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View Full Version : Polymorph/Awaken exploit?



Flickerdart
2009-07-18, 09:08 PM
This is probably not news to anyone, but it seems like a decent combo...

Step 1: Polymorph/PAO/Shapechange/Wildshape? yourself into an animal.
Step 2: Get a buddy to Awaken you. Your INT is now 3d6, and your CHA is +1d3.
Step 3: Polymorph/PAO/Shapechange/Wildshape? yourself into an animal. Rinse, repeat.

Every 24 hours, you get +1d3 CHA and 2 more HD. Eventually, you use your massive CHA to convince the Druid to Awaken you for free.

Is there something wrong with this combo by RAW? Seems kinda neat, if utterly cheesy.

UPDATED METHOD:
Step 1: Dominate/Geas/Mindrape/otherwise compel an Arcane caster to cast PAO on you, turning you into any animal.
Step 2: Dominate/Geas/Mindrape/otherwise compel a Druid or Archivist to cast Awaken on you. You gain +1d3 CHA, and 2 HD worth of feats.
Step 3: Get your Arcane caster to cast Enervation to remove those HD from counting for Awaken's Will save.
Step 4: Get your Arcane caster to PAO you into your original animal form.

Net gain: +1d3 CHA, feats.
Loss: 24 hours.

After a week, that's +14 CHA on average, 28 HD worth of saves, BAB and skills, 9 feats.

Vaynor
2009-07-18, 09:11 PM
Once the polymorph wore off you'd most likely lose any benefit of being an awakened animal.

Flickerdart
2009-07-18, 09:17 PM
Once the polymorph wore off you'd most likely lose any benefit of being an awakened animal.
PAOing a cat into a cat is permanent duration. Thus, it would never wear off if you use PAO.

erikun
2009-07-18, 09:23 PM
If Polymorph doesn't affect your Mental attributes (Int, Wis, Cha) then I'm pretty sure you can't be affected by Awaken. After all, the "awaken... to humanlike sentience" seems to imply that it doesn't affect Animals already of human sentience.

If Polymorph does affect your Mental attributes, then you've effective killed the character. Sure, they now have 3d6 Int and +1d6 Cha, but that's above the base animal - and I think getting dropped to 1 Int would remove any memories or concepts (ie. experience and levels) your character had.

Then again, that's mainly a RAI interpretation.

Flickerdart
2009-07-18, 09:29 PM
I guess you could Curse your own INT down to sub-human, then.

erikun
2009-07-18, 09:34 PM
Yeah, but will you be smart enough to pull off your plan after doing so? :smalltongue:

DM: Roll your Intelligence
Player: *fails*
DM: You now think that eating grass would be a better use of your time.

Jack_Simth
2009-07-18, 09:35 PM
I guess you could Curse your own INT down to sub-human, then.
Well, Polymorph Any Object alters your Int score anyway. But seriously - do you really want to saddle yourself with a bunch of non-casting hit dice?

Alternately, once you've made yourself stupid, what's to stop the Druid NPC from deciding you make a good pet?

Curmudgeon
2009-07-18, 09:39 PM
This plan, even if everybody cooperates, doesn't go on for very long. Awaken requires a Will save, and the DC increases by 2 every time around because of the +2 HD.

awa
2009-07-18, 09:54 PM
Awaken only works on animals after you are awakened your a magic beast so spell can't stack

Flickerdart
2009-07-18, 09:58 PM
Yeah, but will you be smart enough to pull off your plan after doing so? :smalltongue:

DM: Roll your Intelligence
Player: *fails*
DM: You now think that eating grass would be a better use of your time.
Then hire a guy to PAO you for you beforehand.


Well, Polymorph Any Object alters your Int score anyway. But seriously - do you really want to saddle yourself with a bunch of non-casting hit dice?

Alternately, once you've made yourself stupid, what's to stop the Druid NPC from deciding you make a good pet?
This is the thing you do before you go murder some BBEG or another with your new gajillion feats and CHA. Not really mid-campaign stuff...or to be used at all, really.
And you Dominate the Druid beforehand, or Geas, or something. Pick up Leadership with your new HD, make him your cohort.


This plan, even if everybody cooperates, doesn't go on for very long. Awaken requires a Will save, and the DC increases by 2 every time around because of the +2 HD.
True, true...we need to get some level drain mojo in here to get rid of those hit dice. Which means you need some time to get Enervated and fail the saves to not lose levels.


Awaken only works on animals after you are awakened your a magic beast so spell can't stack
That's why you get that second PAO, to make yourself not a Magical Beast anymore.

