A Closer Look at Gentle Repose in D&D 5e

In the fantastical world of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, death and the delicate balance between life and the afterlife often play significant roles in adventurers’ quests. Among the spells that revolve around these themes, Gentle Repose stands out as a powerful tool used by necromancers, clerics, and others seeking to preserve the deceased or buy time for their resurrection. In this blog post, we will delve into the enchanting spell of Gentle Repose, exploring its mechanics, applications, and the intriguing ethical considerations it raises within the game.

You touch a corpse, other remains, or an undead creature. For the duration, the target is protected against decay. As well, it reverses decay, returning the remains of the undead to what they appeared like in life, even healing any missing limbs and injuries, and ending all conditions, including Exhaustion levels, curses, poisons, and diseases. I sew an undead creature, it’s love it did in life, though people can make an Investigation check against your spell save DC to note things, like shallow breathing, a limp, strange behavior, pale skin, etc.

Though it’s unlikely anyone would think they’re Undead, they might more likely assume the Undead creature is just unhealthy or strange. After the duration, the remains of the Undead creature rapidly decay to the purpose it had been before this spell. The spell also effectively extends the deadline on raising remains, since days spent under the influence of this spell don’t count against the deadline of spells like raise dead.

Gentle Repose 5e

Gentle Repose 5e (5th Edition) in Dnd Spells

  • Casting Time: 1 action
  • Range: Touch
  • Components: V S M (A pinch of salt and one copper piece placed on each of the corpse’s eyes, which must remain there for the duration)
  • Duration: 10 days
  • Classes: Cleric, Wizard

At Higher Levels: Once you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th or higher you’ll choose a further target for every spell slot above 5th and therefore the duration is extended counting on the spell slot. At the 6th level, you’ll choose two targets and therefore the duration is 60 days. At the 7th level, you’ll choose three targets and therefore the duration is 90 days. At the 8th level, you’ll choose four targets and therefore the duration is 1 year. At the 9th level, you’ll choose five targets and therefore the duration is eternal, it lasts forever.

Here you would like to touch a corpse or the other remaining things. For a specific duration, the target is going to be protected against decay and it cannot become undead.

Section 1: Understanding Gentle Repose

  • Briefly introduce the Gentle Repose spell and its purpose in the game.
  • Discuss the spell’s origin and the classes that can access it.
  • Highlight its core mechanics and duration.

Section 2: The Mechanics of Gentle Repose

  • Explain the effects and benefits of casting Gentle Repose on a deceased creature.
  • Detail how the spell temporarily prevents decay and prevents the body from becoming undead.
  • Explore the impact of Gentle Repose on the duration of spells like Revivify and Raise Dead.

Section 3: Applications and Strategies

  • Discuss the practical uses of Gentle Repose within the game, both in and out of combat.
  • Explore its value for preserving bodies for proper burial, religious rites, or necromantic purposes.
  • Highlight how the spell aids in the investigation of crime scenes or the preservation of evidence.

Section 4: Ethical Considerations and Roleplaying Opportunities

  • Delve into the moral implications of using Gentle Repose, including cultural and religious beliefs surrounding death and the afterlife.
  • Discuss how characters might wrestle with the decision to cast Gentle Repose or the consequences of misusing it.
  • Provide guidance on incorporating these dilemmas into roleplaying and character development.

Section 5: Variants and Homebrew Options

  • Present variant rules or homebrew options related to Gentle Repose, such as modified durations, expanded effects, or unique applications.
  • Share examples of creative uses or alternative interpretations of the spell in custom campaigns.

The spell will extend the deadline for raising the target from death effectively. Here you don’t count the deadline which is against it of the spells like raise dead since the times which have spent under the influence of this spell.

