60 ft Components:
V, S, M
, up to 1 hour
This spell transforms a creature that you can see within range into a new form. An unwilling creature must make a Wisdom saving throw to avoid the effect. A shapechanger automatically succeeds on this saving throw. This spell can't affect a target that has 0 hit points.
The transformation lasts for the duration, or until the target drops to 0 hit points or dies. The new form can be any beast whose challenge rating is equal to or less than the target's (or the target's level, if it doesn't have a challenge rating). The target's game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the chosen beast. It retains its alignment and personality.
The target assumes the hit points of its new form. When it reverts to its normal form, the creature returns to the number of hit points it had before it transformed. If it reverts as a result of dropping to 0 hit points, any excess damage carries over to its normal form. As long as the excess damage doesn't reduce the creature's normal form to 0 hit points, it isn't knocked unconscious.
The creature is limited in the actions it can perform by the nature of its new form, and it can't speak, cast spells, or take any other action that requires hands or speech.
The target's gear melds into the new form. The creature can't activate, use, wield, or otherwise benefit from any of its equipment.
a caterpillar cocoon
Verbal Component (Alternative):
With this spell I twist and deform, into a beast your body transform. Classes:
Bard, Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard, RogueDomain:
ShapechangingSource: Player's Handbook [5th Edition] (page 266)
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Below are commonly asked questions about this spell. Some of the information is pulled official D&D sources (such as books and the twitter feeds of D&D officials), but other information is derived from forums and online discussions. As always, it is up to the DM to decide how they wish to spell questions. If you have a FAQ about this spell that you feel other DM's may wish to know, please send us the message!
Can you concentrate on a spell while transformed by polymorph?
As per the Sage Advice Compendium:
You can't cast spells while you're transformed by polymorph, but nothing in the spell prevents you from concentrating on a spell that you previously cast before being transformed.
Therefore, if you cast Polymorph on yourself, you must make concentration checks each time you take damage. If the concentration check fails, the spell effect ends and you revert back to your true form.
Does a willing creature under the effects of polymorph have to take the mental stats of the new form?
Yes. Unless a spell tells you otherwise, its effect is no different for a willing creature than it is for an unwilling one. [source: Sage Advice Compendium]
If a creature under the effects of polymorph takes enough fire damage to revert to its true form and that form has fire resistance, does the true form take the full remaining damage or only half due to resistance?
When the creature reverts to its true form, any leftover damage is subject to that form's damage resistances, if any. [source: Sage Advice Compendium]
Can a creature under the effects of polymorph have other spell effects on them, or are those game statistics also replaced by the those of the beast form?
Polymorph replaces only the target's character sheet or stat block with the stat block of the chosen form. Other effects, such as other spells, still exist. [source: Sage Advice Compendium]
What happens if I'm polymorphed or Wild Shaped into a creature with fewer than 100 hit points and then I'm targeted by power word kill?
You die. [source: Sage Advice Compendium]
Other Planes and Effects
Below is information about this spell as it relates to other planes and area of effects (i.e. underwater). Some of the information is pulled official D&D sources (such as books and the twitter feeds of D&D officials), but other information is derived from forums and online discussions. As always, it is up to the DM to decide how they wish to handle spell effects.
Underwater - Verbal Component
Official rules have been verified by Jeremy Crawford - "No rule prohibits verbal components from working underwater. Keep in mind that if you're talking, you're not holding your breath." Hence, while submerged underwater and holding its breath, a creature can cast a spell that requires a verbal component. After casting the spell, if the creature can't breathe underwater, it immediately runs out of breath. The creature can survive for a number of rounds equal to its Constitution modifier (minimum of 1 round).