Is it noticeable when creature under Alter Self uses Alter Self to change into exactly the same form?


Rules Questions


What I mean is, if creature under effect of Alter Self casts Alter Self again (if we disregard the fact that casting itself will be noticed), and changes into exactly the same form, will it be noticeable?

Now, before you think I am crazy, the idea is if a small creature uses this spell to pretend to be a human, then someone disarms its sword (originally small sword), it fall to the ground and becomes small. If the creature picks it up, then uses Alter Self again, will just the sword resize (per rules of polymorph,to adapt to the Medium size) or the whole creature have to blink back into small size and then re-alter self into medium?


No, polymorph effects can override other polymorph effects. But it shouldn't be just the shortsword that appears to be effected by the spell. The entire 'human' and his possessions would appear to be effected since he is the target of the spell.

So you'd briefly see his entire form waiver before it snaps back suddenly and the sword gets 'fixed'.


As long as creature's original form is not seen, that is good news for me.


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Alter Self can't mimic specific forms. That should include forms you've already taken. This shortcoming is why the False Face spell exists.


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deuxhero wrote:
Alter Self can't mimic specific forms. That should include forms you've already taken. This shortcoming is why the False Face spell exists.

This. For citation:

Core Rulebook wrote:
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.

Casting alter self on yourself and choosing your own race would make you look like a generic member of that creature's type (whatever that means).


Well thats a bummer. But can creature use disguise self after alter self, disguising as humanoid as opposed to its original type of creature?

P.S.: What is the monster rule that let creature change shape, but it said something like "creature always appears as the same individual"? I think I mixed it with general rules.


DarkPhoenixx wrote:
Well thats a bummer. But can creature use disguise self after alter self, disguising as humanoid as opposed to its original type of creature?

Considering that Alter Self changed your creature type for you, yes. You can use Disguise Self after Alter Self to create a more specific disguise utilizing your current creature type.

DarkPhoenixx wrote:
P.S.: What is the monster rule that let creature change shape, but it said something like "creature always appears as the same individual"? I think I mixed it with general rules.

Change Shape... the universal monster rule doesn't have the caveat of always appearing as the same individual, however, most monster entries that have change shape do include that line in their specific entries.


Chell Raighn wrote:

Considering that Alter Self changed your creature type for you, yes. You can use Disguise Self after Alter Self to create a more specific disguise utilizing your current creature type.

Change Shape... the universal monster rule doesn't have the caveat of always appearing as the same individual, however, most monster entries that have change shape do include that line in their specific entries.

Neat.

Well, maybe I will just GM fiat that those spells in general work that way.


Actually, can creature use disguise skill when casting Alter Self to determine the likeness? Disguise skill says

Quote:
Magic that alters your form, such as alter self, disguise self, polymorph, or shapechange, grants you a +10 bonus on Disguise checks (see the individual spell descriptions).

So while one can not turn into specific individual, one can use the spell to disguise as one?


DarkPhoenixx wrote:
Actually, can creature use disguise skill when casting Alter Self to determine the likeness? Disguise skill says
Quote:
Magic that alters your form, such as alter self, disguise self, polymorph, or shapechange, grants you a +10 bonus on Disguise checks (see the individual spell descriptions).
So while one can not turn into specific individual, one can use the spell to disguise as one?

Yes and no... on its own, Alter Self can't be used to disguise as any specific individual (although some class abilities and item effects that function as Alter Self can, almost always with limited function). You can still make use of a simple disguise check as normal. However, without a magical source of disguise you can only make a mundane disguise through make-up, dyes, wigs, clothing, and accessories. Of course, with Alter-self you are able to become the proper race & gender for your intended disguise, you just arn't able to set any specific appearance parameters for it, which means unless your disguising as someone who looks fairly generic, you're disguise will have some potentially obvious flaws. However, due to the nature of polymorph spells, you do get that +10 to the check.

