The Pathfinder rules are quite clear on what happens when you combine polymorph effects with size-changing effects. Namely, the size-changing effects do not function while a character is under the effects of a polymorph effect. But what about other transmutations that change a character's physical form?
I can see this working in two ways:
- If a character is targeted by a transmutation effect, then a polymorph effect, the polymorph effect overrides the transmutation effect. But, if the polymorph effect is first, then the transmutation effect functions normally (by transmutation effect, I am referring to non-size-altering effects.)
- Both polymorph effects and transmutation effects alter the base creature, so the order in which spells are cast does not matter, as both are affecting the base creature, not the modified creature.
There is also the possibility that the transmutation effect simply does not function at all while a character is under the effects of a polymorph effect, but I have not seen evidence of that in the rules (where size-alterations are the only specifically mentioned effects that do not function).
A druid is the target of a Greater Brand. This spell specifically states that it cannot be removed, even temporarily, unless a Mark of Justice could be removed the same way. This spell might be a specific example that says that in this case, the spell functions even under the effects of a polymorph effect. So, when the druid wild shapes, the brand would still be visible.
But, what about a regular brand spell (not greater)? Would that remain during the effects of a wild shape? A normal animal would not have such a brand. Does Wild Shape allow the druid to become an animal that is unbranded?
What about Countless Eyes? The druid is covered in eyes, and then wild shapes. Are they now an animal that is covered in eyes? Or does the wild shape override that effect? If they are wild shaped, and they (or someone else) casts Countless Eyes on them, does the spell function normally? A normal animal would not be covered in eyes (there are no animals I know of with all-around vision). Would the Wild Shape effect override this ability?
Basically, I am wondering if order of spellcasting matters.
There are two sections of rules that also come into play in this regard, potentially in contradictory ways:
Combining Magic Effects
Spells or magical effects usually work as described, no matter how many other spells or magical effects happen to be operating in the same area or on the same recipient. Except in special cases, a spell does not affect the way another spell operates. Whenever a spell has a specific effect on other spells, the spell description explains that effect.
One Effect Makes Another Irrelevant
Sometimes, one spell can render a later spell irrelevant. Both spells are still active, but one has rendered the other useless in some fashion.
The second section seems to imply #1 while the first section seems to imply #2. And in this case, both of these sections of rules seem to apply equally depending on how one interprets the phrase "original form".
Edit: The answer below implies that interpretation #1 is the correct interpretation. However, that did not settle the discussion with my group. The main argument for option #2 is as follows:
If you generate a polymorph effect while under the effects of a form-altering transmutation effect, then the form you change into is a polymorphed version of a creature under the same transmutation effect. The "normal form" that you change into is whatever the normal creature being effected by the transmutation effect would be under the effect of said transmutation. This coincides with the general rule for Combining Magic Effects listed above. In other words, if the new creature could be affected by the spell, then its "normal form" would be affected by an already active spell.
I am not saying this is the correct answer. I am just saying it is the best argument I've heard for why option #2 may be the correct answer. I am still torn between the two.