Legendary creature and polymorph

I was curious if legendary creatures lose their legendary abilities and lair effects while polymorphed?  From the polymorph spell description I would thing so, since it says they gain all abilities of the new form, and lose all the abilities of their old form, but I'm not sure if legendary abilities and lair effects are from their form or from their standing as legendary.
I think they shouldn't, but we'll see if they address the subject when they're released.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Well there are many dragons in D&D lore that can ploymorph into humans.  


I'd see a good argument for either stance.  you know vulnerable in his human form but super powerful in his dragon form or always powerful.  I don't think either way is distinctly superior.
Did anyone ever play Eye of the Beholder 2?    You fight Dran Draggore first as a human and then halfway through the battle he turns into a red dragon.


The current black dragon can't be polymorphed against it's will so that may be a common trait of legendaries.
Also Legandary Dragon as listed can auto-save 4 times a day. I can't see a Wizard having 5 Polymorph spells ready. And if a group of Wizards were to cast 5 Polymorph spells then yes, the dragon is now a bunny...

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

@wegrata : Do legendary creatures keep their legendary abilities while polymorphed?
@mikemearls :  Yes.
I have to disagree. You are going down a slippery slope if legendary creatures break standard rules, unless the description of the legendary creature allows it. Otherwise, they should be subject to effects just like any other creature. So the real issue is what can polymorph effect and should there be any limits so the spell does not get abused. There should not be a default legendary creature is immune or unaffected by a large range of abilities.
I have to disagree. You are going down a slippery slope if legendary creatures break standard rules, unless the description of the legendary creature allows it. Otherwise, they should be subject to effects just like any other creature.



It does allow it.  That's why Mearls said yes.

There should not be a default legendary creature is immune or unaffected by a large range of abilities.



Yes there should, because the description of legendary allows it.
Personally, I'd do it like...

Any Legendary effects that are the result of an Artifact level item are lost during Polymorph unless the new form  is capable of equipping or using the Artifact.
Any Legendary abilities requiring the use of natural abilities your new form doesn't have are lost.
Lairs abilities are unaffected by being polymorphed.
Personally, I'd do it like...

Any Legendary effects that are the result of an Artifact level item are lost during Polymorph unless the new form  is capable of equipping or using the Artifact.



That would make sense.

Any Legendary abilities requiring the use of natural abilities your new form doesn't have are lost.



This I don't like.  Legendary should override a simple power like polymorph.  If the new form doesn't have the same ability capability as the legendary creature had, the new form should GAIN those abilities on top of its new form.

Lairs abilities are unaffected by being polymorphed.



Agreed.
The second really depends. Like for example, a Legendary Beholder would be unable to use eye beams if it was polymorphed into somethign without any real eyes, or not to the same effectiveness it would with it's normal form. Like I said, just how I'd personally handle it.
The second really depends. Like for example, a Legendary Beholder would be unable to use eye beams if it was polymorphed into somethign without any real eyes, or not to the same effectiveness it would with it's normal form. Like I said, just how I'd personally handle it.



My point was that if you polymorped a legendary beholder into something without eyes, it would be a something without eyes that had a bunch of eyestalks  with eyes and beholder powers.  Legendary should override a simple spell and alter it so that the legendary comes out on top.
Better to give a reason that due to the legendary beholders anti-magic ray, or aura, or being an aberration, that polymorph or other morphing affects have no influence. As least there is a reason behind it. Legendary is not an excuse to drop all the rules from the game.
Better to give a reason that due to the legendary beholders anti-magic ray, or aura, or being an aberration, that polymorph or other morphing affects have no influence. As least there is a reason behind it. Legendary is not an excuse to drop all the rules from the game.



