Related question but different game (D&D 5e): What happens when a creature that has swallowed another creature is polymorphed?

We went into the water and a 5x4 creature attacked us. It had grab on a natural attack and swallow whole. I was... unlucky.

One of the other players hit it with Baleful Polymorph and it failed the save so it became a small clam, which is smaller than me. Are there any rules which cover this situation?

The DM ruled that I burst out of it, but I feel this is not what should have happened unless I was also given a save. I should have been treated as a held object and polymorphed with it. Nothing happens to me because I meld, so if the group wants me back they have to finish the combat.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean a small clam? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jasen
    Jun 15, 2019 at 23:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jasen No, um, its a special sub-species that only exists for this question, lol \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Jun 16, 2019 at 4:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Did the GM rule that your PC bursting forth from the creature that swallowed whole your PC killed the creature that swallowed whole your PC? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 16, 2019 at 13:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, what monster did the GM take from third-party or Dungeons & Dragons, Third Edition material has a space of 5 squares × 4 squares? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 16, 2019 at 13:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ All we know is that the beast is alive and well living as a clam. It was a turtle that was possessed by some snail shell thing, and the turtle had black coral armor. The coral armor I believe is his home brew as its hard as metal and is the result of a fabricate spell. I dont know where the creature came from, we didnt get much knowledge on it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Jun 16, 2019 at 16:02

1 Answer 1


Your GM is likely correct.

If we look at the rules for Swallow Whole, they state:

If a creature with this special attack begins its turn with an opponent grappled in its mouth (see Grab), it can attempt a new combat maneuver check (as though attempting to pin the opponent). If it succeeds, it swallows its prey, and the opponent takes bite damage. Unless otherwise noted, the opponent can be up to one size category Smaller than the swallowing creature. Being swallowed causes a creature to take damage each round. The amount and type of damage varies and is given in the creature’s statistics. A swallowed creature keeps the grappled condition, while the creature that did the swallowing does not. A swallowed creature can try to cut its way free with any light slashing or piercing weapon (the amount of cutting damage required to get free is equal to 1/10 the creature’s total hit points), or it can just try to escape the grapple. The Armor Class of the interior of a creature that swallows whole is normally 10 + 1/2 its natural armor bonus, with no modifiers for size or Dexterity. If a swallowed creature cuts its way out, the swallowing creature cannot use swallow whole again until the damage is healed. If the swallowed creature escapes the grapple, success puts it back in the attacker’s mouth, where it may be bitten or swallowed again.

Nowhere in there does it state you are treated like a held item, therefore you would not be polymorphed with it. Likewise, a familiar in a Familiar Satchel would not be merged with you if you polymorphed, as it is not an object.

Now if we look at Baleful Polymorph, it says:

... If the spell succeeds, the subject must also make a Will save. If this second save fails, the creature loses its extraordinary, supernatural, and spell-like abilities, loses its ability to cast spells (if it had the ability), and gains the alignment, special abilities, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores of its new form in place of its own. ...

Assuming the creature failed the second save, it would have lost the Swallow Whole ability, this would mean that you are no longer able to be swallowed by it. Thus you would be disgorged from its body.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ In fact, one might say your GM is right regardless of anyone else’s rule analysis, because that’s what he ruled at the table for your game. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jun 16, 2019 at 2:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk Yes, rule zero can always apply, but my groups try to side with reason or where the rules are. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Jun 16, 2019 at 4:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @william You raised some good points about why I should not have melded, thanks \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Jun 16, 2019 at 4:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Although this isn't really covered by RAW, can you imagine applying this logic to (say) a human that had consumed a chicken, and then polymorphed into (say) a cat? Does this mean the contents of his stomach DON'T reduce along with him?? \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    Jun 16, 2019 at 20:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @YogoZuno don't know about the exact situation you have in mind, but I'm pretty sure OP character was alive, and humans usually consume their chicken dead and cooked, and I'm yet to see a human that can swallow a chicken whole. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Jun 16, 2019 at 23:18

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