Can someone use "Alter Self" to give themselves a temporary "Regenerate" of a lost limb?


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Silver Crusade

12 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ.

Someone in another thread is claim that someone can just use "Alter Self" or a "Hat of Disguise" to regrow that lost limb for the duration of the spell or as long as they wear the hat and I think this is bogus. I see nothing in the spell that says a lost limb is replaced, even temporarily.

Hopefully a designer could shed some light on this.


Hat of Disguise is an Illusion (glamer), so it could look like you had a limb...but that wouldn't change anything about it.

Alter Self is a Transmutation (Polymorph) spell that actually changes you to the form of another race. If that race had a 3rd arm or something, the magic in the spell would give you that third arm. For the same reason, yes, you'd get the form of that race, no matter what your base form is.

Even if you changed to your own race, you wouldn't look like your character normally would, as you explicitly look like a generic member of that race.


shallowsoul wrote:

Someone in another thread is claim that someone can just use "Alter Self" or a "Hat of Disguise" to regrow that lost limb for the duration of the spell or as long as they wear the hat and I think this is bogus. I see nothing in the spell that says a lost limb is replaced, even temporarily.

Hopefully a designer could shed some light on this.

A hat of disguise could make it appear the limb wasn't lost. That's an illusion. Alter self can in fact grow limbs to make you match the creature that you turn into, and doesn't have any special checks for what sorts of limbs the base creature has. A woman could turn into a man, a man into a lizardfolk, a lizardfolk into a strix, a strix into a merfolk. You gain the gross physical characteristics of the new form, complete with natural attacks and movement forms.

It doesn't matter what your base form is. A merfolk druid for example could transform into a polar bear (no legs to 4 legs) with beast shape I via Wildshape. A strix has wings, but can transform into a human (no wings). A man could transform into a woman, or vice versa (they have slightly different extremities). A human could transform into a lizardfolk and get 2 claws and 1 bite attack.

Silver Crusade

Cheapy wrote:

Hat of Disguise is an Illusion (glamer), so it could look like you had a limb...but that wouldn't change anything about it.

Alter Self is a Transmutation (Polymorph) spell that actually changes you to the form of another race. If that race had a 3rd arm or something, the magic in the spell would give you that third arm. For the same reason, yes, you'd get the form of that race, no matter what your base form is.

Even if you changed to your own race, you wouldn't look like your character normally would, as you explicitly look like a generic member of that race.

I could understand getting that third arm but the spell says nothing about regaining any lost limbs. You could go from turning into a human with one arm to an elf with one arm.

Silver Crusade

Ashiel wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

Someone in another thread is claim that someone can just use "Alter Self" or a "Hat of Disguise" to regrow that lost limb for the duration of the spell or as long as they wear the hat and I think this is bogus. I see nothing in the spell that says a lost limb is replaced, even temporarily.

Hopefully a designer could shed some light on this.

A hat of disguise could make it appear the limb wasn't lost. That's an illusion. Alter self can in fact grow limbs to make you match the creature that you turn into, and doesn't have any special checks for what sorts of limbs the base creature has. A woman could turn into a man, a man into a lizardfolk, a lizardfolk into a strix, a strix into a merfolk. You gain the gross physical characteristics of the new form, complete with natural attacks and movement forms.

It doesn't matter what your base form is. A merfolk druid for example could transform into a polar bear (no legs to 4 legs) with beast shape I via Wildshape. A strix has wings, but can transform into a human (no wings). A man could transform into a woman, or vice versa (they have slightly different extremities). A human could transform into a lizardfolk and get 2 claws and 1 bite attack.

Show me where it says you can grow lost limbs with Alter Self. I have read the description for the spell and the Polymorph section and it's not there.


shallowsoul wrote:

I could understand getting that third arm but the spell says nothing about regaining any lost limbs. You could go from turning into a human with one arm to an elf with one arm.

I think that's what the argument is about -- nowhere in the spell description does it say that if you have a missing part, the same part will be missing on the creature you turn into. Instead, you end up with whatever body parts a normal creature would have.

So you'd turn from a human with one arm into an elf, which has two arms.


shallowsoul wrote:
Show me where it says you can grow lost limbs with Alter Self. I have read the description for the spell and the Polymorph section and it's not there.

