A Limit On Polymorph

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A valid limit on polymorph should be that you can only turn into a creature that you have seen and studdied granting you the neccessary knowledge for the transformation.
Not a bad limitation. But it's not going to stop the average Wizard from turning into most things since high levels of study are pretty standard for Wizards Academic especially. 
My two copper.
Is this currently a problem? Also, is this solution one that's enforceable by anything other than DM fiat? If number of creature you can polymorph into is a problem, I don't see any good reason not to just impose a mechanical limit, saying 3 creatures plus an additional creature per 3 HD you possess, chosen when you initially gain the ability to polymorph and then every three levels thereafter, etc., making exceptions for magic items?

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The primary point was that a wizard shouldn't be able to turn into a creature he has never seen before (and possibly doesn't even know exists). It also adds at least some DM limit to the spell and provides a shorter list of monsters that the player can choose from.
The primary point was that a wizard shouldn't be able to turn into a creature he has never seen before (and possibly doesn't even know exists).

That is literally impossible to control outside of DM fiat. The closest that you could possibly get would be to say that you can't turn into a creature unless you're trained in the knowledge skill associated with its creature type, but that's not much of a limitation.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Another point view is that wizards should be able to polymorph into anything within the boundaries of human imagination.

It's magic. The Dm is the only limit to Polymorph and Co.

Another solution would be to handle polymorph a little like the 4th ed. druid wildshape. There's not many restrictions on the form taken, but the stats themselves are set.
Polymorph could offer stats for biped, quadruped, flying, swimming and burrowing forms, the wizard chosing the form.
The problems are about chosing a size and unusual attacks.
A valid limit on polymorph should be that you can only turn into a creature that you have seen and studdied granting you the neccessary knowledge for the transformation.



That works, but if you really want to limit it just house rule that you can only turn into creatures on the summon monster list.   


A option could be polymorphe like group, sub-school...do you rebember summon level 1, summon level 2...

The polymorphe level 1 would be like racial trait of Eberron changelings.  Level 2 would only creatures like equivalent to summon monster level 2 (or psionic astral contruct power).

Polymorphe is going to need a lot of playtesting. Astute players can use polymorphe to avoid obstacles (for example polymorphe to raptoran if there is danger of fall, or being a bloodhound to loof for clues by smelling).

Second option could be some magic subschools could need a exclusive skill like truename, shadow misteries, pact with vestiges, summoning or polymorphing.   

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That's the sort of rule that sounds okay on paper but has kind of gross consequences. Specifically, it ties a bunch of a character's mechanical power into their backstory. I'd rather live in a world where a character's backstory doesn't have striking effects on the character's mechanical potency.
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I would probably allow players to get creative in explaining why their character knows about a particular creature. But...honestly, if you are a wizard who learns the spell, aren't you going to take the time to learn about your options? I'd probably say that most common creatures you can transform into are something you are going to have enough information to turn into. Perhaps part of the way the spell is recorded specifically lists a bunch of creatures. Maybe it tells you a bit about them, or maybe it just gives you names and the magic is sufficient to let you take their forms. That'd be really interesting--you don't necessarily know what a certain creature is until the first time you turn into it! Of course, almost any wizard would practice them before he needs to use them so he knows what they are.

In any event, it's a perfectly reasonable "restriction" from a role-playing standpoint, but it doesn't require any write-up. The DM should just decide what makes sense for his interpretation and inform the player.
The problem with polymorph giving everything, more than any other spell would. Change to a dragon and expect to fly, cast spells, breathe fire, speak draconic, have all the special attacks...

Why not polymorph into a level 20 wizard with a ring of unlimited wishes?

The easiest fix is to only allow the shape (form) to be taken. No powers or abilities you didn't have before. Sure, you can take the shape of a dragon, but you have to cast a fly spell to be able to fly. And cast another spell to let you comprehend languages. And a third to breathe fire.

Polymorph to a fish, and you'll need some way to breathe water.
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The problem with polymorph giving everything, more than any other spell would.  


Nod exactly....  only specialists in skin changing should have open and ended form change and is because they have a huge number of specific forms learned taking up all there slots.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

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Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I personally think concentration is enough of a limit on polymorph. The idea was more for those who dont
How many spells does it functionally duplicate 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

How many spells does it functionally duplicate 


Spells
Light - Fire Beetle
Spider Climb - Giant Spider/Carnivorous Monkey
Fly - Pegasus, Pteranadon, Griffon
Water Breathing - Fish/Lizard
Invisibility - Any extremely small creature, such as bugs (note that polymorph retains HP, preventing the wizard from getting squished.) Transforming into a common creature like a stray dog may also work.
Feather Fall - Pick a lightweight creature, like a flying squirrel. Cats are not listed as a monster, but as a familiar they have reduced falling damage.
Hold Person/Monster - When on land, target an opponent and polymorph them into a fish.

