The character grants the semblance of life and intellect to a
corpse, allowing it to answer several questions that the
character puts to it. The character may ask up to one question
per two caster levels. Unasked questions are wasted if the
duration expires. The corpses knowledge is limited to what
the creature knew during life, including the languages it spoke
(if any). Answers are usually brief, cryptic, or repetitive. If
the creatures alignment was different from the character's,
the corpse gets a Will save to resist the spell as if it were
If the corpse has been subject to speak with dead within the
past week, the new spell fails. The character can cast this spell
on a corpse that has been deceased for any amount of time, but
the body must be mostly intact to be able to respond. A damaged
corpse may be able to give partial answers or partially correct
answers, but it must at least have a mouth in order to speak at
This spell does not let the character actually speak to the
person (whose soul has departed). It instead draws on the
imprinted knowledge stored in the corpse. The partially animated
body retains the imprint of the soul that once inhabited it, and
thus it can speak with all the knowledge that the creature had
while alive. The corpse, however, cannot learn new information.
Indeed, it cant even remember being questioned.
Any corpse that has been turned into an undead creature
cant be spoken to with speak with dead.