Jack_Simth
2009-07-18, 10:08 PM
True, true...we need to get some level drain mojo in here to get rid of those hit dice. Which means you need some time to get Enervated and fail the saves to not lose levels.
Regular Enervation will do the job, and the only risk is that you might accidentally zap yourself with a few too many negative levels at once - Enervation doesn't last long enough to risk becoming permanent, and:

-1 effective level (whenever the creatureís level is used in a die roll or calculation, reduce it by one for each negative level). (specific text from Here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#energyDrainAndNegativeLevels) ). As your level is being used in a calculation, you take the -1 "penalty" on that for each negative level... and with the spell Enervation, there's no risk of them becoming permanent. Hmm...

VirOath
2009-07-18, 10:30 PM
As per the spell, Enervation


Assuming the subject survives, it regains lost levels after a number of hours equal to your caster level (maximum 15 hours). Usually, negative levels have a chance of permanently draining the victimís levels, but the negative levels from enervation donít last long enough to do so.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/enervation.htm

Ninjas :smalltongue:

tiercel
2009-07-18, 11:51 PM
Formally, this would work (even just with polymorph -- you only have to be a valid target for the awaken spell when it lands on you, and awaken's effects are Instantaneous so they don't care if your type changes/reverts afterward).

Realistically, this is one of many reasons we play with a DM -- not merely to set up the story, but to adjudicate the rules (and insert some common sense as necessary).

After all, if it is possible to do this in the DM's world, any number of NPCs/BBEGs will have already done so, before your impressed-with-his-own-cleverness PC has a chance to access the Loop of Ever Increasing Cheese.

Lamech
2009-07-19, 12:00 AM
I don't think you get animal type with anything other than shapechange (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/shapechange.htm)... see how that spells out

You also gain the type of the new form in place of your own.
While nothing else does...

Anyway... if you were using shapechange then yes this would work. For added kicks and giggles maximize the awaken and empower it. (Or intensify it if your really lucky.) That means up to 27 int. If you do it at a low enough level (or simply get lucky) your int score will actually go up. Then have a wight blow those HD off...

If you just want the HD simply use lycanthropy and some skill points. That is really hard to interpert in any other way. RAI is you get extra HD. Its one of the flaws in the design philosophy: "PCs won't get monster powers and DMs won't abuse them."

olentu
2009-07-19, 12:22 AM
From polymorph "The subjectís creature type and subtype (if any) change to match the new form (see the Monster Manual for more information)."

awa
2009-07-19, 01:08 AM
I'm not sure but when you gain the intelligence of the new creature do you get to keep your old personality? If you don't you might have to worry about the new form not going along with your plan to destroy its personality.

Pika...
2009-07-19, 01:13 AM
This is probably not news to anyone, but it seems like a decent combo...

Step 1: Polymorph/PAO/Shapechange/Wildshape? yourself into an animal.
Step 2: Get a buddy to Awaken you. Your INT is now 3d6, and your CHA is +1d3.
Step 3: Polymorph/PAO/Shapechange/Wildshape? yourself into an animal. Rinse, repeat.

Every 24 hours, you get +1d3 CHA and 2 more HD. Eventually, you use your massive CHA to convince the Druid to Awaken you for free.

Is there something wrong with this combo by RAW? Seems kinda neat, if utterly cheesy.

UPDATED METHOD:
Step 1: Dominate/Geas/Mindrape/otherwise compel an Arcane caster to cast PAO on you, turning you into any animal.
Step 2: Dominate/Geas/Mindrape/otherwise compel a Druid or Archivist to cast Awaken on you. You gain +1d3 CHA, and 2 HD worth of feats.
Step 3: Get your Arcane caster to cast Enervation to remove those HD from counting for Awaken's Will save.
Step 4: Get your Arcane caster to PAO you into your original animal form.

Net gain: +1d3 CHA, feats.
Loss: 24 hours.

After a week, that's +14 CHA on average, 28 HD worth of saves, BAB and skills, 9 feats.

Honestly, what kind of DM would let this fly?

The Mentalist
2009-07-19, 01:29 AM
Probably the same DM that gave the party an item of at will Mindrape.

T.G. Oskar
2009-07-19, 02:51 AM
I'd like to see how this works out.

When you get affected by Polymorph effects (say, regular Polymorph, Shapechange, the Wild Shape special ability or the Greater/Metamorphosis psionic power), it's pretty evident that you are considered to always retain your mental ability scores. This means that you're already possessed of greater mental ability, so Awaken would probably fail given the redundancy of the effect.

At the worst case, given my interpretation, is that the spell would "awaken you to human-like sentience", which means you'd be not only an entirely different being, but that your Intelligence scores would actually drop. You can't expect to have your awesome 21+ Intelligence be improved by 3d6, don't you? At the worst, you can end with 3 Int, which is the lowest score for an intelligent creature to have (I mean, you can have three 1's rolled...), and then get the 1 to 3 points of extra Charisma. However, the worst thing is that you'd begin as a new character with no class levels, perhaps defaulted into the same amount of HD, and losing all the benefits you may have gained (probably even the insight bonuses to stats, racial abilities and whatnot)

I'd be worried that the old personality doesn't realizes that Awaken effectively rewires his or her memory into something else. Once the polymorph effect runs out, the new personality would be surprised to find it's not what it thought it was.

