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If a character has the ability to transform into different creatures (using polymorph or wildshape as examples), what would happen if they shift into a creature larger than the space they are in?

Example: a chartacter is in an 8x8x8 room and turns into an elephant via any shape changing spell/ability.

Would the polymorph or wildshape still take effect?

Would the character take damage and if so how would that be determined?

Would any other creatures in that room take that same amount of damage?

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For the specific case of polymorph or wild shape, the rules don't explicitly address what happens when a creature doesn't have enough room to grow. The DM will have to make a ruling.

However, for enlarge person the rules do address this:

If insufficient room is available for the desired growth, the creature attains the maximum possible size and may make a Strength check (using its increased Strength) to burst any enclosures in the process. If it fails, it is constrained without harm by the materials enclosing it— the spell cannot be used to crush a creature by increasing its size.

This rules text also appears in other spells such as animal growth.

A DM who wishes to make a ruling for polymorph or wild shape might find it simplest to rule that the resolution from enlarge person also applies to these other effects.

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