Listen up, kiddos. Many people assume that the underworld of espionage is dominated purely by them light-footed rogues. That is an absolute lie! Everyone worth their salt knows that the true path to spy-godhood is through magic. And what spell sits atop the throne as the bread-and-butter of espionage magic? That’s right, Disguise Self 5e Spell.
Disguise Self 5e Spell Description
According to Player’s Handbook, the spell description is as follows:
You make yourself–including your clothing, armor, weapons, and other belongings on your person–look different until the spell ends or until you use your action to dismiss it. You can seem 1 foot shorter or taller and can appear thin, fat, or in between.
You can’t change your body type, so you must adopt a form that has the same basic arrangement of limbs. Otherwise, the extent of the illusion is up to you. The changes wrought by this spell fail to hold up to physical inspection. For example, if you use this spell to add a hat to your outfit, objects pass through the hat, and anyone who touches it would feel nothing or would feel your head and hair.
If you use this spell to appear thinner than you are, the hand of someone who reaches out to touch you would bump into you while it was seemingly still in midair. To discern that you are disguised, a creature can use its action to inspect your appearance and must succeed on an Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell save DC.
Disguise Self 5e Spell Stats
- Range: Self
- Components: Verbal, Somatic
- Duration: 1 hour
- Casting Time: 1 action
- Level: 1
- School: Illusion
- Classes: Bard, Sorcerer, Wizard
- Subclasses: Lore
What is Disguise Self 5e Spell?
Picture this: You need to extract an important piece of intel from a heavily guarded facility. You can’t just waltz in there and expect to walk out unscathed. No, my friend. You need to use your wits and your charm to get inside undetected.
If you’re a master of stealth, you can sneak your way in without anyone even knowing you were there. But you leave no impression; sneaking lacks showmanship! That’s where your charisma comes in handy. As a skilled spy, you know that sometimes it’s better to fake it until you make it. That’s where the Bard comes in. Their high charisma makes them perfect for pulling off a convincing disguise or bluff.
But let’s say you don’t have a Bard on your team. No problem. As a well-trained spy, you know the power of a good spell. That’s where the Disguise Self spell comes in. With this powerful spell, you can completely alter your appearance and slip past even the most vigilant of guards.
So, all you would-be spies and infiltrators of the most charismatic caliber, take note. In the world of espionage, stealth, deception, and magic are just as crucial as any other skill in our arsenal. Read up on the Disguise Self spell in this guide and add it to your toolkit. You never know when it might just save your skin!
Let’s delve deeper into the mechanics of Disguise Self!
This level-one illusion spell has the power to completely change your appearance, from your clothing to your weapons and other belongings. With just a wave of your hand and the right components, you can transform yourself into a completely different person, one that can blend seamlessly into any situation.
The range of the spell is limited to yourself, but its effects can last up to an hour or until you choose to dismiss it. This gives you ample time to carry out your mission and gather the information you need. You can even change your height and weight, making it easier to disguise yourself as someone else.
However, it is important to note that Disguise Self has its limitations. While it can change your appearance to the naked eye, it cannot hold up to physical inspection. If someone were to touch your illusory hat or attempt to pass an object through it, they would feel nothing or feel your head and hair. Additionally, if someone were to attempt to touch you while you appear thinner than you are, they would bump into you in midair.
But fear not, my fellow spies, for there is a way to foil such attempts to detect your disguise. The creature would need to use its action to inspect your appearance and successfully pass an Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell save DC. So as long as you maintain your composure and keep your wits about you, you can remain undetected and accomplish your mission.
How to use Disguise Self 5e Spell
As a master of bedazzlement, utilizing the Disguise Self spell is a crucial tool in your arsenal. To successfully carry out your covert operations, you need to have the ability to transform your appearance and blend in with the crowd seamlessly. Here’s how to use Disguise Self to your advantage.
First, ensure that you have an available level one spell slot to cast Disguise Self. Keep in mind that using a higher-level spell slot won’t make the spell any more powerful. It’s a level one illusion spell that alters your appearance, clothes, and equipment for up to an hour, in some ways this is a blessing as you never have to juggle whether to cast it at a higher or lower level. On the other hand, it doesn’t have any sort of scaling, but when you’re changing your appearance to look like something else, there’s not a whole lot of scaling that could happen.
A key limitation of the spell is that it can only be cast on yourself. You can’t use it to transform other people. In combat situations, casting the spell will use up your action for that turn. However, outside of combat, the spell’s hour-long duration can be incredibly useful for infiltrating enemy territory undetected.
There are also limitations on what you can transform into. You can only change your appearance to be one foot taller or shorter than your current height. You can appear thin, fat, or somewhere in between. However, you can’t change your body form to look like a different species or creature.
Some players will take to push the limits of what their DMs will allow under the effects of this spell; any non-RAW applications you’re contemplating must be run by your DM first and foremost, as no one wants to be embroiled in a battle with the DM while your party is embroiled in a battle for their lives! This spell can especially step on toes, so use it with care!
