dnd 5e – What does ‘kind of creature’ mean in the description of the True Polymorph spell?

It appears to be an informal catergorisation of monsters—and possibly more.

Much of this answer comes from the content of this answer to a different question, which has been rephrased to be appropriate to this question.

Current examples of the term ‘kind of creature’ (or similar) include:

  • Antipathy/sympathy (PHB p. 214):

    a kind of intelligent creature, such as red dragons, goblins, or vampires

  • Locate creature (PHB p. 256):

    creature of a specific kind (such as a human or a unicorn)

  • The Protector special purpose of a sentient magic item (DMG p. 216):

    a particular race or kind of creature, such as elves or druids

  • Wand of Orcus (DMG p. 227):

    any kind of undead, not just skeletons and zombies

All emphasis mine.

From these examples, we can deduce the following:

  • Since ‘intelligent’ is pretty clearly a description of a creature, as opposed to part of ‘intelligent creature’ as a distinct term from ‘creature’, it follows that red dragons, goblins, and vampires and each a kind of creature.

  • Since ‘undead’ is a creature type, skeletons and zombies should therefore, under a less specific label, each be a kind of creature.

  • Similarly, the phasing of ‘creature of a specific kind’ suggests the same, if not a similar, meaning: thereofre, humans and unicorns are each a kind of creature (albeit potentially more specific).

However, at this point, we run into a problem: up until the last bullet point, every example mentioned only includes names which match closely to monster names—the series of red dragons of different ages; goblin; vampire; unicorn—but now, we have a much broader term: human. There is currently no monster entry with the name ‘Human’, but this example could still apply to a category of monsters. However, there are at least 46 which fit this description, not including specific adventure NPCs, so this would be a lot less sound a presumption—and this is despite the fact that this is supposed to be a ‘specific’ kind of creature!

We have a different problem with ‘druid’—which can reasonably be taken to be a ‘kind of creature’, since ‘elf’ (a race) is included in the pair of examples comprising both a ‘race’ and ‘kind’ of creature—whereby ‘druid’ can either refer to a monster of the same name or a creature with levels in the character class, which also potentially expands ‘kind of creature’ to refer to player characters.

However, no matter how we interpret the terms, it is clear that every listed example could solely apply to named monster descriptions. For example, ‘unicorn’ has a unique listing that it could refer to. We then have one possible consistent interpretation:

‘Kind of creature’ may refer to a category of monsters.

In any interpretation, we must have the following restriction, in response to the question about how this term interacts with a character’s options when casting the spell, in order to remain consistent with the examples listed so far:

A goblin target may not be turned into another creature which is a goblin.

This is necessary because ‘goblin’ is listed as a ‘kind of (intelligent) creature’. One could reasonably use this example to extrapolate that the target of a true polymorph spell may not be turned into a creature of the same race.

Aside from that, not much is clear.

The most general qualification to the descriptions listed in the various examples must unify race, class (if any), and whatever property being a zombie or skeleton could be.

For the purposes of differences to other transformations, they do not have the restrictions listed, while that allowed by true polymorph does.

The spells and features listed lack this restriction, with the only restrictions listed being CR or creature type. Thus, while the shapechange spell would be able to turn a goblin caster into the form of its goblin ally which has a lower level or CR, the true polymorph spell would not.

dnd 5e – What does ‘kind of creature’ mean in description of the True Polymorph spell?

The true polymorph spell states:

Choose one creature or nonmagical object that you can see within range. You transform the creature into a different creature, the creature into an object, or the object into a creature (the object must be neither worn nor carried by another creature).

If you turn a creature into another kind of creature, the new form can be any kind you choose whose challenge rating is equal to or less than the target’s (or its level, if the target doesn’t have a challenge rating). The target’s game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the new form. It retains its alignment and personality.

Emphasis mine. How should this be treated in the context of the rules, and how should it be treated differently (if at all) from other kinds of transformation, such as the polymorph and shapechange spells, and the Druid’s Wild Shape feature, all of which only use the phrasings “a beast”; “any beast”; “any creature”? Is there any creature (or beast) which this spell would therefore be unable to produce which the other transformations would, or is it redundant?

