Please Help: Clarity on Polymorph Any Object


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25 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the errata. 3 people marked this as a favorite.

Question for the Pathfinder community.

I need some clarity on the Polymorph Any Object.

I believe Paizo did a good job trying to balance the lower level polymorph spells and removed any significant opportunities for abuse.

However, I would like some clarity on the PaO spell. It's an 8th level spell, so obviously it's supposed to be pretty powerful.

The example in the book is as follows:

Duration factor....(example)
0----20 minutes........Pebble to Human
2---- 1 hour............Marionette to human
4---- 3 hours..........Human to marionette
5---- 12 hours.........Lizard to manticore
6---- 2 days.............Sheep to wool coat
7---- 1 week...........Shrew to manticore
9+--- permanent......Manticore to Shrew

Based on the following factors:
Changed subject is: increase to duration factor
same kingdom (animal, vegetable, mineral)....+5
same class (mammal, fungi, metals, etc).........+2
same size........................................................+2
Related (twig is to tree, wolf fur to wolf)......+2
same or lower intelligence...........................+2
*add all that apply, look up total on duration factor table.

I did read on one of these message boards that Jason Bulman said the polymorph spells do not change your "type". If a human fighter is polymorphed into a troll his type is still humanoid, not giant. He's a human that's been shaped into a troll. His essence is still human. That makes sense.

Question #1)
However, does that mean on the table above that a pebble PaO'd into a human has a "type" of stone/pebble or does it have a new "type" of humanoid for the 20 minutes it's affected? Which would make it subject to any spell that targets humanoids.

Question #2)
What if I changed the party's human fighter to a storm giant. Is it permanent? Same kingdom (animal): Yes +5. Same class (mammal): Yes (+2). Same size: No +0. Related (hmm.. twig to tree, human to giant human?) you could say Yes (+2) even if you said no what about the next one. Same or lower intelligence. The beastiary list a storm giant with a 16 intelligence. What if the fighter has a 16 intelligence. Does that mean Yes (+2).

This could easily be a permanent transformation based on the above numbers. I assume that this is still dispellable since it would be a spell effect with an unlimited duration.

Question #3)
Let's look at that pebble again. What if I wanted to change the pebble (made of stone) into a stone wall. The spell says 100 cubic feet/level. For a level 15 wizard that's 15 10x10 cubes or 30 5x10 chunks of rock. Wouldn't this also be permanent?
kingdom: yes +5, class: yes +2, related: yes +2, intelligence: yes +2 = total of 11. All I needed was a 9.
Am I figuring this correctly? I assume this is a shapeable wall by the wizard.

Here's another example:
Let's say our level 15 wizard is in a dungeon or cavern with a stone wall. If he casts PaO on the wall and turns it into a stone golem. How long will it last?
same kingdom: yes +5, same class: Yes? +2, same size: yes/no/maybe. Related (look at the example in the book again) possibly Yes (+2) same or lower intelligence: no.
That's easily a duration factor of 7 or 9 maybe 11 which means 1 week to permanent duration. Am I right? That could be a really cheap way to have an army of stone golems.

Question #4)
Naturally most of these questions have to do with the duration of the spell. What if I had a dragon scale/bone/tooth, whatever. I could turn it into a dragon.. but how do I calculate the duration and how big of a dragon would it be? How do I mesh the 1500 cubic feet of power into dragon size? Is that huge? Colossal?

same kingdom: Yes or No.
it's a dragon scale. is it in the animal kingdom?
same class: I would say yes. +2
same size: no.
related (their example: wolf fur to wolf) so I would say yes. +2
same or lower intelligence: no.
That's either a rating of 4 or a rating of 9 depending on the kingdom question. So I either have a dragon for 3 hours or it's permanent.

You could argue, based on some of the other polymorph spell descriptions that maybe "form of the dragon III" would be most appropriate.

Question #5)**Control**
Let's take a look at the: human (from a pebble), wolf (from wolf fur), Manticore (from a shrew, Paizo's example), Dragon (from dragon scale), Stone golem (from stone).....
If the wizard created these things.... Do they now follow my commands? Or are these free willed beings to do what they want (help me, attack me, or just run away). The spell description doesn't shed any light on this aspect of the spell.

Are there additional questions that need to be asked that I'm not asking? What am I missing here?

I would really appreciate your opinions on these questions. We're going to be running a high-level game soon and I know this will come up.

Thank you in advance for your thoughtful response.

Bloodwort


Wow! I am very surprised that no one has an opinion on this subject.

I just know other DMs and players have discussed this or considered this spell before.

Please share your outlook on how this spell should work.

Thanks again,

Bloodwort


I have no idea how it should work and think it's worth a bump.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

I think you're on the right track. It's a tricky spell that requires a lot of cooperation between Player and DM to prevent abuse.

I myself would carry the rules for Baleful Polymorph if you turned a human into a rat with the spell. This of course meaning it may or may not have all of it's mental faculties in place.


Its always been a difficult spell to rule upon since 3.0, it requires alot of understanding and agreement between the DM and the player.
More than any other, the 'Polymorph' subschool has had direct attention from Paizo more than any other due to abuse in 3.0/3.5 and created the 'Form' spells to fill in the void. I'd say if you 'assumed' a Giant, Dragon or whatever form, it would have generic stats if it was formed from an object to a creature for example, or a creature turned into another creature would gain one of the 'Form' spells to suit the type of being it turned into. Failing that, its just an agreement between the GM and the player to resolve the issue.


Bumpety bump. I could answer that the 15 10x10 cubic feet result in something between a 11x11x11 box and 12x12x12 box. Large dragon it will be tops then.

Shadow Lodge

I am definitely confused and baffled by this spell. I was looking to take it but I'm not entirely sure that it's worthwhile. Can it duplicate Giant Shape I? Dragon Form II? The omission of these spells from the list at the bottom makes me a little cautious.

Is it safe to assume that you can duplicate any lower level polymorph spell?

As a GM I'm going to assume that you can duplicate any lower level spell... I guess using the duration guidelines as best I can.

Now as a player how do I sell to my GM that I can transform the parties dwarf to a troll more or less permanently... Hmm.

Shadow Lodge

Princess Of Canada wrote:


Its always been a difficult spell to rule upon since 3.0, it requires alot of understanding and agreement between the DM and the player.
More than any other, the 'Polymorph' subschool has had direct attention from Paizo more than any other due to abuse in 3.0/3.5 and created the 'Form' spells to fill in the void. I'd say if you 'assumed' a Giant, Dragon or whatever form, it would have generic stats if it was formed from an object to a creature for example, or a creature turned into another creature would gain one of the 'Form' spells to suit the type of being it turned into. Failing that, its just an agreement between the GM and the player to resolve the issue.

