Fighter’s got derp face. Also possibly poo brain.

I always thought reincarnate was a slam dunk of spell. For me, it’s the embodiment of the idea that death shouldn’t be permanent, but should have consequences. For the uninitiated, it’s the lowest level come-back-from-the-dead option in 3.X D&D. That means that, if you’re a low level adventurer, every time one of your party gets pounced by a dire lion you’re all tromping out into the woods and finding the closest druid. There, crouched in his big hollowed out tree full of granola and patchouli, you’ll lay your gold on the table, roll on the big chart o’ reincarnations, and pray to whatever deity you hold most dear that you come back as something socially acceptable. (Note that some alternate charts are sillier than others. ‘Anthropomorphic weasel’ indeed. Hmph.)

And can we talk for a second about this gut-punch of a caveate? “It’s possible for the change in the subject’s ability scores to make it difficult for it to pursue its previous character class. If this is the case, the subject is advised to become a multiclass character.” That’s cold, man. Stone cold. The spell itself is telling you to put on your big boy pants (of giant strength) and deal with it. 

But I was talking about being a fan of this spell, right? Well here’s why. The very last line of the spell text says, “A wish or a miracle spell can restore a reincarnated character to his or her original form.” Love it. LOVE IT! And I love it because for me, any time a spell description, a bit of monster ecology text, or a throwaway line in a magic item provides a quest hook, I’m rubbing my GM mitts together in glee. This kind of spell gives you a new direction to steer your narrative, a new option for your players to pursue. Your story line veers suddenly into uncharted territory, and that’s good fun…no matter how thoroughly your new body needs a shave.