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Does your scent change when using polymorph / change shape?


Rules Questions

51 to 81 of 81 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Pink Dragon wrote:

Size and texture are elements of shape (macro and micro) so I might rule that the general rule applies to those. I would not for color.

This is objectively wrong.

While these spells make you appear to be the creature

A flesh colored Red breasted robin does not appear to be a robin. At all.

Although many of the fine details can be controlled, your appearance is always that of a generic member of that creature's type.

and you can control the fine detail, which pretty explicitly includes the color.

You cannot just take one snippet of rules, say it doesn't say anything, and draw a conclusion from that. You need to look at the whole thing.

The polymorph section must be read as a whole and with as much internal consistency as possible. The section starts off explaining that polymorph is about change of shape. This cannot simply be ignored. In my view, any mention after that of "appearance" or "form" refers to shape. The rule sentences you quote (which are also just little snippets of rules) talk about appearance, which in the context of the whole section need to be read as "shape" to remain consistent with the section as a whole including the first sentence. Controlling fine detail refers to the fine details of shape, in which I would include texture and size, but not color or smell.

If polymorph is read your way, then there would be no need for a disguise check to conceal the identity of the polymorphed creature. After polymorphing, the creature would be a new creature in all aspects, the character therefore being completely unrecognizable.

Yet, the very second sentence of the section talks about granting a +10 to disguise checks. Why is this here if polymorph provides all physical identifiable features of the creature into which the character is polymporphing? Again for consistency, the rules on polymorph are better read the way I have suggested, which provides the basis for needing a disguise check.

Shadow Lodge

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pink dragon wrote:
The polymorph section must be read as a whole and with as much internal consistency as possible. The section starts off explaining that polymorph is about change of shape.

That would not be consistency that would be repetition, which there would be no need for. Polymorph changes your shape and polymorph changes your color does not in any way create an inconstancy.

Quote:
If polymorph is read your way, then there would be no need for a disguise check to conceal the identity of the polymorphed creature. After polymorphing, the creature would be a new creature in all aspects, the character therefore being completely unrecognizable.

Read my way, +10 is a whopping bonus and will get you past casual observation. a DC 20 to notice that the "robin" is acting funny and may not actually be a robin does sound a little low, but the alternative you're presenting is that you have a flesh colored robin which should be a DC 0 to say "eww, that ain't right..."

Quote:
Why is this here if polymorph provides all physical identifiable features of the creature into which the character is polymporphing?

The same way sticking someone in a fancy outfit doesn't let them impersonate a noble. You have to ACT the part. yes you're a bird, but are you staring at people you have no reason to be staring at? Did you freeze when the hawk cried? Look when someone dropped food on the ground? Ruffle your feathers when the other bird got too close?

A


BigNorseWolf wrote:


That would not be consistency that would be repetition, which there would be no need for. Polymorph changes your shape and polymorph changes your color does not in any way create an inconstancy.

No. I am talking about consistency of interpretation of the words in the section.

Quote:
Read my way, +10 is a whopping bonus and will get you past casual observation. a DC 20 to notice that the "robin" is acting funny and may not actually be a robin does sound a little low, but the alternative you're presenting is that you have a flesh colored robin which should be a DC 0 to say "eww, that ain't right..."

Read your way even a close inspection should not see through the polymorph because the polymorphed creature has become a new creature.

Quote:
The same way sticking someone in a fancy outfit doesn't let them impersonate a noble. You have to ACT the part. yes you're a bird, but are you staring at people you have no reason to be staring at? Did you freeze when the hawk cried? Look when someone dropped food on the ground? Ruffle your feathers when the other bird got too close?

You are conflating disguise and bluff. Disguise is about physical appearance. Bluff is about acting the part.

Edited for quote style

Shadow Lodge

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Pink Dragon wrote:


No. I am talking about consistency of interpretation of the words in the section.

No. There is no inconsistency there.

"Go to the store and get eggs. Go to the store and get milk" Is not an inconsistancy. You are claiming it is.

Go to the store and get eggs. Go to the store and get eggs. Go to the store and get eggs " would be a very odd paragraph to write. YOu are claiming that's how it HAS to be read.

