PDA

View Full Version : [3.5] Using Alter Self to increase size



chuzzum
2009-11-19, 12:44 AM
Okay, so I've got the same player from this thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=131826) with another question. He's got a Large-size Warforged that's been houseruled in, and now he wants to know if he can use the Alter Self ability to increase his size to Huge. The line he's quoting from the SRD is


You assume the form of a creature of the same type as your normal form. The new form must be within one size category of your normal size... You can change into a member of your own kind or even into yourself.

My interpretation is based on another line further down in the description:


You can freely designate the new formís minor physical qualities (such as hair color, hair texture, and skin color) within the normal ranges for a creature of that kind.

His argument is that he can change into himself, just bigger. My argument is he can change into a normal Warforged (which is medium sized) or himself (and he is normally large sized), but he can't use it to drastically alter his physical attributes unless he's changing into a specific creature (like a stone golem or animated armor or something). And since most Huge constructs have more than 5 HD, I don't think he could turn into anything huge.

Anyone have any help or suggestions about this?

Sinon
2009-11-19, 01:00 AM
You acquire the physical qualities of the new form while retaining your own mind. Physical qualities include natural size,

The onus is on him to demonstrate that huge is a "natural size" for the warforged. I think it's medium.

ghashxx
2009-11-19, 02:24 AM
Yep, you can't turn into anything that isn't natural for whatever you are. And of course the HD still applies when you're actually changing into something else entirely. So giving yourself inscribed symbols and looking like a different metal etc is one thing. But making yourself bigger when that's natural? Definitely not. He's a warforged which even raises questions about what is normal for warforged anyways. And of course there's the whole hit die thing which I sincerely doubt any huge creature has less than even 10HD, much less 5HD.

Optimystik
2009-11-19, 09:25 AM
The onus is on him to demonstrate that huge is a "natural size" for the warforged. I think it's medium.

Correct: Races of Eberron has them as Medium. They're in one of the MMs that way as well. (3? 4?)

dsmiles
2009-11-19, 09:33 AM
I think that "normal ranges for a creature of that type is key here."
A Medium creature ranges from what? About 4.5 ft up about 8 ft?
It's a whole different animal if you turn into yourself. Turning into a specific individual means you assume the exact physical characteristics of that individual. Turning into yourself will do absolutely nothing except give you a magical aura for the duration of the spell because you will be exactly the same!!!

Dixieboy
2009-11-19, 09:35 AM
I say let him, it's not a huge stretch.

Basically he's just casting enlarge person with a higher level spellslot. (And a longer duration but WTH)

Sliver
2009-11-19, 09:47 AM
I say let him, it's not a huge stretch.

Basically he's just casting enlarge person with a higher level spellslot. (And a longer duration but WTH)

Warforged aren't humanoids, so unless I'm wrong, it is not enlarge person..

dsmiles
2009-11-19, 09:51 AM
Warforged aren't humanoids, so unless I'm wrong, it is not enlarge person..

I believe you are correct. Enlarge Object, maybe?

Sliver
2009-11-19, 09:55 AM
It is not very nice... Warforged are living creatures too.. Living constructs, to be precise.. Enlarge Living Construct or Enlarge Monster would work on them..

dsmiles
2009-11-19, 10:16 AM
IMHO, a construct, whether living or not is still physically an object by the way the spells are written.

JeenLeen
2009-11-19, 10:21 AM
IMHO, a construct, whether living or not is still physically an object by the way the spells are written.

Object is generally (or always, but I hesitate to make that strong a statement) used as a technical term in contrast to creature. Constructs are creatures, as are undeads and other non-livings.

It might be an object in the sense that it a robotic thing, but it is a creature (and thus not an object) according to D&D terminology, which governs what spells can work on what.

Sliver
2009-11-19, 10:23 AM
Construct is a creature type, and as warforged have CHA and WIS, so I do not think they count as objects. Did I miss a line that say that for spells they are effected as if they were objects? I know warforged have a line saying they are vulnerable to stuff like heat metal but that they are effected by spells that target objects only?

Optimystik
2009-11-19, 10:33 AM
I believe you are correct. Enlarge Object, maybe?

