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Am I interpreting it correctly that, yes, an Artificer in this situation would be able to reconstruct the petrified statue of his party member?

The Petrified condition states:

  • A petrified creature is transformed, along with any nonmagical object it is wearing or carrying, into a solid inanimate substance (usually stone). Its weight increases by a factor of ten, and it ceases aging.

  • The creature is incapacitated (see the condition), can't move or speak, and is unaware of its surroundings.

  • [...]

The spell fabricate states:

You convert raw materials into products of the same material. For example, you can fabricate a wooden bridge from a clump of trees, a rope from a patch of hemp, and clothes from flax or wool.

Choose raw materials that you can see within range. You can fabricate a Large or smaller object (contained within a 10-foot cube, or eight connected 5-foot cubes), given a sufficient quantity of raw material. If you are working with metal, stone, or another mineral substance, however, the fabricated object can be no larger than Medium (contained within a single 5-foot cube). The quality of objects made by the spell is commensurate with the quality of the raw material.

Creatures or magic items can't be created or transmuted by this spell. You also can't use it to create items that ordinarily require a high degree of craftsmanship, such as jewelry, weapons, glass, or armor, unless you have proficiency with the type of artisan's tools used to craft such objects.

In this example the "raw materials" used for fabricate would be the clump of rocks or stones or pebbles or dust that used to make up the stone shape of the petrified party member. The Artificer having proficiency in Mason's Tools allows them to create an item which "require a high degree of craftsmanship". The party member is of Medium size. Having traveled with this party member for a considerable amount of time the Artificer would have great knowledge of the petrified person.

The Artificer would not be creating a "Creature", which is explicitly forbidden per the description of fabricate. Per the Petrified condition, the creature is transformed into a "solid inanimate substance". The Artificer would be creating a solid inanimate statue of the person.

At that point, after 10 minutes and once the statue is complete, the petrified person could be restored using greater restoration spell.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri: For example, this came up in campaign 2 of Critical Role (C2x96), with Mending IIRC to repair some significant breakage. Matt Mercer chose to allow it, with some sculpting / jigsaw-puzzle-solving skill checks. But not piecing tiny pieces of rubble back together, just one broken into multiple large pieces. (With one break in the torso too large for Mending, which they had to handle specially.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 4, 2021 at 13:36

3 Answers 3

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A petrified creature is still a creature, and fabricate cannot create a creature.

Nothing about the Petrified condition makes the creature not a creature. For a lengthy explanation of this, see this Q&A: Does a petrified creature count as an object? Borrowing from Rubiksmoose's answer:

A petrified creature is still a creature

All the evidence that is needed to deduce this comes from the language of the petrified condition itself.

The initial sentence describes the overall effect of the condition:

A petrified creature is transformed, along with any nonmagical object it is wearing or carrying, into a solid inanimate substance (usually stone).

After that, all other sentences refer to the affected creature as "the creature". This means that the condition itself is explicitly saying that the petrified creature is still a creature. A notable mention from the condition is:

The creature is incapacitated (see the condition)...

Note that objects cannot be incapacitated (or any other condition) giving further support to the argument that they are not, in fact, an object.

Then, fabricate states:

Creatures or magic items can't be created or transmuted by this spell.

Therefore, whatever you create via fabricate is indisputably not a creature, even though you've got a remarkably detailed statue of your deceased comrade. And so, there is no creature for you to heal with greater restoration, which only works on creatures:

You imbue a creature you touch...

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Would Fabricate not just be a more complicated "Mending" in this case? Which can re-attach broken off pieces of a petrified creature? \$\endgroup\$
    – Boblawblah
    Commented Dec 3, 2021 at 21:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Boblawblah No, the spell description states: "Creatures or magic items can't be created or transmuted by this spell." \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 3, 2021 at 21:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Boblawblah Where are you getting the idea that the Mending spell "can re-attach broken off pieces of a petrified creature"? That spell repairs objects and constructs, but doesn't specify other types of creatures it can repair. (Not saying you're wrong! Just saying you seem confident of that conclusion, and what I read makes me less confident). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 3, 2021 at 21:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ I did reading and its looking like my intrepretation of Mending fits with my interpretation of Fabricate. The "creature" identifier seemingly blocks both from working. I haven't used these in game, so i'm glad for these clarifications. now. \$\endgroup\$
    – Boblawblah
    Commented Dec 3, 2021 at 23:07
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There is no consistent interpretation of the rules which allows this.

There are multiple points in this process that could have different interpretations that allow or disallow specific details. However, a particular part of the process has no valid interpretation; specifically the output of Fabricate is explicitly not a creature:

Creatures or magic items can't be created

And the target for Greater Restoration must be a creature:

You imbue a creature you touch with positive energy

Thus there is no interpretation of the rules that allows the output of Fabricate to be the target of Greater Restoration, regardless of any other details about what the "raw materials" were or what your intended outcome of Greater Restoration is.

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Petrified Creatures are Creatures.

While that the petrified creature is still a creature it is indeed true:

A petrified creature is transformed, along with any nonmagical object it is wearing or carrying, into a solid inanimate substance (usually stone). Its weight increases by a factor of ten, and it ceases aging.

But Corpses are Objects

It is widely held that Corpses are objects. Shattering a petrified creature (which would require depleting its HP) would kill them, and thus make them an object. So the material, "typically stone" would be raw material. You could then indeed fabricate the statue back. Some DMs would allow greater restoration to return the character back to their original state, including myself. RAW DMs might rule that this won't work directly ,and you'd have to use something to return them to life before casting greater restoration

Curing Death

A RAW DM could rule since petrified is a condition, once you die you can no longer have any conditions; so the corpse would no longer be stone, but just a flesh corpse. This ruling would be more consistent with the petrification is a condition ruling.

Though either way there is another option altogether for a DM to rule, any spell that brings the dead back given a corpse. The stone or flesh remains of the fallen should both meet the requirements. A dead creature can be restored with a number of spells like revivify, some might still require greater restoration to remove the stone after that. If the DM doesn't accept that, I can't see a DM not allowing reincarnate to create a new body altogether for the creature.

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