You are trying way too hard to get at the answer you want. It's not working.

Quote:
Read your way even a close inspection should not see through the polymorph because the polymorphed creature has become a new creature.

This was refuted before you started. I showed exactly how to see through the disguise.

Quote:
You are conflating disguise and bluff. Disguise is about physical appearance. Bluff is about acting the part.

Disguise Is More Than Visual: Though the skill as

presented in the Core Rulebook focuses on the visual
aspects of disguise that a character prepares, later rules
(such as the vocal alteration spell; see page 248 of Pathfinder
RPG Ultimate Magic) have made it clear that there are other
aspects, including voice, mannerisms, and phrasing. The
trick is to distinguish between the use of the Bluff and
the Disguise skills. Generally, Bluff checks cover telling
actual lies to support a disguise, whereas Disguise checks
cover the other aspects, such as imitating mannerisms
and speech.

ultimate intrigue


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I think, drawing on the way the rules work, whether your scent changes depends on whether your clothing and equipment remain or are absorbed into the new form. If your gear remains, then your scent remains, because it is a surface thing already expelled from your living form remains trapped in your clothes and dead skin. I haven't decided if I want to deal with a changed scent being reinfected by airborne scent of his old scent.


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I like the idea that you're scent becomes a little of both. You keep your own scent because of the oils that were on your skin/hair when you changed (it's not part of you anymore so it stays), but you also gain the new scent. You change to a horse and run away fast. The half-orc with scent that's tracking you says to the rest of the group. "That's weird. I still smell him, but it's different somehow. Maybe a horse smell? Maybe he summoned a horse and he's riding, but his smell is still on the ground... with the horse. Weird." That's how I would run it, anyway. A combination. You wouldn't be able to get away simply by trying to change your scent. Also, consider that guard dogs are trained to look for the disguised one's scent. He makes his disguise roll (+10). The role-play is that he changes into a horse and wades through a deep river then walks past the dogs. The dogs fail their perception check and don't recognize the disguise. I haven't run into this before, but as a GM, that's how I think I'll run it. I;m glad I happened across this thread.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


"Go to the store and get eggs. Go to the store and get milk" Is not an inconsistancy. You are claiming it is.

Go to the store and get eggs. Go to the store and get eggs. Go to the store and get eggs " would be a very odd paragraph to write. YOu are claiming that's how it HAS to be read.

Your examples are faulty, and in no way represent what I am saying.

Quote:


Disguise Is More Than Visual: Though the skill as
presented in the Core Rulebook focuses on the visual
aspects of disguise that a character prepares, later rules
(such as the vocal alteration spell; see page 248 of Pathfinder
RPG Ultimate Magic) have made it clear that there are other
aspects, including voice, mannerisms, and phrasing. The
trick is to distinguish between the use of the Bluff and
the Disguise skills. Generally, Bluff checks cover telling
actual lies to support a disguise, whereas Disguise checks
cover the other aspects, such as imitating mannerisms
and speech.

ultimate intrigue

Thank you for quoting the latest rules on Disguise. I see that you are correct on that point.

As for the initial proposition, I still see nothing in the description of polymorph supporting the proposition that the smell of the creature changes. All of the language in the section is about changing the shape, form and appearance of a creature. Form is defined as the shape or configuration of an object or creature. Appearance is defined as how something looks visually. These words are consistent with visual aspects of the creature, which does not encompass the creature's smell. You can try to shoe-horn smell into appearance, but the definition and common usage of the term "appearance" does not support such a reading.


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Pink Dragon wrote:
As for the initial proposition, I still see nothing in the description of polymorph supporting the proposition that the smell of the creature changes. All of the language in the section is about changing the shape, form and appearance of a creature. Form is defined as the shape or configuration of an object or creature. Appearance is defined as how something looks visually. These words are consistent with visual aspects of the creature, which does not encompass the creature's smell. You can try to shoe-horn smell into appearance, but the definition and common usage of the term "appearance" does not support such a reading.

I believe your statements hold equally well or poorly if we substitute "sound" for "smell"; sound is neither form nor visual. So does a polymorphed person sound the same as they did before? The duck doesn't quack, it speaks?


The ability to make sounds is discussed specifically on page 212 of the CRB.


