Can a character who casts Shapechange and turns into a spellcaster use innate spellcasting to cast spells with a long casting time?

A specific example is when a druid casts Shapechange to turn into a Planetar that has innate spellcasting. They then cast the Commune spell that Planetars can cast 1/day. The problem is, Commune has a casting time of 1 minute, and Shapechange is a concentration spell.

On pg. 202 of the PHB under "Longer Casting Times", it states:

When you cast a spell with a casting time longer than a single action or reaction, you must spend your action each turn casting the spell, and you must maintain your concentration while you do so.

I'm wondering if the spellcasting being innate changes that in some way.


1 Answer 1


Attempting to cast commune will end shapechange

As you noted, shapechange is a concentration spell which means that concentrating on another spell or casting a spell with a long cast time will end it (see also this Q/A).

The Planetar's Innate Spellcasting only says that (emphasis mine):

The planetar's spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 20). The planetar can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

So the only special property of the Planetar's Innate spells is that they require no material components. All other aspects of the spellcasting function as normal, as per the rules on innate spellcasting, including the concentration requirement for casting a spell with a long cast time that you've already quoted.

Therefore, casting commune as a Planetar requires concentration for the duration, which means that attempting to do so would end shapechange as soon as you started casting commune.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So the answer is "Yes"? \$\endgroup\$
    – ikegami
    Commented Aug 10, 2019 at 0:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ikegami One could argue either way. The part that's obvious, as written: shapechange into a planetar, start casting commune, which causes shapechange to end because you're now concentrating on commune. What's unclear is whether you're able to complete the casting of commune given that you lose the ability to cast it the instant shapechange ends, because you're no longer a planetar. Personally, I'd probably say no, but really it could go either way. If the player was trying to use it to do something cool, I'd probably allow it; if they were just trying to game the system, then no. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 10, 2019 at 8:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @anaximander I think going by RAW, the answer is No, because you can't spend actions casting a spell you don't know, and you don't know it any more after the first action cancelled the shapechange and thus innate spell. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 10, 2019 at 10:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AlienAtSystem I would agree, by a strict reading of the rules, but as a DM I'd give some leeway for things that are cool and move the plot along. Some sort of Flowers for Algernon moment as the character feels the knowledge fading from their mind but keeps pouring magic into it, feeling that having started, the spell is continuing on its own without direction, just needing them to feed it energy... There could be an argument for making an Arcana check to not lose the spell, or something, but I'd decide in the moment. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 10, 2019 at 21:11

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