Polymorph: In need of more revision/limitation?

So far, polymorph seems to be one of those spells that's a save or die. If you're hit with a polymorph spell (from a hostile), you're screwed. And you don't have to be a very high level to cast it. Let's throw out a scenario.

Level 7 party consisting of a Fighter, Rogue, Wizard and Cleric enters a cave. Oh ****! A black dragon! This is a level 11 encounter! Wizard casts Polymorph. Dragon fails save. Dragon is now a chicken for 10 turns. Party wails on the dragon-chicken until it's dead (well within 10 turns). Cue victory fanfare.

There either needs to be a harsher limit set on the possible targets of the spell (so far it's anything under 150 maximum HP) or a higher requirement for successful casting. Our lovely devs mentioned their desire to limit save or die effects and I feel they kind of missed this one during the last packet.
It requires concentration, which is a pretty big balancing factor. He can't really just straight cast it and take out multi enemies. If he casts it mid fight, he also has to avoid damage an whatnot, not to mention the 150 hp limiter. It's come a long way from 3.5's baleful polymorph.

In a solo encounter it's pretty powerful, but not really more so than any other SoD spell. In mutli creature encounters, it's not the best spell for the ocassion. It really feeds into the whole "What do I prepare" choice that Wizards have to make. Here's hoping it becomes a more meaningful decision.
My two copper.
YES. It's not just broken if you're casting it on a hostile, either, but also if you're casting it on yourself, since it lets you turn into any Beast-type creature that has been published, or ever will be published. This means that not only will monsters need to be balanced for fighting against, they will also need to be balanced against the Wizard becoming one through the use of the Polymorph spell; it's unique in that rather than scaling with spell level, it scales with the number of books that have been released.
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I'm thinking less 'revision/limitation' and more 'removal'.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
It requires concentration, which is a pretty big balancing factor. He can't really just straight cast it and take out multi enemies. If he casts it mid fight, he also has to avoid damage an whatnot, not to mention the 150 hp limiter. It's come a long way from 3.5's baleful polymorph.

In a solo encounter it's pretty powerful, but not really more so than any other SoD spell. In mutli creature encounters, it's not the best spell for the ocassion. It really feeds into the whole "What do I prepare" choice that Wizards have to make. Here's hoping it becomes a more meaningful decision.




In a bigger group fight, sure, it's not going to be very good. But when facing a solo encounter (like a dragon) it's pretty much your go-to spell. Concentration is not a factor because it's not all that hard to concentrate while facing a chicken. And if multiclassing will work like they've mentioned, taking 1 class of cleric will remove concentration problems. The 150 HP limiter is the biggest problem I believe. There are very few things in the Bestiary so far with more than 150 HP. Two of the dragons have less than 150 HP (with the other two barely slicking above 150).

The quickest fixes are really just lowering the health ceiling (i.e. from 150 HP to 50) and/or to increase the spell level (currently it's only a 4th level spell, available at level 7 for wizards).
YES. It's not just broken if you're casting it on a hostile, either, but also if you're casting it on yourself, since it lets you turn into any Beast-type creature that has been published, or ever will be published. This means that not only will monsters need to be balanced for fighting against, they will also need to be balanced against the Wizard becoming one through the use of the Polymorph spell; it's unique in that rather than scaling with spell level, it scales with the number of books that have been released.


OBJECTION!!!

i mean, incorrect. you can not turn into anything with more than your current HD
It requires concentration, which is a pretty big balancing factor. He can't really just straight cast it and take out multi enemies. If he casts it mid fight, he also has to avoid damage an whatnot, not to mention the 150 hp limiter. It's come a long way from 3.5's baleful polymorph.

In a solo encounter it's pretty powerful, but not really more so than any other SoD spell. In mutli creature encounters, it's not the best spell for the ocassion. It really feeds into the whole "What do I prepare" choice that Wizards have to make. Here's hoping it becomes a more meaningful decision.




In a bigger group fight, sure, it's not going to be very good. But when facing a solo encounter (like a dragon) it's pretty much your go-to spell. Concentration is not a factor because it's not all that hard to concentrate while facing a chicken. And if multiclassing will work like they've mentioned, taking 1 class of cleric will remove concentration problems. The 150 HP limiter is the biggest problem I believe. There are very few things in the Bestiary so far with more than 150 HP. Two of the dragons have less than 150 HP (with the other two barely slicking above 150).

