I have a medium sized PC who is wearing plate armor. If he turns into a werebear, what happens to the armor? The MM states that any equipment it is carrying isn't transformed. Since the medium sized PC is polymorphed (via the Lycanthropy curse, not the polymorph spell) into a large creature, I imagine that the armor is torn apart as he transforms.

Understandably, the bear form is larger than the humanoid form, but regardless, I would assume both are too big for a medium size person's armor. What happens then?

EDIT: So, the conclusion I'm seeing is that people are torn on whether or not the use of the verb polymorph in the werebear's shapechanger ability is indicative of whether or not the ability follows the spell's melding of equipment clause. If so, then what is the purpose of clause Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn't transformed in the ability? Is it just to note that armor is dropped/torn? Is it to note that armor is not molded to fit the new size/shape? Or is it a misnomer that should not be in the description?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry for the confusion. It's the curse. The text states that the werebear polymorphs into the bear-humanoid or the bear. It's the Shapechanger ability. \$\endgroup\$
    – JoshAsDM
    Jul 2, 2015 at 2:20

1 Answer 1


What happens is the werebear feels very sheepish about ruining a perfectly good suit of armour by forgetting to take it off first.

As Shapechanger says, no gear transforms with you, unlike with a normal polymorph spell:

Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn't transformed.

Should circumstances prevent removal of too-small worn items before shapechanging, it is then the DM's job to get creative about what happens to the items in question and to the erstwhile wearer. In most cases this will probably be easy: seams rip, buckles burst, turning clothes into rags and reducing armour to bits that will need replacement straps and dents hammered out. (This is a nice opportunity for a PC with proficiency with Smith's or Leatherworker's tools to shine!)

It might hurt the werebear too, but compared to having your entire body reconfigured, probably not much actual hit point damage, or none at all.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You could always make some magical armor which stretches and transforms with him \$\endgroup\$
    – Wouter
    Jul 2, 2015 at 7:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Pointing out that the wearbear description on page 208 of MM explicitly restates that worn and carried equipment does not transform with the wearbear. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lexible
    Jul 2, 2015 at 15:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Lexible That's where I'm quoting Shapechanger from, yeah. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 2, 2015 at 16:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the answer. I think you're right on all counts. I'm new here, so I'm a bit confused on one point. Yesterday there was a different answer to the question, and it had about 10 comments. Where did it go? I'd live to have it as record to the discussion about the topic. My players often debate the RAW for various situations, and I'm quite sure this situation will spark a lively debate. I'd love to have more sides to the argument present. Anyways, is the other answer lost somewhere? \$\endgroup\$
    – JoshAsDM
    Jul 2, 2015 at 18:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JoshAsDM The owner of the answer decided to delete it, for their own reasons. (Users with 10k+ reputation can see it still, though it's locked.) Some of the discussion of it was preserved in the chat room the owner made for debate. I don't know their exact reason for deleting it, but you could ask them there. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 2, 2015 at 18:47

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