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).

Examples:

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.

Can a Transmutation Wizard cast ritual transmutation spells to change the active effect of their Stone?

The text for a School of Transmutation wizard’s transmuter’s stone is as follows (PHB p.119):

Each time you cast a transmutation spell of 1st level or higher, you can change the effect of your stone if the stone is on your person.

Does this mean that if a ritual spell such as skywrite (XGE p.165) was cast, the wizard would be able to change what effect their Stone has active?

Is this proposed change to the Transmutation Wizard’s Master Transmuter class feature balanced for a setting without resurrection? [Version 2]

In my previous iteration of this question, I proposed a replacement for the Master Transmuter option Restore Life. the feedback I received identified that it was too powerful, so I have a new, much simpler proposal. The brief description below outlines the problem; see my other question for a more detailed explanation.


The School of Transmutation wizard archetype has a feature at level 14 called Master Transmuter. It can allow such a wizard to, once per long rest, destroy their transmuter’s stone and do one of a handful of options, one of which is:

Restore Life. You cast the raise dead spell on a creature you touch with the transmuter’s stone, without expending a spell slot or needing to have the spell in your spellbook.

Unfortunately, in my homebrew universe, there is no resurrection magic, so I’m looking into replacing this option with something homebrew that is not related to resurrection, but still at least broadly fits the theme of “Restore Life“.


Still considering greater restoration, I wonder if it would be balanced to simply allow Restore Life to cast it instead of raise dead, a direct trade with no other additions (i.e. not a “super charged” version like I proposed before)?

Restore Life. You cast the greater restoration spell on a creature you touch with the transmuter’s stone, without expending a spell slot or needing to have the spell in your spellbook.

My reasoning behind believing that this might be balanced, in light of the feedback, is a) it’s a 5th level cleric spell like raise dead, and b) it is not usually available to wizards, same as raise dead.

One the other hand, I’m concerned that this might be a bit weaker than the RAW raise dead version of Restore Life (after all, once you’re dead, greater restoration can’t help at all), so if that is true, I’m also considering waiving the costly material component of the greater restoration spell if cast in this way, since it seems you do need it for the raise dead version. If this is not weaker (or waiving the material component would make this vastly more powerful), then I won’t do that.


So my question is, in a setting where there is no resurrection magic, does my new proposed replacement of the Restore Life option of the Master Transmuter class feature seem balanced?
Ideally contrasting with and without my “waive the material costs” suggestion.

Is this proposed tweak to the Transmutation Wizard’s Master Transmuter class feature balanced for a setting without resurrection?

The School of Transmutation wizard archetype has a feature at level 14 called Master Transmuter. It can allow such a wizard to, once per long rest, destroy their transmuter’s stone and do the following:

Restore Life. You cast the raise dead spell on a creature you touch with the transmuter’s stone, without expending a spell slot or needing to have the spell in your spellbook.

Unfortunately, in my homebrew universe, there is no resurrection magic, so I’m looking into replacing this option with something homebrew that is not related to resurrection, but still at least broadly fits the theme of “Restore Life“.

Unlike in my similar question about replacing resurrection related class features, I do actually have a player who has a transmutation wizard (they are currently “retired”, but the player is strongly considering “unretiring” them in the near future, so this character will almost definitely come back at some point and isn’t far off level 14); this player is also strongly in the camp of “resurrection magic cheapens death”, so they are definitely up for replacing this option of the class feature.


Given that it is called “Restore Life“, I considered replacing it with some kind of healing (say, the heal spell), but then noticed another option that the Master Transmuter feature offers:

Panacea. You remove all curses, diseases, and poisons affecting a creature that you touch with the transmuter’s stone. The creature also regains all its hit points.

So healing would look a bit redundant and underwhelming compared to that option.


Finally, I looked towards greater restoration, since a) it’s a 5th level cleric spell like raise dead, and b) Panacea is kind of like a super charged lesser restoration, plus healing. So I have come up with the following (a “super charged greater restoration“):

Restore Life. You end all reductions to all of the target’s ability scores and hit point maximum, and end one effect that imposes the petrified condition on the target.

I’ve not included the greater restoration spell’s removing curses (since I didn’t want overlap with Panacea) or ending charmed effects (because it doesn’t really fit the theme of restoring life). I also haven’t included regaining any hit points because I thought that might be too powerful compared with Panacea if it also healed the target (although I could have it at least restore hit points equal to the reduction of their hit point maximum, if it was reduced at all).


So my question is, in a setting where there is no resurrection magic, does my proposed replacement of the Restore Life option of the Master Transmuter class feature seem balanced, primarily comparing it to the raise dead spell and the Panacea option?

Is the ribbon ability of a transmutation wizard underpowered when compared to other wizard subclass ribbons?

I feel the casting limitations on a transmuter’s minor alchemy make it much less able to be used in typical play, as compared to a conjuration wizard’s minor conjuration, an evocation wizard’s sculpt spells, or even an illusion wizard’s improved minor illusion (which is still pretty bad, but better than 10 minutes cast time).

The text for minor alchemy is as follows:

Starting at 2nd level when you select this school, you can temporarily alter the physical properties of one nonmagical object, changing it from one substance into another. You perform a special alchemical procedure on one object composed entirely of wood, stone (but not a gemstone), iron, copper, or silver, transforming it into a different one of those materials. For each 10 minutes you spend performing the procedure, you can transform up to 1 cubic foot of material. After 1 hour, or until you lose your concentration (as if you were concentrating on a spell), the material reverts to its original substance.

To clarify; I’ve taken ribbon to be the second level feature of the wizard subclasses that aren’t their savantism.

Am I mistaken or is there an imbalance here?

Bloodline Mutation Variants & Transmutation

Looking at the Sorcerer Bloodline Mutation Variants from Paizo’s Magic Tactics Toolbox. Do either of the three variants (Havoc, Intensity, or Piercing) have any effect while ‘you’ are under the effects of a transmutation/polymorph spell?

Are there any other Mutations (or similar variants) that have been published that would affect being polymorph as such?