The quickest fixes are really just lowering the health ceiling (i.e. from 150 HP to 50) and/or to increase the spell level (currently it's only a 4th level spell, available at level 7 for wizards).


ok, so IF you hit the dragon (with its advantage on saving throws and high stat bonuses) then what? in your example you turn it into a chicken. so your players then get... 1 exp

compared to using that level of spell to try to damage it severely and get full exp
I see where this could potentially be unbalancing as well, however the post above me had a great point - if you use polymorph to weaken the target, they get less XP for it - greater challenge begets greater reward.

As far as transforming into creatures, you won't (IN THEORY) be more or less powerful than you were before you transformed, as you can only turn into things with equal or lesser hit dice than you. I could see how it could be an advantage to transform yourself into a Giant so that you can move heavy things around or have higher strength for breaking through a gate, door, or something similar, but all it really provides is a rather insane amount of versatility for wizards. (Thankfully you can keep your intelligence, wisdom, and charisma in the new form. but transforming doesn't grant you weapon proficiencies or the natural ability to use natural weapons - I'd say making attacks in a form that's not your own SHOULD be at a disadvantage though.
I propose a change:

Polly-morph.
Effect: Target becomes a parrot and wants a cracker.
Duration: Until cracker is accomplished.
I propose a change: Polly-morph. Effect: Target becomes a parrot and wants a cracker. Duration: Until cracker is accomplished.


+1
My two copper.

Yea, the spell needs some tweaking. I shouldn't be able to instant kill a creature by turning it into a fish, when there is no water around, for example. Right now I can. Also, being able to pick up things like a medusa's gaze seems somewhat... overpowered. I am fine with it changing your appearance, size, and stats, but I don't think it should grant magical properties. Not unless it is cast as a 6th + level spell, at least. 

It requires concentration, which is a pretty big balancing factor. He can't really just straight cast it and take out multi enemies. If he casts it mid fight, he also has to avoid damage an whatnot, not to mention the 150 hp limiter. It's come a long way from 3.5's baleful polymorph.

In a solo encounter it's pretty powerful, but not really more so than any other SoD spell. In mutli creature encounters, it's not the best spell for the ocassion. It really feeds into the whole "What do I prepare" choice that Wizards have to make. Here's hoping it becomes a more meaningful decision.




In a bigger group fight, sure, it's not going to be very good. But when facing a solo encounter (like a dragon) it's pretty much your go-to spell. Concentration is not a factor because it's not all that hard to concentrate while facing a chicken. And if multiclassing will work like they've mentioned, taking 1 class of cleric will remove concentration problems. The 150 HP limiter is the biggest problem I believe. There are very few things in the Bestiary so far with more than 150 HP. Two of the dragons have less than 150 HP (with the other two barely slicking above 150).

The quickest fixes are really just lowering the health ceiling (i.e. from 150 HP to 50) and/or to increase the spell level (currently it's only a 4th level spell, available at level 7 for wizards).


ok, so IF you hit the dragon (with its advantage on saving throws and high stat bonuses) then what? in your example you turn it into a chicken. so your players then get... 1 exp

compared to using that level of spell to try to damage it severely and get full exp



No, it's still considered a dragon. It's a short term transformation (1 minute). It retains all of its hitpoints during the transformation.

Yea, the spell needs some tweaking. I shouldn't be able to instant kill a creature by turning it into a fish, when there is no water around, for example. Right now I can. Also, being able to pick up things like a medusa's gaze seems somewhat... overpowered. I am fine with it changing your appearance, size, and stats, but I don't think it should grant magical properties. Not unless it is cast as a 6th + level spell, at least. 




Agreed. I think the biggest folly is that it's only a 4th level spell. A 6th or 7th level spells makes a lot more sense, but even then there needs to be another limitation.
I propose a change: Polly-morph. Effect: Target becomes a parrot and wants a cracker. Duration: Until cracker is accomplished.

