Polymorphing your expectations


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Wow. That's pretty cool.

Xenocrat wrote:
4. Adequate Stealth Build using Polymorph 3: small (+1 to all dex skills), Draelik racial trait Lurker (+4 stealth in dim light or darkness), Lashunta racial trait Student (+2 racial to Stealth plus one other skill of your choice). Gives you a total of +7 to Stealth if you aren't in normal/bright light.

You need polymorph 4 to start mixing racial traits in one form. Otherwise they all need to be from the same race.


Do you? I thought P3 gave two special abilities and a limit of two racial traits. What prevents mixing?

Edit: Oh, I see. Right there in the spell description.

So you also need P4 to do the Ultimate Lucky Reroll build. I guess Probability Prediction still has a role to play, but a P3 form can still take one of those reroll abilities. As can a P2. With Polymorph Adept you can squeeze out a crazy number of rerolls from one casting if you build it into enough forms and can afford the standard actions across the total duration.


7. Anacite Predator Drone (specific creature) Polymorph 5 form: Construct, Large, 40' fly (average), natural weapon (horn, P), ability 1: Automatic Laser, ability 2: Target Lock, ability 3: Electric Ray, ability 4 (bonus from specific creature): Darkvision 60' and low light vision. Unfortunately you can't take blindsight or tracking because they depend on heat, which isn't an allowed modality for those abilities via Polymorph. (Edit: or you can, take them as an “other ability” instead of a sense option. If you can do that you could also buy perfect flight 60’ instead of the free slow and clumsy version.)

This allows you to have some elemental ranged combat ability. You're two CR behind your cap (10 vs 12) so I don't know this compares to weapons you'd otherwise have, other than being free. The laser is at least automatic without any ammo concerns. Spray 5 guys within 60' every round for 4d4+CR (are you capped at 10?) F damage. Better in some ways than a fire cone breath weapon option.


8. Mi-Go (specific creature) Polymorph 5 form: plant (mystic only), medium, 40' fly (average), natural weapon (claw, S), ability 1: Grab, ability 2: evisceration, ability 3: Blindsight 15' (vibration) (if you're restricted to the Polymorph sense ability, 30' if you can directly grab it as an "other ability"), ability 4 (bonus from specific creature): Resistance 10 to cold, fire, electricity.

If you're a plant PC race you can even retain your weapons, hold a one handed ranged weapon, natural attack with your empty hand, and if you grapple something go to town with a full attack next round hoping for some autocrit (with severe wound) evisceration hits. Since this form is mystic only, you can also combine with Hold Person/Monster to use evisceration on helpless creatures.


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9. Silly Hekatonkheires Titan Polymorph 6 form: huge, Kasatha racial trait Four Armed, Skittermander racial trait six armed, Quorlu racial trait Multiarmed (3).

Your GM probably might not let them stack, and I don't know what you'd do with 13 arms anyway, but go wild.


Polymorph II used to grant the Skittermander's Hyper racial ability (one free move action per day), a free movement boost, a size-based +1 to dex or str skills, and either a sense or minor defensive resistance seems like a solid spell ampoule for 700 credits for classes that have lots of special uses for move actions in combat.

Technomancer's will want to cast this on themselves (combo with Polymorph Adept to swap to something else once you burn the move action) to feed their Empowered Weapon hack and still pull of a full attack. And while I think Quickened Spell is a garbage ability that costs way too much resolve, this racial ability combined with that hack would let you pull off three spells in one turn.


10. Guaranteed save insurance Polymorph 4 form: Contemplative racial trait Applied Knowledge, Damai racial trait Scrappy.

Applied Knowledge wrote:
Once per day before attempting a skill check or saving throw against a creature, a contemplative can use its bonus for the skill associated with that creature’s type (such as Life Science for an ooze or Mysticism for an outsider) in place of its normal bonus.

This is insane. At 10th level your normal saves are generally +3/7 + attribute + enhancement (maybe) + 2 feat bonus (maybe). Your skills can easily be 13 (ranks plus class skill) + attribute + insight bonus (maybe) + 2 racial bonus (maybe). So much better. Optimized, you'll make even tough saves against the right creatures on everything but a 1.

