I'm a 7th level Sorcerer. I would like to retrieve a corpse that was buried approximately 100ft in a cavern that totally collapsed.

Is there a way to teleport the corpse to my location? I have a flask of the creature's blood, but I haven't found a way to get the corpse out of the ground without digging.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why do you need the corpse? To resurrect the target? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 25, 2019 at 1:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ That or to Restore Corpse and skin it. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 25, 2019 at 7:45
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ What resources do you have access to (a 1st level wizard and a 20th level cleric have vastly different options available to them)? \$\endgroup\$
    – minnmass
    Jul 25, 2019 at 16:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorcerer lvl 7. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 25, 2019 at 17:09
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Has the GM ruled that corpses are objects (like the current answers assume) or that corpses are creatures that possess the condition dead? This has a significant impact on how the corpse can be retrieved. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26, 2019 at 10:42

3 Answers 3


Short answer: you can't

With a 7th level Sorcerer, counting only on yourself (and assuming no specific magical item or assistance), you just don't have any teleporting spell, nor the mean to bring that corpse to you, as far as I know.

Long answer: you have other tricks up your sleeve

Usually, I would refrain to suggest a way to retrieve the corpse that has nothing to do with teleporting, as it's the topic of your question. But since it's one of your first posts, I'll assume that you're more interested in "How to get the corpse" than "How to teleport an object back to you". Phrasing your question differently will yield much different answers here.

You could find way to ease the retrieve of the corpse - but you'll probably have to dig. Having only access to core material, here is a list of what I found that you might attempt, depending on your spell list:

First, you'll need to cast Locate Object to accurately pinpoint your target. By level 7, you have access to spell up to 3rd level, which gives you Clairvoyance. Unfortunately, Clairvoyance is meant to be cast on a location and not an object, and since you are not intimately familiar with this new collapse, it's pretty unlikely to yield good results.

Second, you need to get to the corpse, using one of the following:

  • Undead Anatomy I / Beast Shape I / Monstrous physique I: Polymorph yourself into a creature with a burrow speed to just go directly to the corpse. Third best option IMO, since a Ist tier polymorph spell won't have a terrific list of options to change into.
  • Gaseous Form: Basically the same as the previous option, but you won't be able to interact with the corpse until you become solid again, at which point you'll need space to stand and cast, as well as a way to bring the corpse back with you (so you'd need a bag of holding I hope you have by this level).
  • Reduce Person: Even less practical than Gaseous Form, as it's pretty unlikely there is a direct way for a Small creature to crawl to your target.
  • Unseen Servant: You're a Sorcerer, so it makes sense to use magic to do the digging and keep your hands clean. Slow option, though.
  • Enlarge Person: On yourself (or better, on the heavy-lifter of the group) while holding a shovel (as it will also enlarge the shovel).
  • Masterwork Transformation (optional): A masterwork shovel?
  • Haste (optional): Cast on the person doing the digging to speed things up.
  • Summon Monster III: Likely one of your best options. The spell is polyvalent, you don't need the fighter to do the dirty job and you can probably find a monster that has a burrow speed. The retrieval can be done in a pinch.
  • Burrow: Your second best option. Way less polyvalent that Summon Monster, less likely for you to have picked it by now. But it will allow you to directly go to the corpse and bring it back and completely bypass the need to dig, so also the quickest option you have (tied with Summon Monster)

I might join a list of creature for the summon spells that can do your job, if I have a bit of spare time to look it up. I encourage you to think more in terms of "How can I solve this problem with the options available to me?" rather than "How would a spellcaster solve this problem?". You'll find that some basic tricks you have can be combined to great effect. (My group once outran a mounted orc war party chasing us with two first level spells, a bag of holding and our barbarian. Our DM thought it would be a extremely hard encounter).

