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There are some cases where an incorporeal creature will become corporeal or is able to interact as if corporeal. The Assume Likeness ability of the Psion Uncarnate(1) (an unbodied(2) has an ability with same name and effect), says that you can change to look like any Small to Large creature, with no change in abilities, while incorporeal, but not what happens if you're no longer incorporeal while the ability is in effect, nor what would happen if you were able to be conditionally corporeal.

If a Psion Uncarnate were using Assume Likeness to look like a creature noticeably different from its original form, say a unicorn (no hands), an ogre (hands, but large size), or an animated armoire (very unusual shape) were to become corporeal, through a ghost trap spell(3) or simply ending the Shed Body ability, or was able to affect objects as if corporeal through the ghostly grasp feat(4), would he use his original form, or that of the assumed likeness?


  1. Expanded Psionics Handbook, p. 148
  2. Expanded Psionics Handbook, p. 216
  3. Spell Compendium, p. 103
  4. Libris Mortis, p. 27
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Any chance we could replace the superscripted citations with footnotes? I’m finding the question quite difficult to read. I’ll do it if you’re okay with it. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 6, 2021 at 16:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your edit doesn’t really change the situation—Ghostly Grasp only makes you “as if corporeal” with respect to objects. Do you... think assume likeness is, itself, an object somehow? \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Dec 7, 2021 at 2:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ The likeness assumed does not match the base creature's form (in the case of an unbodied, nothing does), so how does that work when using ghostly grasp? \$\endgroup\$
    – Chemus
    Dec 7, 2021 at 2:36

1 Answer 1

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Assume likeness says “while incorporeal […]” and ghostly trap says you aren’t incorporeal anymore.

You lose any and all benefits of assume likeness, just as you would if your use of shed body had run out (prior to gaining the uncarnate ability at 10th). You just aren’t using assume likeness anymore.

Ghostly Grasp has zero real interaction with assume likeness. When bluffing that you are not incorporeal, Ghostly Grasp can help you sell it—as assume likeness says, “if he accepts an item from another creature only to have it fall through his immaterial hands, the Bluff check automatically fails,” and that would not happen with Ghostly Grasp. In this regard, it is similar to the telekinesis that assume likeness suggests for avoiding that situation. But Ghostly Grasp does not make you corporeal, nor does it make you act “as if corporeal,” except with respect to objects. Assume likeness isn’t an object, so Ghostly Grasp changes nothing about how it works. You are still incorporeal and assume likeness continues to work exactly the same as it ever did.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting option to let an Uncarnate 10 swap out their Assumed Equipment, too. \$\endgroup\$
    – minnmass
    Dec 6, 2021 at 17:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Chemus Rolling back does no good: it is utterly unclear how it could possibly affect anything about this situation in any way whatsoever—so you need to clarify what you think it does that would affect things. Because as far as I can tell, it doesn’t, at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Dec 6, 2021 at 22:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ And if the assumed likeness has no hands (unicorn example), is larger than the character's size (ogre example), or is very very different from a normal creature (animated object example), what do you find should happen with ghostly grasp? Does the character manipulate as its apparent form or its actual form, and why? \$\endgroup\$
    – Chemus
    Dec 7, 2021 at 2:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Chemus Those are separate questions. Nothing in your Question even touches on any of those topics, and they’re not really related to the thing your Question does focus on, namely being or “acting as if” corporeal. If you meant to ask those the entire time, I really wish you just had. At this point, you should start a new question about those—but I doubt you’ll get a great answer, because truly the answer there is that no one knows, the authors almost-certainly never considered the interaction and neither the feat nor the class is particularly popular or much discussed. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Dec 7, 2021 at 2:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ The linked answer's example, correctly or not, showed that perhaps the likeness remains while corporeal if so, then my question is valid; the forms have no hands, are larger, or are perhaps very different... and I referred to the example and the forms initially. I simply assumed that folks would look at the forms and see that if they were to be able to affect creatures or objects, what happens is ...what? \$\endgroup\$
    – Chemus
    Dec 7, 2021 at 2:55

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