Scrappy wrote:
Generations of living together in underground shelters and under the constant threat of enormous creatures have taught damais to work together against all odds. Once per day, as long as an ally is within 10 feet, a damai can reroll a failed attack roll or saving throw.

Insurance against that 1, as well as additional protection after you've used your Applied Knowledge.

At spell level 5 you can add the Halfling racial trait Halfing Luck for a +1 racial bonus to all saving throws.

11. Ultimate stealth Polymorph 5 form: tiny size (+2 to dex skills), Draelik racial trait Lurker (+4 untyped stealth bonus in dim light/darkness), any of several racial traits that give stealth as a bonus (+2 racial to Stealth), Tiefling racial trait Fiendish Gloom (lower light level by one around you).

Gives +8 to stealth as long as you're not in bright light, stacks with insight bonuses as an Operative or from skill focus.

12. Ping Pong melee Polymorph 5 form: tiny (+2 to dex skills), Ferran racial trait Momentum (+level damage on first melee attack after moving 10'), Uplifted Bear racial trait Ferocious Charge (charge without penalty), Ysoki racial trait Moxie (+5 racial to tumble through the space of anything larger).

Charge around with a big damage unwieldy weapon, tumbling through your previous target at a +7 bonus if necessary to reach the next one.

13. Physical damage insurance Polymorph 4 form. Gray racial trait Phase (20% miss chance against one attack as reaction), Half-Orc racial trait Orc Ferocity.

I can't see any reason why the Phase miss chance wouldn't stack with vision based ones. Definitely combine this with good defenses from other sources to get the most out of it. At Polymorph 5 add the Bolida racial trait Chitinous Plates for a +1 racial bonus to AC. If you take cover a lot, consider substituting the Wrikreechee's Sheltering ability (+1 extra to AC/reflex saves when in cover) for Orc Ferocity - it stacks with the Bolida AC bonus.

14. Why is Immunity to Poison/Disease (singular) a Level 6 Option when this racial Trait Exists Polymorph 2 form: SRO racial trait Robotic.

Robotic wrote:
SROs are immune to bleed, disease, death effects, poison, nonlethal damage, and sleep effects unless those effects specify they affect constructs. SROs can be affected by effects or spells that normally target only humanoids, but receive a +4 racial bonus to saving throws against such effects.

This is of course stupidly good for low level immunities and resistance to things like Charm Person and Hold Person (and no breathing!). Since it's a racial ability you can grab it without worrying about the construct subtype and keep your own.


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Wow.


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Take a look at the Reklan from Signal of Screams#1: The Diaspora Strain.

Senses blindsense (thought), darkvision, low-light vision
Speed 40 ft., climb 40 ft., fly 40 ft. (average), swim 40 ft.
Melee spiny tentacle or bite
Ranged spine barrage
Other Abilities compression, habitable field (as unlimited duration life bubble, out to 1,200 feet)


I'm trying to figure out good choices for Polymorph 2. There seem to be painfully few.

The Tashtari looks fun, although the laser weapon is less damage than a good laser rifle does.

The Kalo is an interesting choice if you need to swim and breathe water.

Anything else worth getting with the level 2 spell? I'm almost considering not getting Polymorph till 3, unless there are some other good options I'm missing.


Take one of the good racial options, SRO immunities or rerolls are good.


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ellindsey wrote:

I'm trying to figure out good choices for Polymorph 2. There seem to be painfully few.

The Tashtari looks fun, although the laser weapon is less damage than a good laser rifle does.

The Kalo is an interesting choice if you need to swim and breathe water.

Anything else worth getting with the level 2 spell? I'm almost considering not getting Polymorph till 3, unless there are some other good options I'm missing.

Here are four polymorph II forms I made for my character:

CHARGER ASPECT
Medium humanoid
------------------------------
OFFENSE
------------------------------
Speed 40 ft.
Melee slam
Offensive Abilities momentum (Ferran racial trait, AP #2 55), trample

Used for speed and for bringing the pain.

GREAT CAT
Medium animal
Senses low-light vision
------------------------------
OFFENSE
------------------------------
Speed 40 ft.
Melee claws
Offensive Abilities pounce

Pounce. Need I say more?

HOUND
Medium animal
Senses low-light vision, tracking (scent)
------------------------------
OFFENSE
------------------------------
Speed 40 ft.
Melee bite

I turn into a dog for use as a disguise, for scouting, and for tracking.