LOL This is the first version of this spell that I've had NO issue with. Two thumbs up!
It requires concentration, which is a pretty big balancing factor. He can't really just straight cast it and take out multi enemies. If he casts it mid fight, he also has to avoid damage an whatnot, not to mention the 150 hp limiter. It's come a long way from 3.5's baleful polymorph.

In a solo encounter it's pretty powerful, but not really more so than any other SoD spell. In mutli creature encounters, it's not the best spell for the ocassion. It really feeds into the whole "What do I prepare" choice that Wizards have to make. Here's hoping it becomes a more meaningful decision.




In a bigger group fight, sure, it's not going to be very good. But when facing a solo encounter (like a dragon) it's pretty much your go-to spell. Concentration is not a factor because it's not all that hard to concentrate while facing a chicken. And if multiclassing will work like they've mentioned, taking 1 class of cleric will remove concentration problems. The 150 HP limiter is the biggest problem I believe. There are very few things in the Bestiary so far with more than 150 HP. Two of the dragons have less than 150 HP (with the other two barely slicking above 150).

The quickest fixes are really just lowering the health ceiling (i.e. from 150 HP to 50) and/or to increase the spell level (currently it's only a 4th level spell, available at level 7 for wizards).


ok, so IF you hit the dragon (with its advantage on saving throws and high stat bonuses) then what? in your example you turn it into a chicken. so your players then get... 1 exp

compared to using that level of spell to try to damage it severely and get full exp



No, it's still considered a dragon. It's a short term transformation (1 minute). It retains all of its hitpoints during the transformation.



alright then, so if it still counts as a dragon and retains all its hitpoints, explain how this is overpowered to use?

How about this: Each round the caster concentrates on the spell the target makes a con save, on a failure it suffers 1d6 con damage.  When the targets con reaches 0 it is transformed into a beast of the casters choosing.
How about this: Each round the caster concentrates on the spell the target makes a con save, on a failure it suffers 1d6 con damage.  When the targets con reaches 0 it is transformed into a beast of the casters choosing.


If its con reached 0 it would be dead :P
My two copper.
That was 3/3.5 rules. Theres no need for it to be true now.
Heres an article that inspired this

thealexandrian.net/wordpress/1140/rolepl...
It requires concentration, which is a pretty big balancing factor. He can't really just straight cast it and take out multi enemies. If he casts it mid fight, he also has to avoid damage an whatnot, not to mention the 150 hp limiter. It's come a long way from 3.5's baleful polymorph.

In a solo encounter it's pretty powerful, but not really more so than any other SoD spell. In mutli creature encounters, it's not the best spell for the ocassion. It really feeds into the whole "What do I prepare" choice that Wizards have to make. Here's hoping it becomes a more meaningful decision.




In a bigger group fight, sure, it's not going to be very good. But when facing a solo encounter (like a dragon) it's pretty much your go-to spell. Concentration is not a factor because it's not all that hard to concentrate while facing a chicken. And if multiclassing will work like they've mentioned, taking 1 class of cleric will remove concentration problems. The 150 HP limiter is the biggest problem I believe. There are very few things in the Bestiary so far with more than 150 HP. Two of the dragons have less than 150 HP (with the other two barely slicking above 150).

The quickest fixes are really just lowering the health ceiling (i.e. from 150 HP to 50) and/or to increase the spell level (currently it's only a 4th level spell, available at level 7 for wizards).


ok, so IF you hit the dragon (with its advantage on saving throws and high stat bonuses) then what? in your example you turn it into a chicken. so your players then get... 1 exp

compared to using that level of spell to try to damage it severely and get full exp



No, it's still considered a dragon. It's a short term transformation (1 minute). It retains all of its hitpoints during the transformation.



alright then, so if it still counts as a dragon and retains all its hitpoints, explain how this is overpowered to use?



Because it has the HP, but it has all the abilities of a chicken, as well as the Str, Con, and Dex of a chicken(it retains Wis, Int, and Cha) and loses all the abilities of it's dragon form.("The target creature gains all the abilities and limitations of it's new form, and loses all the abilities and limitations of its original form.")

So it might have the HP of a dragon, bjut it's still a chicken.

