I cast true polymorph on myself and I maintain concentration for 1 hour, so I became an Ancient Brass Dragon, until true polymorph is dispelled. Days / months later, I want to turn back to my original form. Can I use the dragon's Change Shape feature to polymorph into a Lich and cast dispel magic on myself?

My doubt is because in the Change Shape definition says "except any class features", so I don't know if Lich spellcasting is a class feature or not. I think not because Lich is a monster and it doesn't have classes, but I prefer to ask.

And what happens if I use Change Shape to polymorph into a Glabrezu, whose spellcasting is innate and has dispel magic?

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    \$\begingroup\$ When you say "shape shift", do you mean the Change Shape feature of the brass dragon, or do you mean the 9th-level spell shapeshift? Those are two totally different effects with different rules. \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 16:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I mean Change Shape from Ancient Brass Dragon. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 19:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've edited to avoid any mention of "shapechange" or "shapeshift" for clarity. \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 20:02

1 Answer 1


You couldn't change into a lich because a lich isn't humanoid or a beast

The change shape feature of the Brass dragon says (emphasis mine):

The dragon magically polymorphs into a humanoid or beast that has a challenge rating no higher than its own.

A lich is an undead, not a humanoid or beast. So a brass dragon cannot change shape into a lich. For a similar reason, you can't change into a Glabrezu, since a Glabrezu is a fiend, not a humanoid or beast.

If there was a different creature, yes, this could work for Innate Spellcasting Only

In the Dungeon Master's Basic Rules provided by WoTC, the spellcasting trait is defined as follows (emphasis mine):

A monster with the Spellcasting class feature has a spellcaster level and spell slots, which it uses to cast its spells of 1st level and higher (as explained in the player’s D&D basic rules and the Player’s Handbook).

So, based on the language used, it's clear that non-innate spellcasting is distinctly a class feature which is grafted onto other creatures. As such, changing shape into the form of a humanoid with this feature will not provide you with their spellcasting ability.

However, Innate Spellcasting states (again, emphasis mine):

A monster with the innate ability to cast spells has the Innate Spellcasting special trait

This confirms that innate spellcasting is not a class feature, but a different kind of special trait. And since this trait is also not a legendary action, the dragon will gain the innate spellcasting of a creature it changes into.

So, if you can find a humanoid or beast to change shape into that can cast dispel magic using Innate Spellcasting, then you should be able to change shape and then cast it on yourself, which could dispel the True Polymorph. Just keep in mind that the dispel magic will require an ability check to dispel the polymorph unless it is cast at 9th level.

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    \$\begingroup\$ So I searched for humanoids / beasts with innate Dispel Magic and there are none... What a pity... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 19:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you even shapeshift into humanoids with new class features or spells using the dragons shapechanging feature? \$\endgroup\$
    – Temp
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 19:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Adam But isn't spellcasting by definition a class feature? I understand that innate spells would be gained, if a humanoid or beast has them, but I don't think the dragon can gain the spellcasting feature (nor any spell in it) of an example NPC. \$\endgroup\$
    – Temp
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 19:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zso You are correct, though it took me a little more searching to find an official document that confirms it. I'll update the answer now \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 19:58

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