JUVENILE OWLBEAR
Medium magical beast
Senses low-light vision
------------------------------
OFFENSE
------------------------------
Speed 40 ft.
Melee claws
Offensive Abilities grab

I just really wanted to grapple and rend things with claws.


So the Skittermander's Hyper racial ability (1 free move action per day) combos INSANELY well with a Technomancer using Empowered Weapon and Rain of Fire magic hacks, first available at level 14.

Empowered Weapon wrote:
As a move action, you can expend an unused spell slot to reconfigure and enhance a weapon you’re wielding. Until the start of your next turn, your attacks with the enhanced weapon gain a bonus to attack rolls equal to the level of the spell slot you expended. In addition, your attacks with that weapon deal 1d6 additional damage per level of the expended spell slot. This damage is of the same type the weapon normally deals.

So use your Hyper ability granted by a Polymorph 2+ to burn a 5th level spell and get a +5 to hit and +5d6 damage to all attacks in this round. Then you use a full round action on Rain of Fire.

Rain of Fire wrote:
Once per day as a full action, you can spend 2 Resolve Points to shoot a ranged weapon at multiple targets within range; the maximum number of targets is equal to half your technomancer level or the number of shots in your weapon, whichever is lower. Each attack uses your highest attack bonus, and each enemy can be targeted only by a single shot.

Basically a full attack with no penalty that can hit up to 7 targets and has that +5/+5d6 bonus on every shot. For most weapons at level 14 that pretty much doubles your average damage dice before weapon specialization.

A level 5 form that had Hyper (Skittermander), Scrappy (Damai), and Communalism (Shirren) racial traits would also have two rerolls to burn on any low rolls in your Rain of Fire attacks. And there are plenty of ways to get even more rerolls (Dreamer theme, Probability Prediction spell, and Prescient Lenses Mk 3 would get you to 6 total rerolls available, which is all you'll need) so that you can be very certain that your attacks hit and your chances of 1-2 crits are also pretty good.


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Xenocrat wrote:
Empowered Weapon wrote:
As a move action, you can expend an unused spell slot to reconfigure and enhance a weapon you’re wielding. Until the start of your next turn, your attacks with the enhanced weapon gain a bonus to attack rolls equal to the level of the spell slot you expended. In addition, your attacks with that weapon deal 1d6 additional damage per level of the expended spell slot. This damage is of the same type the weapon normally deals.

So use your Hyper ability granted by a Polymorph 2+ to burn a 5th level spell and get a +5 to hit and +5d6 damage to all attacks in this round. Then you use a full round action on Rain of Fire.

Rain of Fire wrote:
Once per day as a full action, you can spend 2 Resolve Points to shoot a ranged weapon at multiple targets within range; the maximum number of targets is equal to half your technomancer level or the number of shots in your weapon, whichever is lower. Each attack uses your highest attack bonus, and each enemy can be targeted only by a single shot.
Basically a full attack with no penalty that can hit up to 7 targets and has that +5/+5d6 bonus on every shot. For most weapons at level 14 that pretty much doubles your average damage dice before weapon specialization.

The moment skittermanders were initially printed as a player race, I had this same idea and went to check out how well it'd work. @14th level, Empowered Rain of Fire does something like 45 damage on average per target.

Assumes: 65% chance to hit with sniper rifle before empowered weapon (includes 5% chance to crit for 2x damage). 90% chance to hit after empowering. Total Damage = 49.5. 18 from 4d8 diasporan sniper rifle, 14 from weapon specialization, 17.5 from 5d6 empowering. So average damage = 44.5/target. Using a 15th level rifle increases average damage per target by ~8 damage, but doesn't meaningfully change the conclusion.

It does this amount of damage by burning a 5th level spell, 2 RP, your 1/day Rain of Fire, and your 1/day hyper racial. It also requires you to build for sniper rifle usage (or longarm usage) and buy an appropriate weapon.

If you use that 5th level spell slot to just cast heat leech (and you have harmful spells as a magic hack), you deal ~44 damage per target in the cone, on average (assumes enemies save 65% of the time, but don't have evasion).

For my taste, it feels like you have to invest too much in Rain of Fire for too little payoff vs. other uses of your spells.


