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If I have polymorphed into a creature can I use the effects of my feats? For example:

  1. If I have Alert do I still get a plus 5 to initiative?

  2. If I have the Grappler feat can I still pin a creature that I have grappled?

  3. If I have Tough does my polymorphed form gain the extra hit points?

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2 Answers 2

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You don't get feats while polymorphed

Polymorph says:

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

The target's game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the chosen beast. It retains its alignment and personality.

Feats are part of a creature's game statistics (in fact, most of the time they are class features). As such, they are replaced with the creature's statics when you transform into the new creature. See this question for more details on what "game statistics" means.

Thus, none of your feats have any effect while in polymorph form.

The rule of thumb when you transform is that if it's not on the new form's stat block, you don't get it in that form.

Or as Jeremy Crawford has said:

You're playing with the stat block, not your character sheet. Set the latter aside.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I see I'm getting a few downvotes here. If people have any constructive feedback on things I can improve, I'd be happy to hear it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 24, 2019 at 4:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the responce. I was playing with the idea of picking up grappler since the hulking crab auto grapples on hits. When I started that train my brain went down the what else is possible tracks. It felt pretty strong so I wanted to make sure before I set hard plans. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 24, 2019 at 22:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Jeremy Crawford being wrong and reversing over a dozen rulings aside... the phrase "The creature is limited in the actions it can perform by the nature of its new form, and it can’t speak, cast spells, or take any other action that requires hands or speech unless its new form is capable of such actions." does imply that you can cast your spells, as long as the new form is capable of the same motions and can form the same sounds. \$\endgroup\$
    – Grond
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 1:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Grond Not necessarily, you can cast spells from scrolls too. \$\endgroup\$
    – biziclop
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 10:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer does not rely on any Crawford ruling, it merely quotes him at the end after the conclusion has already been made. \$\endgroup\$
    – smbailey
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 15:41
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Although the phrase "It retains its alignment and personality." should include your class level, subclass, feats and life experiences, as these are what has formed your alignment and personality. To not have them sounds pretty stupid, but there are really petty people who DM and rule on such stuff. They want you to act like that person, without any of the things that made you that person. Pretty weird logic they want you to believe.

There is a semi-simple solution for this, the 5th level Modify Memory spell. Best to prep a written list of Class/Sub-class, their abilities, your highest level of spell ability & highest level and number of spell slots, list of feats and any relevant choices (like fire for Elemental Adept), list of major events you were part of and list of friends, enemies and significant acquaintances you know. The spell specifically says “…its mind fills in any gaps in the details of your description.” So, have a friend cast it, read off the list, hold the spell for 1 minute, and all those things are recalled, your mind fills in the gaps (not hard as you lived them), and "POOF!" you are restored.

For qualifying for the spell, the 6 second event of the changing at casting qualifies, if you cast this spell after the initial hour (so it is permanent) but before 24 hours expires, it will be within 24 hours and they will "allow the target to recall the event (the losing of their memories and abilities in 6 seconds) with perfect clarity and exacting detail" while “its mind fills in any gaps in the details of your description.”

*All that being said, if your ability or feat is race related/required, you will lose it. Since we don't have a decent or generous DM, requiring us to use this spell to solve the problem, it is highly unlikely they will let you keep these feats, no will you get replacement one(s). They will be lost.*r

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