True Polymorph is a late-game 9th-level spell belonging to the Bard, Warlock, and Wizard spell lists.
True Polymorph is one of the few late-game spells available in D&D. Thus, even with some disadvantages, it remains one of the most powerful spells in the game.
That said, players able to cast it are already on par with lesser deities for the most part.
True Polymorph 5e
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S, M (a single drop of mercury, a dab of gum arabic, and a wisp of smoke)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour
You may choose one creature or nonmagical object you can see within range. You then transform the creature into a different creature or a nonmagical object of your choice.
The same goes for the object, as you can transform it into a creature (keep in mind the object must neither be worn nor carried by a different creature).
Note: Players cannot turn an object into a different object.
The transformation will last for the duration or until the affected target drops to 0 hit points or perishes.
However, if you were to concentrate on this spell for the entire duration, the transformation cast upon the target becomes permanent.
Note: Shapechangers cannot be affected by True Polymorph. Unwilling creatures can also make a Wisdom saving roll; upon its success, the spell will not affect it. Lastly, targets with 0 hits points are also left unaffected.
Creature into Creature
- If you are turning a creature into another type of creature, the newer form can be of any form you choose. Ensure the chosen creature’s challenge rating is equal to or less than the targetted creature’s. Note: It can also be its level since the target might not have a challenge rating.
- When completed, the target will have its game statistics, including its mental ability scores, replaced by the statistics of the new form. It will, however, retain its alignment and personality in the end.
- The targetted creature will assume the hit points of its new form, and if it reverts to its original form, the creature will return to the hit points it had before transforming.
- If the creature reverts due to dropping to 0 hit points, dealing excess damage carries over to its normal form. The damage will not knock it unconscious if the extra damage doesn’t reduce the creature’s normal form to 0 hit points.
- The transformed creature will be limited in its actions due to the nature of its new form. It will also not be able to speak, cast any spells, or take any action requiring hands or speech (unless its form can complete such actions).
- If the target wore gear, it would meld into its new form. The creature cannot activate, use, wield, or otherwise benefit from any equipment previously used.
Object into Creature
- You can turn most objects into any creature, as long as the creature’s size isn’t larger than the size of the object and the creature’s challenge rating is lower equal to or lower than 9.
- This creature will act friendly towards you and your companions while also acting on each of your turns. You will decide what action it takes and how it’ll move. The DM will have the creature’s statistics, resolving all its actions and movements.
- If True Polymorph becomes permanent, you will no longer control the creature. It has a chance to remain friendly to you; however, it depends on how you have treated it in the past.
Creature into Object
- Turning a creature into an object will transform it along with whatever it’s currently wearing and carrying. If the object’s size is larger than the creature’s, True Polymorph will not transform its items.
- The targetted creature’s statistics become those of the chosen object. It will also have no memory of the time it spent in object form after the spell ends, returning to its normal form as usual.
Is True Polymorph Good in 5e?
True Polymorph’s strength isn’t the great power it holds as a 9th-level spell; it’s the possibilities available when accessing it.
Advantages of True Polymorph
Using True Polymorph on objects to turn them into creatures make them friendly to you and your party members. Not only that, but it can level up, gaining strength while fighting for you.
Note: If the spell becomes permanent, the creature is no longer under your control, so treat it appropriately if you wouldn’t want to be killed in your sleep.
Disadvantages of True Polymorph
True Polymorph is a 9th-level spell, the highest-level spell currently available in D&D 5e. To put this in context, full casters will only be able to cast this spell at level 17.
This makes True Polymorph less accessible to half-caster and third-caster classes in general.
Spells using concentration are at a disadvantage as it limits the spells that players can cast, and if the concentration is broken, the spell ends.
Note: Be careful which spells you cast or where you go, as you might not intend for True Polymorph to end as soon as it can.
Optimizing True Polymorph
Combined with spells like Teleport, players could polymorph a given object into a creature.
Since it is friendly to you, it would be willing to teleport. Then, when arriving at your destination, simply cancel the spell, gaining the object.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can True Polymorph Be Permanent?
If a player doesn’t lose concentration for the entirety of the spell, then yes, it can become permanent on the target polymorphed.
Can True Polymorph Be Twinned?
Since True Polymorph can only target one creature and doesn’t have the range of self, it can be twinned. Its lower-level alternate, Polymorph, follows the same rules it does.
True Polymorph can be one of the most fun late-game spells to mess around with. Its possibilities are endless if the caster is creative enough, making it a great way to cause mayhem or have a few laughs.
Just remember, with great polymorphing power comes great responsibility!