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I argue in this question that damage taken while polymorphed can break concentration. If this damage does break concentration, is it applied to the polymorphed form (just before concentration breaks), or the normal form (just after concentration breaks)?

In other words, if a wizard is polymorphed into a Giant Ape, and takes 50 damage, breaking his concentration, does the wizard (normal form) take 50 damage or not, assuming that 50 damage would not have been enough to spill over the ape's remaining hit points into the wizard's (had concentration not been broken)?


This question is not a duplicate of the one linked above. This one asks whether the damage that breaks concentration carries over into the non-polymorphed form, while the other question asks whether damage taken while in polymorphed form can break concentration.

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No.

It may help to consider this in a step by step approach:

  1. The giant ape gets hit for 50 damage while maintaining concentration on a Polymorph spell.
  2. The giant ape attempts to make a concentration save to maintain the Polymorph spell. This save is attempted using the giant ape's constitution score, not the Wizard's.
  3. The concentration save fails.
  4. The polymorph spell ends and the wizard remains.

The Wizard only appears at step 4, and hence cannot be a target for damage before then. The exception to this would is when the damage exceeded the ape's remaining HP, but in that scenario, the wizard would have come out of ape-form anyway, without having to make a constitution saving throw to maintain concentration.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This seems to me to be the right answer, now that you have layed the process out so clearly, but I will wait a while before accepting in case anyone has a counter-argument. \$\endgroup\$ – Ladifas Nov 3 '16 at 19:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ladifas, the damage is what causes the required save, so there is no other solution... \$\endgroup\$ – Alexis Wilke Nov 3 '16 at 19:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think you'll see a counter. This is the common understanding I've seen in anything I've played or watched. \$\endgroup\$ – J. A. Streich Nov 3 '16 at 19:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @J.A.Streich Or a better phrased/formatted answer. It's my policy not to accept too quickly just in case something better does come along. \$\endgroup\$ – Ladifas Nov 3 '16 at 19:39

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