How many souls does a multiheaded creature have?

Ettins have multiple heads. Does one resurrection spell revive both heads of the Ettin? What happens if one head is willing to be revived and the other is not? Does the Magic Jar spell allow you to possess both heads or only one?

What about a Hydra? Is each head a new soul?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. You should focus on one question (or closely related family of questions) per post; your questions do seem dependent on your central question of "How many souls does a multiheaded creature have?", though most of your "sub-questions" seem to assume the answer to that central question. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 14 '19 at 23:37


Each of those is a single creature regardless of the number of heads. Nothing in their description indicates multiple souls even if the ettin description states that each head has a separate personality.

Keep in mind that D&D 5th edition has a fairly specific definition for the word creature. Consider the Resurrection spell which states:

You touch a dead creature that has been dead for no more than a century, that didn't die of old age, and that isn't Undead. If its soul is free and willing, the target returns to life with all its Hit Points.

It says nothing about creatures with two souls or only one head. Only that it didn't die of old age, died less than a century ago and isn't undead.

As for Magic Jar, the spell description states:

You can attempt to possess any humanoid within 100 feet of you that you can see (creatures warded by a Protection from Evil and Good or Magic Circle ⁠spells can't be possessed).

An Ettin is not a humanoid, it is a giant so the question of the number of souls or heads is irrelevant. Likewise a Hydra is a monstrosity so you can't possess it using Magic Jar either.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You may want to expand your answer to address what this means for OP's "sub-questions" (e.g. what that means for resurrection spells and Magic Jar - and whether ettins are even a valid target of those). \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 15 '19 at 0:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Any sources?.. I mean, I agree, but I would like to see a rule or lore. It would help this answer, I believe. \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Jun 15 '19 at 0:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot It is hard to prove or disprove a negative but I'll see what I can do. \$\endgroup\$ – Allan Mills Jun 15 '19 at 0:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Semi-related meta: What is an acceptable form for a “no” answer to a question of the form “Does X exist in the lore?” You can help support a negative claim by pointing out where you've looked and summarizing what is stated there to show that the claim you're negating is not supported there. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 15 '19 at 0:39

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