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Spell Reincarnate, 5th level Transmutation (Druid [& Bard]):

The reincarnated creature recalls its former life and experiences. It retains the capabilities it had in its original form, except it exchanges its original race for the new one and changes its racial traits accordingly.

  • Traits &/or powers that the humanoid 'keeps': stuff 'learned' or gained via the soul-spirit-psyche-mind go along to the next body. This includes class traits, skills and many spells. Thus, a gnome adopted near birth and raised by High elven parents will always 'know' longsword and longbow proficiency (even if not able to physically use them until they become some other random being).

  • Traits lost with previous body: things that are obviously from the body. This includes ability score modifications, 'dark' vision, extra limbs and so on and so forth. Thus, a 'Drow' / dark elf cannot keep their racial spells in their next iteration unless Reincarnated or Truly Polymorphed back into a 'dark' elven form.


Sample list / humanoids of concern:

  • Xvart: this is a fragment of a demigod. Should the next iteration not simply be another Xvart?

  • Derro: seems to have magical abilities linked to an enchanted 'insanity' or touch of chaos. They obviously should 'keep' their insanity. Do they keep their mind-resistances and ability changes that stem from this?

  • Flind: wields a seemingly class-specific weapon - is this device learned by specific cultists (of 'Demonlord Yeenoghu') that later transform into gnolls anyway - or is this device attuned to their race?

  • Nagpa: a class-specific curse given by a god. If a mere Reincarnate would end this horrible problem, you think they would have done this centuries ago.

  • Kraken priest: a form of worship (subclass) that alters the shape of one's body. Presume their 'fresh' body will transform over time?

  • Werewolf: not a 'disease' in 5e but a 'curse' that is somehow contagious, endures generations and functions a lot like a disease.

  • Meazel: is this species a class, similar to 'warlock'? If so, they would slowly morph back into a Meazel over time?

  • Koa Toa: insane god-makers - do they keep the insanity and 'otherworldly perception'? Can their 'new' forms still assist in conjuring up gods?


Many of these examples present powerful and even godlike enchantments that seem to impact body, mind and soul. It is not useful to do this in a case-by-case basis: there must be a logical rule of thumb that will support both game continuity and make plot-sense that any reasonable DM can apply.

Summation: Which curses, enchantments &/or magical abilities survive death as marks on their essence - thereby ending up in the next humanoid incarnation after Reincarnate [spell] is used?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I admire the thinking behind the question, but you can't possibly believe based on the devs history that they even conceptualized how those situations would interact. Unintentional or not the granularity of publishing this level of detail would violate the tenants of 5E "Rulings not rules". Are you the DM or the player in this scenario? \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Dec 26 '19 at 18:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ I am trying to develop plot scenarios that do not devolve into something like 'final season / Game of Thrones'. I have ancient dragons and demon lords getting ahold of Reincarnate, Clone, Simulacrum and True Polymorph spells and i am preparing myself for myriad madness. It is messy and my apologies in advance. I see i am already been downvoted to oblivion, my bad. What a cruel place this can be! \$\endgroup\$ – Tim of Time Dec 26 '19 at 19:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ It is not a bad question it is just not one that I think can be answered without some serious opinion. Each of those examples would have to be ruled individually though and would be as varied as every DM you asked. I think you would be better suited to finding a discussion forum to hash out what you need. I personally have had to deal with these types of existential discussions over the last 30+ years of playing this game. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Dec 26 '19 at 19:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ You've only received one downvote, so no need to fear yet (or even if you get more), I think something work remembering is that what the villains do doesn't need to perfectly fit inside the rules, if you have some effect you want to have happen, you can always houserule it. Similarly with some of the scenarios here, the reincarnate spell existed well before some of these possible situations, and you're certainly allowed to rule one way or another regardless of what the rules might end up saying \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Dec 26 '19 at 19:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you want discussion, a forum is a better place or hop into our very own Role-playing Games Chat. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Dec 26 '19 at 19:27