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"Shape" is often used synonymously with "form" in fiction.


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Pink Dragon wrote:
The ability to make sounds is discussed specifically on page 212 of the CRB.

So it's clearly not restricted to shape and visuals. This invalidates your last argument.


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I believe your scent will not change.

The older versions of polymorph said that anything that left your body would go back to normal (so if you had green blood, and polymorphed into a human, you would still bleed green blood).

So this would mean your scent would not change. If your half-elf druid turned into a dog, dog scent particles coming off would turn into half-elf scent particles, so you smell like a half-elf. Not that creatures without Scent are likely to notice.

It also prevented cross-breeding without further work. (Half-dragons were so common because dragons are "special" and could break that rule.)

The equivalent spells in Pathfinder are silent on this topic, though. Since polymorphing is not "perfect" (it merely gives you a huge bonus to disguising yourself) I think the scent would not change to match the new form... at least not completely. There's no "scent" skill, merely Perception, and even dogs don't have that much Perception... unless you decide (Keen) Scent gives a huge bonus to Perception.


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Kimera does have a valid point. If an enlarged person drops his enlarged weapon the weapon returns to normal. However, since natural attacks can be gained, including poison attacks, there is some support for the scent change persisting, at least for a time.


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I don't think there's a universal, inarguable answer. That's why the polymorph subschool description contains the following line:

"...the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed."

I think this is because different groups might find different types of polymorph to be fun. One group might find getting down into the weeds of what a specific form has to be a lot of fun. Another group might want bare simplicity, handwaving anything not explicitly covered. Other groups might want some blend of the two approaches.

The ambiguity and openness to interpretation is a feature, not a failure.


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Agree Quibble, the discussions do have value though, it is easier to GM well if you are clear on why you are having things work the way they do.


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Complete agree, Daw. It’s just a good reminder when the discussion gets heated or people become convinced it’s about being right, that in some cases, we’re all just expressing preferences. Except my alter ego Tableflip McRagequit. He’s expressing unalterable fact. And also a hatred of upright tables...

Scarab Sages

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Personally I view it as changing your base scent but not your scent. That is Bob polymorphs into a dog he looks like a dog, sounds like a dog, has the same basic scent of a dog but currently smells like a humans been playing with him. Given time or a bath that human scent will fade and he'll smell like a possibly wet dog.

I also agree the disguise bonus is to cover behaviour more than appearance. A black crow perched on a branch isn't likely to get a second glance (+10 to disguise). A black crow perched on a fence carefully examining every passer-by while a dozen other Crows are all busy in the field behind it raiding the corn could get a puzzled look (+10 to disguise) it looks like a crow, sounds like a crow but it's people watching rather than eating. A flesh coloured crow that talks is going to have people backing off and calling the nearest guard/mage because something is very wrong here (no bonus to disguise).

Shadow Lodge

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To be fair crows WILL set someone as a guard while the rest of them are eating on the ground. In that case you'd have to notice that the guard was slacking off and NOT giving a caw at the dog or something... :)


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Keep the freaky crow facts coming, BNW...


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As long as you speak respectfully about the cousins of course.


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I realize ambiguity is not without its uses, but I'd still like to have an actual answer for this one. I encourage people to FAQ the OP.


Senko wrote:

Personally I view it as changing your base scent but not your scent. That is Bob polymorphs into a dog he looks like a dog, sounds like a dog, has the same basic scent of a dog but currently smells like a humans been playing with him. Given time or a bath that human scent will fade and he'll smell like a possibly wet dog.

I also agree the disguise bonus is to cover behaviour more than appearance. A black crow perched on a branch isn't likely to get a second glance (+10 to disguise). A black crow perched on a fence carefully examining every passer-by while a dozen other Crows are all busy in the field behind it raiding the corn could get a puzzled look (+10 to disguise) it looks like a crow, sounds like a crow but it's people watching rather than eating. A flesh coloured crow that talks is going to have people backing off and calling the nearest guard/mage because something is very wrong here (no bonus to disguise).

The disguise rules say you dont even get a chance to make the perception check to notice the disguise unless you have a reason to so in most cases it never comes up.

