View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other Old School Polymorph Self as 3rd level spell

2016-02-23, 10:18 AM
I was looking at my 1st edition PHB. And I came across the old Polymorph Self spell.

Polymorph Self (Alteration)
Level: 4 Components: V Range: 0 Casting Time: 3 segments Duration: 2 turns/level Saving Throw: None Area of Effect: The magic-user
Explanation/Description: When this spell is cast, the magic-user is able to assume the form of any creature - from as small as a wren to as large as a hippopotamus - and its form of locomotion as well. The spell does not give the other abilities (attack, magic. etc.), nor does it run the risk of changing personality and mentality. No "system shock" check is required. Thus, a magic-user changed to an owl could fly, but his or her vision would be human; a change to a black pudding would enable movement under doors or along halls and ceilings. but not the pudding's offensive or defensive capabilities. Naturally, the strength of the new form must be sufficient to allow normal movement. The spell caster can change his or her form as often as desired, the change requiring only 5 segments. Damage to the polymorphed form is computed as if it were inflicted upon the magic-user, but when the magic-user returns to his or her own form, from 1 to 12 (d12) points of damage are restored.

I was thinking, that spell would actually slot in between 3rd edition alter self and polymorph self.

Like alter self, you get movement and disguise. Better than alter self, you're not limited by Type. I"d say we translate 1E "small as a wren" to Tiny and "large as a hippopotamus" to Large (rhnioceros is in the SRD as Large, and is heavier than the hippo). Better than polymorph, you can transform into a gaseous or incorporeal form (I think that "creature" includes ghosts and air elementals.) Worse than polymorph, you don't get the combat boosts (creature stats, attack forms.

So would the revived 1st edition polymorph self be 3rd level (less combat utility than polymorph), 4th level (less combat utility, unlimited type) or should it stay buried in the moldering crypt where it lies?

2016-02-24, 02:22 AM
As a note Air Elementals are strangely not really gaseous in 3.5 having a fixed height (they can't slip through cracks like a creature in Gaseous Form).

As for the question. Wraithform is an 8th level spell to turn you incorporeal for a short duration. Incorporeal forms definitely should not be allowed. Remove that and there's a bunch of arbitration issues that arise with 'what sort of attacks can I make as a X' and so forth. So I'd probably say it should remain buried, but the idea could be made workable. I'd give natural attacks, but not natural armor or special attacks, limit it to corporeal forms, and Ex movement modes, keep your ability scores, and maybe you'd have a 3rd level spell, once you throw in HD limit. I mean it could still be abused to get a lot of natural weapon attacks with the right form and a gish build but takes difficulty and would still probably be worse than Alter Self for its level.

I'd also probably drop duration to 1 minute/level instead of 20.

2016-03-01, 08:45 PM
As a note Air Elementals are strangely not really gaseous in 3.5 having a fixed height (they can't slip through cracks like a creature in Gaseous Form).

Do you mind if I repost this quote in the dysfunctional rules thread?