Or if you turn it into a fish, it gains the limitations of a fish, so it'll suffocate if it's not in water.
How about this: Each round the caster concentrates on the spell the target makes a con save, on a failure it suffers 1d6 con damage.  When the targets con reaches 0 it is transformed into a beast of the casters choosing.



No ... let's not bring back ability damage.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
How about this: Each round the caster concentrates on the spell the target makes a con save, on a failure it suffers 1d6 con damage.  When the targets con reaches 0 it is transformed into a beast of the casters choosing.



No ... let's not bring back ability damage.

Yes, lets not 'fix' it by bringing something like this back.

I like the mythic origins of polymorphing but tehy need a hybrid of the pared down version from 4e and the version they have now.  I'd be happy if the wizard has to 'revise' the forms that they can take, maybe two to start with and then increasing as you go up in levels.
I like the mythic origins of polymorphing but tehy need a hybrid of the pared down version from 4e and the version they have now.  I'd be happy if the wizard has to 'revise' the forms that they can take, maybe two to start with and then increasing as you go up in levels.


I wouldn't mind splitting it up into a list of spells. One of those spells works on enemies, and lets you turn them into a fish. The others are broken up by spell level (Polymorph I through to Polymorph IX), each of which has a list of monsters whose forms you can take, like the Summon Monster spells from 3.X.
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I like the mythic origins of polymorphing but tehy need a hybrid of the pared down version from 4e and the version they have now.  I'd be happy if the wizard has to 'revise' the forms that they can take, maybe two to start with and then increasing as you go up in levels.


I wouldn't mind splitting it up into a list of spells. One of those spells works on enemies, and lets you turn them into a fish. The others are broken up by spell level (Polymorph I through to Polymorph IX), each of which has a list of monsters whose forms you can take, like the Summon Monster spells from 3.X.

I'd like the spell better if it was broken up. I think the best fix would be to give poly self a list of abilities you can pick from instead of copying an actual monster. (ie: change into an 'ogre' means taking a +str buff)

Have you thought about this? let´s imagine a druid who uses this spell to become a boar and by smelling look for expensive truffles, or clues about a fugitive to get the reward. 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

Have you thought about this? let´s imagine a druid who uses this spell to become a boar and by smelling look for expensive truffles, or clues about a fugitive to get the reward. 

Since keen senses ONLY gives bonuses in finding hidden things, it shouldn't be an issue. Now if they actually ever give a bonus to out of combat situations, it could be a problem.

I'd rather see some kind of counting up system. Maybe use the targets constitution in this case. Have the target of the polymorph spell make a save each round while the caster concentrates up to 1 minute. If the target fails they take 1d4 polymorph points. The polymorph points are counted up from 0 and are cumulative. If the polymorph point total reaches the targets constitution score, the target is polymorphed. A willing target can forgo this process.

This would also be nice because multiple casters could stack polymorphs to make it happen faster and it would take less time. You could really do this for any save or suck or save or die spell. Imagine a hold person spell that took several rounds to take effect, or a stinking cloud spell that didn't deal damage but dazed the target after a few rounds. Etc... This is really a good way to do it...Smile
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1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
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The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
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I'd rather see some kind of counting up system. Maybe use the targets constitution in this case. Have the target of the polymorph spell make a save each round while the caster concentrates up to 1 minute. If the target fails they take 1d4 polymorph points. The polymorph points are counted up from 0 and are cumulative. If the polymorph point total reaches the targets constitution score, the target is polymorphed. A willing target can forgo this process.

This would also be nice because multiple casters could stack polymorphs to make it happen faster and it would take less time. You could really do this for any save or suck or save or die spell. Imagine a hold person spell that took several rounds to take effect, or a stinking cloud spell that didn't deal damage but dazed the target after a few rounds. Etc... This is really a good way to do it...Smile

Shrug... I'd rather it just stun the monster for the duration instead of altering the creatures stats. I'd rather not complicate the game with a buch of fiddly bits like multiple saves to add up to another score that might also be added to by others... No thanks.

