Dungeons & Dragons clip shows how NOT to use necromancy

In a new clip from Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, the party learns the wrong way of using the Speak with Dead spell.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves released a new clip that has the heroes use Speak with Dead spell… but not exactly the right way to do it.

In a new clip from Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, the party learns the wrong way of using the Speak with Dead spell. (Images: Paramount Pictures/eOne)

One of the familiar elements in Wizards of the Coast's Dungeons & Dragons tabletop roleplaying game is the use of different magical spells. While there are the usual damage dealing Magic Missile and Fireball spells, there are also utility spells like Mage Hand, Commune with Nature, and Identify. But as Elgin’s party learns, sometimes the rules for these spells can be tricky.

The clip was shared through the official Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves and Paramount Pictures social media channels. The scene takes place in what appears to be a decrepit graveyard, with the party led by Elgin (Chris Pine) looking for a very specific corpse.

Finding their target, they have a Speak with Dead spell cast upon it. But it seems Elgin wasn’t informed ahead of time of the conditions of the spell, which limits the number of questions that can be asked to five. Plus, it counts every question asked, even if the corpse is not the one being directly addressed. This leads to Elgin practically wasting four of the questions before the corpse goes back to its rest.

This might be a sticking point for fans of the Dungeons & Dragons TTRPG. One inconsistency with the film’s version is that it was cast by Simon (Justice Smith), who is a sorcerer that would not normally be able to do so. In the actual D&D Fifth Edition rules, Speak with Dead is a 3rd Level spell from the necromancy school that only Bards and Clerics can cast. It also requires burning incense as a material component.

After successfully casting it on a corpse, for 10 minutes it is compelled to answer five questions, based on the knowledge it had when the person was alive.

Regardless of the potential rules lawyering from fans, it is a funny scene. It certainly paints a clearer picture of the tone the movie will be taking which has the trademark zingers from the other works of Jonathan Goldstein who wrote Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and directed Game Night (2018). But will it be enough for the fans to forget the OGL 1.1 controversy?

Tiefling druid Doric (Sophia Lillis) shows off her skill with wielding a wrist-mounted sling.

In addition to the new clip, we also get a new still of the Owlbear-transforming-druid Doric (Sophia Lillis), showing off her wrist-mounted sling. Slings are one of the simple ranged weapons in the game and commonly used by non-martial classes. However, this is the first time a wrist-mounted one is shown in live action and it looks pretty cool, so expect D&D artwork of player characters to copy this.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves gathers the adventuring party into theaters this March 31, 2023, with an advanced screening at SXSW on March 10.

Geoff Borgonia
Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.
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