Its definitely not great. For best results use a heavy projectile weapon, but at that point you should just main a blast weapon, shock caster, or shout projector and just use empowered weapon to boost that AOE. Too bad the hit bonus goes to waste on explode weapons, wish it boosted the save DC.

And a heavy automatic weapon can substitute pretty well for rain of fire with the rest of these boosts.


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So let's talk Baleful Polymorph. It inflicts a penalty to AC, attacks, reflex saves, and strength/dex based checks/skills. And it has a Will save, so it will trigger a Technomancer's Mental Mark magic hack, which means if they fail they get an additional -2 to AC and all saves the next round.

The key Baleful Polymorph levels for initial numerical debuff effects are 1st (-1 penalty), 2nd (-2 initial penalty), and 4th (-3 initial penalty). For Mass Baleful Polymorph level 5 is probably the best option since it imitates 2nd level BP (-2 initial penalty to up to four targets).

So for a single target debuff, 4th level BP combined with Mental Mark inflicts a -5 to AC and reflex saves the next round, and for groups a 5th level MBP inflicts a -4 to AC and saves next round to up to four creatures who fail their saves.

The unimaginative will follow up with a damaging reflex spell, an explode weapon, or just shoot them at this point. The more creative will use their 11th level magic hack to pick up Fabricate Explosive and be holding a grenade with nice conditional effects on a failed reflex save ready to go once the MBP and Mental Mark trigger. An incendiary grenade (burn), pulse grenade (entangle), flash grenade (blind), riot grenade (staggered), or stickybomb grenade (entangle) are all solid selections.

I imagine some Oras worshipping technomancer terrorist dropping out of invisibility holding a glowing orb while he casts Mass Baleful Polymorph 5, then tosses his magical grenade to set them on fire. Shoot or Heat Leach to followup as necessary.


The latest AP volume, The Penumbra Protocol, has player racial traits for a Svartalfar. Two are new and noteworthy additions to a polymorph toolkit.

Bane racial trait wrote:

Bane (Su) Once per day as a swift action, a svartalfar can imbue one of its weapons with the bane weapon fusion. It must selectone creature type (and subtype, if choosing humanoid or

outsider) when it uses this ability.
This lasts for 1 hour. This ability functions only while the svartalfar wields the weapon.

I don't love crit effects in general or Bane in particular, but this wouldn't be a terrible option to put on your triple attacking Soldier, quad attacking Operative, or blast weapon anything buddy to help him out with his more common than usual crits.

Svartalfar Magic racial trait wrote:
Svartalfar Magic: Svartalfars have an affinity for magic. A svartalfar chooses a 1st-level spell. It can cast that spell as a spell-like ability once per day for every 3 character levels it has. The caster level for this spell is equal to the svartalfar’s level. Once chosen, this spell cannot be changed.

So starting with Polymorph 3 (max CR 6), you can select a form that includes an (off list!) 1st level spell known to use twice per casting of your Polymorph 3.

At higher levels, I could see devoting multiples of your 3rd level forms to this with different spells, then using Polymorph Adept feat to rotate between them. At its most exploitable, you put this on all four 3rd level forms, and rotate between them all, getting two uses each of four different 1st level spells out of one 3rd level spell. Plus the use of your other abilities you put on those forms for the remaining duration.

Goodbye Technomantic Dabbler and Connection Inkling feats for spell casters, your services are no longer required.


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Isn't the intent of polymorph to generally limit you to extraordinary abilities unless the GM gives explicit permission otherwise?


Racial spell like abilities (like Lashunta SLAs) are explicitly allowed by Polymorph 3 under racial traits.

The restriction you cite is for special “other abilities” that GMs have to approve when you’re focusing on a particular monster.


Unique new racial traits from the first two Dawn of Flame APs are below. (DoF #3 has no PC aliens.)

Planar Scion, Ifrit:

Fire Affinity wrote:
Ifrits have an instinctive affinity for fire, subtly bending it to their will. Once per day, an ifrit making an attack that deals fire damage can roll a single attack roll twice and use the higher result.

*** Along with Damai (scrappy) and Shirren (communalism) this allows you at Polymorph 5 to make a form that can do three attack rolls before exhausting it and requiring you to switch to a new form.

