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Petrified in 5e – The Nightmare of Being Locked in Stone

The official description of petrified is as follows: (Source – Roll20)

  • A petrified creature is transformed, along with any non-magical object it is wearing or carrying, into a solid inanimate object. (Typically stone) It’s weight increases by a factor of 10, and it ceases aging.
  • The creature is incapacitated, cannot move or speak, and is completely unaware of its surroundings.
  • Attack rolls made against a petrified creature have advantage.
  • The creature automatically fails Strength and Dexterity saving throws.
  • The creature has resistance to all damage.
  • The creature is immune to poison and disease, although any poisons or diseases in its system are suspended, not neutralized.

Causes of Petrified:

Petrified mans head in a bleak forest

Now, I only have the Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s guide, so there actually may be more examples out there available in other books that I haven’t run across yet. If you know of any additional causes, please let me know in the comments, so I can make a more complete list for you guys.

With that out of the way, there are three spells available to a player that cause certification, as well as a Single magic item. However, there are six monsters detailed in the Monster Manual that you’ll need to be wary of, as they employ the liberal use of certification. So rude, am I right?

Spells

Monster Abilities

Magic Items

How Petrification Can Be Used for Storytelling:

For a hook into an adventure, petrification easily lends itself as a way to send your party on a quest to hunt a basilisk for its stomach acid to cure a petrified individual. To expand on this, perhaps petrification was used to medically stem the course of a lethal disease or poison until a cure could be developed, and they now have the cure. Only, they have no way to undo the petrification itself because of X Y or Z. Cue the Quest!

Another use of this condition would be as a world-building tool to tell a grand story of a statue of a monster and how it was turned to stone to save the population from its menace. Or flip it around, and have it be a petrified hero, who saved the population, and chose to be petrified for all eternity as his dying will.

Plot Twist! The petrified “hero” was actually an evil dude, and he was petrified by the said hero in the story. Each retelling could be like a game of telephone, with minor details changing, until the meaning changed entirely. The populace could maybe task the party with curing his petrification, only to unwittingly release a menace into the world. Not a bad segue into introducing the BBEG, if I do say so myself…

Petrified man raising arm up in a cave

What Counters Petrification?

There are only three surefire ways to deal with the petrified condition – Greater Restoration as a cure for it, a Major Artifact power that makes you immune to it, and of course, Wish. However, the Monster Manual mentions that the stomach acid of a basilisk can be used by some alchemists to make a Stone to Flesh potion (Which is not detailed anywhere in the DMG, PHB, or Monster Manual that I could find (The only three books I have so far)) Suffice it to say you’ll just need to collect the stuff and roleplay it out.

There is also a possibility for a Cleric’s Divine Intervention of curing it, but that will vary on your roll, and what your DM decides as being acceptable. Some will accept it, some won’t. I do know that Dispel magic won’t cure it because the stone itself isn’t magical.

Spells

Artifact

Cleric Features (Depending on your DM)

How Bad is the Petrified Condition?

Petrified is bad. This condition straight up locks you into stone(in most cases), and if any part breaks off before curing it, you better have a way to staunch the bleeding. If the head or other vital part of your body breaks off, it’s GG, get ready to cast a resurrection spell of some sort.

However, I still rank it behind the paralyzed condition, simply because it makes you resistant to damage for its duration. This makes it less likely to actually get your character killed, depending on what applies it, of course. I could be wrong, but that is how I look at it.

Next in line to tackle is the Poisoned Condition.

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Devon Kubacki

Hi there, I'm Devon, nice to meet you! I am the founder of Notes of Yore, and I'm an avid fan of tabletop games, particularly Dungeons and Dragons. I've been playing for just under two years now, and can say that I am hooked...or rather grappled by it. I hope you find my work here on NoYo helpful, and thank you for reading!View Author posts

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