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MandibleBones
2008-05-23, 12:08 PM
I know in general that polymorph is cheese, but I hadn't realized how much until I started playing a wizard. Zee oh em gee. But this isn't a rant, it's a request for help.

You see, our campaign is, to put it bluntly, high-powered. 40 point buy, mostly optimized, Big Damn Heroes. Of course, to be fair, Anyone Can Die, as well - long days with 10 or more combats between rest are common, the enemies aren't stupid (unless they're supposed to be), and as a wizard, I'm learning to make due with single-use spells that allow me to stretch my phenomenal cosmic power to last all day, lest I wind up fighting with rapier, buckler and chain shirt again and completely out of spells, scrolls and offensive wand charges.

So I was happy when I got to use Alter Self, and have been making use of it (hour-long duration as Gnoll, Flind? Definitely useful in a swordfight. Forget the rapier; I'll take the longsword two-handed and wish I had power-attack).

But now I've hit 7th level, which means 4th level spells... which means the party fighter stops looking longingly at the wild-shaped druid and just starts crying himself to sleep at night, but also means that I need a few good favored shapes for melee combat.

I'm looking at megaraptor as a grappler, just for the "Dang, I'm Huge!" effect and the improved grab (plus, if I happen to cast, say, Balor Nimbus before I cast Polymorph, everybody wins. Well, I do, anyway).

And the Hobgoblin War Soul out of MMV seems to get 4th-level Sorc casting as an (Ex) Special Attack, so by RAW I'm pretty sure I'd get that in a polymorph - my CHA isn't great, but 12 is enough for level 2 spells in case I for some reason need to use Evocation (banned as a wizard) or Necro (banned as my wizard) spells of that level or something.

But this board can do better, I assume. Any suggestions to fully break Polymorph?

And am I right in reading that there isn't a size restriction, other than "no smaller than Fine?"

Iku Rex
2008-05-23, 01:38 PM
First if all, you need to read the rules for these spells carefully, keeping in mind that polymorphg inherits most of the rules from alter self. The FAQ has some polymorph answers as well. I don't see how using alter self to change into a flind helps much in melee, and you don't get spellcasting with polymorph.

Best forms:

Alter self
Troglodyte (+6 NA), tren (SerpKing (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/iw/20040613a&page=4), +8 NA), crucian (MinH, Sand, +8 NA).

Core polymorph
Pixie (flight, Dex), troll (Con, NA), annis hag (Str, NA) and stone giant (14HD, Str, NA).

Treant is good if the DM allows you to keep your magical equipment in plant form. Hydra form gets you lots of attacks.

Non-core polymorph
Darktentacles (MM2, 9HD, many attacks, grapple!), firbolg (MM2, 13 HD, Str), cave troll (MM3, 9HD, natural attacks) and war troll (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/iw/20040815b&page=6) (MM3, 12HD, Str, NA, attacks - best form overall).

puppyavenger
2008-05-23, 01:45 PM
And the Hobgoblin War Soul out of MMV seems to get 4th-level Sorc casting as an (Ex) Special Attack, so by RAW I'm pretty sure I'd get that in a polymorph - my CHA isn't great, but 12 is enough for level 2 spells in case I for some reason need to use Evocation (banned as a wizard) or Necro (banned as my wizard) spells of that level or something.
?"

But, why do spells have thier own catagory if they just make the extrodinary? and how does that make any sense? anyway, see if you can find anything good at everything, dragons are usualy usefull for that.

Starbuck_II
2008-05-23, 02:35 PM
First if all, you need to read the rules for these spells carefully, keeping in mind that polymorphg inherits most of the rules from alter self. The FAQ has some polymorph answers as well. I don't see how using alter self to change into a flind helps much in melee, and you don't get spellcasting with polymorph.


I have no idea where you asre getting your rules.

1. Magical equipment resizes when grow larger/smaller (says so in DMG) unless weapon/armor (stay same size).

2. Polymorph only absorbs magical equipment is can't use (which is rare since most forms have fingers for rings, mid section for belt, or heads for helmet/headband for some of it).