In general I like the changes to Polymorph. This spell is sort of the lemon of the group as far as changes go :(


Did anyone have any thoughts on using PaO on a stone wall (manufactured or natural cave wall) to create stone golems? (see origional post)

How about the "control" issue, using PaO to create brand new creatures. Do they fight for you or attack you? Nothing says you have control over the new creature. Look at Paizo's example of a pebble to a human for 20 minutes. Am I going to waste my 20 minutes of time trying to convince this "human" that I need them to do something for me that may not fun and/or safe to do? How about the core book's example of shrew to manticore? Will the manticore automatically serve the level 15 wizard or will it attack him?


Hm... This is interesting yes. Maybe if we can make some guideline for this... or just mark it as a FAQ potential, but anyway, this is really a huge DM and Player discussion thing.

Myself... well.. hopefully not causing big flamewar or battle here [ooc]prepares to throw grenade in"

Question 1) Level 8th spell, which means you are already almost next to godhood or more likely demi-god, one of the games most powerful spells... so yes. In this case what type???

I will say because it´s pebble which was transformed to humanoid then the type is... ### Humanoid(Earth)###

Question 2)Storm Giant... okey.. tricky question but technically & reading the text, yes it´s possible. So all the changes apply to stats, enchantments, etc. Of course all penalties too-> equipments, goodies etc will be counted

Question 3) Since we are talking in cubes, the correct would be - as stated by FunkyTrip - 15x10 = 11x11x11 or 12x12x12 box... of course the "cube" is defining word here

Question 3.2) Stone golem, yes. Only 1 can be created then since 1 spell = 1 creature. Would be kinda of weird since I can´t really think of like... making a army of stone golems with one spell (since if we assume there isnt reading anything about multiple or 1dx creatures etc)
following the normal stats of large / huge stone elemental

Question 4)Since Princess of Canada referred to Forms, lets take this as a base level. PoO´d a dragon scale... well, Form III should be the one, but you can fight about this :P I will run back to my bunker "yoink". Form is quite nicely defined so lets go with FotD III

Question 5)Okey... this is the tricky one.

You used PoO´d and created an animal. So what does the rules state abou this.

You didn´t exactly summon it, which leaves it out. Animate? Can be discussed but not really, since going for more to way of creation / transforming. Maybe to give some DC for the control: same as with evil Cleric who need to try gain control of free undeads. Something along the line: DC 10 + Spell level + (creature lvl) vs 1d20+ int mod + 10

e.g

DC: 10 + 8 + 16 = 34 ([just some random number] lvl of huge stone)
vs
Wiz: 1d20 + 9 + 10 = 1d20 + 19

Just some idea, just not correct.

##Ideas from spellschool academia...##
the duty person of dungeon cleaning
Aventi-D´gaudon


Bloodwort wrote:

Did anyone have any thoughts on using PaO on a stone wall (manufactured or natural cave wall) to create stone golems? (see origional post)

How about the "control" issue, using PaO to create brand new creatures. Do they fight for you or attack you? Nothing says you have control over the new creature. Look at Paizo's example of a pebble to a human for 20 minutes. Am I going to waste my 20 minutes of time trying to convince this "human" that I need them to do something for me that may not fun and/or safe to do? How about the core book's example of shrew to manticore? Will the manticore automatically serve the level 15 wizard or will it attack him?

Bumpity, bump.

Spell requires lots of math, and agreed on idea between GM & Player.

Why as a player i just overlook this spell usually.

Control = NONE. you have other spells for that.

Never thought about it before, but great spell for creating your own monsters, to fill that dungeon you just created.


I agree its best to talk things over between player and DM,

the spell is basically a very narrow-focused polymorphing variant of wish.
you can also turn humans into animals(animal + 5, mammal +2, intelligence+2).

So while turning your fighter into a gargantuan dire tiger you could also transform the mighty evil dragon into a tiny lizard. Permanently.

It's incredibly versatile and incredibly powerful. As most such things, it's also subject to DM discretion.

While it may be used for a beautiful retelling of the story of circe, a party can also run amuk with that if uncontrolled.

Best to find a group solution for spells of that versatility and power level(same as with wish)


PAO is one of the most powerful spells in the game… It can have game breaking effects, particularly combined with careful specification of the results. I am actually surprised that it ended up in pathfinder with only the limited nerf’s it got…
To proceed with your questions:

1) A non-typed target (pebble) turned into something that has a type (human, type Humanoid (human) ), gains a type(and if appropriate, subtype) until the end of the spell effect. For example, your temporary human is vulnerable to Charm Person spells…Note that creating life is really pushing it with this spell “If the target of the spell does not have physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution), this spell grants a base score of 10 to each missing ability score. If the target of the spell does not have mental ability scores (Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma), this spell grants a score of 5 to such scores.” The human being would have STR, DEX and CON of 10, and INT, WIS, and CHR of 5…

2) Yep, given a smart fighter, that’s a permanent Storm Giant. Lots of other ways to skin this cat though. The caster could specify a Storm Giant with same intelligence as the original target (say Int 13 – yes that’s a “stupid” storm giant, but no worse than a human with an INT of 7), result: intelligence less than or equal, yep! Or how about specifying a Storm Giant with the same number of fighter levels as the target, result: related (human fighter to storm giant fighter), yep!
What a DM does have to remember at this point, is that someone just got turned into an NPC. This spell re-writes the mind wholesale; otherwise it could not achieve a functional human being from a pebble.
The Storm Giant created has a) it’s own alignment, b) it’s own motivations, and c) it’s own attitudes. Not necessarily those of the target. The giant might not be friendly anymore. It might not want to go adventuring with you anymore, preferring to find a nice lady Storm Giant and settle down somewhere…
Otherwise, this will get out of hand with wizards PAO’ing themselves into gold dragon great wyrms for the INT of 32…Not to mention the other abilities…(or Advanced Solars for variety)

3) At 15th level, 15X100 = 1500 cubic feat = 15ft X 10ft X 10ft. This is a lot. A wall of stone spell at the same caster level is 15 5ft X 5ft X 3.75 inches = 117.2 ft. A wall of stone create with PAO is 192 of the same 5ft X 5ft squares…Stone golems –problem “A non-magical object cannot be made into a magic item with this spell. Magic items aren't affected by this spell.” A stone golem (and other constructs) is a magic item.

4) 1500 cubic feet of dragon hey? Working with real world numbers, the actual volume of an “average” human being can be estimated as 2.5 cubic feet (70 kg human being, density approximated as water 1000 kg/m^3 = 0.07 m^3). Assuming the same density, that 1500 cubic feet becomes 42000 kg
For perspective, a typical bull sperm whale weighs 41000 kg.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sperm_whale
In 3.5, Cachalot Whales (Sperm Whales) were Gargantuan Animals “these creatures can be up to 60 feet long”.
You can probably make a Gargantuan dragon at 15 the level. Where's the line between Colossal and Gargantuan? I wouldn’t let you do Colossal before 20th…Note that metamagic Widen doesn’t apply – the spell is not a burst, emanation, line or spread.
5) Control. See 2) above – everything you create has it’s own mind and is an NPC under DM’s control. They may well freak out upon being created – do they have memories to explain where they came from as they suddenly appear in front of you? Do they have any idea who you are? Sometimes, clever wording can help you with this.

