, up to 1 hour
You assume a different form. When you cast the spell, choose one of the following options, the effects of which last for the duration of the spell. While the spell lasts, you can end one option as an action to gain the benefits of a different one.
Aquatic Adaptation. You adapt your body to an aquatic environment, sprouting gills and growing webbing between your fingers. You can breathe underwater and gain a swimming speed equal to your walking speed.
Change Appearance. You transform your appearance. You decide what you look like, including your height, weight, facial features, sound of your voice, hair length, coloration, and distinguishing characteristics, if any. You can make yourself appear as a member of another race, though none of your statistics change. You also can't appear as a creature of a different size than you, and your basic shape stays the same; if you're bipedal, you can't use this spell to become quadrupedal, for instance. At any time for the duration of the spell, you can use your action to change your appearance in this way again.
Natural Weapons. You grow claws, fangs, spines, horns, or a different natural weapon of your choice. Your unarmed strikes deal 1d6 bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, as appropriate to the natural weapon you chose, and you are proficient with your unarmed strikes. Finally, the natural weapon is magic and you have a +1 bonus to the attack and damage rolls you make using it.
Verbal Component (Alternative):
To weather the oncoming storm, I have a need to change my form. Classes:
Sorcerer, Wizard, Rogue, ArtificerTags:
ShapechangingSource: Player's Handbook [5th Edition] (page 211)
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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!
If a dwarf casts Alter Self to become a different dwarf, does the dwarf lose their darkvision?
Yes. Alter self says you lose your extraordinary abilities of your previous form (in this case, darkvision) and that you don't gain those of your new form (i.e. darkvision). Therefore, you are left with a dwarf who has no darkvision. Polymorph
explicitly doesn't change this, saying you get extraordinary special attacks, but not extraordinary special qualities.
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).