As much as it would help in our current campaign, I just can’t let it work that way supported the cosmological dynamics as I understand them. Raise Dead (and its higher level corollaries) retrieves the soul from the afterlife, etc. The 5e DMG explains it, and we flesh it out with 2e Planescape material. Revivify is more sort of a magical CPR. The soul hasn’t reached its destination. This interpretation is supported by the very fact that revivifies has no requirement that the soul is “free and willing” to return. You don’t get that choice with revivifying, because it’s stopping your soul from passing on in the first place.

To me, “also” indicates that the time extension is added to the consequences within the first paragraph, not a consequence of them. So my reading would be that Gentle Repose does whatever is important to grant the time extension, including keeping the soul from moving on if that is what you think that Revivify requires. I suppose you’ll argue that Revivify isn’t included within the set of spells “such as Raise Dead” but that seems to me to need dragging during a lot of reasoning that goes beyond a clear reading of the spell descriptions.


Gentle Repose, a spell of delicate power, offers adventurers the ability to honor fallen comrades, preserve vital evidence, or explore the complex ethical questions surrounding life and death. By mastering the mechanics and contemplating the moral implications, players can bring an added layer of depth and realism to their Dungeons & Dragons 5e experiences.

Whether you wield Gentle Repose as a necromancer seeking to cheat the hands of time or as a cleric honoring the deceased, the spell invites you to contemplate mortality and the fleeting nature of existence in the immersive world of D&D.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Gentle Repose in D&D 5e:

Q1: What is Gentle Repose in D&D 5e?

A1: Gentle Repose is a necromancy spell in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. It allows the caster to temporarily preserve a deceased creature’s body, preventing it from decaying and becoming undead.

Q2: Which classes can cast Gentle Repose in D&D 5e?

A2: Gentle Repose is accessible to several classes, including Clerics, Wizards, Sorcerers, and Bards. The specific class spell lists will indicate whether a character can learn or prepare the spell.

Q3: What are the benefits of casting Gentle Repose?

A3: Casting Gentle Repose on a deceased creature’s body has several benefits. It prevents decay for ten days, extending the time window for resurrection spells like Revivify or Raise Dead. It also makes the body immune to being turned into an undead creature during that time.

Q4: How long does Gentle Repose last in D&D 5e?

A4: The effects of Gentle Repose last for ten days. After that, the body resumes its natural decay process unless further magical intervention or preservation methods are employed.

Q5: Can Gentle Repose be used to prevent a dead creature from becoming a zombie or other undead?

A5: Yes, that is one of the primary uses of Gentle Repose. By casting the spell on a deceased creature, you prevent it from being reanimated as an undead creature, such as a zombie or skeleton.

Q6: Can Gentle Repose be used on a creature killed by disintegration or other forms of instant death?

A6: Yes, Gentle Repose can be cast on a creature that has died instantly or through other means. It preserves the body and prevents decay, allowing for later resurrection or other rituals.

Q7: Can Gentle Repose be used on body parts or objects?

A7: No, Gentle Repose specifically targets a whole deceased creature’s body. It doesn’t affect severed body parts or objects.

Q8: Does Gentle Repose have any limitations or restrictions?

A8: While Gentle Repose is a powerful spell, it does have limitations. It requires a material component, a pinch of salt, and either a copper piece or a silver piece placed on the corpse’s eyes. Additionally, the spell only affects one creature at a time, and its effects are temporary.

Q9: Can Gentle Repose be dispelled or removed?

A9: Yes, like any spell, Gentle Repose can be dispelled by effects such as Dispel Magic or removed by a successful casting of Remove Curse, depending on the circumstances and the DM’s rulings.

Q10: Are there any alternative spells or effects that provide similar benefits to Gentle Repose?

A10: While Gentle Repose is the primary spell for preserving bodies, some other spells and abilities in D&D 5e, such as Revivify and Soul Cage, also have effects related to preserving or interacting with deceased creatures in different ways.

Remember to consult the D&D 5e Player’s Handbook or the specific class spell lists for detailed information on casting and using Gentle Repose in your campaign.

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