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Druids can wild shape once and become diminutive for (functionally) the whole day.

Other than that, how small can a character get - either permanently or with a few rounds once per day - on a regular basis?

Assume that the character in question has the ability to cast both divine and arcane spells of up to 9th level.

Costly material components should be avoided, but expensive magic items are a-okay; this character ideally wants to be fine 24/7.

For the purposes of this question, assume that Wish/Miracle won't work (ie., that the GM ruled that such a request is highly likely to trigger the "literal but undesirable fulfillment" clause of Wish, and that the divine power behind Miracle will simply say "no").

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Polymorph Any Object yourself into an Animated Object, with that object being an appropriately sized light weapon for a small creature. Light weapons are objects two size categories lower than the appropriately sized user, so you are now Fine -2. With Extra Item Slot and a Belt of the Weasel (not a polymorph effect), you can additionally fit in places designed to accommodate a Fine -5 size creature without squeezing and can slip through spaces a Fine -7 creature could move easily through by squeezing. Assuming the halving per size category rule continues below fine, this means you can squeeze through cracks 47/1000ths of an inch wide and walk easily through spaces 187/1000ths of an inch wide. For reference most credit cards are ~30/1000ths of an inch.

Alternatively, Polymorph any Object into whatever you dang well feel like; there is no limit to how small you can become with that spell, just as there is no limit to what kind of creature you may turn into.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Probably safer with just polymorph any object. With a permanent polymorph effect running, picking to be affected by the spell squeeze (also a polymorph effect) means ending the polymorph any object effect, and while affected by a polymorph effect, the creature's immune to other spells that change its size. (I know, right? The polymorph subschool in Pathfinder is really restrictive.) \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9 '15 at 9:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ (Pathfinder polymorph subschool restrictions also prevent doubling up polymorph any object on a lone creature.) \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9 '15 at 13:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ (Basically a rules summary of what Hey I Can Chan said: ) "You can only be affected by one polymorph spell at a time. If a new polymorph spell is cast on you (or you activate a polymorph effect, such as wild shape), you can decide whether or not to allow it to affect you, taking the place of the old spell. In addition, other spells that change your size have no effect on you while you are under the effects of a polymorph spell." d20pfsrd.com/magic#TOC-Transmutation I don't see any statements about whether or not it affects your creature type, though. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9 '15 at 15:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan WOW. I didn't realize those were so serious in Pathfinder! \$\endgroup\$ Nov 10 '15 at 3:33
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A 10th level Arcanist with the White Mage archetype could construct a magical trap with the following spells:

Construct Magical Trap

  1. Acid Splash (Cantrip 0, Caster level 1) 0 gp

  2. Shrink Item (Spell level 3, caster level 5) 750 gp

  3. Breath of Life (Spell level 5, caster level 10) 2500 gp

So, if you wanted to be tiny, just stab yourself until you're almost dead, and walk in to the trap. You'll get hit by the acid splash, die, get shrunken down 4 categories, and then brought back to life instantly.

So, for a total of 3250 gp, you could shrink yourself 4 categories for 5 days.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah... but the spell ends if you get tossed onto any surface... so watch out for grapple/pin attempts? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Feb 14 '20 at 22:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ "can be returned to normal composition and size merely by tossing them onto any solid surface or by a word of command from the original caster" This indicates the two ways the controller of the spell could end the effect, if they wanted to. It does not mean the effect automatically ends if you get tossed onto any surface, unless that is the intention of the original caster. Which, in this example, is the trap, that can't actually choose to end the effect. \$\endgroup\$
    – nsidaria
    Feb 14 '20 at 22:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ The "tossing them onto any solid surface" clause doesn't say anything about the original caster/controller. anybody who tosses you onto a solid surface will do. Now, jumping down from a ledge won't do it, because that's not being tossed, but if they're grappling you, and they throw you to the ground? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Feb 14 '20 at 22:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Understand, I'm not saying "this is bad and wrong". I upvoted your answer. I'm saying "This is an entertaining little rules quirk... and check it out, here's a subquirk to make it even quirkier." Stuff like that is part of the fun of it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Feb 14 '20 at 22:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ So, you can't change your size, and are stuck at that size until the effect wears off. You do have 5 days to find someone to cast permanency on it, if you want to stay that way forever. \$\endgroup\$
    – nsidaria
    Feb 14 '20 at 22:24
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While you're out of your body for the duration of the Possess Object spell, someone could cast Shrink Item on your corpse, and you would return to a body 4 categories smaller than when you left.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Did you mean to post this as a new answer? (That would be ok, but checking for intent) \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Feb 14 '20 at 23:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, just thought of another potential way to do it. Although, I am now questioning if the Shrink Item spell would end as soon as you came back to your body, or were brought back to life, since you're no longer an object at that point, and the ongoing spell effect no longer has a valid target. \$\endgroup\$
    – nsidaria
    Feb 18 '20 at 2:59
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Under Cursed Item Drawbacks, there is a drawback that makes a "Character either shrink 6 inches (01–50 on d%) or grow that much taller (51–100). Only happens once."

You could mass produce cheap items like Feather Tokens until you stockpile a bunch of these items that have this specific curse. To deliberately fail your craft check, someone with the Fateful Touch ability could help you. Then have someone ready to use the 8th level Time Shift ability before picking up each item, so that if you roll over 50, you can go back in time and try again later.

Each time you do this, you shrink by 6 inches, until you're about 4.5 inches tall (Approximately 11 times if you start out at 71.5 inches tall).

Now, you're of a size category Fine, and will stay that way unless someone casts remove curse on you 11 times.

This may be open to interpretation, as it doesn't say you shrink by a certain percentage, as it's written, it makes sense for a medium character, but gets a little ridiculous if you're tiny or smaller. You could rule that you shrink by 10% or so each time relative to your current size, which would eventually work out to have same effect, although it would take quite a few more, based on my calculations, between 25 and 28 times for your average medium sized creature.

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Pathfinder was originally pitched as fully compatible with 3.5. To the extent that is still true, you can pull this trick forward:

In 3.5, you can put a permanent shrink item on a tiny object, become undead, haunt shift, have at least 10 HD and 17 charisma, animate that item, then shrink down to two sizes below fine, at will and indefinitely.

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    \$\begingroup\$ How does this get around the spell haunt shift saying that creatures of 9 or more Hit Dice are unaffected (LM 66-7), and the description of haunting presences saying that the DM picks the object a haunting presence haunts (LM 6)? (Note: I'm not just poking holes; I'd like this to work.) \$\endgroup\$ Nov 8 '15 at 23:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Haunt shift, then gain levels normally. Alternately, thought bottle shenanigans. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Nov 9 '15 at 3:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess for 1 level a generous party could carry the caster's haunted object and, 1/week for 1 min./HD, the haunt caster could adventure alongside them. At that rate, though, it might take the haunt caster awhile to gain that +1 level. (Bribe the GM? Burn an anthill?) \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9 '15 at 7:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ HD/week, if you're looking at impermanent home. But it's also not obvious that you couldn't cast spells without manifesting (though you may need a way to deal with material and somatic components). \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Nov 9 '15 at 13:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough, but even 81 min./week might not be enough time to warrant a treasure share. And I'm pretty sure, when not manifested, being only able to communicate in a "whispery or incoherent" voice precludes all but spells without components completely. But it is only for 1 level, so prepare for that level with psychic reformation (or, in Pathfinder, by retraining) I guess and, if the DM allows, the haunted dolly can cast spells. It doesn't sound like a very fun level, though. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9 '15 at 13:56

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