[RPG] Can Alter Self be used to enter an enethe’s body and destroy it from the inside


I’m a new DM, so I’m using a starter pack with a storyline, although I have adapted it a fair amount. Earlier today one of my players decided that he can use Alter Self to create a tentacle which he can use to enter his opponents through their mouths or other holes. Once inside them he says he could just wiggle the tentacle around and squish their internal organs.

I’ve tried arguing that it can’t be done by that spell, but him and some of the others say that it can and it’s really just semantics at this point. Also, I do want to encourage the players to be inventive and I really want them to have fun, but I feel like this is game breakingly over powered. Any advice on how I can limit it or anything else I can do? Please

Best Answer

I think your players need some help understanding the game's fundamental abstractions. To that end, let's address their plan:

Sounds like a pretty reasonable way… to deal 1d6 damage

In reality, human beings have some pretty sophisticated tools for rearranging each other's internal organs in order to quickly cause incapacity or death. One such tool is a "sword."

In Dungeons & Dragons, that awesomely lethal tool does, like, 1d6 or 1d8 damage. Which is also, in many editions, enough to kill a starting character in 1-2 hits.

If you don't mind, I'm going to borrow a bit of text from a prior answer about a similar instant-win strategy using poison:

I'm not saying you should block the players by going out of your way to make it weak and useless. But don't make a game action super-powerful just because it could kill someone in reality. People were killed with regular ol' run-of-the-mill arming swords all the time. Yet they still do only 1d8 damage in D&D. Players characters and antagonists in D&D very quickly become more like action-movie heroes (or wuxia/super heroes, even) than real-world people as they attain levels or Hit Dice.

Something that should kill a regular person can, by all rights, do 1d6 damage in D&D. As other answers have already noted, the Alter Self spell already has a "natural weapon" option that will do just that!