True Polymorph

So, if a caster, say a Warlock 17 Hexblade Pact of the Blade uses True Polymorph on himself. He needs to concentrate but if he concentrates until the full hour is up, it lasts until dispelled? In his new form, the warlock can only talk and cast spells if his new form allows such actions. Does this mean that if he is turned into a creature with it's own innate spells that he can cast those only? or does he still know his own spells (with the charisma of the new form). If he becomes a creature that could talk and potentially cast such as say a Drow instead of human that he could still use his class abilities including spells in the new form? I can see all kinds of complications here. and the spell doesn't affect shapechangers so does that mean that he couldn't use True Polymorph to become say a grey slaad?
 

Esker

Explorer
He needs to concentrate but if he concentrates until the full hour is up, it lasts until dispelled?
Yes: "If you concentrate on this spell for the full duration, the spell lasts until it is dispelled."

In his new form, the warlock can only talk and cast spells if his new form allows such actions. Does this mean that if he is turned into a creature with it's own innate spells that he can cast those only? or does he still know his own spells (with the charisma of the new form).
"The target's game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the new form. ... 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, unless its new form is capable of such actions."

Class abilities (including spells) are part of the target's "game statistics", so they'd only be able to cast spells that the new form can cast. Note that druid's wildshape feature (unlike this spell) specifies that class and race abilities are retained.

the spell doesn't affect shapechangers so does that mean that he couldn't use True Polymorph to become say a grey slaad?
"This spell has no effect on a shapechanger or a creature with 0 hit points."

I interpret this to mean that at the time the spell is cast, provided the target isn't a shapechanger, they are affected. While transformed into a grey slaad, they would be immune to any new casting of True Polymorph, however (if, say, two casters were trying to play polymorph tug-of-war with the target).
 
These are the thoughts that kept me out of the really good schools. So, if this caster changed from say human into a drow (which by it's nature could still be a warlock), could he then still use his own spells? If he only gets the spells that the creature by it's nature gets, would he then be ablw only to use say Darkness, and Faerie Fire or Dancing Lights which the drow get as racial abilities? If I'm getting this right, you become that kind of creature only, not a specific one. This would mean no turning into the evil wizard to use his spells or into the barbarian to rage.
 

Esker

Explorer
Transforming a creature into a drow would require specifying a particular drow stat block (for example, from the Monster Manual or other similar source). There's a plain old "Drow" stat block, which is a CR 1/4 creature, and has only the drow racial spells; on the other end of the spectrum there's the Drow Matron Mother from the MToF book, which is a CR 20 caster with 9th level spells. A DM could allow you to use True Polymorph to transform a PC into a creature with identical game statistics except that you replace the PC's original racial features with drow racial features, but that'd be on the same level as home brewing a new kind of beast to use with regular Polymorph, since no such creature exists in any published source.
 

tglassy

Explorer
As a DM, I've always interpreted it to mean that as long as the thing you've transformed into can cast spells, you have access to all your spells, especially for Warlocks and Wizards. Warlocks and Wizards LEARN their spells. This whole "only what the stat bloc" says is actually crap. I understand that their mental statistics change, but their memories don't. For wizards, they still have their spell book and still understand how magic works, as long as their Intelligence isn't less than, say, an 8. They may need an Int check for higher level spells if their int is too low, but a Wizard's magic isn't based on something within themselves, it's based on what they have learned.

Same with a Warlock. They KNOW their spells, they don't channel them like a Cleric. They were taught. Just because you change yourself into a dragon doesn't mean you suddenly forget how to bend magic, especially if your new form has everything it needs to bend magic.

So saying "Well, you could turn yourself into an Archmage..." I can't even go on, that's ridiculous. You do not gain the memories of the person you change into. So you may become as smart as them, but they spent time and study learning their spells. You didn't. Racial abilities, natural magic abilities like what a Drow has, sure. But if you turn into an Archmage, you keep your own spell list. You do not gain the new one. That's stupid.

I understand that this may not be the way it is written, but it is the way it would naturally work. If one of my players reaches level 20 and gets True Polymorph and wants to become an Ancient Brass Dragon permanently and use the Shapeshift Feature to become his own human self while keeping all his class statistics while in Human form, I will say "Sure." They're level 20. If them being a dragon is going to break my game, then I'm not giving them enough of a challenge.


Edit: Note, I may have a different answer for Sorcerers, as Sorcerers gain their magic through their innate bloodlines. If that changes, they no longer have that bloodline. I would allow a Dragonic Sorcerer to retain their magic after becoming a Dragon, but not, say, a Shadow Sorcerer. Unless they became a Shadow Dragon. Hmm. I'd have to think about that.
 

Esker

Explorer
[MENTION=6855204]tglassy[/MENTION] Goes to show that any rules answer is going to be subject to the caveat that a given DM may rule differently. Your interpretation makes sense from a lore perspective, but in terms of RAW there can't possibly be a difference between how the spell works when the target is a sorcerer and when the target is a wizard. Mechanically a creature's "game statistics" are the stat block (for an NPC/monster) or the character sheet (for a PC), minus the bits that don't actually interact with any rules (such as alignment, backstory, etc.). (I recognize you're not claiming your reading is RAW; just wanted to clarify that)
 
You keep your memories and your alignment so that seems to make some sense. especially if you transform into a creature that might actually have those kinds of abilities. I agree that you don't become that specific person even if you look like say the arch-mage, but you could become a Drow warlock instead of a human one and that makes sense. In that, I'd have a similar thought on the sorcerer. I would also say that if you polymorph into say a death knight, you couldn't then record the ritual that makes a death knight because you didn't become one that way and don't know it.
 

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