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I had the idea of changing a character. First you would turn them to stone using flesh to stone. You then use shape stone to make whatever crude changes you wish (or something like gloves of shaping for fine effects). Then simply cast stone to flesh.

This assumes that stone to flesh is able to restore a creature who has been turned to stone without having the petrification effect. I mention this because flesh to stone doesnt petrify them, and flesh to stone doesnt reanimate them if their not petrified. Due to the naming and spell level similarities I assume they should.

So what changes would be possible? Could you change hair and skin colour if you change the composition of the stone? Could you add extra limbs? Could you change a characters size?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I am genuinely surprised that Flesh to Stone doesn't carry the petrified tag with it. I'm curious if that was an oversight or deliberate. Do you know if there has been any errata for that specific issue? \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Oct 24 '16 at 19:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was surprised myself that S2F didnt say it reversed F2S, and that the tag wasnt there. I only use the site, Im terrible at staying on top of errata and FAQ boards. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Oct 24 '16 at 19:53
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That's an interesting idea. I wish I could find more corroboration for this, but it looks like it can be used for negative (and possibly horrifying) effect:

Looking at Petrified condition description:

[...] If a petrified character cracks or breaks, but the broken pieces are joined with the body as he returns to flesh, he is unharmed. If the character's petrified body is incomplete when it returns to flesh, the body is likewise incomplete and there is some amount of permanent hit point loss and/or debilitation.

(All emphasis here and below are mine)

So, at the very least, you could maim or cripple someone with this procedure, e.g. deforming or removing his limbs, damaging his face to ruin his appearance or senses, or leaving gashes and holes in his flesh.

Moreover, note the difference in description of Stone to Flesh in PF versus 3.5E:

Pathfinder:

This spell restores a petrified creature to its normal state, restoring life and goods. The creature must make a DC 15 Fortitude save to survive the process. Any petrified creature, regardless of size, can be restored. The spell also can convert a mass of stone into a fleshy substance. Such flesh is inert and lacking a vital life force unless a life force or magical energy is available. For example, this spell would turn an animated stone statue into an animated flesh statue, but an ordinary statue would become a mass of inert flesh in the shape of the statue.

3.5 Edition:

This spell restores a petrified creature to its normal state, restoring life and goods. The creature must make a DC 15 Fortitude save to survive the process. Any petrified creature, regardless of size, can be restored.

The spell also can convert a mass of stone into a fleshy substance. Such flesh is inert and lacking a vital life force unless a life force or magical energy is available. (For example, this spell would turn a stone golem into a flesh golem, but an ordinary statue would become a corpse.) You can affect an object that fits within a cylinder from 1 foot to 3 feet in diameter and up to 10 feet long or a cylinder of up to those dimensions in a larger mass of stone.

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but note that between editions, an ordinary statue now becomes "a mass of inert flesh in the shape of the statue" rather than "a corpse". This suggests that any mass of stone added to the petrified character is something the spell 'doesn't know how to handle' - it won't create a complete and whole anatomy out of it (as in a corpse), but merely a mass of generic flesh.

So if you added stone wings to a petrified human, you won't end up with a winged human, but rather with a human with a pair of inert, fleshy growths generally shaped like wings - he won't be able to move them, and they'll just encumber him (and probably look quite grotesque, too).


I can't find much in the RAW to support this, and couldn't find anything to suggest you may gain a permanent benefit from this procedure. It obviously boils down to how your DM sees it.

However, it wouldn't make sense that this chain of effects will be a cheaper, stronger alternative to the effects of Permanency, which, for example, requires 2,500gp to permanently enlarge a target. Similarly, I couldn't find any permanent polymorph effect weaker than the 8th level spell Polymorph Any Object, so adding wings, limbs or other beneficial changes using the flesh-to-stone-to-flesh procedure seems really unbalanced.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This was icky. Likely correct, but icky. \$\endgroup\$ – Aias Oct 24 '16 at 23:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Aias - I don't like this myself, I did use the term horrifying... This can be real nightmare fuel if used 'creatively' enough - but I don't care to elaborate on that. \$\endgroup\$ – G0BLiN Oct 24 '16 at 23:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ The issue is that your life force is trapped in the stone when flesh to stone is used, so when the stone is reanimated that life force should still be there. But neither spell is really specific enough to state. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Oct 25 '16 at 5:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Aias & GoBLiN: Sounds like a perfect opportunity for a great BBEG! :D \$\endgroup\$ – ChristianF Oct 25 '16 at 11:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Fering - you are correct that there will be an animating life force, but note that even with the animated stone statue in the spell description, you don't end up with a humanoid with distinct anatomy, but rather with an 'animated flesh statue' - which seems to imply a humanoid blob of flesh, with no muscles, bones, sinews, blood vessels etc. So any extreme changes (adding limbs, changing size) will likely fail (in an icky way, as Aias put it). The fact that similar results require much stronger magic also suggests this isn't an intended use of the spell. Ultimately, it's the DM's call though. \$\endgroup\$ – G0BLiN Oct 25 '16 at 16:28
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No, using those 3 spells would not give anything to the character:

Flesh to Stone indicates

If the statue resulting from this spell is broken or damaged, the subject (if ever returned to its original state) has similar damage or deformities

Indicating that any alteration of through Shape Stone would simply deform the target; the creature's body doesn't modify how it functions to accommodate the new form.

  • Could you change hair and skin colour if you change the composition of the stone?

No, Stone to Flesh states

This spell restores a petrified creature to its normal state, restoring life and goods.

Nowhere does it consider changing colors based on composition... you were flesh, then stone, now flesh again. It doesn't care what stone you were made out of.

  • Could you add extra limbs? Could you change a characters size?

No, any stone added to the Flesh to Stone statue would come back as lifeless blobs of flesh per Stone to Flesh. You can target either

one petrified creature or a cylinder of stone from 1 ft. to 3 ft. in diameter and up to 10 ft. long

not both at the same time, meaning the new 'flesh' wouldn't even be attached to the creature.

You might Rule of Cool this or use it as a unique enemy when chasing a mad scientimage, but it will not work out RAW.

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So what changes would be possible? Could you change hair and skin colour if you change the composition of the stone? Could you add extra limbs? Could you change a characters size?

Just to answer this more directly, I wouldn't personally allow this process to change hair/skin colour. I don't see anything in the named effects that allows for that sort of cosmetic change (although it's worth noting there are much easier and more direct ways to accomplish those changes, if your player really wants them.)

As for adding extra limbs or changing size categories, I would tend to agree with Goblin. You CAN do these things, but the additional mass would just be lumps of flesh - no bone, no muscle. Extra limbs would be useless dead weight. Changing size category would just make your character obscenely obese (or ridiculously thin) and probably just add penalties to your character's daily life.

If you're trying to make the character smaller, you'd also need to be really careful to somehow keep all the vital organs inside the new body, or else the character might expire... quickly... upon their return. Basically, you'd need those gloves and you'd need to literally tear the character apart and reshape them from the inside out while they're in stone form. That would require a level of medical knowledge that is not necessarily implied by the character's class or in-game abilities, so you might want to discuss how your character knows what to do with your DM first.

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