If a creature takes the feat Shape Soulmeld (Magic of Incarnum 40) so it can shape a soulmeld that expects to be shaped by a creature possessing a lone alignment component, does the creature gain both components' benefits if the creature's the appropriate alignment?

That is, the soulmelds incarnate avatar (MoI 71-2) and planar chasuble (MoI 83) are usually available only to incarnates—who are restricted to the alignments CN, LN, NE, and NG—, yet a CE, CG, LE, or LG creature could shape those soulmelds via the feat Shape Soulmeld. Does such a creature receive the soulmeld's benefit based on both alignment components the creature possesses?

Note: I'm considering the feat Shape Soulmeld picking incarnate avatar and the Magic of Incarnum feat Open Soul Chakra (213) for a an upcoming session's big bad. It seems a shame for the LE bad guy to shape and bind the soulmeld incarnate avatar and, in exchange for having to do without armor, only get either the immunities or the flight.


1 Answer 1



This is a question that comes up often in discussions of Magic of Incarnum, and there just is no solid, credible, certain answer. The text itself could go either way (for that matter, planar chausible refers to incarnates specifically, which makes one wonder what happens when a non-incarnate shapes it).

Either allowing the double-dip, or forcing an LG/CG/LE/CE character to pick one at some point (when taking the feat or when shaping the soulmeld) both work fine. If you allow the double-dip, it makes sense (to me, anyway) to houserule a feat that allows incarnates to “count as” one of the alignments they are neutral to for the purposes of these soulmelds—if anyone else can double-dip with a feat, so too should incarnates.


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