In 3e True Resurrection spell explicitly notes that it allowed the resurrection of an elemental, while lesser resurrection methods are unable to do so.

In 5e these lines are missing from the True Resurrection description. What does this mean for the ability to resurrect elementals? Can you or can you not use True Resurrection to bring a dead elemental back to life in 5e?

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you can add something about the actual problem you're trying to solve, that will help guide answers. For instance, if you're a DM and you're trying to figure out a situation, anything you can add about the situation is helpful. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Commented Apr 9, 2022 at 20:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ Or, for instance, why you think it might not work. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Commented Apr 9, 2022 at 20:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jack This answer explains why it might or might not work which is that in previous editions, it didn't. To quote the 3e resurrection spell: "Constructs, elementals, outsiders, and undead creatures can’t be resurrected." This question is asking whether or not that is still the case in fifth edition \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 9, 2022 at 21:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Exempt-Medic Okay, that makes sense. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Commented Apr 9, 2022 at 21:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is as @Extempt-Medic said. in 3e it explicitly specifies on a spell by spell basis whether it can or cannot resurrect elementals. 5e does not specify. I am wondering if it means that: * all 5e resurrection-like spells can resurrect elementals * all 5e resurrection-like spells can NOT resurrect elementals \$\endgroup\$
    – Vlad Long
    Commented Apr 9, 2022 at 21:57

1 Answer 1



As long as the setting / campaign deems them as having souls.

In the case of True Resurrection the text is:

You touch a creature that has been dead for no longer than 200 years and that died for any reason except old age. If the creature's soul is free and willing, the creature is restored to life with all its hit points.

Elementals are creatures, so there isn't a mechanical problem there. However depending on the setting you could run into issues of certain creatures having "souls" and being "free and willing". That is more setting / campaign dependent than 5e dependent though.

There are specific creatures and campaigns which define individuals as "soulless' and thus ineligible for returning to life.

But there is not a default rule stating which creature types have souls and which do not.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Out of curiousity, what is an example setting where elementals are soulless? \$\endgroup\$
    – Vlad Long
    Commented Apr 9, 2022 at 22:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ This quote from the Monster Manual may be helpful (page 6; Statistics: Type): "[...] The game includes the following monster types, which have no rules of their own. [...] Elementals are creatures native to the elemental planes. Some creatures of this type are little more than animate masses of their respective elements, including the creatures simply called elementals. Others have biological forms infused with elemental energy. [...]" \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 9, 2022 at 22:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't find one that is specific for elementals, but for example, in Oddessys of Theros, souls aren't free to leave the underworld. In Domains of Dread, some humanoids lack souls. As Medic points out, the descriptions of elementals that are merely animated elements (some even temporarily so) imply they lack souls, while creatures with entire life cycles (like salamanders) would imply they would have souls. Again, I don't think there is a rule for creatures defaulting to having or not having a soul and it is left up to campaigns and DMs unless specifically stated to have or not have one. \$\endgroup\$
    – Daveman
    Commented Apr 9, 2022 at 22:56

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