My interpretation of True Polymorph is that, once made permanent, it could not be undone (except perhaps with a Wish spell, god-level magic, another casting of True Polymorph, or some similar ability). Spells like Dispel Magic would not affect a permanent True Polymorph.

However, in the comments of this question, dispelling True Polymorph is mentioned/briefly discussed. So, can any item or spell dispel True Polymorph once the transformation is permanent?

The linked question concerns whether the spell will naturally end, or if altering the polymorphed form (such as cutting the chunk of adamantine) will end the spell. The answers do not discuss the concept of dispelling the polymorph. My question is all about dispelling a permanent True Polymorph, and arguments about the spell ending through damage or other non-dispelling effects should not be considered here.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This might answer your question: What is the meaning of 'permanent' in description of True Polymorph? \$\endgroup\$ – Shamwowters Jul 9 '15 at 20:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Shamwowters I've read that thread as well, and it supports my position (permanent is permanent, no dispel). What I can't figure out is the page I linked to, where dispelling is discussed in the comments. \$\endgroup\$ – Taejang Jul 9 '15 at 20:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see one comment positing this view as a question. The question in the comment is not addressed \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M Jul 9 '15 at 21:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ I found indications later that 'permanent' is being used to mean 'without time limit' rather than 'irreversible', since it's used in other cases where it can still be reversed. This supported my interpretation that a True Polymorph subject will still revert to its original form when it reaches zero hp, even after concentration on the spell has ended. However, the recent errata about the spell (mentioned below) clarifies more explicitly. \$\endgroup\$ – Zso Feb 5 '16 at 14:04

True Polymorph has received errata to clarify this. On page 185 of the SRD, the spell description now says:

The transformation lasts for the duration, or until the target drops to 0 hit points or dies. If you concentrate on this spell for the full duration, the transformation lasts until it is dispelled.

No more mention of “permanent” to confuse things.

As a result, concentrating on True Polymorph for an hour removes the need to concentrate, but nothing else — it can still be dispelled.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you provide a link to a document where this errata can be found, or is this text from a newer printing of the PHB? In version 1.1 of the PH Errata the only clarification listed to True Polymorph is "This spell can’t affect a target that has 0 hit points." \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Nyman Sep 27 '15 at 7:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you can provide a source, I'll mark this as the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Taejang Sep 28 '15 at 13:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's in the SRD. I edited this answer to insert the reference. \$\endgroup\$ – Lowly Minion Feb 5 '16 at 13:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does the revert condition upon reaching 0HP still remain? \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Sep 17 '17 at 15:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ It seems by my reading that the 0HP reversion doesn't apply after the hour, as the only thing it says is "until it is dispelled" after that point. \$\endgroup\$ – zeel Nov 3 '19 at 2:41

Crawford's November 2015 tweet addresses this.


A permanent magical effect can be dispelled unless the spell explicitly clarifies that it cannot be. True Polymorph fits into this category, which means that it can be dispelled.

This seems to imply that it's an ongoing magical effect even after the concentration ends, so presumably effects like Antimagic Sphere would also nullify the transformation.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is a fantastic answer, I wish I could mark it and SevenSidedDie both as correct. \$\endgroup\$ – Taejang Feb 5 '16 at 21:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer was made obsolete by more recent errata. The effect is no longer considered "permanent", rather now it is "until dispelled" - like Simulacrum. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Sep 17 '17 at 15:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's like saying that a rock is not a "rock" but a "boulder". They are two different terms to say the same thing. What they have done in the errata is eradicate one of the redundant terms. \$\endgroup\$ – El Suscriptor Justiciero Nov 29 '17 at 9:03

Yes and no.

True Polymorph can be dispelled as by the RAW until it is made permanent. At that time the spell ceases and the effect becomes permanent. The spell description states for duration:

Concentration, up to 1 hour

Furthermore, the spells description states that:

If you concentrate on the spell for [1 hour], the transformation becomes permanent.

As the spell is no longer actively being cast, respectively maintained by concentration, the spell itself cannot be dispelled. There simply is nothing to dispel. The effect is a non-magical effect. The target of your spell simply changed into another creature or object. As the effect is non-magical, it cannot be dispelled either.

However, the effect can be reversed. Any effect that can change the object or creature back into its original form can reverse the effect, for example, another casting of the spell or a shapechanger using its innate ability to change its shape.


Yes or No (DM's choice)

As stated before by Eric, RAW for Dispel Magic says "Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range... On a successful check, the spell ends."

So the DM has to arbitrate if the permanent status of True Polymorph is due to-

A) A self-sustaining magical effect that continually supports the new form. This supports this with the "...until 0 HP or dies" clause). In which case: Dispel, Detect Magic, Anti-magic Field, etc. will also have an effect on Polymorph.

B) The shift being akin to an instantaneous spell, which has already gone through it's magical effect. This is equally valid since it is a transmutation of living, non-magical matter to a different non-magical matter result. In which case, only altering reality or recasting polymorph (note the changing CR/levels and loss of gear) may work. Reverting back wouldn't be an option due to dispel, HP, death or non-epic magic.


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