Does arcane ward come back after a polymorph?

In the description of polymorph, it states that

The target’s game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the chosen beast.

And this sage advice clarifies the meaning of “game statistics”, which are meant to also include class features.

So it seems reasonable to interpret this as to say that an abjuration wizard does not have Arcane Ward up while under the effect of a polymorph spell, since it is a class feature. But when the wizard reverses to their original form, does the Arcane Ward come back up?

By the description in the PHB, p.115, there is a relevant remark:

Once you create the ward, you can’t create it again until you finish a long rest.

which suggests that it can end by some method. So when the effect of polymorph ends, does the wizard no longer have Arcane Ward up, therefore having to wait until the next long rest to be able to raise it again, or does it return in the same situation as immediately before polymorph entered into effect?

Polymorph and Size in DnD 3.5

I recently looked over the polymorph spell chain for Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 (Alter Self -> Polymorph -> Shapechange) while reading suggestions on forums for what to turn in to with the spell, and I found something that confused me.

Alter Self contains the line: "The new form must be within one size category of your normal size." Polymorph says it functions like Alter Self, except where otherwise noted. The only thing Polymorph says about Size is the line: "You can’t cause a subject to assume a form smaller than Fine", which doesn’t seem like it would invalidate the Alter Self clause. Shapechange, on the other hand, specifically clarifies that whatever you turn into can be anywhere from Fine to Colossal in size, which seems like it would overrule the Alter Self clause.

This is confusing to me because when reading over forums and suggestions, people are suggesting that you use Polymorph to turn into Huge sized creatures, such as Hydras. Is there an errata or clarification that I was unable to find that would allow this? Rules as written, it seems as though this is explicitly not allowed until you acquire Shapechange (unless you’re a naturally Large sized creature, since size changing spells do not stack together as per the spell Enlarge Person).

I’m willing to accept that this is just an example of the polymorph chain of spells being poorly written, as the Alter Self clause: "A body with extra limbs does not allow you to make more attacks" had to be clarified by Skip Williams to only mean WEAPON attacks in this online post:

If there’s some errata or clarification I’m missing, I would love if someone could provide it. Thank you in advance.

Can True Polymorph be dispelled or reversed?

My interpretation of True Polymorph is that, once made permanent, it could not be undone (except perhaps with a Wish spell, god-level magic, another casting of True Polymorph, or some similar ability). Spells like Dispel Magic would not affect a permanent True Polymorph.

However, in the comments of this question, dispelling True Polymorph is mentioned/briefly discussed. So, can any item or spell dispel True Polymorph once the transformation is permanent?

The linked question concerns whether the spell will naturally end, or if altering the polymorphed form (such as cutting the chunk of adamantine) will end the spell. The answers do not discuss the concept of dispelling the polymorph. My question is all about dispelling a permanent True Polymorph, and arguments about the spell ending through damage or other non-dispelling effects should not be considered here.

Do diseases carry over from polymorph?

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:

  1. 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)
  2. 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.
  3. 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?

Polymorph and Subtypes with Supernatural special qualities

Suppose an Aasimar wizard turns 7th level and picks up the Polymorph spell. They turn into a Hound Archon. The Hound Archon has the Archon subtype, which includes supernatural special qualities. Does the wizard gain these supernatural abilities by virtue of gaining the subtype? Or does the wizard not gain them because the Polymorph spell says that the wizard does not gain any of the supernatural special qualities of the chosen form?

The abilities that I question are:

  • Aura of Menace (Su): A righteous aura surrounds archons that fight or get angry. Any hostile creature within a 20-foot radius of an archon must succeed on a Will save to resist its effects. The save DC varies with the type of archon, is Charisma-based, and includes a +2 racial bonus. Those who fail take a -2 penalty on attacks, AC, and saves for 24 hours or until they successfully hit the archon that generated the aura. A creature that has resisted or broken the effect cannot be affected again by the same archon’s aura for 24 hours.
  • Magic Circle against Evil (Su): A magic circle against evil effect always surrounds an archon (caster level equals the archon’s Hit Dice). (The defensive benefits from the circle are not included in an archon’s statistics block.)
  • Teleport (Su): Archons can use greater teleport at will, as the spell (caster level 14th), except that the creature can transport only itself and up to 50 pounds of objects.
  • Tongues (Su): All archons can speak with any creature that has a language, as though using a tongues spell (caster level 14th). This ability is always active.

Relevant quotes from the Polymorph spell:

  • "[…] The subject’s creature type and subtype (if any) change to match the new form."
  • "[…] It also gains all extraordinary special attacks possessed by the form but does not gain the extraordinary special qualities possessed by the new form or any supernatural or spell-like abilities."

disguise self and polymorph

premise: I am under the effects of disguise self to look like a human and I am in fact, an elf. I then cast polymorph on myself to turn into a T-rex and then take enough damage to make me lose concentration on polymorph, would I appear to be an elf or human after the spell drops? What if the spell was dropped due to the polymorphed T-rex running out of health?

Does unarmed proficiency get downgraded in Pathfinder 2e polymorph spells (animal form etc.)?