Though, I'd let it fly with Polymorph Any Object, and only if it's relatively capable of gaining a glimpse of life and remains as such permanently. If you use PAO to turn from an human into, say, a monkey (which would make it a permanent change), then Awaken would grant the monkey a new personality.

Seriously, that is interpreting the wording of the text too literally. It's evident that Awaken would not work on creatures with intellect even if they're animals or plants (such as trying to awaken a Treant, which is already intelligent and already awakened...)

Now, what I can find as a low-level impressive feat is to work the spells in a way where you can pretty much create an intelligent lackey out of a slab of stone. I think that's entirely possible: Stone Shape into the general shape craft a magnificent statue by any means with the detail of the Renaissance sculpters, then Stone to Flesh to turn the statue into an inert mass of flesh, then Polymorph any Object to turn it into a human (with Wisdom and Charisma scores), then probably Awaken to grant it intellect. Though, I'd still say it'd be pointless since the inert mass of flesh wouldn't have a Constitution score.

Hmm...how can I grant something a Constitution score? Because that way, then it can be Animate Object (permanent, since the fleshy body would be treated as an object), then a way to grant it a Constitution score, and finally Awaken.

At the worst part, you could make Undead out of slabs of stone...

Milskidasith
2009-07-19, 02:55 AM
So this is basically a worse, less rules compliant version of pun-pun, but without the "assumed to know everything, ever, and have infinite god levels and arbitrarily high stats?"

I mean, no DM is going to let this fly, and pun pun is way better for theorycraft, so why would you even care about this? Getting a few extra charisma points or a chance to reroll your intelligence doesn't sound like the best way to do something that will get your GM to get all :smallfurious:.

Moriato
2009-07-19, 03:08 PM
You'd wind up with an awful lot of magical beast hd, which I suppose is ok if you're a fighter, but a fighter isn't going to be able to make good use of that high charisma. I think you'd wind up kind of weak, after everything was done.

tiercel
2009-07-19, 03:24 PM
So this is basically a worse, less rules compliant version of pun-pun

Well no actual DM is going to reasonably allow either this or Pun-Pun or any similar sort of cheese, but the point is that (1) this actually is, technically, rules compliant as far as I can see and (2) your DM doesn't have to allow any supplements for you to attempt this by RAW. (Pun-Pun can't exist in a campaign without sarrukh, for instance.)

Milskidasith
2009-07-19, 03:28 PM
Well no actual DM is going to reasonably allow either this or Pun-Pun or any similar sort of cheese, but the point is that (1) this actually is, technically, rules compliant as far as I can see and (2) your DM doesn't have to allow any supplements for you to attempt this by RAW. (Pun-Pun can't exist in a campaign without sarrukh, for instance.)

Yes, but no DM is going to allow you to do this to get a natural intelligence of 18 and a huge charisma boost by repeatedly awakening yourself, and if you are going to do enough cheese to piss off the DM, you might as well go all the way. :smalltongue:

Irreverent Fool
2009-07-19, 10:20 PM
The polymorph any object trick would work fine, but you would need to use a form that did not end up being permanent (or get it dispelled). It's been established that a spell only 'cares' if it has a valid target when it is cast, so a polymorphed creature that had its type become 'animal' would gain the intelligence. Once the polymorph wore off, it would keep the increase since awaken has an instantaneous duration.

By the RAW, it works. It's been post before. No, most DMs won't let you do it because there's no real limit to how much you could gain in your stats. (Remember that a character can voluntarily fail a will save). But most DMs won't let you do any of the other zillions of silly RAW tricks posted on these boards. This is obviously not RAI, but it never is.

Short answer: Yes. It works.

obnoxious
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Curmudgeon
2009-07-19, 10:40 PM
By the RAW, it works. It's been post before. No, most DMs won't let you do it because there's no real limit to how much you could gain in your stats. (Remember that a character can voluntarily fail a will save). Failing is irrelevant. The caster needs to succeed.
You awaken a tree or animal to humanlike sentience. To succeed, you must make a Will save (DC 10 + the animalís current HD, or the HD the tree will have once awakened). Each time you go through the cycle, the DC to succeed goes up by 2. That's a real limit, Fool.

Flickerdart
2009-07-19, 10:45 PM
Failing is irrelevant. The caster needs to succeed. Each time you go through the cycle, the DC to succeed goes up by 2. That's a real limit, Fool.
That's what Enervation is for.

Irreverent Fool
2009-07-20, 12:58 AM
Failing is irrelevant. The caster needs to succeed. Each time you go through the cycle, the DC to succeed goes up by 2. That's a real limit, Fool.

I disagree. That's clearly a game limit.

obnoxious
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