Spell-Like Ability wrote:
Once per day, an ifrit can cast overheat as a spell-like ability. At 8th level, he can use this ability one additional time per day, and he gains a third use per day at 16th level. His caster level equals his level, and the save DC is equal to 11 + his Charisma modifier.

Svartalfar Magic (see post up thread) makes this entirely obsolete and inferior as a Polymorph option.

Planar Scion, Suli:

Elemental Assault wrote:
As a swift action, a suli can cause half the damage dealt by a weapon she wields to be acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage for 1 round. A suli can use this ability on her unarmed strikes, causing them to be neither archaic nor nonlethal while the damage alteration persists. She can use this ability a number of times per day equal to her level or CR.

*** If you're not full attacking this ability provides your choice of four weapon fusions, definitely can work as part of a combat buffing form.

Elemental Resistance wrote:
Their elemental nature grants sulis resistance 5 to acid, cold, electricity, and fire.

Polymorph 2 can grant as an ability a single racial trait, or resistance 5 to a single element. Not for the first time, a racial trait just made a big core aspect of the spell obsolete.

Planar Scion, Sylph:

Air Affinity wrote:
Sylphs have a +2 racial bonus to Acrobatics checks and, if able to fly, maneuverability one step better than normal.

If there's a good reason to improve your flight maneuverability here's a way to do it.

Spell Like Ability wrote:
Once per day, a sylph can use flight (1st level) on herself as a spell-like ability. At 6th level, she can cast the 2nd-level version of the spell, and at 12th level, she cast the 3rd-level version of the spell. Her caster level is equal to her level.

So a Polymorph 5 form can include the ability to cast a useful 3rd level spell that is slightly better than the free flight speed you could otherwise take.


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Thank you Xenocrat!


A note on grapple forms: the Endiffian's Enveloping Grip racial trait is strictly superior to the Skittermander's Grappler trait, as it provides the same grappling bonus but also a climb and anti-disarm bonuses.


A Mass Polymorph 5 spell granting four creatures the Svartalfar's Bane ability as a racial trait can be a great anti-boss ability to try to stun lock someone. You grant them Bane, they activate as as swift action on their next turn, then full attack afterwards to crit fish for no save stun effects.

Depending on how many attacks your party can turn out in a round, here's your chances of stunning a focused target (quad attack for Operatives and Solarion triple attacks comes online at the same time as this spell, Soldier's already have triple attacks):

8: 33.7%
9: 37%
10: 40.1%
11: 43.1%
12: 46%


Medium (+1), Large (+2), and Huge (+3) sizes granted by Polymorph give a bonus to strength checks and skills.

CRB wrote:
Larger and smaller creatures get bonuses and penalties to Strength checks to break objects as follows: Fine –16, Diminutive –12, Tiny –8, Small –4, Large +4, Huge +8, Gargantuan +12, Colossal +16.

So that's a cumulative +1 Medium, +6 Large, and +11 Huge for breaking things. May need to combine with compression if you're large/huge and busting down doors in a narrow hallway with the aid of a breach weapon.


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I've always loved that "big things can break things more easily" rule.


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Working on a Female damaya lashunta wild warden mystic 5/soldier 2 of the Green Faith with polymorph II.

What would be some good druid-themed forms? In particular, I'm looking for versatility, so maybe one good combat form, one for infiltration, one for mobility, etc.

As an aside, what do you guys think of the Polymorph spell entry and general polymorph rules on Archives of Nethys[/url]? The wording appears to be totally different from that in the book and, at a glance, appears to be broken down much more clearly.


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Well, not as differently worded as I thought, but still broken down nicely.


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Are we certain that it is intended that you can poach racial traits from races whose creature type are illegal for you?

For example, stealing ifrit abilities, even though none of the spells let your transform into an outsider, or stealing SRO immunities, even when casting as a mystic.

I suppose there isn't much stopping you from stealing an ability from a construct, and calling your made-up amalgam a humanoid, but I'm wondering if that was the developers' intent.


Ravingdork wrote:

Are we certain that it is intended that you can poach racial traits from races whose creature type are illegal for you?

For example, stealing ifrit abilities, even though none of the spells let your transform into an outsider, or stealing SRO immunities, even when casting as a mystic.

