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True polymorph is a spell that allows you to take any form you want and it states that the targets game statistics are replaced by the new form statistics including also its mental ability scores.

By "game statistics" its safe to assume that it means "anything and everything" that is written on the character sheet of the form assumed, including abilities spellcasting levels racial bonuses, even the spells should be the same as the original form taken, etc. (equipment shouldn't be replicated i believe).

If this is true then what happens with the spell slots you have used prior polymorphing to a new form? Are the new forms spell slots reduced by the exact number of spell slots used before turning to this new form or the new form has all its spell slots intact as this new body hasn't used its abilities yet?

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    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer You might be thinking of this one. Definitely not the same question. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman May 23 '15 at 1:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman yep, that was it \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil May 23 '15 at 7:48
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From the spell description:

If you turn a creature into another kind of creature, the new form can be any kind you choose whose challenge rating is equal to or less than the target’s (or its level, if the target doesn’t have a challenge rating). The target’s game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the new form. It retains its alignment and personality.

...

The creature is limited in the actions it can perform by the nature of its new form, and it can’t speak, cast spells, or take any other action that requires hands or speech unless its new form is capable of such actions.

The target’s gear melds into the new form. The creature can’t activate, use, wield, or otherwise benefit from any of its equipment.

If this is read exactly as it is written, then the new form is the creature. For example, if you are a 17th level Wizard and cast the spell on yourself to make you a 17th level Cleric then you have all the statistics of a 17th level Cleric and none of the statistics of the 17th level Wizard.

Clearly these have exactly the same number of slots per day but different spells. You question is what happens to the slots expended by the wizard, for example, the one used to cast true polymorph?

First, it is not entirely clear and therefore subject to ruling by the DM.

However, it seems to me that the only sensible option is that the "new form" is exactly that, a new form with all spell slots available. To rule otherwise invites madness, what if instead of originally being a full spell caster like a wizard, it was a semi-spell caster like a ranger - or the transformation went from wizard to ranger. Don't even think about how to handle a warlock!

This is the simplest and cleanest solution, anything else invites so many exceptions, corner cases and "But what if ... ?" that it would become unmanageable.

There is an argument that this interpretation makes the spell very powerful; to which I say:

  • It's a 9th level spell - they are supposed to be powerful!
  • The CR or level must be equal or less than the original - in effect, it involves swapping out one character for another.
  • The new form can only cast 1 concentration spell, this ends the polymorph.
  • "The creature can’t activate, use, wield, or otherwise benefit from any of its equipment." Unless the wizard thought to remove their component pouch first, the cleric is limited to V & S spells only until they can find a component pouch or divine focus. Similarly a warlock would have no pact of the tome etc. etc.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes. Yes i believe that is the case with this spell, anything else wouldn't make much sense to me. Though i would love to see a clarification from Wizards. In all truth i believe you are right on spot on how this spell works. By the way, if you concentrate for a full hour the transformation becomes permanent so then it shouldn't end the polymorph spell, if you cast a concentration spell after the one hour restriction. \$\endgroup\$ – Zeanon May 25 '15 at 11:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ A pretty good question here though is "if True Poly essentially gives you a whole new array of spell slots then is there any reason to use Shapechange (which explicitly allows you to keep your own spellcasting abilities) over TP?" \$\endgroup\$ – Eldebryn May 25 '15 at 16:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Eldebryn - I have some ideas on that, too long for a comment. Its a good question, why don't you ask it? \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M May 25 '15 at 23:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM Truth is I've been wondering for a while so, later, I might post a more general form along the lines of "How do Poly line of spells work with spellcasting abilities, in comparison". \$\endgroup\$ – Eldebryn May 26 '15 at 5:20
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It seems that the target is effectively birthed from creation at the casting of the spell, and you are the one who choices what its form is IE "rested, with spells prepared wizard". i would say your spell slots stay yours and its spell slots belong wholly to the new form. I base that off fact that is the way the spell treats health-points the foundation of life in dnd. A wizard transforming his whole party into clones of him self at the door to the bbeg to chain nova his spell slots while concentration lasts might be broken enough.

The fuzzy area is the caster keeping concentration on the spell in question: while targeting them self thus trying to maintain a spell while they in theory no longer exist to cast. You no longer have your own spell casting thus cant maintain your spell as its not the new you's spell to maintain.

where as wild shape goes out of its way to say it does not break concentration this spell does not. Also seems like a prime target for a DM boot to the teeth.

The Spell as written seems to invite only transforming others into casters, monsters with natural weapons, or potted plants. In my opinion.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ See this answer regarding maintaining concentration when polymorphed. Also could you better explain your reasoning behind the correlation between hit points and spell slots? One really has nothing to do with the other. \$\endgroup\$ – Purple Monkey May 23 '15 at 10:36

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