The polymorph subschool says you gain the body of a generic creature of the type, including movement and attack forms. A generic elf has two arms. It seems reasonable to believe that if you polymorphed into one, you would have two arms regardless of how many arms you usually have or don't have.

Silver Crusade

AvalonXQ wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

I could understand getting that third arm but the spell says nothing about regaining any lost limbs. You could go from turning into a human with one arm to an elf with one arm.

I think that's what the argument is about -- nowhere in the spell description does it say that if you have a missing part, the same part will be missing on the creature you turn into. Instead, you end up with whatever body parts a normal creature would have.

So you'd turn from a human with one arm into an elf, which has two arms.

But nowhere in the spell does it say you regain all limbs either. All it says is that you turn into an elf, for example, and gain low-light vision etc... People are assuming that you automatically gain the limbs etc...


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I reckon the fact that the spell can turn you into a creature with more than 4 limbs means that the number of limbs you have in your original form has no bearing on how many limbs your new form can have. Rather, the number of limbs your new form has is determined by the form you take.


Exactly, Avalon. Nowhere in the spell or the school description does it say the state of your body matters. As long as you can cast it, you use the rules of the spell.

If you were a bearded human, you shaved your beard off (aka: lost that part of your body), and then turned into a dwarf, you sure will have a beard.

Nowhere does the spell state otherwise, or even hint at it.

Silver Crusade

AvalonXQ wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Show me where it says you can grow lost limbs with Alter Self. I have read the description for the spell and the Polymorph section and it's not there.
The polymorph subschool says you gain the body of a generic creature of the type, including movement and attack forms. A generic elf has two arms. It seems reasonable to believe that if you polymorphed into one, you would have two arms regardless of how many arms you usually have or don't have.

Well a lot of things seem like they would be reasonable in Pathfinder but that argument doesn't always hold water unfortunately.

Attack forms are natural attacks. Unfortunately, fists aren't considered natural attacks.


That's right. Otherwise you get into some confusing situations.

For example, what if you've had your arm chopped off and you turn into a dragon? Are you missing a wing or a claw or both?

And apparently if a zero-legged merfolk uses Alter Self he gets two legs, but if a one-legged creature uses it he only gets one leg.

Silver Crusade

Cheapy wrote:

Exactly, Avalon. Nowhere in the spell or the school description does it say the state of your body matters. As long as you can cast it, you use the rules of the spell.

If you were a bearded human, you shaved your beard off (aka: lost that part of your body), and then turned into a dwarf, you sure will have a beard.

Nowhere does the spell state otherwise, or even hint at it.

Beards and limbs are not the same thing.

Silver Crusade

AvalonXQ wrote:

That's right. Otherwise you get into some confusing situations.

For example, what if you've had your arm chopped off and you turn into a dragon? Are you missing a wing or a claw or both?

And apparently if a zero-legged merfolk uses Alter Self he gets two legs, but if a one-legged creature uses it he only gets one leg.

That would actually be a DM's decision because the spell doesn't say anything about regaining lost limbs. You are assuming it does but the RAW doesn't say otherwise.


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shallowsoul wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

Someone in another thread is claim that someone can just use "Alter Self" or a "Hat of Disguise" to regrow that lost limb for the duration of the spell or as long as they wear the hat and I think this is bogus. I see nothing in the spell that says a lost limb is replaced, even temporarily.

Hopefully a designer could shed some light on this.

A hat of disguise could make it appear the limb wasn't lost. That's an illusion. Alter self can in fact grow limbs to make you match the creature that you turn into, and doesn't have any special checks for what sorts of limbs the base creature has. A woman could turn into a man, a man into a lizardfolk, a lizardfolk into a strix, a strix into a merfolk. You gain the gross physical characteristics of the new form, complete with natural attacks and movement forms.

It doesn't matter what your base form is. A merfolk druid for example could transform into a polar bear (no legs to 4 legs) with beast shape I via Wildshape. A strix has wings, but can transform into a human (no wings). A man could transform into a woman, or vice versa (they have slightly different extremities). A human could transform into a lizardfolk and get 2 claws and 1 bite attack.

Show me where it says you can grow lost limbs with Alter Self. I have read the description for the spell and the Polymorph section and it's not there.

