The revivify spell has a fixed cost, but it doesn't have a specific saving throw to resist it; neither does it reference a "willing creature", as the resurrection spell does.

Assuming my players have the resource to cast revivify on a recently killed enemy, can the creature refuse to come back to life knowing that he will probably be interrogated and maybe tortured?


2 Answers 2


RAW, no

The target isn't specified by the spell's wording or any general rule to need to be willing. Therefore it works on unwilling targets too. The omission is particularly telling because, as you yourself point out, the similar spells Resurrection and True Resurrection have a wording to specify that the target has to be willing but Revivify has not.

It seems unlikely that Revivify's wording is that way by accident, given that the spell has been changed in the errata while still leaving the willingness requirement out.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Would you revise your answer after @GoopBGone's answer? \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueMoon93
    Commented Apr 26, 2022 at 11:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ This seems to be a very large point of contention online. The only change in the Errata is changing the school of magic to Necromancy. It seems in multiple articles the argument is that since there is a time limit for Revivify the ;'soul' of the creature is still travelling and Revivify lassos the soul back into the Body. I think that there are many places that game features do repeat, purely for convenience of reading, an already-established rule. The lack of this re-clarification elsewhere is not an exception to that rule! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 15, 2023 at 11:46

On DMG page 24, under "Bringing Back the Dead", it states that you cannot bring back the soul of an unwilling creature:

A soul can’t be returned to life if it doesn’t wish to be. A soul knows the name, alignment, and patron deity (if any) of the character attempting to revive it and might refuse to return on that basis. For example, if the honorable knight Sturm Brightblade is slain and a high priestess of Takhisis (god of evil dragons) grabs his body, Sturm might not wish to be raised from the dead by her. Any attempts she makes to revive him automatically fail. If the evil cleric wants to revive Sturm to interrogate him, she needs to find some way to trick his soul, such as duping a good cleric into raising him and then capturing him once he is alive again.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is a good point, but does Revivify return the soul? Or prevent it from leaving in the first place? \$\endgroup\$
    – Josh
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 8:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ In my opinion the rule on page 25 gives the players protection from not being able to die. Some dms or party members want to keep people alive just because they can, even if a player wants to role a new character. If you want to treat revify different because of how it’s worded go ahead, but it would rude to have it work one way for your players and not the same way for your npcs \$\endgroup\$
    – GoopBGone
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 9:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Oh but the chapter is called “bringing back the “DEAD” so I assume so \$\endgroup\$
    – GoopBGone
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 9:40

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