Granted, there are some major benefits to mundane disguises over magical disguises. The biggest one being that True Sight can't see through them. Though alter self would still falter under true sight (negating the +10 to your disguise check).

Also, it is worth noting... Neither Alter Self nor Disguise Self alter your voice. (Though Alter Self is often ruled to adjust your voice as appropriate for your new form, I.E. Male or Female voice along with any vocal distortions that are associated to race). If you need to mimic a specific individual however, you will need something like Vocal Alteration, or the Gnome alternate racial trait Sound Mimicry.


Chell Raighn wrote:
DarkPhoenixx wrote:
Actually, can creature use disguise skill when casting Alter Self to determine the likeness? Disguise skill says
Quote:
Magic that alters your form, such as alter self, disguise self, polymorph, or shapechange, grants you a +10 bonus on Disguise checks (see the individual spell descriptions).
So while one can not turn into specific individual, one can use the spell to disguise as one?

Yes and no... on its own, Alter Self can't be used to disguise as any specific individual (although some class abilities and item effects that function as Alter Self can, almost always with limited function). You can still make use of a simple disguise check as normal. However, without a magical source of disguise you can only make a mundane disguise through make-up, dyes, wigs, clothing, and accessories. Of course, with Alter-self you are able to become the proper race & gender for your intended disguise, you just arn't able to set any specific appearance parameters for it, which means unless your disguising as someone who looks fairly generic, you're disguise will have some potentially obvious flaws. However, due to the nature of polymorph spells, you do get that +10 to the check.

Granted, there are some major benefits to mundane disguises over magical disguises. The biggest one being that True Sight can't see through them. Though alter self would still falter under true sight (negating the +10 to your disguise check).

Also, it is worth noting... Neither Alter Self nor Disguise Self alter your voice. (Though Alter Self is often ruled to adjust your voice as appropriate for your new form, I.E. Male or Female voice along with any vocal distortions that are associated to race). If you need to mimic a specific individual however, you will need something like Vocal Alteration, or the Gnome alternate racial trait Sound Mimicry.

I see, that makes sense.


DarkPhoenixx wrote:

What I mean is, if creature under effect of Alter Self casts Alter Self again (if we disregard the fact that casting itself will be noticed), and changes into exactly the same form, will it be noticeable?

Now, before you think I am crazy, the idea is if a small creature uses this spell to pretend to be a human, then someone disarms its sword (originally small sword), it fall to the ground and becomes small. If the creature picks it up, then uses Alter Self again, will just the sword resize (per rules of polymorph,to adapt to the Medium size) or the whole creature have to blink back into small size and then re-alter self into medium?

Technically, Alter Self does not affect your gear.

The spell Enlarge Person does affect your gear and states: Any enlarged item that leaves an enlarged creature’s possession (including a projectile or thrown weapon) instantly returns to its normal size. RAI, I think any gear dropped by an Alter Self user would become unaltered and not realtered when regrabbed.

I don't think @Meirril's flicker idea is correct, as there is no support I see for it.

For reference: Transmutation school.

As for reapplying the spell, reapplying Enlarge Person while already enlarged will extend the duration, but it will not reenlarge the weapon you dropped and picked up. I don't think Alter Self would realter the dropped item [even if it could do so in the first place.]

/cevah


It actually does. It's part of the polymorph sub-spell's rules

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. 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.


I read that paragraph twice and still missed it. I even looked for it. Argh.

/cevah


Yeah, I also came to point out that you can't use Alter Self to become a specific form, including the form you might have already taken using alter self.

To see a case where that's changed, look at the Kitsune's ability:

Quote:
Change Shape (Su) A kitsune can assume the appearance of a specific single human form of the same sex. The kitsune always takes this specific form when she uses this ability. A kitsune in human form cannot use her bite attack, but gains a +10 racial bonus on Disguise checks made to appear human. Changing shape is a standard action. This ability otherwise functions as alter self, except that the kitsune does not adjust her ability scores and can remain in this form indefinitely.

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