Given the small number of available spells I dont think splitting Polymorph is a great idea.  Indexing what it can to the spell slot it occupies just as other spells might (have in some variations) would work.    We do want a note that XP drops proportionately to the reduce damage potential.    Assuming the final rules don't have a detailed but quick system to computer the correct XP for a Dragon-Checken with 149 HP and a 1D4-2 Peck attack I would suggest just reducing the XP by the # rounds the creature was polymorph/# of rounds of active combat against it, min of the XP of the thing its turned into.    And a recomendation that you just give it a Chicken's XP.    If you get pecked to death you deserve it. 
I'd rather see some kind of counting up system. Maybe use the targets constitution in this case. Have the target of the polymorph spell make a save each round while the caster concentrates up to 1 minute. If the target fails they take 1d4 polymorph points. The polymorph points are counted up from 0 and are cumulative. If the polymorph point total reaches the targets constitution score, the target is polymorphed. A willing target can forgo this process.

This would also be nice because multiple casters could stack polymorphs to make it happen faster and it would take less time. You could really do this for any save or suck or save or die spell. Imagine a hold person spell that took several rounds to take effect, or a stinking cloud spell that didn't deal damage but dazed the target after a few rounds. Etc... This is really a good way to do it...



Actually, a save each turn is not a bad idea at all. Since even if a dragon or another high level creature does not manage to pass the initial save, it will be pretty easy for it to pass in the next 1 or 2 rounds (especially in the case of creatures with spell resistance). I think this condition (saving throw each turn) should apply to any creatures above 50 maximum health. Since that's the real problem (high level brutes being steamrolled). For creatures with >50 HP the spell would function as it does now.
I think Polymorph definitely needs to be revised.  Currently it is both too powerful and too time consuming.  First, I would split it into two spells: Polymorph and Baleful Polymorph.

Polymorph is the one you cast on yourself or a willing target.  It lasts for 1 hour and lets them assume a single form.  The trouble with the current version is that it requires a knowledge of beasts; in other words, the spell rewards system mastery.  In addition, it requires you to put the game on hold while you look up the stats for various monsters.

I think it would be simpler to just reduce the spell to what I feel is its actual intent: giving beast traits to you or an ally.

So Polymorph would come with several forms; when you cast the spell you pick a form.  For example:
1) Flying form.  You gain a fly speed.
2) Burrowing form.  You gain a burrow speed.
3) Climbing form.  You gain a climb speed.
4) Swimming form.  You gain a swim speed.
5) Alert form.  You gain keen senses.
etc.
I would give you two options for this spell: the target assumes an actual animal form, or the target assumes a hybrid form (like a werewolf).  That way you can use the spell as a disguise, but also to give someone a buff.  Casting the spell in higher level slots would let you pick extra forms; you can switch to a new form as an action.

For Baleful Polymorph, I think we need to compare it to a similar spell: Hold Monster.  Hold Monster is a level 5 spell (vs. level 4 for polymorph), also targets a living creature, but has no HP limit.  The target is paralyzed on a failed save (so worse than polymorph which just removes the creature's ability to fight).  However, the target can also make a check each turn to end the spell.

So I would suggest doing something similar for Baleful Polymorph.  On a failed save, it turns the target into a tiny animal appropriate to its environment (so no turning a terrestrial creature into a fish).  In its new form, the target has AC 11, Str 2, Dex 12, Con 8, and a speed of 30 feet.  It retains its original HP, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.  As an action, it can make a Wisdom check to end the spell.
I'd have no issue splitting it back up into 2 spells. As for choosing the forms, that you have to be more careful with. Go too far and you risk destroying the creative nature of the spell. Remember not everything has to be balanced around powergamers
My two copper.
I'd have no issue splitting it back up into 2 spells. As for choosing the forms, that you have to be more careful with. Go too far and you risk destroying the creative nature of the spell. Remember not everything has to be balanced around powergamers

The forms idea sounds like a good default poly self. I'd put the more creative parts of the spell in an optional sidebar. It's a powerful enough addition that I think you should opt in to it. Maybe give a warning at the start. If your group doesn't mind the wizard turning into a medusa, then go for it.

