What happens if a wizard attempts to create a complex object made of many parts using the True Polymorph spell?

Let's say that a wizard tries to create a large ship/boat using True Polymorph. Now, a boat is made of a main wooden body and many other parts, more or less "removable" (e.g. sails, wheel, furniture, crates, ropes). Are they created along with the main body? Is it necessary to roll some kind of knowledge check to determine the result?


2 Answers 2


It's up to the DM

The line between a singular object and a complex thing made of several objects is pretty blurry.

Where that line is drawn will be up to the DM and they will need to make a ruling as to how it would work and communicate that to the players so expectations are understood and met.


As per this answer on another question

By the time characters can use 9th level spells, balance becomes a function of DM style, choice, and rulings. Spells of that level are very, very powerful, in some cases making changes in reality of the game world. True Polymorph and Wish are particularly good examples of that. Characters at levels 17-20 are in the "Masters of the World" level of adventure as described in the DMG page 37.

It is completely likely that such high level casters would be able to pull off such a spell, it's a different question whether it's worth using the slot for this.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That specific answer is about doing something well within the rules. Can you support that this is actually possible in the rules without a DM handwaving it because "it's a high level spell"? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 12:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch The spell contains no size or complexity limitations whatsoever. As the spell range is RAW 30 ft I would limit the effect diameter to 30 ft as well. As the creature size is limited in case of object-to-creature polymorphing per RAW to the original object one could argue to limit creature-to-object polymorphing similarly. The comparable Wish spell has size (300 ft diameter) and value (25th gp) limitations which would allow wishing for vehicles, again at the DM's discretion. The quoted answer starts with an appeal to DM style, choice, and rulings which would also apply in this case. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 18, 2020 at 12:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ I as a DM would allow turning normal-sized creatures into row boats and large creatures into sail boats unless the spell would destroy a plot device. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 18, 2020 at 12:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ok, cool. I think we said the same thing in different ways in that it's up to the DM \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 12:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Same effect, I think the answer I referenced brings a stronger point with the DMG reference and the Wish spell as comparative. Per RAW you can turn a rat into a mountain so the DM is really the only person who can judge feasibility. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 18, 2020 at 13:06

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