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Buff Polymorph

TerraDave

5ever
As far as I can tell, for buffing use, this spell allows the caster to turn the target (including self) into either:

1) Any critter of the same CR as that targets level.

2) A creature the caster is familiar with into a comparable CR (which is normally lower then level).

So, which one? And how has buffing polymorphs actually worked in play?
 

5ekyu

Explorer
As far as I can tell, for buffing use, this spell allows the caster to turn the target (including self) into either:

1) Any critter of the same CR as that targets level.

2) A creature the caster is familiar with into a comparable CR (which is normally lower then level).

So, which one? And how has buffing polymorphs actually worked in play?
It is any beast of the same CR as the target.
If the target doesn't have a CR then you use target's level.
 

Jester David

Villager
It’s a pretty good buff spell as monster PCs are a CR half their level, so it’s a significant jump. Especially in hit points.
 

Elfcrusher

Explorer
I know this isn't the question, but Friendly Polymorph is too powerful. And it's not really fun. The caster basically says, "Hey, do you want to do this fight as the character you've so carefully built up over many hours of play, or would you like to be something twice as powerful that has even less decision-making than a Fighter?"
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
I know this isn't the question, but Friendly Polymorph is too powerful. And it's not really fun. The caster basically says, "Hey, do you want to do this fight as the character you've so carefully built up over many hours of play, or would you like to be something twice as powerful that has even less decision-making than a Fighter?"
In play my understanding is it's much more akin to an in-combat healing spell. The fighter is about to go down, and they're polymorphed into a giant ape. Because playing a giant ape is better than death saving throws and unconsciousness. The ape isn't twice as powerful - it's got a terrible AC and just OK damage and few options. But, it's better and much more fun than twitching and bleeding all over the place.
 

Elfcrusher

Explorer
In play my understanding is it's much more akin to an in-combat healing spell. The fighter is about to go down, and they're polymorphed into a giant ape. Because playing a giant ape is better than death saving throws and unconsciousness. The ape isn't twice as powerful - it's got a terrible AC and just OK damage and few options. But, it's better and much more fun than twitching and bleeding all over the place.
I often/usually see it used the other way: turn into the Giant Ape first, and when that dies you can go back to your regularly scheduled character at full health.

And maybe I haven't done the full white room theory on this, but how is 2 attacks (+9 to hit) doing 3d10+6 just "ok" for 7th level?
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
I often/usually see it used the other way: turn into the Giant Ape first, and when that dies you can go back to your regularly scheduled character at full health.
And as that's less fun, as you stated, why are you seeing that?

Treantmonk lays out the spell as a healing application better than I do, in one of his latest videos.
 

Elfcrusher

Explorer
And as that's less fun, as you stated, why are you seeing that?

Treantmonk lays out the spell as a healing application better than I do, in one of his latest videos.
Probably the same reason I see (and use) so many ASIs, when Feats are more "fun". It's tremendously effective.
 

Bitbrain

Explorer
I know this isn't the question, but Friendly Polymorph is too powerful. And it's not really fun. The caster basically says, "Hey, do you want to do this fight as the character you've so carefully built up over many hours of play, or would you like to be something twice as powerful that has even less decision-making than a Fighter?"
Not fun?

On the handful of times my old sorcerer would cast Polymorph, the other players in my old group would get really excited, especially when I would polymorph the Dwarf Fighter.
In real life, the guy was a massive Jurassic Park fan.

Just the thought of being able to turn into a T-Rex and chomp down on Minotaur skeletons and Triceratops-riding Uthgardt barbarians would make him first shout with delight, and then go on a rampage.

The fact that the Oathbreaker Paladin would ride the T-Rex into battle made it even more awesome.
 

Elfcrusher

Explorer
Not fun?

On the handful of times my old sorcerer would cast Polymorph, the other players in my old group would get really excited, especially when I would polymorph the Dwarf Fighter.
In real life, the guy was a massive Jurassic Park fan.

Just the thought of being able to turn into a T-Rex and chomp down on Minotaur skeletons and Triceratops-riding Uthgardt barbarians would make him first shout with delight, and then go on a rampage.

The fact that the Oathbreaker Paladin would ride the T-Rex into battle made it even more awesome.
Yeah, that's cool and fun.

But the 3rd or 4th time the exact same thing happens it's less cool and less fun.

Maybe that's just me, though. YMMV.
 

Gadget

Explorer
I saw the title and thought someone was proposing a 'buff' to the Polymorph spell and thought to myself "Of all the spells in 5e that could use a buff, that's not one that comes to mind." Glad to see I was mistaken.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
Yeah, that's cool and fun.

But the 3rd or 4th time the exact same thing happens it's less cool and less fun.