I suppose there isn't much stopping you from stealing an ability from a construct, and calling your made-up amalgam a humanoid, but I'm wondering if that was the developers' intent.

I think so.

Racial Traits wrote:

When selecting a racial trait for a polymorph form, you can select any one player character racial trait of a race that grants such rules and that does not refer to or require any equipment, armor, armor upgrade, or drone upgrade to function. For example, you could select the exceptional vision trait of an android (gaining both low-light vision and darkvision), but not the upgrade slot ability (since it refers to armor upgrades). Additionally, the target can never gain racial ability adjustments, racial Hit Points, feats, or skill ranks from

a polymorph spell’s effects. Each level of the polymorph spell has specific restrictions regarding spell-like abilities.

There is nothing in here or in the spell restrictions about type or subtype having any impact.

Type and Subtype wrote:

Polymorph spells allow their target to appear to be a creature of a different type and subtype and grant the target some benefits related to the base creature’s capabilities. Despite these changes, the target’s type and subtype remain the same.

More powerful spells grant the target extra benefits based on the chosen type or subtype, as noted in the spell description. Those benefits follow. Taking the appearance of a type or subtype not listed below doesn’t grant the target any related abilities.

Type/Subtype only seems to effect what you can appear as (and for some delivers bonus abilities), not what racial traits or other abilities you can borrow.


The Sneaky Halfing Racial Trait seems pretty awesome if you're a sniper Technomancer build firing from under cover of Greater Invsibility.

Sneaky wrote:
Halflings receive a +2 racial bonus to Stealth checks. In addition, halflings reduce the penalty for using Stealth while moving by 5, and reduce the Stealth check penalty for sniping by 10.

Add the two weapon accessories that also take 10 off your sniping penalty when firing a projectile weapon and you can snipe with no penalty to your stealth check while also getting your Invisibility stealth boost. Great for pumping out some Empowered Weapon shots while standing still or disguising where your Spellshots are coming from.


Xenocrat wrote:

The Sneaky Halfing Racial Trait seems pretty awesome if you're a sniper Technomancer build firing from under cover of Greater Invsibility.

Sneaky wrote:
Halflings receive a +2 racial bonus to Stealth checks. In addition, halflings reduce the penalty for using Stealth while moving by 5, and reduce the Stealth check penalty for sniping by 10.
Add the two weapon accessories that also take 10 off your sniping penalty when firing a projectile weapon and you can snipe with no penalty to your stealth check while also getting your Invisibility stealth boost. Great for pumping out some Empowered Weapon shots while standing still or disguising where your Spellshots are coming from.

Or, if lower than level 10, a sniper's blind to snipe with a tool bonus and no penalty.


Why lower than level 10? That just gives you a +4 untyped bonus at any level.

The holoshroud is really bad compared to that toolkit.


Xenocrat wrote:

Why lower than level 10? That just gives you a +4 untyped bonus at any level.

The holoshroud is really bad compared to that toolkit.

Also above level ten... I was referring to greater invisibility.


Two new races in Dawn of Fire #5, Solar Strike.

1. Anassanoi are noteworthy as a way to get full telepathy at Polymorph 2 as a racial trait. Pick a form with this, save a spell known on Tongues, maybe.

2. Planar Scion, Oread. This is the one interesting thing about them.

Earth Affinity racial trait wrote:
Whenever an oread deals acid damage including with spells such as energy ray), the oread can change it to bludgeoning damage instead. This doesn’t change anything else about the effect dealing the damage.

A useful ability if you like to go in on big damage Disintegrator weapons, save a fusion or two and use this instead to avoid tough resistances or immunity to acid damage. Works on spells, too, but the Technomancer acid spells aren't not my favorites and you can just shoot or cast a different spell rather than worry about those being resisted.

Grand Lodge

Xenocrat wrote:
At Polymorph 2 you can pick up one of these, two if you pick both from the same race, which is pretty efficient for some uses.

I can't find this rule? As far as I can tell, you only get one racial trait at Polymorph 2? The spell limits you to one racial trait. You can get in total three "Special Abilities" from the allowed list though. That's: amphibious, breath weapon, breathing, compression, defensive abilities, limited telepathy, racial traits, senses, trample, or an extra movement option.

(Because of "Alternatively, if you base your form on a specific creature (which must be of a CR no higher than the spell’s maximum CR), you can select only abilities that the base form has, but you can select one ability more than the normal maximum.")

Ravingdork wrote:
You need polymorph 4 to start mixing racial traits in one form. Otherwise they all need to be from the same race.

Maybe I'm blind, but I cannot find in the rules that you can mix traits from multiple races at all?

Edit: Oh I see. I assume this is based on "Each of these could be based on an extant creature, or they might be a product purely of your imagination."

This sentence in the Appearance block made me think you always choose a target race/monster: " You decide at the time of designing a polymorph form if its appearance is generic (allowing the target to look like any general example of that type of creature, but never a specific creature) or specific (causing the target to always look like one specific individual that does not change between castings)"


Varun Creed wrote:
Maybe I'm blind, but I cannot find in the rules that you can mix traits from multiple races at all?

The rules prevent it at Polymorph 3 and lower, with Polymorph 3 having a specific rule against it. That specific rule is absent from Polymorph 4 or higher.


New racial traits of note from AA3 that could be useful on a polymorph form.

1. Cephalume Beguiling Glow: A fascinate effect.

2. Cephalume Bioluminescence: Light source when active (yawn), but also +4 racial to stealth when suppressed.

3. Cephalume Adaptation: Choose from one of several effects, including a speed boost, a shocking fusion effect, a +1 racial to AC, double your darkvision range plus see through nonmagical mist/clouds, or +5 reach. This one is gold, people.

4. Dromada Alert the Herd: 1/day +4 bonus to your party's initiative. Useful if you prebuff.

5. Dromada Bolt: 5x run, one direction change, and you can run across difficult terrain, although it still costs you twice your movement. An interesting mobility enhancer that probably combos well with something I've forgotten about.

6. Espraska Snatch: If you hit with two talon natural attacks on a full attack and one of them hits the grab/pin threshold, you get a free grab/pin. Expensive, but if you also buy the natural weapons racial trait and maybe a compatible grab booster from another race (if one exists) it could be interesting.

7. Espraska Empathic: +2 Diplomacy/Sense Motive, but you take a -2 to mind-affecting saving throws. But what you're really here for is +1 to your mind-affecting DCs! Temporarily adopt this trait to boost your mind bending powers. Note the Shimmerstone Staves in this book also boost your DC for charm and emotion spells, and they stack. Let the power creep begin.

8. Hortus Spongy Form: DR 5/slashing that stacks with one source. Sorry, projectile enemies.

9. Izalguun Posture: Swap between a 40' fast speed (out of combat) or four arms plus extra reach and 20' speed (in combat) as a move action. Good for some melee builds.

10. Spathinae Swarm Flexibility: Compression and +4 to KAC for a lot of maneuvers, +4 racial to acrobatics for escape/tumble, and you can always take 10 on those. Never take Compression as a polymorph ability again.


COM introduced a Polymorphic Serum that lets you design a polymorph form when you craft the serum, and it lasts mark x 2 hours. Mark = spell level.

Mk1 250cr
Mk2 675cr
Mk3 2,100cr
Mk4 5,700cr
Mk5 18,000cr
Mk6 60,000cr

So the Mk2 gives a racial ability for four hours, the Mk3 gives two of them (one of which can be an SLA) for 6 hours. There are some pretty good buffs you can design to last throughout a long mission with those durations at an acceptable cost.


Also of note from COM, the Technomancer has an alternative spell cache option that lets you put up a permanent and restorable Polymorph 1 (at 6th level), Polymorph 2 (12th), or Polymorph 3 (18th) as well as some other options. Not great, but you can put up a weak permanent buff, use a higher level polymorph spell when you need it, then spend 5 minutes to restore your permanent one after.


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COM introduced a bunch of new racial trait options, and they might be valid for racial trait options taken with Polymorph spells as long as they don't "refer to or require any equipment, armor, armor upgrade, or drone upgrade to function" and your GM lets them in. Below are some noteworthy options that do qualify.

Android Nanite Integration: Grants the Nanite Integration feat, which has three different permanent selection options. The really good one is Rebooting Nanites grant you a reaction/1 RP cost reroll of a failed save to remove pretty much all debilitating conditions. Paralyzed isn't on there, but dazed, stunned, nauseated, panicked, exhausted, and the lesser stuff are. Quite nice insurance against a "sit down" effect.

