Polymorph: need clarification


Rules Questions


What happens to that Elf druid shaped into an animal when a ranger with elf as favored ennemy hit him? Do the bonus apply or is the druid not an elf anymore enough to warrant the bonus?

That mean evil outsider wizard decides to polymorph into a human, what about smite evil? Wizard remains evil for sure but what about the outsider status and the x2 damage from smite evil ?

If human Druid takes elemental form, will cleric's channel energy heal work on him?

Liberty's Edge

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Sylor wrote:

What happens to that Elf druid shaped into an animal when a ranger with elf as favored ennemy hit him? Do the bonus apply or is the druid not an elf anymore enough to warrant the bonus?

That mean evil outsider wizard decides to polymorph into a human, what about smite evil? Wizard remains evil for sure but what about the outsider status and the x2 damage from smite evil ?

If human Druid takes elemental form, will cleric's channel energy heal work on him?

Polymorph spells only change the form of the creature targetted, so I would assume their type stays the same. An outsider that polymorphs into a dragon, for example, remains an outsider, except he has the movement, shape, special attacks, etc. of a dragon. This is a huge clarification from 3.x and one of the major selling points of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

The rules for Polymorph effects can be found on page 211 and 212.


Polymorph rules are indeed clearer, but i still have trouble with some type targetting abilities. I have trouble buying a ranger getting jumped by a druid in bear shape, could deal more damage and hit better the bear because it's an orc and ranger has orc as favored ennemy.
That's what house rules are for I guess.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Stardust is correct. Polymorph spells do not change your type.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Sylor wrote:

Polymorph rules are indeed clearer, but i still have trouble with some type targetting abilities. I have trouble buying a ranger getting jumped by a druid in bear shape, could deal more damage and hit better the bear because it's an orc and ranger has orc as favored ennemy.

That's what house rules are for I guess.

It might not be a perfect explanation, but you could say that even though the human druid is in bear form, the ranger attacks him better based on how the druid thinks and moves based on his human nature, even if the ranger doesn't specifically know it's a human - the ranger just uses his normal combat, which happens to work better on humans.

Liberty's Edge

Sylor wrote:

Polymorph rules are indeed clearer, but i still have trouble with some type targetting abilities. I have trouble buying a ranger getting jumped by a druid in bear shape, could deal more damage and hit better the bear because it's an orc and ranger has orc as favored ennemy.

That's what house rules are for I guess.

Well, think of it this way, a polymorph spell is a type of enchantment (as in fairytale witch's enchantment, not an enchantment school spell) like the prince being turned into a Beast. He was still a humanoid (human), but had the form, special attacks, movement, etc. of the Beast.

An arrow of human slaying would "mysteriously" cause its slaying damage, and if the Beast died, he would revert back to his true form, since thats what he was all along. In other words, other types of magic (or specialized skills) can "invade" the polymorphed form, as these abilities are capable of getting to the heart of the matter.

It actually makes a little bit of sense this way. I remember a russian fairytale where a magician changed himself into an ice elemental, but he was killed immediately by a stroke to where his heart was. (I'm guessing critical and sneak attack damage, which true elementals are immune to.) The polymorphed form isn't the original creature's true form, and certain attacks and certain magics acknowledge that.


Thanks for the answers, mysterious magic is a good way to explain how bypassing the form and working on the true type.

I'd be totally sold if favored ennemy and hunter's bond were supernatural abilities and not extraordinary.

Sure ranger combat training and way of fighting could explain how better he fights his ennemy (and whatever their form), but i really don't believe into blending in a single style all combat moves and still be efficient: 2 favored ennemies = 2 differents way of fighting and thinking (some common moves can work sure, just not to the point of awarding bonuses).


Sylor wrote:

Thanks for the answers, mysterious magic is a good way to explain how bypassing the form and working on the true type.

I'd be totally sold if favored ennemy and hunter's bond were supernatural abilities and not extraordinary.

Sure ranger combat training and way of fighting could explain how better he fights his ennemy (and whatever their form), but i really don't believe into blending in a single style all combat moves and still be efficient: 2 favored ennemies = 2 differents way of fighting and thinking (some common moves can work sure, just not to the point of awarding bonuses).

I think this is one of those places where the gamist/ balance aspects won over the simulationist aspects. I might suggest that an orc who is transmuted into a bear would still have some of the mannerisms of a bear or try to invent some other semi-plausible explanation but ultimately it boils down to changing creature type just has too big an impact on game mechanics and this is a short circuit around those issues.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Sylor wrote:

...

I'd be totally sold if favored ennemy and hunter's bond were supernatural abilities and not extraordinary.

...

Extraordinary covered stuff like regeneration and un-winged flight (we'll have to see in the beastiary for the official stuff). So "instinctively knowing how to fight oponnent X" is not so far fetched IMO.

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