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Screenshot of Red Dwarf episode “Polymorph”

A polymorph is a hideous, twisted monstrousity the color of cold chicken, wrinkled body with the turns and rivets of a brain, huge eyes, and a long tube ending in a circular mouth.

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Originally Posted by R.M.G.C.L.F. of the Wizards Community forums.

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The polymorph was originally designed as the ultimate warrior. Its shape-shifting abilities allow it to adapt to its terrain and decieve its enemies. Unfortunaely, it had a crucial flaw. It was homicidally insane.

Polymorphs hunt down people, induce heightened emotions before draining them away, then murder them when they’re brain-damaged and psychologically crippled.

Medium Shapshifter (G.E.L.F.) HD 6d8+12(39hp) Initiative +3 Speed 20ft AC 17(+3dex,+4natural) Attacks Headsucker+6 touch or 2 slams+6 melee Damage 1d4+3, slam 1d8+3 Special Attacks Siphon Emotions, alternate form, Frightful Presence Special Qualities Fire and Acid Resistance 10, DR5/+1, SR13, Psychotic Saves Fort+7,Ref+8,Will+5 Abilities Str17,Dex16,Con15,Int14,Wis13, Cha8 Skills Disguise+17, Bluff+6, Spot+10, Listen+10, Search+7, Hide+6, Move Silently+6 (+10 bonus to Disguise due to alternate form) Feats Skill Focus(Disguise), Skill Focus (Bluff), ability focus(frightful presence) Climate/Terrain Any Organization Solitary, pair, or cluster (3-6) CR 5 Alignment Usually Neutral Evil Treasure None Advancement 7-10hd(medium), 11-18hd(large)


Polymorphs prefer to hunt down and siphon opponents one by one, and drain their strongest emotion when there are no companions to point out the deception. Despite this they are not above direct combat with a group, althought they often make breif retreats for a hit-and-run style assault.

  • Psychotic A polymorph is homicidal insane and focused on its depraved goals. As such its warped brain is immune to all mind-affecting and morale effects.
  • Alternate Form(su) A polymorph can assume the shape of any creature witnessed as per the spell polymorph self, as a quickened action. It can also assume the form of animated objects based on any object it has seen. It cannot assume any shape larger than its current size category. All polymorphs have a basic array of simple objects (ball, rock, etc.) and natural creatures (bird, rabbit, constrictor snake, etc.) in their memories. In general they forget a shape 1d12 days after encountering it, losing the form in the dark crevices of their deranged minds. When changing shape they heal a number of hp equal to one half their hit dice. They can also assume a unique form that is statistically identical except it is diminutive in size and has no attacks. This form has a move speed of 40ft and is the second favorite form of the creature.
  • Siphon Emotions(pi) A polymorph can drain away the capacity for a certain emotion or mode of thought that has been heightened with a successful headsucker attack. First it must provoke the emotion to full capacity. This requires a successful Disguise check to provoke whatever emotion is necessary, and possibly a Bluff check to complete the deception. A creature that fails to see the deception must make a will save dc:17 (Intelligence based, +2 racial bonus to dc) or be taken to the height of that emotional state, dazed for one round by the sheer psychological intensity of feeling and provoking an attack of opportunity from the polymorph. Once the polymorph drains the emotions, the creature falls unconscious and remains out cold for 1d12 minutes, in addition to taking 1d4 temporary Charisma damage. The polymorph can induce and then drain the following emotions:
  • Guilt Good-aligned creatures suffer a -3 morale penalty to their will saves against this, and evil-aligned ones get a +3 morale bonus. After awakening, they effectively become neutral evil and suffer the effects of an emotion(hatred) spell.
  • Anger Creatures deprived of their anger lose all capacity for hostile feeling or will to harm. They are incapable of attack or offensive action.
  • Fear Creatures deprived of fear suffer a -3 morale penalty to their armor class and total recklessness. They will ignore any reason or opportunity for stealth or avoidance of direct conflict, automatically failing any Hide, Move Silently, Bluff, or Diplomacy checks.
  • Pride Creatures with their pride sapped away lose any self respect and will to live. They fall under the effects of an emotion(despair) spell, turn to drugs and Alcohol where available, and automatically fail any perform or Intimidate checks. They have a general lack of care for their own existance, and will not go through elaborate measures to avoid destruction.
  • For each emotion drained beyond the first, the subject suffers a cumulative -4 penalty to Wisdom and Intelligence as their psyche begins to crumble without the basic regulation of such mental stimuli. When left with only one or two emotions, the polymorph slays them, usually meeting with minimal resistance. If the polymorph is slain or the ability damage healed, the emotion in question is restored.
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