Kasatha Personal Traditions: Once per day as a reaction reroll a failed save, add it to the other save reroll abilities.

Lashunta Psychically Resistant: +2 racial to mind-affecting saves, plus 1/day use of the new Mental Silence spell to shut down telepathy and hinder mind reading spells.

Lashunta Rugged: Gain Toughness as a feat.

Shirren Hive Defense: 1/day you can grant a roll twice saving throw to an ally within 10'

Shirren Individual Obsession: One skill becomes a class skill and gets a +2 racial bonus.

Vesk Observant: +3 racial to either perception or sense motive. This is the only racial bonus higher than +2 I've seen.

Ysoki Scrappy: +1 insight bonus to melee attack rolls when at 0 stamina.

Ysoki Swarmer: You and any allies adjacent to a target all count as flanking it regardless of positioning.


Xenocrat wrote:
Also of note from COM, the Technomancer has an alternative spell cache option that lets you put up a permanent and restorable Polymorph 1 (at 6th level), Polymorph 2 (12th), or Polymorph 3 (18th) as well as some other options. Not great, but you can put up a weak permanent buff, use a higher level polymorph spell when you need it, then spend 5 minutes to restore your permanent one after.

Actually this is quite nice with Polymorph Adept feat to freely swap between your 4/8/12 forms available and potentially use a subtype change to hide your armor and weapons, or just hide your armor and pick up your weapons if that's what you prefer.


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One big thing I missed when reviewing AA3 for racial traits was this awesomeness:

Dessamar racial trait Twinkle wrote:
Twinkle (Su) Once per day as a move action, a dessamar can teleport 40 feet. The dessamar can’t bring other creatures along, and if a solid body occupies the arrival point, the ability fails without expending its daily use. This ability otherwise functions as the dimension door spell.

A very nice way to get past a wall or door with a 2nd level spell that you can continue to use by swapping into a different form with Polymorph Adept. I'd be tempted to maintain a couple of different 2nd level forms with this to get double uses out of it. And once you can squeeze the party into a Null-Space Chamber you can bring them along.

Note that in addition to being a move action it's a supernatural ability that doesn't provoke, so it's also a good escape move when you're pinned down. With Polymorph Adept you can standard action swap forms into something that has this racial trait, move action teleport on the other side of a wall.

This option significantly reduces the need for Dimension Door, Reality Leap, Flash Teleport (magic hack and paradigm shift), Glitch Step (magic hack), and Translocational Recall (magic hack) as escape methods or short range infiltration, although some of them still have range or resource (RP vs uses per spell slot and action cost) reasons to pick them.


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Near Space has new racial options that should be useable with Polymorph.

Vesk have two sweet options.

Cave Senses wrote:
Vesk who grew up underground in twisted caverns have more sensitive hearing. They have low-light vision and gain blindsight (sound) 60 feet, but they take a –4 penalty to sight-based Perception checks beyond 60 feet and take a –2 penalty on ranged attack rolls against targets beyond 60 feet in bright light.

Only useful if you're into close range stuff and need a cheap and long range blindsight, but it's a lot better than the 2nd level blindsense options when that's the case.

Forceful Mind wrote:
Some vesk fight via means other than weapons. Once per day, when an opponent succeeds at a saving throw against a spell cast by a vesk with this trait, that vesk can force the opponent to reroll the saving throw with a –2 penalty.

Hot. Damn. Ultimate boss killer buff.

Pahtra have this option which is a shorter range version of Cave Senses without the downsides.

Blindisight wrote:
Some pahtras rely less on their vision, instead detecting their environment via whiskers that are sensitive to air currents and vibrations. A pahtra with this alternate racial trait has blindsense (vibration) with a range of 30 feet and low-light vision.


Would the xenomorphic android trait be a valid choice? It could potentially open up a few different combos at lower levels especially allowing you to stack more racial traits due to choosing a specific creature (an android).
But does it also net you 2 racial traits for the price of 1 as written?
I think most DMs wouldn't let that fly, but it's worth pondering I feel like. Alt racial traits in general pose many questions though.

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