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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\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 9 '15 at 9:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ (Pathfinder polymorph subschool restrictions also prevent doubling up polymorph any object on a lone creature.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan 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\$ – Michaellogg Nov 9 '15 at 15:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan WOW. I didn't realize those were so serious in Pathfinder! \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Nov 10 '15 at 3:33
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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\$ – Hey I Can Chan 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\$ – Hey I Can Chan 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\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 9 '15 at 13:56

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