Revivify 5e D&D Guide [2021]

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Revivify is the first opportunity for the party to avoid meeting a permanent fate in the afterlife. The spell has almost become a must-have for those willing to adventure into the unknown.

The rules for Revivify can be found in the Players Handbook on page 272.

Revivify 5e

Necromancy 3rdLevel

Casting Time: 1 Action

Range: Touch

Components: V, S, M (a diamond worth 300GP that the spell consumes)

Duration: Instantaneous

You touch a creature that has died within the last minute. 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 rule for Revivify outline its potential and ability to “resurrect” a fallen creature. They also clearly layout the stipulations and downside as well. It must be within 1 minute (10 rounds), and it consumes a diamond worth 300 GP.This can be expensive for a low-level party but is almost certainly a must-have.

When can you use Revivify?

As the spell description states, Revivify can be used on a creature that has died within one minute. The spell cannot be used after the one-minute mark and will automatically fail. The spell also fails if attempted on a creature that has died from old age.

A creature that has suffered severe trauma such as decapitation will revive with the spell but will immediately die again as the spell does not restore missing body parts of any kind.

Hot Tip
If a creature dies in combat and the party intends to cast the Revivify spell, the dungeon master should maintain turn order until the creature is healed unless there is no threat of failure. This allows for accurate timekeeping for the one-minute window. It also helps prevent an onslaught of player descriptions and actions overlapping each other and can provide a better RP experience since everyone has a turn to talk and/or act. 

Is Revivify Necromancy?

Yes, Revivify is in the necromancy school of magic. The spell brings a creature back to life who was recently deceased. It could have been classed a few other ways, but for 5e, necromancy makes the most sense.

This classification allows for potentially interesting roleplay as it provides an example of how necromancy is not necessarily an evil school of magic. The same type of magic that raises zombies and skeletons from the ground can return a companion or a loved one who had fallen too soon.

Bottom Line
It is hard to find an adventuring group out there who take on deadly encounters daily that do not have a Revivify somewhere in the party. Even a non-traditional cleric will generally take the spell. It has the propensity to save a companion, and the only real limit is the cost.

Who gets Revivify?

Only a few base classes get Revivify. The Cleric, Paladin, and Artificer all have the spell on their class list. There are several sub-classes that have access to it as well. The Wildfire Druid, the Divine Soul Sorcerer, and the Celestial Warlock also have the opportunity to cast Revivify.

Depending on the rule sets used, the Druid and Ranger may also have access to Revivify, but this should be verified with the dungeon master.

Revivify is an important spell for most parties, but if no one plays a class that can cast it, the spell is off the table. This can limit the DM and the player group. A good option for keeping the pressure off of the players to play one of these classes if no one wants to are scrolls. Revivify can be turned into a scroll and sold or provided to the group. In some instances, this can add a more important element of resource management to the game.

Do you need a Diamond for Revivify?

Yes, and specifically, a single diamond that is worth 300 gold pieces. Having a handful of lesser diamonds is not a sufficient component for the spell. This can be flavored in many ways for explanation, but the easiest is that several diamonds cannot channel the same magic energy as a large one.

It is also up to the table to decide but in most instances, simply having the gold to cover the cost is not sufficient either. Now, this is a variant rule that can be used to avoid the excess bookkeeping of components but doing so makes the spell readily available multiple times to any reasonably equipped party.

Hot Tip
Revivify is such an important spell it should not be overlooked as an opportunity to lead to its own adventure. The search for a 300-gold piece diamond might be motivation enough for a group getting ready to head out into the unknown. The material component can also be used to meter the availability of the spell if the DM finds the group relying on this form of resurrection too much.

Can you Fail Revivify?

It is generally not possible to fail the casting of Revivify without some other cause to be unable to cast a spell or the specific scenarios presented in the spell description. There are numerous homebrew rules out there that make the use of the spell more difficult to succeed and rules that impose adverse effects on those revived by the spell. If you are considering using any of these rules, make sure to consult your group.

Final Thoughts

Revivify is an adventuring staple for just about every party. The addition of the Artificer as a class that can cast the spell reduces the need for a Cleric or holy warrior type Paladin. The spell has followed much of the other healing type spells and abilities in 5e.

It has been made available in several ways to keep anyone from having to play a certain class. While this is nice for players who always get stuck as the healer, it does reduce the importance of filling a role in a group. Party balance has always been important, and this spell doesn’t change that.

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