Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

PaizoCon 2014!

Weapon proficiencies and polymorph


Rules Questions

Cheliax

Just to clarify:

If the form you polymorph into has simple weapon proficiency, then you keep all your weapon proficiencies, otherwise you lose them.

i.e. if a dwarf giant-forms into a troll, it can fight with its urgrosh, but if it polymorphs into a girallon, it can't (note this picture http://www.d20pfsrd.com/_/rsrc/1287510409909/images/girallon.jpg is a mistake since a Girallon is not proficient with weapons).

Richard

P.S. Actually I think there's an argument here for re-classifying all simians and derivatives as Monstrous Humanoids rather than Magical Beasts - given that this is a fantasy setting.


PF Polymorph does not change your creature type, unlike 3.5, which is what determines what you are proficient with. It just changes your form.

Cheliax

Type isn't the only thing that dictates what you are proficient with - you can also take it as a feat or through class levels.

So, when you polymorph, we need to be clear whether these extra proficiencies are maintained. You certainly wouldn't expect to lose martial weapon proficiency with a greatsword if you polymorphed into a troll (which otherwise only has simple weapon proficiency), however you would expect to lose it if you polymorphed into a bear.

The simian case I think is one which has fallen through the cracks. I think either simians should be monstrous humanoids or there should be a simian sub-type for things like Girallons which gives them simple weapon proficiency.

Richard


richard develyn wrote:

Type isn't the only thing that dictates what you are proficient with - you can also take it as a feat or through class levels.

So, when you polymorph, we need to be clear whether these extra proficiencies are maintained. You certainly wouldn't expect to lose martial weapon proficiency with a greatsword if you polymorphed into a troll (which otherwise only has simple weapon proficiency), however you would expect to lose it if you polymorphed into a bear.

The simian case I think is one which has fallen through the cracks. I think either simians should be monstrous humanoids or there should be a simian sub-type for things like Girallons which gives them simple weapon proficiency.

Richard

Polymorph doesn't do nearly what you're thinking it does anymore... take a look at the spell itself, but also the polymorph subschool in the chapter on Magic. If those two sections don't say that something DOES change, then it DOESN'T change. IIRC, feats and the like are not changed.

Cheliax

I'm very familiar with polymorph.

There is an ambiguity here that needs clarifying about what forms can, and what forms cannot, wield weapons.

Richard

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Iziak wrote:
richard develyn wrote:

Type isn't the only thing that dictates what you are proficient with - you can also take it as a feat or through class levels.

So, when you polymorph, we need to be clear whether these extra proficiencies are maintained. You certainly wouldn't expect to lose martial weapon proficiency with a greatsword if you polymorphed into a troll (which otherwise only has simple weapon proficiency), however you would expect to lose it if you polymorphed into a bear.

The simian case I think is one which has fallen through the cracks. I think either simians should be monstrous humanoids or there should be a simian sub-type for things like Girallons which gives them simple weapon proficiency.

Richard

Polymorph doesn't do nearly what you're thinking it does anymore... take a look at the spell itself, but also the polymorph subschool in the chapter on Magic. If those two sections don't say that something DOES change, then it DOESN'T change. IIRC, feats and the like are not changed.

Yeah from what I can tell, polymorph effects do not change your feats or proficiencies at all. So in theory, you can use weapons as a bear. Have at it. This is the only part that suggests some might go away:

From Polymorph subschool description: "You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function. While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed. Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form."

If your GM decided (probably reasonably) that you can't stand up and use a greataxe as a Barbarian/Druid wildshaped into a bear, then it would fall under that category, since weapon proficiency in martial weapons is a class feature of the Barbarian class.

Cheliax

Personally, I like the idea (hence my suggestion) that simple weapon proficiency specified in creature type should be read as indicating the capability to wield weapons based on "form". Hence, if you change form to something which has simple weapon proficiency (by virtue of its type) then you should be able to wield weapons, otherwise not.

It isn't always obvious, otherwise, whether it should be allowed. Consider a Cave Druid wild-shaped into an ooze which then hits you with a shillelagh'd club. Quite a nice build that - except I don't think an ooze should be able to wield a weapon even though, conceivably, there's no reason why it shouldn't.

I think simians are the only animal / magical-beast that I would build an exception for.

Richard


richard develyn wrote:

Type isn't the only thing that dictates what you are proficient with - you can also take it as a feat or through class levels.

So, when you polymorph, we need to be clear whether these extra proficiencies are maintained. You certainly wouldn't expect to lose martial weapon proficiency with a greatsword if you polymorphed into a troll (which otherwise only has simple weapon proficiency), however you would expect to lose it if you polymorphed into a bear.

The simian case I think is one which has fallen through the cracks. I think either simians should be monstrous humanoids or there should be a simian sub-type for things like Girallons which gives them simple weapon proficiency.

Richard

Not being able to wield the weapon due to lose of hands/arms, as an example, is not the same as not being proficient, which is basically knowledge of how to use it.

If I polymorph from a human druid into a snake I am still proficient with whatever my class says I am proficient with. I just can't use swords because I have no hands.

I will repeat changing forms does not change your creature type. You only change form so if I am a wizard and I change into a creature's form(outsider such as a barbed devil**) that normally has proficiency with all simple and martial weapons I am still not proficient with those weapons. Yes I can use them, just like I could before I changed my form, but I will still take the penalty for not being proficient with them, which is all proficiency really cares about.

