The phylactery of change from the Arms and Equipment Guide reads as follows:

The wearer of this item can invoke a polymorph self ability with an indefinite duration (or until the phylactery is removed, destroyed, or dispelled). A new form can be adopted once per day. The wearer can assume his natural form without limitation, however.

How does that last rule affect a wearer suffering from a polymorph effect outside of that granted by the phylactery itself? Since the item can only grant a new form once per day, it seems like this item effectively grants shapeshifter-like resistance to unwanted polymorph effects. Am I reading this correctly?

(While the Arms and Equipment Guide is for , the phylactery was never updated to making it legal for using in a game with minor adjustments by the DM; it's in such a game that I plan to use the phylactery.)


1 Answer 1



The character effectively gets the shapechanger subtype's ability to resume it's natural form after a polymorph effect, but without the actual subtype.

However, there are effects that either remove equipment, such as how baleful polymorph does, or makes unusable equipment meld into the new form. In these cases, the Phylactery, being either not present or non functional, can't allow the user to resume it's natural form.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Note that this was far less exciting in original 3.0, because Polymorph Self acted like Shapechange in that you could change freely throughout the duration. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Apr 28, 2017 at 22:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @fectin Normally, I wouldn't OMG, but, OMG! I had to look that up, and there it is, clear as day: The character can change form as often as desired for the duration of the spell simply by willing it so. Each change is a full-round action. When we started playing 3e I switched to barbarian from wizard, having played a 2e wizard for a decade (from level 5 all the way to level 9! Yeah!) so never saw that in play. Thank you for the reminder. I'm gonna go punch a wall. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 28, 2017 at 23:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ It was fixed in Tome & Blood, but yeah. Raw 3.0 Polymorph Self was mind-bogglingly good. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Apr 29, 2017 at 0:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does the item's description of its power to allow the user to return to natural form at any time not supersede the school of polymorph disabling the item? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29, 2017 at 19:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WannabeWarlock Nope: "...The wearer can..." This is part of the effect of the item; no item, no effect. Unless you want it to be a permanent effect, irrespective of the item's effectiveness. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chemus
    Apr 29, 2017 at 19:53

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