Say you have a 29-year-old half-orc who gets hit by polymorph any object and becomes an elf. Will their age category go up when they reach 30 years, or when they reach 175 years?

If the former, then does that mean they'll die of old age at 60+2d110 years despite being an elf? If the latter, what happens if the magic gets dispelled when they're 175 years old? Are they an adult half-orc, a middle-aged half-orc, or a dead half-orc?


1 Answer 1


There's no real rules on this as far as I can tell, despite my research on the topic, including this other question on the topic of living forever by polymorph. From a practical perspective, you may as well consider this to be about biological age. The biological age is how we describe a creature: a child, a young adult, middle-aged, etc. What does the spell's rules say about biological age? Absolutely nothing.

Therefore, it's safe to assume that the creature's life span shifts along to its new form. A young half-orc becomes a young elf, an old half-orc becomes an old elf when they change form. Similarly, changing back to the original form would have the same effect, converting a middle-aged elf to a middle-aged half-orc.

In other words, there's no way to kill a creature using this spell to affect their age. There are abilities out there in the world that can affect the effects of aging, but this isn't one of them. They remain the same biological age for the purposes of this spell.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Make me wonder about the cruel and unusual punishment of being polymorphed into a short lifecycle creature for a year only to be refitted and have decades of your life taken away... \$\endgroup\$
    – Kyyshak
    Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 6:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer does make sense, but since you mentioned Crawford I just want to make sure--you are still talking about 3.5e (not 5e) here, right? \$\endgroup\$
    – 47948201
    Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 15:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @47948201 I did double-check the rules, but maybe I was confused on Crawford's involvement in 3.5e? Regardless, I couldn't find anything in any version of True Polymorph that discusses age, as I do tend to double-check and research before I post. I'll amend, though, I definitely don't want to give the wrong impression. \$\endgroup\$
    – phyrfox
    Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 16:27

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