I'm running the Dragon of Icespire Peak, and one of the monsters is an Anchorite of Talos. It has the following abilities:

Innate Spellcasting. The anchorite’s innate spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 12). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

1/day each: augury, bless, lightning bolt (8d6 damage), revivify

3/day: thunderwave (2d8 damage)

Shapechanger. The anchorite can use its action to polymorph into a boar or back into its true form, which is humanoid. Its statistics are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Rules as written, can the Anchorite of Talos cast any of its spells using Innate Spellcasting while it's in its boar form?


1 Answer 1


Yes they could still use Innate Spellcasting while using Shapechanger; a GM may decide that the creature can no longer provide certain spell components and thus would not be able to cast certain spells

The Shapechanger feature states:

[...] Its statistics are the same in each form...

We know the following from the question "What all is included in a creature's game statistics?":

What counts as statistics for monsters is defined in the Monster Manual introduction in the section "Statistics". It begins by saying (page 6):

A monster's statistics, sometimes referred to as its stat block, provide the essential information that you need to run the monster.

We have here a general rule that is easy to apply: if it is in a stat block then it is considered part of that creature's statistics.

The book describes each aspect of the statistics in a short sub-section (pages 6-11).

  1. Size
  2. Type
  3. Tags
  4. Alignment
  5. Armor Class
  6. Hit Points
  7. Speed
  8. Ability Scores
  9. Saving Throws
  10. Skills
  11. Vulnerabilities, Resistances, and Immunities
  12. Senses
  13. Languages
  14. Challenge
  15. Special Traits
  16. Actions
  17. Reactions
  18. Limited Usage
  19. Equipment

We also know from the Monster Manual (page 10) that Innate Spellcasting counts as a Special Trait (It is the first trait listed in the list of Special Traits).

Thus when you use Shapechanger you maintain your statistics which would include your Special Traits which would then include Innate Spellcasting.

That said, as the question "Does innate spellcasting by creatures have verbal or somatic components?" explains, even Innate Spellcasters still need to provide components. This would still apply while using the Shapechanger feature, so their new form can only cast spells for which it can provide the spellcasting components.

Note that this creature's statblock differs from other creatures such as the Yuan-ti Mind Whisperer, whose statblock includes:

Innate Spellcasting (Yuan-ti Form Only).

There is no similar restriction on the Innate Spellcasting feature of the Anchorite of Talos.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe, but how can a boar use Somatic Components: SOMATIC (S) Spellcasting gestures might include a forceful gesticulation or an intricate set of gestures. If a spell requires a somatic component, the caster must have free use of at least one hand to perform these gestures? \$\endgroup\$
    – CrimRei
    Jul 10, 2020 at 18:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CrimRei I state that "even Innate Spellcasters still need to provide components." which I believe covers what you've said? It's going to be up to the GM whether a boar can provide somatic components for a spell or not. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 10, 2020 at 18:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .