Does The Doppelganger's Alter Self Change Creature Type?


Rules Questions


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Not that I'm a doppelganger. Just asking for a friend. If a druid turns into a bear, can you still cast enlarge person on him? If a doppelganger turns into a halfling, is daze a foolproof test for it?

EDIT: I'm no longer debating this because everyone else is wrong because I realized I was probably wrong. It is in need of an FAQ, though I'm sure it won't get one because nothing ever gets one except g&*&%%n Crane Strike.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Not that I'm a doppelganger. Just asking for a friend.

I've seen you turn into a tiny three-apples-high humanoid several times.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Alright, dug up the answer.

CRB wrote:
When you cast a polymorph spell that changes you into a creature of the animal, dragon, elemental, magical beast, plant or vermin type, all your gear melds into your body.

That pretty definitively confirms that you are changing into a creature of the type. I solved my own problem!


Um...I'm pretty sure your type does not actually change.


Avoron wrote:
Um...I'm pretty sure your type does not actually change.

Yeah:

Paizo PRD: Universal Monster Rules wrote:
Change Shape (Su) A creature with this special quality has the ability to assume the appearance of a specific creature or type of creature (usually a humanoid), but retains most of its own physical qualities. The creature cannot change shape to a form more than one size category smaller or larger than its original form. This ability functions as a polymorph spell, the type of which is listed in the creature's description, but the creature does not adjust its ability scores (although it gains any other abilities of the creature it mimics). Unless otherwise stated, it can remain in an alternate form indefinitely. Some creatures, such as lycanthropes, can transform into unique forms with special modifiers and abilities. These creatures do adjust their ability scores, as noted in their descriptions.


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

Ah, here we go.
James Jacobs has said that you don't
here
and
here
but I hear he doesn't like to be quoted as a rules source.

I got these from this thread.

If anyone knows of other sources confirming this, that would be great, but this is enough for me.


Personally, I don't regard James's comments as anything more than his personal interpretation. If I gave them more weight, I'd have to take back my ordinary policies on monstrous PCs, too. ;D

The rules don't give a clear answer either way. I see my quote as pretty clear, but it's evident that Ambrosia sees his as pretty clear as well. Unless Paizo decides to make an official FAQ on it (and they probably should), I'm going to go with the common sense ruling that prevents shapeshifters from being exposed with cantrips. ;)


Polymorph spells don't change a creature's type (that would make a few special abilities that allow you to take on a creature's type when using polymorph spells redundant).

"While these spells make you appear to be the creature, granting you a +10 bonus on Disguise skill checks, they do not grant you all of the abilities and powers of the creature"

Polymorph spells would be a lot more powerful if they worked as you think.

Undead Anatomy granting immunity to all mind affecting effects, for instance.


You mean if they worked as you used to think before James Jacobs's post? :P

I haven't seen those special abilities, which do seem like they would settle the matter. I'm probably going to keep running my game the old way, though, if only to avoid cheap suspense killers. If it turns out this is "canon", I'll even add something to the House Rules Document.


Polymorph Spells do not alter your type. The line you cherry picked is saying that if the spell gives you one of those forms what happens to your equipment. Nothing more.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Not that I'm a doppelganger. Just asking for a friend. If a druid turns into a bear, can you still cast enlarge person on him? If a doppelganger turns into a halfling, is daze a foolproof test for it?

You can't cast enlarge person on a polymorphed target anyway.

Quote:
You can only be affected by one polymorph spell at a time. If a new polymorph spell is cast on you (or you activate a polymorph effect, such as wild shape), you can decide whether or not to allow it to affect you, taking the place of the old spell. In addition, other spells that change your size have no effect on you while you are under the effects of a polymorph spell.

Grand Lodge

3.5's Polymorph spells explicitly changed your creature type. The language that allowed this was removed in the changeover to Pathfinder.


Abraham spalding wrote:
Polymorph Spells do not alter your type. The line you cherry picked is saying that if the spell gives you one of those forms what happens to your equipment. Nothing more.

You mean the only line that gives anything close to an answer? That's not cherrypicking, it's diamonddigging.

I'm not talking about the equipment part of it, I'm talking about it clearly stating that you change into a creature of that type. Now, that reads clear to me, it doesn't to others. Which is why I'm conceding that this is going to come down to individual rulings until there's an FAQ. For my game, my ruling works better because it keeps there from being easy solutions. Most will probably run with the more intuitive answer, though.


The thing about your quote is that it refers to a spell that "changes you into a creature of the animal, dragon, elemental, magical beast, plant or vermin type."

Just because you turn into a creature with X quality doesn't mean you get X quality to.

Similar wording is used in descriptions like "If the creature has immunity or resistance to any elements, you gain resistance 20 to those elements."

You turn into a creature with immunity, but you don't get immunity.

You turn into a creature with the animal type, but you don't get the animal type.

Generally, in Pathfinder, you get absolutely nothing from polymorph spells except what the rules explicitly tell you that you get.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
You mean if they worked as you used to think before James Jacobs's post? :P

Umm...no. I have never thought Polymorph spells altered type. I believe they worked that way in 3.5, but not in Pathfinder for certain.

There is an explicit rule somewhere as I recall, but I can't find it currently.