Quote:
Check: Your Disguise check result determines how good the disguise is, and it is opposed by others' Perception check results. If you don't draw any attention to yourself, others do not get to make Perception checks. If you come to the attention of people who are suspicious (such as a guard who is watching commoners walking through a city gate), it can be assumed that such observers are taking 10 on their Perception checks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Disguise, however, is an Illusion. Your smell might well be drawing attention to yourself if someone is seeking your scent, then that someone is interacting with the illusion.

The core argument is how well does a Transformation effect transform? I lean toward "very well". If you do not have gear with your prior scent on it, say a complete transformation to a water elemental, then you look, move, sound and smell like a water elemental. Others say "not so well" only affecting sight, because it is a change of "form" and thus not sounding or smelling like a Water Elemental. I just don't buy that 2nd argument. But agree, RAW does not say, so the GM has dominion.

Shadow Lodge

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quibblemuch wrote:
Keep the freaky crow facts coming, BNW...

I have a thead in the offtopic forum and about half of it is "things i've seen animals do that would make adventurers think shapeshifted druids walk among us..."


2bz2p wrote:

Disguise, however, is an Illusion. Your smell might well be drawing attention to yourself if someone is seeking your scent, then that someone is interacting with the illusion.

The core argument is how well does a Transformation effect transform? I lean toward "very well". If you do not have gear with your prior scent on it, say a complete transformation to a water elemental, then you look, move, sound and smell like a water elemental. Others say "not so well" only affecting sight, because it is a change of "form" and thus not sounding or smelling like a Water Elemental. I just don't buy that 2nd argument. But agree, RAW does not say, so the GM has dominion.

Disguise is a skill. You are think of the spell "disguise self" which gives a +10 bonus and is an illusion spell. Polymorph spells also give a +10 bonus, but it's not illusion based.

Shadow Lodge

RAI/headcanon alert.

I've always taken the disguise bonus for polymorph to mean that the accuracy of your appearance depends on how well you can visualize the new form. Someone untrained in disguise isn't going to have as vivid or accurate an image of a crow in their head, so they might for example get the proportions off a bit. This is in addition to the active "mannerisms" component.

With that in mind, it would be flavourful to give a bonus to see through polymorph if the perceiver has a better scent ability than the polyporpher. The average human knows what a wet dog smells like well enough to fool a human, but not well enough to fool a dog. A half-orc with a nose to rival a bloodhound might very well be able to convince one that he smells like another dog.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
quibblemuch wrote:
Keep the freaky crow facts coming, BNW...

I have a thead in the offtopic forum and about half of it is "things i've seen animals do that would make adventurers think shapeshifted druids walk among us..."

Please link that

Shadow Lodge

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
quibblemuch wrote:
Keep the freaky crow facts coming, BNW...

I have a thead in the offtopic forum and about half of it is "things i've seen animals do that would make adventurers think shapeshifted druids walk among us..."

Please link that

Linky


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Our group gets real picky on spells and there are specific differences between shapechange, Shape shift, Illusion, trans-formative and others; spelling out a number of changes and what does not change. It has been hammered out over decades and actually works quite well. All players and GMs have input, which makes it a lot less imposed.

Shadow Lodge

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So apparently, the only thing keeping munchkins away from Druidzillia is the granola flavor...


Chuck Mount wrote:
I like the idea that you're scent becomes a little of both. You keep your own scent because of the oils that were on your skin/hair when you changed (it's not part of you anymore so it stays), but you also gain the new scent. You change to a horse and run away fast. The half-orc with scent that's tracking you says to the rest of the group. "That's weird. I still smell him, but it's different somehow. Maybe a horse smell? Maybe he summoned a horse and he's riding, but his smell is still on the ground... with the horse. Weird." That's how I would run it, anyway. A combination. You wouldn't be able to get away simply by trying to change your scent. Also, consider that guard dogs are trained to look for the disguised one's scent. He makes his disguise roll (+10). The role-play is that he changes into a horse and wades through a deep river then walks past the dogs. The dogs fail their perception check and don't recognize the disguise. I haven't run into this before, but as a GM, that's how I think I'll run it. I;m glad I happened across this thread.

I like this one. I'm with Chuck!

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