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  1. #1
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    alter self & 3.5

    when i read this spell it gives me the impression that u must assume the new form of a creature or your type. ie humaniod in case of most people. outside in the case of a few. my friend thinks he can just grow extra arms and wings and stuff with out taking on a new fourm. but all the natural armour and burrowing and non supernaturally abiltites are listed as things you can can if the new fourm you chose has them. he likes to grow wings and fly around, very annoying at low level (as anyone on the ground gets there ass's kicked) we play in the arcanis setting which has no winged humaniods and to my knowledge the only one is the winged elf (dragon lance, maybe a few other setting aswell but not arcanis.)

    whats your thoughts?


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    LO Zealot Grimbog Elf Ater's Avatar
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    I actually think this is very clever - and what your friend is doing is almost perfectly within the limits set out by the spell. However, what (s)he can change into is limited by their knowledge of creatures as well. And they do not gain any of the abilities of the new form.

    One thing that they may be doing wrong is not selecting a new form - for example, with that spell they can't just say "I want to remain in my form but grow a pair of feathered wings, a prehensile tails and two extra arms". They can simply adopt the form of another creature of roughly the same size, not parts of that creature (or creatures).

    I hope that this helps you out.
    The iron crowned is getting closer,
    Swings his hammer down on him,
    Like a thunderstorm he's crushing,
    Down the Noldor's proudest king.

    Under my foot, so hopeless it seems.
    You've troubled my day, now feel the pain.
    - Blind Guardian

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    but thats the point the spell alows you to take on a new fourm of a creature that is in your subcatagory (abberation per say. so an aberation can use the spell to take on the form of another abberation. otherwise a first level wizard could just take on the fourm of a dragon!), if that fourm can burrow has natural armour extra limbs or even wings you gain the use of them. so in normal DnD you would have to be a monsterous humoniod and use alter self to become like a harpy to gain wings. (harpy being the only monsterous humanoid with wings. or so i have noticed).

    i mean this is all in the spell dicription but there is a group (3 people) that i play with that is adament that they can just take that best and not change fourm. the above is how i read it, i just kinda wanted to know if i have missed read a word or sentance or somthing or maybe im just retarded.

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    Quote Originally Posted by X-Griffin
    but thats the point the spell alows you to take on a new fourm of a creature that is in your subcatagory (abberation per say. so an aberation can use the spell to take on the form of another abberation. otherwise a first level wizard could just take on the fourm of a dragon!), if that fourm can burrow has natural armour extra limbs or even wings you gain the use of them. so in normal DnD you would have to be a monsterous humoniod and use alter self to become like a harpy to gain wings. (harpy being the only monsterous humanoid with wings. or so i have noticed).
    The understanding of the spell that you have is slightly different to what's written in the Player's Handbook. Sure, if you're a medium human(oid) you can change into the form of another humanoid only! Unless that character is a hald drahon (they would be classes asa a dragon if they are) they would not be able to change into a dragon, the first sentence of the spell description tells you that. You are also limited to a 5 HD creature of your own type. So realistically, if the wizard in question is human, your DM could let them change into any humanoid type (orc, gnoll, elf, half-elf, dwarf, etc) as long as they are roughly the same size (category - eg. medium sized in this example).

    Quote Originally Posted by X-Griffin
    i mean this is all in the spell dicription but there is a group (3 people) that i play with that is adament that they can just take that best and not change fourm. the above is how i read it, i just kinda wanted to know if i have missed read a word or sentance or somthing or maybe im just retarded.
    Nope, you're the closest on how to play the spell, the others seem to be reading what they want to and not paying attention to the parts that they don't like in the spell description! Nowhere does it say in the description that you can choose the types of traits to take on from another form, it says that you take on all of the qualities inherent to the new form - flight, natural armour, skill bonuses, racial feats and other physical attributes (eg. extra limbs, wings, etc). The wizard's ability scores, saves, attack bonuses remain unchanged whether in new form or not.

    Now, once you've explained all of this to them, flip over to the spell 'Shapechange' - a 9th level spell that does allow them to do all of the above and more. What would be the point of that spell if Alter Self did it all anyway?

    Good luck with breaking them the news!
    The iron crowned is getting closer,
    Swings his hammer down on him,
    Like a thunderstorm he's crushing,
    Down the Noldor's proudest king.

    Under my foot, so hopeless it seems.
    You've troubled my day, now feel the pain.
    - Blind Guardian

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