Then artifacts should be able to be affected by normal dispel magic and broken over the knee of the nearest PC.  Artifact is not a reason to drop all the rules that apply to a mundane item of the same type

Yes, legendary IS a reason to to exceed the limits of polymorph.  Some things are just greater than other things in the game.  That's not dropping the rules.  That IS the rule.
I have to disagree. You are going down a slippery slope if legendary creatures break standard rules, unless the description of the legendary creature allows it. Otherwise, they should be subject to effects just like any other creature. So the real issue is what can polymorph effect and should there be any limits so the spell does not get abused. There should not be a default legendary creature is immune or unaffected by a large range of abilities.



Whilst I'd expect their specific abilities to vary, the whole point of Legendary creatures is that they get to break many standard rules - and much of the reasoning behind their design is specifically not to allow them to get taken out by the sort of one-shot or two-shot attacks that can defeat normal individuals.

I would be very surprised if there were any means to strip them of their Legendary traits short of killing them. 
I have to disagree. You are going down a slippery slope if legendary creatures break standard rules, unless the description of the legendary creature allows it. Otherwise, they should be subject to effects just like any other creature. So the real issue is what can polymorph effect and should there be any limits so the spell does not get abused. There should not be a default legendary creature is immune or unaffected by a large range of abilities.



Whilst I'd expect their specific abilities to vary, the whole point of Legendary creatures is that they get to break many standard rules - and much of the reasoning behind their design is specifically not to allow them to get taken out by the sort of one-shot or two-shot attacks that can defeat normal individuals.

I would be very surprised if there were any means to strip them of their Legendary traits short of killing them. 



I would expect other similar level abilities to be able to do it.  Another legendary creature, a legendary item, etc.  Short of that, no.
I would be very surprised if there were any means to strip them of their Legendary traits short of killing them. 


FOr innately Legendary creaturs, yeah. Though I believe they mentioned some would be Legendary via some sort of Artifact, so I'd assume taking that away would do the same for their Legendary status in that case.
I believe my debate is focusing on how a creature become legendary, and artifacts would not be the primary reason, but they could influence a creature getting that extra push to become something unique. The way others are describing legendary creatures is similar to being a demigod, where the rules of physics or magic are warped or do not apply. I can count on my hand how many creatures like that which would be included in a campaign world. But we definitely have different opinions on the subject, and I doubt we are going to reach any type of concensus.
The way others are describing legendary creatures is similar to being a demigod, where the rules of physics or magic are warped or do not apply.



No.  That's just your Strawman.  We are simply saying that legendary is more powerful than non-legendary.  A legendary polymorph would be needed to get rid of legendary powers.  A normal one simply isn't strong enough.  No one is saying that legendary = demigod.

I can count on my hand how many creatures like that which would be included in a campaign world. But we definitely have different opinions on the subject, and I doubt we are going to reach any type of concensus.



Very good.  Now actually respond to what we are saying instead of your own fiction.

Call it a straw man if you like, but I am trying to set a gauge of relative power of legendary mechanics in relation to the types of creature or items that are present in D&D. Typically anything is game when discussing gods, demigods or the artifacts they create but it is the top echelon in the game when considering the power of an effect. But I do not believe legendary creatures default to the same type of status as gods, demigods, or artifacts.

So if legendary creatures across the board are immune to polymorph where does it stop? What other spells are legendary creatures immune to, what martial abilities can they ignore, and if you need legendary counters (spells or abilities) to harm it, are they going to be added to the game?

I am not sure why anyone would think legendary creatures are immune across the board to certain effects, including polymorph. It is a cheap way out without putting much thought into the creature. The correct answer to the question of what legendary creatures are immune to is "it depends on the legendary creature"

So now I am starting wonder if we need legendary creatures at all, versus just providing good advice in the monster manual or DM guide on relative monster power. And then add templates for multiple attack, resistances, environmental influence, and scaling. Basically develop a monster toolbox, with XP values added so the DM can make things up on the fly and have some comfort that the monster is the appropriate challenge.

But all of the above gets back to the question of what is legendary monster design trying to address, that is not already covered by templates like solo, elite, lurker, striker, etc. using 4E as an example. I am sure there are more examples from 3E.