What is a kind of creature, and how do I determine what options a player has when he tries to use this spell? Is there a way of determining what kind of creature a player character is (since the spell states that the target must turn into another kind of creature)?

dnd 5e – What qualifies a type/form of creature?

Inspired by questions such as this, the goal of this question is purely to examine the differentiation (if any) between the statistics of an individual creature (such as a PC), and a creature which has a stat block. In other words,

Which rules (if any) form a basis for a differentiation between a ‘specific’ and ‘general’ creature?

This question is important for defining whether what technical differences exist between terms such as ‘form’, ‘creature’, and ‘(creature type)’ (such as ‘beast’ or ‘construct’), as well as whether “any creature” means anything different to “a creature”, “the form of a creature”, and similar.

dnd 5e – Can I hit a creature that has a reach larger than mine but is using itself to hit me?

The Enormous Tentacle Has the following attack:

Constrict. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 35 ft., one creature. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 16). Until this grapple ends, the creature is restrained, and the tentacle can’t constrict another target.

If a player has a readied action to hit the creature when it comes into range, and is subsequently attacked by the Constrict attack. Can it hit and damage the Enormous Tentacle?


Context behind the question:

This is different situation to if someone is being attacked by a reach weapon i.e. a pole-arm, at that point they would need to be close to the meaty part of the creature to damage. This question is focused around creatures with reach that attack with themselves. This Enormous Tentacle, Dragons with long reach etc.

What happens when a Polymorphed creature who was mind-controlled turns back?

What would happen if a creature who polymorphed was hit by for example a Neogi’s enslaved effect, which lasts for a day while the polymorph spell itself lasts for an hour. Would the creature no longer be enslaved since both their mental stats are different or would the mind control stay on?

dnd 5e – Does the Robe of Stars’s ability to enter the Astral Plane with “everything you are […] carrying” let you do so with a grappled creature?

There is an answer in plain English and there is a loose definition based on the rules.

If you scroll all the way down, my answer for the Goliath is a No. Or at least not without him going through some more hoops.

You are carrying whatever you and the GM agree you are carrying. For example, by the Merriam-Webster dictionary :

to move while supporting : TRANSPORT

  • her legs refused to carry her further

Funnily enough, this could also be argued for other less literal definitions such as:

to convey by direct communication:

  • carry tales about a friend

to bear upon or within one:

  • is carrying an unborn child

to influence by mental or emotional appeal : SWAY

  • She intended the play to carry audiences toward a sense of peace and understanding.

But D&D is usually more literal than this and you will probably get mean looks if you try to argue that you are carry audiences toward a sense of peace and understanding and thus can teleport the whole party with you.
So we can look at how the rules define it.

There is only one rule I’ve found that really mentions carrying for a player character: it is the Strength attribute definition.

I’ll argue that the main definition of carrying is any situation where you would use this rule. Or, looking at it from the character sheet, anything you would list under the Equipment section of your character sheet and count toward your encumbrance limit (even if they have a weight of 0) are things you are carrying. Weather they are objects, creatures or anything else that’s managed this way at the table.

It’s still not completely defined and the players/GM have some say in what is and is not carried. But it’s something.

Lifting and Carrying

Your Strength score determines the amount of weight you can bear. The following terms define what you can lift or carry.

Carrying Capacity. Your carrying capacity is your Strength score multiplied by 15. This is the weight (in pounds) that you can carry, which is high enough that most characters don’t usually have to worry about it.

Push, Drag, or Lift. You can push, drag, or lift a weight in pounds up to twice your carrying capacity (or 30 times your Strength score). While pushing or dragging weight in excess of your carrying capacity, your speed drops to 5 feet.

This includes a few things that are counted as part of your encumbrance :

  • The weapon you carry in your hands.
  • The armor and clothes you wear.
  • Your backpack and whatever is strapped to your backpack or belt.
  • The corpse of your friend you bring back to town for reviving..
  • Your other friend who is just unconcious but stable that you carry on your back

It’s not complete, but we can see highlight a few things that are not carrying based on other rules.