Perhaps you could show us where it implies the condition of the target's base form is relevant to the effect of the spell. That's typically untrue of polymorph-esque spells considering it changes the base form into something else entirely. Where do the considerations end, for example if the base form has burn scars all over it's body does the altered form as well?


If I alter self from 1 armed human into a creature with 2 claw attacks I get 2 arms with claw attacks, hence I can alter self from 1 armed human to 2 armed human and gain the +2 ST bonus as well as having 2 arms.

Remember alter self explicitly says you lose all physical aspects of your current form (which includes the fact you are missing a limb) and instead gain all physical aspects of the form you select.

This one isnt even up for debate, by RAW and RAI it works exactly as mentioned in the other thread.

Silver Crusade

Michael Foster 989 wrote:

If I alter self from 1 armed human into a creature with 2 claw attacks I get 2 arms with claw attacks, hence I can alter self from 1 armed human to 2 armed human and gain the +2 ST bonus as well as having 2 arms.

Remember alter self explicitly says you lose all physical aspects of your current form (which includes the fact you are missing a limb) and instead gain all physical aspects of the form you select.

This one isnt even up for debate, by RAW and RAI it works exactly as mentioned in the other thread.

Where does it say you lose all physical aspects of your physical self?

Alter Self
School transmutation (polymorph); Level bard 2, sorcerer/wizard 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a piece of the creature whose form you plan
to assume)
Range personal
Target you
Duration 1 min./level (D)
When you cast this spell, you can assume the form of any
Small or Medium creature of the humanoid type. If the form
you assume has any of the following abilities, you gain the
listed ability: darkvision 60 feet, low-light vision, scent, and
swim 30 feet.
Small creature: If the form you take is that of a Small humanoid,
you gain a +2 size bonus to your Dexterity.
Medium creature: If the form you take is that of a Medium
humanoid, you gain a +2 size bonus to your Strength.


Shallowsoul right here:

CRB p212 wrote:
While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function. While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed. Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form.

- Gauss


The rules don't state explicitly one way or the other. However, this line from the Polymorph Subschool entry seems to suggest that your limbs are based on the form of the creature type you become.

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

I'd suggest that a generic human, elf, half-elf, half-orc, orc or other humanoid has 2 arms and 2 legs.

Dark Archive

Gauss wrote:

Shallowsoul right here:

CRB p212 wrote:
While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function. While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed. Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form.
- Gauss

Actually Gauss the most important line from what you just quoted is right here.

Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form.

Here it DOES state it can restore you lost abilities from your old form.


Mathwei ap Niall, good catch. I was just responding to Shallowsouls question about physical aspects.

- Gauss

Silver Crusade

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Gauss wrote:

Shallowsoul right here:

CRB p212 wrote:
While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function. While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed. Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form.
- Gauss

Actually Gauss the most important line from what you just quoted is right here.

Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form.

Here it DOES state it can restore you lost abilities from your old form.

First of all, fists and feet are not natural attacks and movement has nothing to do with this. A person with one leg can still move. It's talking about things like swimming and burrowing.

It states "nothing" about restoring limbs or anything like that. You are interpreting the description wrong. Keen Senses, Darkvision, and Scent have nothing to do with regrowing limbs.

You, and a few others, are trying to read into the spell more than what it can actually do.


It is not RAW to take your handicap with you to another form though I can see a point being made, afterall you use the same basic physical scores implying that the creature you turn into is comparatively similar.

A strong warrior would turn into a strong elf, a weezing 4 con elf would turn into another humanoid in the same condition, presumably still having underdeveloped lungs and an exceedingly frail build. However I'd not roll that way, many beneficial form functions like natural armor and extra limbs do not get 'translated' to the new form either so why would a handicap be an exception ? Best to stick to RAW here in my opinion.

Silver Crusade

Gauss wrote:

Mathwei ap Niall, good catch. I was just responding to Shallowsouls question about physical aspects.

- Gauss

He didn't catch anything. All he did was repeat what you said with no further insight into the discussion.

Silver Crusade

Remco Sommeling wrote:

It is not RAW to take your handicap with you to another form though I can see a point being made, afterall you use the same basic physical scores implying that the creature you turn into is comparatively similar.

A strong warrior would turn into a strong elf, a weezing 4 con elf would turn into another humanoid in the same condition, presumably still having underdeveloped lungs and an exceedingly frail build. However I'd not roll that way, many beneficial form functions like natural armor and extra limbs do not get 'translated' to the new form either so why would a handicap be an exception ? Best to stick to RAW here in my opinion.