**outsiders are proficient with martial weapons.

Another example using outsiders:
All outsider are proficient with martial weapons*. There are outsiders that may not have the proper limbs to use those weapons, but they are still proficient with them. If said outsiders were to be polymorphed into a form that had appendages that could wield weapons then they would use those weapons without any penalties.

*unless there is an entry stating that outsider or outsider subtype is not.

In short not being proficient, and not having the proper limbs are two different things.

PS:I understand your argument, and things like earth elementals have come up from time to time, but from a rules perspective "proficient" is not the correct word to use.

If you are suggesting a rules amendment the general discussion area is probably a better choice.

Shadow Lodge

I think you're confusing the issue here by mixing weapon proficiency and the ability to wield weapons.

If the form you polymorph into has simple weapon proficiency, then you keep all your weapon proficiencies, otherwise you lose them<---- whats the basis for this statement?

A fighter/druid is proficient with the greatsword no matter what form they're in. If they turn into a horse they can't use it, even though he maintains proficiency.

If the girrilion can wield weapons (it looks like it can) then the dwarf using giant form still can.

Cheliax

The crux of my argument comes down to the fact that certain creatures have simple weapon proficiency by virtue of their type and not, in any sense, by virtue of their "education".

This suggests to me that simple weapon proficiency is a function of form, rather than knowledge, and that it is therefore being used to suggest suitability of form to wield weapons.

In other words, you don't learn simple weapon proficiency. You either have it at birth or you haven't. Additionally, apart from the odd case of simians, I would suggest that the reverse is true - i.e. if you haven't got simple weapon proficiency by virtue of your type then your form isn't suitable for wielding weapons. After all, if this isn't something you have to learn, then why would any creature capable of wielding weapons not have simple weapon proficiency.

And that suggests to me what I said at the beginning, that if you polymorph into a creature that has simple weapon proficiency, then that creature can wield weapons, which means you can use whatever additional weapon proficiencies you have also acquired. If the creature you polymorph into doesn't, then you can't.

Richard


so is there a way for a polymorphed creature to keep the equipment it was using when it was in humanoid form? by keeping i mean still using it not melding in to ur body


The rules only care about your creature type. If monster A(has arms) and monster B(no arms) are both outsiders then they are both proficient with martial weapons.

Polymorph gives specially what the spells say you get, which basically amounts to natural attacks, movement types and so on.... In order to get the benefits of a creature type or to lose the benefits of your original creature type your type must change. Polymorph does not do that.

You are still your original creature type, but wearing the skin of another creature for the most part.

As you say "certain creatures have simple weapon proficiency by virtue of their type".
My point is that you never change creature type so you don't gain or lose anything with polymorph.

Quote:
Polymorph: A polymorph spell transforms your physical body to take on the shape of another creature. While these spells make you appear to be the creature, granting you a +10 bonus on Disguise skill checks, they do not grant you all of the abilities and powers of the creature..


jumpydady wrote:
so is there a way for a polymorphed creature to keep the equipment it was using when it was in humanoid form? by keeping i mean still using it not melding in to ur body
Quote:
When you cast a polymorph spell that changes you into a creature of the animal, dragon, elemental, magical beast, plant, or vermin type, all of your gear melds into your body.

It basically depends on what you change into. If you change into another humanoid form you should be able to keep your gear. If not then it melds into your form.


ok thx for the info

Cheliax

I think the point I'm trying to make is that "shape" and "form" are the same thing. When polymorph says you change your shape, certain things about you will change just by virtue of you doing that - things which are not necessarily covered by the very specific polymorph text.

For example, if you polymorph into an octopus, you will have 8 tentacles, so you'll be able to do 8 things at once (play 4 synthesisers at once, if you're a wannabe rick-wakeman octopus). If you polymorph into an Ettin, you'll have two heads - so you'll be able to simultaneously keep an eye on a guard up on the wall whilst talking talking to a gnome at your feet. And so on.

I believe that your ability to wield weapons is also shape-related.

Now I must admit that outsiders all being proficient with martial weapons is a bit funny, because you would have thought you had to learn how to wield a sword rather than have it from birth. However, that's what it says, so maybe there's some sort of magic at work here (!). Can you polymorph into an outsider in any case?

Richard


I agree that the creature's shape/form controls what weapons you can wield. I said that earlier, but the ability to wield a weapon and being proficient(specific game term with a specific meaning) are not related.

I don't believe Pathfinder allows you to polymorph into an outsider. If it does the spell is not in the corebook. The most powerful powerful polymorph spell in the CRB is shapechange. I do know that some outsiders can polymorph into humans and maybe other creatures also, either through special abilities or spells due to innate caster levels.

I chose them for my previous example because they are proficient with martial weapons, even though some of them can't wield weapons.

Cheliax

Fair enough.

I'm going to house-rule like this:

You can only wield weapons, making use of your weapon proficiencies, whilst polymorphed, if the type of the creature that you polymorph into has either light or martial weapon proficiency. Simians are an exception to this (see below).

Simians can wield weapons. Simians with greater than animal intelligence gain Simple Weapon Proficiency as part of their sub-type (defined as part of this house-rule to include all monkey related animals and magical beasts (e.g. Girallons)). Simians with animal intelligence can either be taught to wield one simple weapon as a "trick" with a DC 20 handle animal check, or they can gain the same by way of a feat. Simians with animal intelligence can also learn how to use a shield using the same means.

Richard

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Rules Questions / Weapon proficiencies and polymorph All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.