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Can a Shadow Dragon subject itself to the ritual that would transform it into a Dracolich? Likewise, would a Dracolich that stays in the Shadowfell for a time gain the traits of a Shadow Dragon?

According to the answer to Does a Dracolich possessing a new corpse reform as its original type or as the corpse's type?, when a Dracolich (or rather, its soul transported via a phylactery) takes over another dragon's corpse, it is essentially a new Dracolich. Thus, even if neither of the above processes are possible, can a Dracolich's soul take over a dead Shadow Dragon’s corpse?

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No.

This is directly stated in the Shadow Dragon's description:

A shadow dragon can't be transformed into a dracolich, for it has already lost too much of its physical form. (MM, pg.83)

As well as the Dracolich's description:

A dracolich can't be turned into a shadow dragon, since it loses its draconic nature when it becomes undead. (MM, pg.84)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, I overlooked it as either wasn't highlighted, can we tell what happens in the scenario described above? Would the soul of the dracolich simply refuse to enter the body of the Shadow Dragon? \$\endgroup\$ – Ilya Donskikh Mar 29 '16 at 12:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Given "a shadow dragon can't be transformed into a dracolich", I'd say that regardless of the circumstance a shadow dragon can't be transformed into a dracolich. \$\endgroup\$ – Purple Monkey Mar 29 '16 at 12:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ While this answer is perfect from a rule standpoint, it is worth noting that the lore for the Forgotten Realms at one point did allow it, see forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Aurgloroasa \$\endgroup\$ – Theik Sep 3 '18 at 10:48

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