The spell revivify returns a creature to life "that has died within the last minute." [PHB 272]

The spell gentle repose "effectively extends the time limit on raising the target from the dead, since days spent under the influence of this spell don't count against the time limit of spells such as raise dead." [PHB 245]

My question is whether revivify is one of the "spells such as raise dead" for which gentle repose "effectively extends the time limit", taking into account the fact that revivify is two spell levels below raise dead and its default "time limit" is not measured in days (it is in fact 1/1440th of a single day).


I'd think so.

It seems as though the intention of Gentle Repose is to increase the time window for resurrection, in addition to general preservation of corpses. You mentioned this yourself, in the quote

effectively extends the time limit on raising the target from the dead, since days spent under the influence of this spell don't count against the time limit of spells such as raise dead. [PHB 245]

The one caveat I'd impose is the corpse needs to be Gentle Repose'd within the minute in order to still be viable. After that minute elapses (so long as you're using Revivify as your resurrection technique) you're essentially trying to preserve already-spoiled goods.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ My version of the PHB states that "For the duration, the target is protected from decay and can’t become undead." GR restores them to life, and doesn't detour through undead, so I think that the wait is unnecessary. \$\endgroup\$ – UrhoKarila Aug 31 '16 at 0:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ my apologies I was reading a spell from a different game. I will remove my misleading comment. \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Aug 31 '16 at 0:28

Yes. This question has been answered on Sage Advice:

Gentle repose works with revivify. — Jeremy Crawford on Twitter

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi, and welcome to RPG Stack Exchange. Please check out our tour to ask how we work here. We request that people include the substance of the link in the question itself: see Are answers that just contain links elsewhere really “good answers”?. In this case, we've added the tweet quote for you since it's easy enough, but in other cases the answer may get downvoted or removed for being a link-only answer. You're not in trouble though, and you're welcome to hang around further. Since you've reached 20+ rep, you may also join us in Role-playing Games Chat. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 25 '17 at 13:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for this. I've deleted my answer to the contrary - there's no arguing with JC about the rules. \$\endgroup\$ – Tim Grant May 25 '17 at 20:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that Crawford's tweets are not "Sage Advice" (that's just the name of a third-party site compiling designer tweets), and as of the Sage Advice Compendium release in January 2019, Crawford's tweets are no longer considered official rulings. This answer may need to be updated accordingly. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Dec 9 '19 at 20:22

The rules don't say that it can't, so it should work

The opening in the rules: "spells such as raise dead."

The spell also effectively extends the time limit on raising the target from the dead, since days spent under the influence of this spell don’t count against the time limit of spells such as raise dead. (PHB p. 245)

Which spells are in the category "such as" are not specified, nor are any specifically excluded. It is fair to rule that revivify is a spell "such as raise dead" in that it raises a creature from being dead, 0 HP, to being not dead, albeit with (only) 1 HP ... if cast in time. Timing is of the essence for gentle repose as well in this case, as gentle repose's description requires it to be cast within "such a spell's" time limit. One minute is revivify 's time limit.

Gentle Repose 2nd-level
necromancy (ritual)
Casting Time: 1 action

Cast gentle repose within a minute if all you have access to/funds for is a revivify spell. Cast revivify within the 10 days provided by gentle repose. The trick is to recognize that an ally is dead (not just incapacitated) in time to make the decision to cast gentle repose. In some situations, knowing that the character is dead will have taken you past the time limit/immediacy requirement and you not able to do this. The DM's ruling on that time will govern this.

Does this make sense? Yes.

What does this spell do? It give you time to get more powerful magic cast upon the body in order to get it out of "mostly dead" status and into "living" status. It isn't specified how potent that other (such as) spell is, just that it does enough to get up to 1HP, which means alive-not-dead. The threshold between "up and walking around" and "unconscious/incapacitated" (and thus mostly dead in this case) is that difference between 1 HP and 0 HP in D&D 5e.

The benefit from revivify(PHB p. 272).

That creature returns to life with 1 hit point. This spell can’t return to life a creature that has died of old age, nor can it restore any missing body parts.

The revivified creature can get up and walk around. The "gently reposed" creature has to be carried.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you comment on why you don't think that Revivify is the more specific rule (it gives a specific timeframe in which you can cast it) and why its time limit doesn't supersede Gentle Repose's more general rule, or do you think it doesn't matter because this isn't a question about the RAW? \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Aug 30 '16 at 14:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Legendary Dude I did an edit, I hope I am reading your point correctly. The time limit on revivify is one minute, and I do mention that. I was not quite sure what you are after, since Gentle Repose needs to be cast within the time limit of the creature's condition being changed from dead to not dead. Revivify does raise the target from the dead (from 0 to 1 HP, since negative HP isn't in 5e). \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Aug 30 '16 at 15:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you nailed it. I was hung up on the "days under this spell..." wording, but now that I'm reading it again and your answer, I agree that as long as Gentle Repose is cast within the 1 minute time frame of Revivify, it should word. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Aug 30 '16 at 15:27


I may get some critique by bringing a different edition of the rules into play here, but as 5e doesn't have sufficient flavor information to answer your question I will reference 3.5

Revivify works by: (3.5 Spell Compendium p176)

Before the soul of the deceased has completely left the body, this spell halts its journey while repairing somewhat the damage to the body.

So the 1 minute time limit is a restriction not because the body is decaying but because the soul is leaving the body. However Gentle Repose is strictly a physical preservation: (3.5 PHB p235)

You preserve the remains of a dead creature so that they do not decay.

This is especially true when considering the wording of the rest of Gentle Repose

Doing so effectively extends the time limit on raising that creature from the dead.

meaning the extension on raising the dead can almost be considered a side benefit of preserving the body, not its primary purpose.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ The question is asking about 5e, and a critique of 5e's flavor probably doesn't help answer the question. While the lore of this spell may be of interest in a general sense the question is pretty focused on how it works, or does not, in 5e. You will attract more down votes, I suspect, if you don't edit your answer to fit the question. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Aug 30 '16 at 16:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast in the lack of a RAW answer as proven by the other answers, I think an answer that goes on the inner workings of the DnD death has a great value. The wording of revivify as explained here gives a reason to the 1 minute window, and he links it to why gentle repose would not enlarge said window. Well done mr. Arta, have my upvote. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Aug 30 '16 at 16:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast here is where i disagree with you: the state of the soul and the body are game mechanics, not lore. (reasoning for being game mechanics, they they define what is living and what is not and affect planar mechanics. They change what spells are able to affect a player/corpse. ). \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Aug 30 '16 at 17:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sorry for the late response, ill try to edit the answer with proper citation. @KorvinStarmast my intention here was not to criticize 5e flavor except to point out that the question being asked, I do not believe, can be answered with the current information in 5e. \$\endgroup\$ – ArtaSoral Aug 30 '16 at 19:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Criticizing 5e flavor is fine in the right context. 5e doesn't require the kind of specificity that 3.x does, even though we often try to find it. As a design goal they tried to reduce the 'fiddly bits' in the interest of playability. The point timster's answer leans toward is (1) DM rulings as part of the game (a 5e point of emphasis) and (2) like so many answers for 5e, filling in the "specificity" gaps common to 5e. That's a feature, not a bug. If you answer in 5e terms and offer to fill in the gaps with 3.x points, identifying those as such, that would IMO improve the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Aug 30 '16 at 21:31

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