There is no "RAW" that says it doesn't go with you. It's not best to stick with the RAW when the RAW doesn't even back you up on the supposed "temporary regenerate".

Best thing to do is FAQ it and let the devs decide. Or are we all scared they may say it doesn't?


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Why did you start this thread, Shallowsoul, if you were never willing to even consider other peoples' thoughts?


Shallowsoul, it is clear that you are taking the stance of 'it doesn't specify you regrow thus it doesn't happen' while many others (myself included) is stating 'it specifies you are a standard issue critter of the type indicated'.

I do not believe there is any rule that will clearly indicate to you that polymorph replaces your body in its entirety with a new one. Nor is there any rule that will clearly indicate that you carry your pre-existing physical handicaps over into the new form. A case can be made for either.

- Gauss


Ravingdork, you know Shallowsoul does this. Why do we respond to his posts? Perhaps we derive some amusement in arguing with him? *shrugs*

- Gauss

Dark Archive

shallowsoul wrote:
Gauss wrote:

Mathwei ap Niall, good catch. I was just responding to Shallowsouls question about physical aspects.

- Gauss

He didn't catch anything. All he did was repeat what you said with no further insight into the discussion.

At this point most of us will probably say you have already decided that you don't want this spell to to work in your games and this conversation is no longer productive, and that's OK. Run your game however you like and never be afraid to stick to your guns as long as your players are having fun.

Those of us on this side of the argument will simply look at the dozens of other examples of this spell growing/changing limbs and be ok with it.
It's a maximum of about 30 minutes a day that you get the limb back so... eh, not game breaking in anyway.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Let's count the number of times the word "limbs" is used in this thread.

But seriously, does a "generic member" of a race come with missing body parts? Nope.

Also, if you want to interpret it this way, "you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form" would seem to imply that yea, you are definitely changing everything about your previous body. You can even justify the penalties associated with a missing arm as an extraordinary ability, if you'd like.

We also need to consider where else the argument for not growing limbs back might take us. At what point does your normal form cease to affect your altered one? If I don't have a finger, can I not grow that back? Does it work in reverse? What if I have eyes, but polymorph into a creature which doesn't? Do I keep my eyes? What if I don't have eyebrows? Can I never have polymorphed eyebrows? I don't have a tail as a human, why can I grow that appendage? Is it only the case of amputated limbs that prevent me from growing them in a new form? What if I were said Merfolk druid, and someone cut my fins off. Would that alter my form at all when I turn into a four-legged mammal? I think the polymorph section states pretty clearly that you are changing your whole form, in every aspect.

Most importantly, however, is the repetition of Rule 0 further down the page: "While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed." You can rule it however you want, (but your players will probably think you're a jerk).

And I seriously doubt the devs give a crap about this particular issue. Rule 0 is there so you can put on your big boy pants and make the call yourself. If they had every single situation possible covered in the rules, the book would be impossibly long.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Why did you start this thread, Shallowsoul, if you were never willing to even consider other peoples' thoughts?

Apparently it was a "devs only" question. We've been duped.


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To tell you the truth, I would probably adjudicate it the same as shallowsoul.

Polymorph spells don't generally heal wounds, cure diseases, or eliminate afflictions. If a rogue hit you with a bleeding attack, I wouldn't let you stop bleeding because you cast Alter Self; neither would I allow you to ignore deafness/blindness or a dose of poison just because you'd shifted your form.

So, in my game, I would probably rule that getting your limb chopped off is a "wound" or "affliction" that you will carry with you into whatever form you polymorph into, until you find some way to heal it. The same if you get your eye gouged out or whatnot.


shallowsoul wrote:
Remco Sommeling wrote:

It is not RAW to take your handicap with you to another form though I can see a point being made, afterall you use the same basic physical scores implying that the creature you turn into is comparatively similar.

A strong warrior would turn into a strong elf, a weezing 4 con elf would turn into another humanoid in the same condition, presumably still having underdeveloped lungs and an exceedingly frail build. However I'd not roll that way, many beneficial form functions like natural armor and extra limbs do not get 'translated' to the new form either so why would a handicap be an exception ? Best to stick to RAW here in my opinion.

