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True polymorph can turn a creature into another creature. When it does so, the creature "retains its alignment and personality", although its other statistics change.

However, true polymorph can also be used to turn an object into a creature, and a corpse is an object. The portion of true polymorph which covers turning an object into a creature does not mention any retained personality or alignment, which is sensible because objects typically don't have a personality or alignment.

Thus the question: If Creature A dies, then their corpse is true polymorphed into Creature B, does Creature B retain the personality and/or alignment of Creature A?

(Note: I have used true polymorph as the sole example because I haven't found any other spell that can be used in a similar way. If there is a spell I've missed, feel free to answer with regards to that instead or as well.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean, after creature B is raised/resurrected/otherwise revivified? If not, then I'm not understanding the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Oliver Aug 9 '18 at 15:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Oliver True Polymorph can turn an object into a living being. A corpse is an object. If he turns a corpse into a living humanoid, does the new humanoid's personality have anything to do with the corpse's prior life? Does an anvil that was turned into a person remember working with a blacksmith? \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Zastoupil Aug 9 '18 at 17:30
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No. A corpse does not have a personality.

Even though the corpse is formerly Creature A's body, the remains no longer have any personality. When the corpse (read object) is transformed into a creature, it is no different than a slab of kraken meat. It follows the object to creature spell variation. Other than Creature B's friendliness, there is no mention of its personality so it must be decided by the GM:

The creature is friendly to you and your companions. It acts on each of your turns. You decide what action it takes and how it moves. The DM has the creature's statistics and resolves all of its actions and movement.

Personally, I would treat it like a regular monster and use the guidance in the Monster Manual to decide on what type of personality it would bring with it.

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No, but they can still be raised from the dead.

A corpse is two things - it is an object, and a creature who has died (and who does not have at least one hit point). As it does not have at least one hit point, it can't be True Polymorphed as a creature. As it is an object, it can be True Polymorphed as an object, following all of the rules for True Polymorph of an object (including creating a new personality, if you polymorph it into a creature). However, True Polymorphing it into a living creature does not in any way stop it from being a creature who has died. As such, it is still a valid target for Raise Dead, Resurrection, Reincarnate, and so forth. Exactly what happens at that point is left as an exercise for the DM, and will depend at least partially on which spell was used to bring them back from the dead.

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  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ For those who would downvote, could you offer an explanation why, please? \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Aug 9 '18 at 18:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ You should probably back up your claim that a polymorphed object can be interacted with as if it was the object it was prior to polymorphing (in this case, as a creature that had died). Is a stick of wood polymorphed into a bowl of water still a stick of wood? A magic wand still a wand after it has been polymorphed into a raccoon? \$\endgroup\$ – Yakk Aug 10 '18 at 0:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ The origin of this question was based on a case where a character got stuck with a maximum hp of zero, so raise dead was never going to work. \$\endgroup\$ – Joshua Aug 27 '18 at 18:43

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