Polymorph and Alternate Forms
The Polymorphed Creature
"Polymorphed" is a temporary acquired template that can be added to any aberration, animal, construct, dragon, elemental, fey, giant, humanoid, magical beast, monstrous humanoid, outsider, undead, or vermin. The shapeshifted creature (known as the "base creature") takes on the shape and some of the characteristics of another creature (the "assumed shape"). Which creature types are available for the assumed shape are dependent on the spell, spell-like ability, or supernatural ability that grants the Polymorphed template. The assumed shape must always be the base form of the creature, and cannot be a version of the creature advanced in Hit Dice in any way.
A polymorphed creature uses all of the base creature's statistics and abilities except as noted here. Do not recalculate the creature's Hit Dice, base attack bonus, base saves, feats (including racial bonus feats and proficiencies) or skill points. For purposes of this template, a "racial" ability is inherent to any member of the creature in question's race; the template does not grant or remove any class abilities, even if it has the same name as a racial ability.
Size: The polymorphed creature takes on the size of the assumed shape, although note that certain spells or abilities limit the choice of the assumed shape based on the size of the base creature. The creature gains the reach of the assumed shape.
Type: The base creature retains its own type, as well as all qualities associated with it. For example, an outsider that has assumed human shape still does not need to eat or sleep. It loses any of the following subtypes: Air, Aquatic, Cold, Earth, Fire, Goblinoid, Incorporeal, Reptilian, Swarm, and Water. If the assumed shape has any of these subtypes, the creature gains them. The creature also gains the Shapechanger subtype if it does not normally possess it.The traits of the creature's type remain unchanged as a result, so that a human taking the form of an elemental does not gain immunity to critical hits, but an elemental taking the form of a human does not lose it, either. Remember that the Cold and Fire subtypes grant energy immunities and vulnerabilities, even if not listed, and the Aquatic and Water subtypes allow the ability to breathe underwater. Also, if a trait is listed individually as a Special Quality, such as darkvision, it might be affected (see Special Qualities, below).
Speed: Same as the assumed shape. The base creature gains additional movement types as the assumed shape, such as a Fly speed, Swim speed, or Climb speed, if they are nonmagical.
Armor Class: The base creature loses any natural armor bonus it has, and gains any natural armor bonus of the assumed shape, with the following limit: the base creature may not gain a natural armor bonus higher than the caster level of the effect that caused the polymorphing. If a shape is assumed that would normally possess a natural armor bonus that exceeds this limit, the bonus is lowered to equal the caster level. (Use the Hit Dice of the base creature as the caster level if the ability to polymorph is Supernatural.)
Attack: The base creature gains all natural weapon attacks of the assumed shape. Natural weapon attacks are made using the base creature's base attack bonus, but using the assumed shape's attack routine. The creature may thus not use the same natural weapon to make multiple attacks as it might with a manufactured weapon.
Damage: The polymorphed creature's natural weapons inflict the same base damage as those of the assumed shape, modified by the creature's new Strength score. Don't forget that a creature with only one natural weapon adds 1-1/2 its Strength bonus to the damage for that attack.
Special Attacks: The base creature loses any of the following racial special attacks if they are Extraordinary in nature. If the assumed shape possesses any of these qualities as Extraordinary racial abilities, the polymorphed creature gains the same qualities. The DM might allow other abilities that are thematically similar to these, at his discretion.
- Gross Physical Attacks: attach, capsize, constrict, crush, engulf, impale, improved grab, leap, pounce, powerful charge, push, rake, rend, rend armor, rock throwing, snatch, swallow whole, tail sweep, trample, trip.
- Elemental Attack Traits: air mastery, burn, cold, combustion, drench, earth mastery, fiery aura, heat.
The base creature loses all other racial Extraordinary special attacks, including but not limited to acid, battle frenzy, beserk, blood drain, corrosive slime, cursed wound, disease, extract, ferocity, frightful presence, howl, light ray, mimicry, moan, paralysis, poison, quills, rage, sneak attack, spit acid, spittle, spores, stench, or web. As a rule of thumb, any ability that produces a sound, excretes a physical substance or object of any kind, involves reproduction or growth, or requires a a particular state of mind on the part of the assumed shape cannot be gained via the Polymorphed template.
The base creature loses all racial Supernatural special attacks, and gains none of the assumed shape's racial Supernatural attacks.
Special Qualities: The base creature loses any of the following racial special qualities that are Extraordinary in nature. If the assumed shape possesses any of these qualities as Extraordinary racial abilities, the polymorphed creature gains the same qualities.
- Survival Qualities: amphibious, immunity to energy, immunity to poison, fast healing, hold breath, resistance to energy, rock catching, vulnerability to energy, water breathing.
- Sensory Qualities: blindsense, blindsight, darkvision, keen senses, light blindness, light sensitivity, low-light vision, scent, tremorsense.
- Damage reduction, magic immunity, regeneration, spell resistance.
- Any ability to overcome damage resistance granted by type, subtype, or damage reduction.
Spells/Spell-Like Abilities: The base creature retains the ability to cast spells, if it possessed such in the first place, though the new form may limit the creature's ability to use material, somatic, or verbal components. The subject never gains any spellcasting ability possessed by the assumed shape.
The base creature keeps all spell-like abilities, and gains none of those possessed by the assumed shape.
Saving Throws: The base creature loses all racial bonuses to saves. If the assumed shape possesses any racial bonuses to saving throws against any effect, the polymorphed creature gains equal bonuses.
Abilities: The base creature loses all racial modifiers to Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution, and gains the racial modifiers to Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution belonging to the assumed shape. The base creature may not gain a racial bonus to any ability score that is greater than the caster level of the effect that caused the polymorphing. If a shape is assumed that would normally possess a racial ability score bonus that exceeds this limit, the bonus is lowered to equal the caster level. (Use the Hit Dice of the base creature as the caster level if the ability to polymorph is Supernatural.) The racial ability scores of the assumed shape can be determined by subtracting 10 (if even) or 11 (if odd) from the creature's listed score.
The base creature does not gain or lose hit points as a result of any change in Constitution. The base creature cannot gain or lose a Constitution score, either; if the creature is turning into a creature with no Constitution (an undead or construct), it instead merely becomes a living facsimile of the assumed shape. Likewise, an undead creature or construct that polymorphs into a shape that would have a Constitution score does not gain one. A creature cannot be returned from death or undeath, or granted life, as a result of the Polymorphed template.
Skills: The base creature loses any racial skill bonuses to any Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution-based skills, as well as the Listen, Search, and Spot skills. The creature gains any such racial skill bonus possessed by the assumed shape. The creature is considered to be disguised as a member of the assumed shape, and gains a +10 shapechanging bonus to Disguise skill checks.
Equipment: Because it is temporary, the Polymorphed Template affects the equipment and possessions of the creature at the moment that they acquire it. When the spell takes effect, the equipment worn or held by the target is affected depending on its nature:
- If the equipment is the proper size and can be used by the new form "as-is", the equipment is unaffected.
- If the equipment is not the proper size, but could otherwise be used, then it grows or shrinks to a usable size. No other aspects of the equipment is altered; the clothing does not change color or texture to make it any more appropriate to the assumed form, for example. When the spell ends, the equipment reverts to its original size, as it does if the creature drops or removes the equipment.
- If the equipment cannot be used by the new form, regardless of size, then it melds into the assumed shape and is nonfunctional. For example, if the assumed shape does not have hands or limbs capable of manipulation, any handheld weapons meld into the body. When the Polymorphed template is lost, any melded equipment reappears, in the same location on your body and unharmed.