I'd have no issue splitting it back up into 2 spells. As for choosing the forms, that you have to be more careful with. Go too far and you risk destroying the creative nature of the spell. Remember not everything has to be balanced around powergamers


But at the same time, they need to design the spell to keep it from being system mastery bait where the Wizard starts every fight by turning into a Bodak or Medusa and instakilling everything.
They should just steal the way Pathfinder does polymorph effects. There's some element of system mastery bait, and it doesn't solve the pretty heinous issue of making the Bestiary (Monster Manual) a player book, but it's otherwise really great. They even unify the way polymorphing and wildshape work. It's a great compromise between systems that are safe but inflexible or nonresonant and systems that are resonant but which are crazy unbounded.
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I'd have no issue splitting it back up into 2 spells. As for choosing the forms, that you have to be more careful with. Go too far and you risk destroying the creative nature of the spell. Remember not everything has to be balanced around powergamers


But at the same time, they need to design the spell to keep it from being system mastery bait where the Wizard starts every fight by turning into a Bodak or Medusa and instakilling everything.



but why cant they? i am sure there are plenty of fantasy mages who initiated battles by turning into specific beasts. dragons and demons and such
Polymorph Other/Baleful Polymorph worked ok in 4e as a ritual on helpless victims, which is where its mythical roots come from (Circe being a good example or the prince turned into a baboon in Sinbad).  In terms of a combat spell, making saving throws every round is a pain, I think it should be a very short term thing - probably 1-4 rounds, rolled by the DM.

Polymorph self should really stick torules that only grant basic physical abilities like movement (swim/flight) and basic physical stats (claws).  They can grant wizards fascimile abilities that don't resemble the monster stats e.g. a set amount of damage that could be fire (if turned into a red dragon) or poison if a snake (perhaps capped at the damage of the actual monster).
I'd have no issue splitting it back up into 2 spells. As for choosing the forms, that you have to be more careful with. Go too far and you risk destroying the creative nature of the spell. Remember not everything has to be balanced around powergamers


But at the same time, they need to design the spell to keep it from being system mastery bait where the Wizard starts every fight by turning into a Bodak or Medusa and instakilling everything.



but why cant they? i am sure there are plenty of fantasy mages who initiated battles by turning into specific beasts. dragons and demons and such


The problem is when it gets too out of hand. Yes, the game doesn't specifically balanced around powergamers, but at the same time, don't go back to what 3.x had where 1 class can efforlessly destroy every obstacle in the game because they aren't paying attention to class balance.
So, there's a few problems here:  1) hd is a bad balancing mechanism.   Yes, it generally corresponds to power, but all it takes is wotc to make one low hd, super regenerating ninja beast to break polymorph.   
2) once wizards get polymorph, many challenges need to be re-though.  Flight, underwater, lakes of acid/lava, stop being a threat to a wizard wi polymorph.   Which makes even a rogue, who is supposed to excel at out of combat, trail behind.  
3) save or die is very powerful against solos.   Suggesting that the dm just awArd less experience just begs the players to do 90 of the hp of the dragon, and wait for the polymorph to wear off to kill the dragon.  

While 1 can be fixed with an xp limit, and number three can be sorta fixed with more saves, #2 is a challenge that I don't see woTC overcoming.   Making the self polymorph level 9 might help, I guess - making more levels before the wizard is the only one who can solve out of combat challenges.   
I'd rather see some kind of counting up system. Maybe use the targets constitution in this case. Have the target of the polymorph spell make a save each round while the caster concentrates up to 1 minute. If the target fails they take 1d4 polymorph points. The polymorph points are counted up from 0 and are cumulative. If the polymorph point total reaches the targets constitution score, the target is polymorphed. A willing target can forgo this process.

This would also be nice because multiple casters could stack polymorphs to make it happen faster and it would take less time. You could really do this for any save or suck or save or die spell. Imagine a hold person spell that took several rounds to take effect, or a stinking cloud spell that didn't deal damage but dazed the target after a few rounds. Etc... This is really a good way to do it...Smile

Shrug... I'd rather it just stun the monster for the duration instead of altering the creatures stats. I'd rather not complicate the game with a buch of fiddly bits like multiple saves to add up to another score that might also be added to by others... No thanks.




It doesn't alter the creatures stats, read my post again...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.