, however that tou cannot get above a CR 1/4 creature in this way since that is the CR of a zombie and true polymorph says:

the new form can be any kind you choose whose challenge rating is equal to or less than the target [of true polymorph]


Probably Allowed

Within True Polymorph it states that all statistics of the creature change but:

It retains its alignment and personality.

and within Finger of Death is the statement

A humanoid killed by this spell rises at the start of your next turn as a zombie that is permanently under your command, following your verbal orders to the best of its ability.

I would argue that the domination of the creature is now innate to it's brain state and would carry over the transformation. However it could also be interpreted that the domination is rooted in the creature being undead, and True Polymorphing would release the control and (potentially) revive the original owner of the body in a new form or simply create a new creature.

In terms of balance, True Polymorph is a 9th level spell and other 9th level spells can do things far more powerful so I think there is little issue with this,

Other discussion on this topic here and here


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