If one were under the effect of Enlarge Person (or some temporary polymorph effect) and then get petrified, what happens when the spell expires?

I could imagine:

  1. The petrification creates a statue of one's current form, and one stays in that new stone form forever (or until something like Flesh to Stone revives them, at which point they would return to their original form).
  2. The petrification creates a statue of one's current form, but when the spell wears off the new stone statue changes shape.
  3. The petrification immediately ends any temporary size change or polymorph effect, and one immediately gets a statue of their original form.
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ (While one wouldn't normally have time for such antics) I like imagining a Wizard firing off a Reduce Person in the nick of time, just before her companion is petrified, so that it'll be easier to lug them somewhere where the effect can be dispelled. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jeff Fry
    Mar 6, 2014 at 16:00
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Or Polymorphing a Charmed rat into a Frost Giant, posing them in an appropriate position, possibly helping to brace the ceiling, then Petrifying them. Instant art! \$\endgroup\$ Mar 6, 2014 at 17:35
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This is an AMAZING question that I can't believe hasn't been asked before! I would hope the answer is #1 b/c I think it's awesome and as a DM I would decorate the crap out of some manors/dungeons/halls etc with it. I might even throw in Option 4: The original spell's (enlarge person) timer is temporarily paused during the "petrified condition"! \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben-Jamin
    Mar 6, 2014 at 20:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I love the idea of a small statue of a petrified giant. If you remove the petrification it reverts to its original size and either attacks or assists you. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Taxi4Dave
    Mar 12, 2020 at 13:51

1 Answer 1


Checking the rules for the petrified condition, Enlarge Person and for transmutation spells in general shows that there is nothing that mutually excludes both effects at once. Specifically, a petrified humanoid does not change type and become an "object" - it is still the creature, but with a condition applied.

There is no apparent "freezing" of ongoing effects, spell durations etc, which should really be noted under the condition if that was the case. There may even be undesirable exploits to make cheap permanent effects tied to petrified creatures under otherwise temporary effects.

So in my opinion, that supports your option 2:

(2) The petrification creates a statue of one's current form, but when the spell wears off the new stone statue changes shape.

However, I think there is ample room for DM interpretation supporting either of the other two options, and even variations depending on what kind of effects can be "frozen in" when a character is petrified. It would be a minor ruling either way, and only require a little consistency during the game.

A side-effect of supporting option 2, is that if you cast any visible effect that does not affect normal objects on apparent statues, then you will see which ones are in fact petrified creatures from how the spell works (or not). As there is no competing "detect petrification" spell as far as I know, I think that is probably ok.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The petrified condition indicating that the creature is "considered unconscious" would further support this interpretation, since you can't be an unconscious object. \$\endgroup\$
    – tarkisflux
    Mar 6, 2014 at 17:49
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Interesting, so one could actually figure out if a statue is really a petrified person by casting Enlarge Person on it and seeing if it grows! ;-) \$\endgroup\$
    – Jeff Fry
    Mar 6, 2014 at 21:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ An interesting question would be if, at the moment where petrification turns the enlarged person into a huge statue, the statue is still a person. Because if it isn't, then whether or not an enlarge person spell is on the statue shouldn't matter any more. The rules say "considered unconscious" but I think that is merely for preventing questions such as "Can I use XYZ while petrified?". The character is turned to stone, so it's ... stone... nothing more. \$\endgroup\$
    – Damon
    Mar 6, 2014 at 23:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Damon: I think that is a reasonable interpretation, given the statue has many object-like properties, although the rules don't go as far as saying the creature effectively becomes an object (which would seal it). That would also preclude anything that targets a creature, such as polymorph too. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 7, 2014 at 8:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Damon and the answer to that question is unambiguously 'yes', and furthermore changing type wouldn't affect the spell's function. See rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/62147/… \$\endgroup\$ Dec 14, 2015 at 19:35

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