There are several spells (Flesh to Stone and Polymorph any Object at least) that allow you to transmute foe unlucky enough to fail his fortitude save. They have very rough description about how can foe be damaged in transmuted state. Descriptions say that all operation performed on transmuted state are repeated to original state.

Flesh to Stone

Let start thought experiment with low level spell Flesh to Stone. We transmute enemy to a statue than perform some actions than dispel transmutation effect. And see how our actions influence the final state.

What if the statue would be decapitated? I suppose the foe would be decapitated upon reversing to original state. How should I treat it in HP? Is it mere critical strike with tiny strength modifier or it brings instant death to the foe? If decapitating is not enough, how about taking heart off the statue before reverting it to original state?

If all anatomical methods have no sufficient effect, what about the best way to deal pure damage? Rock have 15 HP per inch of thickness. So cracking the statue to the chips may no give enough damage to kill a creature with large HP pool. What if we dismember the statue to smaller pieces that saves common thickness and then damage them separately. It would give us plenty HP damage to kill a dragon, but why it is so counter-intuitive when compared to former result?

What if aforementioned chips would be scattered along a river? Is it ever possible to restore them to original form? Can be flesh to stone casted on them, or full set should be gathered? Or 50% of the set? If scattering prevents reversing statue to corpse, may it be resurrected with something weaker that True Resurrection? Would the Clone spell be triggered after the great demolition of the statue?

Rock and Mud (updated)

Now enters Transmute Rock to Mud and Transmute Mud to Rock combo. Firstly it may be used in anatomical way: it allows easily mix all internal organs of the statue. This stacks with the first section's questions.

Other interesting usage of this combo lies in ability for surgical operations on the transMUDed statue. Flesh to stone says explicitly that only damage and deformations are rolled back to original state. So it has no use for bringing positive effects such as restoring lost limbs or eyes (for some companions this are the same).

But what if we use transMUDed state to add arbitrary ability damage to the foe? Is sound logical, but no concrete rules are presented for this account. There is clear way for damaging Dex or Cha, but how about Int? Should I just perform some brain ablation? How valid is this approach?

update: As it was pointed the Transmute Rock to Mud spell could not target a statue. But there are plenty other options for sculpting rocks

polymorph ANY

It is very fun spell for the wizard and does not require explicit state reversion to the foe. And it limits neither form nor material. Good assistant for creative destruction. And it's wording worth questioning since it's examples contradicts some RAW interpretations.

May be the foe transmuted to already dismounted parts saving some work to party fighter or stealing some fun from party barbarian? If it is not allowed directly how about transmuting to some form with extraordinary thin connections between main parts that would be destroyed by slightest gust of wind?

How the rules should be read in case of wizard transmuting the foe to pocket with gunpowder and detonating it after that? What if the target material would be lithium and transmuted creature would be placed in a river? It should dissolve momentary and lose molecular structure. If that is not enough to the instant kill what about choosing Meitnerium as the target material for its ridiculously short half-life and therefore destroying the foe on atomic level?


To sum up my curiosity.

  • What does exactly rules say about damaging through transmuted state?
  • What are they silent about?

Working on errors

I was too confused by rules and spread this confusion over the site. So I've focused my curiosity and prepared set of very concrete questions. Most of them may be answered with single word and pointing to the appropriate sections of the rulebook.

