Effect: The polymorph
other spell is a powerful magick which completely alters the form and
and possibly the personality and mentality, of the recipient.
Of course, creatures with
a lower intelligence cannot be polymorphed into something with a higher
but the reverse is possible.
1. The creature polymorphed must make a "system shock" (cf. CONSTITUTION) roll to see if it survives the change.
2. If it is successful, it
then acquires all of the form and abilities of the creature it has been
A. There is a base 100% chance that this change will also change its personality and mentality
into that of the creature whose form it now possesses.
B. For each 1 point of intelligence of the creature polymorphed,
subtract 5% from the base chance.
C. = Additionally, for every HD of difference between the original form and the form it is changed into by the spell,
the polymorphed creature must adjust the base chance percentage by +/-5% per hit die below or above its own number
(or level in the case of characters).
D = A + B + C.
3. The chance for assumption of the personality (D) and mentality of the new form must be checked daily until the change takes place. (Note that all creatures generally prefer their own form and will not willingly stand the risk of being subjected to this spell!)
However, the new form of
the polymorphed creature may be stronger than it looks,
i.e. a mummy changed to a puppy dog would be very tough,
or a brontosaurus changed to an ant would be impossible to squash merely from being stepped on by a small creature or even a man-sized one.
As is continually pointed out, henchmen and hirelings will NOT desire to
be subjected to the effects of this spell!
Furthermore, level of experience is not a part of a character's form,
so it is quite foolish and totally impossible to attempt to polymorph a creature into an nth level character.
Likewise, profession is not form, so attempting to polymorph to a fighter, thief, etc. results in human form and nothing more.
Shape changers (lycanthropes, deities, druids, vampires, certain dragons, jackalweres, dopplegangers, mimics, et al.) will be affected for but one round, then will return to their former form.
Spell.dispel magic: The magic-user must use a dispel magic spell to change the polymorphed creature back to its original form, and this too requires a "system shock" saving throw.
MC: A caterpillar cocoon.
a one hit die orc of 8 intelligence is polymorphed into a white dragon
with 6 hit dice, for example, it is 85%
(100% - [5% X 8 intelligence] + [(6 - 1) X 5%] = 85%) likely to actually become one in all respects, but in any case it will have the dragon's physical and mental capabilities; and if it does not assume the personality and mentality of a white dragon, it will know what it formerly knew as well.
example: an 8th level fighter successfully polymorphed into a blue dragon
would know combat with weapons and be able to employ them with prehensile
dragon forepaws if the fighter did not take on dragon personality and mentality.
Q: Are there any limits
on the polymorph
other spell? It seems that
this spell is easily abused. For example,
a magic-user could turn himself
into a gold dragon. Since the spell
grants all the abilities of the new
form, the magic-user could assume
human form again whenever it
wasn't convenient to be a dragon
and still be able to fly, use breath
weapons, etc. Would such a character
lose his character class abilities?
Can he still earn experience? Would
an adult magic-user be turned into
an adult dragon by this spell? Would
the character then age as his original
race, or would he age as a
dragon? Could he reproduce with
other gold dragons? What would
happen if a fire lizard or other unintelligent
creature were polymorphed
into a gold dragon?
A: To start, polymorph
other means just
that; a caster may not use the spell on
himself. A polymorph other spell can turn
any creature into any other creature type
that is not unique. Remember the system
shock survival roll; the DM must assign
the polymorphed creature a constitution
score if one isn?t listed. Even if the systemshock
check is successful, the polymorphed
creature retains its own mind
and tends to act like the original. Exceedingly
stupid creatures might not even
notice the change.
This fourth-level spell is
enough to establish a connection between
a recipient creature and another plane,
nor can it bestow magical abilities (a character
turned into a vampire, for example,
could not drain energy levels). It cannot
give the recipient any skill or ability that
must be learned ? such as spells, psionic
abilities, or languages. The recipient, however,
physically becomes the creature into
which he has been polymorphed, and he
could breed with others of his new ilk.
Furthermore, the recipient can think like
the type of creature into which he has
been polymorphed, and has certain
instinctive knowledge such as what he
should eat, how to use the new body?s
locomotion and physical attack capabilities,
and how to interpret what his new
senses tell him. This is not the same as
actually becoming the creature in mind,
which happens with a failed intelligence
check as noted in the spell description on
page 78 of the Players Handbook.
