Speak with Dead
- Casting Time: 1 action
- Classes: Bard, Cleric
- Components: V S M
- Duration: 10 minutes
- Level: 3
- Material: Burning incense
- Name: Speak with Dead
- Range: 10 feet
- School: Necromancy
- Target: A corpse of your choice within range
You grant the semblance of life and intelligence to a corpse of your choice within range, allowing it to answer the questions you pose. The corpse must still have a mouth and can't be undead. The spell fails if the corpse was the target of this spell within the last 10 days.
Until the spell ends, you can ask the corpse up to five questions. The corpse knows only what it knew in life, including the languages it knew. Answers are usually brief, cryptic, or repetitive, and the corpse is under no compulsion to offer a truthful answer if you are hostile to it or it recognizes you as an enemy. This spell doesn't return the creature's soul to its body, only its animating spirit. Thus, the corpse can't learn new information, doesn't comprehend anything that has happened since it died, and can't speculate about future events.
The SendingStone review
Speak with Dead is a spell that allows a caster to communicate with the deceased by animating their corpse and asking questions. The spell has a range of only 10 feet and requires burning incense as its material component. It is available to bards and clerics at level 3.
The utility of Speak with Dead is limited, but it can be useful in certain circumstances, such as solving a murder investigation or finding out information from a deceased enemy. However, some argue that it is a morbid and unethical spell that violates the sanctity of the dead. Others argue that it can bring closure to loved ones or aid in solving crimes. In the end, the use of Speak with Dead ultimately depends on the beliefs and practices of the individual caster.
Speak with Dead is D&D (Dungeons & Dragons) 5th edition content, but other TTRPGs may have their own version such as a Speak with Dead Pathfinder edition. Want to use Speak with Dead in a VTT (virtual tabletop)? Try out SendingStone for free today!