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Sorcerers with the draconic bloodline develop a thin sheen of dragon-like scales and can eventually manifest wings. How does this interact with the changeling's ability to alter their shape?

For instance:

  • Can they maintain the armor bonus of draconic resilience when they are mimicking a race without scales?
  • Can they manifest wings and then change them to match an Aarakocra or Winged Tiefling while still maintaining their original flight speed?
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Much of the transformation specifics are left to the GM

The Changeling's Shapechanger trait states:

[...] As an action, you can change your appearance and your voice. [...] none of your game statistics change. [...]

There is not a lot of information on the specifics of the change. It is going to be up to the GM exactly how this transformation even works and what exactly it can do.

We know it can change your appearance and voice and we get a list of some ways it can do this but is this list exhaustive or just some examples? Only the GM can say.


How I would rule regarding Draconic Resilience

I would say that Shapechanger is a physical change to how you appear, not how you physically feel, nor what you can actually do (you cannot change your statistics). Thus even if somebody tried to make themself appear to not have scales, they would, in reality, still have scales and thus they would still benefit from the Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer's features.


The Sorcerer features are from your bloodline so Shapechanger isn't going to remove them

The various Draconic features are due to the Sorcerer's bloodline and changing how you appear is not going to alter your bloodline, thus these features stick around. This is also in-line with Shapechanger not changing your statistics.


The Dragon Wings feature is a bit messier:

At 14th level, you gain the ability to sprout a pair of dragon wings from your back, gaining a flying speed equal to your current speed. You can create these wings as a bonus action on your turn. They last until you dismiss them as a bonus action on your turn. [...]

There are no restrictions on when you can sprout wings; it does say you can do so only while a humanoid, or anything of the sort. As such, a Changeling can sprout their wings whenever they want, even while using Shapechanger (of course, as always, a GM is free to rule otherwise).


What about using Shapechanger while you have wings? The Shapechanger trait states:

[...] you must adopt a form that has the same basic arrangement of limbs that you have. [...]

So what is a limb, well a limb is:

an arm or leg of a person or four-legged animal, or a bird's wing.

Thus your wings are limbs meaning that technically your new form actually must have wings and you are able to determine their appearance. Of course this is a bit problematic since a Sorcerer can retract their wings, which means you get to be things like a wingless Aarakocra (again, a GM is free to rule otherwise).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "Of course this is a bit problematic since a Sorcerer can retract their wings, which means you get to be things like a wingless Aarakocra (again, a GM is free to rule otherwise)." Don't Aarakocras have wings for arms? I don't think they'd be able to become one in the first place, because 2 wings + 2 legs isn't the same as 2 arms + 2 wings + 2 legs. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Jun 21 '20 at 2:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nick012000 Hmm, yeah that's a good point... gotta go find something with two arms, two legs, and two wings now... Actually the art actually seems to portray their wings as being quite separate from their arms (after all, they can wield weapons while flying), so I think my example still works \$\endgroup\$ Jun 21 '20 at 2:40

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