Every polymorph spell that grants you special attacks in your battle form notes that you are trained with these attacks. They are also always unarmed attacks. Does your proficiency bonus for these attacks get a downgrade if you are usually an expert with unarmed attacks, and now you are only trained?

Arguments for:

  • "Trained" is not just proficiency in general, but the name of one of the proficiency levels in particular. The descriptions could have said "You apply your proficiency for unarmed attacks" or just nothing, because every class is at least trained with unarmed attacks.
  • Animals are not usually very educated (see also: elephants with high strength and medium athletics)
  • This could be meant to keep you from getting too powerful with these attacks or exploit monk abilities with them, as the attacks allow you to use your own attack modifier if it is higher than the (relatively high) modifier included in the spell.

Arguments against:

  • I seem to vaguely remember errata saying that yes, every class is trained in unarmed attacks. These descriptions could be a holdover from the time where that wasn’t clear.
  • There aren’t many skill downgrades in the game, and those are always described as obvious drawbacks (literally, in the case of the silvertongue elixir.) It seems strange to limit your character’s powers here and only here.
  • If you did just want to say that players don’t need to worry about proficiency penalties, should they want to use their own attack modifier, I guess that would be a concise way to say it.

Permanent Polymorph Any Object and levelling up

Suppose a character is under the effect of a Polymorph Any Object spell with a duration of Permanent. When they gain their next level, they gain an ability score increase and apply it to one of the stats that is permanently changed (Str, Dex, Con, or Int). Then, later, the effect is dispelled. What happens to the stat boost? Is that lost, as well? Does it carry back to the original character’s stats? This carry-over seems to be one way if it does, as you do not augment your polymorphed form with previously attained ability score increases. But it also seems pretty harsh to have the character lose the ability score increase after they succeed on removing the Polymorph Any Object spell.

Similarly, what happens if a wizard turns themself into an ethergaunt permanently. This provides a rather small, but not insubstantial, intelligence boost. If they gain levels while they are an ethergaunt, would they gain more skill points than normal for having a higher intelligence score?

Polymorph, Type, and Vision

The Polymorph spell functions as the Alter Self spell, except where otherwise stated. For example, with Alter Self, it specifically states you do not gain the special vision of the new form. For Polymorph, it does not specifically state that you do gain the vision of the new form. However, some types (Aberration, Animal, Giant, etc.) provide some enhanced vision, and the Polymorph spell does say that your type changes. It does not say whether or not you gain all of the abilities of the new type, and the Type description does say that not all creatures of the type have the traits stated.

But, I am confused at this point which is the specific and which is the general rule in this case. Changing type definitely changes what spells affect you, but I am not sure if it also confers vision when Alter Self specifically states it does not, and Polymorph functions as Alter Self. Would Polymorph need to explicitly state that you gain the vision of the new type when you apply the new type? Or does applying the new type automatically confer the vision of that type, as that is the specific rule and Alter Self is the general rule?

I have been ruling that Polymorph does not confer vision, even with type changes. But, as I think about it, the fact that I allow polymorph in my games is already allowing phenomenal cosmic power. Am I being pedantic by not allowing it to confer vision when the type clearly states the vision is part of the type? My players are not complaining, and I probably care more than they do. In the end, I have already made a ruling and it is working for my games, but I like closure, and I would like to know if my ruling was "best".

Can Polymorph + Awaken give any creature intelligence and language?

If you cast Polymorph on a non beast creature then cast Awaken on their beast form how much carries over after polymorph ends?

Polymorph does not give any explicit information on what happens to your statistics when the polymorph ends:

The transformation lasts for the duration, or [drops to 0 hp]. […] The target’s game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the chosen beast. (Basic Rules, pg. 266)

So this leaves ambiguity when game statistics are altered during polymorph,

The charm effect of Awaken seems pretty clear from the logic shown here and reinforced by the specific wording referring to the target as a beast or plant during effects and a creature afterwards:

The awakened beast or plant is charmed by you [longer than polymorph.] When the charmed condition ends, the awakened creature chooses […] (Basic Rules, pg. 216)

The other two effects of awakening (other than making a plant mobile) are less clear-cut:

The target gains an Intelligence of 10. The target also gains the ability to speak one language you know. (Basic Rules, pg. 216)

I would guess the modification to intelligence would apply to the beast’s stats and therefore end with polymorph.

Language has been classified as being independent of creature statistics and act more as the character’s experience. I’d argue the experience of a stranger turning you into a mouse, then gifting you the ability – as a mouse – to speak a language you have never used before would be an experience you couldn’t lose I’m not sure if the language and intelligence granted from awakening should remain linked.

These are two examples I can see this having significant impact on my campaign:

  1. Meet an NPC I don’t share a language with, Polymorph them then Awaken their beast form so they can speak my language. Can I now communicate with them when they turn back? If their original intelligence was higher then 10 is it reduced to 10?
  2. Say I use find familiar to get an owl (classified as a fey) familiar, then polymorph it to an owl (classified as a beast) so my druid friend can cast Awaken on it, does my familiar keep an intelligence of 10 and/or the ability to speak?

So after reverting from an awoken polymorphed state would you keep the 10 intelligence and a new language, only the new language, or not keep either?