There is no "RAW" that says it doesn't go with you. It's not best to stick with the RAW when the RAW doesn't even back you up on the supposed "temporary regenerate".

Best thing to do is FAQ it and let the devs decide. Or are we all scared they may say it doesn't?

There is no regenerate, you just change shape into a new form. As an aside I was just giving my opinion, Im not telling you how to run your game.

Now you could turn into alot of shapes without any arms and there wouldn't be any significant effect, an armless creature might turn into a humanoid and gain two entirely new arms. Why then can't a creature that used to have two arms get them ? Perhaps you feel that the handicap is too easily bypassed if so I'd say call it as you see it and say it doesn't work.

I do not see devs jumping back in to answer many FAQ's since it is a rather unrewarding task with little gratitude to be had, get used to make some judgement calls.


Not a bad thought AvalaonXQ, quite a rational counter-argument. Thank you for that. In fact, I'll have to give it a lot of thought.

- Gauss


AvalonXQ wrote:

To tell you the truth, I would probably adjudicate it the same as shallowsoul.

Polymorph spells don't generally heal wounds, cure diseases, or eliminate afflictions. If a rogue hit you with a bleeding attack, I wouldn't let you stop bleeding because you cast Alter Self; neither would I allow you to ignore deafness/blindness or a dose of poison just because you'd shifted your form.

So, in my game, I would probably rule that getting your limb chopped off is a "wound" or "affliction" that you will carry with you into whatever form you polymorph into, until you find some way to heal it. The same if you get your eye gouged out or whatnot.

A fair way to judge it I suppose though it only really works as long as you polymorph into a form with similar appendages. It gives me something to think about, I would probably like it better if your condition gets translated to other forms if possible... mostly because it makes for a better story telling/imagined scene.

Silver Crusade

Remco Sommeling wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Remco Sommeling wrote:

It is not RAW to take your handicap with you to another form though I can see a point being made, afterall you use the same basic physical scores implying that the creature you turn into is comparatively similar.

A strong warrior would turn into a strong elf, a weezing 4 con elf would turn into another humanoid in the same condition, presumably still having underdeveloped lungs and an exceedingly frail build. However I'd not roll that way, many beneficial form functions like natural armor and extra limbs do not get 'translated' to the new form either so why would a handicap be an exception ? Best to stick to RAW here in my opinion.

There is no "RAW" that says it doesn't go with you. It's not best to stick with the RAW when the RAW doesn't even back you up on the supposed "temporary regenerate".

Best thing to do is FAQ it and let the devs decide. Or are we all scared they may say it doesn't?

There is no regenerate, you just change shape into a new form. As an aside I was just giving my opinion, Im not telling you how to run your game.

Now you could turn into alot of shapes without any arms and there wouldn't be any significant effect, an armless creature might turn into a humanoid and gain two entirely new arms. Why then can't a creature that used to have two arms get them ? Perhaps you feel that the handicap is too easily bypassed if so I'd say call it as you see it and say it doesn't work.

I do not see devs jumping back in to answer many FAQ's since it is a rather unrewarding task with little gratitude to be had, get used to make some judgement calls.

Never having arms to begin with isn't the same as having one cut off.

Hopefully, if enough people tick the FAQ, then the devs may answer.

Silver Crusade

Ravingdork wrote:
Why did you start this thread, Shallowsoul, if you were never willing to even consider other peoples' thoughts?

Because it's a thread that was designed to bring this issue to the attention of the devs. You can give your opinion sure but this needs to be answered by the devs since RAW isn't clear.


That's what you want? The personal attention of the devs?

I'd prefer they continue working on developing new products than answer questions other board members have already covered quite nicely.

Silver Crusade

Gilman the Dog wrote:

That's what you want? The personal attention of the devs?

I'd prefer they continue working on developing new products than answer questions other board members have already covered quite nicely.

They haven't covered it. Try reading the spell and the section on Polymorph.

I'd rather the game be cleaned up than to keep piling on questionable rules.

Liberty's Edge

Ravingdork wrote:
Why did you start this thread, Shallowsoul, if you were never willing to even consider other peoples' thoughts?

To get a Dev ruling I assume. Since that was what he said in the first post.


So then Shallowsoul by your logic then answer me this.

What happens if a human used Shapechange, just a more powerful version of Alter Self, turning himself into an Assassin Vine?

