I have always assumed, seen in play, and ruled that Raise Dead functions as Slay Living, but targets undead instead of living creatures and requires no material component. However, while planning a combo that would rely on this, I found no mention of this usage whatsoever, although I am still pretty sure I had seen it before. The closest thing I've found so far are Vampire Spawns who have this as an explicitly listed vulnerability.

Has Raise Dead ever been capable of slaying undead creatures in Pathfinder, or is it maybe a trail of 3.5e or older versions of D&D?

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is definitely a thing, but I’m not aware of it being a thing in D&D. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Nov 23, 2021 at 18:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Uh, Raise Dead says "A creature who has been turned into an undead creature or killed by a death effect can’t be raised by this spell." \$\endgroup\$
    – VLAZ
    Nov 23, 2021 at 21:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @VLAZ Yes, "raised". Not "slain". \$\endgroup\$ Nov 23, 2021 at 21:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan IIRC it was a thing in AD&D 1e but don't have a source to verify. \$\endgroup\$
    – richardb
    Nov 23, 2021 at 22:21
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ There are actually several undead creatures with Resurrection Vulnerability, including Wights and Spectres. \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    Nov 24, 2021 at 4:49

1 Answer 1


Not exactly

In AD&D the only valid targets for Raise Dead (or it’s reverse Slay Living) were “dwarf, gnome, halfling, half-elf or human”. Other races did not have “souls”, they had “spirits” and the spell only works on creatures with souls.

However, it could affect “newly made undead, except skeletons”, bringing them back to life if the survived their Resurrection Survival roll or just making them dead dead if they didn’t.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Wasn't its reverse called Finger of Death in AD&D? Or am I reaching back to old D&D? Well how about that, they changed it in AD&D 1e from OD&D, the reverse. TIL. 😊 \$\endgroup\$ Nov 24, 2021 at 16:05

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