3. Only Polymorph subschool spells remove spell casting. The Polymorph subschool sectionj says it doesn't affect the Core spells such as Alter Self or Polymorph.

4. Alter Self addsa Natural armor: Humans have NA of +0. 0 is less than any number since you can't have negative natural armor..

This natural armor stacks with barkskin/amulet since it would be base + enhancement.


Best forms:
Treant is good if the DM allows you to keep your magical equipment in plant form.

Treant have fingers so keep ring, wear amulet, can wear headband, can wear belt, and I guess goggles. Covers everything I think.

I suggest Cloakers for Hold Person, standard at Will ,Extraordinary Attack. But it is Charisma based.

KillianHawkeye
2008-05-23, 02:37 PM
And the Hobgoblin War Soul out of MMV seems to get 4th-level Sorc casting as an (Ex) Special Attack, so by RAW I'm pretty sure I'd get that in a polymorph - my CHA isn't great, but 12 is enough for level 2 spells in case I for some reason need to use Evocation (banned as a wizard) or Necro (banned as my wizard) spells of that level or something.

Well, all the Hobgoblins in MM5 are advanced versions of normal Hobgoblins. One is simply a Duskblade 3, while the others are normal Hobgoblins who have gone through extreme training and magical rituals to transform into Monstrous Humanoids. This transformation does give a couple of them Wizard spellcasting.

However, I don't believe you can polymorph into a Hobgoblin Warcaster because it is basically just a Hobgoblin that learned magic by putting itself through a dark blood ritual of some sort. Essentially, it is not really a different creature from a normal Hobgoblin, and IIRC when you use polymorph you can only change into a general version of whatever creature you choose. IMO, it would be like polymorphing into a Hobgoblin Wizard or a Hobgoblin with some kind of spellcasting template, which is not allowed.

Iku Rex
2008-05-23, 04:01 PM
1. Magical equipment resizes when grow larger/smaller (says so in DMG) unless weapon/armor (stay same size).

2. Polymorph only absorbs magical equipment is can't use (which is rare since most forms have fingers for rings, mid section for belt, or heads for helmet/headband for some of it).


Like I explained to you the last time (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4186607&postcount=19):

The rules are fuzzy. Magic clothing and jewelry are "easily adjustable, or they adjust themselves magically" (DMG). Do you have time to "adjust" your items during the change?

According to alter self/polymorph an item will meld if the new form isn't "capable of wearing or holding the item". Now, can the spell discover that an item will magically resize or will it just decide it doesn't fit in the new form and meld it?

Then there's the matter of how close you have to get for an item to fit. Can a treant wear boots? How humanoid can you make its form?

The FAQ suggests leniency:

What happens to the equipment worn and carried by a
character polymorphed* into another creature capable of
wearing and carrying the same gear? What if the new
creature’s size is different?
Unless stated otherwise, all spells in the polymorph chain
function as described in the alter self spell description, which
states that if the new form is capable of wearing or holding the
item, it remains worn or held; otherwise it melds into the new
form and becomes nonfunctional. A human polymorphed into
another Medium humanoid-shaped form (such as an elf,
grimlock, or bearded devil) can wear or hold all his gear, so it
remains in place.
However, this is one of those times when size definitely
matters, since your gear doesn’t automatically change size as a
result of polymorph. Assuming the new form has appropriate
body locations—for instance, a human polymorphed into a troll
or a pixie—most of your magic items (rings, cloaks, boots, and
other items of magic clothing or jewelry) still fit just fine
regardless of your new size (see “Size and Magic Items” on
page 213 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide).
Nonmagical clothing and accoutrements that don’t fit the
new size meld into the character’s body when he is
polymorphed. (The Sage recommends that DMs err on the side
of leniency when determining what the new form can or can’t
wear.)
Similarly, armor (even magic armor) doesn’t resize to fit
wearers of different sizes. The human described above loses the
benefit of his +1 full plate armor as it melds into his body,
even though the new form is capable of wearing armor.
As long as your new form can hold weapons (that is, it has
hands or other similarly dexterous extremities), you hold on to
whatever weapons you had before the change. However, since
the weapons are no longer of a size appropriate to you, you take
a penalty on attack rolls with them as described on page 113 of
the Player’s Handbook. A human polymorphed into a troll can
still hold his Medium weapons (although they’re now one size
category too small for optimal use and thus he’ll suffer a –2
penalty on attack rolls). On the plus side, he can now wield that
Medium greatsword with only one hand, meaning he could
pick up a shield or a second weapon to wield simultaneously.
If your barbarian is regularly polymorphed into a troll or
stone giant, you might want to consider carrying an extra Large
weapon for use in those situations.
*The question and answer uses “polymorph” to refer
specifically to spells that rely on the polymorph or alter self
spell to adjudicate their effect (including alter self, polymorph,
polymorph any object, and shapechange), psionic powers based
on the metamorphosis power (including metamorphosis and
greater metamorphosis), and any other effect based on either of
these lists.