Flesh to Stone

  1. May the foe be damaged by dealing HP damage the statue? (need confirmation on reading the rule)
  2. May the foe be anatomically damaged via the statue? (need confirmation on reading the rule)
  3. What if the formula for conversion HP damage dealt to the statue to HP damage to the foe (need RAW > rough extrapolation > house-rule suggestion)
  4. How anatomical damage is converted to the HP damage? (need need RAW > rough extrapolation > house-rule suggestion)
  5. How anatomical damage is converted to the ability damage? (need RAW > rough extrapolation > house-rule suggestion)
  6. Is killing by decapitating d4 HP class really as easy as killing d12 HP class? (need confirmation of my understanding)
  7. What skill checks are required to figure out vital points? Say how could character get acknowledged of the fact, that decapitating or pulling out the heart of a goblin will kill the target with great probability? (need RAW > rough extrapolation > house-rule suggestion)
  8. What skill checks are required for properly dealing ability damage via anatomical damage? (need RAW > rough extrapolation > house-rule suggestion)
  9. How many percents of the broken statue is required to transform it back with the Stone to Flesh spell? (need RAW > rough extrapolation > house-rule suggestion)
  10. Does the chemically altered statue counts as valid target for back transformation (either with the Stone to Flesh spell, or the Dispel or Remove Curse and so on). For example the statue was dissolved in a strong acid. (need RAW > rough extrapolation > house-rule suggestion)
  11. If the statue would be ground to dust, does the foe account as killed for purpose of using various resurrection spells? (need RAW > rough extrapolation > house-rule suggestion)
  12. If the dust still counts alive and become scattered (possibly corroded with acid) so that it could not be transmuted back (relates to the 9th question) what is the way to resurrect the foe? (need brief exploration of options for players and npc)
  13. May the decapitated statue be repaired before back transformation to neglect negative effect of decapitation? (need RAW > rough extrapolation > house-rule suggestion)
  14. What means may be used for repairing the statue so it would be sufficient for for neglecting the negative effects (if the 13th question are answered with "Yes") (need brief exploration of options for players and npc)

Polymorph any Object

Playing with shape and material.

  1. May something be polymorphed to a dismounted form? If no may using external container (pouch of gunpowder) or some other connecting media (bunch of arrows) be used to circumvent the rules? (need clarification of the spell)
  2. What consequences (death, HP damage, ability damage) would be to the foe after transmuting back? (need RAW > rough extrapolation > house-rule suggestion)
  3. Is the foe counts as dead of alive for purpose of the resurrection spells? (need RAW > rough extrapolation > house-rule suggestion)
  4. If no resurrection may be used on transmuted foe what tasks are needed for his comrades to attain this opportunity? (need brief exploration of options for players and npc)
  5. How can foe be repaired before transmuting back to neglect bad conditions bestowed on him upon transmuting to a dismounted form? It there are any bad conditions of course (see the second question). (need brief exploration of options for players and npc)
  6. May something be polymorphed into pile of dust? (need clarification of the spell)
  7. If yes - then there are four repeatable questions about consequences and avoiding them: various damage, resurrection ability, repairing (need RAW > rough extrapolation > house-rule suggestion)
  8. May something be polymorphed into dismounted object interconnected by strained sprint (any other mechanical energy holder)? (need clarification of the spell)
  9. If yes - when would be hidden mechanical energy unleashed? (need clarification of the spell)
  10. If yes - then there are four repeatable questions about consequences and avoiding them: various damage, resurrection ability, repairing (need RAW > rough extrapolation > house-rule suggestion)
  11. May something be polymorphed into two fractions of chemically active reagents? (need clarification of the spell)
  12. If yes - when would the reaction start? (need clarification of the spell)
  13. If yes - then there are four repeatable questions about consequences and avoiding them: various damage, resurrection ability, repairing (need RAW > rough extrapolation > house-rule suggestion)
  14. All chemical questions are dublicated for atomic reactions
  15. May something be polymorphed into a radioactive substance with short half-life? (need clarification of the spell)
  16. If yes - then there are four repeatable questions about consequences and avoiding them: various damage, resurrection ability, repairing (need RAW > rough extrapolation > house-rule suggestion)

All other aspects are similar to the Flesh to Stone spell and answers for the first section may be used for the Polymorph any Object spell, as it constitutes:

This spell can also be used to duplicate the effects of baleful polymorph, polymorph, flesh to stone, stone to flesh, transmute mud to rock, transmute metal to wood, or transmute rock to mud.

Powering up

When wizard spends his daily allotments of spells he would like to take as much efficiency from them as possible. I would like to ask about the most efficient way for using transmutation spells for damaging purpose.

Going other fortitude save is not a part of this question, so let us omit this phase. So we have succeed on polymorphing a foe. I'd like to found the most efficient strategy for humiliating the foe based on it's nature. There should be different strategies for orks and hydras. Each strategy is awarded by efficiency points (they are not part of the d&d rules, but part of my question, I'm introducing them to make clear what the world "efficient" means to me).