I looked in both the SRD and Spell Compendium and I can't find that one, nor Enlarge Item, Nor Grow Object, Expand Object etc. Where's it from?

Thrice Dead Cat
2009-11-19, 10:37 AM
I looked in both the SRD and Spell Compendium and I can't find that one, nor Enlarge Item, Nor Grow Object, Expand Object etc. Where's it from?

Officially, I don't know if any low level spell a la Enlarge Person can affect non-humanoids. Outside of cleric only buffs or Giant Size, the only way most constructs can get bigger are a weak artifact or Psionics.

jiriku
2009-11-19, 10:50 AM
Yah, alter self doesn't turn you into yourself, only bigger. It turns you into yourself, exactly as you are. This function of alter self is useful for things like assuming your normal form when you're under the influence of a long-duration shape-altering magic, without having to dispel or dismiss the original effect (for example, to briefly assume your normal form when polymorph or afflicted with corporeal instability).

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-11-19, 01:31 PM
Give him a Dorje of Expansion or similar, from the XPH.

ghashxx
2009-11-19, 04:48 PM
I looked in both the SRD and Spell Compendium and I can't find that one, nor Enlarge Item, Nor Grow Object, Expand Object etc. Where's it from?

You really can't find anything about these types of enhancements? I wish my spam filter was that good.

herrhauptmann
2009-11-19, 05:58 PM
Tell him to take a level in psychic warrior for the expansion power to Huge. If he stays with psywar long enough, he can get up to gargantuan.

Why does he want to be even bigger? Unless every fight takes place outside, that much size is sorta useless.
If it's damage, direct him to warhulk, strongarm bracers, and golden 'heavy' weapons.
Warhulk gives str boosts at cost of BAB. Slightly less optimal, but possibly more fun.
Strongarm bracers lets him wield a larger weapon. (he's large, so it's huge)
'Heavy' weapons (magic of faerun), make his weapon deal damage as if it's one size larger than it already is. (huge weapon deals damage as a gargantuan weapon).

What kind of characters do the rest of the players use? And I recommend you make him research his own optimization, instead of doing it for him.

chuzzum
2009-11-19, 06:45 PM
I think he wants to be bigger for the damage and reach increases. I don't really have a problem with him being huge sized, but I don't think he can use Alter Self to do that.

As for the party makeup, his character is a monk. There's another player in the group who is a powergamer, and plays a lurk (psionic rogue). I'm not too worried about him breaking things because he's more interested in just sneaking around and helping the party out. The other two players are a druid (totally unoptimized) and a ranger (also unoptimized), so his character is already one of the biggest damage-dealers in the group.

And yeah, I only ask questions here when he comes to me with something and says "I figured out this awesome combo, can I use it in the game?" If I need to say "no" I want to be able to back it up with a good reason.

herrhauptmann
2009-11-19, 07:05 PM
And yeah, I only ask questions here when he comes to me with something and says "I figured out this awesome combo, can I use it in the game?" If I need to say "no" I want to be able to back it up with a good reason.

Ahh, I misunderstood you at start. Thought you were gonna shoot down his idea, then give him the correct path.
In that case, my last post was mostly useless I think.

chuzzum
2009-11-19, 07:08 PM
Actually, it'll give me a good notion of what he might start looking at next, so thanks! :smallbiggrin:

Rev.Scarecrow
2009-11-19, 09:44 PM
Hi I'm the player that he is referring to. I was mostly trying to figure out good uses for Alter Self. The phrasing seemed weird but it seems like when it says
You can change into a member of your own kind or even into yourself.
That part is supposed to be used to turn yourself back into yourself when you aren't yourself. Not to be used to be a larger (or smaller) version of yourself. It seems that the only way it would work is if he house rules it in.

I don't really like using house rules to get what I want. The only reason I wanted the warforged to be tall (aside from the damage and stuff) is to further alienate him from the humanity. I want him to seem awkward and different from society. Warforged, 6 charisma, height, and proper role playing should give this.

Anyway what are some good uses for alter self considering a warforged is considered a construct with the subset living construct and that I am large. Eventually I will become a outsider instead of a living construct since I'm a monk.

Until Level 20 I was thinking maybe turning into a large animated wagon to transport loot or maybe furniture to allow myself to hide every now and then. Any other good ideas?