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ The summon monster II spell can yield a Small earth elemental that possesses the special ability earth glide (discussed at length in answers to questions here and—seriously!—here) that should enable it to quickly and efficiently use its burrow speed to reach the corpse. Presumably, since a creature can fly, walk, and even swim while hauling a load, a creature can burrow while hauling a load, but Pathfinder's been awfully quiet on the versatility of burrowing. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26, 2019 at 12:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan This user is always of the utmost efficiency, many thanks. Will include once I have a little more time. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nyakouai
    Jul 26, 2019 at 12:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan my first thought exactly when reading the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Jul 26, 2019 at 13:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nyakouai Thank you for your detailed response. The info you gave is incredibly useful. Enlarge Person when holding a shovel is brilliant. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 27, 2019 at 21:16

You can't teleport distant objects to you unless you can see them or have prepared the object beforehand or have extremely high-level magics

Note that whether corpses are objects or creatures is a subject of debate. This answer, similarly to my games, takes the position that corpses are objects.

Teleportation spells that allow you to teleport a distant object to you exist, and one such spell exists which could even easily be used by a 7th level sorcerer to retrieve an arbitrary corpse. However, all of those spells require you either to prepare the object beforehand, which it seems unlikely for you to have done, or to have line of effect, which you probably don't.

Note as well that many spells have weight or dimension limits that might be a problem, depending on the race of the corpse in question. There are also caster level concerns with regards to range, but temporary increases to caster level or the Extend Spell metamagic can fix that problem trivially.

The spells are:

There are also higher-level spells you could use with a scroll or something, but none that easily solve the problem via teleporting the corpse to you from the 100' above without you doing anything besides casting the teleportation spell first. The closest effect to this is Teleport Structure, a 6th level Sorc/Wiz spell, which lets you teleport one unoccupied structure within a settlement you own to another place in that settlement. By designating the collapsed cave as a structure, founding a settlement (or having a friendly rogue with the relevant class abilities do that), staking claim to the cave, and then casting an 8-hour long ritual you can teleport the pile of rubble above-ground with the corpse in it (it's an object, not a creature). This technically accomplishes your requirements, but if you want to actually retrieve the corpse you could always teleport the rubble in upside down.

A scroll of Teleport Structure costs 1,650 gp. Founding a settlement costs money as well, typically, though incorporating unclaimed land into a previously existing settlement you own often doesn't.

Beyond that, you might consider a 13,825 gp scroll of the 9th level spell Gate, but that would get you the actual dead character, not their body, unless corpses are creatures. In order to render that spell operable, you must first cast the 9th level spell Cursed Earth via scroll for another 13,825 gp to cause the corpse to rise as a zombie, then use Gate to call the particular zombie to you. In total, that would cost 27,650 gp, or about 37 times as much as a wand of Expeditious Excavation, which would normally be considered overkill for this job itself but is made much more reasonable-seeming by comparison.


Convince your GM you are going to hunt vampires...

Vampires can be a real pain to kill. When you think you've got them they turn gaseous and slip away through anything unless you have a provably airtight seal. With our GM, cave-ins definitely did not qualify as creating an airtight seal.

So - the ingredients necessary for this scenario are:

  • Eschew Materials feat (automatic for all sorcerers unless you have some weird archetype)
  • Gaseous Form spell known
  • Shrink Item spell known
  • GM that agrees that gases can seep from where your character is to where the corpse is
  • Relatively solid rocks over/around the target corpse (ie not a cave-in in a gravel pit)


  1. Gaseous Form on yourself
  2. Seep through the rocks to the target corpse
  3. Find a space within arm's reach of the corpse that you can briefly survive being in solid form
  4. Dismiss Gaseous Form
  5. Cast Shrink Item on the corpse
  6. Hold the shrunken corpse in your hand
  7. Cast Gaseous Form on yourself again ("It can pass through small holes or narrow openings, even mere cracks, with all it was wearing or holding in its hands, as long as the spell persists.")
  8. Seep back through the rocks to the safe area
  9. Do not tell me what you are going to do with the corpse - I really don't want to know.

Not that this is much easier with the ability to cast Shrink Item while still in Gaseous Form, but that requires both the Still Spell and Silent Spell feats applied to Shrink Item.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Although it's not a good deal financially, if the S&R dude lacks access to the spells in this answer he could substitute some potions of gaseous form and oil of shrink item. (See answers to this question about dismissing the effects of a potion.) Nonetheless, I think the real problem will be #3, but using a gaseous form effect should at least give the dude eyes on the corpse, and that's a start. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26, 2019 at 13:03

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