The spell Negative Energy Flood (XGtE pg. 163) states:

A target killed by this damage rises up as a zombie at the start of your next turn.

And also,

Statistics for the zombie are in the Monster Manual.

This seems to imply that the creature killed rises as a zombie with exactly the statistics stated in the Monster Manual.

If I kill a gargantuan (or anything larger than medium) creature with Negative Energy Flood, does it rise as a medium sized zombie?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ My first thought was that this might only target humanoids to avoid this being an issue, but that isn't the case. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Jun 16, 2020 at 12:42

2 Answers 2


RAW, it would seem that any creature becomes a medium zombie

The spell's description does not place any restriction on the target regarding creature type or size, and yet it does specifically say that they are raised as a zombie, pointing the player/DM to the zombie entry in the Monster Manual.

It seems that a RAW reading would imply that any creature of any type or size would somehow come back as a medium zombie.

A DM can rule otherwise

Although this goes without saying for most Q&As on this site, I feel like it's worth pointing out that a DM would be strongly encouraged (by me, at least) to rule something more sensible.

For example, if an ogre were killed by this spell, it would make more sense for it to be raised as an ogre zombie instead of a regular zombie. If some other creature that doesn't suit a regular zombie were to be killed by this spell, the DM can come up with a similar zombie monster that better suits the creature that was killed.

The DMG (pp. 280-281) has a "Monster Features" table showing what sorts of changes could be made to a creature, similar to a template (but not quite as per the templates in the Monster Manual), that a DM can use to convert a creature into a zombie-version of that creature.

Alternatively, if the DM would prefer to maintain the balance of keeping it as a CR 1/4 zombie, it could simply be the stats of a zombie, but of the appropriate size (rather than Medium) and narrated as being more similar to the creature that was just killed.


Yes, yes they do

Does it make sense? Not really, except from a mechanical balance and ease of management perspective.

The spell is specific in the quotes you provided in that the target rises up as a zombie and to use the stats for said zombie.

As the zombie is medium sized, then any target killed by the spell will rise as a medium zombie.

Other sizes

While a DM can always make a ruling otherwise, beware that larger creatures and custom zombies may both increase the table management of monsters as well as potentially change the overall power of the spell.

Maintaining the spell as-is will avoid potential complications or changes to power level that larger creatures and upgraded stat blocks may provide.

If you do consider 'upgrading', you may want to also require higher spell slots to do so.


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