|2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.|
Upon drinking this elixer, your coloration and the general form of your features instantly and permanently changes.
What is the duration of an effect that is "instant and permanent?" This cannot be a wholly mechanical statement; an Instantaneous duration is different from and incompatible with a Permanent duration. The only way that phrase works is if one of them is narratively rather than mechanically descriptive, which leaves two possibilities.
If the Serum's duration is mechanically Instantaneous, it is "permanent" in that the modifications will not simply go away in a few days as something like hair dye would. Changes to underlying bone structure - such as the length of one's fingers as in one of the examples provided - would remain regardless of how much time passed, in as much as they would in light of normal physiological processes potentially altering them anyway, such as hair gradually losing its color as one ages. If the Serum's duration is Permanent, it is "instant" in that the Permanent effect is applied the moment the serum is ingested. However, unlike an Instantaneous effect, this is a form of lingering magic, and is therefore subject to Dispel Magic and similar cancellation effects.
Unfortunately, I think the wording is equally valid for both interpretations, which is quite unhelpful.
As another question, can the use of a Serum allow you to assume your own exact form? I would think yes, as the precise wording is that you cannot assume the exact appearance of another creature, but I've seen some uncertainty on that subject.
If the correct interpretation of all this should be that it is a Permanent effect, it also raises the question of how multiple doses interact with each other. They must either override or outright dispel and replace previous uses, and it's certainly not clear which that would be.