Dragon Change Shape feature vs Draconic Polymorph

I was curious about how the differences for a True Dragon using it’s natural Change Shape feature vs the Draconic Polymorph spell.

The Change Shape feature (text from Roll20 Compendium, Adult Gold Dragon) says this:

Change Shape: The Dragon magically polymorphs into a Humanoid or beast that has a Challenge rating no higher than its own, or back into its true form. It reverts to its true form if it dies. Any Equipment it is wearing or carrying is absorbed or borne by the new form (the dragon’s choice). In a new form, the Dragon retains its Alignment, Hit Points, Hit Dice, ability to speak, Proficiencies, Legendary Resistance, Lair Actions, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores, as well as this action. Its Statistics and capabilities are otherwise replaced by those of the new form, except any Class Features or legendary Actions of that form.

The Draconic Polymorph spell description (text from D&D Tools) says this:

As polymorph, except as follows: The assumed form can have no more Hit Dice than you have, to a maximum of 20 Hit Dice. Your Strength and Constitution in the new form are above the average for the race or species into which you transform; your Strength is the average for the creature +8, and your Constitution is the average for the creature +2.

So, I have a couple questions about this:

Damage: Does a dragon using the Change Shape feature only revert to it’s true form if it takes enough damage to kill said true form, or might it revert to true form if it takes enough damage to kill it’s assumed form?

Time Limit: Draconic Polymorph calls out ’10 minutes/level’ as the limit for maintaining an assumed form. Is the natural Change Shape unlimited in time?

If a creature dies when under the effect of a polymorph ability, does it ever revert to its true form?

Say a creature has polymorphed itself. For instance, a dandasuka using its Change Shape ability. If it dies, will it naturally revert to its true form? If so, when? I don’t see any info about this in the Polymorph trait’s rules.

If there aren’t any cut-and-dry rules about this, does any official literature suggest one way or another?

D&D 5e How to “properly” use polymorph?

I’m a new player trying to learn more and how the spells really work besides any game.

I was in a session, and occasionally a player used the "true polymorph" spell on a teammate to make it into a Planetar, and our DM said the spell only changes the player’s body so he would have no weapon (long sword) not even his characteristic as: Angelic Weapons, Divine Awareness, Innate Spellcasting and his Healing Touch. My question is, how to use the spell correctly? Can I use all of your skills and actions, including legendary actions? Can I use everything listed on the monster sheet? And another, if I transform myself permanently, can I level up and progress? From what I understood about the spell you can become a creature and play with everything and only what is described the creature sheet.

Being a new player, I always like to argue about and find out how my and other player’s actions really would work.

Can Polymorph be cast on a Familiar? [closed]

What a creature can be polymorphed into depends on the creature’s level or CR, of which a familiar has neither. Unless you use the CR of the form the familiar has taken. Or, as a spirit that takes the form of a creature, is a familiar a shapechanger and therefore not a valid target for the spell? If you can polymorph a familiar, is it still unable to attack?

True Polymorph interaction with Find Steed

Find Steed (p240 PHB) States:

When the steed drops to 0 hit points, it disappears, leaving behind no physical form. You can also dismiss your steed at any time as an action, causing it to disappear. In either case, casting this spell again summons the same steed, restored to its hit point maximum.

If I were to cast True Polymorh (p283 PHB) on the steed and wait the full duration to make it permanent, would the steed return when summoned as the original steed or as the new creature it was polymorphed into?

What is the meaning of ‘permanent’ in description of True Polymorph?

Following on from this question: Can I True Polymorph a goblin into adamantine (and then forge him into a sword?)

Casting True Polymorph on an unwilling creature (relevant parts included only):

You transform the creature into a different creature…or into an object.The transformation lasts for the duration, or until the target drops to O hit points or dies. If you concentrate on this spell for the full hour, the transformation becomes permanent. An unwilling creature can make a Wisdom saving throw, and if it succeeds, it isn’t affected by this spell.

Creature into Creature: The target assumes the hit points of its new form, and when it reverts to its normal form, the creature returns to the number of hit points it had before it transformed. If it reverts as a result of dropping to O hit points, any excess damage carries over to its normal form. As long as the excess damage doesn’t reduce the creature’s normal form to O hit points, it isn’t knocked unconscious.

Creature into Object: If you turn a creature into an object, it transforms along with whatever it is wearing and carrying into that form. The creature’s statistics become those of the object, and the creature has no memory of time spent in this form, after the spell ends and it returns to its normal form.

The consensus seems to be that if the creature fails the Wisdom save, you can transform it into a weak creature like a slug or an object like a cup, and can then wait for 61 minutes concentrating on the spell, then stamp on the item and kill it, permanently, because that was its new permanent form. But this seems terribly unbalanced, requiring a single wisdom save to be failed (and these can be influenced with features such as Heightened Spell and Magical Ambush) to kill any creature which can be polymorphed, no matter its stats. This also seems to make True Polymorph a better version of Power Word Kill (if delayed and requiring a save) since it is completely uncapped by health, only by Wisdom save proficiency, as well as including many other functions. This makes it seem unlikely this is the correct interpretation of True Polymorph since it renders another (already weak, for that level) spell almost entirely pointless.

I presumed the spell to be saying that after one hour of concentrating on it, the polymorphed form no longer needs to be concentrated on and could last forever, but will still revert back to the original form if reduced to 0 HP, as described in the linked question where the creature (polymorphed into crafting materials) was cut apart. This seems to make much more sense and retains balance.