Not spells:
Acid Spray - Ankheg
Scent - Bloodhound
Darkvision - Several creatures. Griffon, for example.
Petrify - Basilisk
Tenser's Transformation - Allosaurus. With a couple of armor buffs, you'll even be decent in combat.
Enhanced speed - Horse
Save or Die - Transform the target into a creature that can't adequately defend itself on land. A sea sponge is excellent, but other players may have more fun chasing a fish, or beating on a small whale like a pinata.
Skill bonuses - The griffon gets +5 to detect hidden creatures. The snake (in the Find Familiar feat) gets +5 initiative.
Pass through walls/doors - Cockroach, if you can justify finding a single crack in the wall or door you want to pass through

Stretching it
Knock - Bashing the door down is just as noisy as a Knock spell and usually just as effective. An acid spray as an ankheg is quieter, but less likely to succeed.
Web - Giant Spider, limited to single target
Create Rope - Giant spider, using webs. Very limited in application.
Paralysis - Carrion Crawler, though it requires a touch attack first, and the save DC is horrible.
Disguise Self - What better disguise than the real thing? Limited to animals, making it much less useful.
Learn to speak Goblin - In the bestiary, the RAW makes no distinction between abilities based on form and abilites based on equipment or training. Strictly speaking, one of the abilities of the worg form is the ability to speak Common and Goblin, providing a cheezy way to learn a language for one minute. I wouldn't allow it, but that would be a decision based on fluff and not RAW.

Other stuff
Many natural animals have valuable secretions and strange abilities. If you know your zoology, you can get much more from this spell. For example, as cobra, you could milk your own poison. (No cobras in the bestiary, but a Giant Snake or Giant Spider also works.)
How many spells does it functionally duplicate 


Spells
Light - Fire Beetle
Spider Climb - Giant Spider/Carnivorous Monkey
Fly - Pegasus, Pteranadon, Griffon
Water Breathing - Fish/Lizard
Invisibility - Any extremely small creature, such as bugs (note that polymorph retains HP, preventing the wizard from getting squished.) Transforming into a common creature like a stray dog may also work.
Feather Fall - Pick a lightweight creature, like a flying squirrel. Cats are not listed as a monster, but as a familiar they have reduced falling damage.
Hold Person/Monster - When on land, target an opponent and polymorph them into a fish.

Not spells:
Acid Spray - Ankheg
Scent - Bloodhound
Darkvision - Several creatures. Griffon, for example.
Petrify - Basilisk
Tenser's Transformation - Allosaurus. With a couple of armor buffs, you'll even be decent in combat.
Enhanced speed - Horse
Save or Die - Transform the target into a creature that can't adequately defend itself on land. A sea sponge is excellent, but other players may have more fun chasing a fish, or beating on a small whale like a pinata.
Skill bonuses - The griffon gets +5 to detect hidden creatures. The snake (in the Find Familiar feat) gets +5 initiative.
Pass through walls/doors - Cockroach, if you can justify finding a single crack in the wall or door you want to pass through

Stretching it
Knock - Bashing the door down is just as noisy as a Knock spell and usually just as effective. An acid spray as an ankheg is quieter, but less likely to succeed.
Web - Giant Spider, limited to single target
Create Rope - Giant spider, using webs. Very limited in application.
Paralysis - Carrion Crawler, though it requires a touch attack first, and the save DC is horrible.
Disguise Self - What better disguise than the real thing? Limited to animals, making it much less useful.
Learn to speak Goblin - In the bestiary, the RAW makes no distinction between abilities based on form and abilites based on equipment or training. Strictly speaking, one of the abilities of the worg form is the ability to speak Common and Goblin, providing a cheezy way to learn a language for one minute. I wouldn't allow it, but that would be a decision based on fluff and not RAW.

Other stuff
Many natural animals have valuable secretions and strange abilities. If you know your zoology, you can get much more from this spell. For example, as cobra, you could milk your own poison. (No cobras in the bestiary, but a Giant Snake or Giant Spider also works.)



Thank you...  direct combat uses are fairly undermined by the concentration element

yes  all the enhanced mobility and perceptions and so on and so forth that can be used out of combat or to aid allies in combat.. really makes a better solution pick a beast and learn it like a spell. Learn as many as you can find teachers and scrolls for and the dm treats them as treasure.  

I dont see how they can treat this I kind of do anything spell as well 1 spell.

 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."