3. Only Polymorph subschool spells remove spell casting. The Polymorph subschool sectionj says it doesn't affect the Core spells such as Alter Self or Polymorph.I never said you lose your own spellcasting. (Though some forms may make it hard to use verbal, somatic or material components.) I said you don't get spellcasting. If you read the OP, the TS thinks he can change into a War Soul and get the creature's spelcasting ability. You don't get spellcasting in general, the War Soul's (Ex) spellcasting ability is a Special Quality, and it requires a spellbook.

4. Alter Self addsa Natural armor: Humans have NA of +0. 0 is less than any number since you can't have negative natural armor..I suggested three of the best forms for natural armor, along with the creature's natural armor bonus. So thank you for "informing" me that alter self grants natural armor. TS was using flind form, using his longsword two-handed and "wishing he had Power Attack". This suggest that he was adding something more than the flind's +2 NA, which, like I said, doesn't help much when you're a low-level wizard in melee.

MandibleBones
2008-05-23, 04:38 PM
However, I don't believe you can polymorph into a Hobgoblin Warcaster because it is basically just a Hobgoblin that learned magic by putting itself through a dark blood ritual of some sort.

*shrugs* It's not templated or class-leveled. RAW says it's fine. But it is suboptimal, to be sure.


I don't see how using alter self to change into a flind helps much in melee, and you don't get spellcasting with polymorph.

You're right, it doesn't and I was using Alter Self wrong. Less of that in the future, to be sure.

As for the spellcasting, yes - if I were to polymorph into a dragon, I wouldn't get spells. Warsoul, however, specifically lists its spellcasting as an (Ex) ability, which most core casting does not. EDIT: My bad, it is indeed a Quality, not an attack. I was away from my books for a moment.

And Hydra does seem cool, though if I wanted to fly, I'd probably 'morph dragon or something like that instead of pixie.

Funkyodor
2008-05-23, 06:19 PM
Treant is really tricky. If you have a leniant DM, then go for it. But it really is DM's call as to what equipment transfers over. Plus 'Plant Traits' is a special quality that you won't inherit. Imagine being a Treant that has vital organs subject to Sneak Attack... The only thing you get is good STR, great Fort save, extra damage vs. objects, trample, and decent natural armor. But if you are resorting to physically attacking enemies... I think some classes aren't doing what they're supposed to do.

Just remember to write down the Polymorph stats on a 3X5 card for easy reference in game (after confering with a DM for specific interpretations). Make note of every applicable ability to eliminate confusion in game.

Iku Rex
2008-05-23, 08:41 PM
Plus 'Plant Traits' is a special quality that you won't inherit. The semi-official WotC ruling is that you do get the traits associated with the plant type. http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20040525a .


Plant Type

You get the following:

-- Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects). (Natural ability.)

-- Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, polymorph, and stunning. (Another natural ability.)

-- Not subject to critical hits. (Another natural ability.)

-- Proficient with its natural weapons only. (You don't forget what you know, but a change to plant form doesn't get you any weapon proficiency that's not listed here.)

