Do undead still count as corpses for the purposes of spells that target corpses? Lets look at a specific example, Resurrection. Now, Resurrection functions like raise dead, except that it can bring back someone who has been turned into undead (not bring back an undead). The target for raise dead is a dead corpse, so this seems to imply that undead are still corpses, because the target is not changed.

So do other spells which target corpses still work (even if they have weird effects because its meant to be a dead corpse and not an undead one)?


They do not

Undead are creatures, and treated as such by the rules like every other creature. They simply have many exceptions and rules that interact specifically with their creature type (undead or not undead).

Resurrection may bring back someone who was turned into undead and then destroyed, it has no effect on undead creatures in general. Unlike Raise Dead, which cannot bring a creature that was turned into undead and then destroyed, the spell simply isn't strong enough to fix the mess that is undeath.

You can resurrect someone killed by a death effect or someone who has been turned into an undead creature and then destroyed. You cannot resurrect someone who has died of old age. Constructs, elementals, outsiders, and undead creatures can’t be resurrected.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So could you cast Resurrection on a currently active undead? \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Mar 22 '19 at 2:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ The answer to that is bolded in the quoted text: undead creatures can’t be resurrected. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Mar 22 '19 at 2:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ That means that you cant bring back the entity that was undead, not that the spell cant hit an undead and bring back the entity that was a living creature. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Mar 22 '19 at 2:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Fering that doesnt depend on what type of undead you are talking about, it makes no distinction. Someone turned into a vampire, destroyed and then cast raise dead on, the spell will fail, while resurrection would work. Regardless, casting either spell on a creature that is currently an undead will fail automatically. Similarly, the corpse of someone that was raised as zombie would fail for raise undead and work for resurrection. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Mar 22 '19 at 2:56

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