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I'm DMing for a level 12 party of 4 (bard, cleric, druid, and revised ranger). They each have about 70,000 GP, and they live near a capital city with plenty of temples.

The villain is the equivalent to a level 16 Wizard(necromancer) with pockets deep enough to hire help. He hasn't killed the NPC in question yet, so answers that depend on how the NPC is killed are OK.

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All of the resurrection spells require touching the dead creature's body. (Even true resurrection can only create a new body "if the original no longer exists".) If your necromancer keeps the dead NPC's body and hides it somewhere, resurrection won't work.

Your necromancer could, for example, make the dead NPC into an undead and keep it as a servant, in which case the player characters would have to find the undead and re-kill it.


If you've decided that your world doesn't contain any NPCs capable of casting true resurrection, then your necromancer can simply destroy the body, and not bother with hiding it.


There's also the possibility of doing something involving the line "the soul must be free and willing to return". Perhaps the NPC doesn't want to return, or perhaps the necromancer applied some threat or trauma that makes the NPC unwilling to return, or perhaps the necromancer has some way of trapping the NPC's soul. (I wasn't able to find a 5e equivalent of the 3.5e spell soul bind, but there might still exist something like that, or you could just make something up. Icyfire notes that the demilich has a soul-trapping ability.) Personally I like the "hide the body" approach better, though.

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I have an answer to this...

It is a special potion that is derived from the ocular fluids of the Beholder's main eye. To prevent resurrection, assuming its done by magical means, the target is poisoned with this potion, thus leaving the body in a state of "anti-magic" that prevents any magic from effecting the target, even after death. Once poisoned, the target can die by any means (the potion might also be a deadly mix of anti magic and death ray "juice", causing instant death), but cannot be effected by magic as the potion takes root in the body, to the extent that can be determined by the DM. I would argue that dispel magic nor counterspell would be able to counter the effects of this potion, as both spells would simply be unable to penetrate the barrier of anti-magic that is now permanently around the corpse. The beholder source also explains its rarity and difficulty in obtaining. The antidote to this poisonous potion can be determined by the DM in any number of ways, if one would even exist.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi Dave, welcome to RPG.SE. Remember to check out the tour and help center some time. In general, untested homebrew answers are poorly received. It's a cool idea, but lacks objectivity. Have you tried this idea yourself? If so, that information might be valuable to put in the answer, including how the idea played out. \$\endgroup\$ – BBeast Apr 10 '20 at 6:07

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