-- Proficient with no armor. (You don't forget what you know, but a change to plant form doesn't get you any armor proficiency that's not listed here.)

-- Plants breathe and eat, but do not sleep. (A natural ability.)

You don't get the following:

-- Low-light vision. (Extraordinary special quality.)

Andy Collins said something similar several years back.

It's yet another "not as clear as it could be" polymorph rule.

Chronos
2008-05-23, 08:51 PM
The reference to "natural abilities" suggests that that's based on an older version of the rules (possibly 3.0, but the Polymorph rules have been changed so many times now it's impossible to keep track). So far as I know, there's no such category as "natural abilities" in the current rules (it never was really defined all that well to begin with, but not at all now).

Iku Rex
2008-05-23, 09:19 PM
Nope, natural abilities are still in.
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm

Polymorph doesn't have an explicit "you get natural abilities" clause any more, but you get the "physical qualities of the new form" from alter self.

Andy Collin's reasoning was "[Wildshaping] changes your type, and thus grants you all the traits possessed by the creature. A druid wild shaped into a shambling mound would be immune to mind-affecting effects, poison, and critical hits." (Secondhand quote from http://gameschat19968.yuku.com/topic/2157/t/Andy-Custserv-contradicts-you.html .)

Cuddly
2008-05-23, 09:30 PM
Cast polymorph on the fighter, and use a different spell on the enemies. The fighter will be able to do so much more than you while transformed.

Check out War Troll from MM3 (I think). It might have too many HD for you, yet. Also from MM3 is the fleshraker dinosaur. That thing gets a ton of attacks and forces saves. Dire tortoise (Sandstorm?) gets to always go first due to some ridiculous ability it has, which carries over in polymorph, I think.

TempusCCK
2008-05-23, 11:59 PM
You're using your spells wrong, you need to battlefield control and buff. Pump up the fighter to make him rock, and sit back and wait until your control spells are absolutely needed. You may be doing alot of waiting, but it's going to be the most efficient use of your spells for your scenario. Also, now you have solid fog, which rocks, have fun.

Cuddly
2008-05-24, 12:25 AM
I don't get soild fog. Evard's works so much better, since not only do you wipe out a bunch of enemies, you can still target them.

Admiral Squish
2008-05-24, 01:10 AM
On an unrelated note, I'd been looking for war troll stats for a long time! Thanks for the link! I finally have the beast the shall ruin my players. HUMUAHAHAHA!

Solo
2008-05-24, 01:17 AM
I don't get soild fog. Evard's works so much better, since not only do you wipe out a bunch of enemies, you can still target them.

There are two interpretations of Solid Fog.

1) a target's speed is reduced to 5 feet. He can run out of the Solid Fog.
2) a target's speed is reduce to 5 feet. He must take 4 turns to get out of the Solid Fog.

Cuddly
2008-05-24, 01:28 AM
Eh, 4 turns to get out. It's nice time to spend buffing or whatever, but still no battlewinner, by any means. Cleric casting Doomtide in tandem with the party rogue is much better.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2008-05-24, 01:42 AM
There are two interpretations of Solid Fog.

1) a target's speed is reduced to 5 feet. He can run out of the Solid Fog.
2) a target's speed is reduce to 5 feet. He must take 4 turns to get out of the Solid Fog.

Both you have listed are wrong. :smalltongue:

You cannot run in Solid Fog, but you can make a double move and progress 10 feet in a round.


You canít run across difficult terrain or if you canít see where youíre going.

Solo
2008-05-24, 01:47 AM
Both you have listed are wrong. :smalltongue:



I never said that they were the correct interpretations.

Starbuck_II
2008-05-24, 09:10 AM
I never said that they were the correct interpretations.

Heh, I see what you did there.

I also think Glitterdust is a fantasic choice for spells: Cancels invisibility where cast and can blind enemy.

Madmal
2008-05-24, 11:27 AM
One of the many good ways to limit the cheese could be to limit the options to only monsters you've encountered previosly, or the ones you've become familiar with at some degree (not necessarily by fighting it, a good knowledge could help too.). :smallamused: