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So I'm playing a wild magic sorcerer and rolled a 78 on my Wild Magic Surge, polymorphing me into a sheep after my unsuccessful wisdom save.

My friendly companion now wants to shear me, but I will turn into my previous form in an hour.

If they shear me and polymorph ends, what will happen with my wool?
Will I loose hair on my real body?
Will the wool disappear?


Our DM made the following ruling, considering [persistence in Druid's Wild Shape]:

You can shear the sheep.

A successful Animal Handling check is needed vs the sheeps Insight check. If the sheep is charmed or tamed (by whatever action) you get advantage on the Animal Handling throw.

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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Please take the tour for a free badge. Great first question. I added a few relevant tags and edited the question for readability. Hope to see you around! \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Oct 3 '18 at 17:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ You've got a great question here! I'm not sure if the addition of how it was ruled at your table helps people focus on an answer - but you've got rep now if you'd like to discuss this in Role-playing Games Chat. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Oct 3 '18 at 17:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Your character has very interesting friendly companions. \$\endgroup\$ – TimothyAWiseman Oct 3 '18 at 19:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ Baaad things, man!. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Oct 3 '18 at 20:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Rule of Cool vs. Rule of Funny! \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Oct 11 '18 at 2:38
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It's a DM's call

The 5e rules do not address this, so it is a DM's call. If a DM is looking for historical precedence from previous editions to help guide their decision, 3.5e had the following rule for alternate forms (which included Wild Shape):

A creature using alternate form reverts to its natural form when killed, but separated body parts retain their shape.

... while Alter Self (which included Polymorph) had the following rule:

When you revert to your true form, any objects previously melded into the new form reappear in the same location on your body they previously occupied and are once again functional. Any new items you wore in the assumed form and can’t wear in your normal form fall off and land at your feet; any that you could wear in either form or carry in a body part common to both forms at the time of reversion are still held in the same way. Any part of the body or piece of equipment that is separated from the whole reverts to its true form.

This would imply that you'd have detached human hair (and a bald Sorcerer) when the Polymorph ends.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So the wool might become skin? Yikes \$\endgroup\$ – DonQuiKong Oct 3 '18 at 20:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DonQuiKong Gah no! The wool would become body hair. Your sheep retains its skin when shorn. \$\endgroup\$ – Myles Oct 3 '18 at 20:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Myles but I have less body hair than a sheep, the best fit would be that the wool is part of the skin afterwards. Otherwise you'd be pretty hairy when turning back unshorn. \$\endgroup\$ – DonQuiKong Oct 3 '18 at 20:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DonQuiKong So the wool can change size to become the small amount of body hair you had. It would be the same if you were shapeshifted into a giant and had an arm cut off - the removed parts return to their original size. (And if for some reason it were unclear which body part corresponds to which, I would let the person who cast the shapeshifting spell make that choice.) \$\endgroup\$ – Brilliand Oct 3 '18 at 21:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ What I'm wondering now is if you morphed into an elephant, and someone managed to tie your trunk around your neck, what would happen if you morphed back? \$\endgroup\$ – joeytwiddle Oct 4 '18 at 3:32
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For the duration of Polymorph the wool is wool.

From Polymorph:

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

...

The target's gear melds into the new form

When the spell ends all effects end. The wool will not disappear. Polymorph is a transmutation spell, something was transformed into that wool.

Whatever had become wool is now back to whatever it was. It is up to the DM decide if the player's clothing was shorn, perhaps the hair on their head, if a character is particularly hair then maybe their back.

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When polymorphed, you use the stat block of the creature you're transformed into. When it ends, you take excess damage to your normal HP, but are otherwise unharmed.

The Wild Magic effect in question duplicates the Polymorph spell, which says the following:

The transformation lasts for the duration, or until the target drops to 0 hit points or dies. The new form can be any beast whose challenge rating is equal to or less than the target’s (or the target’s level, if it doesn't have a challenge rating). The target’s game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the chosen beast. It retains its alignment and personality.

The target assumes the hit points of its new form. When it reverts to its normal form, the creature returns to the number of hit points it had before it transformed. If it reverts as a result of dropping to 0 hit points, any excess damage carries over to its normal form. As long as the excess damage doesn’t reduce the creature’s normal form to 0 hit points, it isn’t knocked unconscious.

While there is no stat block for sheep, there is a Sage Advice post that gives some rough guidelines for stats for sheep. According to that post, a Sheep uses a modified version of the goat statblock, which has 1d8 (average 4) HP. As a result, unless the shearing deals more that 4 damage to your HP, you should be unharmed upon returning to your natural form.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This seems to suggest that a haircut results in hp loss... \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Nov 14 at 12:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Given that shearing doesn't usually kill the sheep involved, it probably wouldn't! The point is that any damage that doesn't do HP damage has no effect on you once you revert back to your original form. \$\endgroup\$ – nick012000 Nov 14 at 12:26

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