I’m curious how polymorph and diseases interact.
Say the following scenario. A character of at least level 5 is polymporphed into a Giant Shark and fights an Aboleth.
Polymorph states the following:
The target’s game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the chosen beast.
The Aboleth has the following attack:
Tentacle. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6 + 5) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or become diseased. The disease has no effect for 1 minute and can be removed by any magic that cures disease. After 1 minute, the diseased creature’s skin becomes translucent and slimy, the creature can’t regain hit points unless it is underwater, and the disease can be removed only by heal or another disease-curing spell of 6th level or higher.
So any ‘normal’ creature can get diseased by the Aboleth. But what happens to the polymorphed character after returning to his normal form?
I can see the following options:
- The Giant shark get’s diseased as normally and suffers the effects. When the character returns to his normal form, the disease does not carry over, irrelevant of whether a minute has passed or not. (because all the game statistics have been replaced, including status effects)
- The Giant shark get’s diseased as normally and suffers the effects. When the character returns to his normal form, the disease carries over, if it has been more than a minute, because then the disease can no longer be removed by a spell of 4th level like polymorp.
- The Giant shark get’s diseased as normally and suffers the effects. When the character returns to his normal form, the disease carries over, irrelevant of whether a minute has passed or not and the character suffers the full effects.
Bonus question: If 2 or 3 is correct, what happens if the character is a paladin?
The paladin has the ‘Divine Health’ feature, which is most likely not present while the paladin is in Shark form, because polymorph replaced his statistics:
By 3rd level, the divine magic flowing through you makes you immune to disease.
But what after he reverts back from being a diseased Giant Shark. His ‘Divine Health’ is not a spell of 6th level or higher, so it should not be able to remove the disease, if it has been a minute. On the other hand, he is immune to diseases. How can he be diseased?