Athas fix ideas for polymorph

I often wondered if the Polymorph chain of spells (and thus could possibly cascade to any related psionic effects) could be “fixed” more or less by two, possibly three, simple changes:

  1. Make each “end-result form” a unique and separate spell which is further restricted in casting by having skill ranks in appropriate knowledge skills (NOT total check results) to access more and more esoteric forms. Thus instead of one spell that does all, you have a spell per creature or object which has to be found/researched individually. And one must have sufficient Knowledge ranks in the knowledge skill associated with knowledge checks for that creature.
  2. A base will save to not forget who and what you are, that escalates per unit of time (hour?) spent in that form, and the base save increases based on the number of times you transform into the form per larger unit of time, like a year or something. Failing save results in slow loss of stats over time, which effectively becomes a buffer period.
  3. Remove permanent results unless the polymorph is voluntarily accepted.

An added thought is to make the Polymorph Other “curse like” effect have rules more like the Magic Jar spell using an animal as the vessel and storing the body in an associated non-dimensional pocket, in light of the whole will save thing in (2) and (3).

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Oh God please not this again. Polymorph may have been overpowered in 1E/2E but the long running saga of 3Es polymorph changes and updates just ended with everyone heartily sick of the entire subject.

If 4E/5E are having the same discussion its just as well I don’t play either.

bangs head on table

Sorry Nijineko, I know thats not polite and I meant no personal offence. It’s just the entire polymorph saga has been done to death at a much higher level than an individual campaign setting.


Yeah. Ban polymorph and make changes cosmetic only.

Eff that. Turning jerks into toads or in Athas’ case, kips, is an integral part of being a damned wizard. No matter what edition.

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Cool. Just don’t give them any of the frog’s superpowers.

Preservers and defilers get the shaft in 2E in comparison to any other class. Gods forbid they have some actual strengths. I know we like to preach 3.5 conversions here, but that isn’t my point. We’re a few editions post that if anyone hasn’t noticed.

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It’s been a long time since I gave thought to 2E, but if I recall correctly a 2E polymorph did not get any of the creature’s special abilities. Unless the polymorph was of the hostile type where a creature loses its mind and becomes another kind of creature altogether.

I believe the topic under discussion is the self polymorph, not the baleful polymorph other.

Ahahahaha, that got a rise out of everyone!

@Killer_DM Don’t forget, I’m the anti-magic pro-psionics type. I would rejoice in the complete and total destruction of magic and complete ascendance of psionics, chi, and science/lifeshaping in any D&D setting. If the preservers want to really help preserve Athas, then they are better off to give up magic completely and convert totally to psionics anyway.

We don’t need no stinking magic.

However, in the interests of harmony with the PLAYERS of the game, I’m willing to let the existence of magic slide, and work towards making it much more restricted, the way Gygax intended in the first place… such as when he added components to magic, as described in his comments on why he did so in early Dragon magazine. (in brief, it was to force magic to be delayed and provide a window for non-magic types to interrupt the cast, thus having a built in option for defending against magic, and also a built in reason for why magic types needed minions to give them time to cast. )

Of course, Gygax also didn’t want psionics or monks in his “medieval fantasy” game either since he felt those things didn’t fit his conception of Greyhawk style D&D, but since he kindly allowed psionics and monks to remain anyway in the game as a whole, and since Dark Sun is specifically pro-psionic, I get to ignore that part, for the purposes of Athas at least. =D

So, yes, I completely don’t care if I can pull off nerfing preservers and especially defilers alike, along with all arcane and divine magic users, especially if it helps the Dark Sun game become more that 50% psionic the way it’s supposed to be in the first place. I’m in favor of spells taking one standard action per spell level to cast, for example. That reminds me that Synchronicity still needs to be addressed.

In any case, my willingly accept comments can still be taken advantage of by a clever villain via threats to one’s weaknesses in order to convince a foe to capitulate… (oh noes, actually encouraging roleplaying via the rules, what ever shall we do???)

Just for the record, I’m never going to come down in favor of something that strips agency from a player (or character) without their consent.

For example, I don’t allow mind control or charm effect type save-or-suck in my games. Hypnosis gets a pass because it doesn’t function without consent, so ‘charm’ and ‘mind control’ are things that can only be applied after successful roleplaying and submission (to various degrees) by the target. In other words, if you can convince the target to submit to you, THEN you can lay in a subliminal suggestion (charm) or order (mind control).

Thus it also applies to Baleful Polymorph. A clever villain or PC will still be able to pull it off, despite the consent restriction. And it makes the game more interesting and less save or suck or die.

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Ouch Neko, I think Hamanu wants to have a word with you. There is one more troll left on Athas! Lol

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I don’t have a problem with trolls though? ^^

Just arcane and divine magics.

I’m also in favor of modifying the effects of cold iron to be more in line with mythology, in that even touching it disrupts arcane magics. Not that it would have much effect on Athas, of course, but for D&D as a whole it would be nice.

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