If the lich has been defeated and his phylactery destroyed at the same time or before his body was reconstructed (http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=762?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your-Questions-Here#38094) i.e the liche is truly destroyed, can it be resurrected afterwards?

Relevant SRD :

Rejuvenation (Su): When a lich is destroyed, its phylactery (which is generally hidden by the lich in a safe place far from where it chooses to dwell) immediately begins to rebuild the undead spellcaster's body nearby. This process takes 1d10 days—if the body is destroyed before that time passes, the phylactery merely starts the process anew. After this time passes, the lich wakens fully healed (albeit without any gear it left behind on its old body), usually with a burning need for revenge against those who previously destroyed it.

Since the lich is an undead creature, I'm a right that they can't be ressurected?


School conjuration (healing); Level cleric 9

Casting Time: 10 minutes

Components V, S, M, DF (diamond worth 25,000 gp)

This spell functions like raise dead, except that you can resurrect a creature that has been dead for as long as 10 years per caster level. This spell can even bring back creatures whose bodies have been destroyed, provided that you unambiguously identify the deceased in some fashion (reciting the deceased's time and place of birth or death is the most common method).

Upon completion of the spell, the creature is immediately restored to full hit points, vigor, and health, with no negative levels (or Constitution points) and all of the prepared spells possessed by the creature when it died.

You can revive someone killed by a death effect or someone who has been turned into an undead creature and then destroyed. This spell can also resurrect elementals or outsiders, but it can't resurrect constructs or undead creatures.

Even true resurrection can't restore to life a creature who has died of old age.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You mean can true resurrection bring back from the dead the creature as a lich or as the dude he was before he became a lich? \$\endgroup\$ May 17, 2018 at 3:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ The dude he was before. \$\endgroup\$ May 17, 2018 at 3:39

1 Answer 1


This GM has always read spells that bring back the dead as unusable for bringing destroyed undead creatures back from destruction. That is, undead creatures typically just can't be brought back from destruction as the same undead creatures they were before they were destroyed by using spells that bring back from the dead regular, everyday dead creatures. (D&D 3.5e, for example, has the spell revive undead (Spell Compendium 175–6) specifically for bringing an undead creature back from destruction as the same undead creature.)

When both the spells resurrection and true resurrection say, "You can revive… someone who has been turned into an undead creature and then destroyed," this GM has always played that the destroyed undead creature is brought back from the dead as the original and now-not-an-undead creature. (Of course, the soul may refuse to be brought back; see Special Spell Effects on Bringing Back the Dead.)

(As an aside, even other spells like raise dead and reincarnate may be able to bring back from the dead a destroyed undead creature as the original creature. For reasons I've never understood, these other spells say, "A creature who has been turned into an undead creature or killed by a death effect can’t be raised by this spell," yet they omit mention of the possibility of first destroying the undead creature. I don't know whether this is an accidental omission or intentional lessening of their power. Seriously, in this GM's opinion, typically, for every destroyed undead creature there's now a soul in the afterlife, and this is just an oversight, but ask your GM to be sure.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ @Fering I've always thought that becoming an undead creature traps the soul within the undead creature; that's why destroying the undead creature allows resurrection to bring back the original. I look forward to your alternative reading! \$\endgroup\$ May 17, 2018 at 5:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ Re: your aside, if it's an oversight it's persisted for a very long time. I think the wording is deliberate and that you need more powerful magic to raise a creature who has been defiled by being made undead. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    May 17, 2018 at 10:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer Thinking about it again, raise dead likely doesn't work because it needs the corpse, and undead remains aren't that. However, reincarnate does much the same thing as resurrection—and needs the bits from the original dead creature—, yet resurrection works and reincarnate doesn't on a destroyed undead. I really don't know, but thank you for making me think on it harder. \$\endgroup\$ May 17, 2018 at 11:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I would rule that the remains of a destroyed undead creature count as the remains of the original creature for the purposes of Resurrection. Though if you judge otherwise, it's an interesting case that Resurrection would not work on physical-bodied dead undead, but would be applicable to spectral undead like ghosts, where the original body is not actually affected... \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    May 17, 2018 at 11:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GeoffreyBrent My headcanon has the spell animate dead bringing back a creature's soul only so as to provide the corpse with motivating force enough to become that newly created undead creature (and, all the while, the soul remains inside, looking out in horror and helplessness at what its old body is now being commanded to do). But, also, in my campaigns, uncontrolled mindless undead eventually start perverting their last order so they can go around and do mindless neutral evil stuff. \$\endgroup\$ May 17, 2018 at 11:57

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