Maybe that's just me, though. YMMV.
Polymorph IS fun, but having a wider assortment of CR 6-10 beasts available would make it more fun.
 

TerraDave

5ever
I appreciate the replies, but am still having trouble with how OP it seems, and also from the RP/metagame angle. Though that last part may just be me.
 

Satyrn

Villager
Polymorph IS fun, but having a wider assortment of CR 6-10 beasts available would make it more fun.
I'm kinda burned out from statting up the more vanilla skags, scythids, rakk, etc, but making more badass varieties at various CRs sounds like a good addition to my to-do list.
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
I often/usually see it used the other way: turn into the Giant Ape first, and when that dies you can go back to your regularly scheduled character at full health.

And maybe I haven't done the full white room theory on this, but how is 2 attacks (+9 to hit) doing 3d10+6 just "ok" for 7th level?
Yeah, it's just OK. "The target's game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the chosen beast....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."

So, no magic weapon. No magic armor. No magic items at all in fact. I am unsure if it can use feats but it won't matter much as most of those feats won't apply very well to "fist" and "rock" (none of Great Weapon Master, Sharpshooter, Shield Master, Polearm Master, etc.. would apply). Can it use Battle Master manuevers? Unsure. But, I am pretty sure yes, the damage output of your typical 7th level fighter will be more than "Multi-attack: Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (3d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage." You were likely at or beyond +9 to attack already (+5 ability bonus, +3 proficiency, +1 magic item, none of which counts fighting styles like Archery which would put it to +11). You already had two regular attacks, you likely had something giving you a bonus attack, and you may well have reaction attacks as well. Your weapon is already doing pretty good damage, modified by something or several somethings (Great Weapon master, Sharp Shooter, Battle Master manuevers, magic, etc..). I think your typical fighter is in fact dishing out around this damage or more...but with a MUCh better armor classs, and far more flexibility and use of their feats (they have two or three of them at this stage) and class options and magic items. In fact as a non-humanoid you're not even a valid target for some beneficial spells from your spellcasters I believe while in Giant Ape form.

Naw, I think friendly Polymorph is best used when the fighter is already at risk of going down...not to start a battle. It's not as effective, it's not as flexible, and it's not as fun.
 

Elfcrusher

Explorer
Yeah, it's just OK. "The target's game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the chosen beast....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."

So, no magic weapon. No magic armor. No magic items at all in fact. I am unsure if it can use feats but it won't matter much as most of those feats won't apply very well to "fist" and "rock" (none of Great Weapon Master, Sharpshooter, Shield Master, Polearm Master, etc.. would apply). Can it use Battle Master manuevers? Unsure. But, I am pretty sure yes, the damage output of your typical 7th level fighter will be more than "Multi-attack: Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (3d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage." You were likely at or beyond +9 to attack already (+5 ability bonus, +3 proficiency, +1 magic item, none of which counts fighting styles like Archery which would put it to +11). You already had two regular attacks, you likely had something giving you a bonus attack, and you may well have reaction attacks as well. Your weapon is already doing pretty good damage, modified by something or several somethings (Great Weapon master, Sharp Shooter, Battle Master manuevers, magic, etc..). I think your typical fighter is in fact dishing out around this damage or more...but with a MUCh better armor classs, and far more flexibility and use of their feats (they have two or three of them at this stage) and class options and magic items. In fact as a non-humanoid you're not even a valid target for some beneficial spells from your spellcasters I believe while in Giant Ape form.

Naw, I think friendly Polymorph is best used when the fighter is already at risk of going down...not to start a battle. It's not as effective, it's not as flexible, and it's not as fun.
How'd you get to +5 ability score AND cool feats by level 7?

Or even just the +5 ability score?

Let alone the assumption of +1 weapons by level 7? (Not in the games I've played in.)

Whatever, man. Your experience is vastly different than mine. Game on.
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
How'd you get to +5 ability score AND cool feats by level 7?
You have either two or three ASIs by that level as a fighter (one at 4th, one at 6th, and one at 1st if you're human). You start with a 16, so two ASIs and one feat is pretty standard if you are human. At 8th level you get yet another feat as a fighter by the way, so you will have 3-4 ASIs at that point.

Or even just the +5 ability score?
Uh, because fighters get more ASIs than any other class?

Let alone the assumption of +1 weapons by level 7? (Not in the games I've played in.)
It is in not only every game I've played, but every single adventure WOTC has published for those levels, and in Adventurers League. Xanathar's guide lists the party having SIX major items by that level (likely more as they have six starting at level 5, which is the start of tier two) and a +1 weapon is in the most common of the major items categories. I think it's fair to say most Fighters (which is what we're talking about) have a +1 magic weapon by 7th. Not all, but most, which is the topic.
 
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