Can you use the shapechange spell to turn into a unique or named creature?

Inspired by this comment on an answer of mine, I’m now wondering how exactly shapechange works. The spell states (emphasis mine):

You assume the form of a different creature for the duration. The new form can be of any creature with a challenge rating equal to your level or lower. The creature can’t be a construct or an undead, and you must have seen the sort of creature at least once. You transform into an average example of that creature, one without any class levels or the Spellcasting trait. […]

The spell turns you into an “average example” of the chosen creature. But you also must have seen the “sort” of creature at least once. So can you turn into a unique or named creature, where the “average example” is basically one and only one thing and the only “sort” of creature is similarly that exact creature.

Some examples of unique/named creatures would be Titivilus, Yan-C-Bin, Kiril Stoyanovich, or Ahmaergo. People/creatures where only one of them exists.

A somewhat related question:

  • What happens when you Shapechange into a creature with random chances of extra things?

What are the limits of a Mimics Shapechange feature?

So I am playing a character that has the mimics shapechange feature. What are the limits of the things it can become? One of the things I have been doing is turning parts of my body into tools or weapons, creating clothes, or turning myself into a rope to help people out of specific situations. I would like to know the limits to this. Can I create an adimantine fist, can I use myself as a spell component as long as it is not consumed, can I create different types of armor on myself. I just want to know some limits of what I can do.

Why did the designers make it so chromatic dragons can’t shapechange?

In 5e, the Monster Manual states that each kind of Metallic Dragon gains the Change Shape ability by the time it is Ancient or Adult. However, no such ability is ever mentioned for Chromatic Dragons. This has been the case in every edition of D&D, as well. Have the designers given a reason for the difference?

I do realize that Chromatic and Metallic Dragons have different styles of interacting with humanoids. Metallics are much more likely to take a jaunt amongst humans or elves for a decade or three, so perhaps the absence of the ability reflects the fact that Chromatic Dragons simply don’t do such things, not that they cannot.

Can A Vampire Shapechange Out Of Mist Form?

Page 297 MM, (emphasis mine):

Shapechanger. If the vampire isn’t in sunlight or running water, it can use its action to polymorph into a Tiny bat or a Medium cloud of mist, or back into its true form….

Shapechanger continued…

While in mist form, the vampire can’t take any actions, speak, or manipulate objects.

Since it takes an action to polymorph back into its true form, and a vampire in mist form can’t take actions, does this mean that a vampire is stuck in mist form once he polymorphs into it?

Is your creature type considered a racial benefit (or feature) for the purpose of Shapechange?

Shapechange is a 9th level spell that allows you to transform into another creature, while retaining the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source, provided that your new form is physically capable of using them. This seems to mean that feats can generally be carried over with that spell.

What I’m wondering is whether your creature type (your race) is itself considered a feature/benefit from your race, for the purpose of other things that only work when you are of a certain creature type, like racial feats. In other words, whether you are still considered of your initial creature type on top of your new creature type.

For example, if a Human Druid with the Prodigy feat (requirement: human, half-orc, or half-elf) Shapechanges into an Giant, do they still retain the benefit of their racial feat ? In other words, is being a human a human benefit/feature ?

Can you keep using Shapechange after dropping to 0HP?

Can you use Shapechange again after dropping to 0 HP?

This might sound strange, but I belive that, according to RAW, you can keep using Shapechange even after getting dropped out of the previous form due to taking damage.

Specifically, the sequence of events I am thinking about goes like this:

  • having X HP in your base form, use Shapechange to assume a form with Y HP
  • take at least Y points of damage, but less than X+Y
  • turn back into your base form†
  • make your con save to keep concentrating on Shapechange – nothing in the spell says that it ends upon dropping to 0HP!
  • You are now in your base form, with a nonzero amount of HP left – let’s call it X’ – and still have Shapchange up
  • use your action to assume any new form, with the only restriction being that the new form’s HP cap out at X’

I believe this last bullet point to be a valid option due to this part of the spell’s description:

During this spell’s duration, you can use your action to assume a different form following the same restrictions and rules for the original form, with one exception: if your new form has more hit points than your current one, your hit points remain at their current value.

This says nothing about the last form you assumed using the spell – it’s your current form whose HP are relevant.


While I believe this to be an obvious oversight in the spell’s description – just like the fact that it doesn’t actually flat out say that you turn back upon being reduced to 0 HP – I think that, according to Rules As Written, this is how the spell works.
Did I miss something or am I reading this correctly?

† This is never explicitly stated to happen, but can reasonably be inferred from this paragraph:

When you revert to your normal form, you return to the number of hit points you had before you transformed. If you revert as a result of dropping to 0 hit points, any excess damage carries over to your normal form. As long as the excess damage doesn’t reduce your normal form to 0 hitpoints, you aren’t knocked unconscious.

Can you get infinite spells through True Polymorph and Shapechange

So, let’s say you’re a level 17+ Wizard and you cast True Polymorph on yourself to turn yourself into a CR 17 Adult Gold Dragon. This grants you the stat block of said Adult Gold Dragon, granting you the statblock of said Gold Dragon, including its Shapechange ability, allowing it to assume the form of “a humanoid or beast with a Challenge Rating no higher than its own”. It uses this ability to turn into a CR 12 Archmage, which has the Spellcasting feature, allowing it to cast spells using as an 18th level spellcaster, using its intelligence score.

Once they expend a number of spell slots from its new form, it proceeds to use its new 9th-level spell slot to cast True Polymorph on itself again, turning into a brand new Adult Gold Dragon form, and then using Shapechange to turn into a brand new Archmage form, and then repeats this process to gain an infinite number of spell slots.

Is there anything that prevents this from working? I know that True Polymorph is a Concentration spell, so the first True Polymorph would end when they cast the second one, I don’t think they lose the spell they’re Concentrating on if they lose the Spellcasting feature that gave them the slot in the first place? 5e doesn’t have any hidden rules, and there doesn’t seem to be anything about it working that way in the Spellcasting chapter of the PHB – and if it did work that way, wouldn’t it break Polymorph spells in general, since they lose their Spellcasting class feature while Polymorphed?

Obviously the chain gets broken if they fail a Concentration saving throw, but they’d get the Adult Gold Dragon’s Legendary Resistance to help them out, there – and it’d get reset every time they True Polymorph themselves, too.

Can a Hunter Ranger under the effects of the Shapechange spell use Whirlwind Attack with a Monster’s attack?

The Hunter Ranger’s Whirlwind Attack feature states:

You can use your action to make a melee attack against any number of creatures within 5 feet of you, with a separate attack roll for each target.

I’m wondering whether you could use the shapechange spell in conjunction with this feature, the spell states:

[…] You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them, provided that your new form is physically capable of doing so […]

Does this mean that a Ranger who is transformed into, say, a Bulette could use their Bite attack with Whirlwind Attack?