Inspired by If a corpse is polymorphed into a creature, does it retain personality?

True Polymorph can turn a creature into an object

Creature into Object. If you turn a creature into an object, it transforms along with whatever it is wearing and carrying into that form. The creature's statistics become those of the object, and the creature has no memory of time spent in this form, after the spell ends and it returns to its normal form.

Since a corpse is an object, a creature can be True Polymorphed into a corpse.

Can it then be raised, by a spell such as revivify or true resurrection?



Let's check the spell descriptions and find out why not.

True Resurrection:

You touch a creature that has been dead for no longer than 200 years and that died for any reason except old age. If the creature's soul is free and willing, it's restored to life with all its hit points.

Since the polymorphed creature is not dead, it cannot be resurrected using true resurrection.


Touch a creature that's died in the last minute. It returns to life with 1 hit point. This spell can't return life to a creature that died of old age, and it can't restore missing body parts.

Since our polymorphed creature has not died in the last minute, they cannot be revivified.

Raise Dead:

Touch a creature dead for no longer than 10 days. If its soul is both willing and at liberty to rejoin the body, the creature returns to life with 1 hit point. This spell has no effect on undead.

Since the polymorphed creature is not dead, they cannot be brought back using Raise Dead.

Since spells only do what they say they do, I do not think true polymporph can be combined with any of the above spells.



Raise Dead, True Resurrection, and so forth don't target "corpse". They target "creature that has died". You might be able to use True Polymorph to create something that is in every way the physical recreation of a dead body, but if it didn't start out as a creature and then die, it's not a valid target for that line of spells.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "A creature that has died" is also known as a "corpse" or "cadaver", quite honestly this is the most misunderstood and poorly worded spell targeting in the rules. Simply because a corpse is not a creature it is an object that once was a creature. Metaphysical and religious arguments aside. If you target the corpse of the "creature that has died" you are targeting an object, if you target some esoteric spirit then ... ? \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Aug 9 '18 at 16:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth the targeting of things like Raise Dead is pretty clear. If it wasn't once a creature, and hasn't been through the process of dying, it doesn't qualify. If that's the definition of a corpse, then True Polymorph cannot turn things into corpses, because true Polymorph can only control what they physically are now. It cannot give them a history. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Aug 9 '18 at 16:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ Alternate interpretation: the spell checks for "how long has it been since this creature died", gets a divide-by-zero error, and core dumps. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Aug 9 '18 at 16:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Shufflepants you're not dead, though - just polymorphed. You did not, at any point, die. You can be returned to your previously alive state via sufficiently powerful dispel magic and/or having the corpse damaged down to 0 hp. That's a very different state from "dead". \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Aug 9 '18 at 18:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ What I'm getting is that I need to transform a brick into a chicken, kill the chicken, and then cast resurrection on the resulting brick... \$\endgroup\$ – mbrig Aug 9 '18 at 19:08

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