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I'm a little confused about how to handle the Beast Transformation optional rule for the Beastlands (DMG, pg. 60).

  1. What happens when a creature drops to 0 hp before the spell becomes permanent (i.e., before failing 3 subsequent saving throws)?

    • Should I use the polymorph spell's rules for dropping to 0 hp here, since it is referenced – meaning they revert to their original form and any leftover damage is applied to their original hp?
    • Or do the requirements of the special rule replace them – so when the character drops to 0 hp, they're unconscious in the creature's new form?
  2. If a character triggers the effect a second time, does the saving throw count (a) reset, (b) stay the same, or (c) go up by one?

    • What saving throws count for the 3 needed to make the transformation permanent?
    • Does triggering a new transformation reset the count?
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. Your question seems a bit too broad as is; you're asking 2 separate questions in a single post. I'd suggest editing the second question out of this post, and asking it as a separate question instead. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Aug 8, 2023 at 23:46

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The Beast Transformation optional rule explains how to end the transformation

The Beast Transformation optional rule for the Beastlands says (DMG, p. 60; emphasis mine):

Whenever a visitor slays a beast native to the plane, the slayer must succeed on a DC 10 Charisma saving throw or become transformed (as the polymorph spell) into the type of beast that was slain. In this form, the creature retains its intelligence and ability to speak. At the end of each long rest, the polymorphed creature can repeat the saving throw. On a successful saving throw, the creature returns to its true form. After three failed saving throws, the transformation can be undone only by a remove curse spell or similar magic.

The polymorph spell's description says how you normally end the transformation:

The transformation lasts for the duration, or until the target drops to 0 hit points or dies.

However, this cannot apply here: for example, there is no duration for the effect to begin with. The conditions that generally end the transformation for polymorph instead are replaced by the specific rules for the Beastlands on how to end the transformation. If the general ending rules given by the spell still would hold, then you would not need to make saving throws instead to end the effect, and you would not need remove curse to undo it after all saves failed – you could just knock the creature out.

The idea is that the plane punishes you for killing a beast, by having you live in beast form yourself. The spell polymorph is referenced because it has a well-understood effect for how the transformation works while it is going on.

So:

  1. If you drop to 0 hp while transformed, you fall unconscious, but remain in beast form.

  2. If you kill another beast, triggering the effect again, you have to make another saving throw. If you fail, you track the resulting saving throws for your second transgression separately. Note that you would already be in beast form from the first beast to have to continue make saving throws for that.

Say you first killed a wolf, and now have been transformed into an intelligent, talking wolf. If you now kill a sheep, then you have to make a saving throw; if you fail, you now are an intelligent, talking sheep, and you have to make saving throws to not remain a sheep. If you succeed on that, you'll revert back to what you were before – a wolf – and continue to make saving throws as the wolf.

All of this is getting off pretty deep into areas not further explored in the rules, so if in doubt, in such cases it often is best to leave it to the DM on how they want to handle it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Note: I edited out the "and stable" portion of your answer to question #1, since nothing inherently makes you stable when you fall unconscious in beast form (as far as I know) – the regular rules for being reduced to 0 HP apply, aside from the fact that you're still in beast form. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Aug 8, 2023 at 23:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Thank you, also for the overall edit to improve the answer. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 9, 2023 at 4:33

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