Can you use Shapechange again after dropping to 0 HP?

This might sound strange, but I belive that, according to RAW, you can keep using Shapechange even after getting dropped out of the previous form due to taking damage.

Specifically, the sequence of events I am thinking about goes like this:

  • having X HP in your base form, use Shapechange to assume a form with Y HP
  • take at least Y points of damage, but less than X+Y
  • turn back into your base form†
  • make your con save to keep concentrating on Shapechange - nothing in the spell says that it ends upon dropping to 0HP!
  • You are now in your base form, with a nonzero amount of HP left - let's call it X' - and still have Shapchange up
  • use your action to assume any new form, with the only restriction being that the new form's HP cap out at X'

I believe this last bullet point to be a valid option due to this part of the spell's description:

During this spell's duration, you can use your action to assume a different form following the same restrictions and rules for the original form, with one exception: if your new form has more hit points than your current one, your hit points remain at their current value.

This says nothing about the last form you assumed using the spell - it's your current form whose HP are relevant.


While I believe this to be an obvious oversight in the spell's description - just like the fact that it doesn't actually flat out say that you turn back upon being reduced to 0 HP - I think that, according to Rules As Written, this is how the spell works.
Did I miss something or am I reading this correctly?

† This is never explicitly stated to happen, but can reasonably be inferred from this paragraph:

When you revert to your normal form, you return to the number of hit points you had before you transformed. If you revert as a result of dropping to 0 hit points, any excess damage carries over to your normal form. As long as the excess damage doesn't reduce your normal form to 0 hitpoints, you aren't knocked unconscious.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I've now realized this means healing the caster basically gets you double the healing \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Dec 6 '19 at 14:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ i also believe this is just a oversight in the wording. \$\endgroup\$ – Bruno Souza Dec 6 '19 at 15:42
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It does imply they missed the sentence which is in the druid's Wildshape description (which works similarly): "You automatically revert if you fall unconscious, drop to 0 hit points, or die." But not sure I can justify this assumption enough for an answer. \$\endgroup\$ – PJRZ Dec 6 '19 at 16:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PJRZ I don't think this is a question of whether they revert. It's that once they revert, the spell still hasn't ended \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Dec 6 '19 at 16:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 I did misread, though this reverting on 0hp is a requirement for the actual question \$\endgroup\$ – PJRZ Dec 6 '19 at 16:21

Yes, you can

The spell has a duration of 1 hour.

During this spell's duration, you can use your action to assume a different form

Nothing about reverting to your own form says it ends the spell, so it doesn’t. This is different from the Polymorph spell which explicitly says the spell ends when this happens.


As noted, this question states that this situation is likely an oversight.

I would say that the first line of the spell description covers that oversight.

You assume the form of a different creature for the duration.

If you revert to your normal form, you are no longer in the form of a different creature. Therefore, the duration of the spell has ended at that point.

If it didn't end, then you would also have the option to remain in your normal form (by not using your action to change again), which is in direct violation of the spell description quoted above.

As such, no, you cannot keep using shapechange after dropping to 0 HP.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the emphasis is most important on the "a" in "a different creature." You transform into one creature for the duration. If you get knocked out of the spell, you dont get to transform into another. \$\endgroup\$ – Ajohnson Dec 6 '19 at 16:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ajohnson However you can turn into another creature using your action (described at the end of the spell). Thus you haven't been a creature, but at least two \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Dec 6 '19 at 16:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Looks like I didnt read it thoroughly enough. With that clause at the end you absolutely can transform into another creature, and I would go so far as to say that's RAI as well as RAW. \$\endgroup\$ – Ajohnson Dec 6 '19 at 16:25

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