Other things you can do with this spell that are probably broken…
1) Wreck the economy – 1500 cubic feet of fine wine you say? 1500 cubic feet of pepper? 1500 cubic feet of lamp oil…Whatever it is you wanted to make, it’s a LOT of in DND terms (even say 1500 cubic feet of pig iron…). Or, having a broken water clock, snap off a small piece and turn it into a new clock – same kingdom, same intelligence, similarity = PERMANENT. Sell the new, unbroken, water clock. Repeat ad nauseum.
2) Kill nearly anything that’s smaller than a 15X10X10 volume. Turn the air around them into a block of solid iron…To clear larger areas, the rocks underneath their feet or the ceiling (or even the air above flying foes) can be turned into lava, for example. If you really want to get excessive (and are playing in Golarion), 1500 cubic feet of gunpowder and a quickened Scorching Ray spell will kill just about anything. You might want to arrange to be incorporeal first though. Similarly, large volumes of holy water will solve most undead problems, and even evil outsider issues…
3) It’s not a buff spell, but it makes decent allies, if you can make the diplomacy checks. “Please of mighty servant of the gods (SOLAR) I have used a PAO spell to create you; before you go about using your temporary existence to further the cause of Good in the universe, I would beg the boon of resurrecting my dead friends who suffered this grievous setback while fighting evil….”

Given all of this, your DM is probably going to HATE you by the time you are done…Talk to him first about the kind of silly stuff you’re going to pull, or be prepared to suffer his wrath (and he does have a MUCH bigger stick than you…).


Bloodwort wrote:


Did anyone have any thoughts on using PaO on a stone wall (manufactured or natural cave wall) to create stone golems? (see origional post)

How about the "control" issue, using PaO to create brand new creatures. Do they fight for you or attack you? Nothing says you have control over the new creature. Look at Paizo's example of a pebble to a human for 20 minutes. Am I going to waste my 20 minutes of time trying to convince this "human" that I need them to do something for me that may not fun and/or safe to do? How about the core book's example of shrew to manticore? Will the manticore automatically serve the level 15 wizard or will it attack him?

since a golems are crafted like magic items, with requisite feats, spells, minimum caster level, etc. wouldn't you handle it the same way you would handle say polymorphing a normal sword into a +5 holy vorpal sword?

it doesn't seem much if any different to me. now i can see you making something that resembles a stone golem. but the enchantments? i dont think so. if so why couldnt you just polymorph all your equipment better?
i mean the spell can't make iron into cold iron. i dont think a golem is within its power.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Remember that PaO works like greater polymorph, but can do more... Greater Polymorph works like any of the following: Beast Shape 4, Elemental Body 3, Alter self, Plant Shape 2, Form of the dragon 1. None of these spells, and in fact, no polymorph spell in PF allows you to take the actual stats of the thing you turn into, just gives you +stats and listed abilities. Also, "A nonmagical object cannot be made into a magic item with this spell. Magic items aren’t affected by this spell." so sayith the spell. You also cannot explicitly make anything of great intrinsic value, though that is obviously for game balance sake, and is silly for roleplaying. I would suggest another look over the spell, it is still powerful, but not at all like it was in 3.5, and not my first choice of 8th lvl spells.

A Solar created from non-living material would have an int, wis, and cha of 5, too low to cast anything, none the less resurrection.

EDIT: *whew, could still change PoO to PaO :P


Stubs McKenzie wrote:
Remember that PoO works like greater polymorph, but can do more... Greater Polymorph works like any of the following: Beast Shape 4, Elemental Body 3, Alter self, Plant Shape 2, Form of the dragon 1. None of these spells, and in fact, no polymorph spell in PF allows you to take the actual stats of the thing you turn into, just gives you +stats and listed abilities. Also, "A nonmagical object cannot be made into a magic item with this spell. Magic items aren’t affected by this spell." so sayith the spell. I would suggest another look over the spell, it is still very powerful, but not at all like it was in 3.5

That line in the description just doesn't make that much sense. How does any of those spells turn a human being into a marionette (an object not a creature...)...which is one of the examples in the spell. Also, you couldn't use PAO offensively, as Polymorph (and following on, Greater Polymorph) only works on willing creatures (see the example of turning a manticore into a shrew... what manticore is going to volunteer for that?). Not to mention you couldn't target objects at all - you couldn't assume willingness on their part... The whole "nerfed polymorph" thing just doesn't work very well with the baseline PAO spell.


Again, look at the spell itself, it states:

Polymorph Any Object wrote:
This spell can also be used to duplicate the effects of baleful polymorph, greater polymorph, flesh to stone, stone to flesh, transmute mud to rock, transmute metal to wood, or transmute rock to mud.

I wasn't trying to give an exhaustive list of everything PaO (not sure why I was typing PoO, must be tired, yeah, that's my excuse) does, but more to give its overall limitations. Now, I agree it is rather confusing one way or another... The first line says it functions like Greater Polymorph, then goes on to say "except it changes one object or creature into another." I see how that can be taken to mean that it actually transforms one thing into a real version of another, instead of what every other polymorph spell does, but that goes directly against what the polymorph school does, and PaO is still held within the bounds of the polymorph school. The other reading of that is this: 'with any spell before this, you could only transform living objects, now non living objects can also be polymorphed.' This makes the spell much less powerful, and maybe less wanted, but seems much more in line with the developers redesign of all things polymorphed.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Stubs McKenzie wrote:

Again, look at the spell itself, it states:

Polymorph Any Object wrote:
This spell can also be used to duplicate the effects of baleful polymorph, greater polymorph, flesh to stone, stone to flesh, transmute mud to rock, transmute metal to wood, or transmute rock to mud.
I wasn't trying to give an exhaustive list of everything PaO (not sure why I was typing PoO, must be tired, yeah, that's my excuse) does, but more to give its overall limitations. Now, I agree it is rather confusing one way or another... The first line says it functions like Greater Polymorph, then goes on to say "except it changes one object or creature into another." I see how that can be taken to mean that it actually transforms one thing into a real version of another, instead of what every other polymorph spell does, but that goes directly against what the polymorph school does, and PaO is still held within the bounds of the polymorph school. The other reading of that is this: 'with any spell before this, you could only transform living objects, now non living objects can also be polymorphed.' This makes the spell much less powerful, and maybe less wanted, but seems much more in line with the developers redesign of all things polymorphed.