  • It’s not grappling. While grappling you are holding another character in place by some part of their body, but you are not lifting them off the ground or placing them in your backpack.
  • It’s not pushing or dragging. As those have specific rules for what happens when your character is above they limit.
  • It’s not what is inside a cart you are dragging with you, interestingly. As the cart says nothing about this. In comparison, the entry for a horse explains how to handle the weight of a cart.

About the goblin and the goliath?

There is still some uncertainty when it counts to lifting and holding a willing (living) character versus an unwilling character. I think that’s just outside the strict definitions given by the book and that’s where the GM comes in.

But from what I’ve laid out, if the goliath just grapples him : No, the goblin is not carried. The goblin is only slightly restrained, as if the goliath was holding it by the arm and preventing him from moving away. If anything, the goblin is being dragged along.

What if the goliath lifted it above the ground? I could see it be argued. But this is not covered anywhere, so you are in GM call territory. Maybe the GM asks for an athletic check to lift it, maybe he asks for a second one to really secure the goblin as being carried instead of merely lifted. Maybe the GM requires the goblin to be tied or restrained or asleep in some way to get a stable handle over it.

dnd 5e – Can you make an unwilling creature willing? In other words, what defines “willing”?

Definition

Willing means:

  1. Disposed or inclined; prepared: I am willing to overlook your mistakes.
  2. Acting or ready to act gladly; eagerly compliant: a willing worker.
  3. Done, given, or accepted voluntarily or ungrudgingly.

Definition 1 is effectively motiveless, in this sense “willing” means that you are prepared to do something; your motivation for doing so is irrelevant.

Definitions 2 & 3 expand on definition 1 to incorporate a motive, you are “willing” if you are “acting gladly”, “eagerly”, “voluntary” or “ungrudgingly”.

My personal preference for a “willing creature” is to adopt definition 1 – if they consent to the spell then their motives are irrelevant. The other definitions are problematic as the motive must always be a matter of degree.

For example, if you were to agree in a negotiation to do something then you are clearly willing by definition 1 but you may or may not be willing by definition 2 and 3. When you ride a roller coaster in spite of your fears, are you willing? Or are you unwilling because you harbour doubts or are submitting to peer pressure?

Are you a “willing worker” because you derive deep satisfaction from the job you do or because you have a mortgage to pay? If the latter, are you in fact willing for definition 2?

What is willing

Prima facie, for all definitions, if you ask, and they say “yes” then when you cast the spell, it will work.

Further, the target of a “willing” spell must knowingly consent to be a target (PHB p.201):

Unless a spell has a perceptible effect, a creature might not know it was targeted by a spell at all. An effect like crackling lightning is obvious, but a more subtle effect, such as an attempt to read a creature’s thoughts, typically goes unnoticed, unless a spell says otherwise.

If you were to simply cast the spell on a creature it would not know that it was the target of a spell. In general, it would be fair to assume that a creature would be unwilling as a default state as being willing would expose them to anything any spell caster wanted to do to them.

Making the unwilling willing

So, if they are unwilling, what can make them willing?

  1. Persuasion you can use your golden tongue to convince them. This is a negotiated agreement so it works for definition 1 and probably 2 & 3.
  2. Deception you can tell them you are casting spell X and then cast spell Y. It would be a DM call if willing is a general condition or specific to spell X. My personal feeling is that it should be general.
  3. Intimidation if you really scared the c**p out of them they would probably be willing to do what you want by definition 1. This leaves you more open to the “bait and switch”; they agree to teleport away with you and go “unwilling” at the last second. This would not make them willing under definitions 2 & 3.
  4. Charm makes it easier to do any or all of the above but would not of itself be sufficient:

    The charmer has advantage on any ability check to interact socially with the creature.

  5. Suggestion seems perfectly feasible (for all definitions), if you can word the suggestion to make subjecting themselves to the spell seem reasonable, it says:

    You suggest a course of activity (limited to a sentence
    or two) and magically influence a creature you can
    see within range that can hear and understand you.
    Creatures that can’t be charmed are immune to this
    effect. The suggestion must be worded in such a manner
    as to make the course of action sound reasonable.

