We (my group and I) figured out, that in Pathfinder you can use True Resurrection for a price of 25,000 gp but Raise Dead works for 5,000 gp and you can remove the negative levels with Restoration (two times) for 1,000 gp. So the party can resurrect for 7,000 gp. That doesn't work if the corpse is destroyed or damaged, but in the other cases it is a much cheaper possibility.

What are the disadvantages of this combination? Should I disallow that as a gamemaster?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Watch the look on all the people making overpowered Aasimars when you tell them raise dead doesnt work on them =D \$\endgroup\$
    – user8399
    May 28, 2013 at 11:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ Why are you comparing Raise Dead with True Resurrection instead of Resurrection? which is the next spell in the line. Resurrection is much cheaper than True (10k against 25k), applies only one negative level, and can be cast even on the dusts of a desintegrated creature. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    May 6, 2015 at 21:17

3 Answers 3


The combination of raise dead and restoration in Pathfinder RPG is not only reasonable, it's intended.

The price difference is a holdover from D&D 3.5, where the combination of raise dead and restoration was actually much weaker than true resurrection. In D&D, raise dead caused a full level loss instead of a negative level, and restoration could not restore the lost level. As the only spell able to revive a character without level loss, true resurrection was significantly more valuable.

In Pathfinder, restoration was explicitly given the new ability to recover permanent negative levels, at the increased price at 1,000gp per level. This suggests that the designers intended for the combination to be available.

Even so, true resurrection still has advantages:

  • You don't need an intact body, which is useful if the body has been maimed, disintegrated, captured, dropped down a pit, or left behind after fleeing
  • You can raise someone who's been dead for 10 years per caster level, instead of 1 day per caster level, which is useful if you took too long to drag the body back from the wilderness
  • The character returns with full hit points and prepared spells, handy if you absolutely have to fight something right away
  • It only takes 10 minutes to cast true resurrection, whereas restoration can only heal one negative level each week
  • You can raise someone even if they were killed by a death effect, or killed and turned into an undead
  • You can raise elementals and outsiders, if necessary
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that gentle repose can solve the "dragging the body back" issue. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Nov 27, 2013 at 15:35

I think you've answered your own question.

As long as you have the corpse, and it is in good condition, there is no reason not to use Raise Dead.

True Resurrection is only needed when the corpse is no longer around.

  • \$\begingroup\$ But only the usage on missing or decayed corpses doesn't really make this big price-difference acceptable, I think. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mnementh
    Nov 13, 2010 at 19:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mnementh - I see the difference in that it makes things like disintegrate more of a pain. Also, the PC's must win the field when a companion drops. If they don't, they might need to use True Res to get their party member back. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pat Ludwig
    Nov 13, 2010 at 19:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ When you're high enough level to properly cast True Resurrection on your own, a difference of 20k gp here or there is small change; high level characters have absurd quantities of wealth to throw about. Remember that money that you spend so that you don't keep it (food, bribes, spell components, etc) is to be eventually rewarded again to keep your wealth by level up. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lokathor
    Nov 13, 2010 at 21:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ Let's not forget timing. Raise Dead only works if the body is 1 day/caster level old, but True Res is 10 years/caster level. \$\endgroup\$
    – Scott Pack
    Dec 8, 2010 at 0:57

Something else to take into consideration, is that a character can only have a negative level removed by Restoration once per week; ergo, with Raise Dead, you'd be running around with a single negative level until that week is up and it can be cast on you again, unless you opt for Greater Restoration, which costs 5,000gp instead.

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