So, I'm not entirely sure what this spell actually does. Based on the answer to this question, I would think the generally accepted use of this spell is 'greater polymorph' but with a longer duration and the ability to work on objects, as well as make things into objects.
However, based on these answers; Answer 1,Answer 2, Answer 3,Answer 4 the exact abilities this spell has are not clear. Based on (my understanding of) these answers, the possible interpretations of this spell are:
- Greater Polymorph, but with a longer duration and additional target options
- Limitless, so long as the end product does not result in one of the things specifically mentioned as not being a possible outcome (ex. adamantine, silver, etc.) with the end result only affecting the duration
- The spell functioning as any of the spells listed (notably those at the bottom that are often overlooked in other answers) but with a changed duration and larger array of targets
- Greater Polymorph, but using whatever polymorph spell best replicates the outcome desired (i.e. Elemental body for elementals, giant form for giants, etc.)
The general problem I'm having can be summed up by looking over this forum asking about the use of the spell. All of my examples can also be found there, along with a few others.
The main problems I'm having with this spell, and why, are as follows:
1.) Does the spell limit the end form, and to what degree? - The wording of the spell is open to interpretation, and I submit the many examples of people interpreting it differently as proof of my claim.
2.) Does the spell function only as other polymorph spells, and if so, which ones? - Multiple answers claim it only functions as Greater Polymorph, but with specific exceptions. This is clearly not true, as it says in the last lines of the spell it can duplicate the effects of multiple spells. People also often claim the target must be willing, but as baleful polymorph can be replicated, this too must be false.
3.) Is there any official ruling about this, or even something close? - Many people make strong arguments, and often people will agree with them. The first answer I mentioned was first only because it has the most votes here, on this site. However, other interpretations of the spell can be found here, and else where, that are not challenged. As such, this seems to suggest the answer needs more than just popular opinion to hold water. Otherwise I, and any other people seeking answers, will be in the same boat.
So, while addressing the issues I've stated above, how does this spell actually work?