Keep in mind the human in question has lost both legs and the uses the spell. What would happen? Would he not transform into a fully formed Assassin Vine?

By your logic the Assassin Vine should be missing parts? How do you decide what vines are missing?

Or perhaps it might make more sense that when using the poly-morph type spells that it doesn't much matter the original form and more about what they transform into.

Silver Crusade

Brain in a Jar wrote:

So then Shallowsoul by your logic then answer me this.

What happens if a human used Shapechange, just a more powerful version of Alter Self, turning himself into an Assassin Vine?

Keep in mind the human in question has lost both legs and the uses the spell. What would happen? Would he not transform into a fully formed Assassin Vine?

By your logic the Assassin Vine should be missing parts? How do you decide what vines are missing?

Or perhaps it might make more sense that when using the poly-morph type spells that it doesn't much matter the original form and more about what they transform into.

Not the same thing because an Assassin Vine doesn't have limbs.

The description of the spell is clear.

The rules for Polymorph are not.

If you were missing an arm but you turned into a dog then that would be fine because dogs don't have arms, they have legs. Now if you were missing a leg then the form could be missing a leg as well.


limb 1 (lm)
n.
1. One of the larger branches of a tree.
2. One of the jointed appendages of an animal, such as an arm, leg, wing, or flipper, used for locomotion or grasping.
3. An extension or a projecting part, as of a building or mountain range.
4. One that is considered to be an extension, member, or representative of a larger body or group.

I'm fairly sure the number 2 posting under the definition of limb should make it clear that yes an Assassin Vine does have some sort of limb(s).

So again i ask you Shallowsoul the same question.

Liberty's Edge

@Brain in a Jar -

If I can speak for the other side, the answer is "I don't know, but it seems sketchy to let this other spell have such a fortuitous seemingly unintended consequence, so I'm going to ask a Dev by posting a thread and FAQing it."

When did doing this become a bad thing? It is almost as if asking the Devs for guidance is attacking someone who thinks they know the answer.

It's an open question, hence the FAQ.

Silver Crusade

ciretose wrote:

@Brain in a Jar -

If I can speak for the other side, the answer is "I don't know, but it seems sketchy to let this other spell have such a fortuitous seemingly unintended consequence, so I'm going to ask a Dev by posting a thread and FAQing it."

When did doing this become a bad thing? It is almost as if asking the Devs for guidance is attacking someone who thinks they know the answer.

It's an open question, hence the FAQ.

Because I think some people are afraid the devs will mess up something they thought was good.


I'm not trying to "attack" anyone that is not my intent. I only mean to pose a simple question following his logic for why he thinks it works like that.

If a caster was missing a limb and used a poly-morph type spell then why should they "lose" limbs in the new form? If that was the intent don't you think it would be in the spell description that missing "limbs" stayed missing no matter the form taken.

There are plenty of creatures that you can transform into using the various poly-morph type spells that ruin the logic of missing limbs stay missing.


I would have to agree with the general logic that since a polymorph spell could add two new limbs, wings, and a tail, having it "replace" a missing limb doesn't seem like too big of a stretch.

On the other hand, as I recall regaining a lost limb normally takes a Regenerate spell. Letting someone replicate the effects of a 7th level spell with a 2nd level spell does seem a bit iffy.


I also don't see what the big deal is with this. You cast the spell and for the duration you aren't missing thew limb, but once the spell is over you revert to your old form and continue not having that limb.


This boils down to GM flavor.

I would probably rule that "alter self" turns a human with a missing hand into an elf with a missing hand. Just because I must be some sort of hard-ass GM I suppose. It just fits the flavor to me.

In the general sense that spells should not replace higher level spells, "alter self" should not replace "regenerate".

But for me it's really about flavor. The magic of the spell replicates as closely as possible a version of your character in a new form. So that one-eyed, peg-legged, hook-handed human pirate turns into a one-eyed, peg-legged, hook-handed orc.

But if a GM wants to rule otherwise, that's cool too.


In my game, I'd allow the use of Alter Self to restore the limb - the duration is only one minute per caster level.

It's also a clever use of the spell and I enjoy clever play. In fact, I think I'll use it on the party. A spy, posing as a beggar with no legs. (For a few minutes.)

Thanks for the idea Shadowsoul.

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