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Polymorphing a creature causes it to lose extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on form, and class features that depend on form.

Do a shaman's spirit animal abilities fall under the spectrum of abilities lost when polymorphed?

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Most Spirit Animal abilities are not dependent on Form

The section in Polymorphing prevents a dire tiger polymorphed into a chicken from pouncing on you, but probably shouldn't prevent a Spirit Animal from functioning.

Notably, from the Polymorph section

While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form.

and from the Spirit Animal section

A spirit animal is a creature chosen by a shaman to serve as a conduit, allowing her to more fully access the magic of her spirit on a daily basis.

The Spirit Animal is intended to be a conduit to a source of power, not the source of power itself. The form of the conduit is, generally, less important.


The other abilities of a Spirit Animal are based on the Wizard Familiar abilities. None of those abilities should, generally, be "dependent on form" because all Familiars (whether they be a black cat or a totally equivalent greensting scorpion) they all benefit the same.


The GM has the final say on what qualifies as an ability based on form, because it is left open-ended. If they feel like being in the form of the animal that the Spirit "expects" is necessary for them to function as a conduit, that is up to them.

While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed. Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form.

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