That still makes 3 out of 7 examples given IMPOSSIBLE. None of those spell effects can make either a marionette, nor a wool coat. And pebble to human is right out because objects are not considered willing subject to any spell, and the greater polymorph baseline requires a willing subject. That whole base it off of greater polymorph is non-sensical, and horrible game design, and bad editing to let it through the process by the by...

No spell based off of greater polymorph (as opposed to baleful polymorph) can work in the PAO role, because they require willing targets... Not to mention actually using the Greater polymorph baseline would allow targets to automatically nullify the spell 1 round later: "The subject may choose to resume its normal form as a full-round action; doing so ends the spell for that subject." Another example of how bad the fit is the intelligence clause; what does the intelligence of the subject matter, if it's not going to affected, as per the polymorph/form of line of spells (none of those spells can impact the mental stats of the subject) (note that baleful polymorph is a distinctly separate spell from this line, despite the name and re-use of some mechanics).

Yes, PAO is a huge step away from the regular polymorph/form of family of spells; it has always been so. Really, it should be based off of baleful polymorph.

Finally, all this does not address the major abuses of PAO, transformation of inanimate objects, as I discussed above. (Inanimate objects become the issue due to the brain overwrite effects that I discussed/suggested earlier...).


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
pad300 wrote:
Stubs McKenzie wrote:

Again, look at the spell itself, it states:

Polymorph Any Object wrote:
This spell can also be used to duplicate the effects of baleful polymorph, greater polymorph, flesh to stone, stone to flesh, transmute mud to rock, transmute metal to wood, or transmute rock to mud.
I wasn't trying to give an exhaustive list of everything PaO...
That still makes 3 out of 7 examples given IMPOSSIBLE. None of those spell effects can make either a marionette, nor a wool coat. And pebble to human is right out because objects are not considered willing subject to any spell, and the greater polymorph baseline requires a willing subject. That whole base it off of greater polymorph is non-sensical, and horrible game design, and bad editing to let it through the process by the by...

The examples are not impossible, they simply are not covered by what the spell "can also be used to duplicate." The only real issue is that the spell does not give guidelines for how to adjudicate the effects on things outside the boundaries of its copyable spells. That *is* a real issue, no doubt.

For the record, I would say that pebble => stone golem does not represent the same "Kingdom". It certainly has the "Related" bonus, but not "Kingdom". Look at "Sheep to Wool Coat" at 6. That has same size +2, Related (wolf fur to wolf) +2, and same or lower intelligence +2. Also... anything turned into a Stone Golem would immediate shift back - it's immune to magic. :)

I did have this come up, with the wizard contemplating polymorphing a Stone Giant PC into a Fire Giant PC. It made sense to allow it to duplicate Giant Form I (same level as Greater Polymorph), which grants (after adjusting size to Medium, per Polymorph rules in the Magic chapter):

  • a net +2 size bonus to Strength, [b]
  • a -0 penalty to Dexterity,
  • a net +2 size bonus to Constitution,
  • a net -7 penalty to natural armor bonus, [+11 -> +4]
  • low-light vision.
  • darkvision 60 feet,
  • rock catching,
  • rock throwing (range 60 feet, 2d6 damage) [lower range and damage]
  • resistance 20 to fire
  • vulnerability to cold


  • A re-writing of the spell, to something that makes sense, generated by splicing together current PAO and Baleful polymorph (and more than a few judicious edits to make it work; note that Baleful Polymorph also has holes the size of a bus in it...):

    Polymorph Any Object
    School transmutation (polymorph); Level sorcerer/wizard 8
    Casting Time 1 standard action
    Components V, S, M/DF (mercury, gum arabic, and smoke)
    Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
    Target one creature, or one non-magical object of up to 100 cu. ft./level
    Duration see text
    Saving Throw Fortitude negates (object); see text; Spell Resistance yes (object)

    You change the target into either an object of up to 100 cu. ft/level in volume or another creature. You can use this spell to transform all manner of objects and creatures into new forms- you aren't limited to transforming a living creature into another living form.

    The duration of the spell depends on how radical a change is made from the original state to its transmuted state. The duration is determined by using the following guidelines.
    Changed Subject Is Increase to Duration Factor*
    Same kingdom (animal, vegetable, mineral) +5
    Same class (mammals, fungi, metals, etc.) +2
    Same size +2
    Related (twig is to tree, wolf fur is to wolf, etc.) +2
    Same or lower Intelligence +2
    *Add all that apply. Look up the total on the next table.

    Duration Factor Duration Example
    0 20 minutes Pebble to human
    2 1 hour Marionette to human
    4 3 hours Human to marionette
    5 12 hours Lizard to manticore
    6 2 days Sheep to wool coat
    7 1 week Shrew to manticore
    9+ Permanent Manticore to shrew

    If targeting a creature the creature loses its extraordinary, supernatural, and spell-like abilities, loses its ability to cast spells (if it had the ability), and it's current ability scores. The target loses it's base HD, and associated BAB, saves, type, etc (for example a hill giant ftr 5 loses the Humanoid (giant) type, 10d8 hd of the Humanoid (giant) type, the associated +7 BAB, +7 Fort Save, +3 Ref Save, and +3 Will Save, (2+Int Mod)*10 Skill Ranks and 5 feats).

    The target still retains any classes and associated levels it has, as well as all benefits deriving therefrom (such as base attack bonus, base save bonuses, and skill ranks). It retains any class features (other than spellcasting) that aren't extraordinary, supernatural, or spell-like abilities. (our example a hill giant ftr 5 retains, 5 ftr levels and the associated +5 BAB, +4 Fort Save, +1 Ref Save, and +1 Will Save, (2+Int Mod)*5 Skill Ranks, and 3 regular feats(1st, 3ed and 5th level), 3 bonus feats. He loses armor training, bravery, and weapon training).

    If targeting either a creature or an object, it retains it's current HP - these are not affected by any changes in attributes or special abilities. (our example retains his 135 hp)

    The target gets the alignment, extraordinary, supernatural, and spell-like abilities, ability to cast spells (for example,our hill giant ftr 5 being transformed into a Ghaele Azata gives spellcasting as a Cleric 13), and ability scores of its new form in place of its own. The target gets the base base HD, and associated BAB, saves, type, etc, of the new form as it's own. (in our example, our hill giant ftr 5 is now a Ghaele Azata with 135 hp and the class benefits he retained. He has gained spellcating and a wide varity of extraordinary, supernatural and spell-like abilities, as well as new skills and feats for his outsider HD).

    If the target of the spell does not have mental ability scores (Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma), this spell grants a score of 5 to such scores. Polymorph any Object's ability to create a mind of whole cloth is very limited.

    This effect overwrites the mind of the target, with wholly new alignment and perspective. The subject does not retain their memories, nor does it have an explanation for how it came to the transformed state. Further, it's memories contain no information of direct pertinence (ie it does not remember the password to the symbol trap...nor even the existence of the symbol trap). The target becomes an NPC under GM control, until the Polymorph any Object expires. (In our example, what used to be a violently hostile CE hill giant, is now a rather disconcerted CG Ghaele Eladrin).

    If transforming the target into an object, this spell cannot create material of great intrinsic value, such as copper, silver, gems, silk, gold, platinum, mithral, or adamantine. It also cannot reproduce the special properties of cold iron in order to overcome the damage reduction of certain creatures. A target cannot be made into a magic item with this spell. Magic objects aren't affected by this spell.

    Damage taken by the new form can result in the injury or death/destruction of the original target. In general, damage occurs when the new form is changed through physical force. For example, a willow withe Polymorph any Object into a sword and then sundered is still sundered when the Polymorph any Object expires. Similarly a creature destroyed when Polymorph any Object into an object is dead when the Polymorph any Object expires.

    Any polymorph effects on the target are automatically dispelled when a target fails to resist the effects of Polymorph any Object, and as long as Polymorph any Object remains in effect, the target cannot use other polymorph spells or effects to assume a new form.


    Majuba wrote:


    The examples are not impossible, they simply are not covered by what the spell "can also be used to duplicate." The only real issue is that the spell does not give guidelines for how to adjudicate the effects on things outside the boundaries of its copyable spells. That *is* a real issue, no doubt.

    No, they are impossible with the wording as written full stop. The can't be achieved with the spells PAO "can also be used to duplicate." Otherwise, PAO is restricted as "This spell functions like greater polymorph", which needs a willing target, so inanimate object are out - they are never considered willing.

    Further, human to marionette and sheep to sheepskin coat are out because the mechanics of greater polymorph allow you to use beast shape IV, elemental body III, alter self, plant shape II or form of the dragon I, none of which offer a mechanical path to transforming to an object (does the target retain HP, saving throws, mental abilities - see baleful polymorph for that kerfufle, how about supernatural abilities, spell casting, and spell like abilities.) Not to mention what does that do to living forms outside the range of the presented spell mechanics - vermin, outsiders, abberations, Fey, Oozes...

    A similar question arises for Pebble to Human explodes from the lack of mechanical path. A pebble doesn't have a BAB, Saving Throws, Skill ranks, feats, etc. Alter Self, which is the mechanical path given for a humanoid form, does not give you any ability to GET these.


    I agree that it isn't well thought out at all.. they pulled the 3.5 description pretty much exactly, which was a terrible move (sorry designers, it was). Still, polymorph (school) spells out what it does/how it works:

    core rulebook wrote:

    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 +20 bonus on Disguise skill checks, they do not grant you all of the abilities and powers of the creature. Each polymorph spell allows you to assume the form of a creature of a specific type, granting you a number of bonuses to your ability scores and a bonus to your natural armor. In addition, each polymorph spell can grant you a number of other benefits, including movement types,

    resistances, and senses. If the form you choose grants these benefits, or a greater ability of the same type, you gain the listed benefit. If the form grants a lesser ability of the same type, you gain the lesser ability instead. Your base speed changes to match that of the form you assume. If the form grants a swim or burrow speed, you maintain the ability to breathe if you are swimming or burrowing. The DC for any of these abilities equals your DC for the polymorph spell used to change you into that form.

    that is obviously just a snippit, and not the whole description of the subschool, but it gives a solid enough idea of what it is and isnt supposed to do to show that PaO shouldn't technically be able to do what it explicitly states it does... they should have removed PaO from the game completely and, if they felt it necessary, reworked the spell to be... something else.

    EDIT: I would really like to have a designer chime in on this one, as they either meant the spell to work much more like the 3.5 version, and therefore break the rules they laid down for polymorph in PF (which is fine as long as they specify that) or give some examples of how this spell is supposed to function in pathfinder, outside of the list of other spells it mentions.


    pad300 wrote:


    No, they are impossible with the wording as written full stop. The can't be achieved with the spells PAO "can also be used to duplicate." Otherwise, PAO is restricted as "This spell functions like greater polymorph", which needs a willing target, so inanimate object are out - they are never considered willing.

    PF phb p323 =

    Target = One creature, or one nonmagical object of up to 100 cu ft/level.

    This spell, unlike the polymorph spell, can be used to duplicate the effect of baleful polymorph, and Flesh to stone. Nether of which require a willing target.

    While i agree, they should have added an exception to the spell description, about willing creatures, this is implied by the spell that it can duplicate.

    The only limitation that i see is, No magic items (like golems), Nothing that has any rare value like money, gems, minerals worth anything, and no cold iron.


    Stubs McKenzie wrote:

    I agree that it isn't well thought out at all.. they pulled the 3.5 description pretty much exactly, which was a terrible move (sorry designers, it was). Still, polymorph (school) spells out what it does/how it works:

    core rulebook wrote:

    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 +20 bonus on Disguise skill checks, they do not grant you all of the abilities and powers of the creature. Each polymorph spell allows you to assume the form of a creature of a specific type, granting you a number of bonuses to your ability scores and a bonus to your natural armor. In addition, each polymorph spell can grant you a number of other benefits, including movement types,

    resistances, and senses. If the form you choose grants these benefits, or a greater ability of the same type, you gain the listed benefit. If the form grants a lesser ability of the same type, you gain the lesser ability instead. Your base speed changes to match that of the form you assume. If the form grants a swim or burrow speed, you maintain the ability to breathe if you are swimming or burrowing. The DC for any of these abilities equals your DC for the polymorph spell used to change you into that form.

    that is obviously just a snippit, and not the whole description of the subschool, but it gives a solid enough idea of what it is and isnt supposed to do to show that PaO shouldn't technically be able to do what it explicitly states it does... they should have removed PaO from the game completely and, if they felt it necessary, reworked the spell to be... something else.

    EDIT: I would really like to have a designer chime in on this one, as they either meant the spell to work much more like the 3.5 version, and therefore break the rules they laid down for polymorph in PF (which is fine as long as they specify that) or give some examples of how this spell is supposed to function in pathfinder, outside of the...

    Agreed, it's not well thought out. They really should have based it on baleful polymorph - it's an attack spell as well as a utility spell. Further I second your call for designer input; it would be exceedingly valuable. PAO really breaks so far outside the polymorph school spells when it began to involve objects, which I maintain are where it really can get broken... (I would also note that they have mischaracterized several spells as of the polymorph school when they shouldn't be, or the polymorph school itself : "A polymorph spell transforms your physical body to take on the shape of another creature." and yet PAO, Baleful Polymorph, Polymorph, and Greater Polymorph can all target stuff other than you... )


    Oliver McShade wrote:
    pad300 wrote:


    No, they are impossible with the wording as written full stop. The can't be achieved with the spells PAO "can also be used to duplicate." Otherwise, PAO is restricted as "This spell functions like greater polymorph", which needs a willing target, so inanimate object are out - they are never considered willing.

    PF phb p323 =

    Target = One creature, or one nonmagical object of up to 100 cu ft/level.

    This spell, unlike the polymorph spell, can be used to duplicate the effect of baleful polymorph, and Flesh to stone. Nether of which require a willing target.

    Yes, I can read, I know what the target entry says. The first line says "This spell functions like greater polymorph, except that it changes one object or creature into another." The inherited target entry (from the polymorph spell) for greater polymorph says : "Target living creature touched". Nothing about willing target there, no, it's in the actual written mechanics : "This spell transforms a willing creature ... the spell has no effect on unwilling creatures".

    Later on it gives you exceptions to duplicate a set of specific spells, including Baleful Polymorph and Flesh to Stone, but unless you are duplicating one of those specific spells, by RAW, you are stuck with the actual written mechanics of polymorph. Willing target required.


    One of the biggest issues I have with the spell is what effects does it have when cast on someone/something with the intent to change their form into something ~other~ than what is on those lists (constructs, undead, oozes, vermin, outsiders, etc)? Which bonuses apply and which don't? Which abilities are gained and which aren't? Or is it really suggesting that I can change anything.. ANYTHING, into only those forms listed. If so... how stupid.


    For the human to Storm Giant example, I'd say that you don't meet the same requirement (human is a not the same as a Giant.... but a Hill giant might be permanently turned into a Storm Giant, but I'd probably be a hard case and require actual Storm Giant-ness to meet this requirement).

    For a faux Wall of Stone, yes it works like you think. Castles are possible with this spell (or maybe towers...you can run the math).

    The spell is wonderfully open-ended, and anyone with imagination can break it and the game with ease. Sadly, Paizo dropped the ball on fixing Polymorph when they nailed the spells down to a few types and made them far less open-ended, so legacy effects like this are game-stoppers while you and your DM discuss or argue about the potential effects.

    My DMs have always just assumed it was a cart-blanche for summon monster and transformations, but took a dim view of powergamers looking for permanent power-ups. Your DM may have a different tolerance level for these issues.


    actually, there's another question:

    Could you stack the spell?

    As in, you can do that slowly.

    Hedgehog to Giant Hamster=> permanent.(kingdom, class, intelligence)
    Giant Hamster to Human=> permanent.(kingdom, class, size)

    But could you also stack it on if non-permanent?

    If i make a pebble into a human(for 20 minutes) and then inmediately transform that Human into an Elf (permanent), will the elf turn back into a pebble after 20 minutes? Or doesn't it matter and he stays an elf?


    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
    MordredofFairy wrote:

    actually, there's another question:

    Could you stack the spell?

    As in, you can do that slowly.

    Hedgehog to Giant Hamster=> permanent.(kingdom, class, intelligence)
    Giant Hamster to Human=> permanent.(kingdom, class, size)

    But could you also stack it on if non-permanent?

    If i make a pebble into a human(for 20 minutes) and then inmediately transform that Human into an Elf (permanent), will the elf turn back into a pebble after 20 minutes? Or doesn't it matter and he stays an elf?

    Isn't their a rule somewhere saying you can only ever have one polymorph effect at a time? If so, then the second casting would dispel the first, ruining everything.


    I think the human would count as a pebble (as mentioned in the first post) and so you would "re"transform a pebble into an elf, so no confusion there.

    However you can get funky effects like : transform iron bar into human, and you can use heat metal on him ^^
    I bet even funnier and trickier things can be done.

    this spell is one reason why I like spellcasters above all others :)

    one the golem part, I would deny my players that on the base that creating something by magic immune to magic would have to fail. Also PC to monster with greatly better stats would be too unfair.

    But hey, as the spell is great, and it should be a little bit better defined, I'll flag it for FAQ too.


    Yes, you can only have one polymorph effect going at a time. To Richard, the way polymorph works in PF, you dont take on the stats of other creatures, so a stone golem created from stone wouldn't necessarily be magic immune because its not actually a stone golem. Same with PC to monster with greatly better stats, PC would only get static pluses to stats, they don't take on the monsters stats.

    K wrote:
    For the human to Storm Giant example, I'd say that you don't meet the same requirement (human is a not the same as a Giant.... but a Hill giant might be permanently turned into a Storm Giant, but I'd probably be a hard case and require actual Storm Giant-ness to meet this requirement).

    Giants are just a subtype now, of the type Humanoid, so therefore you do meet the 'same' requirement. Problem is, as written, polymorph any object either a) doesn't allow you to turn into a giant of any kind, or b) doesn't say how that would work if you did. You could assume it would function like Giant Form 1 or 2, except PaO did not include either of those spells in their 'also works as these spells' list. This is why we need the FAQ :)


    A quick question that hopefully has a simple answer...

    Quote:
    Target one creature, or one nonmagical object of up to 100 cu. ft./level

    This defines the size of the target object, and is it safe to say that this also defines the size of what the object is changed into?

    For example, a 15th-level Wizard could do 1,500 cu. ft., so if he had a piece of wood that was 10 ft x 10 ft x 15 ft, he could turn it into A) a boat with similar dimensions, or B) a boat with smaller dimensions. Correct? But he could not turn it into a boat with larger dimensions, right?

    Another example with the same wizard... if he has a piece of wood that is 1 ft x 1 ft x 1 ft, he can turn it into a boat with the same dimensions as above (10 ft x 10 ft x 15 ft, or smaller), but he cannot turn it into a boat that is bigger then 1,500 cu. ft., correct?


    Polymorph and Shapechange are the spells most open to abuse by players if DM's do not carefully read the rules. I've had a player with a wizard character that has been trying to gain a permanent great wyrm gold dragon form using PAO. His rationale is that he can make a permanent change from Half-Elf (22 INT) to Wyrmling Gold Dragon (22 INT) via Same Kingom (+5), Same/Smaller Size (+2), and Same/Lower INT (+2). At that point it is easy to see the progression of sizes and INT up to Great Wyrm status, because you only need 1 to be the same or lower at a time because you get Same Kingdom (+5) and Same Class (+2) along with either Same/Lower INT (+2) and/or Same/Smaller Size (+2). However, this is in DIRECT violation of the description of the spell:

    1. The spell description of Polymorph Any Object specifically states that it functions like Greater Polymorph, which, in turn, specifically states that it acts like Form of the Dragon I. This allows ONLY a change into a MEDIUM sized dragon, no matter what form is being changed. No matter how many times this spell is used it cannot enlarge the dragon past MEDIUM size, which limits the Gold Dragon (whether permanent or not,) to Very Young status...

    Further, I add the following rule to the mix:

    2. Use the "base" INT for the creature type being changed to AND from, as taken from the bestiary or the racial average for a player race, NOT the INT of the character doing the changing. In my opening example, the Half-Elf (average INT 10) is trying to change into a Wyrmling Gold Dragon (INT 14.)

    Furthermore, I add the following rule, but I can find no rule that says that it is necessary:

    3. Any magical effect placed on a target with an identical effect already in place cancels the first effect. As the duration of these polymorphs is "permanent" and not "instantaneous" any previous "permanent" polymorphs are cancelled by the latest casting, meaning that caster is basing the change off of his "original" form, not the form he was polymorphed into...

    This makes polymorph and shapechange into spells that still retain a modicum of power and preserves game balance (which seems to be something sorely overlooked by most DM's and players of this version of the game,) and prevents abuse by players (which seems to be the norm.)


    I'm sure it's on the list of 100 things to do.


    It's alive! ... ALIVE!!!!!!


    4 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Dear Paizo,

    I have spent a relative "fortune" on your books. I enjoy your system, and I enjoy your modules.

    I understand that I can play this game any way I like, and, as a DM, I can make any rules calls I feel are appropriate. Thank you for expressing that I have the freedom to do that.

    That being said, I choose to play this game like the designers intended. As such, please provide some basic errata on this spell. There seems to be little consensus on how this spell works.

    Thank you in advance for taking a moment to clarify this for me, a loyal customer, and all the other folks who paid good money for a solid game system.

    Sincerely,

    A fan.


    I use it in this way.
    I let character use this spell to morph in creature that has a reference in other spell (like beast shape). So yes for magical beast, animal, umanoid, giants, dragon, insects, undead (if a spell is not listed in PAO, check the spell level with those of core rulebook).
    No golem.
    If you turn a stone into a creature it will be not under your control or friendly to you, and it will have no memory, but we can suppose that creature has an innate knowledge about his body and powers.
    About spell duration... 12 h for adventure purpose is like permanent, so the problem is not on changing this but if let player use it or not (if someone has problem handling this spell). I think it's not overpowered if GM do appropriate roleplay. It's not funny being a dire tiger or giant every day of your life... a character can be happy to be morphed just for combat, not much more.


    Personally, i made it a 9th lvl spell that allows anything to be turned into anything else, regardless of what other polymorph spells there are. As the name implies, PaO should turn anything, into anything else, and it shouldn't really have limits, other than duration. If it ever actually gets used, there will be some on the fly adjustments to stats I will have to come up with, but I still think it is a much more elegant solution than limiting a PC to certain forms when they can turn anything in the world into those forms... It also fits well with shapechange in the 9th lvl slot, they compliment each other nicely.


    Yeah, and deadly stroke should be deadly. Better keeping a balanced game.


    Old question, but an important one.

    This spell is very powerful, it always has been, and even with the nerfs to polymorph, it still is. Clever players can do things with it that have very serious effects on the game.

    In our games it's mostly decided that Animals mean anything that's alive, has and has hit-dice, usually including plant creatures, Undead, and constructs. Plants are all forms of living matter that lack hit-dice. Minerals are all non-living things, including dead things that were living.

    It may be worth placeing plant creatures into the plant bracket. Or even createing a new bracket for undead and constructs.

    Reguarding multiple polymorph effects on one target: The rules clearly state the target then chooses which one effects himself. This shows us that polymorphed objects are still target legal, the question is if the function as what they were, or what they are now.

    The rules about polymorph also seem to assume players are working with living thinking things. What does a pebble choose when effected by multiple polymorph effects?

    Fun with this spell!

    Turn a dead human into a live one. It's not the same person, but is it still target legal for raise dead, or create undead? If so, would you have two people in the same body?

    Dragons who polymorph into humans can mate and produce half dragons, can you create your own absurd half breeds with this spell?

    Spells with durations longer than instantaneous last forever on the astral plane. Bring a few pebbles and you can play God. There are other worse tricks on this plane, but that's another story.

    The spell can clearly imbue heat where there is none, such as pebble to person. Can I turn the ground under my enemies into lava?

    If I polymorph human feces into beef jerky and feed it to a human subject over a prolonged period of time, the atomic structure of the jerky should eventually be absorbed as nutrients and come to compose the persons physical structure at least partially. In theory I could then cast dispel magic and turn the subject directly into feces, no save.

    Grand Lodge

    Your feces example made me think. You could turn a bunch of poison into cheap ale, feed it to the enemy, and then dispel it. I could turn a room filled with lava, into breathable air, then after the enemy breathes it in, dispel it, and watch the enemy suffocate on lava.


    In terms of most transformations, It works Raw to have the spell act as Greater Polymorph, adn in the case where the target does not have a set of ability scores, they are given 10 physical and 5 mental modified by the polymorph scores.

    I think it should be given higher levels of spells, one level up from Polymorph Greater.

    I had a fun idea for an NPC, the ideal being that it was a juvenile dragon PaO'ed into a humonoid by a Greatworm with class levels. Kingdom +5, Size +2, Int +2, So this young dragon is turned into a human, and started gaining class levels.

    I house-ruled that no polymorph can be used to replace it, unless it beats a caster check against the greatwyrm's but that's not likely (not sure how to ward the spell by RAW)

    The spell's a lot of fun and can do some really cool stuff.

    But in terms of limits, It says it's Polymorph Greater but can work on in-animate objects giving them base-stats of 10, 10, 10, 5, 5, 5.


    The issue with a lot of those examples are the base racial type of the item never changes.... feces is still feces with a + to its disguise check, which I would suggest should start around -20 or so. It should never be absorbed into the body more than its base form would be. Bringing the thermodynamics of the polymorph spell into question is silly...and is completely outside the spell description, which is a cold lonely place to be with how loosely the spells description fits in with current rules. Even if you can turn the ground into lava, it is still technically ground with a disguise on... what the effects were would be up to your dm, but full lava damage would be exactly the kind of thing the polymorph rules were modified to disallow.


    Concerning some things said above, on 1) the spell overwriting the target's mind and 2) using it to gain better ability scores - does it really work that way in the present version?

    If the target _lacks_ a score, it is granted one. Nothing is said (in the PF version unlike the 3.5 version) on whether any scores are replaced if they already exist. Further, it references Greater Polymorph, which in turn references Alter Self, Giant Form etc., all of which state that you get some ability bonuses, but does not replace any ability scores. As such, it seems to me that:

    - Transforming pebble into dragon: It gets mental ability scores of 5, physicals of 10. As it gets new mental ability scores, it should get as good an approximation of a dragon psyche, alignment, motivations etc as int/wis/cha 5 can get you.

    - Transforming yourself into a dragon: You already have all ability scores. You just get a few physical bonuses. In fact, the spell in this case will function just as a potentially longer-duration Form of the Dragon, and as such, should hardly turn you into an NPC with a different alignment.

    Am I misreading something?