I'm a bit confused as to how it could ever be considered a "suspense killer", however.


Jeff Merola wrote:
3.5's Polymorph spells explicitly changed your creature type. The language that allowed this was removed in the changeover to Pathfinder.

Ahhh. That probably explains something. The adventure I'm running used to be 3.5. I'm sure Pathfinder had good reasons for making the change, though.

I'll probably just make an exception for doppelgangers, or even just these doppelgangers. Actually, I can even think of a good in-game reason that would work. That way, there's no rulebending, and the "easy solution" remains avoided. Everybody wins! Except the PCs. Sorry, Farrukh. :P

I apologize if I came off as overly stubborn or "cherrypicking" in this thread. I was trying to find a way to make this work with what had already been set up. Thanks to everyone for your help.


Rynjin wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
You mean if they worked as you used to think before James Jacobs's post? :P
Umm...no. I have never thought Polymorph spells altered type. I believe they worked that way in 3.5, but not in Pathfinder for certain.

Sorry, this is what I was going with. I may have misunderstood, though.


Give me a bit -- I've been over this part before, let me find the posts.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
You mean if they worked as you used to think before James Jacobs's post? :P
Umm...no. I have never thought Polymorph spells altered type. I believe they worked that way in 3.5, but not in Pathfinder for certain.
Sorry, this is what I was going with. I may have misunderstood, though.

That was posted about a week or two after I started playing Pathfinder. My understanding of the rules was much, much worse. =)


Abraham, someone's already linked the James Jacobs stuff if that's what you mean. Also, see my timely edit. I'm pretty much saying, "Yeah, you're all probably right."


Rynjin wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
You mean if they worked as you used to think before James Jacobs's post? :P
Umm...no. I have never thought Polymorph spells altered type. I believe they worked that way in 3.5, but not in Pathfinder for certain.
Sorry, this is what I was going with. I may have misunderstood, though.
That was posted about a week or two after I started playing Pathfinder. My understanding of the rules was much, much worse. =)

Ah, gotcha. I've no place to throw stones—it's not hard to find some of my more embarrassing posts. Considering every post I made before 2012ish was absolutely terrible in the worst of ways.


Relevant Rules:

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 +10 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.

In addition to these benefits, you gain any of the natural attacks of the base creature, including proficiency in those attacks. These attacks are based on your base attack bonus, modified by your Strength or Dexterity as appropriate, and use your Strength modifier for determining damage bonuses.

If a polymorph spell causes you to change size, apply the size modifiers appropriately, changing your armor class, attack bonus, Combat Maneuver Bonus, and Stealth skill modifiers. Your ability scores are not modified by this change unless noted by the spell.

Unless otherwise noted, polymorph spells cannot be used to change into specific individuals. Although many of the fine details can be controlled, your appearance is always that of a generic member of that creature's type. Polymorph spells cannot be used to assume the form of a creature with a template or an advanced version of a creature.

When you cast a polymorph spell that changes you into a creature of the animal, dragon, elemental, magical beast, plant, or vermin type, all of your gear melds into your body. Items that provide constant bonuses and do not need to be activated continue to function while melded in this way (with the exception of armor and shield bonuses, which cease to function). Items that require activation cannot be used while you maintain that form. While in such a form, you cannot cast any spells that require material components (unless you have the Eschew Materials or Natural Spell feat), and can only cast spells with somatic or verbal components if the form you choose has the capability to make such movements or speak, such as a dragon. Other polymorph spells might be subject to this restriction as well, if they change you into a form that is unlike your original form (subject to GM discretion). If your new form does not cause your equipment to meld into your form, the equipment resizes to match your new size.

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.

You can only be affected by one polymorph spell at a time. If a new polymorph spell is cast on you (or you activate a polymorph effect, such as wild shape), you can decide whether or not to allow it to affect you, taking the place of the old spell. In addition, other spells that change your size have no effect on you while you are under the effects of a polymorph spell.

If a polymorph spell is cast on a creature that is smaller than Small or larger than Medium, first adjust its ability scores to one of these two sizes using the following table before applying the bonuses granted by the polymorph spell. (see Table: Ability Adjustments from Size Changes)

Now spells grant you nothing they don't state they grant. Polymorph spells grant you the shape, of the form. No polymorph spell changes your actual type. Basically you put on a 'magic suit of look and act like [creature x]' -- I'm still digging through all the posts -- takes some time to find the old stuff.

The line in question is simply a poor choice of words.


Found it


No Worries KC, I was hunting for these posts for someone I know anyways -- I only noticed this thread because it was a polymorph type question when I was looking for polymorph stuff already.


You must be better at searching than I am, then! XD


Well it does help if you know they exist before you are looking for them.

Much easier to pick a keyword when you typed the post before then when you are going "Did someone ask this before?"

Liberty's Edge

Abraham spalding wrote:
Polymorph Spells do not alter your type. The line you cherry picked is saying that if the spell gives you one of those forms what happens to your equipment. Nothing more.

For the record, I'm the one that cherry-picked it.

I agree, though; it's probably just poor wording.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

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You don't become the type of the new form.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Oh, really? Glad we've got that settled.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Oh, really? Glad we've got that settled.

No problem!

;-)

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