If a creature A is polymorphed into creature B and is subsequently petrified, does it still revert to its original form after the polymorph ends?

I see several possible scenarios after the polymorph spell ends:

  1. The creature reverts to form A, but is still petrified.

  2. The creature is still in form B and is still petrified.

  3. The creature reverts to form A and is no longer petrified.

Which of these is the case? Intuitively, I would say that the two conditions, polymorph and petrify, would run independently from one another and thus scenario 1 would occur, but I'm not sure.

(same question in a different system)


3 Answers 3


The Petrified condition (PHB p.291)

A petrified creature is transformed, along with any nonmagical object it is wearing or carrying, into a solid inanimate substance (usually stone).

Polymorph spell (PHB p. 266)

This spell transforms a creature that you can see within range into a new form.

The transformation lasts for the duration, or until the target drops to 0 hit points or dies.

The target’s gear melds into the new form.

The Polymorph has a specific list of conditions that ends the transformation it forces upon it's target. Applying the petrified condition to a target effected by Polymorph does not meet any of these conditions, either directly or indirectly, through it being a second transformation effect.

Even the "non-magical object it is wearing or carrying" clause in the petrification does not apply to any gear as it "melds into the new form" and is therefore not being "carried or worn".

So the simplest and easiest to run and understand option you list is the one that occurs:

  1. The creature is still in form B and is still petrified.

(evidence of some good game design going on)

If the petrification condition ends before the Polymorph spell ends then the target continues to be in the form dictated by the Polymorph spell.

If the Polypmorph effect ends before the Petrification condition ends, then the Polymorph transformation clearly ceases. However the petrification transformation effect does not. This can justifiably be interpreted in two ways by the DM:

  1. the petrified target changes back into it's original form while remaining petrified. I.e. the petrification transformation effect is strictly "into stone", it changes a "flesh and blood" form B into a "stone" form B, so when the effect causing the target to be in form B ends, it changes into a "stone" form A.
  2. the petrified target remains petrified in the second form until the petrification condition ends. I.e. the petrification transformation includes the form of the target, it changes a "flesh and blood form B" into a "stone form B" and so while it is in effect it remains a "stone form B".

I don't know of any RAW guidance to choose between these, but my own call would be 1. as it has the potential to be the most dramatic.


The Basic Rules (all I have access to at the moment) say for petrified:

A petrified creature is transformed, along with any nonmagical object it is wearing or carrying, into a solid inanimate substance (usually stone).

Given that the rules say that the you are transformed into stone, the word "transformed" could be interpreted as ending the polymorph spell because you are being transformed into something else, and are thus no longer the thing you were transformed into by polymorph.

So to answer you question in terms of your three options, I'd say none of them, as the polymorph spell would be forcably ended by the petrified condition. At least that's my reading of the rules, anyway.

Although for flavour, if I were the DM I'd personally say that you (whoever the polymorphed PC being petrified is) still look like the thing you were polymorphed into, but now made of stone, and if you are ever un-petrified, you revert back to your true form at that point, but that's my opinion on narrative, not the rules.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting take. If True Polyed or Wild Shaped into a form that's immune to being Petrified (e.g. Earth Elemental), would that immunity still work? Or would the petrification effect be able to affect your true self somehow, and transform the true you into stone? I guess having the immunity work would still be compatible with this ruling for other forms: once the magic starts to change your form at all, it replaces Polymorph, but if it can't get in in the first place, no effect. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 14, 2021 at 4:25

I'd rule that a creature that is turned to stone while in any form other than its natural state (whether using Alter Self, wild shape, or just polymorphed into a sheep) is petrified as it is, still in its transformed state. If the effect ends while the creature is still petrified, then they revert to their normal form as soon as the petrification ends, but not before.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Can you support this answer some more? Bare "I'd rule like this" responses are something that is discouraged in our guidance on answer support. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 13, 2021 at 15:06

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