Transmutation Is Weird #1

Polymorph any object can turn an object or creature into another creature or object, for a duration from 20 minutes to Permanent. The FAQ recommends that Polymorph and such not copy advanced forms of creatures, because (paraphrased) 'it'd be a headache.'

I'm dissatisfied with the FAQ's suggestion that polymorph shouldn't be allowed to produce Advanced versions of creatures, and that any humanoids formed from objects should be 1HD commoners.

  • Can polymorph, polymorph any object, or shapechange actually copy advanced forms of creatures, including humanoids?

  • If yes regarding objects becoming advanced humanoids, how would you adjudicate that advancement?

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you answer your own question, you should post it as an answer, but if your research changes the question without answering it, you should edit the question. So the answer is, "it depends!" \$\endgroup\$ Sep 5, 2016 at 1:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think this is a series of different questions: 1) Ignoring the FAQ, does polymorph any object as written allow the creation of advanced creature or creatures with classes? is a fine question, but getting folks to disregard a resource is difficult; 2) When a creature created from nonliving material by polymorph any object dies and reverts to its original material, can it be returned from the dead? is a good question; 3) Can a creature created by polymorph any object advance? is reasonable, but unlikely to have a definitive answer; and… \$\endgroup\$ Sep 5, 2016 at 17:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ …4) Can a corpse created by flesh to stone be the subject of an animate or raise dead spell? is a fantastic question. Consider chopping this question down to just #1 instead. I can edit this to do that if you want. (You might be sick of looking at this question by now.) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 5, 2016 at 17:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I'll pare it to Your #1, Then I'll ask 2 and 4 later. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chemus
    Sep 6, 2016 at 3:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ So, um, how should polymorphing into a minotaur fighter 4 work? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 23, 2016 at 11:50

1 Answer 1



To the best of my knowledge, there is no rule explicitly preventing usage of polymorph or polymorph any object to assume the form of an advanced creature.

The usual advancement rules apply (see Monster Manual section on advancing monsters).

While I can't point out a rule disallowing that, I'd say no to advancement by character class.

That said, I don't think advanced creature forms are the worst issue with polymorph spells; you'd better watch out for metamorphic transfer and assume supernatural ability.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Quite true, regarding MMXfer and ASA, but the first is uses/day, and the second requires a DC 19 Will save in 'stressful situations' or it fails. The save can be obviated alternate rounds by the Moment of Perfect Mind Diamond Mind counter, but I've not found a lot else. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chemus
    Sep 23, 2016 at 16:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Chemus I'd rather not consider DC 19 Will save an issue at all, and uses/day issue is usually circumvented with duration of each use (wild shape, PAO). Furthermore, finding oneself in a situation sticky enough to warrant a nasty combat form multiple times daily is a planning issue. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 27, 2016 at 16:10

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