17
\$\begingroup\$

The new Elemental Evil spell immolation specifies:

If damage from this spell reduces a target to 0 hit points, the target is turned to ash.

Does this mean the victim gets no death saves and cannot be healed? I don't think even revivify or raise dead would work on the victim, since those spells do not "restore missing body parts".

Does it seem unbalanced for a 5th-level spell to bypass the normal sequence of events that can forestall death for a character brought down to 0 hp, and jump one straight from hitting 0 hp to requiring (at least) a resurrection spell? (Based on comparison with disintegrate, they probably require a true resurrection.)

This is consistent with the disintegration effect of the 6th level disintegrate spell (and the description of that spell states that a true resurrection is required to restore the creature to life), but at least the victim can save to avoid all damage in that case.

\$\endgroup\$
34
\$\begingroup\$

Going to 0 hp due to the Immolation spell does not mean instant death anymore.

DaveFY's original answer was correct at the time it was written.

However, since November 2017's Errata to Elemental Evil Player’s Companion and Princes of the Apocalypse, the spell was changed to address this issue. It was later reprinted as such in Xanathar's Guide to Everything.

See the specific change:

Immolation (p. 237). The initial damage is now 8d6, and the subsequent damage is now 4d6. In addition, the second paragraph now reads “If damage from this spell kills a target, the target is turned to ash.” (future printing)

Now the "turned to ash" part happens only when a creature dies, which is not automatically the case when a Playable Character is reduced to 0 hit points (they would roll Death Saving Throws first).

\$\endgroup\$
15
\$\begingroup\$

You are correct.

A target brought to 0 hit points by this spell is turned to ash and automatically considered dead. And yes, the Revivify and Raise Dead spells would be useless, as the target's body is now thousands of ash particles. Remember that a lot of the spells in D&D 5E are big on their effects.

Now, there are ways around this. True Resurrection would work as it states the target is given a new body if there is not one available. The weaker Resurrection spell may work depending on your DM; it states that body parts are restored, but again it depends on if the DM counts the pile of ashes as a 'body'. And of course, the Wish spell would also work.

An interesting spell that could also be used is the 5th-level Reincarnate spell. It provides the target with a new body, granted it isn't their original body; even more likely to be that of a different species, which would play an interesting twist on that character's story.

If the PC's don't have any of these spells to work with in their personal spellbooks, perhaps there is an NPC somewhere in the multiverse that does know them and may be willing to cast them [usually for a price]. But that is a story concern and it depends on how cruel the DM decides to be.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ The spell was changed in errata, as noted in Alex's answer: "Immolation (p. 237). The initial damage is now 8d6, and the subsequent damage is now 4d6. In addition, the second paragraph now reads “If damage from this spell kills a target, the target is turned to ash.” (future printing)" You can find the current spell description on D&D Beyond or the latest version of the EEPC. You should update your answer accordingly. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 5 at 19:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.