Polymorphing into an unknown creature


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

The question is quite simple: can I use a polymorph spell to transform into an animal I've never seen or encountered?


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By the rules? No reason why not. Requiring some knowledge is among the most common house rules however, written or unwritten.

There is a requirement of 'a piece of the creature whose form you plan to assume' for the material component. There's no listed cost so it gets assumed away pretty frequently though.


avr wrote:
There is a requirement of 'a piece of the creature whose form you plan to assume' for the material component.

Heh. I just imagined a wizard looking through the local market, buying up random parts from creatures they've never seen, just to see if they can transform into them.

Not really useful, but it sounds amusing.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

That is my problem with the spell component pouch as some people interpret it.
"A piece of a popobala has no listed cost, so I have an unlimited quantity of pieces of it in my spell component pouch, even if it is a CR 15 monster and I am a 5th level wizard that can barely cast Monstrous Physique I."

For me, pieces of rare monster have a price and you could discover that your feather of a cockatrice in reality is a feather of a pigeon. (Never done that to a player, but my players know that it is something possible and I feel that it add to making the game world more real.)


At that point it's a matter of where the cutoff is. You might have a bit of cow leather in your pouch, but what about auroch? Riding gecko? Hippo? Behemoth hippo? Froghemoth?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
blahpers wrote:
At that point it's a matter of where the cutoff is. You might have a bit of cow leather in your pouch, but what about auroch? Riding gecko? Hippo? Behemoth hippo? Froghemoth?

Price in the location where the PC operates.

Riding geko or hippo pelt in Alaska? Special purchase, someone should transport it, etc., so they are relatively costly.

If the spell is used occasionally to turn into creature common in the area that kind the price would be in the cp range and commonly found when making your equipment purchases.
That kind of expense can be included in the cost of living (unless you live at a destitute level).

If the spell is used frequently, the creature in wick you want to turn is difficult to hunt for NPCs (a gargoyle is a good example) the price can be a couple of GP for each casting and the available quantity limited.

When you speak of CR 15 creatures like the popobala it will be a seller market. Do you want it? Let's hear your offer.

Naturally, it works both ways. If the PCs want to sell decently preserved pieces of a monster the can earn some money.

It requires some eyeballing for the price but saying that something hasn't a cost because the CRB doesn't lit the price of a piece of every monster ever printed is disingenuous.


"You look in your spell component pouch and pull out what looks like a paint swatch book made of creature pieces. While all swatches are neatly labeled and organized by the scientifically suspicious concept of creature type, you find yourself out of your depth as the names become increasingly abstract and bizarre. You pick one you don't recognize in hopes that it's inscrutability translates to power. A few panicked moments later you carefully write on the swatch "tiny, aquatic, helpless", and try again."

Also:

"The creature before you seems so familiar that you could mistake them for family if not for the dispassionate appraising stare and the long impossibly thin blades in place of it's hands. You realize too late where you know him from and look at the back cover of your polymorph swatch book at the author's portrait. You face the swatch maker, gripped with the bloody intent of filling out his alter self swatches."


Strictly speaking there is no rule that you have to know what you're turning into.

But making the requirement of "have a piece of the creature" real and saying that the wizard can't obtain a piece of the wierd flying horse abomination thing that they've never encountered is a reasonable rule to put in place.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

And give you a reason to gather the claws/fangs/horns/scales of strange monsters.


In my part when I think use a polymorph I use the evolution system to create a creature I don't know or a new one of course my evolution points are equal to a summoner of my lv

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zepheri wrote:
In my part when I think use a polymorph I use the evolution system to create a creature I don't know or a new one of course my evolution points are equal to a summoner of my lv

A "bit" unbalanced.


Zepheri wrote:
In my part when I think use a polymorph I use the evolution system to create a creature I don't know or a new one of course my evolution points are equal to a summoner of my lv

I'm not sure I understand what you've written here exactly, but if you're giving yourself evolution points to turn into a creature you're giving yourself a way stronger option than what you could otherwise get.


Claxon wrote:
Zepheri wrote:
In my part when I think use a polymorph I use the evolution system to create a creature I don't know or a new one of course my evolution points are equal to a summoner of my lv
I'm not sure I understand what you've written here exactly, but if you're giving yourself evolution points to turn into a creature you're giving yourself a way stronger option than what you could otherwise get.

I'm not giving myself evolution points it only to have a list of options to polymorph spell to experiment the change, example if I change to a tielfing and never see one in my all life I use it use the evolution to change each part of my body to assume claw, horn, tail, wing or whatever my imagination said until I get a form that I assume it a tielfing

Like 1 time my party tell me that we are going to fight a minotaur and I never see 1 but they tell how he was in the en before we enter in the cave to attack I use the spell and my minotaur was a satyr in the eyes of our ranger


I'm still don't quite understand how you have it working mechanically.

But from what I do understand, it doesn't make sense within the context of the game world. The spell requires a piece of the creature you want to turn into.

Nevermind how you got it, a spell component bag has it if it's not listed as having a specific price.

So if you're going to turn into a creature you need a piece of it, and so it makes sense even if you don't know what you're turning into, if you have a random piece of a creature you match it. Not some weird amalgamation. Or what you think it looks like.

Now, how this interacts with eschew material components is an interesting question.

Honestly, as a GM I'd probably just rule it didn't work on that requirement if I wanted to enforce some means of acquiring parts of a specific creature.

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