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The Restore Life effect of Master Transmuter on PHB119 reads:

You cast the raise dead spell on a creature you touch with the transmuter's stone, without expending a spell slot or needing to have the spell in your spellbook.

Perhaps I'm reading into it too much, but does this imply that it is otherwise possible (independently of Master Transmuter) to add raise dead to the spellbook? I know that it is not listed as a Wizard spell, and even a Necromancer seems unable to achieve this pinnacle of necromancy.

Can it be done, under any circumstances? Are there any tricks or loopholes?

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No, a wizard cannot add raise dead to his spellbook as the spell is not on the wizard's spell list (unless they're a Theurge; see below). The text states that it doesn't need to be in your spellbook to clarify any confusion on whether or not you need it in your spellbook or not.

With the new UA, the wizard archetype of Theurge has access to Raise Dead and can place it in his spellbook at the appropriate level.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Doesn't mean there might not be a prestige class (now or in the future) that uses spellbooks and has the spell on their spell list - e.g. in 3.5ed there was the Archivist class, which was a prepared caster (with spellbook), but using the cleric spell list. There was also a trick you could do using the imbue with spell ability spell that (DM permitting) allowed you to copy any spells into your spellbook. \$\endgroup\$ – Benubird May 18 '16 at 10:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Benubird I'm just stating that it is impossible right now. \$\endgroup\$ – Tobias Fizzlewig May 18 '16 at 14:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ Please edit all parts of the answer when updating. This answer now says "no" then (sort of?) "yes", which makes it unclear at best and therefore much lower quality after the edit. (See meta.rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/3454/… for more guidance and reason for this expectation.) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Sep 1 '16 at 15:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ For examples of things that are made unclear now: does raise dead count as a wizard spell now? can regular wizards add it too? is the material being UA relevant to those points? does whether UA material is legal in a given campaign change those points? (This list may not be exhaustive.) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Sep 1 '16 at 15:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ I did a small part of the editing. The reference to the end I edited in might in hindsight not be correct; I suggest you check & revise since SSD has made some good suggestions about things that need to be updated in this answer. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Sep 1 '16 at 16:21
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If you could add the spell to your spellbook, it could be copied by other wizards or made into scrolls. Then it would just be another regular wizard spell. Which is clearly not the intention of how this should work.

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