As long as the recipient keeps his mind,
he can use his character class abilities
(provided that this is physically possible)
and may draw upon his own knowledge.
The Players Handbook indicates that a
polymorphed player character can
hold and use tools and weapons
only if his
new ?hands? have digits. Items carried by
a character when polymorphed become
part of the creature when the change
takes place, and cannot be recovered until
the creature reassumes its normal form. A
polymorphed character can earn experience
as long as he keeps his own mind.
In the example you have provided
(assuming that the recipient of the spell is
another magic-user), the caster of the spell
would have to decide how big a gold
dragon the recipient magic-user will
become. When the spell takes effect, the
recipient must make a constitution check.
As you suggest, the adult magic-user
would become an adult dragon with
appropriate hit points (if he makes his
constitution check). When determining the
character?s chance to assume a gold
dragon?s mentality, divide the dragon?s
total hit points by 4 to determine its effective
hit dice (see the Monster Manual, page
31, Dragon's Saving Throws). There should
be at least a 1% chance per day that the
recipient will assume the creature?s mentality,
regardless of adjustments.
This magic-user would be
able to speak
(in the magic-user?s languages only), fly
(and carry passengers), and use the
dragon?s breath weapons. The magic-user
could use his spells provided that material
components were still at hand, and he
could still read his books and renew spells.
He does not gain the ability to speak a gold
dragon?s native tongue, nor use any of an
adult dragon?s spells, and he cannot polymorph
himself as a gold dragon can. A fire
lizard cannot be polymorphed into a gold
dragon because it is not as intelligent as a
gold dragon (see the second sentence of
the spells description in the Players Handbook);
the spell would fail. In the example
involving the magic-user above, the recipient
is assumed to be at least as intelligent
as an average gold dragon (intelligence 17
If a polymorphed creature
mentality of his new form, however, all of
the originals abilities and memories are
lost, and the creature gains the full spectrum
of its new form?s abilities. You may
rule that the acquisition of these abilities
will take time and perhaps instruction, but
you can assume that the creature will
eventually learn them. If the new gold
dragon in the above example ever learned
to use a gold dragon?s polymorph self
ability, however, any change of form will
dispel the polymorph other spell. The
creature will return to normal and must
make a system shock survival roll. Shapechanging
creatures who are the unwilling
recipients of polymorph other spells can
negate the spell in a similar manner (see
the DMG, page 45).
The polymorphed gold dragon
example would grow as a gold dragon
would, but he would age as a human as
long as he kept his mind. Aging in the
AD&D game is sometimes a function of
the mind, not the body.
Jen: This spell completely alters the form, ability, and possibly
personality and mentality of the target creature.
Creatures of low Intelligence may not be polymorphed into creatures of high Intelligence, and any creature polymorphed must make a "system shock" roll to survive the transfer.
A successful polymorph gains all the abilities of the creature (though not talents such as profession or character class), and may become one of those creatures as well.
The base chance is 100% of taking on the mentality of the creature as well,
-5% for every point of Intelligence of the original creature and + /-5% for every level the final form is higher or lower than the original level.
This check is made daily until it takes place.
A polymorphed creature may be returned to original by a dispel magic, and the return also requires a system shock roll.
Wu Jen.MC: The wings of a moth wrapped in silk.
Originally Posted by merelycompetent
And we thought we were clever for polymorphing fire giants into ants, back in G3. We didn't think of the followup dispel until later on when a drow used one on us in a narrow hall -- and we discovered that our party magic-user had been collecting the ants! (Our DM's description of the ensuing wrestling match stopped the game for over an hour while we mopped up spilled drinks and recovered from laughing so hard.)
Hydra snails are the specialty of Mordenkainen, many attacks in one, as it were.
is a danger of having the polymorphed critters released by a hostile spell
caster, so a container within an anti-magic
shell is advised.
Otherwise a debacle such as you mention is all too likely
Originally Posted by BOZ
ooh, hydra flail snails would be wicked nasty! that's a few dozen clubbing attacks per round isn't it?
Depends on the hydra, typically five, seven, or nine heads.
Of course the most desirable sort to polymorph is that with the most heads!