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The spell Contingency has a material component of:

a statuette of yourself carved from ivory and decorated with gems worth at least 1,500 gp

The spell also ends if this statue isn't on your person.

Also, contingency ends on you if its material component is ever not on your person.

If you are polymorphed into another form, the spell Polymorph states:

The target's gear melds into the new form. The creature can't activate, use, wield, or otherwise benefit from any of its equipment.

Is having the contingency spell not end a "benefit" of your equipment? Or, since it's melded into your form, is it still on your person? Would the contingency still trigger after reverting to your humanoid form?

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The contingency spell ends

The Statue has to remain a statue to still be the material component

As you quoted, the relevant part of contingency is:

Also, contingency ends on you if its material component is ever not on your person.

So let's start with a basic assumption. If the material component changes sufficiently so that it's no longer a statue, the spell will end. This is because, simply put, the material component in the spell description is:

A statuette of yourself carved from ivory and decorated with gems worth at least 1,500 gp

If the statue magically changes into something else, (like a teapot for instance) then it isn't a statue anymore by definition. And since the spell's material component is by the spell's own description a statuette, you can't have "the material component" on your person anymore if the statuette you used isn't a statuette anymore.

What does it mean for the gear to "meld?"

The relevant part of polymorph is:

The target's gear melds into the new form.

There is no official game term here so we use common language. Merriam-Webster defines meld as:

merge, blend

And it defines merge as:

to cause to combine, unite, or coalesce

When your gear melds into your new form, it becomes part of your new form's substance. That is: it changes from whatever material it used to be into the flesh, fur, skin, etc. of the new form. In that case, the statue material component no longer exists as a statue. It is now something else.

Think of it like mixing a stick of butter into a cake batter. The stuff that made up the stick of butter is still inside the batter, but it's been broken down into the batter. If I pick up the bowl of batter, I don't have a stick of butter on my person. I have a bowl of cake batter on my person.

The statue doesn't exist as a statue anymore, so it can't be on your person

Since the statue isn't a statue anymore, the material component cannot be on your person. And since contingency says:

Also, contingency ends on you if its material component is ever not on your person.

That means the contingency spell ends.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Could you provide further support for the statue not existing? There might be a difference between being melded into your form and not existing. \$\endgroup\$ – Odo Jul 1 at 18:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you need to consider a better definition for 'meld' because nothing in that suggests to me that the statue isn't on your person. \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Jul 1 at 21:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Odo I'll make an edit to clarify, but my point isn't that the statue doesn't exist at all anymore. It's that the statue doesn't exist as a statue anymore. And because it isn't a statuette anymore and the spell requires a statuette be on your person, the spell ends because you don't have a statuette of yourself anymore. \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Jul 1 at 23:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pyrotechnical So, I don't think it matters if it's on your person or not. That isn't the point. The point is that the statue isn't a statue anymore. It's become part of the meat of whatever beast you turned into. Contingency requires an expensive statuette. So if the statuette isn't a statuette anymore, then you no longer have the material component of the spell. So the spell ends. \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Jul 2 at 0:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Adam where in the spell does it say that the statue needs to still be a statue? It just says the component needs to be on you. \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Jul 2 at 2:06
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It is up to the DM, but in my opinion Contingency should remain active

The major questions to ask in order to answer the overall question are:

  1. Has the statue left your person?
  2. Is the statue providing a benefit?

Has the statue left your person?

As noted, the spell text for Contingency indicates the spell ends if the statue is no longer on your person, while Polymorph melds all gear into your new form. The statue does not cease to exist, as it is simply incorporated into your form, and it does not exist anywhere else apart from "your person". Therefore, I would argue that the statue is indeed still on your person even if it cannot be seen in statue form.

Is the statue providing a benefit?

This is where things get contentious, and it depends on your definition of the broad term "benefit". The DM ultimately makes the decision and could rule that "keeping Contingency active" is a benefit provided by the statue. In this case the spell would end as the statue would no longer provide this benefit.

In my opinion, the benefit is not coming from a piece of equipment (i.e. the statue), but from the magic of the Contingency spell. The spell does not indicate that the statue needs to be used in any way nor that the magic is coming from the statue itself, it merely requires the statue's presence. Polymorph does not inhibit the target from receiving benefit from a spell. In this case, I would argue that the statue is not providing a benefit, it just needs to exist on your person in order for the spell's benefit to continue.

In Conclusion

The DM makes the decision based on their interpretation of the vague wording. If I were the DM in this case, I would rule that because the statue still exists on your person, and the statue is not itself providing any benefit, Contingency will remain active upon the target of the Polymorph spell. Additionally, upon reverting back to humanoid form, these conditions remain the same.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Jul 1 at 18:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ You might want to include an example, such as a Periapt of Health, that would not function while polymorphed. This could make your distinction between the spell providing benefit and the item providing benefit clearer. \$\endgroup\$ – Odo Jul 1 at 18:59
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Contingency Triggers

The Polymorph spell specifically states (emphasis mine):

The target's gear melds into the new form. The creature can't activate, use, wield, or otherwise benefit from any of its equipment.

The gear is still on the character, it's just not accessible for use. The way this phrase is structured suggests that the character cannot deliberately benefit from any of their equipment. So even though they have magical armor, they don't get to benefit from magical armor resizing to fit their bear form and let them enjoy a better AC. This doesn't suggest to me that a spell currently on the creature won't trigger.

In addition, consider the following key part of the Contingency spell:

The contingent spell takes effect immediately after the circumstance is met for the first time, whether or not you want it to, and then contingency ends.

Presuming the character could bypass undesirable triggers for their Contingency smacks of cheese that's not intended by the rules.

So I think by both a RAW and RAI interpretation, Contingency will trigger on the character under Polymorph. Maybe it'll be beneficial, maybe your Contingency triggers pre-maturely and you cast Cure Wounds on yourself upcast to 5th level because you dropped to half health when you were a fish. Overall, though, the system seems to be working as intended if Polymorph wreaks havoc with the trigger conditions for Contingency.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll concede that the matter that makes up the statuette is still on your person. But if the statuette itself melds into your form, I just don't see how it can still be considered as a statuette anymore. And if it isn't a statuette anymore, how can you have the material component of the spell (which is explicitly a statuette) on your person? \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Jul 2 at 0:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Adam you need a statuette when you cast the spell. Afterwards, the material component just needs to be on your person. \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Jul 2 at 2:07
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The ivory statuette is not equipment, it's a material spell component. A component pouch is equipment, the components inside it are not.

"On your person" isn't a technical term, it's every day English. The ivory statuette is indeed on your person, since it is merged into your polymorphed form.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ -1: It seems that using materials inside your component pouch is part and parcel to using the component pouch itself. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Jul 1 at 11:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you clarify the distinction between equipment and non-equipment possessions? I would usually interpret "equipment" and "gear" to be synonymous and refer to all items on a person (worn, held, stowed, packed, etc). \$\endgroup\$ – Odo Jul 1 at 18:25

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