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I'm a level 18 wizard. The Creature into Creature option of true polymorph states:

If you turn a creature into another kind of creature, the new form can be any kind you choose whose challenge rating is equal to or less than the target’s (or its level, if the target doesn’t have a challenge rating).

So I cast it on my self, being 18th level, to polymorph into another creature whose CR is lower than mine, let's say an adult silver dragon with CR 16, will I be an adult silver dragon CR 16 or 18?

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You take on the CR of the creature you change into.

True polymorph states:

The target’s game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the new form. It retains its alignment and personality.

Challenge rating is one of these game statistics1, and so your statistics are replaced by the statistics of the new form. So if you use true polymorph to turn into an adult silver dragon, your challenge rating will be 16.

That said, I am having trouble coming up with a scenario where the distinction would matter all that much.


1 From the introduction to the Monster Manual: "A monster’s statistics, sometimes referred to as its stat block, provide the essential information that you need to run the monster."

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Player characters don't have a CR

CR calculations are for non player character creatures. A level 18 wizard, or indeed a level 18 for any class or combination of classes, does not have a CR of 18.

Changing into a creature with a CR of 16 doesn't give you a CR of 16. It just means you currently have the form of a creature with a CR of 16. A creatures CR reflects how dangerous it is in combat and how hard it will be to kill it. Since you revert back into your original form after your polymorphed form runs out of HP you aren't really CR 16.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ True polymorph says your statistics are replaced by the statistics of the creature, which includes the creature’s challenge rating. This answer is incorrect. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Jul 15 at 21:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Actually, Allan's point about reverting to your true form is relevant. The creature you are polymorphed into is CR 16 if encountered normally, but as a combat encounter you are actually a 2-phase battle, where a normally-CR-16 creature is only the first half, and an 18th level wizard (no pre-defined CR) is the second half. An encounter with this polymorphed wizard will be tougher than the CR 16 creature they are polymorphed into, suggesting a higher CR. \$\endgroup\$ – BBeast Jul 15 at 23:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BBeast continuing your train of thought indefinitely, a player character with access to polymorph should have a (large but non infinite, due to finite monsters and discrete CRs) challenge rating of "the maximum CR such that there is no monster with CR less than the combined rating of the player and the highest CR lower than the player", which with SRD puts you at 24+? if your character can qualify for the difference between 23 and 24 =) \$\endgroup\$ – Cireo Jul 16 at 23:17

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