In the Player's Handbook there are multiple spells that can bring a creature back to life. Resurrection, revivify (p272), and true resurrection (284) each have a clause that say that they don't work on a creature that died due to old age.

However, neither raise dead (270) nor reincarnate (271) list any such restriction. Does this mean that these two spells can restore life to creatures that have died of old age? In the case of raise dead what's the ultimate result?


3 Answers 3



As you rightly say, those spells contain no such restriction on bringing back a creature who has died of old age.

In the case of Raise Dead, the creature retains their original body and their original age. Therefore they are at risk of dying of old age again in the near future. The exact methods of determining how and when a creature dies of old age are up to the DM.

In the case of Reincarnate, the creature has a fresh body created for them which is "adult". They are not in danger of dying from old age again in the near future.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Wouldn't being raised trigger a new roll on the maximum age dice? Or does 5e not have that clause (when you reach venerable blah blah blah secret roll more years of life). \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29, 2017 at 22:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer As far as I'm aware, 5e doesn't have any rules for old age in the PHB or the DMG. It's up to the DM to judge on whatever house rules he or she has come up with. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthew
    Apr 29, 2017 at 22:21

Of course it makes sense.

As soon as he is raised, he can be given a few potions of longevity so he will not die of old age in a near future.

It is very strange that a low level spell like Raise Dead is much better than Resurrection or True Resurrection, both of which has restrictions about it.

Probably the authors simply forgot to add the restriction to this one.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.se. When you have time, please take our tour. Please try to not speculate in your answers. If you do, back it up by either experience or official texts. For example, could you explain why do you think "Raiser Dead is much better than TR"? How does being able to raise someone that died from age in the last 10 days makes the spell much better than a 200 years time limit that restores lost limbs/organs and nullifies magical diseases? Have you experienced a situation where Raise Dead was much better? If you did, write about it please. \$\endgroup\$
    – HellSaint
    May 20, 2018 at 17:36

depending on your DM raise dead could be used to raise dead at specific ages, but it doesn't make sense to bring back someone who died of old age as they would more than likely be brought back in a way that they would die soonafter anyways.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Poor answer. If they live for 1 minute I'll just stack true polymorph on it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joshua
    May 4, 2021 at 17:36

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