I want meaningful monster design versus arbitrary to resolve known issues in the game, like spells being too powerful. Fix the later, so I don’t have to go out on the limb with monster design to counter it.

Call it a straw man if you like, but I am trying to set a gauge of relative power of legendary mechanics in relation to the types of creature or items that are present in D&D.


Right.  Think artifact.  Artifacts are a cut above your typical item, but not so powerful that they are as powerful as a demigod.

Typically anything is game when discussing gods, demigods or the artifacts they create but it is the top echelon in the game when considering the power of an effect.



The vast majority of artifacts are created by mortals, not gods.  There are three tiers.  Normal.  Legendary.  Godly.  You are incorrectly trying to push legendary into a tier it does not belong in. 

But I do not believe legendary creatures default to the same type of status as gods, demigods, or artifacts.



Great!  You're now on the same page as the rest of us that are saying that legendary is greater than normal polymorph.  None of us have said that legendary is on the ame level as gods or demigods.  Artfifacts are also not in in the same tier as gods.

So if legendary creatures across the board are immune to polymorph where does it stop?



That, like every other thing is worth debating.  However, not knowing at this time where it stops is not a reason not to let legendary trump polymorph.   

What other spells are legendary creatures immune to, what martial abilities can they ignore, and if you need legendary counters (spells or abilities) to harm it, are they going to be added to the game?



You do realize that nobody here has said that legendary should stop polymorph, right?  So acting like we're saying that they are immune to polymorph and then asking what else they should be immune to is ANOTHER Strawman.  Polymorph greatly affects a legendary creature, even if it keeps its legendary abilities. 

But all of the above gets back to the question of what is legendary monster design trying to address, that is not already covered by templates like solo, elite, lurker, striker, etc. using 4E as an example. I am sure there are more examples from 3E.



None of the other templates like solo, elite, lurker, striker, etc. offer up the uniqueness that legendary does.  Any Tom, Dick or Harry can be one of those things, but it takes something truly amazing to be legendary.
Legendary creatures keeping all their abilities, regardless of polymorph or having their shape changed, are immune to it or do not have to be concerned about it. Otherwise, we need more input from the developers if there are going to be different tiers for monsters development like normal, legendary, godly as it is all open for debate at the moment.
Whilst I'd expect their specific abilities to vary, the whole point of Legendary creatures is that they get to break many standard rules - and much of the reasoning behind their design is specifically not to allow them to get taken out by the sort of one-shot or two-shot attacks that can defeat normal individuals.

I would be very surprised if there were any means to strip them of their Legendary traits short of killing them. 


Which is just a scab over the fact that there are one- or two-shot attacks floating around out there.
Either the legendary creature is generating plot armour (oh I can hear the whaling and nashing of teeth about plot coupons), or it, individually, needs a reason why such issues don't apply.

For example, a Legendary Doppleganger can be polymorphed, it just doesn't stick, it immediately shape changes back to whatever it cares to be.

On the otherhand, Big Red, the Demon Dragon of the Inferno Volcano what Spews Geysers of Magma so high it can be used to navigate by anywhere on the Hemisphere, should lose it's claw attacks if somehow polymorphed into say a bunny... but it should keep it's firey breath and if it has a heat damage aura, that shouldn't go away either. It may be shape changed, but it's fundamental nature is not altered.
Which may be an issue that can be addressed in the polymorph spell, changing a shape vs changing a fundamental nature.  

Either way, it's still early and it's a matter of wording and internal consistency.  Which is fairly easy to work with... editting phase fix, easy.

Mayhaps we'll see it in the next packet.
Until then, let us subsume the inherent nature of the Ice Elemental and chill.
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
Legendary creatures keeping all their abilities, regardless of polymorph or having their shape changed, are immune to it or do not have to be concerned about it.



Absolutely wrong, and absolutely not what anyone has said.  Nobody has said that they keep all of their abilities.  ONLY THE LEGENDARY ONES.  Turn a legendary creature into a mouse and you are going to remove most of its abilities.  That hardly makes polymorph of no concern to a legendary creatures.