During an adventure a wizard casts seeming and the targets includes a willing druid. The illusion is to make an elf druid appear as an orc. Combat followed some time later, and the druid used wildshape to become a dire wolf.

Does the effect of seeming end on the druid when it uses wildshape to turn into a dire wolf?

Is the druid still under the effect of seeming after reverting to elf form?


2 Answers 2


Seeming will not work to make a dire wolf appear as an orc

You can't change a target's body type, so you must choose a form that has the same basic arrangement of limbs.

This part of the spell means that while in wild shape the druid will not be able to take advantage of the illusion of being an orc since the dire wolf does not have the same basic arrangements of limbs (the wolf being a quadruped versus the orc being a biped).

You can make each creature seem 1 foot shorter or taller and appear thin, fat, or in between.

Even if they did have the same arrangement of limbs, transforming from a large direwolf to a medium orc would definitely be considerably more than 1 foot of height difference and arguably would exceed the extent appearing fatter or thinner as well.

If you had using seeming after wild shape to create an illusion that the druid was another type of creature with the same basic arrangement of limbs then it would work while the druid was still in that shape. There may be other shapes that could work (ape for example would be a tenuous but possible choice), but for the majority of wild shape -> orc transformations it just will not work.

Of course, in the end, it would be up to the DM to decide how strictly they want to interpret what is or is not the same "body type" or "arrangement of limbs". A sufficiently lenient interpretation may open up options. See this Q&A for further discussion on this point.

Seeming would probably be suppressed until the druid returned to its original shape (DM decision)

At that point it is not entirely clear RAW what would happen to the spell since the druid has effectively become disqualified to receive the benefits of the spell as it was cast.

However it seems a reasonable way to handle this is to say that since the druid has changed into a form incompatible with the way the spell was cast, the spell had no effect while it's in that shape. However as long as the spell is maintained, there is no reason that the spell can't regain effect once the druid becomes a valid shape again.

Jeremy Crawford offers the same suggestion in response to a somewhat similar question:

Q: Does Charm Person spell ends if Polymorph is cast on the charmed humanoid? Or does Polymorph suppress the spell called Charm Person until the human form returns?

A: There's no rule governing what happens when a valid spell target temporarily becomes an invalid target. A good rule of thumb is that the spell is suppressed while the target is invalid.

In the end, as this is a gap in the rules, the DM will have to decide if they take this suggestion or rule instead that the spell is dispelled.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Except ... an elf, an orc and a wolf all have “the same basic arrangement of limbs” - 4 2 near the head and 2 near the butt. You’re assuming a much narrower interpretation than the words, on the face of them, can support. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 8:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM Quadruped and biped are very much different body types and that is definitely not a narrow reading. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 14:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with Dale M. They are not "very different body types". Anatomically and skeletally, the arrangement is the same. Not only the same number of limbs attached in the same places, but the same number and type of joints in the same order. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 17:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ So are wolves ectomorphic, mesomorphic, or endomorphic? (Sure, body type can mean many things. But I saw a clear favorite when I googled it, and it doesn't put wolves and orcs in the same category) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 6:23

The Seeming will stop working due to the size change exceeding the limitations of the spell. I would argue that the basic arrangement of the limbs is the same, so if the druid chose to wildshape into, for example, a normal wolf, the Seeming spell would continue (although seeing an orc running on all fours might provide a clue that something is amiss).

Whether the Seeming continues to work or not, the way spells work in 5e would indicate that the timer keeps running, and thus if the spell is still active when the druid ends his wildshape, then he would reappear looking like an orc. If the Seeming spell ended its duration while the druid was in dire wolf form, then he would not.

  • \$\begingroup\$ "size change exceeding the limitations of the spell" what do you mean by this? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 17:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ The spell only allows you to appear different from your real size by +/-1 foot. If you are an elf, appearing as an orc, that's fine, but if you then change into a dire wolf, the difference between your appearance (medium orc) and you new actual size (large dire wolf) is more than the Seeming spell allows you to have. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 6:43

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