  6. Dominate again problematical (under definition 2 & 3). The command “be willing for this spell” may be sufficient to overcome this but the DM would need to decide.

    You can use this telepathic link to issue
    commands to the creature while you are conscious (no
    action required), which it does its best to obey.

    Personally, I think “which it does its best to obey” makes it willing for definition 1 and I think that is the threshold but others may disagree.

    I would think that using this part of the Dominate spells would make the creature willing:

    You can use your action to take total and precise
    control of the target. Until the end of your next turn, the
    creature takes only the actions you choose, and doesn’t
    do anything that you don’t allow it to do.

  7. Conditions What are the effects of various conditions on a creatures willingness?

    • I believe the following would make no difference: Blinded, Deafened, Frightened, Grappled, Incapacitated, Invisible (though it may make them an invalid target; Hidden would be similar although not a condition), Paralysed, Exhausted, Poisoned, Prone, Restrained and Stunned.

    • Charmed has been dealt with above.

    • So that leaves Petrified, Unconscious and Dead (technically not a condition but close enough). For the first two (and presumably dead) the creature “is unaware of its surroundings” so, can it be willing or unwilling or even treated as an object rather than a creature? Clearly a DMs call but I think that it should depend on the particular spell. I will only give one example but there are some imponderables here.

Consider Teleporting with an unconscious creature; if the creature were an ally of the caster then they would (but for their unconsciousness) be willing to be teleported (e.g. away from the ravening dragon), conversely, an enemy would be unwilling (e.g. to prison). To my mind it makes more sense to treat them as an object i.e. their willingness or otherwise is irrelevant and they count against the weight limit rather than the creature limit. However, it is equally valid to say all unconscious creatures are willing or unwilling or as they would be but for their unconsciousness. Your call.

dnd 5e – Is a found Steed allowed an independent destination and creature when targeted by Dimension Door?

This question asks whether a creature summoned by Find Steed or Find Greater Steed can be brought with the caster when the caster uses Dimension Door.

I agree with the accepted answer, which says that:

(1) Assuming a Medium caster, a size Large Steed could not be brought along as a willing creature due to the wording of the Dimension Door spell, but

(2) If the caster is mounted on the steed, the Find Steed ability to “make any spell you cast that targets only you also target your steed” means that even a larger-than-caster sized steed could be affected when the caster targeted only themselves.

Assuming that this is the correct interpretation, and that the steed is not the willing creature brought along but rather an independent target of the spell, do all of the features of the spell also affect it independently?

For example, can it choose its own destination for the dimension door as a separate location from the one chosen by the caster?

And can it bring its own willing creature along with it?

dnd 3.5e – Is there a feat to allow a weapon to hit an incorporeal creature?

I’m still fairly new to 3.5 but I thought I saw a feat to allow a PC to hit incorporeal creatures as if they weren’t. I know there is a feat to allow spells to act normally but couldn’t find one for a martial PC with no spell casting.

Allowed: all WoTC books

Not allowed: Dragon magazines or 3rd party

dnd 5e – Does a grappling Bigby’s Hand have advantage on a contested check of a creature trying to escape the grapple?

The spell Bigby’s Hand creates a large hand of force that can grapple a target:

Grasping Hand. The hand attempts to grapple a Huge or smaller creature within 5 feet of it. You use the hand’s Strength score to resolve the grapple. If the target is Medium or smaller, you have advantage on the check. While the hand is grappling the target, you can use a bonus action to have the hand crush it. When you do so, the target takes bludgeoning damage equal to 2d6 + your spellcasting ability modifier.

Once grappled by the hand, a creature can attempt to escape the grapple using the general rules:

Escaping a Grapple: A Grappled creature can use its action to Escape. To do so, it must succeed on a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check contested by your Strength (Athletics) check.

Bigby’s Hand has advantage when initiating the original grapple. However, does it also have advantage on contested checks when the grappled creature attempts to break free of the grapple?