Obscure Returns

January 5th, 2015

Joshua Zaback

Obscure Arcana Archive

Dying is no fun, obviously. Coming back from the dead is also something of a chore; your party is out a large sum of treasure and you wake up with some negative levels. The spells that return you to life are also kind of boring, with reincarnate being the most interesting of the base spells that allow you to return from the dead (sorry, clone), and even that spell comes with some added drawbacks. Not only do you have negative levels and less treasure, but you might also have to be a kobold for the rest of the game. This week, in tribute to the resurrection of Obscure Arcana, we give you three new spells for coming back from the dead that aim to add a little more excitement to the process of coming back to life.


School conjuration (healing); Level cleric 8, shaman 8, witch 9
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a golden chain worth 10,000 gp), F (a pair of silver bracelets)
Range touch
Target dead creature touched
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes

You forge a connection between your own life-force and that of a deceased character to return them to life. The target is returned to life as though with the spell true resurrection, except that your two lives become linked in the process. You may only be linked to one creature at a time in this way, and if you attempt to cast this spell while you are already linked to a creature, the spell automatically fails. So long as the link is unbroken, you and the target each suffer half the damage suffered by the other character. You also regain half the number of hit points the other gains, so long as the link remains. For example, if you are struck by a melee attack and suffer 30 points of damage, the target also suffers 15 points of damage. Similarly, if the target drinks a potion that restores 20 hit points, you also regain 10 hit points. The link cannot be dispelled, but a wish or miracle spell ends the effect, as does the death of one of the linked characters.


School conjuration (healing); Level druid 9, shaman 9
Casting Time 24 hours
Components V, S, M (special herbs worth 5,000 gp), F (a stone cauldron weighing at least 100 lbs.)
Range touch
Target dead creature touched
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes

You place the mostly whole body of a fallen creature into a stone cauldron and invoke the powers of nature to return her to life in some more powerful form. The touched character is returned to life. This functions like the spell raise dead, except that the target is restored to full hit points and is cured of any disease or poison that was affecting her when she died. Additionally, as the target is returned to life, her body shifts into a more powerful form, reflecting her inner self. When the target is returned to life, she is affected as though by one of the following spells: beast shape III, elemental body II, form of the dragon I, form of the giant I, or plant shape II. The spell is chosen by the revived character she is returned to life, as well as all choices associated with that spell. This transformation is permanent and cannot be dispelled, but otherwise functions like the spell in question. If the target is affected by another polymorph effect, then when that effect expires, she returns to the form granted to her by this spell.


School conjuration (healing); Level cleric 7, shaman 8, spiritualist 6
Casting Time 10 minutes
Components V, S, M (a blank scroll and a well of ink)
Range touch
Target dead creature touched
Duration permanent until discharged
Saving Throw Will negates (see text); Spell Resistance yes

You call back the soul of one who has departed this world to bring knowledge from beyond the grave. The target is returned to life as with the spell raise dead, except that the effect is not instantaneous and can be dispelled or ended by the character returned to life at any time. The target can attempt to answer questions with the information locked away in his mind. As a full-round action, the target can attempt to use this knowledge by meditating on a question. This functions as if he were using the spell contact other plane to contact a greater deity, except that there is no chance of Intelligence or Charisma decrease. The target can call upon this knowledge at will, but after receiving an answer, he must attempt a Will save or the spell immediately ends. If the spell ends, regardless of whether it was dispelled, the target failed his save, or for any other reason, the target immediately dies.