The subject says it all.

There's a druid of 4th level, and in his natural form he is missing an arm. Is the corresponding extremity (a paw, or a wing) still missing after wild shaping into an animal (a cheetah, for example)?

I don't need an advice on houseruling, that is not a problem. What I need is a quote from an official source, explicitly and in no unclear terms stating whether the missing extremities are still missing after the transformation.

I know that under 3.5 rules it was explicitly said that the new form is an average, healthy specimen - under pathfinder rules there is nothing about that. The passage about generic appearance is not clear enough for my DM.

Unless otherwise noted, polymorph spells cannot be used to change into specific individuals. Although many of the fine details can be controlled, your appearance is always that of a generic member of that creature's type.

His argument is that this quote contrasts generic appearance with impossibility of change into an exact lookalike of a specific specimen, and, as such, does not state anything relevant to the question.


A missing arm in this case is a narrative device without explicit mechanical penalties except inability to perform actions requiring 2 hands. A missing eye would incur some clearly-ruled penalties, as a missing leg would; does that change something in the wild shaping rules department?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Related note, Pathfinder has actual rules on limb loss as a massive damage variant in the Skull & Shackles Player's Guide (under "Peglegs and Eyepatches," natch). It doesn't cover the wild shape question however. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Nov 18 '14 at 21:47

You should regain the use of your arm again.

There's a different passage under Polymorph a little further down than the one you quoted that, in my opinion, should give a clear enough statement:

While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function. While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed. Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form.

Using your extremities totally depends upon your form (using your feet to hold a two-handed sword gets difficult, real difficult).As the new form (cheetah) possesses four extremities, it should restore the ability to use all four extremities again.

Your DM might argue that having limbs isn't explicit listed as an ability, but that would be picking at straws.


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