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When using Wildshape, or the spells Beastshape #, polymorph or any similar spells, is there any way to gain some or any of the abilities listed in the creature entry that are not listed under the spells 'permission list'? Similarly is there a way to gain creature abilities earlier such as the ability to use a snake's poison which is only available to Beastshape III in some capacity with only Version I or II?

Looking for anything at all, even trivial things.

Class's features, spells, or magical items that produce an effect to "emulate" an ability will not count. Magical items or obtainable effects that specifically say "When polymorphed you gain a creature's ability to XYZ" will count.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is there a specific feature/form's ability you want? Or are you just wanting to know if there is an exception to that rule? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 16:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso Personally I'd be happen with simple things like the Spike ability on a porcupine, which is unobtainable. But getting poison earlier would be a major one, by the time you can actually use any poison you can also turn into a Dinosaur and just eat opponents whole with [4d6 + Grapple + Trip] bite attacks. Any exceptions would be welcome honestly. \$\endgroup\$
    – L.P.
    Commented Jun 24, 2021 at 18:28

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Most of the spells that allow you to polymorph yourself list explicitly which abilities you gain from your new form.

Let's use Beast Shape as our example (sourced from the SRD):

Beast Shape I

When you cast this spell, you can assume the form of any Small or Medium creature of the animal type. If the form you assume has any of the following abilities, you gain the listed ability: climb 30 feet, fly 30 feet (average maneuverability), swim 30 feet, darkvision 60 feet, low-light vision, and scent.

Beast Shape II

This spell functions as beast shape I, except that it also allows you to assume the form of a Tiny or Large creature of the animal type. If the form you assume has any of the following abilities, you gain the listed ability: climb 60 feet, fly 60 feet (good maneuverability), swim 60 feet, darkvision 60 feet, low-light vision, scent, grab, pounce, and trip.

As you can see from the emphasized section, each spell lists specifically what abilities you gain from the beast you choose to take the form of.

Polymorph, while not specifically calling out what abilities it gives you, instead states this:

If you use this spell to cause the target to take on the form of an animal, the spell functions as beast shape II. If the form is that of an elemental, the spell functions as elemental body I. If the form is that of a humanoid, the spell functions as alter self.

Which means that the effects of polymorph will simply exactly duplicate the effects of one of the spells it specifically mentions, including which abilities can be copied.

Since the abilities you can have are explicitly listed, no other abilities can be gained. This includes abilities unique to certain types of creatures, such as the Ink Cloud ability of the Squid. Since Ink Cloud isn't one of the abilities listed in any of the Beast Shape spells, you won't get that ability in particular, but you will still gain any other abilities that the squid may have.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ RBacon, Your answer is an excellent explanation of how the rules function normally however this Question is looking for exceptions and loopholes. For instance Wildshape specifically calls out that one loses their shield bonus when Wildshaping, but the Magic Armor Property "Wild" exists and is an explicit exception to the written rules. I am looking for examples such as that, which 'permit' creature abilities. Now this might run into the 'Unable to prove a null value' problem, I understand. Perhaps my original question and phrasing is unclear. What could I change to make it more clear? \$\endgroup\$
    – L.P.
    Commented Jun 24, 2021 at 18:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ No, I'm 99% certain that what you're looking for doesn't exist. The scope is certainly far to niche for it to be available as an armor enchantment or specific armor piece. There generally aren't any feats that interact with specific spells or subtypes of spells that aren't metamagic, and there are definitely no metamagic feats for this. There are a very limited list of class abilities that almost do what you want, but are only for specific transformations, like the Oracles Volcano Mystery Discovery Magma Form, but that only swaps Earth Glide for Lava Glide instead. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 24, 2021 at 19:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ The only possible source for what you're looking for would have to be a specific magic item that transforms you into a specific creature and has a special note of "and you also get [x] ability while in this form" or some such, and I don't think there are any items that do that. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 24, 2021 at 19:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you want to some how included those reasons into your answer above I'd consider it a complete answer. At least unless someone unearths some really obscure resource, in the mean time I'll go ahead and check-mark it. \$\endgroup\$
    – L.P.
    Commented Jun 25, 2021 at 14:57

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