Polymorphing and weapon enhancement bonus


Rules Questions


Does a wielded weapon's enhancement bonus apply to any natural attacks after a polymorph which melds gear into my body?

Say I'm an Arcane bloodrager with a +2 Furious greatsword. At level 16, I get a bloodline power that allows me to apply the effects of Form of the Dragon I to myself. Polymorph says:

Quote:
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.

So, my sword melds into my dragon body. It provides a constant bonus to the sword, which has been melded into my body and is now part of my polymorphed form. Do my natural attacks (bite, claw x2, talon x2) get the enhancement bonus? Does the Furious bonus provide a constant bonus (but only to creatures in a rage), or is it a bonus that is "activated" by the rage?


I would say no. The bonus provided by armor and shield is similar in nature to attack bonus provided by a weapon enhancement.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

To answer your question quickly... NO. Your sword is essentially non-existent for all intents and purposes while you are in dragon form.


If you are not wielding the sword you do not get the bonus. A weapon enchant isn't a constant bonus, it is only there when wielding it. When you polymorph it melds and is not wieldable, it won't effect your natural attacks at all.


No. You are no longer using the sword and can't gain the effects of it.

The following is the Activation for a magic weapon.

"Activation: Usually a character benefits from a magic weapon in the same way a character benefits from a mundane weapon—by wielding (attacking with) it. If a weapon has a special ability that the user needs to activate, then the user usually needs to utter a command word (a standard action). A character can activate the special abilities of 50 pieces of ammunition at the same time, assuming each piece has identical abilities."

If you polymorph you aren't using the weapon anymore. You are attacking with natural attacks (bites, claws etc). If you want Furious while polymorphed you would want a Amulet of Mighty Fists.


Bradley Mickle wrote:
I would say no. The bonus provided by armor and shield is similar in nature to attack bonus provided by a weapon enhancement.

Similar in many ways, but dissimilar in that a) armor and shield bonuses are specifically called out in the polymorph rules and b) armor and shields have the "Wild" enchantment which lets you use them.

LazarX wrote:
To answer your question quickly... NO. Your sword is essentially non-existent for all intents and purposes while you are in dragon form.

The text doesn't support this. The text of polymorph says that it is melded into my dragon form, and its constant bonuses take effect.

Rhaleroad wrote:
If you are not wielding the sword you do not get the bonus. A weapon enchant isn't a constant bonus, it is only there when wielding it. When you polymorph it melds and is not wieldable, it won't effect your natural attacks at all.

Again, while the sword isn't a sword anymore, it is melded into my current form. If my sword turned into a claw, wouldn't that claw have an enhancement bonus?

Brain in a Jar wrote:

No. You are no longer using the sword and can't gain the effects of it.

The following is the Activation for a magic weapon.

"Activation: Usually a character benefits from a magic weapon in the same way a character benefits from a mundane weapon—by wielding (attacking with) it. If a weapon has a special ability that the user needs to activate, then the user usually needs to utter a command word (a standard action). A character can activate the special abilities of 50 pieces of ammunition at the same time, assuming each piece has identical abilities."

If you polymorph you aren't using the weapon anymore. You are attacking with natural attacks (bites, claws etc). If you want Furious while polymorphed you would want a Amulet of Mighty Fists.

The weapon becomes part of your shapeshifted body and a natural attack is an attack with part of your shapeshifted body. The definition of wield in the context above is "attack with". Are you attacking with what the sword turned into? Then yes, you're wielding it.


Allev wrote:
Brain in a Jar wrote:

No. You are no longer using the sword and can't gain the effects of it.

The following is the Activation for a magic weapon.

"Activation: Usually a character benefits from a magic weapon in the same way a character benefits from a mundane weapon—by wielding (attacking with) it. If a weapon has a special ability that the user needs to activate, then the user usually needs to utter a command word (a standard action). A character can activate the special abilities of 50 pieces of ammunition at the same time, assuming each piece has identical abilities."

If you polymorph you aren't using the weapon anymore. You are attacking with natural attacks (bites, claws etc). If you want Furious while polymorphed you would want a Amulet of Mighty Fists.

The weapon becomes part of your shapeshifted body and a natural attack is an attack with part of your shapeshifted body. The definition of...

No. That is not how it works.

The sword has melded with your form is not the same as the sword becomes a natural attack. A sword has an activation as i have shown in the rules.

You are not attacking with a sword. You are attacking with a bite, claw, etc.


No, that's not how it works Allev. It doesn't meld into your body and become your natural attack.

The sword has an enhancement bonus that only applies to attacks made with the sword. Once the sword is melded it is no longer the sword and is no longer accessible (including it's magic). This is the part about activation in the polymorph rules.

If you want to have an enhancement to your natural attacks while polymorphed you will need an amulet of mighty fists.


I see now. The fact that a magic weapon has an explicit Activation text is what disables the bonus during polymorph. It's strange how weapons are explicitly different from most other items in that way.

Thanks for helping me see what's going on. It's a shame that True Arcane Bloodrage is near worthless without trading your weapon for an amulet.

Can you use Greater Magic Fang/Permanence to add an enhancement bonus onto your polymorphed form? Does it come back every time you raged into that form?


Allev wrote:

I see now. The fact that a magic weapon has an explicit Activation text is what disables the bonus during polymorph. It's strange how weapons are explicitly different from most other items in that way.

Thanks for helping me see what's going on. It's a shame that True Arcane Bloodrage is near worthless without trading your weapon for an amulet.

Can you use Greater Magic Fang/Permanence to add an enhancement bonus onto your polymorphed form? Does it come back every time you raged into that form?

You can't use it because the sword is not availible for use, and there is no rule saying the enhancement bonuses on one weapon apply to another weapon or to a creature's body.

Permanent Magic Fang would not bypass damage reduction, so you would still need the AoMF, but to answer you question the magic would be there for you when you attacked from any from that had natural attacks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This would make a great weapon ability though.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

There was a class in 3.5 Daggerspell Shaper that got something similar to this. They could incorporate magic items into their wildshape and the enhancement bonus on their daggers applied to their natural attack.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Allev wrote:
I see now. The fact that a magic weapon has an explicit Activation text is what disables the bonus during polymorph.

While true, that isn't why you can't do this.

You can't gain any benefit of the sword while polymorphed because you are not using the sword to attack. You are using your natural weapons.

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