  • +1 point for damaging the foe through the transmuted form
  • +2 point for killing the for though the transmuted form
  • n^2 points for every n-level spell required by the simplest way of resurrecting pawned foe
  • k * 10 for every k - attribute damage that could no be recovered by any means after the resurrection
  • -1 point for every 5 minutes of work sufficiently equipped fighter (they are low-cost force)
  • n^2 points for every n-level spell wizard are required to cast implementing the strategy

So only one question it this section, but pretty extensive. And it depends on how you interpret the RAW.

  1. What the best strategies based on the foe nature you may suggest?

Fixing metagame

Not only reading the rulebook are interesting to me, but playing too. So I need advice about contradictions and holes in the rulebook based on real experience.

  1. What was the point of transmutation rules that had lead to the most powerful conflicts and quarrels in a session?
  2. How have you had solved them?
  3. What points of rules can lead to in-game disasters, imbalance?
  4. What points are counter-intuitive and breaks role-playing? (like that an aged man has improved sight)
  5. How can them be interpreted to safely avoid breaking game sessions?
  6. If such moderate means as interpretations proves inefficient, what house-rules may be used instead?
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to put this on hold as far too unclear (possibly also too broad) - I've tried to edit it, but there's dozens of extremely unfocused questions in here. This question needs to be narrowed down to be more concise and specific. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 11 '14 at 3:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, bear in mind D&D 3.5e has no concept of molecular structure. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 11 '14 at 3:03
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I would be very surprised if someone took on the task of answering every single thing you have going on in this question. Even with the sub-questions that allow a single one word answer, that is a hell of a lot of work to do. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Mar 11 '14 at 15:59
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ If your question comes with a list of 37 sub questions, you're asking far too much at once. You need to make your post concise, and ask less things. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 11 '14 at 22:20
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @ayvango You say you tried to make "more precise and concrete questions". That "s" at the end of "questions" is your problem. As it currently stands, this question is not at all unclear (what it was originally closed for), but it does still warrant staying closed, for being too broad. This should be several dozen questions, not one. Every line item you've numbered should be its own separate question, in its own separate post, and there's several more good questions in the text accompanying those lists. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 24 '14 at 17:08

Flesh to Stone

First of all, decapitation means you have no head. Most (but not all) things need a head in order to be alive. HP damage is not relevant if you're already dead due to not having a head. Removing the heart would be similar, although if the heart is stone inside a statue also made of stone, how are you going to know you're removing the right thing? Nothing in the rules suggests the statue has all of its organs in the right place inside, for all we know it's just one giant lump of stone.

On body damage in general, the spell says this:

If the statue resulting from this spell is broken or damaged, the subject (if ever returned to its original state) has similar damage or deformities.

If you can do enough damage to the statue to break it into little pieces, then restoring the statue to flesh will give you lots of pieces of person. Once again, dead. Note that the statue's HP is what you need to do in order to destroy it, the HP of the character that was turned into stone doesn't matter.

Transmute Rock to Mud

That spell says this:

This spell turns natural, uncut or unworked rock of any sort into an equal volume of mud. Magical stone is not affected by the spell.

A statue created by flesh to stone is not natural, is not uncut or unworked, and could be considered "magical stone". Either way, you can't use this spell on someone turned into a statue, so I don't see any way of doing anything you list here.

Polymorph Any Object

This spell says this:

This spell functions like polymorph, except that it changes one object or creature into another

Some of the examples mentioning things like "wolf fur is to wolf", so "dragon to chair" would be a valid use of the spell. The duration of such a casting would be very short, but if you can get through spell resistance and the save fails, you can still do it.

How detailed you can get in what type of object you want it to be is up to your DM, in regards to something like "limbs with very frail connections".

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "Some creatures, such as many aberrations and all oozes, have no heads. Others, such as golems and undead creatures other than vampires, are not affected by the loss of their heads. Most other creatures, however, die when their heads are cut off." source \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Mar 11 '14 at 2:31

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