View Full Version : Possible Polymorph fix?

2011-01-28, 03:46 PM
As most of us know, the polymorph spell is easily subject to abuse. Some DMs prefer to ban it altogether, but I think I may have developed a solution by modifying the spell as follows:

1) The caster, when polymorphed, can only use extraordinary abilities, not supernatural or spell-like abilities (I'm not looking at the spell at the moment, so this may still be part of the actual rules, but since this is a point of centention between myself and a friend, I have chosen to include it), but can use natural attacks as normal.

2) When turning into any creature for the first time, the caster makes a knowledge check to remember any special extraordinary abilites the creature may posess. The caster cannot use abilities that he does not know about. For example, if he rolls poorly on a knowledge check about trolls, he may remember that they have regeneration, but forget about the rend attack, and thus be unable to use it. The claw attacks are availible either way, as it is a natural attack and not an extraordinary ability.

3) If the caster cannot identify the creature he is trying to polymorph into with the above knowledge check, he cannot polymorph into that creature.

4) The normal rules fro retrying knowledge checks apply for this use, but you cannot lose abilities if you roll a lower result on the reroll at higher levels, only gain new ones from rolling higher.

Let me know what you think, as both players and DMs, please.
If your opinions are favorable, I may start implementing this modification as a house rule.

2011-01-28, 03:54 PM
Thank you. I will reread that book before making any new houserules.

2011-01-28, 03:55 PM
Hey, what happened to the reply I just read?

2011-01-28, 04:24 PM
wanna see a really good polymorph fix? Look at how pathfinder handles it.

2011-01-28, 05:12 PM
wanna see a really good polymorph fix? Look at how pathfinder handles it.

What he said.

Orbin Dules
2011-01-28, 05:17 PM
I think our very own Rich Burlew has some thoughts on adjusting Polymorphing.
Part one is found here:

Part 2:

2011-01-28, 06:45 PM
While we're on the subject, what's the worst abuse of polymorph you've seen (aside from it's versatility, potentially replacing fly, water breathing, free movement, poison, bull's str, etc)?

12-headed hydra is pretty nasty, especially for your group's warrior with a little magic fang or ironskin thrown in for flavor.

Or half-dragon (fill in the blank). We are talking about abuse here.

Gamer Girl
2011-01-29, 02:23 AM
The trick is....your fix just slows down the game.

It will just have the players making rolls to see it they have the cool abilities. And worse, the players will simply max out the skills anyway. They will have +15-20 in no time, so they will know all about the monsters.

2011-01-29, 02:45 AM
Since when does polymorph grant the use of SU and SLAs?

I have not had experience with polymorph breaking my games, though it did tend to slow them to a crawl as players had to spend time figuring out what exactly it did.

For example, at 7th lv, my wizard cast polymorph on the party barb to turn him into a treant. The physical stat adjustments were pretty obvious, but one area of contention was whether it granted plant traits. The spell's desc seemed to suggest it did, but I (the DM at the time) felt that immunity to mental effects and crits was way too strong for a 4th lv spell.

I allowed it at that time, but it would only be the start of what was to be many more rules debates over said spell, because evidently, nobody knows exactly just how it should work, not even the designers themselves! (wotc wasn't helping due to contradictory replies). In the end, I had a discussion with the players and we agreed not to use it anymore. :smallfrown: