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Partly inspired by the question about using Mending to reattach body parts to a corpse , this question concerns both the spells Raise Dead and Revivify, which both state that they return dead creatures to life, but (respectively):

This spell closes all mortal wounds, but it doesn’t restore missing body parts. (PHB, Raise dead)


This spell can’t return to life a creature that has died of old age, nor can it restore any missing body parts. (PHB, Revivify)

I started wondering what qualifies as "missing." It seemed clear to me that a character couldn't be Raised or Revivified if you had their decapitated body but no head (unless they could survive without it), but what if you had both? If a creature had its head cut off, and you placed that severed head on top of its body, wound to wound (presumably facing the correct direction), would Raise Dead or Revivify be able to bring them back to life, or would the head be considered "missing"?


marked as duplicate by Zachiel, enkryptor, Szega dnd-5e Dec 10 '18 at 20:15

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks to everyone who marked this as a duplicate. I swear, I searched for relevant questions, but must have used the wrong terms. \$\endgroup\$ – Gandalfmeansme Dec 10 '18 at 23:15

Despite the restorative power of puns, no.

Missing limb is in the sense of absent, not simply can't be found.

Not present or included when expected or supposed to be.

From the point of view of a body, a completely severed appendage is absent. Sticking it back in place is not making the body whole again. The appendage is still discontinuous with the rest of the body despite the parts being adjacent to each other.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Great Intro title. Wordplay shouldn't be used to poke holes in players' abilities... But I can really see how 'missing' can be confusing if english isn't your first language. \$\endgroup\$ – Kieveli Dec 12 '18 at 21:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kieveli It's confusing if it is your first language. That might be one of the hallmarks of fluency for English. \$\endgroup\$ – GcL Dec 12 '18 at 21:21

This is up to your GM

The rules do not define 'missing' but it would be reasonable for a DM to conclude that it could knit a severed body part back on just fine (and only that original body part, no grafting on weird stuff) If modern real world medical science can do it, then surely D&D freaking magic can do it better.


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