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The spell alter self gives certain limits on what you can transform into (you must keep your body plan and size), but allows changing into another race. Does this mean one could use the spell to look like a zombie for example? Same body plan, but different creature type. Is this covered under "race"?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you want to look like this creature, or turn into another creature type? \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Dec 11 '17 at 15:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor The spell is explicit that your features/stats do not change as a result of it (this option at least), so turning into is out of the question. My criterion would be that a mundane observer would mistake me for that type even on close inspection. \$\endgroup\$ – Szega Dec 11 '17 at 15:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ What makes you think you can not? The spell says "You transform your appearance. You decide what you look like" with some restrictions. There is no restriction "you can not look like a creature of another type", therefore, you can. \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Dec 11 '17 at 15:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor I should clarify this. Will edit the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Szega Dec 11 '17 at 16:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor Decided to post it in another question. The reason for asking this one is that race is explicitly mentioned as an allowed change, but creature type is not. \$\endgroup\$ – Szega Dec 11 '17 at 16:11
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Yes.

Alter self says that you can make yourself look like another race, but not that you must.

Change Appearance. You transform your appearance. You decide what you look like, including your height, weight, facial features, coloration, and distinguishing characteristics. You can make yourself appear as a member of another race, though none of your statistics change.

This gives you complete free reign to decide upon your appearance, with only two exceptions: you can't change size class, and you must remain bipedal. A human appearing as human zombie is fair game.

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RAW, maybe not. But same size and form creatures should be fair game.

Alter self specifically allows for things like (PHB, 211-212). Emphasis mine.

You can make yourself appear as a member of another race, though none of your statistics change. You also can't appear as a creature of a different size than you, and your basic shape stays the same; if you're bipedal, you can't use this spell to become quadrupedal, for instance.

While the first sentence specifically allows appearing as another race with no statistics change, it goes further to create a limitation on appearing as a different creature of a different size or shape. And a zombie has the same basic shape as a humanoid.

While the RAW is specifically about looking like another race, the line on creatures seems to suggest that you can appear as a creature of the same size as yourself. Ultimately, this will come down to a DM decision, but discuss with your DM ahead of time (or come up with a solution if you are a DM.)

Being a Zombie

While a zombie is an undead and not a humanoid of another race - it is also basically the undead version of a humanoid. Using Alter Self to look like a zombie seems like a fair use of the spell as you are staying within the same size and altering your look to that of the undead.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You only bolded part of the sentence. The rest of that sentence is very important to the bolded part as it looks like its only talking about size not a "creature". The race issue is a different sentence. \$\endgroup\$ – Voromir Kadien Dec 12 '17 at 23:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VoromirKadien I added the remaining part of the sentence. In my assessment, that sentence is saying that as long as the basic shape remains the same (and the shape of a zombie is pretty much that of a humanoid), it'll work. You're just giving yourself that fashionable rotted flesh look that's popular with the kids. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Dec 13 '17 at 14:22
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YES you can become a zombie

Under Alter Self (pages 211-212, Player's Handbook) one the things it says you can do is

Change Appearance. You transform your appearance. You decide what you look like, including your height, weight, facial features, sound of your voice, hair length, coloration, and distinguishing characteristics, if any.

You can make yourself appear as a member of another race, though none of your statistics change.

This is just one option not the only thing you can do

You also can’t appear as a creature of a different size than you, and your basic shape stays the same; if you're bipedal, you can’t use this spell to becom e quadrupedal, for instance.

So you CAN change into a creature IE zombie provided it has the same SIZE and SHAPE

At any time for the duration of the spell, you can use your action to change your appearance in this way again.

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