    The polymorph subschool seems to remove extraordinary abilities of previous form. So in a way, Feces changed might no longer function as feces.

    Furthermore, if inanimate objects are capable of disguise checks, and this rule applies to them, would it still be biologically absorbed as jerky if the check worked? We're stepping on the toes of the illusion school here when it comes to trying to balance this, just how far are we willing to go?

    As for another fun trick, Change a massive boulder into a pebble, place in a room smaller then its initial form, when your enemies enter, dispel it.

    The spell functions just fine and is actually pretty weak when it concerns living things. The delighful questions arise only when it comes to inanimate objects.


    So, to summarize the crazy amount of opinion and interpretation here, and ask for some still missing gaps to be addressed, would anyone care to comment on the points below?

    The spell can't be used on an unwilling creature unless it is used to "instead cast" (duplicate the effects of) baleful polymorph, flesh to stone, etc. You can't forcibly turn a human into a pebble or a manticore into a shrew casting this "as PAO", they'd have to let you do it in that case. To do things like this it has to work within the bounds of its lesser counterpart it is duplicating the effects for.

    Based on the spells wording, it grants ability scores when none would otherwise be present, so a cup would get an Int of 5 if transformed from a pebble, and thereby be able to decide to dispel the effect willingly and return to being a pebble.

    If a creature that had higher than 0 in an ability score to start with, it retains that ability score because the change is superficial. It doesn't actually make them into the morphed type, it only makes them "very much like" the thing... ???

    If something is morphed into another object, it doesn't really become that object except superficially. So, as in the lava example, turning ground to lava would still leave the new "lava" as having the type "ground" and it would not actually be hot like lava. It would basically be glowing red mud, and difficult terrain at best??? And if you morph into a dragon, you would just gain its resistances, but not any spells a dragon would know, or its ability scores???

    What if morphed objects became very disbursed or got chemically or mixture combined with other objects? Like if you mixed morphed sand with unmorphed sand, or someone ate the jerky like in the above feces to jerky example. Can you really still "target" the "object" anymore, or is it now no longer the object it once was?

    I do think that there is no reason you can't make a boulder into a pebble, and then the pebble into a boulder again though... no reason at all in the rules why this is a problem, and that seems like a nasty ability.

    TL;DR I just want to know how this spell works wahaha


    setzer9999 wrote:

    So, to summarize the crazy amount of opinion and interpretation here, and ask for some still missing gaps to be addressed, would anyone care to comment on the points below?

    The spell can't be used on an unwilling creature unless it is used to "instead cast" (duplicate the effects of) baleful polymorph, flesh to stone, etc. You can't forcibly turn a human into a pebble or a manticore into a shrew casting this "as PAO", they'd have to let you do it in that case. To do things like this it has to work within the bounds of its lesser counterpart it is duplicating the effects for.

    Based on the spells wording, it grants ability scores when none would otherwise be present, so a cup would get an Int of 5 if transformed from a pebble, and thereby be able to decide to dispel the effect willingly and return to being a pebble.

    If a creature that had higher than 0 in an ability score to start with, it retains that ability score because the change is superficial. It doesn't actually make them into the morphed type, it only makes them "very much like" the thing... ???

    If something is morphed into another object, it doesn't really become that object except superficially. So, as in the lava example, turning ground to lava would still leave the new "lava" as having the type "ground" and it would not actually be hot like lava. It would basically be glowing red mud, and difficult terrain at best??? And if you morph into a dragon, you would just gain its resistances, but not any spells a dragon would know, or its ability scores???

    What if morphed objects became very disbursed or got chemically or mixture combined with other objects? Like if you mixed morphed sand with unmorphed sand, or someone ate the jerky like in the above feces to jerky example. Can you really still "target" the "object" anymore, or is it now no longer the object it once was?

    I do think that there is no reason you can't make a boulder into a pebble, and then the pebble into a boulder again though... no reason at all in the rules why this is a...

    1) It is impossible to say if cast on the unwilling it will only work as baleful polymorph, because it is not spelled out clearly. It doesn't even limit you to a certain list of spells it functions as. The final line in the spell description has a very important "also" written in

    PAO wrote:
    This spell can also be used to duplicate the effects of baleful polymorph, greater polymorph, flesh to stone, stone to flesh, transmute mud to rock, transmute metal to wood, or transmute rock to mud

    If it only functioned as those spells, it would be impossible to make an inanimate object into anything, or vise versa. Even reading it with the rest of the spell, the first section doesn't limit you to willing participants.

    2) Correct, if it doesn't have an ability score to start with it gives one, but if it already had one, it doesn't replace an ability score.... HOWEVER, since the spell functions as other polymorph school spells do, you would get specific bonuses if a thing with ability scores is turned into something else with ability scores. For instance, if a person is turned into a dragon, you would use the spell greater polymorph, which references form of the dragon 1, which gives specific bonuses and abilities.

    2.5) It is beyond the scope of any written polymorph spell to turn ground into lava... so it is all house rules. Whatever your DM thinks would be appropriate works... i would suggest 2d6 damage when in or next to it, sort of wall of fire-ish. Also difficult terrain is entirely reasonable. but those are house rules either way.

    3) There is rules written in for what happens to things that are polymorphed ~

    PAO wrote:
    Damage taken by the new form can result in the injury or death of the polymorphed creature. In general, damage occurs when the new form is changed through physical force.

    IMO, it would be unreasonable to say damage is done if sand is separated into jars, at the end of the spell the sand disappears and the person reappears. It would be perfectly reasonable, however, to say that person dies if they were turned to glass when polymorphed into sand. The huge huge issue here, is they were never really sand to begin with when you talk about the RAW polymorph subschool rules in Pathfinder, so they could never have truly been turned to glass in the first place, they technically should just take fire/heat damage while someone tries. A person PAO'd as a rock will be injured/killed by someone smashing the rock. Chemical processes change the physical structure of... stuff... to not make anything complicated, so the DM would be well within his right to rule that as damage/death... but again, looking at the sand ~> glass situation, could it really be done anyways???


    I guess it was the part about it functioning like greater polymorph for its base use where I got that you can't use it on the unwilling. So the also word basically means it functions like any polymorph or form spell of any other type, replacing the need for more than one polymorph spell basically... but when you use it like those spells, don't you have to abide by the limitations of those spells? So, the only spell known to allow you to transmute someone into a hand towel is PAO... in this case you refer to how greater polymorph works (including the willing target only deal), and then apply the extra stipulations in PAO.

    If, however, you want to transform someone into a creature that baleful polymorph allows, if PAO functions like baleful polymorph, wouldn't you need to apply the fortitude and will saves of baleful polymorph too?


    2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    Two and half years later and I'm still looking for clarification on this spell.

    Show that FAQ button some love people!


    I am really planning some fun and devious things for this spell. Hopefully we can still get some better clarification from the Dev's!

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