Alter Self (spell)

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Alter Self (spell).jpg

Alter self is a spell that's able to dramatically adjust the caster's physical form, with an end result that must be that of a humanoid. Unlike the 1st level spell, change self, alter self is not an illusion, but provides a real physical change.

Alter Self
Range self
Duration 20-80 rounds +10 per level
Area of Effect self
Casting Time 1 round
Saving Throw none
Level illusionist (2nd)

For this reason, the caster is able to adjust his or her eyes so as to possess infravision, transforming hands into claws, or even achieve the ability to breathe water by developing gills such as those of mermen or sahuagin. Note that none of the character's ability stats are affected by the spell.

Because the caster is physically altered and the spell isn't an illusion, both clothes and equipment remain unchanged. If the transformation involves becoming a creature of greater mass, the caster should disrobe first so as not to damage his or her clothing or gear.

Adjustments for Size

Height and weight may be adjusted either upwards or downwards by 20%, cumulative, per level of the caster.

For example, a 200 lb. caster of 3rd level choosing to shrink could multiply his or her size progressively by 0.8 x 0.8 x 0.8, for a weight of 102 lb. Calculating for three dimensions, this could make a 6 ft. caster approximately 4 ft. 9 in. tall. Despite the increase or decrease in body mass, the caster's hit points are not adjusted.


The caster can nearly duplicate the exact appearance of another humanoid, well enough to fool nearly anyone; only the original or the original's family will recognise the deception. The spell obviously provides no details of the original's life or knowledge — so there's always the possibility of a suspicion arising when the caster fails to accurately answer questions.