Which interpretation is correct? Does the ‘permanent’ section overrule the ‘transforms back if reduced to 0 hit points’ part?

Transmutation, polymorph, wild shape, and alternate form

The Pathfinder rules are quite clear on what happens when you combine polymorph effects with size-changing effects. Namely, the size-changing effects do not function while a character is under the effects of a polymorph effect. But what about other transmutations that change a character’s physical form?

Examples: Brand, Countless Eyes, etc.

I can see this working in two ways:

  1. If a character is targeted by a transmutation effect, then a polymorph effect, the polymorph effect overrides the transmutation effect. But, if the polymorph effect is first, then the transmutation effect functions normally (by transmutation effect, I am referring to non-size-altering effects.)
  2. Both polymorph effects and transmutation effects alter the base creature, so the order in which spells are cast does not matter, as both are affecting the base creature, not the modified creature.

There is also the possibility that the transmutation effect simply does not function at all while a character is under the effects of a polymorph effect, but I have not seen evidence of that in the rules (where size-alterations are the only specifically mentioned effects that do not function).


A druid is the target of a Greater Brand. This spell specifically states that it cannot be removed, even temporarily, unless a Mark of Justice could be removed the same way. This spell might be a specific example that says that in this case, the spell functions even under the effects of a polymorph effect. So, when the druid wild shapes, the brand would still be visible.

But, what about a regular brand spell (not greater)? Would that remain during the effects of a wild shape?

What about Countless Eyes? The druid is covered in eyes, and then wild shapes. Are they now an animal that is covered in eyes? Or does the wild shape override that effect? If they are wild shaped, and they (or someone else) casts Countless Eyes on them, does the spell function normally?

Basically, I am wondering if order of spellcasting matters.

How do Polymorph and Find [Greater] Steed interact?

A bard has used magical secrets to select either Find Steed, or Find Greater Steed and has summoned a mount.

They then cast Polymorph on themselves and turn themselves into a T-Rex, because they are cool.

Find [Greater] Steed says

While mounted on it, you can make any spell you cast that targets only you also target the mount.

So Polymorph can affect both targets. However, since the steed is less than CR7 what happens?

  1. Both bard and steed both become a T-Rex
  2. Bard becomes a T-Rex and has to select a different form for the steed according to it’s CR
  3. The bard becomes a T-Rex but the spell fails on the steed
  4. The spell fails entirely because the steed isn’t a valid target to become a T-Rex
  5. The bard and steed become some kind of conjoined T-Rex abomination

If there is a difference between the spells, please use Find Greater Steed as the spell I care about, and assume the mount is a Griffon.

What would happen if you cast true polymorph in a creature affected by the Enlarge/Reduce spell? [duplicate]

Partially inspired by this answer, what size of an object could you create with True Polymorph if the target was affected by Enlarge/Reduce? And what size would the object be after Enlarge/Reduce wears off?

True Polymorph says (among other things) (emphasis mine):

Creature into Object. If you turn a creature into an object, it transforms along with whatever it is wearing and carrying into that form, as long as the object’s size is no larger than the creature’s size. The creature’s statistics become those of the object, and the creature has no memory of time spent in this form, after the spell ends and it returns to its normal form.

Enlarge/Reduce says:

Enlarge. The target’s size doubles in all dimensions, and its weight is multiplied by eight. This growth increases its size by one category– from Medium to Large, for example. […]

Reduce. The target’s size is halved in all dimensions, and its weight is reduced to one-eighth of normal. This reduction decreases its size by one category–from Medium to Small, for example. […]

The two spells both require concentration so they would of course have to be cast by two different people. The options I see here are

  1. Medium creature is enlarged to a Large creature and then polymorphed into a Large object. Spell wears off and the Large object is now Medium object since it’s still a valid target for E/R.

  2. Medium creature is enlarged to a Large creature and then polymorphed into a Large object. Spell wears off and the Large object is still a Large object as it’s no longer the original target of the spell since it targeted a creature in this instance.

  3. Medium creature is enlarged to a Large creature and then polymorphed into a Medium object since the creature is normally Medium. E/R ends.

  4. Some option I haven’t thought of.

Could True Polymorph turn a creature like a shark into a object like a dead dragon turtle’s head?

I have a bard that has been true polymorphing into a dragon turtle and attacking coastal towns on a large island (think “Big Island” Hawaii) I am doing this so another member of my party can be true polymorphed into a bronze dragon adult and be seen “fighting” with me.

Our plan is for the fight to go into the ocean, then sometime later he as the bronze dragon will drag a part of a dragon turtle’ body out with him and declare himself their savior and new leader and/or guardian. then true polymorph on him will be dropped, he’ll say he used his dragon shapechange ability to look human. Then he will say he has to keep traveling to “right many wrongs” but that one day he will return.

Then at the end of the campaign if we are still alive, I will permanently make him an adult bronze (around 200 years old) and he will get to spend upwards of 5000 years retired and living as the king of an island nation. Also so he is a sailor background fighter so he plans to slowly reshape them into a sea fairing warrior people like the ancient Maori. He also plans to take a bride from the tribe once every generation till the whole island is full of dragon ancestry sorcerers and half-dragon humans.

We may not need the corpse head of a dragon turtle to pull this deception off we could say it died below the waves but it would help give us trick them and then for centuries the skull of a dragon turtle can adore their main village as a constant reminder of why they should follow him.