So if you’re looking to impersonate someone else, Disguise Self can be incredibly helpful. You can add any clothing or equipment you need to complete your disguise, from stylish suits to sturdy armor. Just remember to stay within the spell’s limitations and maintain a similar arrangement of limbs to your original form.
Key Limitations to Disguise Self 5e Spell
When using Disguise Self, it’s important to keep in mind that the illusion created by the spell cannot withstand physical inspection. For instance, if you use the spell to add a hat to your outfit, someone who tries to touch it would feel nothing or would feel your head and hair. If you alter your appearance to appear thinner than you are, the hand of someone who reaches out to touch you would bump into you while it was seemingly still in midair.
It’s also worth noting that Disguise Self can only be cast on oneself and not on other people. Additionally, the spell has limitations on what the caster can transform into. You can only change your height by one foot, and you must maintain the same basic arrangement of limbs. You can also alter your body weight, but you cannot transform into a different body form such as an animal or a monster.
Applications of Disguise Self 5e Spell
In the world of cover affairs, Disguise Self can be an invaluable tool for blending in and gaining access to secure locations. While it may not have direct combat applications in the RAW, it is highly situational and can be a game-changer in the right circumstances.
For instance, if you need to infiltrate an enemy stronghold, Disguise Self can allow you to take on the appearance of a trusted insider and move freely within the compound. Alternatively, if you need to mislead or distract your foes, Disguise Self can be used to take on the likeness of a key target or ally and manipulate your enemies’ perceptions to your advantage.
One of the greatest benefits of Disguise Self is its accessibility. As a first-level spell, it can be easily learned and utilized early on in your career as a spy. However, to truly maximize its potential, you must be imaginative and think outside the box to find creative ways to employ this powerful tool.
Who can use Disguise Self 5e Spell?
Disguise Self is a versatile spell available to many spellcasting classes in Dungeons & Dragons 5e, such as Bards, Sorcerers, Wizards, and Artificers. Some subclasses of Rogues also have access to this spell, as they have honed their stealth skills and dipped into the arcane arts. With its ability to alter one’s appearance for an hour, Disguise Self can provide a valuable tool for characters seeking to deceive or infiltrate enemy territory.
Rogues, in particular, can make great use of Disguise Self when combined with their already potent deceptive arsenal. By assuming a new appearance, they can more easily blend in with their surroundings, impersonate others, and carry out covert operations.
However, it’s important to note that Disguise Self only alters appearance and does not provide any knowledge or abilities related to deception, making it crucial for players to engage in convincing roleplay and clever tactics to ensure their disguise is successful.
Disguise Self 5e Spell FAQs
What’s the Difference Between Disguise Self vs. Alter Self?
Disguise Self is a low-level (1st level) illusion spell, while Alter Self is a higher-level (2nd level) transmutation spell. Disguise Self can only change your visual appearance, while Alter Self changes your physical body. Disguise Kits can also be used on other players, while Disguise Self can only be used on… The “self”.
What’s the Difference Between Disguise Self vs. Disguise Kit?
Disguise Self is a quick and instant illusion, while the Disguise Kit requires time and proficiency to create a disguise. Disguise Kit also relies more heavily on a character’s artistic abilities than their magical abilities. The choice of which method to use will depend on the specific needs of the character and the situation they find themselves in.
Can Disguise Self Change Your Voice?
No, it cannot. The spell only affects the visual appearance of the caster.
Can Disguise Self Allow One to Hide or Gain Wings?
No, unless you are already a humanoid with wings. However, DM discretion can allow some flexibility as Disguise Self is a relatively contentious spell, to begin with. It’s recommended that upon taking the spell, the player has a meta-session with the DM where they discuss what possible applications the DM is comfortable with.
Can Disguise Self Allow One to Hide or Gain a Tail?
Yes, since tails are not limbs. However, the tail would only be illusory and would not be able to interact with the environment in any way.
Can Disguise Self Change One’s Race?
Yes, as long as the race has the same number of limbs and does not exceed the caster’s height plus or minus 1 foot.
Does Disguise Self Require Concentration?
Nope, it doesn’t. Feel free to frolic and engage in combat!
How Long does Disguise Self Last?
It lasts for one hour; that’s equivalent to 3600 seconds or 600 rounds in combat!
Can I Cast Disguise Self on Others?
No, for that, you will need Seeming (5th level Illusion spell) or a Disguise Kit, which requires preparation and proficiency.
Corrie is a passionate writer who draws inspiration from his love of medieval-fantasy and epic science fiction. His obsession with D&D and epic battles shines through in his work, as does his appreciation for authors like Laura Resnick and Marion Zimmer Bradley, whose works ignited his imagination and love of books. You can find Corrie at any given time engrossed in a rewatch binge of Voyager or rolling new characters for the creative joy of it!